VideoStudio 11 inflating file size

I’ve captured a 2 hr. 24 min. videotape that I want to burn to DVD with Ulead VideoStudio 11. The source file is barely over 4 GB. I added a chapter menu, but when I try to burn the DVD, VideoStudio tells me I need 8.33 GB on my destination DVD. That’s too much even for a dual layer blank DVD, for which the program tells me the disc has only 7.96 GB available (on an 8.5 GB DL disc).
Can anyone suggest what the problem might be? For some reason the program seems to be doubling the amount of space needed. Video quality shouldn’t be an issue; the capture has already been done. I’m using default project settings (except for trying a DL destination DVD).

If you selected DL, it will want to go to 8.3gb. If you select DVD format, and make sure that you Author the video, before you try to burn it, it should work just fine.

[QUOTE=harley2ride;2162692]If you selected DL, it will want to go to 8.3gb. If you select DVD format, and make sure that you Author the video, before you try to burn it, it should work just fine.[/QUOTE]

Thanks, but I know that. The program is saying it requires 8.33GB of space on the disc regardless of whether I select single layer or double layer, which is about twice the size of the video file. If you’re familiar with VideoStudio, authoring is done in the “Share” step; I’m past that. I’m stumped.

Check all your project settings. Make sure you have selected NTSC 720 x 480. Make sure you have MPEG2 selected as what you want your final output to be.

Was your source file avi, dv-avi, mpeg2? If you are not sure, you can run GSPOT against it.

Thanks for your suggestions. The source file is MPEG-2, NTSC 720x480, 24 bits, 29.9 frames/sec., variable bit rate (max. 8000 kbps). Output format is also MPEG-2 (for DVD). What confuses me is that the source file is only about 4GB, and the editing program can’t improve the quality over what it was already captured at (can it?), so it seems to me the final authored file shouldn’t be much larger than that with chapter menus added.
I found some additional project settings I didn’t see before. If I lower the max video bit rate to 7000 kbps, that gets the output file down to just under 8GB, which will fit on a DL disc. But given that the original file is half that size with a higher max bit rate, again, I don’t understand what’s adding to the file size. I have the “Do not convert compliant MPEG files” box checked.
How important is max video bit rate, and are there any recommended levels? Playing with the Speed<–>Quality compression slider didn’t seem to affect file size.
How about capture settings – are there any recommended ones to use for capturing a commercial VHS tape? By that I mean settings above which there would be no noticeable improvement in quality, and that would fit about 2:20 of program material onto a (either SL or DL) DVD.

Just to follow up my own post, here’s a nifty bitrate calculator I found that some of you may know about but I’ll pass along in case not:

http://www.videohelp.com/calc.htm

According to this, the numbers for my project should be:
Calculated Bitrate 7522
DVD Max Bitrate 9570

I don’t know how the first number maps to the (numberless) variable bitrate of my source file. Maybe it’s to be used for the original encoding.

If you check advance feature of the calculator, you will see that 2h 24min at 8000kbs will give size of file 8.47GB.
It looks like Studio is re encoding your file to that bitrate in CBR.
9570 is max for DVD video, does not matter if it is DVD5 or DVD9.
I do not use Studio, but if you can change encoding in settings or somewhere, than it should work.
For VHS tapes, I usualy import as AVI(large file~30GB+) and than make DVD compliant file to fit to DVD5 or 9.
Anywhere between 4 and 5000kbs is fine. You will not get better picture anyway.

Thanks very much. The software for my capture device (DVDXpress DX2) doesn’t have an option for setting the video bit rate – I set it at “best quality” and that resulted in a VBR capture with 8000 kbps maximum.

Using VideoStudio for the encoding step, I can select either variable or constant bit rate, but oddly, CBR (at a given bit rate) doesn’t add much size to the file over VBR (with the same max bitrate). VBR also has an option for two-pass encoding, which takes longer, but supposedly improves quality. I’m trying it out and would welcome other opinions on whether it’s worth doing. Maybe it depends on the source file and/or the software package.

I see that audio compression is another option that will affect file size. I’m using Dolby Digital (not 5.1) at 256 kpbs. I’m reading that it compresses well.

VBR is usualy better choice, but it all depend on encoding software.
VBR should give a smaller file since the idea is to encode at high bitrate where there is fast motion, and switch to low bitrate in no motion part of video.
Two pass is better choice.
AC3 is standard audio for NTSC DVD, you will usualy not get 5.1, because it involves high licence price. AC3 is a compressed format.
I do not get why your file went from 4GB to 8, but using calculator with that bitrate show 8GB file, unless your original file is reporting wrong size.

Thanks again. I encoded & burned my DVD at VBR with a max bitrate of 7200 Kbps, two-pass encoding. It took nearly 6 hours. The resulting video is fine, but the audio track (AC-3, 256 Kbps) stops 6 minutes in. I did push the limits of what could be fit on the DVD – I went past the green bar a little into the yellow area, and the program warned me that my whole project may not fit. So maybe there wasn’t room for all of the audio. Or maybe I’ll try using MPEG audio next time.

Do not go to the edge of DVD. There are usualy problems. I would rather lower VBR limits to say 6000 or so.
I do not know if Mpeg audio will result in smaller file, but you can set lower audio bitrate also.
6 hours of encoding for 2:24 video is not so bad. It really depend on CPU.
I usualy let it run over night.
Did you play DVD file in software player before burning to see if it is OK?

