Has anyone ever exported for Amazon DVD "Print On Demand"? I need some help.

Dec 10, 2020

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I want to release a DVD through Amazon. 

 

Years ago, they had a different company running their DVD department.  Back then, all I had to do was burn an MPEG-2 DVD from Encore and send it to them in the mail.  Everything worked.  Now they want everything uploaded as an .iso.

 

The instructions say, ".iso (folders must contain only .bUp, .iFo, .vob files) AND "Video source files must contain only AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders in the root dorectory." 

 

I have been told by Adobe Support that I should export H.264 in High Quality 480p SD for the best DVD picture quality, & it is much better than MPEG-2.  However, the problem is, it looks like I need to use another program to "convert" .mp4 to .vob, and then use another program to wrap it in an .iso.

 

None of the export options say anything about AUDIO_TS or VIDEO_TS files, and I'm worried if I just blindly try to "convert" to .vob it won't have them.  I'm confused.

 

Bonus question if anyone knows how to create a print on demad Blu-Ray with Amazon.  I have a siomilar problem in that my exports never have ALL of the file types they require in their list.

 

At the very least, I hope someone knows if converting .mp4 to .vob will be good enough to get the job done?  I have done everything wrong multiple times trying to just go from MPEG-2 straight to .iso and similar failed attempts.  The only thing I have NOT tried os converting to something like a .vob first.

You cannot export to a video_ts with Premiere which is needed to burn to dvd.

You cannot just convert mp4 to vob. You need an authoring tool (which used to be Encore)

Encore is no longer available through the cloud. You can still use it if you bought it several years ago and have a serial number.

Might want to have a look at TMPGEnc Authoring Works 6 - The Ultimate DVD / Blu-ray / AVCHD Authoring Tool - Pegasys Inc. 

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Has anyone ever exported for Amazon DVD "Print On Demand"? I need some help.

Dec 10, 2020

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I want to release a DVD through Amazon. 

 

Years ago, they had a different company running their DVD department.  Back then, all I had to do was burn an MPEG-2 DVD from Encore and send it to them in the mail.  Everything worked.  Now they want everything uploaded as an .iso.

 

The instructions say, ".iso (folders must contain only .bUp, .iFo, .vob files) AND "Video source files must contain only AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders in the root dorectory." 

 

I have been told by Adobe Support that I should export H.264 in High Quality 480p SD for the best DVD picture quality, & it is much better than MPEG-2.  However, the problem is, it looks like I need to use another program to "convert" .mp4 to .vob, and then use another program to wrap it in an .iso.

 

None of the export options say anything about AUDIO_TS or VIDEO_TS files, and I'm worried if I just blindly try to "convert" to .vob it won't have them.  I'm confused.

 

Bonus question if anyone knows how to create a print on demad Blu-Ray with Amazon.  I have a siomilar problem in that my exports never have ALL of the file types they require in their list.

 

At the very least, I hope someone knows if converting .mp4 to .vob will be good enough to get the job done?  I have done everything wrong multiple times trying to just go from MPEG-2 straight to .iso and similar failed attempts.  The only thing I have NOT tried os converting to something like a .vob first.

You cannot export to a video_ts with Premiere which is needed to burn to dvd.

You cannot just convert mp4 to vob. You need an authoring tool (which used to be Encore)

Encore is no longer available through the cloud. You can still use it if you bought it several years ago and have a serial number.

Might want to have a look at TMPGEnc Authoring Works 6 - The Ultimate DVD / Blu-ray / AVCHD Authoring Tool - Pegasys Inc. 

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Dec 10, 2020

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You cannot export to a video_ts with Premiere which is needed to burn to dvd.

You cannot just convert mp4 to vob. You need an authoring tool (which used to be Encore)

Encore is no longer available through the cloud. You can still use it if you bought it several years ago and have a serial number.

Might want to have a look at TMPGEnc Authoring Works 6 - The Ultimate DVD / Blu-ray / AVCHD Authoring Tool - Pegasys Inc. 

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Dec 10, 2020

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WOW!  Thank you for the info and the link!  I sincerely wish things were not so complicated.  I'm glad to know that someone knows how this is done.  So many people tell me that no one buys DVDs anymore but that's just not true.  Even if they are falling off, I'd hate to miss out on any potential income, no matter how small.

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I have been told by Adobe Support that I should export H.264 in High Quality 480p SD for the best DVD picture quality, & it is much better than MPEG-2.

 

Mind you that the media on a DVD per definition is MPEG2. So if you export and feed any authoring application with a H.264 it will be re-encoded to MPEG2 to being able to author the DVD. This means that you will loose quality in the end since the H.264 will be re-encoded to MPEG2. Use MPEG2 for DVD.

