I’m new to Macs and am editing my first project in FCP.
A 80 min piece that will go to DVD.
The m2v produced by exporting from FCP plays well and looks very good on the Mac, however I do not have time to learn DVDstudioPro yet and want to author on the PC in DVD-lab.
Up till now DVDlab has accepted all m2vs produced (on the PC) but complains of an error in the Mac encode. Does anyone know of software that can check an m2v stream for DVD compliancy and report any problems found in it?
This particular m2v was exported via QT conversion not compressor, which I’ve been advised not to use.
I would strongly suggest that you avoid Compressor if you want to save yourself a lot of trouble when authoring DVDs, at least until Apple sort out the continuing issues with it. DVD Studio Pro, though, is great – I use it myself.
Any time you create a .m2v stream with Compressor, ALWAYS run it through one of the above programs (or similar) to check for bitrate spikes.
If you use a PC anyway, then I highly recommend using CCE (‘Basic’ or, if you can afford it, ‘SP’). They are both superb MPEG encoders and produce properly-compliant .m2v streams for DVD authoring.
BTW, Compressor shares several components with Quicktime Encoder. I really recommend you encode on the PC, to be quite honest (just transfer the assets as .mov DV or Uncompressed files, for example, using a firewire HDD).
Actually, in hindsight, I should have mentioned that BitVice does a very respectable job of MPEG2 encoding, on the Mac platform, and I do have a certain amount of respect for this encoder. I still favour CCE, by far, though.
…I didn’t ask you if your DVD project is intended for replication, or just for home viewing on DVDR. If it is for replication, then, much though I admire DVDLab, it would be unwise to choose DVDLab for this purpose, at the present time, because DVDLab is not (yet) fully Spec’-compliant. I don’t doubt that it will get there, but we are discussing the here and now. In which case, if replication is your eventual aim, you would be wise to go with DVD SP. DVD SP is incredibly easy to use, anyway, so don’t be intimidated by it. Just make sure you begin with decently-encoded Video assets (as discussed earlier) and decently-encoded Audio assets (A-pack is great for .ac3 audio encoding, incidentally – no nasty surprises to be wary of, there, thankfully). Having said that, if you’re authoring just for your own enjoyment, then by all means use DVDLab – it’s a great program for the money, with some innovative features.