Confusion over blu-ray replication

Dear New Cyberian prospects and customers,

Our thread on http://www.newcyberian.com/blog/2013/08/14/blu-ray-for-independent-filmmakers/ is getting too busy and we saw the need to start a new thread about Blu-ray. We hope this thread will demystify some questions over Blu-ray and clear the confusion. We will try to put the questions raised by our callers and answer them based on our knowledge.

Question 1: I have a DVD now and I want to convert it to Blu-ray. Is it doable?
Answer: Yes, it’s doable. But I don’t recommend that. The reason is simple: You do not gain anything by converting a DVD to Blu-ray. For this argument we have to understand the difference between Blu-ray and DVD. Tossing aside the nifty features Blu-ray offers the main difference is on the resolutions. While DVD is a 720 x 480 standard, Blu-ray is designed at a much higher standard of 1920 x 1080. If you imagine the TV screen has so many dots (or pixels) on it to form the pictures and movies, then Blu-ray has 6 times more dots than DVD. This is simple math: (1920 x 1080) ÷ (720 x 480) = 6. Because of this, Blu-ray gives much clear and sharper images on the screen. When you try to convert a DVD to a Blu-ray you will have to re-size the screen from 720 x 480 to 1920 x 1080. This is similar to re-sizing in Photoshop when you try to make a smaller picture bigger and the result will be blur for sure because the additional dots are just approximation of the neighborhood dots. Since Blu-ray players can also play DVD discs, there is really no reason why you should convert a DVD to Blu-ray unless you have a lot of money and don’t want to keep it for yourself.

Question 2: Why should I do Blu-ray vs DVD?
Answer: There are few compelling reasons. Almost all the digital camera or camcorder are high definition now. If you take a high definition video and downsize it to DVD you are wasting the information in the video. We have to accept the fact that screen size are becoming bigger and bigger. When the screen is big and the resolutions are low, the pictures on the screen will be grainy. With 6 times more pixels than DVD, Blu-ray definitely gives much better picture quality and viewing experience.

Also, cheap Blu-ray players are selling at $29.95 level and they will definitely replace all the DVD players found in most household. True, streaming is also on the rise as a Blu-ray competition. But there are still a group of people who simply will not do streaming. Statistics has shown that most baby boomers are not streaming fans. They will prefer to have a physical disc on hands. In terms of quality, streaming is yet to be as good as Blu-ray because of bandwidth caps imposed by most ISPs. So streaming is really targeting people who cannot hear the difference between mp3 and CD quality sound. If your content is meant to be shape with no video noise, Blu-ray is definitely the way to go.

Question 3: Is AACS copy protection safe?
Answer: Blu-ray copy protection is much stronger than DVD. Albeit, there are Blu-ray ripping software on the market and some of them are free. When it comes to copy protection, we have to know that there is always a race between the hackers and the copy protection designers. No matter how strong an encryption scheme is, it is just a matter of time that hackers will be able to break it. AACS, the copy protection used by Blu-ray, is no exception. We just have to accept the fact that most people will not try to crack the protection if the cost of doing it is too high. There will be of course very small number of people who get the satisfaction of of cracking it and share the video with their friends. You just need to do a damage assessment on your part. If this happens in a small scale you might just have to accept it and consider that as part of the cost of doing business. It’s just a game of numbers.

Question 4: My replicated Blu-ray disc does not work on some Blu-ray players, what should I recommend to the customers?
Answer: Just like the good old DVD scenario that no all Blu-ray players are made the same, some Blu-ray player firmware is but bug free. Blu-ray player manufacturers usually have a website for upgrading the firmware. You can suggest your customers read the user’s guide for the Blu-ray player on how to do firmware upgrade, or you can get the brand and model of the player and Google it.  I have to agree that requiring the end users to do firmware upgrade is too much burden on them as most of them are not tech savvy. Unfortunately the Blu-ray standard is still not quite stable and this problem do arise once in a while.

Since this FAQ is an ongoing one so if I come across other questions I will continue to post them here.  If you have questions please feel free to leave a comment here as well.

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CD Replication as a science project

Out of wits for a science project?  Years ago a student in Mountain View High School decided to do a science project on the bolts and nuts on making a compact disc.  He came to our company, interviewed our staffs, and came up with a paper that helped him win the science project award.

You can find detail of his paper on cd replication on our website.

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Blu-ray Replication for Independent Filmmakers

Blu-ray Replication for Independent Filmmakers

blu-ray logo

Blu-ray Logo

Despite of the debate over how long Blu-ray will last continues, we cannot ignore the fact that the number of households with Blu-ray players continues to rise and the cost of Blu-ray player has dropped to the consumers’ comfort level.  On top of that, price on high definition TVs is sliding. Like it or not, the demand for high definition video such as Blu-ray is there.

But who will buy a Blu-ray disc instead of streaming from the Internet?  Based on the titles we have helped replicate, we found that contents targeting the baby boomers account for most of the titles. Bill Matson, an independent filmmaker and producer for Fight to the Wall, told us that most buyers of his movies have Blu-ray player at home and prefer Blu-ray to DVD. They won’t mind paying few bucks more for Blu-ray. In fact, these few bucks are good enough to cover the higher replication cost.

I hope I have convinced you on the finance side that releasing a Blu-ray title is not as expensive as what you might have thought.  True, there is AACS license and other minor fees. But once diluted by the volume they will become insignificant.  Your few bucks from the customers will be more than enough to cover that.  What deters you from having a Blu-ray release may be technical and the cumbrous procedure of getting the AACS license. Fortunately we have all the solutions.

Getting the right format for replication

Most Blu-ray authoring software can only output authoring result in BD-MV format.  BD-MV is good for duplication and it is good for you to burn the content onto a Blu-ray recordable.  But if you need to replication, meaning making a glass master and stamper to stamp the disc from raw plastic, then BD-MV is useless.  The acceptable format is called BD-CMF.  There are only few expensive pieces of software on the market that can output BD-CMF, Sony Blu-Print, DoStudio, Roxio DVDit ProHD, and Scenarist BD Studio for example.

To get over this obstacle, New Cyberian will accept Blu-ray replication orders in BD-MV format.  We will convert the BD-MV format into BD-CMF format for you.  Now you can use your Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Encore, and any other authoring software to create your Blu-ray title and don’t have to worry about the technical nuance.

Getting the AACS license

To make Blu-ray replication process even easier, we will help you apply for the AACS license.  Forget about filling up all the forms and the delay in getting approval from the AACS, New Cyberian will make the application for you on your behalf.  We will send you the invoice from AACS LA, LLC. as a proof that the license fee has been paid.  On the invoice there will be a unique reference number and that number will appear on the mirror band of every Blu-ray disc we replicate for you.

Contact for Blu-ray Replication

Contact New Cyberian if you need to Blu-ray replication. We are the only independent filmmakers friendly company that understands your difficulties and have solutions for you.  Please find out more pricing and production information from our website at www.newcyberian.com.

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