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Dec 10, 2020

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If you are taking the DVD-Video path, be sure to pick up a copy of DVD Demystified Third Edition 3rd Edition
by Jim Taylor.  I've seen it used on Amazon for about $10.  

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Dec 16, 2020

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Thank you for that info!

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Just to add a litte more information, your ISO image needs to conform to the DVD-Video specifications (which would include a VIDEO_TS folder at the root level of the disk image).

 

MP4 is a delivery format very much like the MPEG2 stream of a DVD-Video titles is.  You would want to avoid MP4 as source for DVD-Video authoring.  You wnat to use a mezzanine CODEC (that is, a CODEC that is good for editing).  In Premiere Pro, the likely choices are Apple ProRes422, Avid DNxHD, or GoPro Cineform (I'd go with Apple ProRes).

 

As far as authoring goes, Sonic Scenarist is available, but very expensive (that's what Technicolor and Deluxe use for Hollywood feature films).  

 

I'd suggest picking up a used MacBook Pro or Mac mini, ideally with Final Cut Studio 3 still intalled.  That includes DVD Studio Pro 4.  Ideally, it would be running macOS 10.9.5 Mavericks. but nothing newer than macOS 10.12 Sierra.  Of cousre, DVD Studio Pro is not wihtout it's learening curve.

 

It mgiht be worth hiring someone who's familiar with DVD auhtoring for the project.  While DVD post production used to bring in upwards of $10, 000 per title, it's dwindled down to the point that $600 to $1,200 should get your a feature and trailer encode with a main menu and two scene selection menus with Dolby stereo 2.0 and/or 5.1 audio.  A rate that low usually assumes you'll be providing ready to encode assets for authoring.

 

While DVDs are still around, on-demand has finally surpassed.  

 

Where I still see it enjoying a healthy use is for video depositions in legal cases.  Those are on-offs, though,  similar but not the same as disc you'd author for retail.

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Dec 11, 2020

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Scenarist is nowhere near as expensive as it used to be - you can now get a 'Scenarist Live' monthly subscription license which will keep you fully up to date and supported as well, or else you can get a perpetual license (which is what I have).

If cost is still too high, you can always go get a copy of MediaChance Labs 'DVD-Lab Pro 2' software, and even though this is no longer developed it is a fantastic tool for  DVD-Video authoring, and a hell of a lot more user friendly than Scenarist, you will find tutorials at the website detailing how to do the more complex things and it's built-in help files are extremely explicit as well.

On a mac you are essentially screwed - DVDSP has a lot of issues and to be frank once Apple had turned Maestro into DVDSP it became appallingly bad - for example, try to import a 24/96 WAVE file into a project and it will immediately degrade it down to 16/48 yet it does not tell you it is doing this & the asset file still says it is 24/96 even though it has just been butchered - perhaps not surprisingly it will work properly with AIFF Type C files though, but in general you would be wise to completely avoid anything Mac based for DVD work if you are serious about it or of the delivery specs are strict.

You should also get a copy of the donationware tool PGCEdit, which can best be described as a swiss army knife for DVD authors and is literally invaluable - abstraction layer authoring tools (and DVDSP is amongst the very worst offenders here) tend to use a hell of a lot of 'hidden' dummy menu pages that can really be problematic for the novice user, which is where DVD Lab Pro really comes into it's own as you can author with the abstraction layer or not as you prefer, or else even better (for some projects) you can run with the abstraction layer but with the addition of custom VM (Virtual Machine) commands that will over-ride the abstraction layer instructions - there is also yet another tool that will generate these VM commands for you so all you have to do then is copy/paste into the relevant editor - this was free as part of the superb 'Unofficial DVD Specifications' package (along with a couple of equally invaluable PDF files, admittedly wriitten with Scenarist in mind but the VM commands, as well as the SPRM/GPRM tables, are still valid) which has sadly long since disappeared but even so there is a VM editor built in to DLP (DVD-Lab Pro 2) that will give you the right code.

Again there is a learning curve, but the tutorials will get you started easily enough and the price for this is only $90 so you cannot grumble. The sole downside is that it must be fed with DVD compliant assets - it is not an editor for video or audio whatsoever, just DVD - so you must feed it with MPEG-2 or MPEG-1 video & PCM/AC3/DTS audio files. It can import a layered PSD as well as it's own superb menu editor that can pull off tricks I have not seen in any other tool.

