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Old 09-14-2006, 06:21 PM   #1
Don Blish Don Blish is offline
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Jun 2006
Los Angeles
Default Limited Success: HDV to playable Blu-Ray

I received a Sony BWU100A drive two weeks ago…the box (with a very low serial#) arrived without the software disc. The “Cyberlink BD Solution 1.0” was mailed by Sony and I have been experimenting with it.

The drive will, of course, make CD, DVD and BD data discs without problems.

For video, I wanted to put my latest HDV project (1080x1440 30i) of 99 minutes on a disc with chapter buttons and further chapter marks for intervening scenes. The bundled software CAN import, add chapter marks and burn to BD-RE, but the menu making module was omitted for now. The software took my edited .avi file (From PremierePro2.0 + Cineform Access HD) of 87gigs (!) and encoded it to 19.3 gigs on BD-RE – about the same size/data rate as it would be on the source HDV tape. This was using Cyberlink Producer 3.3 – BD Edition, version 3.7.0.2824

The resulting disc played and looked stunning, using the included player: PowerDVD 6.6 BD Edition. When inserted into a Samsung BDP1000 on display at an accommodating nearby retailer, the disc WOULD NOT LOAD, and the machine had to be unplugged before eventually ejecting the disc. Of course, there is no way, at present, to tell if it is the Samsung or, more likely, the Cyberlink software at fault.

I also made a test disc with short segments, (including a resolution chart) in four different formats: HDV-1080x1440 16:9, NTSC-DV-480x720 16:9, NTSC-DV-480-720 4:3 and finally PAL-DV-576x720 25fps 16:9. The PowerDVD software played each in sequence, at the correct aspect ration and with only a half second flicker between each segment. If you were going to do this in a finished project, you would want to fade in and out of black and have no audio running over the transition. This disc would not load in the Samsung player either.

Unfortunately, the “capture” function in PowerProducer would not work on any camera (DV or HDV) or from any mode (DVD or BD). While this port on the moterhboard (TI-OCHI) and its Microsoft driver are flawless in PremierePro, it crashed the entire OS if tried in PowerProducer……But then I was not planning to use that function. Also, it would not import the mpeg2 file Cineform makes for exporting back into the camera. There it just crashed the application, not the OS.

For those of you into the details, here is the logical layout of the disc:
Only folder: BDAV
Sub folders: CLIPINF with a tiny file 00001.clpi
PLAYLIST with a tiny file 00001.roks
STREAM with a file 00001.m2ts of 19.336 gigs for 99 minutes

Cyberlink’s PowerToGo “DeskData” application was used to copy the above disc, and that too played in PowerDVD software but we did not try it in the Samsung. There is no explicit “Copy BD movie” tab.

So, at this date (Sep 14, 2006) you CAN put HDV on Blu-ray, but without a menu but you will have little assurance it will play in a Blu-ray player. I expect Cyberlink, with Sony’s urging, will get these features working soon. I certainly hope we have something better from Adobe soon – we don’t need every advanced feature of BDjava menus working for a first version.
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