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Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby forestraven » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:04 pm

I tried to burn a simple video to a dvd today. The original video is about 1.3 GB in size. I did not add menus or anything to the video. It was supposed to be just a straight burn.
But when I went to burn it, X8 told me the file was now about 10 GB and would not fit on a standard dvd. Why is the file suddenly almost 5 times the original size when, like I said, I didn't add anything to the original file.
The video itself is about 2.5 hours long but I didn't think that would make a difference, that only the file size would be important.
I have run into this problem before and it is totally frustrating. But at those times, I added menus and all sorts of stuff to the video. This time I didn't touch it.
What am I missing?
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Re: Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby Ken Berry » Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:36 pm

A standard definition video DVD can in effect use only one type of format: standard definition mpeg-2. I am betting that your 1.5 GB file is not mpeg-2. You can right click it in the VS timeline or library window to see what format it is. But I am assuming it is one of the highly compressed formats like mp4 which produces high quality video but in a small size.

So, if you inserted that file into Video Studio, VS would have to convert it to DVD-compatible mpeg-2 before actually burning it to the DVD. The default settings used by VS for production of a DVD include a bitrate (or data rate) of 8000 kbps which is effectively the maximum you can use for a standard def DVD (you can use slightly higher bitrates but some stand-alone DVD players can have difficulty with such discs). But this bitrate is also the highest quality you can expect to get from mpeg-2.

But a high bitrate also means a large mpeg-2. To reduce the size of the mpeg-2 you have to reduce the bitrate. Now a single layer DVD using 8000 kbps can accept a project file of around an hour (and around 10 minutes more if using Dolby audio). With a bitrate of 6000 kbps you will have a DVD of 90 to 100 minutes. And with a bitrate of 4000 kbps you will have a DVD of around 2 hours or a little bit more with Dolby.

The problem is that the lower the bitrate, the lower the quality of the DVD. With a 4000 kbps bitrate you can expect a DVD with quality no better than an old VHS videotape. And your project, you say, is in fact 2.5 hours long. So you would have to use a bitrate of around 3000 kbps to fit 2.5 hours onto a single layer DVD. The quality would definitely not be good.

You could always try using a dual layer DVD, but you would still need to reduce the bitrate to 6000 kbps or below to fit 2.5 hours on it. Or you could split your project into two and burn each half on separate single layer DVDs using a bitrate of, say, 5500 kbps.
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Re: Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby forestraven » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:54 pm

Sorry, I forgot to mention that it is an mp4 file. I looked at the properties for the original file as you suggested and it says 997 kbps and the video quality was actually very good. Which does not seem to fit with what you are saying so I'm still confused. :)
After I wrote in I re-installed Roxio NXT2 which I hadn't used in a while. It actually fitted the video to the dvd and burned it in a fraction of the time the VS takes. The video quality suffered slightly but not that much. Since Roxio is faster and does the job, I might end up using that for relatively unimportant jobs like this and save VS for when I need good quality work.
But I'll keep in mind what you said.
Thank you for the info!
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Re: Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby canuck » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:38 pm

I have both the Roxio and VS video programs and have found no noticeable difference in the time it takes to render identical videos. If VS takes much longer then Roxio then you are using different output settings.

Comparing the properties of an mp4 file to an mpg file is meaningless. Fitting a 2.5 hour video to a DVD will give poor quality but if you are happy with it, that is all that matters.
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Re: Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby forestraven » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:27 pm

Actually, the video turned out not as poor as one might think. Granted it is not HD sharp but still acceptable for my purpose.

As for using different settings on VS from Roxio, the VS DVD option seems to be a preset that just records whatever way it wants to. I confess I'm just a duffer at this and probably missing all the technical adjustments pros can make.

Which makes me wonder how movie companies get 2-3+ hour movies on dvds and have them be the excellent quality they are. They must be using a technology not generally available to typical home users.
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Re: Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby Ken Berry » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:32 pm

forestraven wrote:Which makes me wonder how movie companies get 2-3+ hour movies on dvds and have them be the excellent quality they are. They must be using a technology not generally available to typical home users.


Yep! First, they use extremely expensive software which runs through the video many times over to squeeze out as much unnecessary info as possible without visibly affecting quality. But then they also produce the DVDs by pressing multiple copies from a master disc, rather than the slow and sometimes unpredictable process we users have to use in "burning" individual DVDs.
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Re: Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby forestraven » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:37 pm

Lucky stiffs! :)
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Re: Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby Ken Berry » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:55 pm

forestraven wrote:...the VS DVD option seems to be a preset that just records whatever way it wants to. I confess I'm just a duffer at this and probably missing all the technical adjustments pros can make.


Well, VS is a video editor, and to edit you have to be prepared to be hands-on in many aspects of the editing process. Yes, there are presets for particular circumstances. So, as I said above, if your project is around 1 hour or less, then you can use the Share > DVD preset which uses 8000 kbps as its bitrate. There are other presets for longer projects. But if you really want to be hands-on, then you go to Share > Custom and choose mpeg-2 as the output format. (And that's because the international DVD standard -- not just us! -- requires that a project either use or first be converted to DVD-compatible mpeg-2 before it can be burnt and recognized by stand-alone DVD players as a valid DVD.)

And in that Custom setup, you can change all the aspects of the properties. So, as I also said above, you would need to reduce the bitrate for a 2.5 hour project down to around 3500 kbps and use Dolby audio, to ensure that a project that long would fit on a single layer DVD. It's not really rocket science, and with just a little practice, and knowing the limits of the international standard, it becomes a pretty easy process for a user.
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Re: Why does VS X8 make my video too big to burn?

Postby forestraven » Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:59 pm

Thank you, Ken. I try all that the next time I burn.
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