DVD/CD recorders?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by Bert Coules, Aug 18, 2002.

  1. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Apologies if this has already been asked and answered, but the search engine won't accept "CD"...

    Do the new DVD recorders also double as audio-only CD recorders?

    Thanks in advance,

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  2. PhilipL

    PhilipL
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2002
    Messages:
    3,845
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    103
    Ratings:
    +444
    No not currently.

    Regards

    Philip
     
  3. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
  4. DaveP

    DaveP
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
  5. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    DaveP,

    I was thinking of standalone DVD recorders, yes. But now you've mentioned it, I suppose I should look into PC-based equivalents as well. I just prefer the neatness and convenience of a dedicated device.

    Incidentally, the link you gave doesn't work. I haven't had time to explore the main site there yet - what was the link to, specifically?

    Thanks for the reply.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  6. DaveP

    DaveP
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Sorry Bert, these damned clever web sites generating pages out of thin air!

    It's a Pioneer 104 DVD recorder £199

    Cheers

    Dave
     
  7. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Dave,

    That's seems like a very good price. Can you give me (or point me to) a rough idea of the minimum PC spec needed for effective DVD recording? I'm thinking in terms of archiving VHS tapes (with perhaps fairly minimal editing) rather than direct off-air recording.

    Thanks.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  8. DaveP

    DaveP
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I would say a minimum of 1Ghz PC. You will need a capture card. I have a Dazzle DVC II for sale (sorry to hijack the thread!) The card comes with software to create DVDs but I never got a DVD writer so was unable to test that. If you go for a Dazzle, or similar card, do a lot of research on the internet to make sure you don't suffer any compatibility issues with processors and chipsets. The general consensus is that the Dazzle card doesnt like AMD processors!

    You need a large disk but they are fairly standard these days.

    Feel free to ask me if you have any more questions,

    DaveP
     
  9. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Originally posted by DaveP
    I would say a minimum of 1Ghz PC. You will need a capture card.

    Returning to the thread after some time away, and taking up your kind offer to plague you with more questions...

    Dave, if I install a PC DVD (& CD) writer and a capture card, what connectivity will that give me?

    Ideally, I'd like to be able to feed the DVD/CD writer from a variety of A/V sources: say a VCR, a Sky digibox, a standalone CD player and an audiocassette deck. But are there any capture cards with multiple inputs, or are we talking about, say, a single composite video/stereo audio input?

    That would still be workable, of course, if I routed everything through an AV switch box - or perhaps an AV amp?

    Given the right connections, can I record directly onto DVD from, say, Sky or a videotape, or would I need to capture the material to hard disk first?

    Many thanks; I'm grateful for your help.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  10. philipb

    philipb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,085
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Swindon
    Ratings:
    +172
    Just throw in my twopennorth. DaveP may want to comment.

    Capture cards generally take s-video and composite inputs. The audio in needs to be routed into your soundcard. You cannot record directly onto DVD on a PC. You capture to the hard disc, then burn to the DVD.

    So what should you buy. As always depends on your budget, but some suggestions -

    While you cannot burn direct to DVD you can encode the input to MPEG2 DVD format in real time (as opposed to capturing in AVI format then encoding to MPEG2). While software encoders are getting better, hardware ones are a better option. Either way, but certainly if you use software encoding, get the most powerful processor you can - 1 GHz is a minimum. The latest Athlon XPs should not give you any compatibility issues.

    As to hardware encoders, and assuming that you do not want to spend £500 or more on a Matrox or Pinnacle system which does absolutely everything, then the Dazzle II is a great bit of kit. Takes s-video and composite feeds plus audio in and produces DVD compliant files. You have VBR and CBR and can vary the bit rates depending on length of video. Cost new is about £250, but be warned. They have a reputation for being temperamental. I had one that worked some days, and not others (this with a P4 processor). But when they work they are excellent. Probably the only affordable hardware encoder under £500.

