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Copying from Video Camera to DVD via PC

Discussion in 'Digital camcorders' started by AmiNutall, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    Ive read as many threads/guides re-this, but hopefully just need pointing in the right direction, to save me wasting any more dvd's (ahh you say , thats the pain of learning ! ). Ive tried to be as descriptive as possible, so bear with me...
    Im basically trying to copy from from my Canon M370 dv camera , onto DVD -R , or DVD - RW.
    I have tried to use the software provided on my pc, and have nearly suceeded, but having read many of your threads, realise that there may be faster /better PQ ways. I may revert to those once Im more confident.
    I have used Windows Movie Maker to copy (via firewire) to my pc. This seems to copy them in WMAV format. I have then used Nero Express2, choosing the option 'make a dvd-video' to add titles etc. I can then happily burn to the DVD -R .
    However, I cant seem to work out how I dont finalise the DVD, and therefore be able to copy more footage to the DVD. I have clicked till my fingers ached trying to find the right option. I have also tried DVD-RW , but mustve been unlucky , as I bought a batch that no dvd burner could read.
    So, my questions are..
    1 - If using Nero (vision express2) how do I NOT finalise (if thats the right word) the DVD
    2 - Am I going down the wrong alley , and better to use other software, as its faster /easier. Im trying to use 'free ' software, but will invest if needs be.

    Many thanks in advance for anybody who can help me. Hopefully some of the answers will help others.
     
  2. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    Well, it is not possible to NOT finalize a DVD-Video.
    If you use +/-R you can just burn it once and that's it. If you burn +/-RW you can burn it again, but all contents on it will be erased so you will start with a blan DVD. According to the physical specifications it is possible to add data to a +RW-DVDVideo but there is now way to actually do it. Best thing to do is buy a good qualiti DVD+RW and use that for testing purposes. Once you're happy with the result, burn a final version on a +R or -R.

    About use of software:
    Windows MovieMaker default settings for capturing is wmv. The program even refers to it as "recommended". That is BS: Microsoft is trying to pusgh their own developed standard wmv. You should capture in DV format. Better quality and much more programs can properly handle it. Windows MovieMaker is not a very sophisticated video editing program, but if you're satisfied with it's limited possibilities, OK.
    To turn it to DVD you have to encode it to MPEG-2 format. In stead of the encoding it with a burning program like Nero is usually not a good idea. They don't offer the best quality. Go for TMPGEnc or Mainconcepts MPEG-2 encoder I would say. Both programs are not expensive and well worth the money.
    For authoring and burning DVD's I would opt for Ulead DVDMovieFactory (low cost program, easy to use and sufficient possibilities if you're not interested in too fancy menu stuff). You can get a 30 day free trial from http://www.ulead.com.
    But remember: this is only an opinion and the programs that you wnat to chose very much depend on your own aspirations (and your wallet).
    Another suggetion: read some of the basic articles at http:/www.digitalvideoclub.com
     
  3. philbert1

    philbert1 Member

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    I'd suggest you buy or download the Nero updates.There are some new features in that version which will allow you to do want you need to that are not in the older version.I downloaded the updates & am pleased with the results.If you opt to download the updates be prepared for a lengthy session unless you have a broadband connection.It is a free download if you have the serial number of the current version.Good luck.
     
  4. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    TPFKAS & philbert1 - Thanks very much for your replies. If only Id known beforehand you cant finalise ! (it wouldve saved much banging of head).

    I have loads of stuff on mini dv tapes that I want to backup / make shorter copies of. To save on hard disk space , I ideally want to copy some stuff of my tapes (say 1 tape) , then copy that to a DVD , then copy/edit another tape , then add that to the DVD. So is the best way to do tape1, copy to DVD -RW, then copy tape 2 , which you add to the clips from tape 1, then rewrite the whole lot again to the DVD -RW ? Sound mad , but is this the way forward? ALternatively, once confident, I guess I can create a biggish file , then just burn to DVD- R?
    As far as software goes, do you mean you actually use 3 different pieces of software. One to copy from the tape in DV format (any recomendations?) , one to decode to MPEG2(TMPGE) and then another to copy to the DVD?

