MacMost Now 721: iMovie Export Settings For DVD

Many people often wonder what export settings to use in iMovie in order to create the best DVDs. But DVDs are standard definition, and any video you export from iMovie will be re-encoded into a special DVD format. So it is merely a matter of exporting at the best settings available and then letting your DVD software use the best version of the video possible to create the DVD.

Comments: 21 Responses to “MacMost Now 721: iMovie Export Settings For DVD”

    Richard
    7 years ago

    Great advice, as always, Gary. Just one follow up question, please. You say to choose the highest quality possible from the share menu. Since you can find many higher quality codec settings from the Export to Quicktime option, is that a better choice than from the basic share menu? What are the relatively new “Apple ProRes” codec to be used for? Those produce a huge file and, I wonder if that would make any difference in producing the highest quality possible DVD. Thanks.

      7 years ago

      Just use the highest quality in the Share menu. You can mess around with custom settings forever, but you’ll be going to standard def on DVD anyway, so I would think it a waste of time.
      ProRes would be for editing high def if you are creating professional video with really high-end equipment.

    Richard
    7 years ago

    Thanks very much. The Mac discussion forums are full of endless and confusing back and forth on this topic. Your straight forward clarification is cut-to-the-chase solution and appreciated.

    John
    7 years ago

    Gary:
    Unfortunately I have been exporting my movies in large format, since iDVD would burn them in standard anyway, not realizing that the 1080p would be the better option. Now I can delete all the videos I exported in standard (960×540) and Just hold onto the 1080p movies.

    brendan
    7 years ago

    I have just exported from iMovie using the share button at 720p (recorded from iPhone at 720p). When i put it into IDVD and play it back the blacks are all pixalated. Have you any solution? Also, some dvd players like my PS3 will not recognise the DVD. Gary, where have i gone wrong on this? Thank you.

      7 years ago

      Not sure what you mean by “the blacks are pixalated” — perhaps have a video pro take a first-hand look at what you are doing?
      As for it not playing back in some DVD players, perhaps it is the media you are using? Some are better than others.

    Brendan
    7 years ago

    Gary, sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your comment. I fixed the media issue. Appears the burning folder is not as good as sending straight from Idvd. As for the “Blacks are Pixalated” issue, when there is a night scene, the video looks like the TV is smudgy/& blocky, but a day scene looks fine. For example, a firework display would have most of the screen blocky apart from the fireworks themselves. Hope that explains. Thank you Brendan

      7 years ago

      Right. You need to create a video DVD. Simply burning a DVD with a burn folder would create a data DVD. I’m surprised it worked in any DVD player at all.
      As for the quality issue — very hard to make a suggestion from afar on that one. Too many factors.

    Bob
    7 years ago

    Dear Gary,

    I have been working on a long project that I knew very little about how to accomplish at the start. I found many, many of my questions answered through your videos. You are a very nice person to take the time and trouble to do all these. My thanks for your efforts.

    Bob

    neill
    7 years ago

    iv had my mac nearly since xmas but now getting into imovie i have found that depending where the movie is widescreen or not that determins if i can choose 1080p stting can you clarify this as i want the best quality movie, my aim is to burn hopefully a couple movies to a disk, size permitting, and also back them up on a spare hdd

      7 years ago

      You can only export using a quality that is equivalent to, or less than, your source video.

    Amy
    7 years ago

    Hi Gary.

    I’m making a documentary and bought a Sony Digital HD Camcorder (Sony HDR760V). I filmed everything in the highest form of HD possible and at 24fps. I’ve edited everything in iMovie 11. What is the BEST possible quality I can get when burning this to a DVD? When I’m transferring the videos from the camera to iMovie, should I use the original size option or does that matter? It tells me that I may lose some playback quality that way. And when I burn this to DVD, is iDVD the best way to go or is there a better way/better software? I want it to look as great as it does when I plug my camera directly into the TV for playback. Thanks!

      7 years ago

      Use the highest quality allowed when going from the camera to iMovie.
      Can’t say if iDVD is the “best” way to go as that is subjective. But with DVDs on the way out, there isn’t much out there to choose from.
      Unfortunately, all of this focus on quality goes out the window when you plan to burn it to DVD. DVDs are not HD, they are standard definition (1980s-style). It is impossible for it to look as good on a DVD as it does on your camera. You are comparing 1920×1080 (your camera) with 720×480 (a DVD). So 1/6 the quality.

        Amy
        7 years ago

        Thanks for the input, Gary! So if I want to show this documentary to people, what would be the best way of going about that? I have a gala coming up at the end of next year where I’d like to debut it. Is there a different form of technology used in doing something like that? (Sorry – I know that’s a bit of an extension from what you’ve been answering…) Thank you! Really appreciate it!

          7 years ago

          Many options. You can present it from a Mac (output to HDMI). You can present it from a Mac through an Apple TV. You can upload it to YouTube and then present it on any computer or anything that can play YouTube. You can burn it to Blu-Ray disc, which does support full 1080p, of course. Even if you don’t want to invest in Blu-Ray hardware and software, you can take a 1080p HD movie file and have a production company turn it into a Blu-Ray.

            Amy
            7 years ago

            Perfect!!!!! Thank you SO MUCH! Looks like I’ll be able to continue the editing on my own, then. You have no idea how much I appreciate the help. Thanks!

    Lin
    7 years ago

    Have tried burning an imovie project DVD but when I try playing it on the TV it comes up as incompatible disc? Am I using the wrong format?
    Regards
    Lin

      7 years ago

      What DVD creation software are you using to make the DVD?

    Lori
    7 years ago

    I made a project in iMovie with professional photo stills only. I used titles, transitions, and have had numerous crashes exporting. It is exporting now. I am going to create the DVD in iDVD and burn to DVD. If I am supposed to export at the highest quality of my media, without videos, how do I gage that. Do I still export at the HD1080P?

      7 years ago

      Yep. I would. But if 720 is faster and gives you less problems, it probably won’t be a noticeable difference.

Comments Closed.