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4.1 out of 5 stars
DVD Demystified
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on September 10, 2002
DVD authoring pros and interested beginners as well use DVD Demystified as their handbook to the "DVD standard". True industry insiders pay ten thousand dollars to join the DVD Forum to get a copy of the "real" standard plus thousands more for each extension. In DVD Demystified, Jim Taylor not only reveals the important parts of the spec but also helps you to understand where it came from and, as best can be explained, why it is the way it is.
In addition to the valuable book, an included DVD has some very valuable examples of nearly every trick that can be done on a DVD-Video with ROM and web extensions. It is used as a standard in the industry to study some of the finer details. The author's website which carries the title's name-dot-com is a continually updated resource and is simply the most up-to-date available on the industry.
As a DVD author myself and full-time multimedia worker since before the word was coined, I still refer to sections of this work on a frequent basis. I'm willing to wager that almost every one of the members of the DVD Forum who have access to the multi-thousand dollar spec books also have a well-worn copy of DVD Demystified at their desk.
If you want to do anything beyond the most casual creation of DVD's for home, you should own a copy of this book.
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on September 10, 2002
There are lots of books that purport to be a full and complete reference about something, but Jim delivers the goods about DVD in this edition. An invaluable reference book for anyone seeking in-depth knowledge about this very technical subject, it does not seek to be a Schwann Guide for DVD titles, nor a review of DVD players. Instead, this book covers the whys and wherefores of DVD - how the format began, its roots, its basics, chapter after chapter of notes on its capabilities, its possibilities, and most importantly, its future!
Taken in conjunction with the included DVD disc (which demonstrates practically EVERY feature possible with DVD), and the DVD FAQ website ... (which further demonstrates the Web-DVD capabilities of the disc, and provides a forum for continuing updates on DVD Technology in between editions)), these materials constitute a VERY thorough, and more importantly, VERY ACCURATE review of a very technical optical disc format.
If you are a DVD professional, or want to be one, this book should be on your bookshelf.
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on May 18, 2003
..this book may not exactly be a shining victor. Don't mean to crash the party, the book indeed does its job remarkably well and for those who prefer their information packed and printed into one huggable volume, this is perhaps the best there is.
But the first question that people like me ask is "What can I find here that I cannot find for FREE on the net?" And the answer to that is, unfortunately, not much because a lot of this info is accessible elsewhere. Even if you search for the words "DVD demystified" it turns up a whole slew of immediately relevant websites (on almost all search engines).
That said, it is a fantastic book that doesn't gloat over the merits of DVD versus older discs, or the engineering nitty gritty of the whole format. If you are looking for practical advice for getting busy with your DVD-R/W, and are lazy (or busy) enough to want a book for it, then this is great bang for your buck. For the rest of us there is always a search engine.
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on February 14, 2002
...it seems to have every minute detail about the DVD format. There is a history of photography through moving pictures to film and television into recording and finally DVDs. Full technical information on how DVD functions and was created, comparisons of the DVD format to every other popular format of recorded video, even examples of how to hook up a DVD player are included. DVD Demystified is a 700 page book, and obviously it will take a while to go through, but so far the 100 odd pages I've read are brilliant for defining DVD technology, and the rest of the book which I have flipped through appears to go in depth to an absolute degree. If you need a bible for the DVD format, get this book. I haven't stopped marveling at the anal ability of the author to compile this information.
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on September 10, 2002
For anyone who is a professional or serious about producing professional quality DVD, this book is an absolute "must have". Jim has managed to take a _very_ difficult subject and make the technical details of the specification understandable. I frequently train people in DVD production for feature films, and I use this book as my text. By most in the "business", this is considered to be "The Bible" and Jim is considered to be one of the most authoritative "voices" we have. And the accompanying DVD is a valuable addition, with excellent examples of what the spec is capable of.
My absolute highest recommendation!
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on May 16, 2002
This book is not all there. He misses many points about DVD and makes many mistakes. His mistakes range from why a CD-R can't play in a DVD player to the effects of Jitter. He does explain the pre-production process well, but misses on the production process. There is also more to testing a disc then watching the video and audio. If a disc is of poor quality from the manufacturing process it can cause play problems that he is not even aware of nor states in his book. By the way he has written this book you can tell what information he has and what he doesn't.
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on February 4, 2002
This book is excellent...a magnum opus. The connections between CD and DVD are fully incorporated. There are interesting, accurate, and detailed explanations of the development history of DVD. In addition, the figures and tables are *exceptionally* well-done and helpful in understanding the myriad subtleties of this medium. It has one of the best discussions of various video/movie aspect ratios, complete with excellent figures, that I have seen. It goes far beyond being a book only about DVD.
Most strongly recommended.
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on May 22, 2002
This book has a good history and digital video section. The book should be called Digital Video Demystified, it is lacking the disc part of the DVD. He does cover the digital video and authoring parts of the process, but only a little bit of the ROM process. He barely touches on disc production or play mode. This book does not give all the details of the DVD format. It is a good book for anyone that is in authoring or cares to know how Digital Video is made, but after that he is missing it.
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on January 12, 2001
Jim Taylor does a great job with this updated book. It goes over what DVD is in great detail.
What is missing is any list of DVD authoring tools. This is probably done to be objective, but there are some great authoring tools that should have been listed. I was hoping the included DVD disc was going to have a copy of SpruceUp or some other tool to try and create my own DVDs.
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on September 9, 2001
Whether you want to author DVD's yourself or have someone else
author them for you, it helps to understand the technical details
of how DVDs work and what can be done on them. This book gets
right down to the nitty gritty and explains all the details
thoroughly...even explaining the flaws and inconsistencies in the
standard. A must have for any producer of DVDs!
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