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What is DVD Authoring?

DVD Authoring is the process of creating or adding interactive content and graphics to an audiovisual DVD, which can then be played in a DVD player. DVD authoring is usually done on audiovisual DVDs as opposed to music discs and it is accomplished with the help of DVD authoring software. In the following paragraphs, we'll see the licensing requirements for DVD authoring software in general and the advantages of DVD authoring in the practical world other than entertainment.

As per the rule, every DVD authoring software must conform to the specifications laid down by the DVD Forum group in 1995. Therefore, in order to develop DVD authoring software, one should first license a copy of the DVD specifications from the Japanese Corporation - DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation. Various DVD formats are published in different books, each of them running into thousands of pages and costing around $5000 each. After obtaining the book, the person concerned is supposed to become a licensee by paying additional fees, without which the person will be only entitled to refer the book and not to use it for actual DVD creation.

TThe DVD specifications are written in Japanese, but buyers can puchase an English translation. The English versions are abstruse and the prose rivals even the jargon used in the common legal documents. This complexity has created a lot of problems due to the slightly varying interpretations of the same specifications made by the different manufacturers. Legal tangles borne out of this confusion are quite common in the DVD authoring/manufacturing domain.

Now, back to the intricacies and uses of DVD authoring - The interactive content and graphics in an authored DVD may include a starting logo, main menu page, scene selection, index, a choice between 2-channel stereo or 5-channel surround sound, more than one video format, and many other new features. Such a DVD differs from a linear DVD in the aspect that here the user can selectively play the section he/she may want to watch, rather than having to start from the very beginning and playing till the end. Such a menu driven selection adds a lot of flexibility to the presentation and is useful especially in marketing and advertising, artistic and music videos, and film making, especially if the film maker wants to add director's narratives, alternate endings or special cuts, before releasing the DVD.

The applications of DVD authoring are unending; it can also come in handy for a student in designing his/her school project, for an applicant in preparing his/her resume in the form of PowerPoint-style presentation, highlighting the previous experiences under each domain, or to a home maker arranging family videos under different titles or occasions.

DVD Authoring Tools

DVD authoring tools are available in a wide range of specializations, from the top-end Sonic Scenarist for professionals to freeware such as DVDStyler and Avi2DVD. Adobe's Encore and Sonic DVDit are popular corporate DVD authoring softwares, while Nero's Vision Express 3, Sonic's MyDVD, Roxio's Easy Media Creator, and Apple's iDVD are best suited for the home user.

2008 - 04 -30

From: http://www.tech-faq.com/dvd-authoring.shtml