View Full Version : DVD

03-18-2001, 05:17 PM

I'm getting ready to make the plunge...to DVD.

I have read about the EZQuest "Boa" DVD-RAM and have some questions. Can this be used with Apple's new DVD Studio Pro software? I suspect I am somewhat in the dark about this technology (i.e., the differences between DVD-R, DVD-ROM, DVD Video, etc.). I have been using http://www.disctronics.co.uk/dvd/dvdspecs/dvdspec.htm as my source of DVD spec info. There's a lot there and it seems pretty up to date. It also seems the Boa devices fit the description of DVD-ROM on this site. Can the Boas be used to burn DVD-video disks (indeed, can DVD-R be formatted to function as DVD Video, like CD-R can be formatted as either a data CD or audio CD)? Maybe I am missing the obvious. I appreciate any insight you can provide.

BTW: the current rig is beige G3 MT with 500MHz XLR8, 512MB RAM, two 9GB UW drives (one 7,200 and one 10,000), OrangeMicro combo USB and 1394 card, 'basic full' MotU (PCI-324 and 2408, MTP AV and XT on the USB, with DP, etc.), and FinalCutPro with input from the OrangeMicro card.

also, just as a lark, have any of you used the likes of the Sony GVD300 ( to get stuff to and from drives?

As ever, thank you,


03-18-2001, 06:20 PM
i personally dont care much for dvd-ram. its not like dvd-r if that is what you are thinking. it uses a cartridge sort of thing that has the dvd-ram disc inside, so if you rip dvd-video information onto it (which is not supposed to be possible, but i suspect that it is) only a person with a dvd-ram drive could access it. you cannot play it in a dvd player. not that burning copies of rented dvds would be that attractive as the media you burn to costs more than the movie does itself.

i would say you are fortunate to own a g3 and not an earlier machine, because i think the options for scsi dvd are pretty limited. there are miriad ata players available, however. i dont know how many are compatable with the mac. since a new version of cd/dvd speedtools came out, i suspect there are still plenty of options. i personally have an apple oem fetish-that is to say that i try to upgrade my machine with parts from more recent macs. i bought a matshita (panasonic) sr-8584a off ebay that was pulled from a fairly recent g4. its a 6x dvd/32x cd drive i got on ebay-for around $100 which was a great deal in my opinion. i know you can buy a retail version of that dvd drive that has the same part number, and have even heard that it is bootable and does not require 3rd party drivers, but you will probably need a 3rd party adapeter for the internal audio connection.

these are some of the dvd drives that shipped in macs, and so should work with apple drivers:

Matshita/Panasonic DVD-ROM SR-8184
(powerbook g3)
Matshita/Panasonic DVD-ROM SR-8174
Matshita/Panasonic DVD-ROM SR-8186
(PowerMac G3/G4)
Matshita/Panasonic DVD-ROM SR-8584 (6x/32x)
Matshita/Panasonic DVD-ROM SR-8585 (8x/40x)
Hitachi DVD-ROM GD-3000
Matshita/Panasonic DVD-RAM LF-D110
Hitachi DVD-ROM GD-7500

i would suggest going with one of the powermac models, as the others are all slot loading (i think) and will probably not fit easily into the beige g3.

mike breeden also maintains this page that reviews dvd drives for their mac compatability:

as soon as you get the drive, you can put it in your computer, and it will work as a cd-rom just fine (probably better than the 24x you have now) but it wont play dvds-yet.

for dvd playback you need some form of mpeg-2 decoding. wired4dvd is one option, a pci card that decodes for you. i dont know exactly, but i think it only works with early versions of the apple dvdplayer. version 2.2 and later require a rage 128 (there may be a hack by now to allow you to use a radeon). apples download site only provides version 2.2, later versions have to be downloaded from another source or taken from an install cd rom from a more recent computer. i think version 2.5 ships with the most current macs, but i dont think the people writing patches have caught up to that yet. you can download a patched installer to put version 2.3 on your machine, as the cd will only let you install on the computer model it came with and later, or you can download tomeviewer to copy the necessary files from the installer manually. either way, you will also have to download a patch to get the dvd software to use the retail version of the ati card. actually, it seems to even need the patch to use the oem rage 128 in my machine (i assume because its a beige and not b&w, but im not sure)

all these downloads can be found on these two sites:

after that it should play dvds.

03-19-2001, 10:07 AM

Thank you for your reply. I am now wondering how one can burn video DVDs. I am developing material in FinalCutPro and would like to burn this material, as video, to DVD. I am now guessing that the DVD-RAM devices cannot be used to burn DVD-R video. I also suspect, as Apple is providing the drive on the new G4s and is also promulagating the availability of DVDStudioPro, that the Apple DVD-R drives CAN burn DVD video.

I am guessing that the DVD-R drives can also burn 'data' disks too (i.e., for archival purposes, ala CD-R as mentioned in my earlier post).

This is all very interesting. I thank you again for your reply and for the information sources you additionally provided.