 

Blu-ray on demand is an oxymoron, however, and if Amazon persist with this Sony will shut them down from soing this as BD-R (or 'on demand') must not EVER be sold as Blu-ray or even carry Blu-ray logos as Sony consider this to be non compliant product, and they are right to do this given that the specs for Blu-ray mmandate the use of AACS copy protection - period. No replication means no AACS, which means it is not a Blu-ray disc and should not be sold as such.

 

Phew - that went on a bit. Sorry about that, but speaking as a DVD/Blu-ray author myself I feel it is important.

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Dec 16, 2020

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With that in mind, I mean the cost, I might just end up making DVD's for the cast & crew?

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In the end, I will probably just end up paying a company to print up a limited number of DVD's for the cast & crew? 

 

It's probably more trouble than it's worth to sell a hand full of DVD's? 

 

I looked into that SONY Blu-Ray liscensing thing you were talking about a long time ago.  The funny thing about it is that Amazon is so huge, SONY would probably be willing to work out an "exclusive deal" just for them.  LOL 

 

You may already know this but the real DVD logo is not allowed on print on demand DVD's either.  Back when Create Space was printing all the print on demand DVD's for Amazon, they had to come up with a fake DVD logo.  They had the letters "DVD" in bold, with "DVD-R video disc" boxed in small letters below the large DVD type.  However, where Blu-Ray makes it hard is that even typing "BLU-RAY" on the cover or just saying that it's "Blu-Ray compatible" or that it "will play in Blu-Ray players" is considered an infringement on the Blu-Ray logo, even when the actual logo isn't even there.  (Thankfully DVD did not trademark the letters D and V, just the actual logo.  LOL)

 

Yeah, in the end, I will probably just stream all my future films and have a DVD comapny print a limited number of DVD's for my family, frineds, cast & crew.

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Dec 16, 2020 0
Dec 16, 2020

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Based on that info, I'd go with Roxio Toast.
https://www.roxio.com/en/products/toast/titanium/

 

Ignore the burn, copy, convert, capture, and edit options and focus on the "Create personalized discs with custom menus and chapters".

 

A really nice touch is to use an inkjet printable DVD-R and print a custom image right on the DVD-R.  The Dymo DiscPainter does a great job, but I found that it doesn't hold up well to extended use (I found it can do about 200 prints before it may need to go in for warranty service).  I'm not even sure if they sell it any longer.  If you go with an inkjet option, be sure to give the ink time to dry.  Going with a LightScribe disc can also be a nice touch with the appearance of what's called "pit art" for a DVD-Video run.

 

 

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Dec 17, 2020

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I use a Canon Pixma printter to do disc on-body prints.

 

Getting back to licensing etc, you will find that DVD-R annd DVD-R DL are going to be fine, and the DVD Forum body does not prosecute logo infringement - not that I can advise you to go ahead & do this, but if you do then nobody will even care. It is Blu-ray that is the problem and this is precisely because the use of AACS Copy Protection is mandatory on these type of discs - period. There is no way around it, and the vast amounts of money that Sony spent bribing studios to sign exclusive 'Blu-ray only' deals back in the happier days when we had the alternative of the technically superior HD DVD format. Studios were sold on Blu-ray because Sony stated the copy protection system was unbreakable. They lied.

The end result is that all burned BD-R discs are specifically designated as 'non compliant' with the Blu-ray specifications and therefore cannot be sold as Blu-ray. This is actually true, they are non compliant simply because there is no AACS on burned discs - you cannot sell burned discs as Blu-ray without running the risk of Sony ordering all stock destroyed if the logos are used (this is trademark infringement, and in all honesty it is fair enough) but if no logos are used in packaging then the worst that can happen is that they can force you to reword things.

 

I would never - ever - use Roxio Toast. It has multiple problems, does not like .264 files and will refuse to burn them if the bitrate exceeds 14Mbps peak (a fellow video producer has found this out) and instead it will re-transcode your footage or throw an error. There are various other issues with it as well.

For burning these discs you need a PC and IMGBurn - this will format things correctly for both DVD-Video, where the layer break can be a problem as well as Blu-ray (again, your UDF settings must be correct there too), or else you have to use MPEG-2 for Blu-ray which will double your file sizes.

 

 

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You haven't found alignment to be an issue on your Canon Proxima?  I've found that printers that slide the disc through like paper tend to take more test prints.

DVD Studio Pro had a complete re-write, I think version 2 and up, but might be version 3 and up.  So, the very bad issues from it's origins fell off.  The main thing is to ignore most of how it wants to help you create a disc - which takes some know-how.  That said, you can finish with a complaint DVD-Video specification title to DLT, DDP, disk image or DVD blanks.  The main challenge is having an older Mac around to run it.  Another must-know about DVD Studio Pro is that you need to encode your picture and sound in Compressor prior to import into your DVDSP project.  The encoding presets in DVDSP are for speed, not quality.  This is well documented in the user manual, but people tend to skip reading that.

