How to burn videos longer than 2 hours on a DVD5

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Preamble

Three great virtues of a programmer; Laziness, Impatience and Hubris. – Larry Wall

  1. Laziness: The quality that makes you go to great effort to reduce overall energy expenditure. It makes you write labor-saving programs that other people will find useful and document what you wrote so you don’t have to answer so many questions about it.
  2. Impatience: The anger you feel when the computer is being lazy. This makes you write programs that don’t just react to your needs, but actually anticipate them. Or at least pretend to.
  3. Hubris: The quality that makes you write (and maintain) programs that other people won’t want to say bad things about.

Some background and notes

Bitrate

DVD-Video discs have a raw bitrate of 11.08 Mbit/s, with a 1.0 Mbit/s overhead, leaving a payload bitrate of 10.08 Mbit/s. Of this, up to 3.36 Mbit/s can be used for subtitles, a maximum of 10.08 Mbit/s can be split amongst audio and video, and a maximum of 9.80 Mbit/s can be used for video alone. A DVD video can have up to 1536 kbps of audio information, but for each audio track the limit is 448 kbps. You can have mono, stereo or 5.1 audio tracks.

(average bitrate) * (movie length in seconds) = (total of bits)

And knowing how many bits you have in the DVD you can calculate your bitrate with great precision (see table below).

For example if you have a 2 hours movie (7200 seconds), a single 448 kbits per seconds audio track (usual value for 6 channels audio) and a DVD-R SL you might calculate:

37658558464 / 7200 - 448000 = 4782355

DVD disc capacity

Capacity differences of writable DVD formats

Type Sectors # of bits Bytes KiB MiB GiB  
DVD-R SL 2,298,496 37658558464 4,707,319,808 4,596,992 4,489.250 4.384  
DVD+R SL 2,295,104 37602983936 4,700,372,992 4,590,208 4,482.625 4.378  
DVD-R DL 4,171,712 68349329408 8,543,666,176 8,343,424 8,147.875 7.957  
DVD+R DL 4,173,824 68383932416 8,547,991,552 8,347,648 8,152.000 7.961  

Note: All sizes are expressed in their binary sense (i.e. 1 Gigabyte = 1,073,741,824 bytes).

Bitrate budge calculation

The following is adapted from here.

The basic bitrate formula is:

( Size – ( Audio x Length )) / Length = Video bitrate

  • L = Lenght of the whole movie in seconds
  • S = Size you like to use in KB (note 700 MB x 1024 = 716 800 KB)
  • A = Audio bitrate in KB/s (note 224 kbit/s = 224 / 8 = 28 KB/s)
  • V = Video bitrate in KB/s, to get kbit/s multiply with 8.
  • 8 bit = 1 byte.
  • 1024 = 1 kilo in the computer world.

Example 90 minutes video, L = 90 x 60 = 5 400 seconds 700 MB CD but be sure that if fits use a bit lower like 695 MB, S = 695 x 1024 = 711 680 KB Audio bitrate, A = 224 kbit/s / 8 = 28 KB/s

(711 680 – (5400 x 28) ) / 5400 = 104 KB/s x 8 = 830 kbit/s.

A couple of calculators you can use:

  1. from Dr. Lex site

    bitrate-calculator-dr-lex.png

  2. a simpler one from 3ivx

    bitrate-calculator-3vix.png

Some scripts to do the job

Bitrate calculation and encoding

and use ffmpeg to encode the video(s) to dvd format. See parameters from ffmpeg source code and a blog here.

I tried with -target ntsc-dvd, it took 5 min longer with 2nd setting to encode 2 hours video.

Authorizing DVD

generate xml:

authorizing

Burn

Create a iso image or burn:

About the feature image

DVD-RW Drive operating with the protective cover removed.

Dvd-burning-cutaway3.JPG

image from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD.

and about the lasers.

300px-Comparison_CD_DVD_HDDVD_BD.svg.png

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