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Making DVD's - PC v DVD Recorder

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by yabadaba, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. yabadaba

    yabadaba
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    So far I've been making DVD's from my Panasonic MiniDV camcorder footage via the PC route (firewire capture, edit, burn). However, I was wondering whether connecting my camcorder to the DV input of a domestic DVD Recorder would produce better quality results - in image quality terms, that is. Can anyone advise whether this would be the case?
     
  2. MarkE19

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    Having never tried it I would say the following:

    A standalone DVD recorder is unlikely to be better, and in fact would probably be worse due to the fact that it is doing the MPEG-2 compression in real time. On a PC you can do the compression at a slower rate with 2 pass compression that 'should' give better results.
    Of course a PC gives you far more flexable options for creating chapters and a menu for the DVD, but you need a lot more time & effort to create the disc.

    Mark.
     
  3. dmpoole

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    Using a stand alone like the Pioneer DVR-530H you can capture in whatever resolution you want, make all the chapters you want and create a menu before burning to DVD. The result is excellent but not as flexible as a PC based system with decent software eg Pinnacle. For my purposes the Pioneer wins hands down.
     
  4. Paul_Maycock

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    I would still make a backup copy of any precious recordings onto a DVD disc just in case the mastertape is 'accidentally' recorded over. At least then you'll still have a copy.
     
  5. senu

    senu
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    Had a panasonic hs-2 with built in HDD cost £800 then but is faulty and has since been superseeded by newer models. What you lose in control over choice of encoder, bitrate and "post production" etc you gain in sheer convenience.
    I did not find the quality to be poor and occasionally was unable to distinguish copies from the original ( i hooked it up to my sky digibox to record mtv/ sports videos for personal use) .
    But menus were basic, and editing was rudimentary . Very useful for straightfoward archiving though. As a means of transferring vhs to dvd without the PC the conveniece takes beating. Some people also use a breakout box from their computer editing sofware/ hardware combo and just output the timeline to dvd in real time using this method. I too would be interested to know if anybody out there felt the quality was suspect as I did not find it so
     
  6. yabadaba

    yabadaba
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    I was thinking that the quality direct to a standalone DVD recorder may actually improve on that achieved via the PC route. I've made several DVD's on my PC and whilst the quality has been okay, it is quite far removed from the excellent quality of the source tape. However, I have heard people describe recordings (TV broadcasts) made on DVD recorders at max settings as being virtually indistinguishable from the source....so maybe this would also apply to the transfer of DV camcorder footage via I-Link (firewire).

    I've actually placed an order for a Panasonic DRMES20D and whilst the spec and reviews are generally favourable it doesn't have a DV input. However, the machine is currently out of stock so I do have an opportunity to cancel the order and choose a model with DV-Input. But that will mean spending more to get all the features I want (freeview, +/- recording etc).
     
  7. senu

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    Dv input is to be recommended if you come straight from the camcorder but s -video,scart rgb are not exactly poor analogue sustitutes. The Sky recording I made were from RGB scart and the timelime from pc video editor was from s video not firewire. Do not pay for features you will not need My £800 machine had a 40g hdd you can get one with 160 and +,- dvd r compatible for £400!
     
  8. Kevo

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    Albeit at inferior quality.

    If you are going to edit, re-mix etc your recordings prior to burning to DVD then the BEST way is transfer the RAW dv footage from cam to PC in the DV/AVI format.
    Edit from this file on your PC (it'll be about 13gig per hr of footage!)

    Transfer the newly generated edited DV/AVI file back to your cam on a NEW tape using DV in (if your cam has it).

    You now have a SUPERIOR TO DVD (edited) master copy of your recording on a NEW mini DV tape which WILL come into it'w own when )if?) HighDef DVD takes off in a few years.

    You can delete all the DV/AVI files on your PC once you're happy you have all the relevant masters on tape and or DVD.



    The 'normal' thing to
     
  9. senu

    senu
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    Kevo , surely I think the point of settop dvd recorders is the convenience over the "purist" aspirations for video.
    Yabadaba had initially stated that he does use a PC to capture edit and burn .I assume he knows what his camcorders dv-in is for but just wished to explore non pc ways of achieving an aim.
    This and other forums are full of well meant tips ,advice, and nuggets of wisdom from (you) very experienced guys !! sharing your personal experience of NLEs and various hardware.
    Sometimes the "normal" PC way is just too much hassle. Some people use turnkey customised systems like casablanca to churn out their videos and I guess there is a market for all.
    Are set top dvd recordrers inherently inferior as to be considered an alterative method?.
    I have a friend or 2 who are petrified of PCs and use them ( set top dvd recorders) commercially making only the opening and closing credits and picture slideshows on the pc. I for one still have countless dvd images , ISO files and dvd folder clogging up my hard drives and have rarely re-run any of my older minidv tapes.
    Horses for causes :None of the set top boxes have put adobe, canopus pinnacle avid ulead and Sony out of buisness yet!
     
