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FCE and DVD Studio Pro 3?

338 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: May 26, 2013 7:09 AM by Alchroma RSS
Fisheye16HP Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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May 25, 2013 9:17 PM




I've used FCE 4 for years and love it, and have learned a lot. I usually use iDVD to make DVDs. However, I now have a project where I am a little more concerned about reliability and would like the more advanced encoding options of DVD Studio Pro. I know that the later versions of DVD Studio Pro were part of the FCPStudio Suite, but the previous versions (like 3) were stand alone software.


My question is:  Has anyone edited in FCE and then created a DVD with DVD Studio Pro 3? I don't own DVD SP3, but one can find them on ebay. Before I make the purchase, I'd like to know if it works with FCE. My MacBook Pro is 10.6.8 . . . . I've looked online and it should work with DVD SP3, but I haven't found an answer about the FCE part yet, so thought I'd check here!


Thank you very much for any help!

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (17,460 points)
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    May 26, 2013 1:01 AM (in response to Fisheye16HP)

    Yes, of course any version of DVDSP will work with FCE (or any other editing app).


    Although DVDSP was bundled with FCS it is really just a stand-alone app.


    However, it will not give any visible improvement in quality in spite of what others might say............ in some instances, quite the reverse.


    I don't know what you mean about "reliability"?


    All it will enable you to do is exercise more control over your finished DVD.


    For certain professionals this may be necessary but for amateurs it's not and the complexity of the app means there are infinitely more ways for you to make mistakes.


    If you are still determined to go ahead and waste your time (steep learning curve) and money, all you do is export as normal from FCE and import the video into DVDSP for encoding and menu creation ............... and that's where the hard work begins with very few canned menu templates and all requiringa fair degree of knowledge to even get them to work.


    I had the same itch as you.  Initially I used FCE but always looked with envy at FCP etc.


    Eventually in 2007 I shelled out the spondulicks for FCS and was duly unimpressed as FCP was virtually the same app.


    Though FCP could do many things more, none of those things was of any use to most amateurs and FCE contained more than enough features for most people.


    Ditto with iDVD and DVDSP.


    Message was edited by: Ian R. Brown

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,560 points)
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    May 26, 2013 6:12 AM (in response to Fisheye16HP)

    I will echo Ian's reply.  DVDSP should work perfectly fine on Snow Leopard.  DVDSP has a basic encoder with settings you can modify, but I think most people actually used Compressor for the finer MPEG2 encodings.   Just export from FCE to QuickTime Movie same as you would for iDVD (it can even be a QT reference movie ... i.e. not self-contained).


    That said, iDVD's encoding (especially v6 & v7) is quite good.  In DVDSP/Compressor you may have to fiddle with stuff to get anything better ... if you can even see a difference after it's done!

  • MartinR Level 6 Level 6 (14,560 points)
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    May 26, 2013 6:23 AM (in response to Fisheye16HP)

    (1) Fewer DVDs that burn improperly or will not work -- this is what I meant by reliability.

    (2) more professional looking menus

    (3) better compression options so that the final movie looks better

    1.  In 9 years of using iDVD (versions 4,5,6 & 7) on OS X from 10.2 to 10.6 on dozens of different Macs, I have never once had a DVD that failed to work.  (But I do admit that I spend the money to get good quality blank DVD media.  I tried Maxell, Sony, Taiyo Uden, Panasonic and a few others and quickly settled on Verbatim Datalife Plus as my #1 choice ).


    2.  Arguable.  The iDVD templates are as professional as they get.  DVDSP has a bunch more, yes, and you can of course construct your own from scratch, but that is an art all in itself.


    3.  Only with Compresor.  And unless you are a wizard at using Compressor, and even more importantly have the high quality source material that would benefit from Compressor's tweaks, it's not likely you will see much difference in the end result.

  • Ian R. Brown Level 6 Level 6 (17,460 points)
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    May 26, 2013 6:37 AM (in response to Fisheye16HP)

    The extra encoding capabilities of Compressor are only of any use if you produce very long DVDs, say over 70 minutes.


    A standard DVD can fit DVDs of up to 70minutes encoded at around 8mbps which is the highest quality available.


    Over 70 minutes and the movie would be too big to fit so it has to be further compressed by using a lower bitrate.


    This results in a loss of quality.


    To minimise the loss various complex methods are used such as variable bitrates and multipass encoding, but however good these tricks are, they will never match the quality of a straight 8mbps across the board.


    In iDVD this highest quality (for sub 70 minute DVDs) is called rather strangely  "Best Performance".


    The other 2 encoding methods ......"Best Quality" and "Pro Quality" ..........are for long DVDs in an attempt to minimise the degradation caused by low bitrates. These 2 settings also double and quadruple the encoding times, for very little advantage.


    Compressor has even more options.


    On a personal note, as mentioned earlier, I tend to look with longing at more expensive software etc., assuming like many others, that more expensive equates to better.


    It may well be better at certain things but unless they apply to you they are a waste.


    So a simple rule is to only upgrade if you know for a fact that the software contains a feature you actually require.

  • Alchroma Level 6 Level 6 (16,880 points)
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    May 26, 2013 7:09 AM (in response to Fisheye16HP)

    iDVD can handle up to two hours so you should be fine.

    Later versions of iDVD support dual layer if needs be doubling the time limit.




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