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Thread: iDVD

  1. #1
    iDVD

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    Jun 20, 2013
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    Smile iDVD
    I just bought a Canon HF G20 camcorder, and did a test video of my old Panasonic vs. the new Canon in all 5 or 6 recording modes at 30fps. When I dowloaded the video into i-movie, the Canon video looked much better than the Panasonic, particularly in low light. But when I burned it in i-DVD, which is the main purpose I have video equipment for, all of the Canon footage looked terrible, with waivy lines, blurring, artifacts, which did NOT appear in the Panasonic-filmed scenes. Any idea why this is happening?

  2. #2
    iDVD
    chas_m's Avatar
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    Just a guess here, but: by chance was your old panasonic a camera that shot in standard definition (720x480)?

    If so, I think I know what's going on. Your Canon footage is being shot in HD and looks great of course on your Mac, but when you convert to a standard DVD it will of course compress the resolution down to 720x480 -- about 1/4th as good as what you shot originally, so -- unsurprisingly -- it will look pretty bad.

    Two solutions, assuming I have guessed the right cause of the problem:

    1. Convert the footage to SD *before* bringing it into iMovie using a third-party converter. It will still drop in quality (because you're still losing 3/4 of the resolution) but hopefully this will avoid the artifacts and wavy lines.

    2. But a Blu-ray burner and software that will let you take the finished iMovie export and burn it to Blu-ray, which will preserve the resolution of your project.

  3. #3
    iDVD

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    Thanks for your reply. My old camcorder is standard definition, but everyone at Apple, Canon and B&H where I bought it assured me that i-movie could handle the footage from the Canon, even in hi def, just fine. And the Canon has multiple record modes including standard definition, and the artifact problem appeared for every mode including standard. I think there may be something going on with i-DVD. I got some weird error type message when I went to burn the DVD saying something about heeding its prior warnings, but there were no prior warnings.

  4. #4
    iDVD
    chas_m's Avatar
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    Nope. The people at Canon, B&H and Apple were all exactly correct: iMovie can easily handle HD files just fine, as they said.

    However, iDVD cannot. Movie DVDs are standard definition, and must be re-encoded to the MPEG-2 standard that movie DVDs require. This is where the problem is happening. It would be helpful next time you get one of these warnings if you could write down what it actually says, but I'll bet the "prior warnings" appeared in the form of a small ! in a triangle.

  5. #5
    iDVD

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    Thanks, but I will say that the Apple people in particular, and probably Canon and B&H as well, said it would work just fine burning DVDs. And why wouldn't the footage recorded in standard def on the new camcorder burn properly? I'll also say I called Applecare today and the guy told me that the problem is iDVD, it's a 2 year old program, no longer compatible with the newer macs, blah blah blah. He recommends Roxio Toast. How does that sound?

  6. #6
    iDVD
    Slydude's Avatar
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    He is at least half right in the sense that iDVD isn't shipped with the new Macs but it does at least run under Lion and Mountain Lion. I have not encoded any discs yet.

    Standard definition footage burns fine in Toast but the encoding can be slow. I have not tried it with high def footage. To be honest I am not expecting good results without a Blu Ray burner for the same reasons chas mentioned. The DVD menus that Toast builds are not nearly as nice as those in iDVD IMHO.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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