HD-DVD: It’s a shame

I spent 3 hours searching the net for a free way to burn my camera’s HDV footage in a HD .mpeg2 non-transport format on a regular DVD using UDF 2.5 and HD-DVD’s file structure, and then playback that on an HD-DVD. You see, HD-DVD players recognize plain DVD disks with HD content burned on them, as long as these DVD disks were burned using the right HD-DVD file system/format. I have an HD-DVD player but not a burner, so using plain DVD media to burn HD files it would have been a lifesaver (plain DVD media disks can hold up to 35 minutes of HD).

There are three ways to do it currently, all commercial options, and all non-supported hacks:
1. Use DVD Studio Pro on the Mac, via Final Cut Studio ($1200) – Tutorial
2. Use Ulead + Nero ($130) – Tutorial
3. Use Pinnacle Studio 11 ($100) – Tutorial 1 and Tutorial 2

The easiest/cheapest way is the third one, but I am sold on Vegas and I can’t justify $100 for a DVD burning software that I otherwise don’t need. I had hopes that the Linux geeks would be able to hack something together by now, as the “standard profile” HD-DVD file structure is just an evolution of the DVD one and so it’s *easy* to create compared to Blu-Ray, but it seems that no one scratched that itch yet to make it happen. Eventually it will happen, but again, I am trying to get functionality out of my tools that while will be commodities in 2-3 years from now, they are not yet. I think that’s why I am getting so pissed off with software: I know what potentially *can* be done with it, but I want it done NOW.

UPDATE: It is now possible. Tutorials here and here for both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD filesystems on plain DVD discs.

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