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help needed transfering mini dv to my pc

beachy

Established Member
:lease: can someone help, today i transfered a mini dv tape to my pc for the first time using windows movie maker, it took about 2hrs 30 mins for a 60 minute tape, then i tried making a dvd copy from the pc but no joy it would'ent copy to a dvd, so i downloaded a copy of ulead studio 9 and tried again with that this time using mpeg format, it took just over 3 hours to copy to the pc :eek: then i tried copying to a dvd again, this time 2 bars showed at the bottom of the screen showing progress after about 45 minutes it showed 2% progress so i gave up and switched it off :suicide: .

so my questions are, does it really take this long to copy mini dv,s to a pc as i find this hard to believe, and how can i make a dvd copy with the same quality as the mini tape, any help and feedback would be really appreciated before i throw the lot out the window.

many thanks.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Copying a miniDV tape from camcorder to PC is done in real time, ie a full 1 hour tape takes 1 hour to get onto the PC. If it takes longer than this then it is simply not working!
How is the camcorder connected to the PC? Most cams have a USB port on them, but this is no good for getting the video off and onto a PC. To do that you need to use Firewire (aka iLink, DV port, ieee1394). Make sure the software is set to capture the video as an .AVI file as this is a 100% quality copy of the video on the tape. However be aware that this file will eat up around 14Gb per 1 hour tape captured.

Once the video is on the PC then Windows Movie Maker 2 is a great place to start with editing. You can find loads of help on useing it at www.papajohn.org and it should do just about everything you want - at least to start with. However it will not create a DVD for you, to do this you will need something like Nero. Do all the editing and add titles, wipes etc and save the output as an .AVI file. Then load the new .AVI file into Nero (or whatever burning program you have) and create the DVD from there.
If you want a more advanced, feature packed program to do the editing and create the DVD all in one package then there are many favourites to choose from. Adobe Premiere Elements or Sony Vegus Studio are top choices for most on this forum and not too expensive to buy, but they also have a free 30 day trial option. Both of these will do everything in the one program, even burning the final footage to a DVD disc - unlike Movie Maker, so are that bit easier to get to the final disc.
Creating a DVD from the .AVI file will take a long time. The .AVI file needs to be converted to an MPEG-2 file and on most PC's it is a matter of setting it off just before you go to bed. The file should then be converted and ready to burn to a DVD in the morning, if not set to burn once the conversion had completed.

I hope my above ramblings make at least some sense to you. Have a bit of a search around this forum as many questions that you probably have will have been asked and answered in the past. If you still have anything more to ask then feel free and we will do our best to help.

Good luck,
Mark.
 

beachy

Established Member
cheers mark although i am using firewire,but i did copy on the wrong format so i started again using avi, it started fine then after using 4gigabyte of space it stopped transfering a box appeared saying it had reached the 4 gig file size limit supported by the current file system FAT 32 although i have 80 gig of spare hard drive, so does anyone know what this means and how i can put it right. :lease:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Are you using WinXP?? ( even sp2 is now "oldish":) )

If you are there is no benefit to sticking with FAT32

If you have the NTFS file system there is no 4g file limit. DV AVI takes up 13G for one hrs video . when this is converted to mpeg2 ( HQ) it takes just about4.7G ( a blank DVD+/-R). The conversion is called encoding as it intelligently compresses 13- 4.7G with minimal PQ loss.
This is one reason why video editing systems seem to have huge HDD space. Another is that it is often better to capture the video on a non system HDD/ Partition. Unfortunately niether an NTFS HDD or partition can be seen from within a FAT32 system
A way out is to
1) Convert your File system to NTFS . Even in win98se/ winme there is a wizard to help you convert your file system. I havent used it for a while and Im unsure if you can do it with no loss of data/ settiings. The only other way I know you can do that without potentially losing your system ( as it currently is) is to do it with Partition Magic

2)Install another HDD, Format it as NTFS and install windows on it as a dual boot system . then do whatever you wish in it.

If this is way over your head then you will have to import your video in chunks no bigger than 4g each as that is indeed the file size limitation of FAT32. This just means the clips will be about 17 min each
 

beachy

Established Member
hi senu,

yes i'm using windows xp pro, i'm just in the middle of capturing the tape at 4gig increments, i think their maybe some overlap but i guess that can be edited later, so can i convert my hard drive to ntfs in windows xp pro ? and if so how? :smashin:
 

shoehorn

Established Member
From Microsoft (at the bottom of this page):
To convert a volume to NTFS from the command prompt
1. Open Command Prompt. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
2. In the command prompt window, type: convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs
For example, typing convert D: /fs:ntfs would format drive D: with the ntfs format. You can convert FAT or FAT32 volumes to NTFS with this command.
Important Once you convert a drive or partition to NTFS, you cannot simply convert it back to FAT or FAT32. You will need to reformat the drive or partition which will erase all data, including programs and personal files, on the partition.

