PAL vs NTSC DVD Basics

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For DVDs, there are two world wide standards that are followed for the video formatting of a DVD.  NTSC and PAL are these two standards.

There are a few distinctions between PAL DVDs and NTSC DVDs.

NTSC DVDs have a frame rate of 29.97 frames per second and have a screen resolutions of  720 X 480.  NTSC is the more widely used and accepted format for DVDs.

PAL DVDs have a frame rate of 25 frames per second and have a screen resolution of 720 X 576.  All PAL DVD players can also play NTSC DVDs, however, the converse is not true.  Most NTSC DVD players cannot play PAL DVDs.

It is for this reason that the best format choice to distribute your DVD project would be NTSC.

Most authoring platforms will author both NTSC and PAL DVDs, however, it is very difficult to convert one to the other once the format has been chosen.  The reasoning behind this is that the vertical resolution of an NTSC to PAL comparison is 480 to 576, so if conversion was to occur between the two formats, there would be some vertical squeezing or stretching of the video depending on which way the conversion went.  So you end up with people and objects that either look unusually tall or unusually short, or you will have to cut of some of the screen, all are un-natural looks.

So if you are deciding whether to create a project in PAL vs NTSC, your best bet is to shoot, edit and author all in the same format.  Mixing format, example: shooting in PAL and editing and authoring in NTSC will still result in a skewed perspective.

So know your format, your target audience, and choose accordingly.

If you have questions and would like to inquire about our DVD Authoring Services, Contact us today.  We would be happy to provide you with a great finished product.

Contact DVD Copycat

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

Showing CD Audio Text for CD Replication

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Getting your CD’s Track names and  to show on the CD player is often a confusing topic.  There are two different ways this can be achieved, but only one will work for both computers and stand alone boom box or car CD player.  The other way will only work on devices that have access to the internet.

The best way to make sure the track names show on your CD is to use a CD TOC or Table of Contents.  This TOC must be created and properly embedded into your CD by your audio engineer.  What gets confusing is that you can accomplish getting your track names to appear on your CD by also using I Tunes or similar program and submitting your track names to the CDDB or Grace-note database.  This solution only works, however, if you have an internet connection which can access the Grace-note database and download the track names to your player.  So without internet connection, all you will see is “Track 1”, “Track 2”, etc. on your player.

To make things a little more complicated, there is also additional information called ISRC(International Standard Recording Code) codes that can be used as a “digital fingerprint” as a unique identifier for your particular audio track.  You can get these codes by contacting and applying for them.  These codes also must be embedded by your audio engineer and are primarily used to identify your song for online purchase or general identification.

In short, getting your CD Text to show is not as easy as you might think, but with the right advice and audio expert you can cover all of your bases.

ISRC Codes, TOC(CD Table of Contents) and Gracenote or CDDB database must all be considered to make sure your CDs content is traceable and identifiable and that the CD Text shows on all players.

After you have finished all of these steps, you are then ready for your CD Replication or CD Duplication Job.

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

Continued Price Pressure Will not Compromise CD and DVD Quality

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This has been a very interesting year so far for DVD Copycat. In Jan of 09, we saw one of the worst months we have ever had. This seemed to be an industry wide experience as clients unsure of the economic downturn had a wait and see approach for new budgets in 09. After that things picked up to a reasonable level as the Industry Giants started promoting very agressive price reductions. Our current challenge has been how to continue our high level of service while going through the pains of shrinking margins. We are steadfastly commited to the quality of our DVD and CD Duplication and Replication products and even more commited to maintaining our level of customer service. Personalized service is just words these days in marketing campaigns. Our goal is to be able to provide a level of service that makes a genuine positive impact on our client base. Over the second quarter of 09 DVD Copycat has seen some good growth which I believe is a good indicator that service and attention is still valued, even in this economy.
Our pledge to our customer base is to alway preserve our standards of quality to make a positive impact on their projects while trying to stay within reasonable industry norms for pricing on DVD, CD and Blu-ray Replication and Duplication.

For More Information take a look at our website here optical disc manufacturing.
Or give us a call at 1-866-210-8768

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

Blu-ray (BD) Replication Costs Coming Down

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Up until this point in time , Blu-ray manufacturing costs have been cost prohibitive for most smaller Video and Film Professionals.  Just one year ago if one of our clients wanted to publish 1000 retail ready blu-ray discs the rough costs would be approximately $2500 for the mandatory AACS encryption and about $5.50 per unit retail ready.   As the Blu-ray market develops we are seeing manufacturing costs becoming more reasonable and closer to being available to smaller Video and Film creatives.

Currently we are seeing AACS costs at a one time fee of $1500 and a cost of approximately $3.00 per unit for 1000 retail ready Blu-ray units.  Overall compared to last year this is about a 50% reduction in cost to our clients.

In contrast to this are standard definition DVDs which have no mandatory encryption fees and are approximately $1.29 per unit for 1000 retail ready DVDs.

