Atariscene DVD
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» Image quality
» Framerate
» Audio quality
» Encoding quality
» Covert art/box
» Media


To make this as fair and decent as possible, we're not going to give you a load of crap of how good the picture quality is, or how professional the menus and covers are.
Below you can read descriptions and see/hear examples about the different parts of the package, from video quality to box print quality.
  • Image quality
    All the footage has been grabbed from a Falcon or STe via PAL composite signal. We've tried really hard to get a clean RGB signal converted into SVIDEO to grab that instead - but our (very expensive) converter fails the ST and Falcons false PAL signal (313/313 lines opposed to 313/312 lines standard PAL).
    Composite doesn't give the sharpest image, and it doesn't give a noise free image. Ataris cheap RGB to composite conversion module doesn't help the quality either.
    After hours of testing and comparing, it would appear that big areas of (light)blue/purple give the most visible noise from both a Falcon and STe.
    Check this (475kB) as example of worst-case scenarios (Underscore and Fantasia screen-dumps).
    But to be fair, the general qualitty is better, here (691kB) is an example of more typical quality scenarios (Delta and Moving into darkness screen-dumps).
  • Framerate
    Many video files found on the net of demos are recorded in 25 FPS and some MPEG4-derivate format. Any coder will know how absolutely TERRIBLE a 25 FPS scroller will look on a TV or RGB monitor.
    So how does the Atariscene DVD look like?
    First of all, we are recording in PAL. That means that the actual FRAMERATE is 25 FPS, but as PAL is interlaced (two half frames per full frame) - where each half frame contains motion - we're getting the full 50 Hz motion recorded. Scrollers are smooth, all motion is captured.
    If you have a DVD player able to play MPEG2 files (with MP2 audio) connected to a TV, you can download example MPEG2-files with clips from the DVDs and judge the smoothness by yourself. NOTICE! If you play the above file on a computer screen, you will see a "jagginess" which is due to the interlaced video.
  • Audio quality
    The audio has been recorded directly from STe and Falcon audio ports. There has been no modifications made to either one them. It means that the STe background noise is there, and the Falcon bass-boost is there - it might not be the best - but it is authentic.
    Download (2.3MB) example MP3 file (Moving into darkness, Echos and Grimey sound-clips).
  • Encoding quality
    As we're having a quite noisy input video signal, we've had no choice but to encode the video at a rather high bitrate and split the three hours of material onto two discs. The video bitrate is running at an average of 6Mbit/s with a peak of 8Mbit/s. When comparing the original DV input stream with the MPEG-2 encoded stream we were unable to find any visible additional artefacts from the extra encoding. The video is encoded using Apple Compressor in full quality mode. No post-filtering has been made that could alter the final image quality - what you see is the real deal.
    Audio-wise we've extracted the audio from the DV-tape in most cases, which were recorded at 16bit 44100Hz stereo. The audio stream was then encoded into 224kbit stereo dolby digital AC3 audio using A.Pack from Dolby.
  • Cover art / box
    As you can understand, we're runnig the Atariscene DVDs in very low quantities (counted by a few dozens rather than perhaps hundreds or thousands). For such small batches, we can't produce factory made covers and discs, so everything is homemade.
    The box is a standard-size DVD-box with holders for two discs inside. The boxes are cheap, and sometimes have smaller glitches, but nothing major.
    The cover picture is not designed by a professional graphics artist, but by ourself, it is printed onto normal xerox photo-copier paper with a HP Laserjet colour printer. The result is somewhat stripey, but it looks cool enough in your DVD-shelf.
    You can view a scan of a printed cover here (270kB 75DPI).
    (if you are about to print your own cover, please use the supplied 300 DPI original cover picture from the downloads page instead)
  • Media
    You're getting two standard DVD-R single-layer discs burned at 8X speed with verify using a NEC 2500A drive. The disc-brand is Verbatim DataLifePlus (Advanced AZO).