Best brand of blank DVD media (dual layer)

TechiMan

Active Member
I can't say if it will work with your capture card, but for the initial capture, try OBS Studio. It's very flexible, which in turn makes it not hugely intuitive but once you get it set up to "see" and "hear" only the source you want it should grab your incoming video and audio and encode it - using H264. As I say - set the capture up to match your output resolution (PAL = 720x576).

Once you have your video on the PC Hard Drive then, if you already have it, Corel VideoStudio should allow you to import the captured video, do some editing and make you your DVD compliant output, either as a .mpg (mpeg2) file (which will then need authoring) or, if you are happy with the options offered, an authored DVD-Video with optional menu and chapters.

Or, for a free DVD-Video authoring tool which will encode properly (if necessary) and will let you make a menu and add chapters if you want - but does NOT offer any editing - DVDStyler.
Thanks for the advice, but not even OBS Studio will work, by that I mean nothing seems to happen when the capture device is selected. All was working fine with it about 2 weeks ago when one morning I decided to try using my S-video cable to see what improvements I would get from using composite. I think I should've unplugged the device and switched off the VHS recorder but I just took out the device from the USB port and swapped over the cables and used the composite audio cables to inserted them into the outputs at the back of the VCR and then inserted the S-video cable into the back of S-video out at the back of the VCR also, plugged the capture device into the USB port and I was able to get a signal though the image was cropped and missing a large portion of the top and bottom part of the frame. I then disconnected the wires and decided to go back to using composite, but after that I could no longer get a signal. When you go select the video capture device from the +symbol at the bottion left corner of the screen, nothing else happens except a blank (black) screen.
 

tich77

Active Member
Uncompressed video takes up a HUGE amount of disc space and is largely unnecessary. Given that your target is a DVD-Video, you will eventually encode your output as mpeg2.

The trick is to use a good compression method (and H264 is quite good enough) on the initial capture but importantly do it at a high data rate/quality (as long as your hard drive has the space) to minimise compression artefacts - and at the right resolution to match the output (or higher, but that's not a benefit). So doing "feeds" to final encoder with an optimal source.

Erm, have to disagree

Capture format is always always always determined by purpose:

If you wish to do any form of editing, then capture uncompressed (YUY2) or low compression HuffYUV or mjpeg, to avi file format. Import to editor, then encode to mpeg-2
If the purpose is to convert from source to DVD, then encode directly to mpeg-2.

Disk space was not really an issue 15+ years ago, when drives were <500GB (and in 2003, 120GB) for IDE/SATA, and 73GB SCSI (recommended for video back then).

I'd really really really avoid capturing to H264 as its lossy compressed and will require transcoding to mpeg-2 for DVD, with a further degradation in quality and increases the chances of macroblocks. Get the settings wrong, and there is the risk of introducing 4:1.1 compression in the colourspace. There is no need to capture at higher resolution than the video standard (PAL or NTSC). It gains nothing, just requires more processing power for the same output.
 

tich77

Active Member
I think that's right way as you say to use a good compression method than uncompressed. But as I've said previously, getting a program to even capture my videos is a real pain. One minute a program will work and then the next it won't, and it's very frustrating when it does this and I can't think what is causing this as I've reinstalled the software but still getting nothing. I often use VSDC for editing, though I don't think the MPEG4 compression they use is all that great compared to other programs I've used (Windows Movie Maker seems to do a better job) as there is more noticeable compression, and I don't think you can really adjust it. There is also a video capture feature, which although I can get a signal from my VHS recorder, when I go to record/capture it I get this message:

You can't imagine how frustrating and annoying this is, it's one program after another that I can't seem to get an input from my device, and when I do it won't capture the video. Whether this is a drive issue or software issue I don't know. Virtualdub also doesn't work as when I select the capture device and record AVI and select the appropriate input (in my case composite), all I get is nothing as if it hasn't detected anything. I have used Virtualdub in the past (may've been on my older laptop though not the one I'm using now) and it has worked, but not it doesn't. The only program that is currently working is Corel Video capture.