Toast handles simple projects for those with no experience rather well.  You would not use it for replication, but it's fine for burning ones-offs for friends and family or, in this case, cast and crew.  If going the Blu-Ray route, there's a known issue with audio shifting out of sync - I don't know if Roxio has fixed this.  You have to encode the audio separately and tell Toast not to do so.  It's hidden in the preferences somewhere.  Again, that's BD only, not DVD.

 

MP4 should be avoided as the source for DVD authoring.  As a delivery format, it's not suited for being encoded to an MPEG2 stream.  Someone using macOS should use Apple ProRes422 (LT) or (HQ).  DV-NTSC is fine, but should only be used if the edited master happens to be DV-NTSC.

 

 

 

-Warren

 

 

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Dec 21, 2020

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Hi Warren.

 

The Canon printers do admittedly need to be nailed down as far as alignment goes, but I have found that once I do this manually & then save the result as my base file I have no issues. The biggest problem is resizing the label print to fit, but this can be done easily enough by manually editing the tolerances in my experience - but yes,, it can be an issue for the unwary and could easily spoil a disc if not careful. That said, it is still streets ahead of sticky labels (always a bad idea) and the idea of sending out a test burn to my clients with Sharpie writing on it fills me with actual horror as it looks like I do not care.

 

I hear you on your comments about DVDSP - this applies to every single authoring tool on the planet really, especially those that use an Abstraction Layer as your project can easily end up a total mess of needless dummy VMGM and VTSM objects. For total control, my favourite tool is actually MediaChance Labs DVD-Lab Pro 2. This allows you to work with the AL entirely, as well as alongside custom VM (Virtual Machine) commands or even entirely by writing your own VM code manually (which if the Video_TS is meant for import into a DVD-Audio disc is absolutely vital or it will fail spec check). I really rate this authoring tool but the downside for some is that like all the good DVD/Blu-ray tools it is PC only.

 

The Toast issue is not fixed, and setting the preference in settings makes no difference in the current version, according to a video editor friend who has been fighting with it for the last few weeks. The attitude seems to be 'who cares, as nobody does DVD these days' which as we all know is plain tosh.

 

I fully agree that MP4 should never be used as a source, not for Blu or for DVD - it is of course lossy, and re-transcoding a lossy stream to another lossy stream will result in horrible quality. I would always suggest ProRes HQ (even though this is now officially deprecated now by Apple) simply because all encoders understand it & know what it is. Another possible alternative for PC is something like a Lagarith AVI, although Mac OS struggles with any AVI & does not enjoy using this. If HDD space & encoder time is not a problem, then an Animation Quicktime can also work well but the file sizes are horrendously large.

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Dec 21, 2020 0
Dec 17, 2020

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Cyberlink Power2Go 13 creates DVD's.  If you use the AVCHD feature it will not reincode the video.  I have used Premiere H.264 videos  The quality is as good as Blu-ray.  However, the DVD will only play on a Blu-ray player.  The program is for Windows only.  They have a free version that is available.

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Dec 21, 2020

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Hi Michael.

Yes, I know about AVCHD and believe me when I tell you it will not play back on all Blu-ray Set Top players either as it is (drum roll) non compliant to Blu-ray specification.

Sorry.

 

Quality will also depend on the encoder used, and if you are using the stock Adobe AME H.264 type then it is MainConcept engine based and nowhere near as good as it ought to be (none of the MainConcept encoders are - even my at the time brutally expensive CineVision Pro (a snip at a mere $15,000 back in the day, this supposedly did all variants for Blu-ray (WMA, AVC/MPEG-2) as well as DVD but it did none of them very well at all.

For my money I would trust the following only:

1 - x264 Pro based encoders for Blu-ray (TMPGEnc PPro plugin is now the only real option for the AME as the even better encoder plugin that used to be found on x264Pro.com has gone the way of all life thanks to a-holes cracking it and forcing the developer into administration and making it almost unusable for me now because I cannot renew my license. I loathe software thieves, I really do)

2 - The CCE-SP3 encoder for DVD. Still by far & away a better engine than anything MainConcept have ever come up with.

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Yes, I know about AVCHD and believe me when I tell you it will not play back on all Blu-ray Set Top players either as it is (drum roll) non compliant to Blu-ray specification.

 

Actually it is. Its a bd iso burned to a dvd disk. They call it an avchd disk. About 20 min will fit.

I do admit it wont play on all bd players.

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