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Can someone explain what DVD authoring Software I need?

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cmulder

Guest
I am currenlty using Screenblast 3 and have a CD Burner. I am using the free version of TMPGenc to encode AVI files to MPEG for VDC. However, I am going to be getting a DVD burner and want to burn DVDs.

I have read here that you need DVD authoring software and I am not sure what that is. I note on the TMPGenc website, they have DVD authoring software although why would that be needed if the free version authors MPEG-2? Isn't that what is used for DVDs?

Also, my Screenblast program says it authors DVDs, but I found it was terrible for authoring VCDs so I supsect it will be the same for DVD and want to use something with better quality.

I also have Nero 5 for burning to CD/DVD. In addition, I have MySonic DVD software but haven't used that yet.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Hi cmulder and welcome to the forum.

You are correct in saying that DVD's use MPEG-2 format, but this can have many varients. Also a DVD disk needs the files in certain directories etc. This is what the authoring software does.
To create a DVD (or VCD/SVCD) you start off by editing you video footage. This will normally be in the AVI format. You can convert it to MPEG-2 (or MPEG-1 for VCD) now or let the authoring software do that. You load the video into the authoring software and with many packages you can then add menus and chapters. You then let it create/format/convert the files and burn it to disk.
The advantage of lettig the authoring software do the MPEG conversion is that you have options to get longer footage onto the disk by useing a lower bit rate (result is lower quality) as at full quality fixed bit rate you would get a maximum of 1 hour per disk.

I use and am happy to recommend Ulead DVD Movie Factory 3 to create DVD's. It can be bought online for around £25, so not too expensive.

Mark.
 
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dirt

Guest
When you buy your new dvd burner, there's every chance that it will come bundled with dvd authoring software. When I bought mine, it came with Nerovision Express which is quite basic, but still very user friendly.

Now that I've become a wee bit more experienced, I use Sonic Dvd-it! to author my dvds. I use Mainconcept to encode my edited avi files to mpeg2 then import them into Dvd-it!

Although you can import avi files directly into Dvd-it! I find Mainconcept makes a much better job of encoding mpeg2.

Like the previous post says, there are a lot of differing variants and qualities of end result with all the different mpeg encoders available, so my advice would be to try as many as you can and see what works best for you.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
I know you can get a free trial (30 day) download of Ulead products from their web site. I would assume many of the others would also be available as a trial.

Mark.
 
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cmulder

Guest
Isn't DVD Movie Factory 3 the same as Screenblast, just a different manufacturer? Or is it just for creating and burning DVDs rather than creating the movie?

Also, how are you guys archiving these clips. 5 minute clips are like 3 gigabytes and are starting to fill up my dedicated 80 Gig hard drive. Do you archive them as MPEG-2? The problem with that, I guess, is once you encode it, you lose your formatting from Screenblast and would have to re-do it.

Guess what I am asking is, once you have your Screenblast movie done (or whatever movie editing software you are using), you then want to get rid of the source files because they are so big. How do you guys address that issue.
 

vonhosen

Novice Member
Personally I don't tape over my original footage , I just keep the DV tapes with it on.

I capture the tape , edit , encode, author & burn then remove the original files from my harddrive. Once I've made my DVDs I then delete the MPEG-2 files.

If I want another copy of my DVD I just image & copy the original DVD I make & keep.

Hard drives haven't reached a price range yet for me that it is cost effective to be able to store or my originally captured footage on removable hard drives as opposed to tape.

5 minutes & 3Gb ???
That sounds like uncompressed .avi to me as opposed to DV .avi which should be about 13Gb per hour.
 
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dirt

Guest
Ditto the above for me (capture, edit, encode, author, burn) except I keep the mpeg2 files in a folder for quick reference as they're only a fraction of their original size.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
DVD Movie Factory 3 has very basic editing & capture tools, but is really only designed for creating a final disk. It is not really an editing package. I don't know Screenblast, so don't know what it can do.

I also burn to DVD and normally delete the AVI. If I think the edit was a long, complex one I then copy the full quality AVI files back to my camcorder and keep the origional and the edit on separate DV tapes. I also keep the Adobe Premiere project file so I can recapture etc easily if required.

Mark.
 
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cmulder

Guest
Originally posted by vonhosen
5 minutes & 3Gb ???
That sounds like uncompressed .avi to me as opposed to DV .avi which should be about 13Gb per hour.
Well, I just capture from the Camcorder to Screenblast--I didn't realize there was "compressed" DV avi.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
A mini DV camcorder internally compresses AVI files at 5:1
AVI is 4 minutes per Gb so uncompressed that would be 5Gb :eek: . I know disk space is getting cheaper, but not that cheap.

Mark.
 
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cmulder

Guest
So, is MainConcept better than TMPGenc? What are some other recommended encoders and DVD authorithing software. Might as well try a few out.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Ulead DVD Movie Factory 3
Ulead DVD Workshop 2
Pinnacle Studio 9

The above are just 3 authoring progs that I know off the top of my head. Studio 9 is a complete editing package as well as DVD authoring prog. MF3 is what I use and WS2 is what I would use if I could afford it. AFAIK all of the above are available as a free trial.
There are of course loads of others from many other companies.

Mark.
 
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dirt

Guest
I use Mainconcept over TMPgenc.I've tried both and I find the results far more satifactory with Mainconcept.

Run a google search for trials of both and try for yourself.
 

vonhosen

Novice Member
Other good encoders ( at reasonable prices) other than TMPGEnc & MainConcept are CCE (Cinema Craft Encoder) Basic & Canopus Procoder.

I mostly use Pinnacle's DVD Impression Pro & Sonic's ReelDVD for authoring.
 
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cmulder

Guest
Someone recommnded a hardware mpeg encoder (winTV). Does that do a better job then the software encoders?
 

MarkE19

Moderator
It all depends on how much you are spending.

The advantage of a hardware MPEG encoder is that it does the conversion in real time as the video is being captured. Also takes the work load off the PC's processor as most of the number crunching is done internally by the card.

Mark.
 
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cmulder

Guest
Well, I wasn't planning on spending more than a few hundred bucks for a card, but if the $50 encoder programs work just as well, than why bother?

Originally posted by MarkE19
It all depends on how much you are spending.

The advantage of a hardware MPEG encoder is that it does the conversion in real time as the video is being captured. Also takes the work load off the PC's processor as most of the number crunching is done internally by the card.

Mark.
 
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cmulder

Guest
Bumping this up.

Still looking for recommendations, thoughts, suggestions, etc. on Software encoding vs. Hardware?
 

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