    The alternative is to go the software route, and as I say the latest software encoders are very good - but you must have a powerful processor if you want smooth capture. There are loads of them around at various prices - as usual you get what you pay for. A very good one is PowerVCR 2 which captures video directly to MPEG2 for DVDs. It also allows you to edit the MPEG file to a limited extent. Useful for trimming the beginning and end of the file or cutting out adverts. You will need a capture card to go with the software.

    A neater and probably easier route is to go for an all in one solution - graphics plus capture card. There several of these but probably the best are the All-in-Wonder cards from ATI. the latest Radeon 8500 (costs about £300) is a graphics card with an external capture box, and all the software you need to capture to just about all formats - AVI, MPEG 1 and 2, etc. The software also includes CD and DVD players. There are cheaper versions of this card.

    If you are intested in editing video then there are other solutions, but that's another post.

    Hope this helps. For info this is my set up put together over some years.

    Processor - Intel P4 1.4 GHz
    Hard discs - 40 GB for main disc; 60 GB reserved for video
    Graphics card - ATI AIW Radeon 8500 with video in and out
    Sound card - Videologic
    Software - ATI bundled with the graphics card; Ulead Video studio 6 for general video capture from camcorder plus editing; Ulead DVD workshop for DVD authoring.
    DVD burner - Pioneer A03 (now replaced by the A04 which is a better machine)
     
  11. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Philipb,

    Many thanks for the comprehensive reply and suggestions for different approaches. You've given me much food for thought.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  12. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Philipb,

    I've now had a chance to go through your reply in detail and sort my ideas out a little.

    So, using a DVD burner/PC setup, I can record straight to HDD and then later dub the recording to DVD. And a Radeon 8500 All-in-Wonder card will record material in DVD-format (MPEG2) which will need no further processing before I transfer it to DVD.

    OK. Assuming I have the above correct, may I bother you with yet more questions?

    Can I use the PC's hard disk in much the same manner as a Tivo or Sky+ dedicated unit, that's to say the same way as I'd use a VCR? Do I just press a button or two and switch instantly into record, or is the process more fiddly and time-consuming than that?

    Can I do some basic editing on an HDD MPEG2 recording before I transfer it to DVD? (I'm thinking in terms of trimming excess material from the beginning and end, rather than any fancy internal editing.)

    Does the transfer from HDD to DVD have to be done in real time, or can it be done any faster?

    A websearch for "Radeon All-in-Wonder 8500" threw up several examples on eBay (usually labelled "8500DV") selling for around £100-£200. The descriptions do not include the "external capture box" which you mentioned; are these the same unit or does that "DV" designate a different model?

    You also mentioned "cheaper versions of the same card". In what way do they differ from the full-price models? Are there material differences, or is it just that they're manufactured by other makers?

    Sorry to plague you again, but this is all pretty much new territory for me and I can see enormous potential for making expensive mistakes!

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  13. philipb

    philipb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,085
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Swindon
    Ratings:
    +172
    Bert

    No problem. I asked all the same questions when I was starting, and I'm still fumbling around. I'll try to answer the questions in sequence:

    Your opening assertion is correct. I should though say (nothing in the world of PC editing is ever straightforeward) that you may need to experiment with MPEG settings to get them right. Most capture software including the Radeon has a "DVD compliant" setting. It should produce a file which will transfer to DVD and, most important, play on a set top player.

    -Can I use the PC's hard disk in much the same manner as a Tivo or Sky+- ......yes, with the right software. The ATI software bundled with the card, its called the mediacentre, will. PowerVCR is a better one but it costs. But basically you can do most of what a TIVO can. Its not quite so easy as a TIVO - you have to have the PC on of course and the software launched, but then its just a click of the mouse. Some software also enables time shifting, etc etc. Many people use a PC as the hub of their TV and home cinema, there is a dedicated section of this forum devoted to it. Have a browse.

