How much compression is acceptable?



I recently upgraded to DVDFab because of problems in backing up my Dark Knight DVD. It worked flawlessly using the ‘main movie’ option and I put the entire movie on a single SL Verbatim DVD+R 16x disk using a Phillips DVD8601 burner. The copy plays flawlessly on a Toshiba upconverting player into a 52" LCD TV.

My question is this. The movie was over 2 1/2 hours long and when the copy was being made, the compression was the most I have ever seen. I think it was in the low 70% area. I considered using the ‘split’ mode or trying DL disks for the first time, but I decided to put it all on the single layer disk, mostly as a test. I figured if the copy showed any problems with the compression, I would recopy it using two disks or a single DL disk. The playback however was excellent and we never saw any signs that the movie had been seriously compressed. Is there a point in which DVDFab could compress too much and result in a inferior playback??

TIA for any advice - Tom F


The answer is subjective and also depends to a large extent on the video bitrate of the original DVD. Personally, I never go below about 85% for playback via Pioneer upconverting player on the HDTV, but if 70% looks good to you, it is fine. Just remember that not all movies will look equally good.


Signals - thanks for your quick reply. I’m somewhat new to DVD copying and digital video in general so I am somewhat confused as to what is considered an acceptable copy of a DVD. In the ‘old’ days of VHS, you could see the difference in different copying techniques in terms of video quality. The degradation between copies was very evident. With digital video, there doesn’t seem to be any degradation at all.

When you say the question of ‘how much compression is acceptable’ is subjective, then what is it that I should be looking for to determine if the quality of the copied DVD has been compromised by the compression. At a little over 70% compression, I have seen nothing in the playback that indicates the compression even took place. There were no drop-outs of the video nor was there any pixelization (if these is the correct terms to use) through the entire 2 1/2 hours of video. There were also no apparent changes in the audio over the original disk. Am I overlooking something that I should be aware of ?

Again thanks for your reply and forgive the questions of a newbie :confused:

Tom F


The video degredation you speak of with regards to VHS copies is well known.

Digital is another matter completely.

When we say what is acceptable is subjective, we mean that literally… you’ll have to experiment with various compression levels to find where your limit of acceptability is.

What looks good to me may not to you, and visa versa.

The drop-outs and pixelization you mentioned are more functions of the media you are using, rather than the compression used to record the picture (although you may find a direct correlation between severe compression and cheap, coaster-quality media).

I guess, in other words, if you like the result, don’t fret about it!




Agree with both signals and OC.
Essentially, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

I usually draw a line in the sand roughly near the same limits as my good friend signals. Typically, I don’t venture below 80%, with movies.
This has changed over the years with the improvements in DL burning over the past few years and the associated cost. Today it’s reliable and cost effective…JMO

In the past I have compressed to 50-55% with “decent” viewing and no playback issues.
However, with over-compressed files, you can experience playback issues such as pixelation/freezing, navigation problems, but I agree with OC…this is generally the fault of poor or marginal quality media, etc.


This would be entirely up to what you can accept & like you say, if you run into a problem, you can go back to try another option.


Myself I will not go beyond 70% but like to stay around 75 to 80% but using Verbatim media 70% is a great quality for my Sharp 52" LCD HD TV and you can’t tell between the copy and orignial disc, but like what was said you just have to test it yourself to find out where you can go and still get a good picture. But remember that the brand of media will also come into play so use good quality media and not that cheap crap


Thank you guys for all of your responses. As I said, I’m kinda new to all this ‘new’ technology and I guess that I’m somewhat amazed by it. I had commented about the old VHS technology that would not allow decent copying. Based on that, I’m astounded that copying/backing up of DVDs can be so close to the originals that, as Jimbo said, you really can’t tell the difference between the copy and the original, even at a pretty high compression rate.

As far as the media is concerned, I have used nothing but Verbatim. At one time, I had tried some of the off brand specials that you see in local computer stores, but after burning too many coasters, I use nothing but Verbatim. I have yet to try the DL blanks, but when I do it will be Verbatim as well.

Again, thanks for the responses and advice — Tom F

PS - Newegg has a deal on Verbatim DVD+R 16X — $19.99 for a 100 pack after $8.00 rebate and free shipping


Again, thanks for the responses and advice — Tom F
[/QUOTE]Happy burning…:cool:


Thanks Tom for passing on that info about the sale on Verb’s, myself I just got 2 100 packs last week from them, also I burn the Verbatim DL at 6x might try 8x next time I use DL. BTW it looks like everybody forgot, Welcome to the FAB Forum and if you have anymore problems just pop in and ask even if you don’t have a problem pop into the FAB Discussion thread and say howdy once in awhile too