Should I try to output family movies/slideshows to a DVD or a Blu-ray, if my video content is mostly SD, and some of my images from are high-quality RAW photos? I'm thinking on just going the DVD route if the quality potential won't matter much? Thanks for your opinions.

Please also suggest the best authoring software to use at a good price if you have opinion as well.

It depends on your goal:

If you must deliver to viewers with only a classic DVD player then make it a DVD. If they only have a Blu-Ray player then make it a Blu-Ray.

For content preservation I would recommend to basically write all original content onto a disk with highest possible quality in wrappers/containers that are widely supported (high-quality JPEG for photos and MPEG4 or MPEG2 for videos). Then most modern players will be able to present the content, as well as allowing you to keep good mezzanine quality.

MDisc. Requires special writer but has amazing long duration - archival rated for 1000 years. THe higher powered laser actually burns holes into the media.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-DISC

Reading compatible with blue ray.

  • Good luck finding a Blue Ray player in ten years, let alone 1000. The disk might be fine, but without the player it's a shiny coaster. – stib Jun 9 at 12:44
  • It is not about that. What about 10? 20? Unless you go archival grade - a lot of the early blue ray self burned are now not readabl because of chemical instability. FOr regualr archival I would also say LTO, but then - I doubt anyone here would be willing to payfor a high end archival tape device (hint: around 2000€). – TomTom Jun 9 at 14:24

Have you considered uploading to Youtube? Upload as unlisted, so only people who you give the link can find it (or if you're really concerned, password protect it). It's going to be easier for most people to watch than an optical disk, you can use whatever resolution you want, and I'd be willing to bet that Google is going to be around longer than the DVD format.

Speaking personally, I'd be hard pressed to find a DVD player in my house (I know there's one somewhere, but it's probably in a cupboard under a pile of USB cables and defunct plug packs for devices that I don't own anymore).

Of course I'd keep a couple of copies of the master in geographically separate locations (e.g. your place and some other family members). You can put it on removable drives or burn to disk for that. Or you could outsource the storage - keep a copy on Google drive, and another on Amazon E3 / oneDrive / dropBox / iCloud / SpiderOak etc…

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