Formatting Your Project

Once you have built your project and set the preformat properties, you are ready to format it. The format process creates an output formatted for your output type:

Each output type has its own settings that need to be configured before the actual format process begins.

In addition to the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder, there are other items that can be part of the format process:

You can change or set the folder to use for DVD-ROM content either when specifying the preformat settings or while configuring the format process. The DVD@CCESS Installers are included if the project used DVD@CCESS links and the Embed Text Data checkbox in the Disc Inspector is selected. See DVD@CCESS for more information on DVD@CCESS.

You can also choose to read content from a DLT drive and format that content. See Reading a DLT Drive for more information.

Starting a Format Process

You can set the format process to start automatically after a build or you can manually start the format. In either case, a window appears at the beginning of the format process; you can set the format properties here, if you have not already set them in the Disc Inspector.

To format your project
  1. Do one of the following:

    • Choose File > Advanced Burn > Format (or press Command-F) to perform a format only.

    • Click Format in the toolbar to perform a format only.

    • Choose File > Advanced Burn > Build and Format (or press Command-Option-F) to perform both a build and a format. See About the Build/Format Command for more information.

    • Click Build/Format in the toolbar to perform both a build and a format.

    The format dialog appears.

    Figure. General tab of the format dialog.

    By default, DVD Studio Pro assumes you want to format the project that was built last. The settings in the format dialog are set to match the last build. It is a good idea to verify that the settings in the General, Disc/Volume, and Region/Copyright tabs are correct.

    You can use the Choose button next to Current Build to select a folder that contains the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder you want to format.

    Important: DVD Studio Pro attempts to find the .layout and .LAY files in the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder you choose. An error message appears if they are not found, and in this case, you must manually configure the settings in the General, Disc/Volume, and Region/Copyright tabs. Additionally, if the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder contains a dual-layer project, you are not able to specify the break point and must use the automatic method. See Non-Standard SD DVD Video Zone Files and Non-Standard HD DVD Video Zone Files for more information.

  2. Configure the Destination section in the General tab in the format dialog. This is where you select and configure the output type. See Output Type Settings for more information.

  3. Click Burn to start formatting the project if you are writing to DVD or DLT, Format if you are writing to a hard disk, or Build & Burn if you used the Build/Format command.

The format process begins and a progress bar appears that shows the format steps currently being performed.

Output Type Settings

Once you start the format process, you can configure the output type you want to format to. The Destination section in the General tab in the format dialog contains the output type settings.

Figure. Destination section of the General tab of the format dialog.
  • Output Device: Use this pop-up menu to choose the actual device to format to. It displays a list of your system’s suitable output devices, including DVD-R drives, DLT drives, and the system’s hard disk drive. The other Destination settings change depending on the device you select. See Output Devices for details on the devices available.
  • DVD-R Simulation Mode: This is active only when writing to a DVD-R drive. When selected, the format goes through the motions of writing to the DVD-R drive, but does not actually write to the disc.

    Note: This mode can only be used with DVD-R media. It cannot be used with DVD+R media.

    This is useful when you want to ensure that your system is able to support writing to a disc without any buffer underrun issues. Buffer issues indicate that data is not flowing smoothly and continuously from the source disk to the DVD-R drive. This can be caused by a slow device (for example, a networked hard disk) or a system that is too busy doing additional tasks. (A buffer underrun error that occurs while data is actually being written to a disc results in an unusable disc.)

    Once you finish the simulation with no problems, you can deselect the DVD-R Simulation Mode checkbox and feel comfortable that you can safely burn a DVD.

  • Lossless Linking: This checkbox is active only when writing to a DVD-R drive that supports this feature. When selected, it adds protection against buffer underrun conditions by allowing the drive to pause during the writing process, and then pick up where it left off once additional data becomes available.

    For normal DVD burning, especially on systems that may be prone to having buffer underrun conditions, it is suggested to select Lossless Linking.

    While Lossless Linking usually results in a flawless write process, there is a slight potential for an error to be introduced. If you are burning a disc for use by a replication facility, you may want to deselect Lossless Linking so that you can ensure that your disc is written without interruption.

  • Output Format: Depending on the selected output device, there may be multiple formats available. Use this pop-up menu to select the specific format to use. See Output Devices for details on the formats available for each device.