I think the main concern is that you might lose data - but I've done this with 2 HDD's with no problem.
I'll leave it up to you if you want to or not though !
 

beachy

Established Member
thanks for all your advice guys, i have now transfered the tape and edited it to my pc i am just copying the edited version to my pc (i hope this is right) or should i have converted it straight to mpeg and then to a dvd ?

so now more help needed how do i convert it to mpeg ? and which one is it mpeg 2 or mpeg 4 ? i have windows moviemaker will this convert it ? i also have ulead video version 9, and nero, which one will be best and easiest ?

once again many thanks for your feedback. :smashin:
 

MarkE19

Moderator
DVD uses MPEG-2

Movie Maker can not be used to create a DVD disc as it has no MPEG-2 CODEC (converter) and no way of burning anything to CD or DVD. So to do this you can use either the Ulead or Nero software to do the work for you. As for which is easiest, you need to really try both and see which you find best.

Mark.
 

beachy

Established Member
MarkE19 said:
DVD uses MPEG-2

Movie Maker can not be used to create a DVD disc as it has no MPEG-2 CODEC (converter) and no way of burning anything to CD or DVD. So to do this you can use either the Ulead or Nero software to do the work for you. As for which is easiest, you need to really try both and see which you find best.

Mark.

thanks mark, i will try both although both programs are new to me i guess i will just have to have a play about with them, also my pc i bought from a friend is about 4 years old so the processor is quite slow (less than 1 gig) so i guess this is going to slow down the process quite a bit, still i suppose just trial and error (hopefully not to much error) :smashin:

ps.

did i do right in copying the finished movie to the pc again or should i have gone straight to mpeg conversion and dvd copy, the reason i ask is it is only 50% done with another 180 minutes to go and it seems pointless copying again if it is not necessary.
 

Tuddy

Prominent Member
Beachy , I've been using MM2 for over a year and found it does what I need. I've been lucky-enough to be given an oldish NEC dvd burner (my 1st) and have used it to make a dvd of both saved AVis and wmv files with nero6, it did take nearly 8 hours to convert all the files (Nearly 2hours in time) to mpeg 2 and then burn to a DVD-rw but I just left it to do its thing all night and the end result was what I wanted. As I'm no expert I am quiet pleased with how things went.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
ps.

beachy said:
did i do right in copying the finished movie to the pc again or should i have gone straight to mpeg conversion and dvd copy, the reason i ask is it is only 50% done with another 180 minutes to go and it seems pointless copying again if it is not necessary.

If I understand you, you mean should you have resaved your edited video back to the PC?
Unless your software has a plug in for mpeg conversion (meaning you can launch that process from within it) you have to have your finshed edit as an AVI. WMM does not
So the answer is Yes it is nessesary even if it seems to take a while.

During your editing ,the software makes " references" to the originally captured video file and only creates new material at points of transition, video effects, titles etc.
After editing, the "new" video file then has to be created. This process combines the ( unaltered) parts of the originally captured video with the edited ones to form a new video ( the edited one) This is called rendering : The onward conversion from avi to mpeg is encoding. So if you start as avi and end up with avi, you have rendered your effects etc. If you turn this avi to mpeg you have further encoded. With MM2 you can only render back to your newly edited avi as it has no built in mpeg encoding ability.

It is this newly created (edited) avi file that you import to nero vision or uleadVS9 (your originally captured one still remains your HDD)

When youve imported this edited version avi into nero or ulead for encoding to mpeg2 ( for DVD) mpeg 1 ( vcd). you have one more step to making a Video DVD

Burning finished mpegs to a DVD in thier "raw" form will produce a data DVD with videos playable on the PC but not in a DVD player.
The creation of a DVD video playable in a DVD player is called DVD authoring. Typically a DVD video is made up of a structure readable by DVD players containing menu(optional) and chapter points for navigation and the video clips themselves.
Nero Vision and Ulead VS can import video files ( avi or mpeg) , encode( or rencode) them and turn then into DVD videos as an all in one process but it is important to know that encoding to mpeg2 need not nessesarily be followed immediately ( or at all) by DVD authoring.

In your case as a firstimer it is better to allow the process of going from newly edited avi via mpeg to dvd authoring to occur simultaneosly like that in logical sequence but as suggested above , leaving it overnight and going to bed hopfully finding it all done in the morning!! ( it does take time and even more so with a PC with only modest amounts of grunt)

HTH ( a bit longwinded....I know:rolleyes: )
 
D

Dell-Boy

Guest
senu said:
If I understand you, you mean should you have resaved your edited video back to the PC?
Unless your software has a plug in for mpeg conversion (meaning you can launch that process from within it) you have to have your finshed edit as an AVI. WMM does not
So the answer is Yes it is nessesary even if it seems to take a while.

