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how do I make DVD or VCD from miniDV?

Discussion in 'Digital camcorders' started by titaniumM, Feb 3, 2005.

  1. titaniumM

    titaniumM Member

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    I have a sony mini DV and the software it came with will only capture the home video in 10 min segments for the vcd mode. Does anyone have any sugestions as to what I should do to burn the whole home video into a dvd or vcd. I have Sony picture package, MS movie maker, Nero 6, DVD shrink. Thanks
     
  2. Mark7

    Mark7 Member

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    I also have a SOny miniDV camera (DCR-H85 model). I found the that the software that came with the camera is next to worthless. However, I make excellent DVD's from the camera by doing the following:

    First I have a couple computers that use ATI' All in Wonder video cards. The come with an adapter the allows me to plug in the Sony viseo cable (the composite out cable). The ATI system allows me to record video from any source (cable, tape, DVD player, etc) so I play back the video and record it on one of the hard drives.

    I then use TMPGEnc's 3XP software to convert the video to a better DVD format. 3XP allows you to trim the video, re-arrange clips, etc to whatever you desire. Once I have a completed this process, I use TMPGEnc's DVD Author to convert the previous file to 2 folders that hold the necessary DVD files required for burning.

    Once the DVD AUthro is through I use Nero to burn the final result. DVDAuthor will also burn DVD's, but I much prefer Nero to do so.

    The actual steps are much, much easier than the above sounds - in fact it's a "no brainer" as they say, after you do it a couple times.

    But what you MUST have is:
    -a computer system that uses NTFS file system on the hard drive or else you're limited to output less than 4 gigs in size. The videos you record on your camera will be well above that unless they are very short clips.

    - you need a video captur card in your computer. I mentioned ATI as I've tried a half dozen other brands and models and found they don't work as well. You don't need ATI's most expensive models at all - neesd to be a 7500 or better model. Then download the newest ATI AIW drivers, as previous software was a pain!!

    That's it... You'll be surprised at how well your DVD's will look.
     
  3. Mark7

    Mark7 Member

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    I also have a Sony miniDV camera (DCR-H85 model). I found the that the software that came with the camera is next to worthless. However, I make excellent DVD's from the camera by doing the following:

    First I have a couple computers that use ATI's All in Wonder video cards. They come with an adapter that allows me to plug in the Sony video cable (the composite out cable). The ATI system allows me to record video from any source (cable, tape, DVD player, etc) so I play back the video from the camera and record it on one of my hard drives.

    I then use TMPGEnc's 3XP software to convert the video to a better DVD format. 3XP allows you to trim the video, re-arrange clips, etc to whatever you desire. Once I have a completed this process, I use TMPGEnc's DVD Author to convert the previous file to 2 folders that hold the necessary DVD files required for burning.

    Once the DVD Author is through, I use Nero to burn the final result. DVDAuthor will also burn DVD's, but I much prefer Nero to do so.

    The actual steps are much, much easier than the above sounds - in fact it's a "no brainer" as they say, after you do it a couple times.

    But what you MUST have is:
    -a computer system that uses NTFS file system on the hard drive or else you're limited to output less than 4 gigs in size. The videos you record on your camera will be well above that unless they are very short clips.

    - you need a video capture card in your computer. I mentioned ATI as I've tried a half dozen other brands and models and found they don't work as well. You don't need ATI's most expensive models at all - needs to be a 7500 or better model. Then download the newest ATI AIW drivers, as previous ATI recording software was a pain!!

    That's it... You'll be surprised at how well your DVD's will look.
     
  4. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    In general, video editing/conversion software supplied with your camera is rather limited. So best is to get yourself some decent software.
    Read the articles in the "Basic" section of http://www.digitalvideoclub.com to learn the basics. You will also find the names of commonly used packages.

    And Mark7: connecting a composite output of your miniDV camera to capture your footage to your PC is definitely not the right thing to do!!! By doing so, you're converting digital video to analog and then convert it back to digital again resulting in loss of quality. Always use a Firewire connection to transfer miniDV to your PC. You don't need a video capture card if your source is miniDV.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2005
  5. titaniumM

    titaniumM Member

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    Thanks Mark7 and TPFKAS. I'll give it a shot this weekend. Thanks again.
     
