External Video and Audio Monitoring

You can configure your system to support external video and audio monitors. This makes it possible to more closely simulate a viewer’s environment before you build the project and burn a test DVD.

When using external monitors, keep the following in mind:

The Simulator pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences contains settings that control whether the external video and audio monitors are used. Additionally, the Simulator contains settings that allow you to change the display mode (4:3 Pan-Scan, 4:3 Letterbox, or 16:9) and resolution (SD, HD 720, or HD 1080). See Simulator Preferences and Simulating with an External Video and Audio Monitor for more information.

Connecting an External Video Monitor

When simulating your project on your computer’s video monitor, you do not see video exactly as a viewer would when playing the video using a set-top DVD player connected to an NTSC or PAL monitor. There are two primary differences:

  • Pixel aspect ratio: Computer monitors always use square pixels, while SD video uses rectangular pixels. When viewed on the computer’s monitor, the Simulator scales the pixels to make them fit the 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio, which can affect the video appearance.
  • Color space: Computer monitors generally use RGB color space for their displays while most monitors used to view DVDs use the YUV color space.

The advantage of connecting an external video monitor is that, depending on the monitor you connect and whether your project’s assets are already encoded for use on a DVD, you are able to see the video as the viewer would see it.

The external video monitor uses the second monitor as configured in the Displays pane of System Preferences. You must set the resolution and refresh rate to match the external monitor. There are two common approaches to connecting an external video monitor:

  • Connecting a video monitor to your computer’s S-Video output (if present)

  • Connecting a second monitor to your system (if supported)

For example, you could connect an NTSC or PAL monitor to the S-Video output of a PowerBook G4 system.

Note: When connected to an NTSC or PAL monitor, this video output provides only an approximation of what the video will look like when burned to a disc and played on a DVD player. Due to rendering, rescaling, and interlacing issues, you should not rely on this output as a true representation of the video quality, especially with SD projects.

Connecting an External Audio Monitor

There are two primary issues with monitoring your project’s audio using the computer’s built-in audio system:

  • The built-in system cannot play surround sound audio. The audio is first downmixed to stereo, then played.

  • The built-in system cannot play DTS audio.

There are two common approaches to connecting an external audio monitor:

  • Connecting a suitable AC-3 or DTS decoder to the computer’s optical digital audio output (also known as an S/PDIF output)

  • Connecting a suitable AC-3 or DTS decoder to the computer’s FireWire or USB port