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  1. Hi there!

    I am working as a freelancer in the field of video editing and encode and recently I was asked by a costumer who was very satisfied with my work, if I had any experience with DVD and Blu-ray authoring. He told me that he would like me to do the authoring for his projects which is currently done by an authoring studio. Since I didn't have any experience on this subject, I told him that I can't make any promises, but that I'm willing to look into it and try to teach myself how to do it.

    After reading a lot of guides and watching tutorials for different programs like DVD Architect and Adobe Encore, I put my new knowledge into pratice. At this moment, I already completed my first Blu-Ray and actually, I didn't find it too difficult to fulfill the requirements of my costumer. Of course, there's still things to improve, but I'm willing to work on them, since getting these authoring jobs from this customer would be a really big step for me.

    But there is still one thing that I don't know which is of great importance: Is it even possible to create full-featured Blu-Rays and DVDs with full compatibility, when using software like DVD Architect or Adobe Encore? I'm worried that Blu-Rays and DVDs created with these programs maybe can't be read by every Blu-Ray and DVD player or that any other problem might occur. Can I use these softwares to create a product that is supposed to be sold to a large group of people or are these programs only for home use? And if I couldn't use them, is there any other software that can be used for this purpose and doesn't cost a small fortune like blu-print?

    I really hope someone can give me an answer to these questions and I'm grateful for every reply.
    Thank you for reading!
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  2. Explorer Case's Avatar
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    Most commercial authoring software is audited to make compliant discs, and the developers payed for that privilege as part of the license. Compatibility is rarely an issue (although YOU may get the tough questions if something doesn't work).
    If you need to supply “thousands” of discs that require replication outsourcing, then have a look at their requirements, as a playable disc probably won’t do for many (instead BD Cutting Master Format or DVD Cutting Master Format/Disc Description Protocol).
    The EULA of consumer software often specifies noncommercial use. Check your agreement for your softwares for details that apply to you. I expect the software that you mentioned doesn’t consider themselves consumer products, thus do allow commercial use (selling of the products you create), though.
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  3. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    I'm still quite partial to Ulead DVD Workshop, and in fact I'm authoring a disc as we speak.
    It was pro software, often overlooked.
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  4. I don't think DVD Workshop does Blue Rays and it's pretty old. The following requirement is from their website: "It's available for users with the operating system Windows 95 and prior versions"

    But if 'lordsmurf' recommends it then it's gotta be good. Maybe it works on later Window OS versions.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    I'm still quite partial to Ulead DVD Workshop, and in fact I'm authoring a disc as we speak.
    It was pro software, often overlooked.
    Reiden is looking for software that can do both Blu-ray authoring and DVD authoring. Ulead DVD Workshop can't provide Blu-ray authoring.

    It is going to be difficult to obtain a legal copy at this late date, even if somone wants one. Ulead DVD Workshop 2, the final release, dates from 2004 and was discontinued not long after 2006, when Corel bought Ulead. I bought a copy about 7 years ago, but as I recall, some features do not work beyond Windows XP and others don't work without installing a DLL from Windows XP.

    It appears that TreeTops already replied while I was typing this.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Jan 2018 at 11:06.
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    Originally Posted by Reiden View Post
    Hi there!

    I am working as a freelancer in the field of video editing and encode and recently I was asked by a costumer who was very satisfied with my work, if I had any experience with DVD and Blu-ray authoring. He told me that he would like me to do the authoring for his projects which is currently done by an authoring studio. Since I didn't have any experience on this subject, I told him that I can't make any promises, but that I'm willing to look into it and try to teach myself how to do it.

    After reading a lot of guides and watching tutorials for different programs like DVD Architect and Adobe Encore, I put my new knowledge into pratice. At this moment, I already completed my first Blu-Ray and actually, I didn't find it too difficult to fulfill the requirements of my costumer. Of course, there's still things to improve, but I'm willing to work on them, since getting these authoring jobs from this customer would be a really big step for me.

    But there is still one thing that I don't know which is of great importance: Is it even possible to create full-featured Blu-Rays and DVDs with full compatibility, when using software like DVD Architect or Adobe Encore? I'm worried that Blu-Rays and DVDs created with these programs maybe can't be read by every Blu-Ray and DVD player or that any other problem might occur. Can I use these softwares to create a product that is supposed to be sold to a large group of people or are these programs only for home use? And if I couldn't use them, is there any other software that can be used for this purpose and doesn't cost a small fortune like blu-print?

    I really hope someone can give me an answer to these questions and I'm grateful for every reply.
    Thank you for reading!
    As already mentioned DVD Architect and Adobe Encore should author fully compliant discs. You probably won't need anything more advanced unless you want to author BD-J discs too, rather than just BD-HDMV discs, which is all consumer and prosumer software allows.

    Blu-Disc Studio is the least expensive software that I can recall seeing which includes BD-J, but it doesn't author DVDs. Also, unlike most paid consumer and prosumer software, Blu-Disc Studio expects users to have assets prepared for authoring prior to importing them. This is typical of advanced professional authoring software.