  6. Mark7

    Mark7 Member

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    TPFKAS:
    I read your comment regarding transferring video using a firewire cable. I've done that but either I'm doing something very wrong or I'm not using the right procedure. My video's are so much clearer when I send composite video into an ATI AIW card for capture as a high resolution (18 mbit/sec) file.

    When I use Firewire through Intervideo's WinDVD Creator and save the file the resuls while "OK" just aren't as clear as the composite method.

    What am I doing wrong? XP won't allow me to directly load from the video tape to hard drive, so I'm using WinDVD creator. Is there a method to get directly from the miniDV tape to hard drive to better work with the file?

    The website that you list doesn't actually give exact details other than to imply that I should be doing pretty much what I'm doing (using a video capture program, which I am) it seems.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

     
  7. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    Well, I don't know what compression you are using with your card. And maybe you're doing something wrong while capturing through Firewire (maybe you are directly encoding your material while capturing). Difficult for me to say.

    Anyway, it is difficult to judge the quality of the video on a computer monitor. A lower quality de-interlaced video compresssed with a codec that works fast on you computer may look beter on your PC screen than a real high quality video file.
    What is important is what you want to do with your video afterwards. If you just want to keep it on your hard drive and play it on your hard drive, you maybe happy with what you do. You want to create the best quality DVD which you want to play on a big TV screen then you better start with the highest quality to begin with.
    I can help you further if you do the following:
    1. Capture a short video on both methods.
    2. Play each of the files in WMP
    3. In the Video in WMP do a rightclick and select "Properties" .
    You will see some data about the format and size. Post the info for both files here.
    You can also do an analysis with G-spot. This will give you even more detailed analysis.
    Regards,
    Ton
     
  8. Mark7

    Mark7 Member

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    I've already went through the steps you sugest shortly after I got my DCR-HC85 last fall. The background is that I've been capturing videos for nearly 5 years using various video capture methods. Currently, I capture video off cable TV, satellite dish, and camcorders by running the composite video output from these into ATI "All in Wonder" cards (I have three computers that have these cards that I use mainly for capturing). Being retired, I have plenty of time to focus on this hobby.

    In all cases I capture in mpeg1 format at 18 M bits/second in 720x480 size. Mpeg1 has very little compression, and at this high of a capture rate there is almost no loss in quality. But mpeg1 uses up a lot of space on a hard drive. Each of the three systems I use for video capture has two or more 300 gig hard drives, so room is not a problem. You CANNOT produce excellent quality video by starting with a smaller frame size or lower capture rates. I've run literally hundreds of tests over these past years to try to do so with a lot of capture devices and every major piece of software available. It just doesn't work.

    Then, to convert (and reduce) the mpeg1 captures to mpeg2 usuable for DVD, I use either a cinema craft encoder or (most often) TMPGEnc's 3XP. Followed up by TMPGEnc's DVD Author to make files ready for DVD burning by NERO.

    Thanks to using the filters built into 3XP, in some cases, I've been told that my DVD's rival commercial quality DVD's - at least that's what friends, relatives and the people that continually ask me to make DVD's out of their "family treasures". This last group is composed of a growing number of persons who have recently aquired digital camcorders and are disapointed by the quality of the output.

    I purchased the Sony camcorder for two reasons: First to get a better quality output than my 4 year old camcorder - and, mainly, I had hoped to be able to input the raw camcorder file into a computer and save the capture process. But it doesn't work that way at all. WinDV came about as close as any thing to grabbing the camcorder file - but it still falls short of producing what I, or most people, would consider a good quality image.

    Don't get me wrong!! I guess the current software that comes with DV cameras produce an acceptible output by most peoples standards. Mostly because they have little choice and they've typically never made higher quality videos.

    While I'm happy with the improvement in quality that you CAN obtain from the new higher resolution camcorders - I'm still quite disapointed in the available software available to convert the DV tape recordings to DVD. And, as you aptly put it, using USB to input the files is about the worst thing you can do.

