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A freemans test in analog to DVD

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by Prisoner, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    I decided to post this because I started a PM conversation with Dela and thought others might find this useful. Also this may fit into a lot of forum areas but noticed this one has the most with VHS to DVD questions so i thought I would put it here. Any comments, laughing comments at me what ever are fine.

    The goal is to transfer VHS movies and movies I create with my new miniDV to DVD. So both digital and Analoge to DVD useful, and I want to do this a free and legal as possible.

    So far Capturing took a night and I think I have the best solution depending on what you want to do. I tested Panasonic DV studio 3 (free with Camcorder PVGS200), Panasonic Motion DVD studio (Free with Notebook), Windows Movie Maker (Free in Win XP), Windows Media Encoder (free download), Virtual Dub (version 1.5.10.1 and 1.6.3 free download), DVIO (free download) and WinDV-1.2.3 (free download).
    First the only programs tested that could capture a live video free passed through my camcorder and by Firewire to notebook were Virtual Dub, DVIO and WinDV. When testing Virtual Dub version 1.5.10 can't capture the audio no matter what I did. The virtual dub 1.6.3 just crashed. DVIO was good, it is really small program so does not display a preview of the video. It droped 10 frames ever time I started the capture, but once a minute in it was stable with no frame drops. WinDV was the best. It did not drop a single frame due to its buffer. Guides comment on how it was good and you could run other proceess on your computer and would not drop and they were right. I do have a Toshiba Notebook runing P4 2.8 with 512Mb ram and 60Gb HD (I think 4200rpm) with firwire port and had no problems. The trick with WinDV that no one tells you is that there is a check box near the capture button. If ckecked it will only caputure off a miniDV tape (and does so really well but you need to use your camorder for reverse, forward ete features it just plays and records) if this is not checked then it will capture live video and audio running into the computer.
    So conclusion WinDV is free and the best one tested it captures at 720 x 480 pixels. Capture is 1536kbps and captures at 225MB/min for up to 10hrs straight if you have the HD space.

    Next going from .Avi which all but the windows products save the video as. The window ones which I don't recomend save in .wmv format and drop frames like crazy on my computer. Here I first test the all in one programs. DVD2SVCD (free download), DIKO (free download), Roxio 6 (I bought this when I bought computer), DVDSanta (Free full feature trial version). In DVD2SVCD I downloaded the free encoder QuEnc version 0.59 and installed with the D2SRoBa. For all tests I am using a 12min (2.62 Gb test video clip). I started DVD2SVCD with the guide using D2SRoBa, but click QuEnc instead of CCE. This is fine you will get an error message before it starts saying that it only works with CCE but it will proceed but at 6 to 6.2 frames per second fps. This is very slow and took over 2hrs for only this 12min clip. But didn't work when Besweet striped the audio it errored on encoding it and it wasn't finished on my computer. Now before for you say it because of D2SRoBa, your wrong because repeating using Dela's guide with out it The same thing happend but the encoder max speed only reached 5 to 6 fps. So if BeSweet works for you try with D2SRoBa, it might be faster. DIKO has the encoder FreeEnc in it and I updated the version .3 to .31, I followed the guide availble at Doom9. Here the enconding time was great only 24minutes for the 12min movie. But it defaults to single not multi, for better comparison I should have used multi. But the result was the same as with DVD2SVCD, beacause it also uses Besweet to strip and encode the audio seperately. However the resulting Video stream was the same as with DVD2SVCD, both little blocky but not bad. I also tested DVDSanta, this is a software you need to pay for, but they give you a full feature non expiring test trial version. Only catch is it puts a Demo version tag and please buy for $30 for the ONLY the first 56 seconds of the resulting file. This was good if you like no control at all. YOu open the software, add the .avi files to the list and click make DVD. Its encoder works between 30fps to 32fps on my computer so only took 12mins for the clip (its NTSC), and then ask you to insert a black DVD so it can burn it. What it gives you is all the .bup, .ifo, .vob need and will burn a dvd. What it doesn't give you is options for chapters, editing ete just makes a dvd of the exact video you give it. But the encoder it used was the best I have tested.
    Roxio6 has a program called DVD builder and it allows you to make menu's, submenus, edit your clips, move things around and have upto 6 seperate files in each menu with upto 6 submenus ete. But I can't seem to make chapters within each video clip. YOu can add transitions between them but when tested on a Sony DVD player there are no chapters (this bugs me). Also its encoder has about the same results as QuEnc, blocky and noticable errors with rapid moving objects. But it encodes at about 16fps, half that of DVDsanta so it will take twice as long.