    -editing MPEG2 - yes you can with the Radeon software or Power VCR. Editing MPEG2 files is limited essentially because of the compression process. But you can do simple things. There are proper MPEG editors available but they cost several hundred pounds. You can trim files.

    -Transfer from HDD to DVD - now we get a bit technical. When you capture the video to the hard drive the footage is compressed to save space and saved as a file on the HDD. This is an MPEG2 file for DVD. A 2 hour movie at a reasonable bit rate will take up about 3.5 GB. The capture is done in real time, ie you play the movie onto the hard disc. The next stage, assuming you don't edit, is to author thje DVD using suitable software. This is where you add menus etc and basically prepare the file to be recognised by a DVD player. You then burn the file to a DVD using a DVD burner, such as the Pioneer A04. This process transfers the file from the HDD to a DVD and takes about 30 mins for a typical 2 hour movie. Once complete you should have a nice DVD that will play when you pop it into a player, at least that's the theory.

    I've left out a lot of detail here but we can deal with that later if you need , Most of us have done it by trial and error, and I wasted quite a few discs before I got my first usable DVD.

    The box I mentioned is actually part of the card, its connected by a cable and is included with the card. As I said a big attraction of this method is you get most of what you need all bundled up.

    The cheaper card is the Radeon 7500 and basically is a bit slower than the 8500 and I think leaves out some of the software. Check the website - www.ati.com - for detailed specs. The DV indicates that it also has a IEEE1394 in and out for capturing digital video from a camcorder, as well as s-video and composite analogue video. I told you it has just about everything.

    Come back if you need anything else, but I do recommend you check out the bit of this forum which covers PC stuff - its near the bottom of the home page - there's a mine of good stuff there from much more clued up guys than me.
     
  14. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Philip,

    Once again, many thanks for the detailed response. I'm glad that I seem to be on the right lines.

    It certainly sounds as though the Radeon 8500 card, its bundled software and a Pioneer 104 deck is the most painless route into all this. And I know from similar experiences when PC-based CD burners first became available that there is no substitute for getting the gear, installing it and then simply having a good play. As with CDs, I expect to ruin a few blanks before I start to get the hang of it all.

    I have been looking at the HCPC forum, since that's something which also appeals. Does the Pioneer 104 have multi-region playback (or can it easily be made so)? Or would it be sensible to have a second deck purely for playback?

    I do recommend you check out the bit of this forum which covers PC stuff - its near the bottom of the home page - there's a mine of good stuff there from much more clued up guys than me.

    I appreciate your modesty, but there's a lot to be said for chatting with someone who's only comparatively recently gone down the same route and who appreciates the necessity for moving one step at a time.

    Regards,

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  15. philipb

    philipb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,085
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Swindon
    Ratings:
    +172
    The 104 should be fine for playback. I think you can hack it to be region free,

    I was going to mention that i would be tempted to go for one of the new dual format burners. Vivastar and Toshiba now sell DVD RAM/DVD-R burners, although they don't do CD-R. They can be had for about £250.
     
  16. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Philip,

    I found a website with information on which deck can and cannot be hacked. I'll check up on the Pioneer 104.

    I... would be tempted to go for one of the new dual format burners. Vivastar and Toshiba now sell DVD RAM/DVD-R burners, although they don't do CD-R. They can be had for about £250.

    Obviously, it's time for me to reveal my fundamental ignorance yet again. What would be the main advantage(s) of having a dual-format burner?

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  17. philipb

    philipb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,085
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Swindon
    Ratings:
    +172
    Good question. I suppose having a bit of kit which does two things rather than just one is always useful.

    At the moment there are so many different DVD formats around that it might pay to keep your options open. My view is as follows but others may disagree -

    DVD-R is the most compatible format for home made DVDs to play on set top players. If you buy one of the other formats for PC burning, such as DVD+R/RW the chances are the discs won't play on your set top player. DVD-R will play on virtually all of the latest players. If you don't intend to play discs on a set top, or to send them around to your friends then format is not a problem. You can use any of them.