03-19-2001, 07:22 PM
yes, dvd-r does burn dvd-video, but only up to one hour per disc. this is another lame sort of copy protection the standards people came up with. hopefully it is something that can be circumvented, like region codes.

this might be an interesting link to read.

it talks extensively about the content protection sccheme (not favorably).

03-20-2001, 02:12 PM

Thanks again for the info. First some notes on the Gilmore piece.

Coincidentally, I am somewhat into these sorts of things. a friend of mine, a professor of math over at the U of MN recently organized a talk by Bruce Schneier at the U of MN, the talk is called "Natural Laws of Digital Content: the Folly of Copy Protection on the Internet" and the transcript is at http://www.ima.umn.edu/multimedia/ (I used to be, and hopefully will be again soon, working on a doc in math [geometry]; my bud's a number theorist and has recently gotten into cryptology, he's written a book on the stuff http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0130303690/qid=985114176/sr=1-2/ref=sc_b_3/102-2528274-0641745 ). If you're into these sorts of things, you might find the above references interesting. As regards Mr. Gilmore's piece, I share his sympathies, although I do not think the future is as bleak as he presents. I have been working in digital audio for a number of years, DAT recorders are a dime a dozen; it's easy to import and export digital source using them or hard disk recorders. DV is _pretty much_ the same. It sure is easy ripping tunes from CDs, isn't it? There are some real issues present in all this. The Recording Industry Association of American (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) are reacting rather emotionally; trying to catch up to a phenomenon they ignored for too long. I hope to become a _content provider_ myself and hope that 'fair use' can be protected along with content and intellectual property.

So getting back to DVD-Video...

I'm guessing then that a similar drive to the one's that Apple is installing in the new boxes is the best bet for recording 'home' DVDs and if distribution is desired then probably a _licensed_ firm could copy protect the source and create the copies (again, as regards Gilmore's piece, if you are hoping to distribute a CD or DVD, you probably want to look into a professional copying service, a meaningful issue being the cost of DVD replication and copy protection...which I do not know the answer to). Gilmore also refers to iDVD, I wonder if DVDStudioPro shares the same limitations (my guess is that iDVD is to DVDStudioPro as iMovie is to FinalCutPro, that is as _amateur_ is to _professional_).

I think I will expand my question to: "if one hopes to create and burn video (i.e., capture/import DV through 1394, edit and burn to DVD), then what sort of hardware is appropriate (i.e., DVD-R, hard drives, etc.)"

I am thinking/hoping my old UW drives are still good for a bit..I am planning on building an _estupendo_ outboard RAID dealie when I can glom onto that dual processor G4 chassis (here's another q: "Does anyone sell 'stripped' Macs...that is, with just the case, powersupply, motherboard and processor(s)?"

Thank you for your input,


03-26-2001, 05:27 PM
At the risk of flogging an ostensibly extinguished equine,

I have done some research (here, on the 'fora', and elsewhere) and am hooked on the idea of an external SuperDrive. The supply of internal drives appears limited right now (I guess the 733 is the only new box that comes with it); does anyone have an idea when Pioneer might release the external version? The only standalone DVD burner I can find is the Pioneer S201 which lists at $5400.00; I have found it at a 'cash' price of $4,200.00 but that is still more expensive than a reasonably loaded new G4 that would include the SuperDrive!

Forgive me, I admit I find this vexing!


03-26-2001, 06:19 PM
OK, I'll leave it alone after this...just thought someone might be interested:

The name is DVR-A03 and, believe it or not, it's ATAPI:

03-26-2001, 06:46 PM
OK...and this time I mean it! I just had to share!

I just got some info, from _appropriate_ sources, to the effect of, and I quote:

"The DVR-A03 has an SRP of $995.00 and should be released by Sales in May 2001. The DVR-A03 is going to be released in a IDE and Firewire version."


03-27-2001, 06:48 PM
I think wholesale on those units is around $880 or so....my advice would be to chill. Early adopters are going to pay too much, and who knows what sort of firmware issues will need to be resolved before things settle down?

I would say, give it a couple, maybe three months after the units start shipping freely in the channel. If history is any guide, they will drop down to around $5-600, where they belong.

it will just take a little time.

03-27-2001, 07:28 PM

Thank you for your reply...waiting a bit does sound like the best plan to me.

Say, are you guys planning on doing any tests on this drive or carrying it?

Thanks again...I am getting quite psyched about these things (and a dual processor box, and an outboard custom-gurus-built RAID rig, and a cinema display, and a...oh I'm sorry...I must have drifted off there...ah, dreaming...)


03-29-2001, 12:36 AM
As a future 733 owner, (ADC has given me an ETA for the first time of April 6 and then FedEx shipment) I wanted to make a correction about DVD-R drive sold in the 733. The drive can in fact record two hours. iDVD uses a constant bit-rate (which is high, so good quality) that makes this so. With a lower constant bit-rate or a variable bit rate you can indeed get two hours. However, at the present time you'll need DVD Studio Pro to do this.

