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I'll be getting a HD editing rig soon at my studio where we make mostly corporate AVs. So far our format is PAL SD and usually the delivered product is a MPEG or AVI as the client demands. Occasionally, some projects are delivered as authored Video DVDS.

With the new setup, we'll look to output 720p either as MPEG-4 part 2 or part 10 (H.264) in suitable containers like AVI/MOV/MKV/MP4. So standalone videos are fine for data DVDs. But what about the equivalent for a menu-driven environment like in a Video DVD. Almost certainly, most of the end users will not have access to Blu-Ray players. So, is there any way to create DVDs containing a menu-driven environment but with HD videos? Third party self-contained application/frameworks are welcome, depending on the economics and technical steps required. Hopefully, any solution will enjoy similar levels of compatibility as Video DVDs.

Edit: I'm well aware that the DVD-Video spec will not accept HD videos. That's not what I'm trying to do. In the case of an authored Video DVD, when you put in the disc in a comp with autoplay on, a graphical interactive menu will pop up with buttons pointing to videos or other menus, which the user then has the ability to select. If the user selects a video, it plays and then returns to the menu as per the authoring. I wish to emulate, as far as possible, such a interactive presentation system but containing HD video and to be burnt onto DVD media. I know that this is not possible within the confines of the DVD-Video spec. But maybe a third party polished solution or even a hack method exists, such as a set of web pages and a standalone portable media player provided on disc which can be invoked from the web page, but I don't actually know of anything like that, hence the question

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Will the final product be played on a computer, or in a standalone DVD player? –  Friend Of George Jan 24 '12 at 18:29
    
On a computer. Almost always some flavor of Win - XP or later. –  Mulvya Jan 24 '12 at 18:44
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2 Answers

Your question: So, is there any way to create DVDs containing a menu-driven environment but with HD videos?

To confirm what @blindfold states, No, you can not make a DVD, that plays in a DVD player to show HD video.

But, you can make a Blue-Ray, with interactive menus that looks and feels like a DVD menu system, but with HD video.

You can also use a program like Adobe Encore to create one project file and then export either a DVD with menus or Blue-Ray with menus without having to make multiple projects.

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As mentioned in the question, Blu-Ray is not an option. I'm trying to recreate a Blu-Ray like system on DVD media. –  Mulvya Feb 13 '12 at 5:47
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Sorry to say this, but DVD does and will not support HD videos - at least not with menu and other DVD features. HD-DVD didn't survive on the market - Blu-Ray did. The problem is that the amount of data necessary to create a HD image is higher that the bit-rate of DVD-Format.

You can save various file formats on a DVD-ROM and some DVD players can play those formats. But "native" HD on a DVD is not supported. Some DVD Player can upscale certain compressed formats, but that will not show real HD.

See: http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html#2.3.2

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