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Looking for effecient way to make home dvd movies

Discussion in 'DVDR' started by Claim, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. Claim

    Claim Member

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    There has got to be a better way to copy home movies off the video camera.

    -----------------------------------
    System Info:

    Me – not particularly bright and fairly computer illiterate… I only know enough to be dangerous.

    Computer:
    Dell 8300, P4 at 2.8GHz with HT Technology (whatever that means)
    120 Gig hhd space (split on 2 hard drives)
    Plexor 708A DVD burner

    Software:
    Dell Movie Studio Plus
    Roxie DVD Builder (part of Roxie CD and DVD Creator 6)

    Added Assessories: some kind of Dell Adapter, RCA Audio/Video / S-Video cable

    ------------------------------------

    Here’s what I did:

    I hooked up my Sony digital 8 video camera using the S-video cable to the Dell Adapter and made a DVD of a home movie tape using the Roxio DVD Builder. It took about 2 hours and I got a nice 2 hour tape of awesome video that had NO SOUND. Where there was some sound but it was mostly buzz and pops.

    Urrggggh. I checked the Roxio web forum and discovered others had the same problem, but no one listed any solutions. A download patch still wouldn't apparently fix the problem. There were no apparent fixes to this problem on Roxie – so this format looks like a waste of effort.

    So I searched the hard drive and found that I also have Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator - you can use it to transfer home movies to DVD's.

    So, I started downloading video into the program, but this time using the RCA Audio/Video cables from the camera to the Dell Adapter. That took almost 2 hours to copy 2 video tapes to the hard drive. It was from last year’s vacation and I wanted to make one nice DVD package.

    I then told the software to create the DVD. Because of a second video tape I had two video segments to burn.

    During the set up, I told the movie maker to make a Best Quality DVD. That was probably a mistake because each video segment was going to fill a full DVD disc. In fact, one segment was 104% of the available disc.

    So anyway the computer starts encoding the video - over an hour goes by. Next it encodes the audio - another hour. (or I think that’s what it was doing)

    Then it starts burning the DVD.

    I swear, it took me from 9:30am until around 4:30pm to burn 2 digital 8 tapes onto 2 DVD’s. I've got great sound and the video quality is exceptional. I'm not disappointed in the DVD quality - but I'm bugged it took me all day to do this.

    So .... is this the way it’s going to be? An all day affair to make a simple DVD of about 2 hours of video? Except for using the “Best Quality” which I think was the reason for the massive file size – about 20gigs, did I do something wrong (like having only 2 movie segments and not breaking the movie down into smaller chapter sizes – which I would have had to have done manually with this software). Is there a better more efficient way of doing this? Am I lucky I made a home dvd movie on my second attempt?

    I’ve seen ya’ll recommend Nero a good bit. We’ve got the Roxie program that seems to work pretty well with everything else we want to do --- I’ve seen ya’ll say that Roxie and Nero are incompatible. What do ya’ll recommend.

    Thanks and sorry for the long post and busting the rules.
     
  2. Claim

    Claim Member

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    Hmmmm. Nothing....Dang.
     
  3. fasfrank

    fasfrank Active member

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    Be patient...I'm thinking....
     
  4. fasfrank

    fasfrank Active member

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    OK I'm done thinking.

    Your post is not really that long, I prefer long posts. We get posts like "i burn my movie to day but it errored can uhelp plez" :) So I actually like ones with lots of good info I can work with....Like yours (even though it kinda belongs in the camcorder section, hehe)

    Anyhow, a good encode is worth waiting for, thats why we have nighttime. Your computer can stay up as late as it wants to.

    Roxio worked OK for you so maybe it is a matter of not selecting the highest quality for the encoding process.

    A fast encode would be about two and a half times the length of the video. I am basing this on very limited experience so try things for yourself and read a bunch of stuff here at AD. You just have to dig around for it.

    My JVC hooks directly to my computer with a firewire cable. I open NeroVision 2 and select "capture video". It gives me an opportunity to add chapters, subtitles, menus, etc. It gives me a bunch of choices as far as output file format, quality, etc.
    It works fine for me.

    I also have something called TMPGEnc 2.5 for converting .avi files. All I'll say about that now is that it is a good quality encoder and TMPGEnc used to stand for "Tsunami MPG Enc/oder. Basically you take your captured .avi and run it through this program to convert it into .mpg files which can then be reauthored into a DVD-Video compliant package.

    It is the Roxio CD packet writing software that apparently conflicts with Nero. All I can tell you is that folks who trade their Roxio for Nero are usually a lot happier afterward. I'd do it.

    Dell, eh,... Dude.. do both your optical drives have the jumpers set correctly? I take it you installed the Plexor so you must have set your jumpers to master and slave rather than cable select. Right?

    Be sure to check out the camcorder forum and don't forget to read the rules if you are not sure about them. I don't think you broke any, not being in the correct forum is pretty common but you had DVD related stuff, so...

