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JB001 Level 1 Level 1

I'm trying to create a slide show with music using iDVD ver 7.1.2 running on Mac OS X ver 10.6.8 and the output quality is very poor.  I'm using high quality jpg files some from Lightroom and others from Photoshop CS5.  Both are highest quality when saving or exporting.  I've tried all thee encoding settings in iDVD with no noticable difference.  I've tried to drop the photos directly into iDVD and also tried to put them in iPhoto and export them to iDVD...nothing works for me.  What am I doing wrong?

iDVD '08, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
Reply by Bengt Wärleby on May 27, 2012 7:26 AM Helpful
And You are aware about the limitations in iDVD SlideShow to a max of 99 photos per SlideShow ? Yours Bengt W

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  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6



    There are several layers to this


    • DVD - is as Standard (whatever program used) - interlaced SD-Video - and can not be anything better than this.


    • How material was created to iDVD matters


    iMovie'08 to 11 - is not the tool of choise if quality is of importance - as they can not export interlaced video any way known to me - but does this by discarding every second line resulting in a sever quality loss


    iMovie HD6 and FinalCut are so much better - as they can deliver 100% interlaced video over to iDVD


    • How material is sent to iDVD matters


    Share to iDVD - I NEVER USE as this makes iMovie any version to render (badly)


    iMovie'08 to 11 - Share to Media Browser and as Large (NOT HD or other resoultion as this too degrades final quality) - forces iMovie to NOT RENDER and iDVD to do this (and so much better)


    iMovie HD6 - just close it and import the movie icon into iDVD and iDVD renders.


    Else my notes on DVD Quality


    DVD quality


    1. iDVD 08, 09 & 11 has three levels of qualities. (version 7.0.1, 7,0.4 & 7.1.1) and iDVD 6 has the two last ones


    • Professional Quality

    (movies + menus up to 120 min.) - BEST (but not always for short movies e.g. up to 45 minutes in total)


    • Best Performances

    (movies + menus  less than 60 min.) - High quality on final DVD (Can be best for short movies)


    • High Quality (in iDVD08 or 09) / Best Quality (in iDVD6)

    (movies + menus up to 120 min.) - slightly lower quality than above


    Menu can take 15 minutes or even more - I use a very simple one with no audio or animation like ”Brushed Metal” in old Themes.


    About double on DL DVDs.


    2. Video from


    • FCE/P - Export out as full quality (not self-containing, no conversion)


    • iMovie x-6 - Don't use ”Share/Export to iDVD” = destructive even to movie project and especially so

    when the movie includes photos and the Ken Burns effect NOT is used. Instead just drop or import the iMovie movie project icon (with a Star on it) into iDVD theme window.


    • iMovie’08 or 09 or 11 are not meant to go to iDVD. Go via Media Browser or rather use iMovie HD 6 from start.


    3. I use Roxio Toast™ to make an as slow burn speed as possibly e.g. x4 or x1 (in iDVD’08 or 09  this can also be set)

    This can also be done with Apple’s Disk Utilities application when burning from a DiskImage.


    4. There has to be about or more than 25Gb free space on internal (start-up) hard disk. iDVD can't

    use an external one as scratch disk (if it is not start-up disc). For SD-Video - if HD-material is used I guess that 4 to 5 times more would do.


    5. I use Verbatim ( also recommended by many - Taiyo Yuden DVDs - I can’t get hold of it to test )


    6. I use DVD-R (no +R or +/-RW) - DVD-R play’s on more and older DVD-Players


    7. Keep NTSC to NTSC - or - PAL to PAL when going from iMovie to iDVD

    (I use JES_Deinterlacer to keep frame per sec. same from editing to the Video-DVD result.)


    8. Don’t burn more than three DVDs at a time - but let the laser cool off for a while before next batch.


    iDVD quality also depends on.


    • DVD is a standard in it self. It is Standard Definition Quality = Same as on old CRT-TV sets and can not

    deliver anything better that this.


    HD-DVD was a short-lived standard and it was only a few Toshiba DVD-players that could playback.

    These DVDs could be made in DVD-Studio Pro. But they don’t playback on any other standard DVD-Player.