    Thanks in advance .
     
  5. philbert1

    philbert1 Member

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    Nero version 6.6.0.6 will recode automatically to whatever format you need to use for a specific application then burn to disc.You can add clips later to a dvd-rw disc.
     
  6. woody_223

    woody_223 Member

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    sound as though you are in the same boat as me

    i use pinnacle studio 9, it captures, edits well, and burns to finish dvd fine

    i just get mixed up having diferent programs for each different process

    i capture the whole tape, pull off what i want to keep then make the new movie in avi save to hadrive and that it all the bits you want and the tape free to record over

    just get a big harddrive there so cheap now

    saves so much messing about

    hope this helps a bit
     
  7. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    Hi AmiNutall,
    Let me try to address all your statements. (sorry for the long read)

    First of all: woody is right. You should get yourself a HD of sufficenct capacity. A 60 minutes DV tape takes about 13 GB if captured in DV-AVI format. In general it is a good idead anyway to have a separate HD for your video stuff. I would recommned at leasta 60 GB.

    Secondly, you're doing what most digital video enthusiasts are doing these days. Take the interesting material from your DV tape and put it on DVD. You can capture a whole tape (or more) just in one go, but you can also do a batch capture which means that you scan the tape, detemine which scenes you want and capture only these. Adobe Premiere can do it but another nice utility fo that is Scenalyzer.
    Once you've done that use any video editing program to cut and paste the scenes that you want. Save the result in a DV-AVI if you want to use a separate MPEG encoder or save directly to an MPEG from the timeline. Now you can throw the captured AVI's away and start with the following tape. When you've got enough material to fill one DVD, create one.

    By the way: saving the end result as a DV-AVI has another advantage. You can use it to record it back to a tape. This is a good habit, because it is a high quality backup (higher quality that the MPEG-2 that you burn on DVD).

    Your question about having to use separate programs. This is a hbit that grew with a lot of people that have been doing digital video editing for already some years. Not too long ago, all-in-one program did not exist, so you simply had to. And doing so, people have kind of developed their favorites for each of the steps. The single most important factor that will determine the quality of your DVD is the MPEG encoder taht you use, and still many people believe that TMPGEnc is one of the best around. Since it is in the middel of the process: capturing-editing-encoding-burning you end up using three differnet programs. But anyway, if you're uncomfortable doing so: there is an increasing amount of all-in-one programs that do a good job.
     
  8. vinvam

    vinvam Member

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    If you have the newest version of Nero you can do it all with Nero. Get NeroVision Express(2, I think?). You can capture and burn with it.
     
  9. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    I have managed to save some files in AVI using Windows movie maker, and the quality does look better, but when you use WMM to save it to disk , it just converts it back to WMV (banging head on desk).

    I think Im just going to bite the bullet and buy Pinnacle Studio 9. Can many of you recommend this is the best 'all in one' software ?
    Was thinking about it till found this link...
    http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/software/contentcreation/0,39024138,39119241,00.htm


    Thnaks in advance .
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2005
  10. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    There is not "The best all-in one software".
    Risk of giving an opinion about a given application is that there is always subjectivity in there...
    Personally, I still prefer to use different pieces of software for editing, encoding and authoring. As you can in the reviews from the page you refer to, most people are not to thrilled about the DVD-authoring possibilities of Studio.

    In section 6 of http://www.digitalvideoclub.com/basics/editing.php you will find a number of video editing programs (also to be used for capturing). Adobe is the best (but also most expensive), programs like Studio and MainActor are good and more affordable.
    In section 3 of http://www.digitalvideoclub.com/basics/createdisc.php you will find some authoring tools.
    Most vendors have 30 day trial versions of their packages, so I would say try a couple of those...

