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TOPIC: Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions?

Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 19 Sep 2018 19:32 #97120

  • AlexMaxim
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Hey there guys,
I hope that this post finds you all in excellent spirits, and that you are having a great week.

We've now authored our DVD project in DVD Studio Pro.

We have also tested the disc, which looks brilliant when played back on a conventional DVD player and television. However, when played in an Apple SuperDrive, the resolution isn't so great. It is not terrible, but there is clearly a loss of quality - this is true in both DVD Player and VLC media player.

Does anyone happen to know why this might be? We were thinking that a possible solution could lie in:

1. The anti-aliasing settings in Compressor (the level was set at zero); or

2. The media player we are using. Maybe there is a better one for DVD playback?

As ever, any guidance, ideas or thoughts are sincerely appreciated! And thank you for taking the time to read this post!
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 19 Sep 2018 19:49 #97121

  • JarrodMFay
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Are you watching the DVD in an SD resolution-sized window on your computer screen? If you are watching it full screen on the computer then you are relying on the computer's enlarging algorithm which can make it look worse. Just a thought.
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 19 Sep 2018 21:20 #97122

  • AlexMaxim
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JarrodMFay wrote:
Are you watching the DVD in an SD resolution-sized window on your computer screen? If you are watching it full screen on the computer then you are relying on the computer's enlarging algorithm which can make it look worse. Just a thought.

Excellent question! Believe it or not, if anything the DVD looks slightly better full screen than it does in a 720 x 480 window.
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 19 Sep 2018 22:15 #97123

  • FCPX.guru
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Even if it is Blu-Ray (HD) it'll look worse on a computer screen for two reasons.

Computer screens are higher resolution than TV, so you're enlarging it a good bit.
Computer screens are not interlaced, and refresh very differently than a TV screen.

Your DVD was formatted specifically for broadcast television screens.
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 24 Sep 2018 19:04 #97168

  • AlexMaxim
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FCPX.guru wrote:
Even if it is Blu-Ray (HD) it'll look worse on a computer screen for two reasons.

Computer screens are higher resolution than TV, so you're enlarging it a good bit.
Computer screens are not interlaced, and refresh very differently than a TV screen.

Your DVD was formatted specifically for broadcast television screens.

We appreciate what you are saying; what concerns us is that the discrepancy is really quite substantial.

On a conventional DVD player hooked up to a TV, the picture quality is razor-sharp. In VLC media player or DVD Player, it is much more like it looks in DVD Studio Pro's Simulator: blurrier and SD-like. We have never seen this kind of quality gap in any other DVD.

Do you think this problem would be ironed out once the DVD has been professionally replicated?
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 24 Sep 2018 19:07 #97169

  • JarrodMFay
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Unfortunately, no. In the many years we produced DVDs we never saw any visible difference between the master DVD-R and the replicated copies. Sorry.
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 24 Sep 2018 19:12 #97170

  • AlexMaxim
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JarrodMFay wrote:
Unfortunately, no. In the many years we produced DVDs we never saw any visible difference between the master DVD-R and the replicated copies. Sorry.

Many thanks for your kind and prompt response, which is sincerely appreciated!

We are going to try and test the DVD on a wider variety of computers and see where that gets us...there may be a difference between macOS and Windows...
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 24 Sep 2018 19:17 #97171

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Sorry I couldn't be of more help. It does sound reasonable to check the disc on other computer monitors just to make sure that isn't the issue. I'd be surprised if the OS made a difference but the different machines/monitors could. I remember producing DVDs and having to be sure they would be played on computers that were compatible. Ugh. Best of luck!
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 27 Sep 2018 11:56 #97213

  • pszilard
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Alex,

May I suggest you try the same comparison with a commercially bought DVD movie and see if that looks worse on the Mac than the TV? If it does, than you can safely assume that this is just the way it is rendered on the Mac screen.

Let us know the result.

Paul
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 27 Sep 2018 13:03 #97216

  • AlexMaxim
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pszilard wrote:
Alex,

May I suggest you try the same comparison with a commercially bought DVD movie and see if that looks worse on the Mac than the TV? If it does, than you can safely assume that this is just the way it is rendered on the Mac screen.

Let us know the result.

Paul

Hi there Paul,
Many thanks for your kind message!

We are going to try various tests over the weekend, and will post the results here.
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 27 Sep 2018 14:40 #97217

  • franz.vorenkamp
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They aren't answering your question clearly.

The Cause:
Your DVD will never look good playing on a MacBook Pro screen, or on any screen with a resolution that exceeds 1080p. That's it- nothing further to investigate. You MacBook Pro has a waaaay higher resolution *and* pixel density than a regular HD TV. Even a Blu-Ray would look lower quality. This is a no win situation: let go of the idea of using a disk to play back this video on a computer.

The Solution:

The *only* way to make the same file look good on a computer would be to play back a digital file such as a .MP4 or .MOV that is rendered at a substantially higher resolution and bitrate. Try exporting your project at a 4K resolution with a bitrate of at least 30.

Note that in order to export a project in 4K, the file must be built at that resolution and all of the elements that make the video (clips, images) must also be sufficiently high resolution.

This same trick will work on modern 4K TV's with USB ports. Simply render your video to a 4K MP4 and the TV should be able to play it back from a USB Stick.

That's it! No further testing or figuring. This is 100% what's going on.
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 28 Sep 2018 14:06 #97233

  • JarrodMFay
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If you read the earlier discussion you'll see that she did attempt to watch the DVD on her computer within an SD sized window. That negates the possibility of it "just" being the difference in screen resolution. With the hundreds of DVDs that we produced (back in the day) you could always play them in an appropriately sized window on the computer and they would look great but that is clearly not her problem.
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Newly-authored DVD looks much better on TV than on Apple MacBook Pro! Any solutions? 02 Oct 2018 18:30 #97264

  • AlexMaxim
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Hey there guys,
Thank you so much for your additional contributions, which are enormously appreciated.

We ran some tests over the weekend, and have a few more still to do, but the results so far show a basic division: on everything except Apple MacBook Pros with Retina screens, the DVD looks great. Even on a 2009 MacBook Pro 13", the quality is superb.

We now need to find a standard HDTV screen and see how it performs on that. Ditto for Windows laptops.
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