    [Edit] One other thing, playback can never be guaranteed even for properly authored discs. Even individual pressed discs distributed by major studios can be unplayable due to manufacturing defects. When movies are distributed on burned media there will always be some people who can't play them successfully. Not every player or PC drive handles all burned media well and some people will own machines which are dusty or wearing out.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 17th Jan 2018 at 13:36.
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  7. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Reiden is looking for software that can do both Blu-ray authoring and DVD authoring.
    The problem is that it's a bit of a unicorn.

    DVD authoring isn't Blu-ray authoring. DVD authoring is an afterthought when it does exist in current/new software. The focus is BD. I've not seen any decent new DVD apps in many years. What we have now is BD apps with the old DVD functionality tossed in (warts and all, good or bad), like TMPGEnc or Adobe. Quality DVD authoring tools were things like DVDLab, DVDWS2, etc.

    Encore completely sucks for DVD, and was never any good. It's non-intuitive and needlessly overly complex (thus excruciatingly time consuming). But the worst part is that it disregards parts of the DVD spec that other authorware properly sees as a valid asset. So Encore will re-encode complaint video because it's too stupid to understand the asset was already compliant. I don't think it has that issue on BD.

    DVD Architect may be an option. I've not looked at in a few years now.

    It is going to be difficult to obtain a legal copy at this late date,
    Not really any more difficult than any other popular legacy hardware or software for a legacy format.

    but as I recall, some features do not work beyond Windows XP and others don't work without installing a DLL from Windows XP.
    Only audio preview in simulation. The output discs/images/folders are perfectly. I rarely use preview, and instead listen to the asset in the editors, and again when looking at the final disc. Since I process on SSD, it's literally like 2 minutes to re-author if a change need be made to the structure/options in the authoring app. I have it installed in Win7 natively. Very powerful software for making DVDs, many options, easy GUI interface. Should I need preview, I can always spin up an XP VM in Virtualbox.

    Remember: Windows XP was the era of capturing and DVD authoring. That's why XP is still required for most capturing/authoring.
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  8. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    DVD Architect is pretty good for DVD or Bluray (MPEG2 or H.264, no VC1). I think it can even take compatible videos (DVD/Bluray compatible) and not re-encode them if you wish. So you could encode with x264 or HCenc outside the program and then use DVD Architect for the menus and creating the package. Just need to be sure to encode with DVD/Bluray restrictions.

    Originally Posted by Reiden View Post
    I'm worried that Blu-Rays and DVDs created with these programs maybe can't be read by every Blu-Ray and DVD player or that any other problem might occur. Can I use these softwares to create a product that is supposed to be sold to a large group of people or are these programs only for home use?
    The only thing you can't create are 4K UHD Bluray disks that can be viewed on UHD Bluray players. DVDs and standard Blurays can be made at home.
    Last edited by KarMa; 17th Jan 2018 at 17:48.
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    It is going to be difficult to obtain a legal copy at this late date,
    Not really any more difficult than any other popular legacy hardware or software for a legacy format.
    If you know where to legally obtain a legit copy of Ulead DVD Workshop 2, I'm sure the OP would be grateful to know where to buy a genuine licensed copy today rather than a trial version or a pirated copy. I bought mine from B&H Photo on clearance, but their stock ran out long ago.

    On the other hand, DVD-lab PRO 2 is still readily available (for $160) and is fully functional and easy to install on a Windows 7 PC if somone wants dedicated DVD authoring software
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  10. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    personally i always liked and used dvdlab pro 2 for authoring dvds. for blu-rays my go to authoring program is the free blu-disc studio lite.
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  11. Going Mad TheFamilyMan's Avatar
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    I've been using DVD Architect for a few years now to create bluray disc from hidef camcorder footage. As far as features and capabilities go it is excellent, far better than any other authoring software I've used in the last 10+ years (even the ulead software mentioned above, which I've also used for years). The great thing is that you can easily structure your menuing system anyway you want, and create any structure/content for a menu page (though it won't do widescreen thumbnails, ugh). Also, it won't touch your video footage provided its format is project compliant. It also can make either DVD or bluray projects. The bad, and it can be really bad, is its bluray disc compatibility with different set-top bluray players is dodgy. My recent samsung K8500, and a friend's sort of recent samsung player, truncates all menu playback to 3 seconds and seems to "cough" when doing so, making selecting a menu item a PITA race against time. Another older panasonic player would loose all chapter marks once a menu page has been navigated. My recently retired LG bluray player didn't have any issues. Recently Magix bought all the Sony video production software (Vegas, etc.) and claim they are maintaining it so I sent them my complaint and they replied with an open problem ticket, though I'm not holding my breath. I've yet to see if DVDs are so affected, but frankly I don't have any interest in doing so. DVDA sells on Steam and from time to time goes on sale there for huge discounts. As for Magix to calling it DVDA "Pro", that IMO is pure marketing rubbish.