During your editing ,the software makes " references" to the originally captured video file and only creates new material at points of transition, video effects, titles etc.
After editing, the "new" video file then has to be created. This process combines the ( unaltered) parts of the originally captured video with the edited ones to form a new video ( the edited one) This is called rendering : The onward conversion from avi to mpeg is encoding. So if you start as avi and end up with avi, you have rendered your effects etc.
Does this mean that you edit (render) the original 14G avi file, and then you end up with another 14G avi file?

Then you have 28G taken up with the two files? Whew!
Thanks,
DB
 

beachy

Established Member
senu said:
ps.


.







In your case as a firstimer it is better to allow the process of going from newly edited avi via mpeg to dvd authoring to occur simultaneosly like that in logical sequence but as suggested above , leaving it overnight and going to bed hopfully finding it all done in the morning!! ( it does take time and even more so with a PC with only modest amounts of grunt)

HTH ( a bit longwinded....I know:rolleyes: )

ok so i am now in the process of converting to mpeg 2 (only another 6 hours to go :rolleyes: ) so when this is done and i want to make a dvd how will i know if it will convert to an authoring dvd or one that will just play on my pc, what i mean is what steps do i take to make sure i get this right, as i really don't want to have to copy it all again ( i think it has taken about 3 days so far) it would be nice to have the weekend dvd copying free i think i need a few beers after all this :D once again guys lots of thanks for all your imput what a great site this is i'm certain i would have give up by now if i were tackling this on my own. :smashin:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Dell-Boy said:
Does this mean that you edit (render) the original 14G avi file, and then you end up with another 14G avi file?

Then you have 28G taken up with the two files? Whew!
Thanks,
DB
Yes, but your edited file may in fact have more or less video data.
So the file sizes are not likely to be the same (may be 16G or 12G !)
... Of course you can delete the original if you are done with it and recapture it from tape in the future if desired
If your edited version is a masterpiece :cool: you can also transfer the edited avi back to mini dv tape( if your camcorder has dv-in) for future use.

Your hard drive will have more than 28G gone even if the file sizes are
identical. The created render files also take up space.
Most editing programs allow you to remove these when you no longer need them: that is why video editing setups have fairly big HDD!:)
PS
Edit:trim add title, music effects, transitions ( the software creates new mini clips from these)
Render: Joins the newly created mini clips to the unaltered video to form the complete new "edited" video. The original captured video file remains intact!
 

senu

Distinguished Member
beachy said:
ok so i am now in the process of converting to mpeg 2 (only another 6 hours to go :rolleyes: ) so when this is done and i want to make a dvd how will i know if it will convert to an authoring dvd or one that will just play on my pc, what i mean is what steps do i take to make sure i get this right, as i really don't want to have to copy it all again have give up by now if i were tackling this on my own. :smashin:

Simple way is to import your mpeg 2 to nero vision to make a DVD . It will "know " if the mpeg 2 will result in a DVD playable on DVD player or not. If you dont get any error messages you are fine.

However you do have to use Nero vision, Ulead movie factory or something like that ( a DVD authoring program). They can re-encode
non-compliant video files to compatible ones in order to produce a standard playable DVD video.
Even if you have DVD ready mpegs, just burning them to a disc in nero as Data DVD compilation will result in a data DVD with video files not a DVD video.( I explained this in that very long post:boring: )
An analogy is just burning wav ( audio) files to a CD. They will play on a PC but not a domestic Cd player

PS: An exception with video is if the files are encoded to mpeg4 ( DIVX/ Xvid avi files) Some domestic DVD players can read them and play them off a Data dvd disc
 

beachy

Established Member
sorry guys thanks for all your help, but i have just spent 16 hours coverting the avi file to mpeg with a program called convert movie 2.2 which i downloaded free from the internet, i tried the nerosmart program i had but could'ent get it to work, so now after 16 hours i find this program has'ent converted the file to mpeg but has stayed the same, i am not sure if this is something to do with it being a free download but ouite honestly i could'ent give a **** anymore i am so ****** with the whole thing i just give up.

anyway thanks again guys have a good weekend i am off to go and get ****** :mad: and am sticking to still photography from now on. :mad: :mad: :mad:
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Give it a rest and check your email for a pm:)
 

beachy

Established Member
senu said:
Give it a rest and check your email for a pm:)

i did manage to get this project done eventually(and have still got some hair left :D ) and i just wanted to say thanks guys for all your advice, also a big thankyou to senu who helped me off topic with some software and sound advice, top guy thanks again. :thumbsup:
 

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