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Part: II Beyond the Basics > Calculating Your Content

Calculating Your Content

The first step in creating a bit budget is to figure out (manually or via a spreadsheet) how much space will be taken up by the project's nonvideo content—audio tracks, subtitle tracks, motion menus, and any DVD-ROM or “extra” content. (Subpictures and still menus take up so little space that you don't have to account for them in a bit budget.)

Once the nonvideo content has been calculated, the rest of the capacity of the DVD (less 5% or so reserved for headroom) is available for the stuff that takes up the most space: the video content. The final and perhaps most important calculation is what level of MPEG-2 compression will be needed to get all your video content onto the remaining disc space and have it play back within the 9.8 Mbps maximum DVD video data rate. (And remember, you'll probably want to keep your data rate well within that maximum, to ensure trouble-free playback on a variety of DVD players.)


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