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DV footage to DVD

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Stoke192, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. Stoke192

    Stoke192
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    Hi,
    Apologies if this question has been asked before but as a complete novice i'm not sure which way to go :)

    I've got a Sony Handycam DCR-HC18E DV camcorder and i want to backup the footage to DVD....nothing fancy as i'm not a budding steven spielberg but i want to tidy up the clips and watch the video on a dvd player.
    Basically there clips of our new born son and i want to send a dvd to various relly's so they can watch it on there home dvd player.
    I've tried Windows Movie maker and wasn't particularly impressed with the quality of the video that it captured....very grainy :confused:

    So the question is......Which piece of software is best to use or do i need to get a dedicated capture card for the pc ??......or am i missing the point and the two work hand in hand ??

    Thanks in advance

    kev
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    OK, first question - How are you connecting the cam to the PC? It should be via firewire and NOT USB. Firewire is the only way to get 100% PQ when capturing.
    Next, what file format did you capture the footage as? You should capture as .AVI as this is an uncompressed, exact copy of the files on the DV tape. Be aware though that they will eat up around 14Gb of HDD space for each 1 hour tape captured.

    If you follow the above 2 suggestions then Movie Maker will give excellent results and save you spending more money than you need to. If you need a bit of help useing it then have a look at This web site as it covers just about everything you could want to know about useing Movie Maker in simple, easy to follow language.

    Good luck and let us know how you get on. I'm stuck at work today so have loads of time to answer any further questions you may have :devil: (and yes I am serious about having loads of time :D ).

    Mark.
     
  3. Stoke192

    Stoke192
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the reply :)

    Your suggestions seem to have sorted my initial probs (there's bound to be more :) ) i was connecting via the supplied usb 2.0 cable and movie maker wasn't giving me the option to save as an .avi.
    I've been out and bought Pininacle Studio DV 9 ......it was on offer for £25( took a gamble it was any good) this morning which came with a double firewire card and firewire cable.
    I connected these up and the save as an .avi option became available in movie maker so this has answered my initial questions :)

    As for the size of files....that's not to much of an issue as i've got plenty of HD space available.

    Thanks again.....but i dare say there'll be more questions to follow.

    Cheers
     
  4. shoehorn

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    If you're now using Pinnacle, make sure you update to the latest - it's 9.4.3
    I'm sure you'll have some "it's rubbush" comments, but I use it and it seems stable enough to me...
    If you haven't updated, and can't find how to, then take a look here.
    Have fun! :)
     
  5. evans

    evans
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    Stoke192 Hi,

    since now you got the firewire cable connected it is very easy. I spent months on testing various programs like pinnacle, power producer etc. All i wanted was the easiest way to convert my dv footage to dvd. Here is the best way to get the best results.

    1) first connect your dv camcorder to your pc witht the cable. Make sure your do a defrag of your disk to ensure no lost frames. Turn off all running programs especially your antivirus. Since you have pinnacle software you can use that. I found nero vision express very good in capturing and showing any droped frames. You need at least 13 gb free on your hard disk to convert the dv footage to dv avi file.

    2) Once the avi file is on your hdisk you will have to convert it to mpeg 2 file and for this you need a quality avi to mpeg2 converter. This is where quality results matter. I have tested them all found canopus procoder to be the best. VERsion 2. You cant see much difference between the original and the copy. Just load your avi with this program then with the settings use the highest bit rates possible say about 9000 bit rate. VBR variable bit rate. Use mastering quality or high speed quality DVD and pal. Then press go to convert and start. Please note that there is two options for the audio on procoder one is for seperate audio/video file and another is both on same file after conversion. Best to chose the latter.

    3) Note one thing the conversion will take long time depending on your processor speed and Ram on your machine. Mastering quality can take 5 hours for one hour of footage. Add sharpness filters and your looking at 11 hours. My machine is only 1.8 pentium M though. Once the conversion is finished you will have an Mpeg2 file on your Hdisk.

    4) You then need another program to convert MPeg 2 to DVD, the best and easiest for is Tmpgenc authoring v1.6. All you have to do is load your MPeg 2 file in this program and it will convert to DVD files. Which you can use this program to burn onto disk or use Nero burning to write onto disk. The conversion doesnt take long about 40 minutes from Mpeg2/dvd files.Tmpgenc 1.6 also can make a very good Menu and it is very easy unlike many other programs. It is also very good at cutting scenes you dont want in your final production.


    With programs like Pinacle etc you wont get as good results as with canopus procoder v.2 as the encoder is superior. The only thing these programs do is make a more fancy production with tittles effects etc.

    hope this long explanation helps you not spending 3 months like me!! :lease:
     
  6. senu

    senu
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    The above advice is comprehensive and is probably " learnt the hard way" :)
    I would suggest a simpler route for now.
    If Pinnacle Studio can do it all ( without crashing) use it. If it behaves well with you ( like it does with me, Im now on 10+.) , we are in the minority.

    If you can get hold of Ulead Dvd Moviefactory4 or earlier (it is only £29) do try it:
    Here


    It will enable you capture (AVI or mpeg), do some simple trimming, encode to mpeg2 ,then author ( read :make) it into DVD format with Menu. and burn the DVD all in one program,. Wonderful if it works just so eh?. Dont expect Hollywood quality though but the DVDs produced should be presentable.
    With regards the above advise I would caution aganst using bitrates higher than 8000 as many domestic players (older ones and lately : cheaper ones) have difficulty decoding the higher bitrate ( albeit higher quality) encoded dvds. I recently had a friend who said a highbitrate DVD I made for him kept freezing on his dvd player whereas it played perfectly well on all of mine.
    While the advise above is technically very sound and you may wish to explore the steps , I feel it is a bit of a steep learning curve for a newbee and might put them off if they dont persevere.
    I have 2 PCs a 2.8 P4 and 3.2 AMD64 bit each with 1G Ram. and Fairly decent graphic cards with 256m ram : even they do not encode or build dvds any faster than slightly more than real time so patience is a virtue here ;)
    Although the suggested programs are available in various ways, If you needed to buy TMPGenc, and Canopus Procoder ( i have both and think the differences are a much of muchness) you would be spending a fair amt of cash.
    Sure ...the results are worth it but the time investment to learn the programs is unavoidable!
    Good Luck :smashin:
     
  7. evans

    evans
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    senu

    Yes you are right about the bit rate with certain machines playing them, I have pro scan player and it plays them no problem at the highest bit rate. TMPGenc express is a pretty good program, in fact value/money wise it is one of the best. But i found to get the best quality at 2 pass is the same with procoder with one pass and not mastering quality.

    Cinema craft is very expensive i did try the trial version and found it very quick and slightly clearer picture but the colours looked awful for some reason. The settings are chinese or Greek to a non video professional even if you read the manual. Procoder is about 500 usd, cinemacraft 1800 us dollar and Tmpgenc express about 29 us.

    I am however experimenting with sharpness filter on the procoder to get a similar clearness to cinema craft but I adding the filter just about doubles the time factor.
     
  8. Stoke192

    Stoke192
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    Thanks again for the reply's guy's....i've only just got back to this as i've been way layed some what with work and stuff.

    I'll defrag the drive and turn off the anti virus as you've suggested as i noticed that pinnacle was dropping frames like it was going out of fashion whilst capturing :confused:

    Cheers
     

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