    DVD-RAM is the format used by the Panasonic set top recorder and was originally intended for data storage. Its really just another string to your bow.

    Before the moderator moves this thread to another forum, you say you have considered a set top recorder instead of the PC approach. Overall not as flexible but much easier to get into and a whole lot simpler to do. If your main aim is to transfer tapes, and you're not likely to get into the whole business of video editing and DVD authoring, the set top really does make more sense.
     
  18. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,736
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    They arent true dual format as they dont do DVD-RW. But the concensus is that DVD-RAM is more flexible than DVD-RW so if you dont mind your rewritable media being incompatable with set top boxes and DVD ROM drives its not so much of an issue.

    DVDRAM in a PC is as flexible as a hard drive. DVD-RW isnt, it has longer access times and restrictions on how you edit
     
  19. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    As I see it at the moment, this is what I want to do:

    Record off-air programmes onto the PC's hard drive for viewing later and then deleting.

    Record material (both off-air and from other video sources) onto the PC's hard drive, edit it slightly and then archive it onto DVD. These DVDs will be played both from the PC's DVD drive and from a standalone DVD player elsewhere.

    Use the PC's DVD drive to play back DVDs (both home-made and commercial) via my AE100 projector.

    I do not anticipate using the DVD drive for computer-data backup or anything similar.

    Given all this, it seems to me that the crux of the matter is just how much editing basic DVD-R will allow me to do. I'd like to top-and-tail off-air recordings to remove unwanted material, and I'd like to set up simple menus on discs that carry more than one programme. If something low-end like the Pioneer 104 will allow me to do that, then that's all I need for the moment.

    The upgrading madness can come later (!) What I need at the moment is something not too complex to get me into all this.

    Philip, I take your point about the set-top box approach (in fact that's what I was originally considering, which is why we're having this conversation here and not in the HCPC forum.) But I would also like to archive sound-only material from audiocassette and VHS onto CD, and a PC-based approach should allow me to put together a one-box solution for that as well as video, shouldn't it? Using a source selector to feed the sound inputs to the PC?

    I can see that spending money and playing is going to be the only way to really get to grips with it!

    Many thanks for all the help and advice.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  20. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,736
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    Bert, considering the user unfriendliness of PCs why not go for a standalone CD recorder for recording of sound only from VCR and tapedeck and a settop DVD recorder/HDD combo(a la panasonic HS2 or Toshiba RDX2)


    The combined cost of these may be equivelent to the cost of the PC including software. Yet they are more likely to work without poulling your hair out at 3am in the morning wondering why you get a filesize error everytime you try and encode a program.
     
  21. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    nunew33,

    Thanks for the thoughts. I agree that superficially the ease of use of standalone units has much to recommend it. But it seems to be that, with perseverance, a PC setup can be made almost as convenient and straightfoward (I accept that getting to that stage might well be a different story.)

    The combined cost of these may be equivelent to the cost of the PC including software.

    Is that really the case? My impression is that the PC route would be considerably cheaper.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  22. philipb

    philipb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,085
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Swindon
    Ratings:
    +172
    nunew33 is right of course Bert, but I see why you want the PC route. The projector probably has a lot to do with it (BTW, how good is the Panny?).

    Right then, this is my recommendation for what to do. I assume you have no PC at present. Either assemble or buy a Windows XP based system with a Athlon XP processor around 1.5 to 2 GHz. 2 HDDs, one about 20 GB to take the operating system and software installs, and one as big as you can go (min 60 GB) for video storage. Go for UDMA 100 or 133 discs at 7200 RPM. Get a good soundcard - £50 will get a very good one, £100 plus for the all singing etc. I would get a separate CD ROM drive as well as a DVD burner - the 104 is best IMO.

