12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 20, 2012 6:39 PM by Russ H
Linda Ehman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

This should be easy, but I am having no luck! The local community access channel wants to air video of mine.  Here is what they want:

 

Compress your video to MPEG2. The screen ratio we use is 4:3 so use that. If your video was shot 16:9, letterbox it so it plays in a 4:3 with black bars on top and bottom. Then, take that file, burn it onto two data DVDs.

 

Can anyone give me step by step on how to do this? I seem to either be cropping or squishing it, I would like to keep the same aspect ratio.  Also, they want "Data DVD" how do I do that?  I have Compressor 4.0.5

 

Thank you


iMac (21.5-inch Late 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 1. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    Hi Linda.

     

    How was your video shot? HD or SD?

     

    Russ

  • 2. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Linda Ehman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    HD video, edited in FCPX, exported prores 422.  Thanks.

  • 3. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Linda Ehman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Well, after 2 days of pulling my hair out, I think I figured it out! Here is what I did:

    In inspector chose 4x3 Aspect ratio under encoder tab.

    Under Geometry tab, then under Padding, chose 16X9. 

    This seems to have done the letterbox 4x3. 

     

    I'm still wondering about Data DVD.  Is that re-writable?  I don't see anything for that in Compressor.

  • 4. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    Congratulations, Linda.That's exactly how one does it ( and as you have found out there are many, many combinations of geometry settings that you would think might work, but don't.

     

    Another way is to create a 4:3 project in FCP and drop your HD clip into the timeline.

     

    The DATA DVD is computer-readable – and not palaybale by a DVD player. It's a good choice because it preserves a lot more of the quality of your video. By comparison the MPEG 2 compression for DVD's throws away a lot of data and has a tendency to introduce artifatcs.

     

    You can burn a data DVD in the finder by inserting a blank disk, double-clicking to open and copying your letterboxed QuickTime file to it. Then just hit the burn button  that appears in the left side Finder pane. You can also do this in DIsk Utility.

     

    If you use a DVD-R (recommended), it will not be re-writable. If you use Disk Utility, it would be possible to add (append) another file. But assuming your show is a reasonable llength, you probably wouldn't be adding stuff.

     

    Remember that these disks only hold 4.4 GB. Check the estimated size of your output in Compressor before encoding. For example, a 30 minute DV NTSC show could exceed the disk's capacity.

     

    Good luck.

     

    Russ

  • 5. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Linda Ehman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thanks Russ.  I also found out the hard way that I needed to drag audio settings in as well, as I burned a few dvd's without audio.  And of course, I don't have software to play mpeg2, so I had to burn a dvd everytime I tried a new setting!

     

    Anyway, thank for your interest and encouragement. I probably would not create a 4x3 project unless I knew the client needed that ahead of time. 

     

    I am interested however in how to create the 4x3 letterbox format from my 16X9 HD QT movie.  So in other words, how do I take my 16X9 QT movie and and convert to 4x3 letterbox it, so I can the burn the data dvd as you suggested? Do I export from QT, and what compression to choose? Under dimensions, what is the size, and then would I choose letterbox?  You may help me save a few dvd's!  Thanks again!!!

  • 6. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    Linda Ehman wrote:

     

    I also found out the hard way that I needed to drag audio settings in as well, as I burned a few dvd's without audio. 

    Apparently you used a Create DVD preset, which encodes for disks that are going to be played on a DVD player and are highly compressed. (That may indeed be what they want, but it would be odd to specify it on 2 data disks.)

     

    The data DVD's they specified are just movies that are stored on the DVD. The files are intended for computers, not players. They could just as well be delivered on a thumb drive or portable hard drive. Presumably, they specified 2 DVD's because they didn't expect the file to fit on one disk.

     

    I think what they what they want is a transport stream MPEG. Definitely check with them and ask what bit rate they need. BTW, the default setting for this format is multiplexed so you don't have to worry about including audio. The following screen shots assume a transport stream, but there are other possibilities as well, so –again – I would check to avoid wild goose chases.

     

    Screen shot 2012-12-20 at 1.04.01 PM.png

     

    You would choose NTSC and 4:3 in the Encoder pane.

     

    Screen shot 2012-12-20 at 1.25.50 PM.png

     

    In the Geometry Pane under padding you would choose 16:9 and this gives padding of 60px top and bottom. (Why it switches back to custom, I have no idea. But the padding settings are automatic,)

     

    Screen shot 2012-12-20 at 1.26.10 PM.png

    When you're ready to submit, the Summary pane should look like this:

    Screen shot 2012-12-20 at 1.27.31 PM.png

     

    Good luck.

     

    Russ

  • 7. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Linda Ehman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thank you very much Russ.  What you laid out is sort of what I did yesterday in Compressor, except for settings I used Mpeg-2 for DVD, elementary stream for DVD authoring, instead of transport stream.  It was 4x3 letterboxed, played on mac and in dvd player, but not in my blu-ray player. I think I got what I wanted, I just wasn't sure how to make it a data dvd that may have better quality for broadcast than what I made?

     

    However, my last question to you was based on what you mentioned in your earlier post.  You wrote:

     

    You can burn a data DVD in the finder by inserting a blank disk, double-clicking to open and copying your letterboxed QuickTime file to it. Then just hit the burn button  that appears in the left side Finder pane.

     

    What I was asking you was, how do I take my HD 16X9 QT movie, and export/convert that file to a 4X3 letterbox QT file, so I can then burn the Data DVD as you wrote.  Is this easier than going through the Compressor route we have been discussing?

     

    My video is only 12 minutes, so I think they are asking for 2 dvd's because they want one for back-up or archive I guess.  I also wonder if they want data dvd's because they run the programming from a computer.  Anyway, Here is what their website says:

     

    To broadcast your video on NVCA’s TV Channel… Comcast Channel 11:

    Compress your video to MPEG2. The screen ratio we use is 4:3 so use that. If your video was shot 16:9, letterbox it so it plays in a 4:3 with black bars on top and bottom. Then, take that file, burn it onto two data DVDs and send them to us. (If any of this is Greek to you, a few Google searches will clear things up).

     

    I left a voice mail with them asking about bit rate. Sorry for the extra questions, but it is much appreciated!

  • 8. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    Do you have Final Cut?

  • 9. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Linda Ehman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    FCPX

  • 10. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    Linda,

     

    Doing this in FCP would go like this:

     

    Import your HD file into a new event.


    Create a new project that references that event. But instead of letting FCP determine the settings from the first clip, choose Use Custom Settings, From the drop down menu, choose NTSC, 726X480 and select whatever frame rate you shot at.

     

    Edit the clip to your time line. Export through Share>Master File.

     

    That should give you the letterboxed 4:3 video file, which you can then copy to a Data DVD.

     

    Russ

  • 11. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Linda Ehman Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Good idea Russ, I should have thought of that!

     

    I also created the MPEG 2 project in Compressor, and after downloading VLC, I was able to view the project from the file and the dvd.

     

    Thanks again! Great learning experience.  Happy Holidays to you!

  • 12. Re: Compress QT HD movie to letterbox 4X3
    Russ H Level 6 Level 6 (14,255 points)

    Thanks.

     

    Good luck with the show.

     

    Let us know if there are any more questions the station raises about the format

     

    Russ