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Panasonic GS-50 MiniDV to VCD/DVD

Discussion in 'Digital camcorders' started by hbaj305, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. hbaj305

    hbaj305 Guest

    I have recently bought a Panasonic NV-GS50 compact palmcorder which uses a MiniDV and SD card for storage. The movies recorded into the MiniDV is excellent. What I would like to know is what is the easiest way for me to have these digital movies copied to a VCD or DVD. Do I have to have the save into my laptop hard disk before burning the to a VCD/DVD? Please help....
     
  2. awesomejt

    awesomejt Member

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    Actually, there are two approaches you can take:

    If you have a component DVD-Recorder (ie, home theatre component), you can play the video through the analog outputs of your camcorder and capture it with the video in on the DVD-Recorder. That is probably the most direct and simple way to do it. However, DVD-Recorders are still expensive but are coming down in price. This approach also would not allow you to edit out stuff you don't want -- it basically would straight copy from MiniDV to DVD in one shot.

    Approach Two, which is much more common, especially with the folks in this forum, it to copy/record the MiniDV content your computer's harddrive, do some editing, and use software to convert and create a DVD. The process is much more involved, but most people have most of the required equipment to do this. As with most MiniDV camcorders, you'll have a "DV" port -- which is just a Firewire port -- suck the video down to your computer (with software that can do this). You'll usually get an AVI file in DV-AVI format (unless you have software that does MPEG conversion on the fly) and you'll be able to edit this file. Of course, remember this file can get HUGE (12GB per 1/2 hour in SP mode). After editing the file, you'll want to add convert it to DVD or VCD format -- and perhaps even add a menu or so. There are plenty of software programs to help, but that is the main process. You'll want to remember to burn onto a DVD-RW or DVD+RW first before making a real disc on DVD-R or DVD+R (if you mess up, you can start again on a re-writeable disc -- at $2 to $1.50 each, you don't want to make too many coasters).

    I know of folks doing it both ways. Usually, the first approach is great for people that want to transfer their old analog tapes to DVD and don't need to edit the content. And of course, one of the great advantages of going digital is the nice interface with the computer (USB or Firewire).

    My preference is to go through the computer first because I usually NEED to edit my videos. I'm using Pinnacle's Studio 8.10.4 which allows me to record from the camcorder (firewire), edit the video the way I like it, and burn to DVD all in one software package. There are other packages that do the same like Dazzle's DVD Complete or Ulead DVD Workshop. There are also soem free or cheap software programs to help do each step along the way, but you loose some functionality and/or robust, friendly interface.
     
  3. cobruh2k

    cobruh2k Member

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    awesome jt,

    hello. I'm also a newbie and have been playing around with various video capturing/burning programs. One burning question: my dv camera came with a USB cord, but it does have a firewire output as well. My PC has both. When I download the images from the camera using the USB port(I'm using WinCreator), it converts it to a MPEG-2 file (although when I read the propertied on the file all that shows is that it is a NeroMediaPlayer file, which is odd since I don't have any Nero software). Two software programs I use for burning do not recognize the file as a video file, so I have to burn them as a data file, which I can't then play on my home DVD player. I used an AVI analyzer for the file, and it indicates it's a MPEG-2.

    Should I be capturing the video using the firewire port? Could that be the problem, as the software that I use indicates a firewire download as a requiremnet? I thought all data was the same regardless of what method is used to send it to a PC.
     
  4. shorty2k

    shorty2k Member

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    You are getting data confused with formats

    Mpeg is one type of video compression as is avi,

    Mpeg standard for Motion Picture Expert Group, and their is the old mpeg1 which is commonly used for VCD. Then their is the more improved mpeg2 which is used for DVD and digital Satelitte/cable/terristale broadcast. Then their is MPEG4 which has many variants including divx but this is has a .avi
    file extension confusing huh?


    AVI standards for Audio Video Index/interleaved.

    And it can have many different compression codecs ie, avi could be a divx file or a DV file, two very different formats, but they both go under the AVI file extension.


    So when you first bring the data from your miniDV the data is stored on the tape as a AVI file using the DV codec. So when using a the firewire you are just making a copy of that data, an EXACT copy, so it is identical to the orginal, however if you capturing as opposed to copying then you will lose quality,

    When you have edited your movie that you have "copied" from the tape you can then save it back to the tape with no lose of quality as long as you stay within the DV codec and do not transcode to some other intermaidate format,

    *please mote some small amount of quality lose may arise during editing these will mostly occur when you do things like text titling and hence your video editor will have to render the new changes.

    Also note there is two types of USB, USB1 and USB2, basically USB1 is the older one and is slow, and the newer one is faster (same speed as firewire)
     
  5. cobruh2k

    cobruh2k Member

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    thanks shorty2k, still a bit confusing tho. bottom line, i'm having trouble burning the video image to DVD as it's not being recognized as an appropriate image. that's my primary problem right now.
     

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