For NTSC DVDs, up to 8 audio tracks are allowed, containing DD (Dolby Digital/AC-3), DTS, PCM (uncompressed audio, aka .WAV), or MPEG-1 Layer2 (MP2).
One audio track must have DD (AC-3) or PCM (WAV) Audio. (in other words, MP2 audio is allowed, but not as the primary audio track)

 

For completeness, the differences between the formats are given in the following table (NTSC values only; for PAL see the complete table):

  DVD AVI / MP4
(DivX / Xvid / WMV / MOV)
SVCD VCD
video format MPEG2 MPEG4 MPEG2 MPEG1
size 720x480 (depends on Profile & Level)
640x480
480x480
(PAL: 480x576)
352x288 (352x240)
aspect ratio (AR) 16:9 or 4:3 4:3 (or 16:9) 4:3 4:3
interlaced/progressive interlaced/progressive ? interlaced/progressive progressive
framerate 29.97 fps 29.97 fps
(23.976 frames/second with 3:2 pulldown (NTSC Film))
25 fps (29.97 fps) 25 fps (23.976/ 29.97 fps)
bitrate

standard quality:
~5000 kbps aver.

up to 9800 kbps (VBR)

standard quality:
~1000 kbps aver.

high quality: 3475 kbps aver.

upto 2600 kbps (VBR) 1150 kbps (CBR)
how many hours of video on a DVD 5 ? 1-2 hrs{a} 7-18 hrs    
audioformat required: AC-3 (dolby/DD) or PCM (wav)
(additional audio tracks can be: MP2, DTS)
MP3
(also supports AC-3, Ogg, etc.)
MP2 MP2
audio bitrate 32 - 1536 kbps   32 - 384 kbps 224 kbps
audio sample-rate 48 kHz   44.1 kHz 44.1 kHz

{a} depends on Quality settings. For example, 1 hour of MPEG2 recorded at DVD Long Play (4,800 aver kbps) is about 2.3 GB; DVD Long Play is therefore 1 hour 50 minutes on a DVD 5
DVD 5 (despite the label that says "4.7 GB") = 4474.88 MB, 4.48 GB, 4.37 GB (usable); movie image file should be under 4.3GB

[see SVCD to DVD guides]

The standards that make up Book B (as of 1996):

Video

ITU-T H.262 / ISO-IEC 13818-2 (MPEG-2 Video)
ISO/IEC 11172-2 (MPEG-1 Video)

Audio ISO/IEC 13818-3 (MPEG-2 Audio)
ISO/IEC 11172-3 (MPEG-1 Audio) Dolby AC-3 standard
System ITU-T H.222 / ISO/IEC 13818-1 (MPEG-2 Systems)
Program/PES stream only (no Transport streams)

In MPEG, audio can be coded at a sample rate of 32, 44.1 or 48 kHz. In DVD, the rates of both Dolby AC-3 and MPEG audio are strictly set to 48 kHz.

AC-3 (dolby digital) is also abbreviated as "AC3" or "DD".



The 1996 specification: official notes

 

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Standard Formats, as explained by Tsunami MPEG Encoder:

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reference chart for PAL/NTSC DVD formats

PAL

Video:
Up to 9.8 Mbps* (9800 kbps*) MPEG2 video
Up to 1.856 Mbps (1856 kbps) MPEG1 video
720 x 576 pixels MPEG2 (Called Full-D1)
704 x 576 pixels MPEG2
352 x 576 pixels MPEG2 (Called Half-D1, same as the CVD Standard)
352 x 288 pixels MPEG2
352 x 288 pixels MPEG1 (Same as the VCD Standard)
25 fps*
16:9 Anamorphic (only supported by 720x576)

Audio:
48000 Hz
32 - 1536 kbps
Up to 8 audio tracks containing Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM(uncompressed audio), MPEG-1 Layer2. One audio track must have MPEG-1, DD or PCM Audio.

Extras:
Motion menus, still pictures, up to 32 selectable subtitles, seamless branching for multiple storylines, 9 camera angles. And also additional DVD-ROM / data files that only can be read by computer DVD drives.

Total:
Total bitrate including video, audio and subs can be max 10.08 Mbps (10080 kbps)


* Mbps = million bits per second
* kbps = thousand bits per second
* fps = frames per second

NTSC (NTSC Film)

Video:
Up to 9.8 mbps* (9800 kbps*) MPEG2 video
Up to 1.856 mbps (1856 kbps) MPEG1 video
720 x 480 pixels MPEG2 (Called Full-D1)
704 x 480 pixels MPEG2
352 x 480 pixels MPEG2 (Called Half-D1, same as the CVD Standard)
352 x 240 pixels MPEG2
352 x 240 pixels MPEG1 (Same as the VCD Standard)
29,97 fps*
23,976 fps with 3:2 pulldown = 29,97 playback fps (NTSC Film, this is only supported by MPEG2 video)
16:9 Anamorphic (only supported by 720x480)


Audio:
48000 Hz
32 - 1536 kbps
Up to 8 audio tracks containing DD (Dolby Digital/AC3), DTS, PCM(uncompressed audio), MPEG-1 Layer2. One audio track must have DD or PCM Audio.

Extras:
Motion menus, still pictures, up to 32 selectable subtitles, seamless branching for multiple storylines, 9 camera angles. And also additional DVD-ROM / data files that only can be read by computer DVD drives.

Total:
Total bitrate including video, audio and subs can be max 10.08 Mbps (10080 kbps)


* mbps (also "Mbps") = million bits per second
* kbps = thousand bits per second
* fps = frames per second
* 29,97 is European way of writing "29.97"; "23,976 fps" == "23.976 frames per second"

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What's on a DVD? the doom9 explination

"Exporting, compressing and multiplexing your audio for mpeg distribution." (PCM [wav] to Mpeg-1 layer 2 [MP2] audio; AbsoluteDestiny; September 2003 )

 

This page last updated: Feb. 10, 2005

All software can be downloaded from Doom9's download page, unless otherwise stated.