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DVDs, compatibility and tech stuff

DVDs and compatibility

Most of the time, our DVDs work in all DVD players, and you do not need to look at this page. In fact we deliberately leave out all sorts of complicated gubbins which might look fancy but which might not play on your machine. But sometimes (less than 1% of cases) the DVDs do not play in certain players. This is a fact of technical life, and we do all we can to avoid it. However, this problem is unpredictable and can affect any maker of DVDs. It seems to strike at random and nothing "wrong" can be found with the discs or the players.

DVDs (Digital Versatile Discs) are the video equivalent of the Compact Disc (CD). Just like CDs did for the audio world, DVD has revolutionised the video world. Unlike VHS tapes, which contain the picture and sound information in analogue form on iron oxide (rust) coated tape, DVDs hold all the information in clear digital format on a plastic disc. The information is read by a laser, and so there is no physical contact between the read head and the disc - and therefore nothing to wear out. Not only is the picture and sound better than on VHS tape (due to being held in digital form) but in theory it should last much longer. At Markle all of our editing and most of our pictures are in digital format already, so DVD allows the sharpest of images to be sent direct to you the viewer, and in a format which is easier for you to store.

How do you know if your DVD will play DVD-Rs? The official advice is to consult your DVD player handbook. Our advice on this is simple. Some players do not play some discs - for reasons which are hard to identify. If you have a disc cleaning kit try cleaning the disc - DON'T JUST GIVE IT A RUB!!. If your new disc still will not play, contact Markle and we will try to sort it out.

By the way, it is not just DVD-Rs which are not 100% compatible, neither are some of the big-label feature films. Many of us feel let down by the electronics industry who seem to have launched the DVD without an industry-wide standard. Why do we need 5 video formats (DVD, DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+RW and DVD-ROM), plus at least two new ones (dual-layer and blueray???), anyway?

Other tech stuff

These days Markle images are made on digital HD camcorders, mostly Sony DV type. Although we can shoot images in high definition we have no way of publishing them at the moment. All our editing has been done entirely on digital equipment. Editing has been done over the years on various versions of Adobe Premiere. DVD masters are made on Sony drives using Adobe Media Encoder and Adobe Encore DVD software.

We can accept contributions in just about all formats. We have a GTH Electronics ACE standards convertor and enhancer has allowed all sorts of tape to be input, and it can do funny stuff like correcting wonky colour balance, fixing damaged time coding and of course do PAL/NTSC/SECAM conversions.

Early tapes, pre 2001, were made using an older editing system using a Raptor capture card and Ulead software. The sound was generally balanced for mono VHS reproduction, which sometimes converts to rough sound on DVD. Some early narration was done in 8-bit mono and this falls short of modern standards of reproduction. We have now remastered almost all of this material for DVD listeners. The problem only applies to the narration - the trains still sound good!

Even though we have the most up to date technical equipment, we do not go in for very complex titling as we feel that the finished product should really feature the trains rather than the gizmos.


Click the page you wish to see from the table below.

Markle Home Page

Irish Railway Review Nos 9 to 11

 Irish Rail Archive Vols. 5 to 8 

  Irish Railway Review Nos 5 to 8

Irish Rail Archive Vols 1 to 4

Order Form and Other Sellers

Irish Railway Review Nos 1 to 4

Northern Ireland Railways DVDs

Products

 French Railway DVDs

British Railway DVD

About us, Q&A

London Underground Book

Problems with videos? Tech stuff 


If you wish to contact Markle Associates Video:

Send us an email to the address on the Markle Home Page, making it clear please in the message title that you are responding from this web page, or write to:

Markle Associates,
7 Welltower Park,
Ayton,
Berwickshire,Scotland,
TD14 5RR
Telephone: 0189 07 81991