I am producing a video DVD and need to know what audio codecs are allowed on a DVD. Currently I am compressing them with AAC, but I would like to maximize quality. Would an Aif or Wav be possible? I have only one 5 min clip where I would need the better quality!

  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about video production. It would, however, be a good fit for Video Production. – AJ Henderson Mar 10 '14 at 13:32
  • Its a question about an audio codec. I don't think you can call it video production.... – Tobias Schmidt Mar 10 '14 at 14:24
  • It's a question about how to produce a video DVD of which audio is only a component and it has problems in the understanding of the question beyond just the audio component (your assumed video format for DVD-Video is incorrect). There is a DVD-Audio spec for audio only DVD disks, but this is asking about making a video DVD. – AJ Henderson Mar 10 '14 at 14:44
  • Sorry I don't want to argue about this, but I specifically said which video codec I used just to make sure none will pop up a comment that asks me, which video codec I used. Because that can make a huge difference (data rate wise) on the decision on the audio codec. So I just gave as much background information as I could. Then Mark brought up that I used the wrong Video codec which was very kind of him. – Tobias Schmidt Mar 10 '14 at 17:34
  • I get that, and I'm not trying to argue about it either. It's more of a broader discussion of where is the line between sound design and video production. (Which hasn't been worked out strongly yet anyway.) I was just suggesting that while this may or may not fit on Sound Design, it would certainly fit on Video Production. I also took the liberty of editing your question a bit to focus on the audio aspects. I still think it fits better on Video personally, but those edits should help it fit here better I think. – AJ Henderson Mar 10 '14 at 17:39

DVD is MPEG2-PS (Programme Stream) codec with MP2 or AC3 audio in a VOB container. DVD is Standard Definition - so 25FPS at 720x576 for PAL countries.

H264/720p is NOT the DVD standard. If you want to send the customer a DVD-Data disc with an mp4 file on it, then that is fine, but you're simply using the DVD as a data storage mechanism. You can't stick this in a DVD player and hope it will play. It won't.

If you want to make it play in a DVD player, you need to master it using a DVD authoring package and create SD video with MPEG2-PS/MP2/AC3 data in a VOB container.

  • Yeah thx, I thought so :/ Bought compressor now, since imovie 10 codecs kinda s*** :) – Tobias Schmidt Mar 8 '14 at 9:52
  • This answer is wrong, you can use PCM audio on a DVD. The only Gotcha is that the video + audio data rate has to be below the maximum rate, and PCM audio eats up a LOT more bandwidth than AAC, so your video quality will have to be reduced. mpeg.org/MPEG/DVD/Book_B/Audio.html – stib Mar 11 '14 at 10:23
  • According to the spec, yes - you can use PCM. However the de-facto standard for DVD is either AC3 or MP2. Mentioning PCM in this context is 'technically' correct, but probably misleading due to data-rate reasons. Yes PCM eats up a lot more bandwidth than AAC, but AAC is not part of the DVD standard at all. Mentioning it in this context is not going to help the questioner understand this issue better. – Mark Mar 12 '14 at 23:39

If you want maximum quality, you could use linear PCM audio with the DVD. It is technically part of the specification, but it may not work in every player as support is somewhat spotty. The next best is DTS and after that MP2 in terms of data rates that are supported.

Your best bet is probably to include a PCM audio track as well as a DTS or MP2 stream. DVD's support multiple audio tracks for the same timeline and the track to use can be selected from the DVD menu. This way players that support linear PCM can make use of it while those that only support DTS or MP2 can make use of that. Wikipedia has details on the specification here.

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