Blu-Ray Authoring

Macintosh Authoring

Currently there are three Macintosh Blu-ray Authoring options: Toast, Final Cut Pro 7/Compressor 3.5, and Adobe Encore CS4. All of them require BluStreak Premaster if you wish to replicate.


Toast uses a menu "theme" approach similar in approach to iDVD. It is very easy to learn and use, but does not take advantage of the higher-level Blu-ray capabilities such as pop-up menus.

Final Cut Pro/Compressor

Final Cut Studio 3 provides some very convenient export options from the FCP 7 timeline, and from Compressor. The menus are even more rudimentary than Toast. It supports chapter markers but only one audio stream, and does not support subtitles in a production-useful manner.


Encore uses a "one project, multiple publishing options" approach, for publishing on DVD, Blu-ray, and Flash. This of necessity reduces the functionality to the least common denominator of the three output options. There is an attempt to support Blu-ray pop-up menus, but chapter menus cannot be strung together as is commonly done on studio releases. Encore gives you much more authoring control for DVD than Toast. But for Blu-ray, some of its navigation options do not work. If you are careful to keep things simple, however, Encore can produce very nice looking discs.

Both Encore MPEG-2 video encoding and AVC video encoding now pass the Sony Steam Verifier with no errors or warnings. Please check out our Encoding Page for further information.

Windows Authoring

There are many more authoring applications on Windows, but four that can produce a BDCMF premaster folder for replication: Sony BluPrint, Sonic Scenarist, NetBlender DoStudio, and Sonic DVDIt Pro HD.

Sony BluPrint

Sony BluPrint is the most expensive of the authoring options ($60k + support?). The support is mandatory if you want to figure out how to use it; it is very powerful and easy in parts, but also lacks some user functions such as undo. It has an abstraction layer that takes care of the nuts and bolts of many of the complex spec issues, yet does not impose the performance degradation that was common in DVD abstraction layer implementations.

Sonic Scenarist

Scenarist is less expensive than BluPrint for the full version, and there is a "Light" version for much less, but with considerable reduction in functionality. Scenarist HDMV is is very capable of producing excellent menu navigation and graphics without BD-J, and their templates can help you avoid having to delve too deeply into the movie object commands.

NetBlender DoStudio

NetBlender DoStudio is an excellent choice for those wishing to exploit the full functionality of the Blu-ray spec without it costing an arm and a leg. When making a choice of authoring systems, you must also consider the abilities and cost of the encoding options for that system. With the announcement of a new, lower one-time price of $2999 and the inclusion of an encoding solution for Blu-ray compliant AVCHD video, DoStudio becomes a very attractive option.

Update: It appears that the NetBlender Encoder will be adding and improving features as it evolves, and could become a very good professional tool.

Add-on Modules

There are several companies providing add-on BD-J modules for the three professional Windows authoring systems. The idea behind most of these is to provide more features and at the same time do the BD-J programming for you. You can check out the authoring package web sites for more information.

Sonic DVDIt Pro HD

For those wishing to produce simple titles on the PC, DVDIt is a good choice for both duplication and replication, with it's low cost (under $500) and familiar DVD-like authoring interface.