    BTW, haven't posted here in several years. Nice to see that this community is still active.
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  12. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Q: What is a costumer ? Answer: One who pays the costs. Boom. Boom !!!

    Ulead DVDWorkshop 2 was the bees-knees of DVD Authoring at that time. Had features unknown to other programs and it was sin that Corel saw fit not to continue to develop it.

    As for authoring, generally the biggest mistake (and I have fallen for it) is to go overboard with menus.
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  13. DVD Architect had/has certain unique feature I was blown away when I found out. Creating virtual titles for just one movie, it is chapter independent for example. Their abstract layer or overall way of doing things did not follow that classic Scenarist, DVD Maestro legacy. It does things its own way sort of. That is why many can find it weird.
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  14. Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    As for authoring, generally the biggest mistake (and I have fallen for it) is to go overboard with menus.
    100% true, to create proper menu takes too much time.
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  15. Going Mad TheFamilyMan's Avatar
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    Corel renamed DVDWorkshop and buried it into their videostudio product suite. I tried VS a few years ago looking for bluray tools and was dismayed that its authoring is still DVD only and basically unchanged from the last decade. We must face it: optical media is slowly dying off. Some even laugh at my Canon G20, that is, until they see the quality of the 1080i HD footage it shoots. The BR discs made from this footage looks lifelike on my 4K LG OLED TV. Crap, I wish I had this tech 20 years ago when my kids were growing up.
    Last edited by TheFamilyMan; 6th Mar 2018 at 23:36.
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  16. I am fairly agnostic when it comes to authoring programs (some rather unwarranted criticisms above). My only requirement is does it support BDMV? I am a seasoned user of DVD Architect, and one of the things I love about it is that mastering for BD vs DVD is almost as easy as a mouse click. But then I develop just about all my assets outside of DVDA including my full featured menus with embedded video/vfx. So the difference really only comes down to encoding the streams for DVD vs BD.

    Now, I don't produce these for profit. But if I did, then to answer the OP's question, I would demand an authoring tool with BD-J support. Proprietary programs are an arm and a leg. The only freeware I am aware of is BD Studio, but it is far from intuitive. So if you want full featured BD and want to up your game, that is what you need. I have purchased both DVD and BD from indie videographers and they ALWAYS suck. But then authoring a professional looking menu, versus a cheesy template, takes real effort. The kind that is hard to recoup unless you have scale like a Hollywood studio.
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  17. Originally Posted by Reiden View Post

    But there is still one thing that I don't know which is of great importance: Is it even possible to create full-featured Blu-Rays and DVDs with full compatibility, when using software like DVD Architect or Adobe Encore? I'm worried that Blu-Rays and DVDs created with these programs maybe can't be read by every Blu-Ray and DVD player or that any other problem might occur.
    Congrats on the business success! Some others have responded to you with good advice as to which progs they've had success with on a technical level, to produce the "master" disk (i.e. the structure/menus/etc of the disk that satisfies the customers' aesthetics). But I think there are two different factors that you'll be dealing with in terms of larger production:

    1) Aesthetics of "master" disk
    2) Mechanics of multiple disk reproduction

    As for the first, whatever prog you use that turns out a disk -- one single disk -- that your customer is happy with, that's your starting point. You've authored the disk and if you want to go on to #2, that's another thing entirely.

    I work for a university and do tech hardware/software support for several hundred machines and several thousands of people (not all at once, thank God!), and when it comes to media playback, both digital (streaming, mp4/mkv/avi/etc files) and "physical" (DVD/BD), there is no such thing as a disk (or even USB drive) that works on every customer's hardware -- and of course you'll only find that out when you've got ten minutes or less to get the video playing.

    I had to go through one department and do firmware upgrades on their Dell-branded DVD drives (Lite-On built) because they would just not read Maxell branded DVD media, and the department had a stack of about 700 Maxell blank DVDs and -- fortunately -- the firmware update fixed the issue. This time.

    Then another department bought a few stacks of Memorex (bleah) blanks, both CDs and DVDs, and they were probably on sale of course but they were total junk, the would try trading disks and half the time they wouldn't play. So I ended up with a bunch of free blank Memorex DVDs which I don't use for anything critical, but fortunately my own Samsung-made DVD burner hasn't had any issues with these.

    So my angle on this would be: How many customers does your customer have currently, how many copies of any disc do you need to turn out, and is it expected that you'll handle all/most of the actual disk "production," including returns/replacements if/when a customer has playback issues? If you don't know, then I highly recommend you start by talking to your primary customer and see what he/she is expecting from you vs. what you are expecting of yourself. I've found out through hard experience that the two don't necessarily line up from the start without a lot of conversation!
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  18. I don't think any producer needs to guarantee/warranty playability on a PC/Mac. In fact, all the DVD/BD I have purchased from indies have come with an explicit warning to not even try playing it in a computer along with a laundry list of other warnings about potential problems reading like a waiver. But I do agree with the sentiment that junk discs and burners are no bueno but that is much less of a concern when dealing with BD-R for hopefully obvious reasons.
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