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Looking for "Best of both worlds" Blu-ray authoring tool: DVD menus + BD-Live networking communication

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pascal_sweden
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Joined: 2011-11-30
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Hello,

I am looking for a Blu-ray authoring tool, in which I can design my menus as with any DVD authoring package,
in a WYSIWIG way, and after can add simple Java code snippets to some of the buttons to read and write network data

from the network interface.

Which affordable tool provides this?

Basically I want to design the menus in a graphical way, and make it bit more advanced by integrating simple java code.

I do Not want to use Java for the user interface as such, just for adding some extra logic and doing some BD-live network traffic.

Any advise is welcome!

/Pascal

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paulemasters
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Joined: 2011-12-07
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Hello:

If you know some Unix and Java and have time to dig out what you need, the HDCookbook tools referenced here would be good for what you want. For one thing, they are free! Unfortunately, they do not provide an API or UI for creating menus. The author(s) of the mentioned book did provide a text format way, called GRIN, to create a disc easier than doing all the coding yourself, but you can add your own code. While I am still in the discovery phase, the documentation is sparse and hard to find, at least it has been for me but I am not literate in Unix and Java. It appears that once you get the hang of it, creating a disc should be fairly easy. While I have not created a 'real' disc yet (I have compiled and played a number of the samples), this appears to provide more flexibility and BD capabilities than the programs I am familiar with (which isn't many! (G)).

As to products. About 2 years ago I searched for a true BD authoring package. There may be more now but I haven't looked. They appeared to fall into 2 or 3 categories.

First is the consumer type: I put Sony DVD Architect in that category because it is a DVD authoring product (which I have used for DVDs) that will write a BD disc (which I have not done). Apparently in HDMV format. However, it does not have many of the BD features that I want. And, you can not write 'code' (scripts) for BD like you can for DVDs. I have no use knowledge of others in this category. There are a few and they don't cost much, but they don't allow for much customization either. Mostly point and click or 'canned' functions.

Next is the professional type: They likely will do what you want, but they have a high learning curve and are very expensive. From Sonic - Scenarist, $25K. There are some tutorials at: www.reykroona.com/?page_id=35 From Sony - BluePrint, $50K + more for needed add ons.

There is a product from NetBlender called DSA that starts at $2K but would be $5K or perhaps more to add your own JAVA files. It doesn't allow you to add code as you describe. It uses point and click for the commands. The $2K version will write BDJ disc. The $5K version is required for HDMV. It uses PhotoShop to create menus. I have had that product for over 2 years and find it very flexible. NetBlender has recently been bought by Sony.

A third type: I found a company or two that will kind of do the work for you or somehow provide authoring abilities. I don't know how any of that works or what capabilities they provide. They seem to charge by the title / disc.

As I say, I don't know if anything new has come along in the past 2 years. There are WEB sites that have lists of products or product reviews. As you can see, 'writing' BD can be fairly inexpensive, while 'authoring' BD can be quite expensive - both in cost (except for the HDCookbook) and time required to learn the product or with some of them to create a project. BD is still fairly new and the demand hasn't 'taken off' like some had hoped. So, it may still be awhile before flexible, inexpensive products are available.

Hope this helps.

Paul Masters

pascal_sweden
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Joined: 2011-11-30
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Hello Paul,

Thanks for your feedback! Appreciated!

Which companies did you find that produce a BD-J disc based on the customer's requirements?

Do you have an idea about the typical project cost? How do they charge? Per hour or overall project cost?

I am still surprised that there is no tool, as the one I am looking for. Seems like that would be a killer product,
if someone comes up with it!! :)

Pascal

paulemasters
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Joined: 2011-12-07
Points: 0

Hello:

There are a number of companies all over the world that will take your media and instructions or artwork and create a disc (BD or DVD or CD) for you. I would rather do it myself. Besides, it would cost far more than I can afford. No idea of the cost. It would likely depend on the size of the company, what you wanted and how quickly you wanted it. I would think they would charge by the project, but I can't say for sure. If you are doing this for your own use, I think you will find it to be very expensive. If you are doing it commercially, using a 'production company' would be best as there are a lot of licenses required and they would have most of them and could tell you what you must acquire. Do a WEB search to find them.

Uh.. As I mentioned, there are tools somewhat like you mention, but they are expensive. One reason is that there are a lot of licenses required if you do it commercially as they are doing, that is, for sale. Another reason is that, as you can see by looking at one of the HDCookbook demos, creating a BD disc is much more complicated than creating a DVD.

DVDs have been around for quite a while. When they were first available, the software for creating them was very expensive. Over time the cost has dropped and along with it the flexibility of the program. BD has not been around very long in consumer time. It is likely that, in time the cost will come down for BD as well. But as with DVD, the less expensive programs will have less functionality. One example is Sony DVD Architect. It doesn't cost much (comes with Vegas for around $600). But it basically writes DVDs in a BD format. It uses higher bit rate video but that's about the only 'new BD' capability. At least as far as I know, as I said before, I haven't used it to write BD.

Paul Masters