Please, please, please do some basic research. Your frustration stems from a lack of knowledge.
VSCD does not have different "MPEG4 compression" to other programs, MPEG4 is a standard.
The programs you are using are cheap/freeware software, and as I said posts ago, offer very little granularity over the control of the numerous aspects of capture and editing.

Have a look at a "freeware" mpeg encoder, and the options available for tuning mpg encoding. Then look at Mainconcept MPEG Encoder, and the raft of options it gives.

Capturing from a device is not a simple as plug-and-go; VirtualDUB needs to be able to access the device, via a driver. If it cant talk to the driver, it cant "see" the capture device, and will not receive a signal. If the driver isn't OS compatible, it is not going to work.
 

tich77

Active Member
I've no

I've no idea if the drivers need updating or anything like that. As I'm only using a laptop there's no chance of installing a capture card. The capture device is a Climax Digital USB that has composite and an S-video cable coming out of it which links to a composite to scart connector which goes into the back of my (at the time or typing I am using a Panasonic DMR-EZ47V VHS/DVD combi, the DVD doesn't work).

Yes I am capturing at the same resolution and format as the source.

You need to do basic troubleshooting at the driver level. If you dont know if the drivers need updating, then no one is going to be able to assist you.

Your capture chain is another potential source of problems:

1. EXACTLY how is the chain connected - as in which port is plugged into which
2. What is the VCR set to output via the SCART socket; composite, RGB, or S-Video?
3. S-video to composite will not work. Full stop. The signals are incompatible.

Be aware that 'scart' is a socket "standard" and not a signal standard (unlike s-video and composite). "standard" because so many 'scart' components do not follow the standard: e.g. uses a common ground wire, not fully wired grounds; only carries composite video and not RGB and/or S-video. Ditto SCART interfaces on devices may not transmit/receive the full compliment of signals
 

Sloppy Bob

Distinguished Member
I don't even know why you'd bother these days writing to a disc that will "rot" when you can store it on a HDD in a superior compressed format.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
If you wish to do any form of editing, then capture uncompressed (YUY2) or low compression HuffYUV or mjpeg, to avi file format. Import to editor, then encode to mpeg-2
If the purpose is to convert from source to DVD, then encode directly to mpeg-2.
(1): I'd refer to that (plagiarising someone else's term) as "placebo quality" i.e. being close to perfect, but actually better than it needs to be for the purpose. Particularly (but not simply) because of the source.
(2): If there is to be some editing then a re-encode or transcode will likely take place anyway so the initial capture codec is largely irrelevant. Very few video editors will do "smart rendering" (whereby unamended portions are copied rather than re-/trans- coded). I'd agree that one encode is always better than two, but I'd only agree with the suggestion to capture as mpeg2 initially IF either there is no editing, or if the editor used can smart render.
 

tich77

Active Member
(1): I'd refer to that (plagiarising someone else's term) as "placebo quality" i.e. being close to perfect, but actually better than it needs to be for the purpose. Particularly (but not simply) because of the source.
(2): If there is to be some editing then a re-encode or transcode will likely take place anyway so the initial capture codec is largely irrelevant. Very few video editors will do "smart rendering" (whereby unamended portions are copied rather than re-/trans- coded). I'd agree that one encode is always better than two, but I'd only agree with the suggestion to capture as mpeg2 initially IF either there is no editing, or if the editor used can smart render.
"placebo' is more to do with perception rather than a demonstrable objective; much like being given a pill, told it cures all, and one feels better - the pill is nothing more than chalk.

Regards editing: all editors use uncompressed video, so if one intends to edit the video, regardless of whether the final output will be DVD-video, h.264, etc, there is no point in [lossy] compressing on capture: a) it degrades quality, there is no getting round this. The compression will be inefficient as the compressor can only do frame-by-frame compression, and it will have no way of calculating GOPs. And if macro blocks are introduced.... ooops.

Then the edited video will be encoded again.- or worse, transcoded. Ideally only encode once, on the final output to target format. Capturing uncompressed achieves this.

Also bear in mind in this case the source video is already of poor quality, so one isnt going to capture "perfect" video, one is going to do an almost perfect capture of poor video, subtle semantically, but very very different in operation.
 