     
  11. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    Thanks TPFKAS - I will have a look when I get chance.
    Im sure I will get there !
    Hopefuylly I can find a way of using either/both Windows Movie Maker or Nero to capture in AVI / edit/ burn to disk.
    Somebody somehwere recommnded a free piece of software to copy from a Mini DV player in AVI format , but I cant find it now. Think it was called DV101.32 ?
     
  12. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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  13. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    TPFKAS - As I mentioned earlier. WMM allows you to download from your camera in AVI , but when I tried to use their option to save to disk it seems to just convert it to WMV. Any tips ?
     
  14. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    When you connect your camcorder, start WMM and select capture, you will be presented the option either to capture in wmv, DV or other formats.
    Microsoft presenst wmv as the preferred one, but don't be fooled by that. Select DV-AVI.
    After rereading the trhead I understand that this is not your problem. I guess you have problems saving it to DV-AVI after editing. I checked it: when you save the edited movie, in the second window there is a link called "more options". If you click that there is a choice "other formats". Very strange however is that I only see DV-AVI NTSC, no PAL, very stange. Anyway, I don't use the program...it's not much good anyway. Get yourself a decent editing program...
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2005
  15. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    TPFKAS - I think I have found where you mean...

    In the section headed "Finish movie" I select 'save to computer' . Having put in the name of the file, I then get the chance to select the 'movie setting' . Under the heading 'other settings' there is a choice DV-AVI (PAL). Maybe I have a different version to your goodself.
    When I save the file as above , then look at the file in Explorer , it shows the file type as NeroMediaPlayer. However, when I play the clip, the file extension does show as .avi.

    I have loaded the file into Nero Express , and burned it to a cd. Difficult to compare the quality to a file I saved as WMV , but the quality looks good enogh to me.

    I think Im getting there ! Does it sound right to you ?
     
  16. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    TPFKAS - I think I have found where you mean...

    In the section headed "Finish movie" I select 'save to computer' . Having put in the name of the file, I then get the chance to select the 'movie setting' . Under the heading 'other settings' there is a choice DV-AVI (PAL). Maybe I have a different version to your goodself.
    When I save the file as above , then look at the file in Explorer , it shows the file type as NeroMediaPlayer. However, when I play the clip, the file extension does show as .avi.

    As I did my editing in Windows Movie Maker, before saving it to disk, I have then loaded the file into Nero Express , and burned it to a cd. Difficult to compare the quality to a file I saved as WMV , but the quality looks good enogh to me.

    I think Im getting there ! Does it sound right to you ?
     
  17. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    Yep, looks like you found it allright...
     
  18. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    Hey - Im still here & learning ...!

    In one of the above posts TPFKAS mentions that th emost important step is the encoding. If I buy TMPEnc then can I use Nero to burn the disks , or will it do some converting that will undo all my good work ?
    He also mentions Ulead DVDMovieFactory.When I look at the spec for this software it appears you can copy off the camera and burn to dvd all with this software. Will it be better to just use this software, or will the TMP provide a much better encoder ?

    I am only converting home movies not any other films.

    Many thanks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2005
  19. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    If you use TMPGenc you can use Nero to burn the DVD's. If you use it properly it should not re-encode your MPEG's.
    Ulead MovieFactory does a decent job, but the encoder that is included is not top of the line.
    You can easily compare because both TMPGenc and Ulead have 30 day free trial versions.
     
  20. AmiNutall

    AmiNutall Regular member

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    Thanks TPFKAS.

    I am going to download both of these to test (hopefully my dial-up can download this okay !)

    Presumably it is still the best option to capture in AVI ? I am using WMM to do this.

    When using the encoders , what type of file do they create (MPeg?).
    Is there any way of checking / stopping Nero from re-encoding ?

    Thanks again for your help guys/ gals.
     

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