View Full Version : miniDV to DVD - AC3 or PCM?

2005-01-04, 11:23 AM
Hi everyone,

I have a show I recorded on MiniDV that I'm in the process of converting to a DVD. I have the dv file stored on my had as an avi file (I used WinDV). Right now I'm using Tmpgenc to convert from .avi to dvd compliant mpeg2. I'm only encoding the vidoe right now as I understand Tmpgenc is no good for audio quality. My next step is to rip the audio stream from the .avi which will then be joined back to the video once I author the DVD. I can rip the audio as either AC3 or PCM.

What's the trading communities stance on audio for DVDs? AC3 is compressed but still sounds great and the file size will be smaller. PCM has a huge filesize but is uncompressed. Do people care?

Please advise.



2005-01-04, 11:40 AM
Yes, there area a few discussions on this topic here, and people are of varying opinions. I think that, unanimously, people would prefer PCM if it fits onto the disc...no sense in wasting space. For analog sources, PCM is even more highly recommended.

My personal recommendation is to use the best quality that will still allow the video to fit onto a disc. If PCM fits, great. If you need to go with AC3, just use the highest possible bitrate.

2005-01-05, 02:55 PM
I agree with RainDawg.

AC3 is not a particularly impressive format to begin with, so it's only really an option if PCM is a no-go for size considerations imo. (Please stay away from the AC3 encoder used in BeSweet et al, it sucks. Stick to software that uses the Dolby encoder, like SonicFoundry's ACID / SoftEncode)

Plus if you have to use AC3 on the dvd, it might be a good idea to seed the PCM audio separately, just to ensure that it's circulating "out there" as well.

New Homebrew
2005-01-05, 04:08 PM
PCM is not really so huge. I always prefer it.

Check your bitrate calculator here.


2005-01-05, 08:35 PM
PCM is not really so huge. I always prefer it.

Check your bitrate calculator here.


Thanks for the calc link.. Hadn't seen that before...evry useful! BTW - I ended up going with PCM. I used VirtualDub to extract the audio from the .avi.



2005-01-08, 11:17 AM
i rather have a higher video bitrate then pmc audio
so ac3 is good for me
bottom line, you are making it so if people don't like how you made it then they can kiss off

2005-01-08, 01:00 PM
Well, for next time - the answer depends on how much space you'll have left after encoding the video. You didn't say how long this was.

Most of the time you better off using a compressed audio format so you can use the extra space for better quality video.

New Homebrew
2005-01-08, 03:16 PM
My advice is to use 2 discs if you can't fit the whole program on one 4.7GB DVDr at max video and audio bitrates. Dual-layer burners are everywhere and media prices are coming down, so you may regret compromising on your transfer later.

2005-01-08, 05:11 PM
Here we are, on the most anti-compression-audio site of all time, and a moderator is endorsing the use of ac3. How paradoxical.

Obviously the answer is this: ALWAYS PCM, ALWAYS bitrates higher than 6000. Doesn't fit on one disc? Use two.

Do not compromise on the video or the audio. Ever.