Compressing Double Layer DVDs

The wedding movie mentioned in the previous post is actually over three hours long and does not fit onto a single layer DVD. While I did buy a package of double layer (DL) DVDs I was rather shocked about their price. At nearly $2.2 they are more than 5 times as expensive as single layer DVDs. In this article, I found a useful hint of how to use Toast to compress double layer DVDs. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In iDVD, select “Double Layer” from the Project menu (*)
  2. Start Toast, go to the “Copy” tab, and make sure that the “Fit-to-DVD video
    compression” box is checked in the “Formats” Options
  3. Mount the disk image from the “Utilities” Menu
  4. Right click on the mounted disk image and select “Toast it”

(*) You need to have a built-in double layer DVD burner to be able to choose this option. This article describes a workaround for iDVD 5, but I have not tried it. Use at your own risk. See disclaimer.

For my 3 hour movie the quality is decent. During some scene transition it does look rather pixely, but of course I compressed it significantly from standard DVD quality.

Since I am still working out the final version of my DVD I have not yet tried to burn a double layer DVD. When burning to disk image, iDVD warns that DL DVDs burned from a disk image may not play in some DVD players and instead recommends to burn directly to DVD. I yet have to test this myself, but it certainly does not sounds reasonable that burning from a disk image should be any different than burning directly. I personally have stopped burning directly because more than once did I get an unexplained error message from iDVD resulting in a wasted DVD.

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