    The graphics card of choice is the Radeon 8500 All-in-wonder which includes capture facilities and a TV tuner. It will turn your HDD into a hard disc recorder and can capture straight to MPEG2 format for later burning to DVD. I think you can edit these files in the ATI software, but I'll check later. For better editing of MPEG2 files checkout www.vcdhelp.com for a series of "how to's" including editing MPEG files and where to get the software to do it. Also look on www.computervideo.net under the DVD/MPEG forum.

    You'll need some software to author your DVDs, including menus and chapters. My recommendation for a mid-level package is Ulead DVD workshop, downloadable from their website at about £150; or for a real entry level package try Ulead Videostudio 6 which includes a DVD plug-in for about £50. Pinnacle Express is even cheaper but its very temperamental about the kind of MPEG file it will accept. If you're serious about DVD production the Sonic DVDit SE or PE at several hundred dollars. All this software will recognise your 104 and when you come to burn the DVD you just confirm the burner and push the button. About 30 mins later you have a DVD-R which will play on most set tops.

    The ATI card has s-video out which you can connect to your AE100 and play the files direct from the PC HDD. An hour of high quality video compressed to MPEG2 will occupy about 4GB, very good quality about 2GB, and for stuff you just want to record, watch, then ditch, about 1GB.

    Hope this helps.
     
  23. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,736
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    With the ae100 you could connect the Radeon direct using monitor socket, forget downmixing it to a TV signal!!!


    Hate to be devils advocate but the DVD PC route is the route of many late nights tweaking. Also unless you get a really good PC then if there is any mpeg to avi and avi to mpeg conversions, these are overnight processing jobs. The cost of the setup you have recommended (which I agree with by the way - you forgot to mention as much memory as you can afford ideally 512M but 256 min and carefully consider how you set up CDR DVDR and HDD as master/slave settings can make a difference - I used to have problems when my DVDRAM and CDR were on the same IDE cable, on a soundcard get one with a front bay if you can afford it means you connect everything on the front rather tan the back) is over £1000 with all the peripherals and software, where as a Panny HS2 and hifi CDR player are the same price and are dedicated to their purpose.
     
  24. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Philip,

    Right then, this is my recommendation for what to do...

    Many thanks for that very comprehensive reply. As matters stand, there are two approaches I can take:

    1. Start from scratch, using the components you list.

    2. Build on an existing PC which has been offered to me. I don't at the moment know the full spec, but it includes:

    Pentium 4 1.5ghz Skt 478 Processor
    256Mb Ram PC133
    Jetway ATX J-P4MFM Motherboard, with VIA 8233A Chipset
    64Mb 3D Integrated Graphics
    40GB Hard Drive

    I can add the Radeon All-in-Wonder board (presumably disabling the onboard graphics is no problem), a sound board and a second hard disk of, say, 20Mb. Plus of course the DVD-RW drive and perhaps a separate faster CD-R drive as well.

    I'd be interested in your opinion of the suitability of that setup.

    Incidentally, is Windows XP so very much superior to ME? I ask, merely because I already have the latter and obviously have to keep at least half an eye on the budget.

    Edited to add:

    I forgot to answer your question about the AE-100. Given that I'm a beginner to all this, I must say I find it hugely impressive. After an initial bout of unreliability, now fixed by the substitution of a new PSU, I've had no problems; and the image quality, especially using my Toshiba DVD deck and the component inputs is very good.

    My reason for going down the HCPC route is as much to set up a central dubbing/control station as for any increased picture quality.

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  25. philipb

    philipb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,085
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Swindon
    Ratings:
    +172
    Bert

    nunew33 is right, you could end up tearing your hair out. But it can also be very satisfying. The set up you describe would be OK as a starter. Yes - ditch the on-board graphics, they generally suck.

    Make the second HDD as big as you can afford, video gobbles up space at a frightening rate and 40 GB might seem like a lot but it soon goes. If you can afford it use the 40 GB for the operating system and software and a second HDD for video - the bigger the better (sorry but 20 GB is way too small). The 1.5 Ghz P4 is good. It is probably marginally better at video than the Athlons, but the latter are much cheaper Ghz for GHz.