TechiMan

Active Member
I don't even know why you'd bother these days writing to a disc that will "rot" when you can store it on a HDD in a superior compressed format.
I basically just want to back them onto different media, one of them being DVD which alot of people still use especially to watch films. I have an external HDD which the files will also be stored on, but I'm not taking any chances of backing them up only on a HDD. Plus with a DVD I can play on any DVD play whether it's old or new. Alot of older TVs do have a USB port for (supposedly) being able to connect an external device or HDD, but the ones I've tested that are over 5 years old, don't seem to recognise anything plugged into the port. I have an older Sharp TV that is like this that I got off a relative. No idea what the USB port is supposed to be for if it doesn't do anything, maybe it's for a SKY box or something.
 

TechiMan

Active Member
"placebo' is more to do with perception rather than a demonstrable objective; much like being given a pill, told it cures all, and one feels better - the pill is nothing more than chalk.

Regards editing: all editors use uncompressed video, so if one intends to edit the video, regardless of whether the final output will be DVD-video, h.264, etc, there is no point in [lossy] compressing on capture: a) it degrades quality, there is no getting round this. The compression will be inefficient as the compressor can only do frame-by-frame compression, and it will have no way of calculating GOPs. And if macro blocks are introduced.... ooops.

Then the edited video will be encoded again.- or worse, transcoded. Ideally only encode once, on the final output to target format. Capturing uncompressed achieves this.

Also bear in mind in this case the source video is already of poor quality, so one isnt going to capture "perfect" video, one is going to do an almost perfect capture of poor video, subtle semantically, but very very different in operation.
Well if most of the captures programs only use MPEG2/MPEG4 etc to capture (lossy) then there's not much you can do about it. I guess the problems I'm having with Virtualdub and the other programs is down to the drivers not recognising the capture device. My ideal would be a desktop PC with a proper capture card, but I don't have much space for that, and the laptop I have is perfectly capable of capturing (when the capture program actually works). I did try OBS Studio again and just used to composite cables (no scart connector used) connected the capture device and into the back of the VCR, and I did get a signal which I couldn't get before, but for some reason the bottom half the frame was cropped quite abit.
 

tich77

Active Member
Well if most of the captures programs only use MPEG2/MPEG4 etc to capture (lossy) then there's not much you can do about it. I guess the problems I'm having with Virtualdub and the other programs is down to the drivers not recognising the capture device. My ideal would be a desktop PC with a proper capture card, but I don't have much space for that, and the laptop I have is perfectly capable of capturing (when the capture program actually works). I did try OBS Studio again and just used to composite cables (no scart connector used) connected the capture device and into the back of the VCR, and I did get a signal which I couldn't get before, but for some reason the bottom half the frame was cropped quite abit.

Where do you get this "most of the capture programs only use mpg/mp4" from? What you mean is "the freeware/cheap software I use only seems to give me the option capture in..."

You "guess the problem...." the key word there is "guess". The problem could be driver related, it could be because you have configured the VCR to output s-video but have configured the capture device to use composite - or vice-versa - or configured cables wrongly or any one of half a dozen other reasons. Or because it is a cheap and cheerful USB device.

Composite video is the worst video output source you can capture from. If you can use s-video all the way through, confirming that VCR is set to use s-video, capture device uses s-video, you will get better results.
 

tich77

Active Member
I basically just want to back them onto different media, one of them being DVD which alot of people still use especially to watch films. I have an external HDD which the files will also be stored on, but I'm not taking any chances of backing them up only on a HDD. Plus with a DVD I can play on any DVD play whether it's old or new. Alot of older TVs do have a USB port for (supposedly) being able to connect an external device or HDD, but the ones I've tested that are over 5 years old, don't seem to recognise anything plugged into the port. I have an older Sharp TV that is like this that I got off a relative. No idea what the USB port is supposed to be for if it doesn't do anything, maybe it's for a SKY box or something.

"No idea what the USB port is supposed to be for if it doesn't do anything, maybe it's for a SKY box or something."

Yes it does do something. I have never had a problem attaching a HD or pendrive to a TV, even a 10ye old Panny plasma, and it not being detected and playing back files. Have you tried diagnosing what the issue is: drive size? volume size? disk format? RTFM and google are you friends here.
 

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