[QUOTE=CDuncle;2164030]Did you play DVD file in software player before burning to see if it is OK?[/QUOTE]

Yes, although for some reason there is a very long delay when I click on a chapter thumbnail before it goes to that spot and plays. But it does play.

Well I just tried burning a different project, this time lowering the video bit rate until the space bar stayed in the green and didn’t extend into the yellow, and this time I didn’t get the warning popup saying my project may not fit on disc. It said 7.22 GB of space was required and 7.76 GB was available. In spite of this, once again there is audio for only the first 6 min. on the burned disc. Grrr…

Next attempt is going to be with MPEG audio instead of AC-3. The source file is MPEG audio, so maybe I should have stuck with that. Fingers crossed…

Your capture file from the DVDXpress DX2 should already be DVD compliant, and is already within the DVD5 limit. Why re-encode… just author using the already compliant files. I don’t use Studio either, but I would hope there is a way to import compliant files without re-encoding. If it won’t, there are many other apps that will without going through the hassle (and quality loss) of re-encoding.

If the file play in software player on your computer, than it looks like something is going on during burn.
For DL DVD I use only ImgBurn. It is a free (donation only) software and the only one which will burn reliable DVD-DL.
But like [B]Daemonicus[/B] say DVDXpress is a capture device and according to their page it capture file ready to burn.
The page is not too specific, but it looks like it create mpeg2 file, nothing about audio.

Rats; I just tried again using MPEG audio with the same result – got audio for only the first 6 min. That’s 3 expensive inkjet-printable Verbatim DL discs wasted.

[QUOTE=Daemonicus;2164410]Your capture file from the DVDXpress DX2 should already be DVD compliant, and is already within the DVD5 limit. Why re-encode… just author using the already compliant files.[/QUOTE]
I’d love to. This goes back to my original question of why VideoStudio is saying it needs about twice the size of the original file to put it on disc, even though I’m checking the box that says “Do not convert compliant MPEG files.” I still don’t know the answer. I just received a reply from their tech support. They say the problem must be that I don’t have enough hard disk space, because the program requires about twice the size of the file to burn the DVD. But that can’t be it – I have 50GB of free HD space.

I’ve already successfully burned direct to disc with the DVDXpress capture software, but now I’ve got some tapes that (1) are slightly longer than it says will fit on a DVD-5, and (2) I want to add chapter menus to them. Yet the same file that the capture software says is slightly too large to fit on a DVD-5, VideoStudio says won’t fit on a DVD-9. There’s got to be a reason; I just haven’t found it yet. But I do appreciate your suggestions!

You say that the file from DVDXpress play OK on computer. Try to burn it with ImgBurn.
Also get GSpot(free) and import file in, see what it say for audio and video.
Best would be to import original and one from DVDXpress to see what is different.

[QUOTE=CDuncle;2165342]You say that the file from DVDXpress play OK on computer. Try to burn it with ImgBurn.
Also get GSpot(free) and import file in, see what it say for audio and video.
Best would be to import original and one from DVDXpress to see what is different.[/QUOTE]

Thanks. I tried ImgBurn but it wouldn’t load my .mpg file (not in its list of supported files).

I compared the video attributes of the file captured with DVDXpress with one from the DVD-9 I burned with VideoStudio. I tried both GSpot and MediaInfo, and they give different results (for the same files).

MediaInfo Original Burned

Overall bit rate 4185 Kbps 7357 Kbps
Bit rate mode Constant Constant
Bit rate 3670 6623
Nominal bit rate 8000 7300

GSpot

Kbps 4086 6998
Qf 0.394 0.676

(Sorry – I formatted the above in a fixed space font to preserve the table structure but it’s collapsing the spaces. There should be 3 columns.)

The diagnostics and terms are inconsistent and make it impossible to figure out what’s going on.
–VideoStudio said the original and burned files are VBR; MediaInfo says they’re Constant.
–MediaInfo’s “nominal bit rate” looks like it’s what VideoStudio show as the maximum bit rate. I have no idea then what MediaInfo’s “Bit rate” corresponds to.
–Gspot gives a “Sys Bitrate” of 10080 kb/s VBR” for all files checked. Whatever that means, or how it differs from what it reports as “Kbps.”
–No idea what GSpot’s “Qf” number means – there are no help files either within the program or on its website.

The deeper I dig into this, the messier it gets!

If you want to try a different program, I use DVD Lab. It should take your .mpg file with little complaint (although I prefer demuxing to separate streams to avoid any problems). Most people seem to think DVD Lab is too hard to use since you are presented with a blank slate, but that is what I like about it, you are not locked in to templates or other constraints. If Studio’s support isn’t any better than you need more HD space, I think it is time you tried another application. I don’t understand why all of these simple to use programs feel they have to re-encode everything to make them 100% compliant. All they end up doing is confusing and frustrating their customers.

Thanks, Daemonicus. I too was coming to the conclusion that I should give up on VideoStudio and try a different app. I wouldn’t mind a free-form approach as you describe DVD Lab has, but I see the base cost of $99 doesn’t include DVD-9 DL support (add $26), nor an encoder (add $12). Probably deal-killers for me. I do have Nero, and will try to give it another shot, though I found it pretty user-unfriendly the first time around.

Hi,

I use DVD Lab. It should take your .mpg file with little complaint (although I prefer demuxing to separate streams to avoid any problems). Most people seem to think DVD Lab is too hard to use since you are presented with a blank slate, but that is what I like about it, you are not locked in to templates or other constraints. If Studio’s support isn’t any better than you need more HD space, I think it is time you tried another application. Please try it. Thanks…