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Blu-ray formats

A new addition to Muvipix, with support and discussion of Sony's DVD Architect Studio.

Blu-ray formats

Postby dclark » Sat Jul 13, 2013 12:20 am

In The Muvipix guide to DVD Architect Studio 5.0, page 19, it states that the highest quality format is MPEG2 1440-x1080. There is another option for MPEG2 1920x1080. Why is that not the highest quality and recommended as the normal choice? It also states that AVCHD is "more advanced". Given that why is it not recommended that the best choice is AVCHD 1920x1080?
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Re: Blu-ray formats

Postby John 'twosheds' McDonald » Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:53 am

Welcome to Muvipix dclark. :meet:

You are not the first person to ask that question and I am confident that you will not be the last as, at first glance, it is counter intuitive!! :-D

The apparent difference is down to the pixel aspect ratio. For 1440 x 1080 video, the pixel aspect ratio is 1.333 so the 1440 pixels are squished, whereas 1920 x 1080 video pixels are square. 1440 x 1.333 equates to 1920 pixels.

On the AVCHD point (and I may be wrong here so no doubt someone will jump in and correct me) the 1440x1080 format generally applies to tape based video cameras which some would now claim to be an older technology. The AVCHD format applies to video cameras that record to SD or similar media and these tend to be newer cameras.
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Re: Blu-ray formats

Postby Bob » Sat Jul 13, 2013 2:58 am

I don't have the book, so I don't know the context containing that statement.

The Blu-ray specification requires that Blu-ray content be one of three formats: MPEG-2 Part 2, H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10: AVC, and SMPTE VC-1. MPEG-2 is the same family as HDV, H.264/MPEG14 AVC is the same family as AVCHD, and VC-1 is an alternative to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC. "Same family as" isn't the same as "identical to". AVCHD was derived from H.264/MPEG-4 AVC but isn't identical to it. The quality of each is similar. The big difference is in the amount of compression that can be achieved and still maintain the same relative quality. H.264/MPEG-4 AVC can be compressed much more highly then MPEG 2. The "Advanced" in AVCHD refers to the compression algorithm, not the quality measure.

As far as the 1440 vs 1920 issue. 1440x1080 uses rectangular pixels while 1920x1080 uses square pixels. But, the overall frame aspect ratio will be the same, 16:9. 1440x1080 does have a lower horizontal resolution than 1980x1080, but, in practice, it is very difficult to see the difference. Especially if you are using interlaced video. Both resolutions are acceptable for general use. Generally, you would use the one that matches your source video. Converting 1440 to 1920 will not improve resolution and may, in fact, reduce it slightly due to the interpolation needed to resample to the new resolution.
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Re: Blu-ray formats

Postby Steve Grisetti » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:11 am

Great answers, guys!

The short answer: 1440x1080 anamorphic pixels and 1920x1080 square pixels produce virtually identical videos.

When I update the book, I may change the specs to 1920x1080. Though, as Bob and John beautifully detail, you really won't see a difference.
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Re: Blu-ray formats

Postby dclark » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:58 pm

Thanks for the answers! It seems that the best resolution choice is what matches the input video, and AVCHD will allow more video on the disk without loss of quality, but either way it does not make much difference.
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Re: Blu-ray formats

Postby RJ Johnston » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:16 pm

Another reason for MPEG-2 over AVCHD is that DVD Architect will not recompress MPEG-2 if the format settings in the project properties match the format settings of the source MPEG-2 clip. DVDA will always recompress AVCHD. I recently found that the bitrate you set in the project properties has to be EXACTLY the same as the bitrate of the source MPEG-2. The rate can't be off by even 1 bit. I used MediaInfo with Debug option to get the actual bitrate and the other settings.
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