Because it’s 2018. Mic drop.
But seriously, DVDs are an outdated technology that were introduced way back in 1995. They store only 4.7 GB of data, which sounds like a lot, but that’s only about 2 hours of standard (low) definition video. But these days everyone is capturing footage in high definition (HD), which standard DVD video discs cannot store or play back.
It’s time we move on from DVDs. But what’s next? BluRay players are a good storage medium for high definition video, but all discs have their limitations. At KerrvillePhoto.com, we recommend taking delivery of all of your video products in digital format. HD digital files don’t deteriorate over time, and these files are “future proof” and can be transferred to whatever medium might come next — long after DVD and BluRays are retired.
So what are some of the specific problems with DVDs?
DVDs are an optical storage format that are susceptible to some of the same problems that you have when storing other physical media such as analog cassette tapes, VHS tapes, and others — humidity, improper handling, breakage. They can be easily scratched if handled incorrectly, but even if kept in pristine physical condition, recordable DVDs can start to fade in as little as ten years. So that precious family video you’ve burned to DVD? You better make a copy within ten years or it could be lost!
4.7 gigabytes sounds like a lot of data. But when burned as a DVD-video disc, which is what standard DVD players require, that’s only about two hours of standard definition video — aka low resolution video. You might ask, what about dual layer discs and other more advanced DVD types? Those types of discs do increase capacity, but not all DVD players or computer DVD drives can read those types of discs. A disc does you no good if your player cannot play it back!
As mentioned above, standard DVD players can only play back low-resolution video. Low res is about 480 lines of resolution. These days, most video is captured in 1080 lines of resolution, or even higher with 4k and 8k capture. So, when you take delivery on a DVD video disc, you’re losing more than half of the resolution of the original image.
To make a DVD ready for playback in a standard DVD player, the video editor has to perform several time-consuming tasks:
- Transcode video into MPEG-2 DVD format
- Create chapter markers within that video
- Create menus in specific DVD format
- Author the disc using specialized software
- Burn the disc
- Test the disc in a DVD player
- If ordering multiple copies, more steps are needed
These steps are extraneous to the actual video creation and they add significant cost to the project.
So what’s next?
We realize that DVDs will not die today or this year or this decade, but we need to strongly recommend that they phase out.
Instead, we strongly recommend taking delivery as a digital video file. Many modern televisions can play back these digital files via either a jump drive plugged directly into the TV, or via add-ons such as Roku boxes, Apple TV, or Chromecast. All of these methods allow you to view your video in glorious high definition!
If you have questions about DVDs or other delivery media, just give us a call or an email!