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Aspect Ratio Options for Mixed 4:3 DV and 16:9 DV on a DVD
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Zirynx
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Joined: 22 Jul 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 22 Jul 2009, 23:07 Reply with quote

Hi all,

I've been experimenting for days with iMovie and iDVD (both versions 5.x and 6.x) but have not yet found a way to achieve what I want. I have also just purchased iLife 09 in the hope that it might help, but I am doubtful; and in any case, it is being shipped to me so I don't have it yet.

Through googling, I've just stumbled across 'myDVDEdit' and I'm just hoping that it will help me!

----


Here is my scenario:

I have some miniDV tapes that I need to transfer to DVD for a friend. They contain both 4:3 DV and 16:9 DV (Anamorphic pseudo-widescreen), on the same tape.

When I play the tapes directly off the camera (Canon MD101) into an external AV input (RCA/phono plugs) on my widescreen TV (Panasonic TX-32LXD600) the television automatically switches to the appropriate aspect ratio (4:3 or 16:9), which is just great!


Having read through the manual for the TV, I found this:

The text shown on the screen indicates how Auto aspect determined which ratio to use: "WIDE" appears in the top left of the screen if a widescreen identification signal (WSS) is found or a signal found through a SCART terminal.



However, when I transfer the miniDV tapes to DVD (via iMovie and iDVD) and play the resultant DVD in my player (actually it's a recorder, Grundid DVDR550, in case this makes a difference) this 'auto-aspect' functionality is lost, and I have to select the aspect ratio manually. I am looking to find out if there is any way to restore the ability of the TV to select the aspect ratio automatically, whether that is by using the Mac's iLife applications, or something else.

I appreciate that this 'flag' information may be on the DVD and just not being read by the DVD recorder, but I cannot tell. I am trying some more DVD players this weekend.


Here is my workflow:

My workflow through iMovie is to capture everything into a standard DV project, thereby keeping the pseudo-widescreen 16:9 video as anamorphic (contained within a 4:3 frame) which is, after all how it exists on the original miniDV tapes. I do not wish to permanently letterbox and/or pillarbox the source material to achieve a 'fixed' aspect ratio (such as pillarboxing the 4:3 video into a 16:9 iMovie project) partly because of the time constraint of rendering and also, because of the inevitable loss in quality and resolution.

So my question is, can myDVDEdit be used to set any flags on the DVD, but dependent on the video at any specific point?

Can myDVDEdit be used to help to tell the widescreen TV to switch to 16:9 for the original 16:9 anamorphic video, and back to 4:3 for the original 4:3 video, in a similar manner to what happens when I play the original miniDV tapes off the miniDV camera?

Sorry for the long post, and I hope someone can help me.

If myDVDEdit helps me achieve this, I'll gladly and willingly make a donation for it saving my sanity!!! Very Happy

Thanks in advance.
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Jerome
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Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 466
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu 23 Jul 2009, 11:59 Reply with quote

First you have to know that you television switches to 16:9 only because the player tells it to do so.
So the DVD player must know what is the movie aspect mode.
As this information is a the VTS domain option, all movies in the same domain must have the same aspect.
If you have 4:3 and 16:9 titles, they must be in different VTS. It's the case with iDVD if you separate the parts in 4:3 and the parts in 16:9.

BUT
- iDVD cannot mix 4:3 and 16:9 movies in the same project because the aspect is a project option.
- If you have several title in iDVD, it cannot chain them and you will have a menu entry for each title.

What you could do:
- Cut you movie in different parts, each part have it own aspect ratio.

- Create a first iDVD project with only the first part of your movie and with the corresponding aspect ratio. Create the DVD 1 folder.
- Create a second iDVD project with the second part of your movie and with the corresponding aspect ratio. Create the DVD 2 folder.

With myDVDEdit
- Merge the title of the second DVD into the first DVD.
- Change the post-commands of Title 1 to branch to the begin of Title 2. As they are in two different VTS, you must create a PGC in VMG Menu, add a jump to this PGC in post-cmds of Title 1, and add a jump to Title 2 in this PGC.

I know it's not easy.
I think my last tutorial could help you to understand how to do that.

Jerome
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Zirynx
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Joined: 22 Jul 2009
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul 2009, 15:24 Reply with quote

Hi Jérôme,

Thank you very much for your fast reply, which I much appreciate.

Your comment confirmed what I have been starting to accept - that this problem does not have an easy answer and maybe even no answer at all!

I think I understand (at least, in principle) what you are saying about having two DVD folders, merging them together and then linking between them, and I even read through your last tutorial (Access Keypad) but the detail is way above my head! I think I must first learn much more about the basics of myDVDEdit, and this will take some time and a lot of brain power from me! Confused

But may I just ask, if I had multiple sections of 4:3 and 16:9, each alternating one after the other, would I be correct in thinking that I would also have to have multiple DVD folders (one for each occurrence of a change in aspect ratio) all linked together, and not just two (one for each type of aspect ratio)?

For example, if I had:

4:3 > 16:9 > 4:3 > 16:9

Would I have to have:

DVD_01 > DVD_02 > DVD_03 > DVD_04 all linked together?

Thank you again for your time.

John
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Jerome
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Joined: 18 Jul 2005
Posts: 466
Location: France

PostPosted: Wed 29 Jul 2009, 18:07 Reply with quote

Yes, in a first time.

but at the end, you will not have linked DVDs, but merged DVDs into one. So you will have only one DVD will several titles.

- Create DVD_01
- Create DVD_02
- Import DVD_02/Title 1 into DVD_01 => a new DVD_01/Title 2 is created
- Create DVD 03
- Import DVD_03/Title 1 into DVD_01 => a new DVD_01/Title 3 is created
- Create DVD_04
- Import DVD_04/Title 1 into DVD_01 => a new DVD_01/Title 4 is created
- In VMG Menu, create a new PGC x, and add the command Jump Title 2 in Pre-cmds
- In VMG Menu, create a new PGC y, and add the command Jump Title 3 in Pre-cmds
- In VMG Menu, create a new PGC z, and add the command Jump Title 4 in Pre-cmds
- In Title 1/PGC 1/Post-cmds, add command Call VMG Menu PGC x
- In Title 2/PGC 1/Post-cmds, add command Call VMG Menu PGC y
- In Title 3/PGC 1/Post-cmds, add command Call VMG Menu PGC z

if Post-cmds of Title 1, Title 2 or Title 3 contains Call VMG Menu title, remove it.

Jerome
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