    XP is a very stable system, based on NT technology. It uses the NTFS file system unlike ME. The importance of this is that NTFS allows files of effectively unlimited size whereas ME has a file size limit of 4GB. When you're capturing video this can be a real bind. There is a solution though. When you set up the second HDD format it as NTFS and you should be OK. I would go to XP if you can but its not essential.

    I've remembered the cheaper Ulead DVD authoring package - its called Moviefactory and retails for between £40 and £50. Much easier than DVD Workshop but of course less functionality.
     
  26. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Philipb,

    Thanks for the answer. I was thinking of using the existing 40Mb HDD as the one for the files and adding the 20Mb drive for the OS. I know that 40Mb isn't as large as you recommended, but it seems a pity to use that sort of capacity just for Windows etc. I could always replace it with something larger later.

    I didn't know about the file-size limitation of ME, so my thanks for the information.

    Would you care to recommend a decent, not-hugely-expensive sound card?

    And does anyone know if the Pioneer 104 is (or can be made) multi-region for playback? I've been unable to turn up that information.

    I'll check out Moviefactory.

    Good grief: I'm almost at the stage where I have to stop asking questions and actually get down to putting this thing together...

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  27. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,736
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    believe me that Windows ME 4G limit is a bind, but can be got round by pulling your hair out late at night.

    On soundcards creative labs are the default but its worth noting that the live sries wasnt that good. The the 128 model was better and the audigy range is better. I think an audigy card without the live drive bay thing is about £50. If you are flush though the extra for the live drive thing is worth it.


    Phillip do you not think that using the on board graphics and buying a hardware based mpeg encoder/ decoder may be a better route than the radeon? 64M sounds reasonable and its not as thoug Bert is building this PC to become an "Ultimate Gamer", it sounds very much as though mpeg encoding/decoding is more important
     
  28. Bert Coules

    Bert Coules
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Messages:
    3,331
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Ratings:
    +161
    Nunew33,

    Philip do you not think that using the on board graphics and buying a hardware based mpeg encoder/ decoder may be a better route than the Radeon?

    There does seem to be quite a price difference. Philip mentioned the Dazzle II hardware encoder/decoder as costing around £250 and being unreliable to boot (in the non-computer sense.) There are versions of the All-in-Wonder card around for £120 or so.

    Thanks for the sound card information. I'm off to find out exactly what a "live drive bay thing" might be...

    Bert
    www.bertcoules.co.uk
     
  29. nunew33

    nunew33
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,736
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    41
    Location:
    Lytham St Annes, where people are put out to grass
    Ratings:
    +2
    The live drive is simply all the sockets in one place that fit in a disk drive bay at the front. It saves having to fiddle round the back with cables. If like me you are constantly hooking thinks and unhooking things this is a real god send (as is having 4 USB ports in a drive bay on the front!)

    I think there is a matrox hardware encoder/decoder check their website, they also do radeon equivelents so its worth looking into what they offer (used to be called eTV). Matrox used to dominate in this market so it may be worth checking ATI against matrox, there are plenty of sites thatwill give you comparisons.

    I use a Radeon AIW 32M. Only complaints are DVD software doesnt work (use interdev DVD instead). TV out gives widescreenesque black bands even with geometry altered to max height (not a problem though as when I make VCDs the image fills the screen - ATI said yeah it does that -mmm helpful). I would assume the 8500 has not got this problem, if it does it shouldnt be a problem as you should be connecting to your projector using the VGA cable.
     
  30. philipb

    philipb
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Messages:
    2,085
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Swindon
    Ratings:
    +172
    Fair point nunew33. The Matrox solution would be fairly pricey I think, and all you get is an encoder, albeit a very good one. At least with the AIW you get the kitchen sink. I didn't think you got hardware encoding with the eTV, thought it was an AIW clone. The hardware encoders are on their high end video editing kit aren't they?

    Agree with the soundcard comments. Check out also Videologic.
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice