DVD Authoring & Using Tips

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DVD Tips

How to take care of DVD discs?

Since DVDs are read by a laser, they are resistant - to a point - to fingerprints, dust, smudges, and scratches. However, surface contaminants and scratches can cause data errors. So it's a good idea to take care of your discs. 

  • In general, treat them the same way as you would a CD.
  • Keep your discs clean, which will also keep the inside of your player clean.
  • Never attempt to play a cracked disc, as it could shatter and damage the player.
  • Using cleaning disc specially designed for DVD players if you really want to clean the laser lens.
  • Handle only at the hub or outer edge. Don't touch the shiny surface with your popcorn-greasy fingers.
  • Store in a protective case when not in use. Do not bend the disc when taking it out of the case, and be careful not to scratch the disc when placing it in the case or in the player tray.
  • Make certain the disc is properly seated in the player tray before you close it.
  • Keep away from hot equipment surfaces, direct sunlight, pets, small children, and other destructive forces. Magnetic fields have no effect on DVDs.
  • Coloring the outside edge of a DVD with a marker makes no difference in video or audio quality.

Your first try? Here are some advices:

Fully utilize preview or test function. Some DVD authoring software allow you to create the DVD content in a folder on your hard drive. This is an exact copy of the DVD, but not on DVD media. Play and test your DVD from the hard drive on your computer screen. If you see any artifacts, tears or other signs of poor video quality, go back and transcode videos into MPEG2 again.

Buy some rewritable (DVD-RW or DVD+RW) discs so that you don't have to worry about spending a fortune on blank media while you learn how to master this new technology.

Once you are sure that your DVD is the way you like it, burn it onto a rewritable disc. Test your project directly from disc, either in your computer or your set top player. If you run into any problems with the video quality the first thing you may want to do is try a different burning software to take the data from the folder to the DVD media. Your DVD burner most likely came with this software. If that doesn't get the job done you may want to try transcoding those segments again, possibly using different settings.

When you can burn a rewritable DVD that works 100% you can then go on and produce your single use DVDs. If I am going to be making more than a few copies, I like to do it directly from the folder, using the DVD burning software.

Once you have become more experienced you will know all the right settings for your particular system. At that point you'll be able to skip these extra steps and just burn directly from the authoring software.

Want to know more about DVD?

If you are really interested in more details of DVD, click here for the official online DVD FAQ. It is the most complete source of DVD information. Get yourself ready to read lots of technical stuff, though.


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