About DVD Studio Pro and HD Resolution DVDs

In addition to supporting standard definition (SD) format video DVDs, DVD Studio Pro supports creating high definition (HD) format video DVDs.

With the exception of support for HD video resolutions and the number of buttons on menus and button over video subtitles, HD projects in DVD Studio Pro have the same limits as SD projects.

There are two aspects to creating DVDs with HD content: what you can put into the DVD video zone and the DVD disc media.

DVD Video Zone with HD Content

While the contents of the DVD video zone for an HD-based DVD (HVDVD_TS) are similar to those of an SD-based DVD video zone (VIDEO_TS), there are some important differences:

  • HD-based DVDs support a broad range of video resolutions, including most of those used in SD-based DVDs. See Supported Video Resolutions for a complete list of supported resolutions.

  • In addition to supporting SD MPEG-2 video encodes, HD-based DVDs support HD MPEG-2 and H.264 video encodes. These are discussed in HD Video Assets.

Blue Laser Disc Media

Due to the improved video resolution possible with HD video, the encoded video files for HD resolution DVDs can be larger than those used with SD resolution DVDs. For that reason, a media format based on a blue laser was designed specifically for DVD projects containing HD video. See the following table for a comparison of SD and HD disc sizes.

Disc
Red laser capacity
Blue laser capacity
Single-sided, single-layer
4.7 GB
15 GB
Single-sided, dual-layer
8.54 GB
30 GB

In addition to blue laser based DVD media, an HD project’s DVD video zone can be written to DVD media based on the red lasers used by traditional DVDs. (The obvious limitation is that you will not be able to fit as much video data on the disc.)

Important: SD-based DVD players are not able to play DVD projects containing HD content, whether they are on red or blue laser media. Additionally, only HD projects on special 3x DVD-ROM red laser media are officially supported in the HD DVD specification. You can burn HD projects to traditional red laser media on your system; however, the discs might not play in all HD DVD players.

Supported Video Resolutions

All video resolutions supported by SD-based DVDs are also supported by HD-based DVDs. This means that an HD-based DVD can use an HD video resolution for the main feature, then use an SD video resolution for extras. The following list includes the SD and HD video resolutions supported by DVD Studio Pro.

Note: MPEG-1 encoded video files are not supported in HD projects.

NTSC

Frame rates with an “i” indicate the interlaced scanning method; those with a “p” indicate the progressive scanning method.

Resolution
Frame rate
Aspect ratio
Notes
352 x 240
29.97i
4:3
Also known as SIF format
352 x 480
29.97i
4:3
Also known as 1/2 D1
704 x 480
29.97i
4:3, 16:9
Also known as Cropped D1; 16:9 is anamorphic
720 x 480
29.97i
4:3, 16:9
Also known as Full D1; 16:9 is anamorphic
720 x 480
59.94p
16:9
HD only, also known as 480p; is anamorphic
1280 x 720
59.94p
16:9
HD only, also known as 720p
1440 x 1080
29.97i
16:9
HD only; 16:9 is anamorphic
1920 x 1080
29.97i
16:9
HD only, also known as 1080i
PAL

Frame rates with an “i” indicate the interlaced scanning method; those with a “p” indicate the progressive scanning method.

Resolution
Frame rate
Aspect ratio
Notes
352 x 288
25i
4:3
Also known as SIF format
352 x 576
25i
4:3
Also known as 1/2 D1
704 x 576
25i
4:3, 16:9
Also known as Cropped D1; 16:9 is anamorphic
720 x 576
25i
4:3, 16:9
Also known as Full D1; 16:9 is anamorphic
720 x 576
50p
16:9
HD only, also known as 576p; is anamorphic
1280 x 720
50p
16:9
HD only, also known as 720p
1440 x 1080
25i
16:9
HD only; 16:9 is anamorphic
1920 x 1080
25i
16:9
HD only, also known as 1080i

Using 24P Video Formats

Both SD and HD projects can use assets encoded at 24 fps, as long as they are encoded specifically with NTSC or PAL flags set.

Note: For NTSC, 24 fps is actually 23.976 fps, although it is most often referred to as 23.98 fps

Video at 24 fps has two main advantages: it matches the film frame rate, and, in the case of NTSC, provides much smaller files due to having six fewer frames per second.

See Importing 24 fps Assets for more information.