    Blu-Ray / BD can be coded onto DVDs but limited in time to - about 20-30 minutes and then need

    _ Roxio Toast™ 10 Pro incl. BD-component

    _ BD disks and burner if full length movies are to be stored

    _ BD-Player or PlayStation3 - to be able to playback

    The BD-encoded DVDs can be play-backed IF Mac also have Roxio DVD-player tool. Not on any standard Mac or DVD-player

    Full BD-disks needs a BD-player (in Mac) as they need blue-laser to be read. No red-laser can do this.


    • HOW much free space is there on Your internal (start-up) hard disk. Go for approx. 25Gb.

    less than 5Gb and Your result will most probably not play.


    • How it was recorded - Tripod vs Handheld Camera. A stable picture will give a much higher quality


    • Audio is most often more critical than picture. Bad audio and with dropouts usually results in a non-viewed movie.


    • Use of Video-editor. iMovie’08 or 09 or 11 are not the tools for DVD-production. They discard every second line resulting in a close to VHS-tape quality.

    iMovie 1 to HD6 and FinalCut any version delivers same quality as Camera record in = 100% to iDVD


    • What kind of movie project You drop into it. MPEG4 seems to be a bad choice.

    other strange formats are .avi, .wmv, .flash etc. Convert to streamingDV first

    Also audio formats matters. I use only .aiff or from miniDV tape Camera 16-bit

    strange formats often problematic are .avi, .wmv, audio from iTunes, .mp3 etc

    Convert to .aiff first and use this in movie project


    • What kind of standard - NTSC movie and NTSC DVD or PAL to PAL - no mix.

    (If You need to change to do a NTSC DVD from PAL material let JES_Deinterlacer_3.2.2 do the conversion)

    (Dropping a PAL movie into a NTSC iDVD project

    (US) NTSC DVDs most often are playable in EU

    (EU) PAL DVDs most often needs to be converted to play in US

    UNLESS. They are play-backed by a Mac - then You need not to care


    • What kind of DVDs You are using. I use Verbatim DVD-R (this brand AND no +R or +/-RW)


    • How You encode and burn it. Two settings prior iDVD’08 or 09

    Pro Quality (only in iDVD 08 & 09)

    Best / High Quality (not always - most often not)

    Best / High Performances (most often my choice before Pro Quality)


    1. go to iDVD pref. menu and select tab far right and set burn speed to x1 (less errors = plays better) - only in iDVD 08 & 09

    (x4 by some and may be even better)

    2. Project info. Select Professional Encoding - only in iDVD 08 & 09.


    Region codes.

    iDVD - only burn Region = 0 - meaning - DVDs are playable everywhere


    DVD Studio pro can set Region codes.

    1 = US

    2 = EU


    unclemano wrote


    What it turned out to be was the "quality" settings in iDVD. The total clip time was NOT over 2 hours or 4.7GB, yet iDVD created massive visual artifacts on the "professional quality" setting.


    I switched the settings to "high quality" which solved the problem. According iDVD help, "high quality" determines the best bit rate for the clips you have.


    I have NEVER seen iDVD do this before, especially when I was under the 2 hour and 4.7GB limits.


    For anyone else, there seem to be 2 places in iDVD to set quality settings, the first is under "preferences" and the second under "project info." They do NOT seem to be linked (i.e. if you change one, the other is NOT changed). take care, Mario



    • Minimum of 25Gb free space on Start-Up hard disk

    • No other programs running in BackGround e.g. Energy-Saver

    • Don’t let HD spin down or be turned off (in Energy-Save)

    • Move hard disks that are not to be used to Trash - To be disconnected/turned off

    • Goto Spotlight and set the rest of them under Integrity (not to be scanned)

    • Set screen-saver to a folder without any photo - then make an active corner (up right for me) and set

    pointer to this - turns on screen saver - to show that it has nothing to show


    Yours Bengt W

  • JB001 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks Bengt...there is a lot of info here.  I tried to download iDVD HD6 but it will not update...I think it is for older versions of iDVD.  Also I am not including any video in this slide show only jpgs and I can't figure out which portions of your response will help improve the quality of the slideshow.

  • Ziatron Level 4 Level 4

    I tried to download iDVD HD6 but it will not update...I think it is for older versions of iDVD.


    There are no known functional differences between 6.0.3 and 6.0.4. If you install iMovie 06 from the iLife 06 disk it will probably be version 6.0 or 6.0.1. However you can update the software to 6.0.3 from Apple's Web site.




