*strongly* disagree with point 7 on overscan. DVDs should
always be produced to perfectly fill the 720 pixel
available width of the DVD format, with no black borders
unless it is a 'pillarboxed' movie e.g. 1.19:1 or 1.66:1
on an anamorphic disk. This is for five reasons:
maximises the available horizontal resolution, instead of
wasting 10-20% of the space on the disk
with a properly set up system (either HTPC, or good 720p
DVD players, or a TV with adjustable overscan controls)
will not appreciate the introduction of black borders.
spoil a disk by deliberately introducing a fault to
compensate for a corresponding overscan fault in the
viewers TV equipment?
can you know that the viewer's TV has overscan of
precisely 10%? The figure will vary from TV to TV,
probably even among different examples of the same model.
(e) due to
the way that MPEG2 compression works, the encoding of a
sharp black edge at each side of the image will inevitably
introduce some digital artifacts (similar to edge
enhancement but in reverse) in the parts of the image
adjacent to the edge.
- Conrad, being a purist, is putting the onus on the
consumer to have a projection system or a DVD player with
incremental zoom... and I now think he is right!
8) LAYER CHANGES
- On dual-layered DVDs viewers will notice (or not) a slight
hesitation, almost like a pause - often of less than a
second - that occurs at some point in the film. This is the
skipping to the second layer of the disc. Can something be
done about choosing appropriate moments in film for the
layer change? Perhaps during a scene changes or 'fade to
moments. Obvious layer changes can be extremely distracting.
9) PAINFULLY LONG
ANIMATED MENUS -
itself - lets give the animation a quick pace or a big rest.
10) DUBS -
removes the original actors voice tone and inflection. It
can be as bad a cropping the film. Please use the original
WARNING AT END -
overused non-deterrent in Home Theater history. If someone
is intent on copying your DVD guys, they are going to do it
regardless of the warning. If you need it for liability to
prosecute them (right!), then having it at the end will
suffice your legal requirements. Stop pestering us with this
BS. How many millions of hours of time are wasted seeing
this 8-10 second finger-shaking?
- If your
source material is PAL and you're making an NTSC disc (or
vice versa), then make sure your disc isn't hampered by
ghosting and other unnecessary visual deficiencies
introduced during the conversion process.
Bad examples: the complete Chaplin boxset from Warner USA.
The R1 really suffers, the R2 is fine (apart from a number
of films being cropped from 1.13:1 to 1.33:1); also Fox/Lorber's
appalling Yi Yi disc.
- grammar, spelling etc. 'nuff said. Nothing can turn you
off a foreign language film like seeing sloppy subtitle
translation. You could probably fool us if it is not
accurate, but silly grammar and spelling faux-pas are just
laziness on you part.
By Conrad McDonnell:
DVD production company needs to ensure that the colors in
the original film image are faithfully preserved - and
there is no point in restoring a film negative carefully
and then transferring it to DVD badly. A good transfer is
done through doing a proper wetgate telecine, competent
color timing, and doing a quality control check on the
finished product using a correctly calibrated monitor.
The lackluster R1 and R2 versions of 'Lost in Translation'
(but not, reportedly, the R4) epitomize the problems where
this is not done correctly - they are bad transfers
This is the name given by DVD reviewers to characteristic
'fringes' or 'rings' seen around high contrast edges. It
has this name because it resembles the effect of turning
up a 'sharpness' control too high, although there are in
fact several other common causes of the effect, including
multiple application of digital filters (e.g. noise
reduction filters, anti-aliasing filters and other digital
processing), poor quality digital resizing algorithms if
the DVD master is taken from a source of different
resolution, poor quality MPEG2 encoders, and using too low
a bitrate. Every DVD should go through a quality control
process which checks for "edge enhancement". An example
of a disk with notoriously bad edge enhancement is R1 Star
Wars: The Phantom Menace - the edge enhancement can be
seen on all high contrast edges. The edge enhancement is
not present in the identical film frames taken from the
movie trailer included on the same DVD.
Many or most commercial DVDs are horizontally filtered to
remove fine details and reduce the effective horizontal
resolution down to 360 pixels instead of DVD's native 720
pixels; there may also be vertical filtering. This
filtering is often deliberately applied for reasons
including: the ease of encoding a less detailed image;
noise reduction or grain reduction; reduction of moire
patterns seen on some playback equipment; reduction of the
severity of the 'chroma bug' seen on some playback
equipment and other reasons relating to 4:2:0 encoding.
(4:2:0 colour encoding is the standard for all DVDs, and
it refers to the fact that the effective resolution for
the blue/white 'luma' signal is 720x480 while the
effective resolution for the red/yellow 'chroma' signal is
360x240.) Columbia Tristar's 'Superbit' range are DVDs
where the producers deliberately attempt not to reduce
image detail through filtering - this is the main
technical difference in the production of Superbit DVDs -
and the resulting excellent picture quality is something
that all DVD producers should emulate.
FILM GRAIN AND NOISE -
In general, grain removal and noise reduction processes
should not be applied. Film grain is an authentic part of
the original film image as shot and should be preserved on
DVD versions of films, at least where the DVD producers
have access to high quality original film materials.
Removing grain or noise reduction filters are undesirable
as they have the side effect of destroying fine detail in
the film image.
unfortunate situation where the only source material for
the DVD is a dirty fifth generation print of the film,
some digital cleaning and grain removal is probably
justified as each printing of the film will have
introduced additional grain and noise which is
not authentically part of the original film image as
shot. It is also true to say that when a film image is
digitized for DVD that sometimes has the effect of
artificially increasing the visibility of film grain and
noise, so that in that case very light filtering would be
justified to produce a DVD that more accurately represents
the original film materials.)
ORIGINAL FILM LENGTH
- The original film length should be adhered and respected.
So many films are censored in the world and DVD can
help alleviate that.
I had no
idea that my Korean DVD of (also seems that the UK and
versions are "the short cut") of Zhang Yimou's
HAPPY TIMES. A film that is rated PG or 11, how on
earth do you know it's a censored version! BBFC has cut
the last 90 seconds of FAT GIRL, and at the same time the
sense of the film. Also I hate that producers have a
finger in the films.
MALENA is cut for international market, but more
probably for the scenes of a young
dreams of mature woman. The cut's destroy the film!