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Alternatives to Pinnacle Express?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by scook17, Sep 20, 2002.

  1. scook17

    scook17
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    I've been using Pinnacle express for a while now and just upgraded my DVD writer from a pioneer DVR-103 (A130) to a pioneer DVDR-104 which supports UDMA mode 2 as opposed to PIO Mode 4 (about double to transfer speed). Anyway, Pinnacle express doesn't work with this drive, which is a real pain.

    I've been looking for a package which is easy to use, can do capture from a DV camera (a Panasonic MX350) and also do variable bit rate encoding to make DVDs. As far as I can tell, Pinnacle Express uses a fixed rate variable bit encoding method, which results in not so great DVDs as compared with the VBR encoding.

    Is there an alternative to Pinnacle Express I could use which is both easy to use AND does VBR?

    Kind Regards,
    Shane Cook.
     
  2. JefUK

    JefUK
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    You can use Pinnacle Studio 8 or Ulead DMF, both use VBR.

    The dissaponting quality From Pinnacle Express is not due to VBR or CBR, it is due to the MPEG2 Encoder which is used.

    For the best quality write to a DV-AVI and then use TMPGenc to encode to MPEG2, the low cost Ulead DMF will provide DVD authoring to your burner.

    CBR will give better quality than VBR for a given maximum bit rate, but it will take more space.

    Using TMPGEnc will give a quality indistinguishable from the original DV.
     
  3. scook17

    scook17
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    Does Pinnacle Studio have these stupid 'I will not work with your DVD burner' restrictions as the express version? I could not find a list of DVD players it would work with.

    Kind Regards,
    Shane Cook.
     
  4. JefUK

    JefUK
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    I am not sure whether it will support your burner, but your Pioneer is probably the most common model. The website says it supports everything except +R (which is what I have!). You could try the Studio 8 user forum to ask the question or get the trial CD.

    But the cheapest, and most flexible option, is to use Ulead DMF to author and burn. Their website contains a burner compatibility information.
     
  5. scook17

    scook17
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    I downloaded Ulead DMF and it's currently writing a DVD as we speak.

    I also downloaded TMPGenc which seems to be a good little tool. It took one and a hlaf hours to do a 3 minute video clip on my Athlon 1.2Ghz SDRAM machine. When I did the same clip on my 1.6Ghz Athlon XP, 266DDR machine it took thirty minutes, one third of the time! I noticed the XP machine had the SSE box ticked in the CPU window.

    If I upgrade it to a Athlon 2100XP or Athlon 2200XP will it make much diffrerence?

    Kind Regards,
    Shane Cook.
     
  6. JefUK

    JefUK
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    TMPGEnc can be slow, and is dependant upon the settings, but 12 to 1 is not a bad ratio. 30:1 however is a little long! The time is also dependant upon processor clock rate, increasing the clock rate will proportionally reduce the time.

    I will send you an e-mail, reply so that I can get your address, and I will attach the templates I have developed for TMPGEnc/Ulead DMF.
     
  7. scook17

    scook17
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    Pinnacle Express has editing facilities as the step prior to DVD burning. The Ulead DMF doesn't seem to have this, or did I miss something. There is some 'Edit' step but I can't for the life of me figure out how it works. Do I need a separate editing program as well?

    BTW, I noticed Pinnacle Express captures from my DV camera using 1700Kb/s where as DMF uses 3500Kb/s. That's strange. I guess Pinnacle is compressing my data?

    Kind Regards,
    Shane Cook.
     
  8. scook17

    scook17
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    Seems to have got reposted. Sorry.
     
  9. JefUK

    JefUK
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    The only editing facility in DMF is a simple "trim". More advanced editing has to be done in a full editing application.

    The bit rate is strange as DV requires about 3600k. This is set by the encoding done by the camera, and complies with the DV standard. It is only a file transfer and not a true video capture.

    I don't use Express, but I do use Studio 7, and that has lower quality capture options, called preview quality, perhaps you were using "preview" quality.

    If you really were capturing at 1700k then you will see a big improvement at 3600k.
     
  10. scook17

    scook17
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    Do different cameras use different bit rates then?

    Kind Regards,
    Shane Cook.
     
  11. JefUK

    JefUK
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    No, the downsampling would be done by Pinnacle Express.
    Is the data rate a user option in Pinnacle?

    I have just looked at the editing facilities in Express, and they are much more advanced than in DMF.

    DMF is usually used with a full editing application. If you like Pinnacle Express try Studio 7
     
  12. scook17

    scook17
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    I think I'll try Studio 8. I've just run the demo and it looks like what I'm looking for. It does the editing and writes DVD, and even puts it back on to DV for you if you want.

    It's available on Amazon for £37. Can I buy it cheaper anywhere else?

    Kind Regards,
    Shane Cook.
     
  13. JefUK

    JefUK
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    Studio 8 is an excellent editing application.

    An upgrade can be bought from DABS for £34.07 but they are not yet available and they upgrade from "previous versions". I am not sure whether Pinnacle Express is a "prevous version". But the full version at £41.99 at Amazon looks good value.
     

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