Putting Some TV episodes To DVD..How 2 Get Best Quality?



Hi everyone, i have a number of tv episodes that I want to burn to DVD. Some of these files are avi and mpeg1, however i know that to get better quality they should be mpeg2. My question is 3-fold, first the files have different resoultion, some are 352x280 others 420X234. Anyway 2 get better quality when coverting to mpeg2, should i change this resoultion to 720X480 or something else?

Secondly, i’ve recently seen that when coverting mpeg1 to mpeg2, the bitrate i.e 4000 Kbps, plays a factor in terms of quality, is there a good number to encode at to get the best quality without taking up alot of space??

And third, how is it possible to put a large number of episodes onto 1 dvd that are at high quality. For example when you buy a season of a tv show of dvd, they are able to put like 8 full 1hr episodes and commentary on 1 dvd and the quality is amazing. When I author using DVD Pro lab, i also use it in conjunction with DVD shrink…is there a better avenue to follow??

I greatly appreciate anyhelp anyone can offer. Thanks in advance




You won’t get better quality by using a higher resolution. You can’t put information in that isn’t there. If your videos are of high quality you could go with 1/2 D1 (352x480/576). You should try to stay as close to your original resolution as possible using a compliant dvd mpeg 1/2 standard for compatibility. Vcd is ok but limits you to your settings for conversion that’s why I would go with 1/2 D1. Cut out a 1 minute segment (to save time) and try different compliant dvd settings to convert and see what you like best. Then keep these settings for your project.


Indeed, the quality of the resulting video will be limited by the quality of the source videos.

DVD only accepts certain resolutions as being DVD standard. Thus, you don’t have too much of a choice in this matter. However, as tigerman8u said, higher resolution doesn’t necessarily dictate higher quality. It simply depends on the quality and resolution of your source video.

As for your second question, a bitrate calculator is probably your best tool in determining that magic number. A good bitrate calculator will tell you the maximum bitrate you can set your video to in order to fit on a DVD. The calculator will usually take into account factors like length of the video, type of audio, size of DVD to be burned (ie DVD5, DVD9), etc.

As for your third question, more video on a DVD usually means a sacrifice in quality. Those commerically produced DVDs look great because they started with superior quality video to begin with. VCDs and DivX movies that were ripped from DVDs usually look great (almost flawless). So even though they have high compression, the quality of the video turns out excellent. The case may not be the same when you try to put 8 hours of video onto a single DVD. :frowning:


One more thing I/we forgot to mention is your audio has to be dvd compliant also. To see more on the specs of compliant dvd check here under what is dvd/vcd/scvd www.videohelp.com


Just one other thing. This is just my experience but I have rented and or own many tv series on dvd. It is not that common for them to put 8hrs on one dvd. Exceptions to that might be for instance where they put it on a dual layer, dual sided disk. You have to remember that can hold almost as much as 4 single layer, single sided disks that you record on. Even if it is single sided, if it is dual layer, that 8 hours is the same as you getting 4 hours on one disk.
This is just my opinion based on my my own experience (and I’m a rank amature at best in this department), don’t try to get too much video on one disk. disk are too cheap to do that. I’m not saying go overboard trying to get quality when your soruce file are not that good, I’m just saying don’t try to get as much as you possibly can on one disk. The quality can really suffer. I would plan on gettting 2-4 hours on one disk, and if the source files are of good quality, That should probably be closer to 2 hours.