So Blu-ray Replication is about $4.50 per unit for the first 1000 units and $3.00 after that per 1000.

DVD Replication conversly is still much more affordable at $1.29 per unit, but the general cost trends are coming down for Blu-ray Replication.

As Eric Manning pointed out to me in a previous post about the mandatory AACS fee, the Blu-ray Association has required all manufacturers to pay a mandatory AACS fee for every new title produced.  If the Blu-ray Association were to consider an AACS waiver for small producers it would open the flood gate for small producers to go Blu-ray (BD).  This is the only way that I can see Blu-ray Replication truly replacing DVD as a mainstream video medium for ALL video and film producers, not just the big studios.

However, I do feel that we are headed in the right direction. Costs are coming down and the 5% of our clients that can afford Blu-ray Replication can now realize their Hi-def vision.

More information about our San Francisco Bay Area Blu-ray Duplication and Replication can be found here.

If you have questions about standard def and DVD Duplication and Replication, contact us at 1-866-210-8768.

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

Solving your Blu-ray(BD-R) Burning Problems

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So you thought Blu-ray burning was easy?

Below is a Brief Intro Video about Blu-ray and pro-sumer systems for authoring and burning BD-Rs(blu-ray discs).  This reminds me a lot of DVD in its start-up phase.  It was very difficult to find systems and software that are reliable.  The best way to get past the Blu-ray blues is to realize that developing BD discs is going to be challenging and most video professionals will have to work as a community to “debug” this industry.  At some point things will shake out and we should have some good pro-sumer systems for delivering hi-def video on Blu-ray discs.


Below are some links to forums and help pages that discuss and debug High Definition Video and Blu-ray(BD) burning and duplication.  I belong to many of these forums and post regularly.  I hope this will help you in your quest to put out a great high definition project on Blu-ray Disc.

One of my favorites that is very thorough is the have many good topics has a good hi-def forum has a good forum on Blu-ray burning, pc, drives media and sofware

Digital Video Forums has a Blu-ray Forum

If you need duplications of your project look at our services on Blu-ray(BD) Duplicaton Serices

Or you can always contact me directly at 415-929-1581 for questions on Blu-ray Duplication

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

Welcome to our DVD, CD, BD Video Blog

Blu-ray Disc, CD, CD DVD BD Video Topics, DVD, DVD Copycat News, Film, Music and Audio, Tips No Comments »

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

DVD Copycat uses Genuine Amaray Boxes

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At DVD Copycat we only use the very highest quality cases for our DVD Duplication projects.  All of our DVD Duplications are placed in the original genuine Amaray Box by Nexpak, the US industry standard.

Genuine Amaray boxes are know to have a reliable locking mechanism so the discs wont fall out, and are made with very strong plastic, ….. not those flimsy cases the don’t close and bend.

We could get cheaper boxes at literally 1/3 the price of the genuine Amaray, but we chose to provide you with a solid, reliable product that will stand the test of time.

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

Professional Full Color CD, DVD, and BD Disc Printing for Short Run

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At DVD Copycat we provide the highest quality disc printing for short run CDs and DVDs (1-750 pcs).

If you’re looking for a way to create an impact with your DVDs or CDs, our full color offset quality printer cannot be beat.  We use Rimage 3 printers equivalent to 173 line screen quality print.  The highest quality print in the industry, and the image is transfered directly to the disc surface resulting in a glossy scratch and water proof image embedded right into the disc surface.

There is no higher quality CD or DVD print solution for low volume in the industry.

Call us and we will send you a sample print and you can judge for yourself.

415-929-1581 or Toll Free 1-866-210-8768

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

Gloss Stock DVD and CD Inserts for Low Volumes

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At DVD Copycat we use hard ink printers that provide a beautiful rich glossy finish to your DVD and CD inserts.

Even if you only need 50 copies of your project, with DVD Copycat you will get a  looking, glossy inserts for your project, just like we provide for our big professional runs.

Hard ink printers are also much more environmentally friendly than conventional short run printers so you can feel good about keeping the earth a little greener while having a great printed piece to give your CD or DVD a real professional POP!

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

Taiyo Yuden DVD-R and CD-R Quality

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We make sure your DVD or CD will play flawlessly every time.

At DVD Copycat we have chosen Taiyo Yuden as our supplier for our CD and DVD blank discs. Taiyo Yuden is widely know in the industry for their consistent performance as the best Blank Media manufacturer in the industry.

We carefully evaluated many vendors to determine what blank media supplier was considered the best overall. Time and time again the answer we recieved was Taiyo Yuden blank media.

Lowest error rates, highest compatibility, flawlessly consistent product that is always in spec.

Here are a few links to independent reports on media quality for you to judge for yourself.

Blank Media Quality Guide and FAQ

CD Media World CD-R EVAL


For more information regarding DVD Copycat and our CD, DVD and Blu-ray BD Duplication and manufaturing please look at our website or give us a call.

1-415-929-1581 or Toll Free at: 1-866-210-8768

Written by:  Brian G Fisher

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