Output Devices

There are three output device types that you can format your project for: DVD drives, DLT drives, and your system’s hard disk.

DVD-R Drives

With respect to formatting, DVD drives can be one of two types:

  • Authoring: These drives use authoring media and are capable of writing Cutting Master Format (CMF) discs, which provide advanced features when working with a replicator. The most common authoring drive used is the Pioneer S201. With an authoring drive, you can set the Output Format to either Standard or CMF. See The Cutting Master Format for more information on CMF discs.
  • General: These drives use general media and cannot write CMF discs. The Apple SuperDrive is the most common drive used for writing general media discs. Depending on your system, the SuperDrive is listed in the Output Device pop-up menu as a Pioneer DVR-103, a Pioneer DVR-104, a Pioneer DVR-105, or a Matshita UJ-815.

    Note: The list of drives used as SuperDrives will continue to change as newer drives become available.

DLT Drives

You have three output format options when formatting an SD project to a DLT drive:

  • DDP 2.0: Writes to the tape using the Data Description Protocol using DDP version 2.0.
  • DDP 2.1: Writes to the tape using the Data Description Protocol using DDP version 2.1.
  • CMF 1.0: Writes to the tape using the CMF format version 1.0.

If this is a dual-layer project, you will be required to write two tapes—one for each layer.

Important: You cannot use the DLT format to deliver your HD DVD projects to a replicator.

Hard Disk

In most cases, when you use the format process you will be writing directly to a DVD or DLT drive. Writing to the hard disk can be useful if you do not have a DVD or DLT drive available.

For example, if you have a project that needs copyright management and you don’t have an authoring DVD-R drive or a DLT drive to get the project to your replicator, you can use a DDP or CMF output option and write the files to your hard disk. You can then copy the files as data to a general DVD disc or a FireWire drive for transport to your replicator. You may even be able to electronically copy the files to your replicator’s server over the Internet.

Important: Be sure to verify with your replicator that they are able to work with files given to them this way. Additionally, be sure to find out which output option (DDP 2.0, DDP 2.1, or CMF 1.0 for SD projects and DDP 3.0 or CMF 2.0 for HD projects) they need you to use.

You have six output format options when writing to your hard disk:

  • DDP 3.0: HD projects only. Use this (Data Description Protocol) option to create a file compatible with DLT drives using DDP version 3.0. This DDP option is required for HD projects when you need to use a DDP format.
  • DDP 2.0: SD projects only. Use this (Data Description Protocol) option to create a file compatible with DLT drives using DDP version 2.0.
  • DDP 2.1: SD projects only. Use this (Data Description Protocol) option to create a file compatible with DLT drives using DDP version 2.1.
  • CMF 2.0: HD projects only. Writes to the tape using the CMF format version 2.0. This CMF option is required for HD projects when you need to use a CMF format.
  • CMF 1.0: SD projects only. Use this option to create a file compatible with authoring DLT and DVD-R drives using CMF format version 1.0.
  • .img: Use this option to create a disk image. With a dual-layer project, a single “.img” file contains the entire project, without any break point information.

If you select your hard disk drive as your output device, you will be asked where you want the format to be written to.

Important: The format files will require the same amount of space as the build’s VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder plus any DVD-ROM content you have included. Be sure you have enough free hard disk space before clicking Format.

If you are formatting a dual-layer project and use either DDP or CMF as the output format, two folders are created—one for each layer. Each folder contains all the information required by a replicator. If you use .img as the output format, one file is created, even for dual-layer projects.

The Cutting Master Format

There are some features of the DVD specification that you cannot include on red laser DVD-R discs that you burn with your system. These features, which must be added by a replication facility, include:

  • Copyright management (including CSS and Macrovision)

  • Double-sided disc information

Traditionally, the only way to include these features on your replicated disc was to use a DLT drive. The Cutting Master Format (CMF) has been adapted to the DVD-R format so that now you can burn a DVD-R disc on your system and a replication facility can use that disc and include these features on the discs they make. CMF for DVD-R is only supported by authoring drives and media.

Not all replication facilities support CMF discs; be sure to check with them ahead of time. Also, discs formatted as CMF may not play correctly on all DVD players. Only use CMF when supplying a disc to a replication facility.

Important: Only a replicator can create DVDs with copyright management features. Using CMF discs allows you to format the data properly so that the replicator can add the copyright information.