DVD capacity



OK I'm in the process of editing the tapes from recording a show that my son starred in. I'm using Pinnacle Studio 9 and the whole editing process couldn't be easier.

Just one thing I seem to remember that you can get 60 mins of data on a DVD. Is this right and why is it so little?

Reason I'm asking is the show (LES MIS) lasts about 2 hours and I was hoping to get it all on one disc.


60 mins at the highest quality output setting.Medium quality should see about 1.5 hours, and lowest quality should squeeze 2 hours in, but at the cost of picture quality.

Try a sample on the lowest quality setting to see if it's acceptible, picture-wise.


Thanks I'll have a look at this and see if the quality is acceptable at the lowest setting.

Are commercial DVD's compressed differently as they contain much more?


Novice Member
DVD-5 (DVD single side single layer) discs only hold 4.37Gb . This is because computers use the binary counting system whereas media manufacturers don't. (Hence 4.7Gb = 4.37Gb on your computer)

The amount of video (in time) you can fit on that disc depends on bitrate management. If you have good quality video to start with & use a good quality encoder you should be able to get 2 hours on one disc.

Your authoring program will need to support output of compressed audio (either AC3 Dolby or MPEG-1 layer II) to fit 2 hourson & maintain quality. This is because uncompressed audio takes up between 5 & 8 times the space of compressed audio.

Commercial discs aren't DVD-5 in the main, they are DVD-9 (single sided dual layer discs) & hold 8.5Gb of data. That's why they can get a lot more film at high quality on the disc. Writeable DVD-9 discs aren't available yet. Burners & media should be available this year.

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