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Burned Blu-rays from DVD Architect Pro "Stuttering Video"

JasonN

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This is proving to be a royal pain in the ass issue for me and with little to no info on this issue on the web, I decided to ask my question here:

Basically, I am trying to burn a finalized project from DVD Architect Pro (the version with Vegas Pro 10) to Blu-ray - it uses x264 video files (1280x720 at 24fps) and ac3 stereo audio files onto a 25GB BD. Everything plays perfectly and at normal speeds on the PC before burning, but on playing the finalized BD, the video always stutters on playback (occurs on every BD player that Ive played them in). I've determined that the x264/ac3 files are not at fault, I'm using good BD-R media to burn on (Verbatim), and am burning on the lowest speeds possible, but the burned BDs always stutter regardless. Any ideas?
 

AEmovieguy

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The only thing I can think of is maybe your x.264 encode is out of Blu-ray specifications:

1.) Profile 4.1
2.) Up to 6 reference frames in 720p
3.) Up to 4 reference frames in 1080p

The "slow-placebo" options have default number of reference frames that are out of Blu-ray player specification.

Hope this helps.
 

geminigod

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Glad you posted this and I noticed it JasonN. I am having the same issue I think. I thought it was related to these dual layer bluray discs I bought from Japan, because I only seem to be having freezing issues in the 2nd half of my video, but now you have me questioning everything. Is it the AVC encoding settings? Is it the image that DVD architect makes? And of course Sony Vegas's help information is useless.

Maybe we can trouble shoot this together. Why are you so sure that the avc and ac3 files are ok? I doubt the ac3 file would be a problem but not sold on the avc. I am halfway tempted to abandon Vegas for all encoding except for a lossless AVI that I can import into a different program.

Did you have DVD architect do the muxing or did you mux first with something like TsMuxer before bringing the media into DVD Architect? For my next round of troubleshooting I was thinking I might try to use TsMuxer first and also just save the bluray to an ISO and then use Imgburn to make the disc to cut DVD architect out of these steps. Problem is that at $8/DL bluray, I am reluctant to waste discs troubleshooting.
 

geminigod

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Quick update. Using a cool program called mediainfo, I now see what sony vegas pro actually encoded my avc file at. It would seem that it ignores the settings I tell it to use, which is concerning. Regardless of what settings I actually choose, here is what Vegas opts to use: profile=high@L4.0; CABAC; 2 reference frames, GOP M=2, N=12.

Based on this and what you said, Aemovieguy, it would seem that Vegas's avc encoder is useless if spec needs to be 4.1 profile. Any recommendations for a good program to encode from lossless avi to avc? Also I can't seem to find any good discussions about what the ideal GOP settings are to max quality but ensure shitty blu-ray players can still keep up with real-time decoding. Suggestions?
 

Captain Khajiit

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Try multiAVCHD. It will take an Avisynth script as input.
Code:
AviSource("file.avi")
I have never encoded a full BD myself though.
 

geminigod

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I suspect that as AEmovieguy suggested, using 4.0 profile at a high bitrate may have been related to our problem. A good explanation is given here. http://forums.afterdawn.com/t.cfm/f-200/4_0_or_4_1_profile-808107/

It would help to troubleshoot if JasonN would provide some input to this thread he started! :(

I re-rendered using MeGui, but now DVD Architect pro 5.2 won't play nice with the x264 file I rendered. I am really starting to get pissed off. I don't have time for this shit and am quickly rekindling an hatred for all things Sony.
 

JasonN

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lol, sorry, I had issues apart from fanediting to work on lately - I'll try and get the specs of my x264 files tomorrow (for additional reference, these x264 video files were created using MeGUI from lossless AVI files)

I did, as an experiment, try rendering an mp4 file from the BD ISO that DVD Architect created to see if these slowdown/stuttering video issues would then be present on the mp4 file: they were, so the issues that I'm having are not due to my BD burner or the BD-R media that I am using, it is coming directly from DVD Architect itself.
 

geminigod

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Hmm, that doesn't bode well for the viability of DVD architect. We'll see what I can figure out. It sounds like your stuttering issue is potentially a different issue than mine. Mine was more of a freeze than a stutter. The disc would eventually continue playing but would skip sections.

It would be helpful if you would post the MeGui settings you use to render.
 

JasonN

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Update:
Tried muxing the raw x264 and ac3 files into m2ts files using TsMuxer and imported those into DVD Architect - the final ISO from that too had the same stutter issues as the previous ones. :-|

So I then tried using TsMuxer to combine my m2ts files together and mux that into a Blu-ray disc, which created all the appropriate folders and files needed (the software automatically made chapters every 5 minutes on the video, but I'll take what I can at this point), which I then copied and burned onto a BD-R using the Blu-ray Copy feature of DVDFab (tried using Nero, but that just gave me a coaster). Low and behold.... it played perfectly. On every BD player that I have.

Judging from my current tests, it would seem that somehow in the Preparing process in DVD Architect while creating the ISO, something occurs in rendering the files into an ISO that causes the stuttering to occur in the video. What that could be, I have no clue (and I double-checked all the BD Prepare settings and nothing seems out of sync or that would cause an error to occur).
 

geminigod

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That is possibly the conclusion I am coming to as well. After much testing, I have my MeGui config set perfectly to be blu-ray compliant and play nice with DVD Architect. But the blu-ray I just burned last night still stuttered twice during playback on my PC. But then I played it in the PS3 and it didn't stutter when I tested those same spots. (Shrug) At $8/DL BR, I guess that one is going as a gift to somebody. The weird thing though is that the stuttering always seems to be in the 2nd half of my movie, which is why I would be inclined to revert back to my original hypothesis that it is a problem with my burner or these discs, except that you seem to be having a similar issue with SL.

I read somewhere that having b-pyramid set to strict can cause playback stutter with DVD Architect. A low vbv bufsize can as well.

Compare your MeGUI settings to the following:
program --level 4.1 --pass 2 --bitrate 25000 --stats ".stats" --deblock -1:-1 --keyint 18 --min-keyint 2 --open-gop bluray --b-pyramid none --ref 4 --slices 4 --vbv-bufsize 30000 --vbv-maxrate 40000 --ratetol 2.0 --aud --nal-hrd vbr --pic-struct --colorprim bt709 --transfer bt709 --colormatrix bt709 --output "output" "input"

Also, make sure your blu-ray burner firmware is current.

That all being said. My current hypothesis is same as yours. I think that something is wacked with how DVD Architect prepares images. Why can't it prepare folders and track changes in the same way it does with DVDs?? Beyond Annoying. Thus my next plan of attack is to test an AVCHD and see if that changes anything. Also, I am going try using Winrar to extract the bluray folders from the ISO and then use Imgburn to burn this as it sees fit instead of taking orders from the ISO DVD Architect prepared.
 

geminigod

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Hopefully the final update for this thread. At this juncture I am 95% confident that JasonN and I are correct in what seems to be the problem. Something in the way DVD Architect Pro 5.2 builds the ISO image file is whacked.

SOLUTION: Use WinRar to unpack the image back to your hard drive. Then use ImgBurn to either burn the unpacked blu-ray folders direct to disc or to create a new image.

This is not the only issue when it comes to DVD Architect Pro 5.2 and high definition. It is a great app for SD but crap for HD and has been the bane of my existence for the past month. My advice if you can is to use Adobe Encore instead, but if you are stuck with Architect, hopefully these forum threads will save you weeks of your life. I will post a guide at some point.
 
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