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Fix a bug in iDVD's creation of widescreen DVDs Apps
Widescreen DVDs made with iDVD 5 play incorrectly on normal non-widescreen (4:3) TVs -- the image appears squished horizontally. Yesterday, I found both the cause of the problem, along with a script that fixes it fairly easily.

My original guess was that the video on the produced DVD image was not anamorphic. Anamorphic means that the video is designed to work in 16:9 format and 4:3 format; see Wikipedia's definition for more detail. Actually, the video content is correctly coded.

The problem is that iDVD sets one single bit in the VIDEO_TS file structure incorrectly -- it explicitly tells DVD players not to letterbox. This is explained in great detail on this page.

In the section titled 'A way to simplify things!' on tha tpage, you'll find this link to a Perl script created by Daniel Rogers that fixes the problem. All this script does is copy the entire mounted volume into a new .dmg file that has the bit corrected. It takes about eight minutes on a 1.25 GHz Mac mini with a 3.8 GB DVD .img file.

I kind of hope that the new release of iDVD 6 will fix this, but for those that don't have it, or in case it doesn't, you're in luck.
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Fix a bug in iDVD's creation of widescreen DVDs | 6 comments | Create New Account
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Fix a bug in iDVD's creation of widescreen DVDs
Authored by: chabig on Jan 13, '06 08:33:32AM

I too, hope iDVD 6 fixes this, but the iDVD 5 bug can be fixed without running scripts using this GUI utility:

http://homepage.mac.com/sith33/FileSharing34.html

It has been out nearly a year and works great.

Chris



[ Reply to This | # ]
Chris, I believe you are mistaken
Authored by: avramd on Jan 14, '06 06:52:55AM

My understanding is that that script converts non-anamorphic video content into anamorphic content. This addresses a different bug in the iSuite for Final Cut Pro users who have trouble getting anamorphic content into iDVD.

The script I reference addresses an entirely separate problem.

If I'm misunderstanding your reference, please explain.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Chris, I believe you are mistaken
Authored by: RideMan on Jan 19, '06 08:51:52PM

I think you're right. 8-)

ALL DV movies are 720x480, regardless of whether they are 4:3 or 16:9. Apple does something in iMovie HD and possibly in some versions of Final Cut to identify the reference movies to iDVD as wide-screen. Those of us who don't use iMovie are stuck, unable to get iDVD to identify our widescreen movies as widescreen. The script that Chris linked to corrects that problem, somehow causing iDVD to correctly identify the movie as widescreen. I think it's the 'wide' atom in the movie udta atom, but I haven't tested that hypothesis.

Anyway, once the movie has been run through that script, iDVD will correctly encode it as a widescreen movie. That's a good start, but when iDVD creates the movie control file, it sets one bit in an unexpected manner. I don't want to say it's "wrong" because it is a legal setting ("pan and scan prohibited; letterboxing prohibited") but it is not the expected setting ("letterbox on 4:3 set"). THAT is the change that the Perl script makes.

You only need the anamorphiciser fix if you're not using iMovie HD. The Perl script affects anyone creating widescreen content and using 4:3 TV sets.

Thanks for the plug, by the way. My apologies for not submitting it to macosxhints.com myself!

--Dave Althoff, Jr.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Fix a bug in iDVD's creation of widescreen DVDs
Authored by: leebennett on Jan 13, '06 01:47:36PM
This past summer, I researched this very topic, but found the instruction page just a little confusing. Maybe it's just me. Anyhow, if you'd like a bit of help, you can try an article I wrote for ATPM in June. It might be of some help if you're having trouble following Althoff's original article.

[ Reply to This | # ]
Better control over creation of widescreen DVDs
Authored by: tidjj on Jan 14, '06 05:14:59AM

http://www.macetvideo.com/ (a french only web site, sorry ;) tells about a DVD parameter edition tool (http://mydvdedit.com/?lang=english&pg=main) which can also help in fixing this issue.
While still beta, this tool shows a lot of functionalities (some are not coded already). A donationware.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Better control over creation of widescreen DVDs
Authored by: tidjj on Jan 14, '06 05:20:15AM

http://www.macetvideo.com/ (a french only web site, sorry ;) tells about a DVD parameter edition tool (http://mydvdedit.com/?lang=english&pg=main) which can also help in fixing this issue.
While still beta, this tool shows a lot of functionalities (some are not coded already). A donationware.



[ Reply to This | # ]