Burning HD quality / maintaining letterbox

Hey everyone,

I’m totally new here (first post). Over the last couple of weeks I’ve become really interested in DVD technology, and in producing free DVDs of non-copyrighted films for people who don’t have access to the material they seek (especially educational material).

Question #1: Is there a way to burn a HD quality production onto a DVD, and maintain the original quality? Does the terminology “HD” solely refer to the necessity that one must have a HD screen to enjoy the quality, or does it also apply to the quality of the video itself? I’m currently using CyberLink PowerProducer, and find it to work really well - but if folks have other suggestions for programs, that would be great.

Question #2: Letterbox productions (AKA, the films which stretch across the screen, instead of filling up the whole thing). A problem I’ve found when burning these is that the format changes to full-screen instead of letterbox, and in turn the overall quality ends up going slightly down. I personally enjoy letterbox films, and when converted it doesn’t look right (after you’ve seen how the letterbox looks - if you haven’t seen it, sometimes it’s hard to even tell). Is there a way to maintain this appearance? If so, how?

Again, sorry if these questions are repeats of others (couldn’t find them answered elsewhere). I’m really looking forwarding to learning lots about DVD production here, and to share what I learn with others!


HD is high Definition, aka very high resolution (approx 4x the resolution of DVD). 1920x1080 pixels is hi-def (althrough there are varying grades which still qualify). DVD uses 720 x 576 or 720 x 480 depending on the TV system in your country.
HD video uses a different video codec to DVD.
Standard DVD players cannot play video using the HD codec. … assuming they had enough CPU power. - cheap chinese DVD players now often support MPEG4 & variants and so may play HD content.
And you need a HD TV to enjoy HD movies. Otherwise it’s downscaled to SD (standard definition).

Please advise which programs you are using to process your video.
The DVD has nothing to do with the content, it’s just a container.
You need to process & encode your DVD content correctly before sticking it on a DVD.

Thanks for the explanation. So, if I was to buy an HD monitor / TV (saw an amazing one at Staples today…was the size of a normal TV), and hook it up to my computer, then I can play those HD productions as they should be seen? On my laptop (Acer Aspire 3610), the picture from some IMAX films I purchased was great. I can only imagine how it’d look on a large HD screen.

The program I am using is CyberLink PowerProducer - which works well for a lot of things, but doesn’t seem to have the ability to maintain letterbox productions in letterbox format after they’ve been burnt. That’s something I can’t quite figure out.

HD takes alot of grunt. Not sure how well your Laptop will play it.
Also, HD discs will require HDMI connections. You MUST have these connections to play future HD content on your TV, or everything will be scaled down to SD resolution.
Also be aware that many TV’s are “HD Ready” which generally means it’s only SD and downscales HD content to standard resolution.

Buying HD anything ATM is an absolute minefield if you haven’t done your research.

If Cyberlinks Power Producer is pumping out video almost correctly, but doesn’t maintain the aspect ratio correctly, I’m sure there are some tools around somewhere that can help. Also Check your power producer settings. You may need to tell it the correct aspect ration/ etc.

Check the video forum for further help on this.

Thanks for the advice! Very much appreciated!