As for copy issues. The drive(Pioneer DVR-A03, which is similar to DVR-103) uses General Use DVD-R media, whereas the older drives use the DVD Authoring Discs. There will be new DVD General Use drives too, but the difference is in the interior area for copy protection. The General Use discs don't allow the copying of pre-recorded DVDs because they can't write the code on the disc in the area reserved for it. (of course you could take the video in and then get it out again avoiding this). This does sound bad, but however all current DVD-R drives on the market, no matter the brand, will actually just write 0s onto that area of the Authoring disc without fail. You can't turn that of (perhaps with a hardware hack). So, long story short, it doesn't matter which you have. The preferred method will likely always be DLT because of this and other issues. Also, don't expect dual sided discs anytime soon. As I understand it, when they're made (the discs for movies) they're made one layer at a time and then adhered together. I guess someone could make a dual optical DVD-R drive, but that would be mucho dinero.

03-29-2001, 09:45 AM
It was my understanding that the limit was because the DVD-R discs are currently single sided and single layered. Most DVD movies I have are about 8GB, so thats 4GB per layer, per side. So you can adjust the quailty of the MPEG2 video/audio to get all 2 hours on a 4GB platter?

Another issues is time. I am not sure how long it would take a G3/500 to encode an hour of MPEG2, but it takes a 733G4 about 2 hours. Apparently this took about 20 hours on older system (G4/500DP???).

UW drives should be plenty fast for DVD, but UW is very dated. If you get a new system you REALLY NEED U2/U160 drives/bus combo. To save money you could upgrade slowly... just get the U160 drive(s) and upgrade you card later. Pitty Miles doesnt have a U160 card, their U2 card is a real bargain - cables, termination, SoftRAID and the card for only $200. This card could work well in a new Mac, but I dont know about X support and I'm sure gurus would recommend an ATTO card. I havent heard anything on support. If your UW card is an Apple OEM (adaptec) you may want to hold on to that - even if Adaptec (or whoever) doesnt support it with X, Apple should. And HEY, those new Macs have 5 SLOTS! so you could run a few SCSI buses on it http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I definately thing the copy protection racket is getting out of hand. I definately agree that intellectual/artistic property should be protected - for a time, but the industry is starting to make the IRS look good. http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/eek.gif

Have fun storming the castle!

03-29-2001, 10:22 AM
Again, thanks for the input, this is starting to come together...

...at this stage I think I'll hold onto the old beige beast and just start accumulating things for a new video box. I wish Apple would sell 'bare' chassis (i.e., case, motherboard and processor(s))...

The S201 is Pioneer's standalone unit (http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/Pioneer/CDA/Industrial/IndustrialProductDetails/0,1444,30~3010~3010100~221,00.html?), it has a narrow interface and will purportedly burn a DVD in about an hour, so the ATAPI IDE internal drive estimate of 2 hours sounds reasonable (see the previous link for details...also, just for reference, B & H Photo carries the beast for about $4,200.00 http://www01.bhphotovideo.com/default.sph/FrameWork.class?FNC=ProductActivator__Aproductlist _html___2594___195293___PIDVRS201___REG___SID=E5C0 8A674A0 ...BTW, when they say 'drives', I think they mean 'disks').

So if a person were to try to build a box using the A03 (hypothetically, using current gear, so a single 733 or DP 533), a nice Ultra2 or 3 RAID set-up feeding the thing would be plenty fast and stable, but is there any 'throughput' reason to prefer an internal IDE or an external 1394 version of the A03? I like SCSI CD burners, but I know lots of people who are happy with their IDE versions (of course a test will be to see how long the drives last, or the archival quality of the disks they burn).

The whole intellectual property thing will sort itself out...basically because it has to!

Thanks again!

03-29-2001, 10:36 AM
er...that little cgi suffix kept the one link from showing up correctly...

Here's Pioneers main DVD page

03-29-2001, 04:48 PM
we will certainly sell the raw mechanisms, as soon as they are available in distribution channels.


03-29-2001, 05:04 PM

Methinks I'll wait until you all can run 'em through your usual procedures and then cop one from you.

While not ideal, is there any reason that one of the external 1394 versions wouldn't work with my old tankus maximus (i.e., beige G3 MT described below). It would be great if I could use it as such for awhile until I get the ducats together for a new box (+ Ultra3 ya-di-ya-di-ya's, etc.)!

Say, this is a little off the beaten path, but not entirely inconsistent with this thread: Apple says that DVDStudioPro requires "Power Mac G4 computer with Apple-supplied AGP graphics card and DVD drive (configuration must support Apple DVD Player 2.0 or later)". Does anybody have an idea if this is true or just 'marketing'? That "Apple-supplied AGP graphics card" bit certainly sounds a bit questionable...

As always, thanks for all your info and input!

05-12-2001, 08:46 PM

I just found out that Publishing Perfection is carrying the DVR-A03:

They seem to be selling it at list...hopefully some reviews from the field will start coming in!