Why not double sided DVDs?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jonny K, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. Jonny K

    Jonny K Second Unit

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    I like widescreen. My dad hates widescreen with a passion, and wants pan & scan. Yet I've found very few DVDs that have both together (for example, Ronin has both). It's awesome to be able to buy one disk and make everybody happy. Why don't more DVDs have both widescreen and Pan & Scan versions on the same disk using a double sided DVD?
    Thanks.
    Jonny K. [​IMG]
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Because people like having lables on one side, and because of the extra expense

    Do what I did, Tell your parent that that's the way it is, and deal with it. Mom did, and especially on old films like Ben-Hur has even learned to appriciate it
     
  3. Jonny K

    Jonny K Second Unit

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    Easier said than done. My dad is a very stubborn person, and he would actually rent a VHS that is full screen rather than watch a widescreen DVD (we don't have a 16:9 TV).
    It drives me nuts. Every time we watch a widescreen DVD he starts swearing about how much he hates it.
    Jonny K. [​IMG]
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    The real reason has little to do with labels:
    A double sided DVD is basically two single layered discs glued back to back- these are known as DVD-10. Single layered DVDs only hold about 4 gigs of info, so a double sided disc has to fit the entire widescreen version of the film on one side, in only 4 gigs of space (and then the P&S version on the opposite side using only 4gigs of space).
    Most of the single sided DVDs you have are actually dual layered- these are known as DVD-9-- they are only one single side, but actually two layers on top of one another that the laser can read. It's kinda like a double sided disc, but you don't have to flip it- the laser can refocus and read the second "side" right through the first side. This type of disc gives us nearly 8 gigs of storage without flipping. Most modern films, in order to look good, contain all the audio options they want to include and include extras need this 8 gigs of space.
    If it was just an issue of labels, you could create a dual layered DVD-9 type disc with both pan and scan AND widescreen on the same side of the disc and include a label (since a DVD-9 contains on one side about the same amount of data that a DVD-10 does over 2 sides). This happens pretty often actaully- there are several P&S/WS releases that are done on a single sided DVD-9.
    But- the truth is that most movies need the full space of DVD-9 for just one version of the film - so using the first side of a DVD-10 or using half of a DVD-9 is just not possible without lowering video quality, audio quality or eliminating extras.
    The only oter option is a DVD-18: which is a DVD disc that is double sided but both sides are dual layered (basically 2 DVD-9s glued back to back). The problems with DVD-18 are multifold: not all production facilities can do DVD-18, the layers are thin and far more prone to replication errors, they are more expensive, some players have trouble reading them due to the thin layers, etc.
    So, if you want decent quality movies with any extras- then the idea of those double sided DVD-10s is out of the question. You usually have to sacrifice quality to squeeze both versions on the disc in that manner- which doesn't really help anyone.
    Hope that makes sense.
    -vince
     
  5. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  6. Jonny K

    Jonny K Second Unit

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    Cool.
    Now I'm starting to wonder about that Extended edition of the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship. It's got 4 DVDs, but the actual movie is split between two disks.
    Now I know the movie track contains Doly Digital, DTS, and other sound tracks for comentary, but wouldn't it have been better to have a Dolby Digital DVD copy with commentary, and then another DTS DVD copy with commentary? That way you would still have two discs, but the movie wouldn't be interrupted half way through when you watch it using only one codec...
    Or have I no idea what I'm talking about?
    Jonny K. [​IMG]
     
  7. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Movie is so long, and has high video and audio bitrate that even with DVD-9 discs, it's not enough room. It actually needs 2 DVD-9 discs (for a total of 4 layers) to fit the whole movie!!

    Even if you killed DTS- this movie would need 2 discs due to the length and video bitrate.

    Some other epic length films have been split across 2 discs.

    -Vince
     
  8. Jonny K

    Jonny K Second Unit

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    But then how did they fit the original version all on one DVD? Obviously something has changed. Did that extra 30 min of footage really push them over the top?


    Jonny K.
     
  9. Ryan FB

    Ryan FB Second Unit

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    I'm wondering why more studios don't use the Pan & Scan cropping vectors feature provided by the DVD format...that way us OAR people have our widescreen at full bitrate (no compromise by squeezing both WS and FS streams onto the same disc, the vectors take up very little space), and those who want it to fill their 4:3 set are happy too.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Why not just OAR-only or separate issues of the two versions?

    Spider-Man, a DVD I'm proud of now own, is availible in two formats separately. Full screen afficiandos can enjoy their 4:3 presentation, widescreen buffs like me can enjoy the film the way it was meant to be seen.

    Sure, I can't find the LBX version for most dual releases at most stores. It's NOT convenient, but at least the DVD isn't devoid of extras...or even worse, features lesser picture quality due to two versions being on the same disc.

    Some dual-ratio discs I have, such as Monsters Inc, have perfect image quality still...but many DVD-10 "flippers" end up having too much on too little. Criterion uses DVD-9's regardless of the length of the program, just to get everything undercompressed. My City Lights DVD features just 1.0 DD and 2.0 PCM, and it spread across an entire DVD-9. Result? Zero compression PERIOD.
     
  11. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    If he is fine with pan and scan tapes, why force DVD's, which is a widescreen format, on him? Let him watch tapes, and let the OAR'ers have DVD.
     
  12. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    It's horrible. P&S on the fly is done by the player- so it's dependant on the speed and memory of the player. As you might have seen with seamless branching- this type of complexity tends to create havoc on about half the players out there.

    In addition- the authoring suites that allow this feature to be implemented are few and far between.

    The bottom line is that P&S in the player is just not realistic at this point.

    -vince
     
  13. Ric Easton

    Ric Easton Cinematographer

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    Well, I seem to remember that having the choice between P&S and Widescreen on one disc was one of the selling points when DVD first appeared on the scene. It's a shame that there are so many difficulties with DVD-18 since that would seem to solve the problem. I have always been all for having both versions on the same disc and still would be if there were not the quality issues.

    This would also prevent people from buying the wrong version!

    Ric
     
  14. Jonny K

    Jonny K Second Unit

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    "If he is fine with pan and scan tapes, why force DVD's, which is a widescreen format, on him? Let him watch tapes, and let the OAR'ers have DVD. "
    Well I don't care if he wants to watch tapes, but movies in our house if a family affair - we all watch them together. So if it were VHS that we are watching, then I would be the one complaining. I'd much rather have him complain than me...
    Jonny K. [​IMG]
     
  15. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Producer

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  16. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    In answer to the question about FOTR, the reason it is spaced across two disks is the longer length combined with the extra audio tracks along with the quest for the highest quality bit-rate for the video. The picture and sound is magnificent and I'll personally trade this improvement (over an already very fine theatrical version) vs. a 30 second disk change any day. JMHO
     
  17. Jonny K

    Jonny K Second Unit

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    Ok, I suppose the two disc thing is warrented. It would just be nice if it was all one disc...


    Jonny K.
     
  18. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    I'd like to see a release include a pan-and-scan version encoded on the disc at the LOWEST possible bitrate- I've seen a few promo DVDs with FOUR full-length movies all encoded at a low bitrate on one dual-layer side (resulting in a blocky picture of course) so I know it can be done. Include the widescreen version on the same disc at whatever bitrate they need for the best possible picture, then use whatever is left over for the pan-and-scan- I dare someone to do this and I bet they won't get a single complaint about the poor quality of the pan and scan version.
     
  19. Joe McKeown

    Joe McKeown Stunt Coordinator

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  20. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Afraid I'm with Joe [​IMG] If they don't care that much, they won't care about bad pans either
     

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