  10. melliott1963

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    If this truly is the case, then I would suggest that there's something not quite right somewhere along the line.

    1. Are you sure you're capturing using Firewire and not USB? USB will only capture at SVGA and will give in inferior results, whereas Firewire will capture at 100% quality.

    2. How much footage are you trying to fit onto the DVD? You can easily get 1 hour onto a DVD with no visible loss of quality. Using a 2 pass, variable bit rate compression you can fit more (I've managed 1½ hours with no problems). However, if you're trying to fit 2, 3 or more hours onto a single DVD, then you are going to start noticing the difference.



    That's unusual! Fancy seeing the words 'decent software' and 'Pinnacle' mentioned in the same sentence :devil:
     
  11. whatdoiknow

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  12. yabadaba

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    Hi melliott1963 and thanks for your contribution. I am transferring to my PC using firewire, in .avi format and have never exceeded more than say 100mins - in fact I have made several test DVD's to play around with settings that have only been a few minutes in duration. As regards software, I have Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5, Adobe Encore DVD & Ulead VideoStudio 9 and have tried using these with various settings. Even with high bitrates I am unable to get anywhere near 100% in terms of copy quality - I don't actually think this exists as compression & file conversion are inherent to the process.

    Out of interest, if you use any of the software I have listed, what settings do you find works best?
     
  13. yabadaba

    yabadaba
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    Interesting, I had just assumed that a firewire input would yield better results. Well my Panasonic DMRES20D has now been shipped so I'll be able to experiment with the S-video input soon.
     
  14. Paul_Maycock

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    To Kevo

    Who says your method is the BEST way? Is it written in stone somewhere like the ten commandments? What works for one person may not work for everyone else, a lot depends on your setup and what you personally think is good quality. Some people can only find holes in everything they look at.
     
  15. senu

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    Are you testing your dvds on the computer? Not a very good because of differences the way a tv monitor and pc monitor produce moving images . Have you played your dvds away from home or on a known " friendly" dvd player to check the quality of your dvds on another dvd player and tv monitor ? I find that even bitrates of 6mbs often produce pleasing results if there are only few very fast moving scenes. I used to experiment with video cd ,supervcd ,and different encoder dvd settings as well as single and double pass encoding just to teach myself the differences in out put quality.
    I dont have encore but have used premiere pro, elements, pinnacle studio and liquid edition 5.5 and 6.1 and Uleads' Movie workshop2 / factory 4 as well as some other small programs including tmpegxpress to make dvd mpeg2 files and they look good . Im not sure the aim is to actually match the quality of the raw footage but 90-95% of that is very acceptable.( what constitutes high quality anyway??)
    Even the commercial dvd prints use mpeg2 compression even though the starting material ( and presumably superior the encoding process)are of a higher standard than a home sourced DV AVi .
     
  16. Kevo

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    Quality wise is SHOULD be the 'best way' (with reasonable spec) as there is no compression (minimum?) when transferring to tape as an edited master...that's a fact.

    I was also making the point that a MIni DV tape master will transfer well on any future Hi Def format, more so than the equivalent 1 hour compressed mpeg 2 DVD.
    Just a bit of 'forward thinking' that the original poster may not be aware of.
     
  17. melliott1963

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    Sorry, but I don't use any of these programs - I'm a Sony Vegas man! I'm very fussy about quality so would definitely have noticed, and not been happy, if the DVD's I produced were inferior quality to the original footage.

    I'm wondering if Senu has hit the nail on the head. DVD's will look far better played on a dedicated DVD player and displayed on a TV than on a computer screen.

    I would say that, by it's very nature, you're never going to get a 100% quality DVD. However, with good compression there is no reason whatsoever why you will not be able to produce DVD's that 'appear' to be 100% quality.
     
  18. whatdoiknow

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    I have to agree with Kevo and disagree with Paul Maycock, if you transfer raw DV footage via firewire to a DV file in either a computer or similar editing system edit in DV format and then transfer back out via firewire to DV then this has to be better quality than DVD as DVD has Mpeg2 compression which is a higher compression rate than DV so cannot be of a similar quality. That's how I understand it anyway, no doubt someone may prove otherwise.

    Regards,

    Martin
     

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