Video playing times (lengths)

A friend just asked me in an e-mail the following.

“…could a copy of a dvdr that says for pc only be put on to something that would play on a dvd player…a DVDR is for sale and it says it is 37 hours long but only plays on your pc. … wondering if i buy it if you could copy it to something that would play on a dvd player…”

My answer to him was ‘probably’ depending on the file format of the 37 hours of videos on the DVDR.

The question that occurred to me is even if the DVDR is DL (8.5 GB) what file format can hold that many hours of video. WMV? Certainly not MPEG2 or AVI.

My DVD Creator program produces VOB files that essentially limit a standard SL DVDR (4.7Gb) to about 2 hours (maybe 2.5 at a max).

Simple math dictates (in my mind) that to encode and burn 37 hours of video would require about 15 SL DVDRs.

Again the question - What file format can hold 37 hours of video in 8.5 Gb?


I don’t know what kind of compression they would be using. A full length movie (92 minutes) that I recently compressed with H264 resulted in a 615mb file. And H264 is a very good codec for compressing video.

You can fit about 7.95gb on a DL dvd, so figure roughly 13 full dvds of that size. Thirteen times 92 divided by 60 gives you 19.93 hrs.

Of course they could be using a smaller resolution than I chose, which was 640 x 480, and they could be using a much smaller bitrate, but the quality would suffer quite a lot to get 37 hrs on it.

Exactly! I wasn’t sure about the exact numbers, but it seemed to me to be too much. The resolution is probably 1/2 of what you considered. 340x240.

If it is played on a PC screen in a box (window) that size, it probably would look fairly sharp.

Once you encode it (I think my DVD Creator program uses an HC encoder) and put it up on a TV screen, the detail may get a bit fuzzy.

Thank You.