    So after all the problems with BeSweet, I tested QuEnc and FreeEnc on their own. FreeEnc needs the audio to be striped out. However opening QuEnc on its own you can open the .avi file made with WinDV and encode the audio with it a various levels. So I tested this, the result was encoding at 16 to 22fps (this I don't understand because I was doing stuff in the background whereas before it was with nothing running in the background overnight) and you get a .mpg file that has the sound and looks not too bad less blocky then previous and on par with Roxio6 encoder.

    So Next I am going to look at DVD author tools to make a DVD I want. But sofar what I recomend for the free people is:
    1. WinDV to get any audio and video to you computer.
    2. QuEnc on its own to make the .avi to .mpg
    3. I will test DVD author next.
    4. I will test and find Video editing after.
     
  2. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    In continuation of no sleep last night, I have tested a bunch of DVD authour programs.
    Free available ones that I have tracked down are Muxman, DVDbuilder, DVD hive and DVD Styler. Muxman seems to only like .mpv files that are created by FreeEnc or QuEnc if you edited with AviSyth. If you have a .mpg file by directly using QuEnc as I said above then Muxman can't handle it. DVD builder was very straight forward, I didn't like the look of it and you cna not add any chapters to your project. However it does write a Video_Ts folder fro direct burning. DVD hive allows for 4 to 32 auto chapters set at between 1 to 60 minutes apart. It is also extremely easy to use and will write a .iso DVD image that you can burn with what ever burning software you want. This is by far the simplest and easiest freeware DVD author program. For mor features DVD styler was good. You can set in specific chapter time points, but seems to only like 4 total chapters per .mpg loaded. I need to test this again however. It can write out a .iso image or if you ckeck to not delete temp files in the configuration it will write out and keep the Video_Ts and Audio_Ts folders. Also this seemed to have mor custom features with adding buttons and fonts and what ever back image I wanted as long as it was 720 x 480 and recomends making one using 7.5 inch by 5 inch Powerpoint file and saving as an image. Since this program is actually for Linux but modified for WinXP, some of the features are not supported yet.

    Conclusions: for easy simple chapters and DVD author use DVD hive, for more custom chapters use DVD styler. DVD styler also has a lot of potential that may one day compete with the $100 DVD-Lab.

    Next to test out Free Avi editors. Ones found are Jahshaka, Zwei-stein and Wax20c
     
  3. Minion

    Minion Senior member

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    Hi, You should have just used something like Tmpgenc to encode the File to Mpeg-2 for DVD as it is a tried and tested encoder and better than any of the other Free encoders out there?? Just a thought?

    Also you should check out "Scenalyzer Live" for DV Capture from your cam as I have used it for Analogue to digital captures and it has worked great...

    Cheers
     
  4. Prisoner

    Prisoner Guest

    Thanks for the ideas Minion. I know about TMPGEnc, its not only most used but most talked about. It however doesn't fit the free criteria or non expire Demo critia. Why I now say non expiring Demo as after yet another day of now burning off DVD-RWs and paying around I have a formula which seems to work great.

    1. WinDV to get to computer (I still will say this is the best)
    2. Edit it if you want, I am still testing editors.
    3. Send the final .avi files into DVDSanta with an extra 2 minute intro file that is what ever.
    4. Don't burn with DVD Santa, but grab the final .vob files and add to DVD styler.
    5. Add menues, backgrounds what ever you want and click to burn. Program will out put Video, audio folders and .iso file.
    7. If too large shrink the video folder with DVD shrink (this has never come up but I might try to fit >2hrs clips in the future), In all cases to date just burn with Nero or what ever.
    8. Done.

    After staring at edges, colours and brightness, DVDSanta has the best freely available Encoding method. Also it only adds its demo label to the first .avi file so you can throw away its associated .vob file with DVDStyler and add chapters where ever you want and menus like crazy. Also DVDSanta encoder was faster than video time on my PC (ie 30+ fps) all others tested are much slower on my PC.

    For those that beleive in freeware, this is my current recomend path. I still need to test Editors and I may also play around with a linux method after reading about quite a few other fully intergrated Linux packages.

    I do mention Panasonic Motion DV studio in tests. This came free with my computer, but appears to be limited to capture. If any one has a full version it is allows a complete package that will capture, edit, encode and burn to DVD. Either I am not getting it or I am only limited to caputure, but if I can get it to work I will post my impressions on its workings here to the other freeware. Most disapointing is Roxio6 DVD builder. Its encoder is really only design to go from Divx or Mpeg4 to DVD, when going from Avi to DVD its worst than QuEnc and its file sizes are 3x larger. Also not allowing for chapters is really anoying, but it does have good basic editing features to add audio comentary.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2005

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