    Sometimes it takes a while to get a reply, we all just do this for fun and possibly enlightenment so it can take a while.

    Cheers,
    Frank
     
  5. Claim

    Claim Member

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    Thanks for answering Frank, I grovel at the feet of you superior dvd stuff knowledge.....

    It was the Roxio VideoWave Movie Creator that I successfully used to create my dvd set. It sounds like it has the same features that allows the adept user to add chapters, subtitles, menus, add music, edit the story board and stuff like that. I only had one opportunity to set the quality format. I think my options were "Normal" or "Best Quality". I chose the "best" setting and was unable to back track from that point on once I realized how large the file sizes were turning out to be and that my movie was going to have to fit on 2 dvd's instead of only one dvd.

    Looks like I need to at least try the next movie with the "Normal" setting and see what happens.

    You just sailed way over my head with that one. ;) But I think you are telling me about converting the file size down from a huge .avi to a more manageable .mpg format. I've been reading a lot about the DVD-Shrink freeware on this forum .... do you think I need to try to compress my video downloads with Shrink? How does that work? Do you copy the movie from the camcorder into the computer using Shrink or use the computer software and then muscle the file down-to-size with Shrink? Would that have helped me get my 1hour and 52 minutes of fun and exciting vacation onto one dvd disc?

    We might have to do that, but since we spent the big bucks for the "Dell Movie Experience", we'd like to try it a few times before we abandon our purchased media and move on to Nero. I think it would mean dumping 2 programs in our machine because of the conflict - Roxie Easy CD and DVD Creator 6 and Roxie VideoWave Movie Creator .... don't want to muddle the computer with conflicting applications unnecessarily.

    Yeah, I think I've got them set right. I bought the computer with a dvd-read only and a cd-rw. We pulled the cd-rw and plugged in the Plextor 708A and set the jumpers exactly the way the cd-rw was set. Well .... at first I didn't and my computer was a hunk of junk until I fixed my mistake. The Plextor copies data to both cd and dvd so I think I got that right.

    I was afraid I'd get busted for going to the wrong forum. I did a search and didn't find anyone talking specifically about extreme long processes or anyone using the kinds of media I'm using. Mayby I used the wrong search words and was (and I'm ashamed of myself) too lazy to search beyond 6-7 pages of search hits.

    Thanks for the help and maybe you'll have a few minutes of free time to noodle my problem one more time.

    Sometimes it takes a while to get a reply, we all just do this for fun and possibly enlightenment so it can take a while.
     
  6. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

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    Just to clarify, the reason fasfrank mentioned converting to MPEG for DVD is because AVI can't be used for a DVD-Video disc, which is shorthand for saying you can't author a DVD that will play on a standalone player without converting. DVD Shrink can't do that for you because it isn't a converter. It's just a compressor, which basically means it takes files that are already in DVD-Video format and removes enough data to fit on a blank. I believe your Roxio software has an encoder, but it's not a very high quality one. This basically means that you'll either get lower quality or bigger file sizes than you would with a "real" encoder.

    There are basically 3 high quality MPEG encoders out there. CCE is (IMO) the best and it's also the fastest. There are 2 versions, but the only one you might be interested in is CCE Basic which costs $58. Besides working as a standalone encoder, it can also be used as a plugin for Adobe Premier for people who use that program to edit. The downsides are that the trial version is crippled (only encodes 3 minutes of video) and there's a little bit of a learning curve for the settings. If you want to get around the trial limitations you can download the CCE SP trial instead, which despite being a more expensive encoder will give you almost identical results to CCE Basic but will encode as much video as you want. It just adds a watermark to the video.

    MainConcept is another high quality encoder. I don't consider it quite as good as CCE, and it's also not as fast (not sure how much slower), but it's a close second in quality, and is also the encoder used in programs like Sonic Foundry DVD Architect. You can get it as a plugin for Premier, but unlike CCE it's a separate program. MainConcept costs $119 for the standalone or $49 for the Premier plugin and there are fully functional trial versions of both, but they'll add a watermark like the CCE SP trial. Also like CCE, there's a slight learning curve because it's very cusomizable with quite a few settings.

    Finally, there's TMPGEnc, which is about the same quality as MainConcept (maybe a little lower), but it's easiest of the 3 to learn and only costs $48 (last time I looked). There's also another version called TMPGEnc DVD Source Creator that has fewer settings, but only makes DVD compliant files. DVD Source Creator also has the advantage that you can buy it bundled with DVD-Lab, which is an excellent DVD authoring program. Both versions of TMPGEnc have fully functional 30 day trials with no watermark in the output. This is also the easiest software to find people to help you with because it's been sold for consumer level prices for the longest (used to be free). The downsides are that it's a little buggy and slower than the other 2 (probably half the speed of CCE).
     

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