    Incidently, you're incorrect - the Sony file convertion to analog is excellent - so capturing the output at high resolution works great. But it also shows that with a little effort, there could be much better, easier to use software for the camcorder buyers!!! There should be no need to have to spend a lot of money to set up a computer with an ATI capture card (or equavelent). The camcorder companies should allow tape output in higher resolution form and provide software to "massage" the files down to mpeg2 for DVD burning. But then they would have to spend a few more dollars in the processors in their camcorders - something they won't do until forced to do so.

    Sorry to take up so much space here, but I'm irritated over the state of the art in camcorders, obviously. People should be able to record their family events and then do a reasonably effortless conversion to DVD in my opinion.
     
  9. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    Well Mark that's a long story, and it is not that I disagree with what you say and I certainly don't want to challenge your knowledge or expersience.
    But let me clarify some things that may not be known to everybody reading this forum (it will probably to you).

    When recording with a digital camera (at least miniDV or Digital8, not microMV or DVD camcorders), use DV compression. When transferring to the PC using Firewire, there is NO CONVERSION (unless you use a program that directly encodes to another format), so there is NO CHANGE OF QUALITY WHATSOEVER.
    Every subsequent conversion (to mpeg-1, mpeg-2 or any other "lossy" compression) will, by definition, result in loss of quality, albeit hardly noticeable.
    However, unless you want to use tape for storage of your work, DV-AVI is not a very usefull format to end with. Most people these days will want to create DVD's so they need to compress to MPEG-2. Now the question is: how to do this. You can do it with software encoders (like TMPGEnc and many others) or with a hardware encoder (as built on many capture cards). Camcorder manufacturers can even build a hardware encoder in their camera's so that you can directly output MPEG-2 from the camera to the PC (or whatever other device). It is all a matter of choice and if you ask different people who does get the best result you will get many different answers. So be it...
    Around 6 years ago I actually did run a competition on the Internet aimed at who could achiev the best mpeg-encoding quality. In that time, TMPGEnc turned out as the winner, but as with everything, technology progresses, so whatwas valid 6 years ago may not be valid anymore today...

    About your statement about analog conversion on your camera: of course it will do a very good job. If it would not, it would be a worthless camera. My only point is that it is very strange to first have your camera do a digital to analog conversion and then use your PC (either thorugh hardware or software) to digitize it again. It just makes no sense. If you do an MPEG-conversion, you'd better take your original DV-AVI and convert that than to convert your digital to analog and than digitize it and encode it...
    Another very good reason to take DV-AVI from your camera and encode it at a later stage is that DV-AVI is much better for editing than MPEG (because the interdependendence of successive frames in MPEG).
     
  10. Mark7

    Mark7 Member

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    Well said!!

    I especially agree with the portion where you state that it "makes no sense" to have to go from a digital file - to analog - then back to digital. You couldn't have said it better..

    Yet, here we are stuck with this anomaly because the camcorder manufactures haven't yet made the committment in further upgrading their processors and fund software developement, so that users can do direct transfers from camcorder to pc in a high quality mpeg2 format.

    In some repects I'm worried about when they do move to this scenario. Right now there is such a wide range in quality from mpeg2 encoders that when the camcorder manufacturers do offer this developement, we could actually wind up with no visible increase in quality in some cases.

    Example: While mentioned that I love ATI's video capture cards (the 7500 series on up, anyway), I can't stand the typical ATI software - with the single exception of their recent mpeg1 encoder offering (they bought it on the outside). The ATI version of an mpeg2 encoder has got to be near the absolute bottom of the quality list. And this is not just my opinion!!!

    Cinema Craft does the best job converting to mpeg2 - but most individuals don't want to spend the $2200 for the package. TMPGEnc3XP is now very good at mpeg2 encoding - about on par with the previous version of Cinema Craft, so it's well worth the few bucks Pegasys charges.

    Meanwhile, IMHO, I feel it's important that websites like this keep the pressure on the camcorder manufacturers to give us better, most concise packages!!!

     
  11. laithieu

    laithieu Guest

    Buy AverMedia DVD EZmaker 1394 PCi for $ 50 dollars.It comes with Ulead movie factory software and Capture card firewire.It is very easy to use.Don't spend money to buy expensive capture card and software.
     
  12. Mark7

    Mark7 Member

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    I have a number of versions of Ulead, including the latest version. But, it doesn't produce the crisp images that I want...

    I just will not settle for "OK" videos any more.
     

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