What is DVD authoring and what is involved?
DVD Authoring (Authouring) is the process of creating a DVD which can be played on a standard DVD player.
A DVD can be created to be either Auto-Play, or to have Interactive functionality. In both cases the video must first be Encoded and then Authored.
Encoding for DVD
The first step in the process is to Encode the video for DVD, which is done for two reasons.
First, to shrink the size of the video by a factor of 5 so that it will fit on a standard DVD-R disc. The video will have begun with a filesize of roughly 1 gig per 5 minutes of video, while our Encoded file must be closer to 1 gig per 25 minutes of video.
Secondly, we must create an MPEG- 2 video stream that is compliant with the DVD specification to ensure that the disc is compatible with the majority of DVD players.
Authoring the DVD
Once our video has been encoded, the DVD can be Authored. The DVD Authoring software helps us create a disc that conforms to the specifications set by the DVD Forum Group of which the DVD player manufacturers are members.
In this stage, we may add interactive features, such as menus and transitions.
Auto-Play vs. Interactive
In its simplest form, a DVD will begin to automatically play a video when it is inserted into a DVD player.
Often a DVD will include Interactive Menus. When the disc is first inserted into a DVD player, a Menu will display buttons or other graphical content which will link to different videos or sub-menus.
Menus may also be interspersed throughout the DVD, instructing the viewer to complete tasks relevant to a training video being watched, for example. The increase in cost can be significant as each menu must be graphically designed, programmed and tested.
In certain cases, interactive elements are crucial to the product being created. But the level of complexity of a DVD is often determined by the budget of the project.