DVD HQ mode - safe or not?



Putting 1 hour onto a DVD, to play on a standalone player.

Does HQ mode offer a worthwhile improvement in quality?

How compatible is HQ with players as it is outside of DVD specification?


1 Hour HQ is not outside of DVD specification in general. Perhaps some hardware/software have HQ encoding options which are non-compliant, however.

Whether it’s worth it depends entirely on the encoder used, and as always it’s also in the eye of the beholder. I’ve not found it to be worthwhile on my DVD recorders, but then again I’m not usually that picky about video quality.


Assuming MPEG-2 encoding, as long as its within the bit rate limits imposed by DVD specs, it should play on any player. That limit is somewhere around 11Mb/sec.

Good to note that many players support playing media files off a DVD-ROM, and those files can contain higher bit rates as long as the player supports the spinning of a DVD-ROM at higher speed than 1x. I’ve put high bit rate audio and HD video files on a DVD before and tested in an Oppo with no issues.

There’s also the AVCHD format which can be put onto a DVD - again with player support.


Ah, just found a calculator, and it suggests that 60 minutes is CBR at DVD standard bitrate - was thinking that as DVD media always says 120 minute, that it implied maximum bitrate, but actually, VBR average about half.

Oh well, learn something every day - but then, with the 2 hour DVD5 being standard, that’s probably almost as good as it gets.

Actually, as it’s a program that a friend is going to be in (and they want a recording), probably best possible quality would be a TS stream capture and convert without recoding - not sure if the DVD/HDD recorder re-encodes or remixes (it DOES have an encoder, as it can also do analog tuner & inputs).

So maybe if I can get a TS recording with my PC DVB-T, and convert with

MPEG Streamclip can also convert MPEG-2 transport streams into muxed MPEG-2 files, for immediate burning at full quality with most DVD authoring applications


Hard to say without specifics. But any DVD Recorder should offer a HQ mode that translates to 60 min per DVD-5, and it will be fully compliant with DVD-V standards. If it uses a VR mode disc authoring scheme, its a pretty easy conversion on a PC with no loss of quality.

My Panny recorder offers a variable record mode that sets the bitrate to the max allowed to fill the disc with a programed length. So if its a 90 min program, it still fills the disc.


Yep, has both VR and Video modes, and has an auto mode (where, even if recording to HDD, it will size to fit a DVD5).

I’ll whack it to HDD first, as the discs I reserved for the DVD recorder are a box of 4X +R of poor pedigree (Bulkpaq) - so I can throw something better at it if needed.

I’ll probably double up, set the recorder and try the PC, My Atom netbook manages ok - has to be that as I can’t get an antenna to the main PC, so I have to put the netbook where a set top antenna will get an adequate signal