    Also when you install iLife 09 or 11, iMovie 06 is not removed from the computer. Previous editions of iMovie were always un-installed when "upgrading" in the past. Apple leaves iMovie 06 on your system, because they want you to have it. iMovie 06 works great with iDVD 09 and iDVD 11.

  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 Level 6

    And You are aware about the limitations in iDVD SlideShow to a max of 99 photos per SlideShow ?


    Yours Bengt W

  • JB001 Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks Ziatron...I'm always confused about which version I'm "about this Mac" shows iDVD 7.1.2  and iMovie 8.0.6 and the download said I did not have iDVD 6 so it would not install.  I do not have any older versions...these are what came on the iMac when it was purchased.

  • JB001 Level 1 Level 1 I was not aware of the limitation...thanks for the info.  The slideshow I'm producing has about 80 photos so it is not an issue this time.  I'll need to keep that in mind if I ever figure out how to produce good quality from iDVD.

  • lubrom Level 1 Level 1

    You said that Imovie 6.0.3 has better quality than Imovie 8.0.6 & I agree. The problem is that my camcorder cannot download to IM6. Is there a way to do that directly or can I download to IM8 & somehow transfer to IM6 to get the better quality? Thanks

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10
    Photos for Mac

    iMove 6 HD is not available as a download.  It's part of iLife 06.  You'd have to find an iLife 06 disc in order to get it these days.  It's availalbe at ilife '06



  • lubrom Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks OT but I have both versions. Do you know whether I can do what I was asking?

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10
    Photos for Mac

    If you have fewer than 99 photos in your slideshow you can prepare the photos as described in this Apple document, iDVD '09 (7.x): Preparing images for iDVD slideshows, and create the slideshow directly in iDVD from the stills.  That's what I do and get as good an image quality on the TV as possible. 

    For more than 99 slides create the slideshow in iMovie 6 HD.  When you've got the iMovie as your want it, close iMovie, open iDVD, select a theme, and drag the iMovie project file into the open iDVD menu window, being careful to avoid any dropzones in that theme.


    Then follow this workflow to help ensure the best quality final product:

    Once you have the project as you want it save it as a disk image via the  File ➙ Save as Disk Image  menu option.  This will separate the encoding process from the burn process. 


    To check the encoding mount the disk image and launch DVD Player and play it.  If it plays OK with DVD Player the encoding was good.


    Then burn to disk with Disk Utility or Toast at the slowest speed available (2x-4x) to assure the best burn quality.  Always use top quality media:  Verbatim, Maxell or Taiyo Yuden DVD-R are the most recommended in these forums.


    That's about as good as you can get with either route.

  • lubrom Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks again OT but I'm not creating a slideshow but video. I understand the process for saving as disk image & burning separately for IDVD but let me try to be more precise with what I don't understand:

         -my camcorder doesn't use tape but is a card. I can only download to IM8 but not IM6. Is there a way to download directly to IM6?

         -if not, how can I transfer video from IM8 to IM6 (since IM6 is the better quality) and will the result be as good as if I downloaded to IM6 directly from the camcorder?

         -to help me better understand, I assume that if I transfer clips from IM6 to IM8 I would actually have a lower quality, is that correct?


    I'm asking this because of what Bengt Wärleby said above about IM6 providing a better video than IM8. If that is not correct, please explain. Thanks

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10
    Photos for Mac

    Yes, IM 6 HD dif used as I described in my post will give you better results than using later iM versions.


    I though you were making the video from stills.  If so then you can create the slideshow directly in iDVD if so desired and avoid going thru iMovie.  If you use iMovie you don't have to limit yourself to 99 photos. Use as many as you want.


    The reason I use iDVD to create the slideshow from stills is that one can navigate back and forth easily with the DVD player's remove one slide at a time.  If movies are used one must fast forward or back to get to the next slide and it's not as easy.

  • lubrom Level 1 Level 1


    I'm making all videos, NO stills. Can I import camcorder video using NO tape but a SDHC card to IM6? Can I import video from IM8 to IM6?

  • Old Toad Level 10 Level 10
    Photos for Mac

    I don't use video cameras so don't know if you can go directly from the memory card to iDVD.  The format may not be supported but give it a try and then do a save as disk image to see if you run into any encoding issues.  


    You can import the movie file into iM6, do what you need to do with it, save and then drag the iM6 project file into an existing iDVD project window.

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