Roxio MyDVD: DVD capacity, resolution, and limitations

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Roxio MyDVD will not burn more than 2 hours on a single-layer DVD; and high-definition (1080p) videos are converted to the lower, stand-definition resolution of 480p.


The DVD standard is dictated by specifications that were set by the DVD Forum. The limitations are due to the older technology it uses and are, thus, by design.



Q-1. The first issue is discovering a burn/play time limit of two hours. Every time we try to burn over two hours of play time, the software brings up the dreaded "BurnerState_EncodingTitle Failure" error message. The error message does not really say anything of knowledge, as we had to figure out why this common error message generated. We also looked at the burn marks on the DVD, and sure enough, when nearing two hours of play time, the DVD space is completely taken up. This limitation was not known before purchase, nor can be seen as listed in the product specifications on the website.

Answer: Two hours of runtime is the maximum for a single-layer DVD disc. I am even surprised you actually get 2 hours. Usually it is just over an hour, as MyDVD always burns in the highest quality. Of course, burning more content will automatically trigger the compression algorithm of the software to fit more content onto the disc. More compression results to lower quality. See this article - Note that this will lead you to a 3rd-party website: DVD Size: How Much Data Do the Various Formats Hold? 

Q-2. What are we missing that is causing the burning to be so inefficient when converting from 1080p HD to NTSC or PAL formats? No settings can apparently be found to make adjustments.

Answer: It does not have anything to do with converting 1080p content to whichever TV standard is chosen (NTSC/PAL). It is a limitation of the DVD standard itself. 1 hour runtime for highest quality; up to 2 hours for average/lower quality video of the same runtime. You are correct --I am afraid there aren't much user-customizable settings available.

Q-3. We can easily have a singular message that exceeds 2 hours.

Answer: If you regularly burn content that is over 2 hours in length, I suggest using a larger capacity DVD. There should be a lot of choices available online: just look for Dual-layer DVD recordable discs. Here's an example from Newegg: 

Q-4. The second issue is a major drop in quality when converting 1080p HD to the NTSC and PAL formats. After the DVD burns, the quality is no where near 1080p HD, but more or less pixelated into 480p. Even stranger, the preview player does not show any quality drop, but plays back in 1080p HD?!? Even more so, this quality drop is apparently not mentioned anywhere on the website, nor does the DVD burning software inform us there is going to be a quality drop.

Answer: As for the quality, the maximum resolution set by the DVD specification is 720 x 480, which is 480p, for NTSC; and 720 x 576, which is 576p, for PAL. These are limitations to the specifications of the DVD format set by the DVD Forum not the software. There shouldn't be any kind of disclaimer about losing quality when burning to DVD because the DVD format is such an old standard that most people should already be aware of its limitations. About the preview player, how exactly were you able to determine that it plays a preview of the video at 1080p? I was not aware of that. The MyDVD preview will play your DVD project at a lower (unspecified) resolution for the purpose of giving you a quick look of the finished product; but it will always output in a resolution according to the standard you selected - up to 480p for NTSC, and up to 576p for PAL.

Q-5. How do we preserve the quality of 1080p HD?

Answer: If your intention is to preserve video resolution at Full HD (i.e., 1080p), you need to burn Blu-ray discs, which requires a Blu-ray disc burner, as well as Blu-ray recordable discs. A regular DVD burner can't do it. You will find more information about Blu-ray here .

Q-6. I have also attempted to burn in lower qualities, such as 720p HD (or less), but makes no difference in maintaining the quality, nor does it expand the two hour play time. Its as if the conversion rate to NTSC and PAL is set. So is there a way to adjust these settings? To increase play time beyond two hours, as well as increase video quality?

Answer: It is not possible to burn DVD video at 720p resolutions (i.e., 1280 x 720), as the maximum for DVD is 480p (i.e., 720 x 480) only. As for the runtime length, again, the maximum capacity for single-layer DVD discs is 2 hours.  

Q-7. If these limitations were known, we would not have purchased (and upgraded) to the Roxio/Creator NXT DVD burning software. Please help us to figure out how to overcome these limitations or we will have to look for another DVD burning solution to make master copies.

Answer: The DVD specifications are fixed, like I explained previously. They are not limitations of the particular software being used, but limitations of the DVD standard itself. Using a different burning software will not improve those specifications.

Q-8. Please help us figure out how to expand beyond the 2 hour play time, as well as increase video playback quality, or we will have to look for another solution.

Answer: See answer to "Q-7".

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