How many Minutes per Giga Byte do you get on a PC in DVD or better that VHS quality? Thanks.


Active Member
The general rule of thumb is 20 mins of DV use 4Gb of disc space.
Then you'll need extra space for editing and rendering.
It's therefore advisable to have your disc on NTFS as opposed to FAT32, as FAT32 only allows files up to 4Gb, but NTFS allows files to the size of your disc.
So for an hour tape - you'll create a file of around 12-13Gb.
Then with editing and rendering, you'll probalbly neeed at least the same - so total space for an hour would be around 25-30Gb.

Duncan Craig

Active Member
Firstly what are you asking this for? You are asking subjective question no-one on Earth could answer until you tell us why you need to know.

VHS does not have a specific quality. There is no set standard, specifically because it is analogue.

You are asking the questions all wrong. I think you have the wrong end of the stick.

If you are capturing for a DV camera you have little choice as to how it is digitised, it will record at full quality (unless you use Final Cut Pro :) ). If you get a analogue capture card to work with your PC then you can set the quality and data rate etc. It's a complicated question which you can only answer.

Give us details of what you want to acheive and with what equipment? Then you can get help here.

You ask about DVD quality. Again there's no such thing as DVD quality.... It is totally variable. You can have a wide range of bit rates which affect the quality and size of the files on disc. It's personal preference.

But you do not use the DVD format (MPEG2) to edit with. You would capture your material in a video format suited to you editing system and once edited convert it to DVD.

Hope this helps


I plan to buy an external video capture device, which can convert analog pictures from my VCR or Analog Camcorder into digital images.

I have a laptop, which has less memory than a desktop PC, which is why I am concerned. Only around 5-10GB free (little bit old laptop with Windows ME)

I am going to buy an external DVD+RW Drive.

What I mean by VHS quality is when the recorded DVD is played back in a DVD Player, the picture will not be as good as a standard 'Hollywood' movie on DVD, but in the same picture quality as a 'Hollywood' movie on VHS tape.

I know there is no such thing as 'DVD Quality' or 'VHS Quality'. What I mean is the same PICTURE QUALITY as a standard DVD movie or the same PICTURE QUALITY as a movie on VHS tape.

How many mins per GB do you get on PC Hard Discs if the PICTURE QUALITY on the final Recorded DVD is (going to be) comparable to a standard movie on VHS Tape?

Which formats take up the most and least hard disc space? Thanks.


Most, if not all PC capture devices will natively convert any analogue video captured to AVI (this is what a DV camcorders files are captured as) and therefore will still take approx 1Gb for every 4 minutes captured.

To save disk space you have 2 options that I can think of:

1. Capture direct to the DVD writer, therefore you do not use any disk space but will not be able to do any editing.
2. Capture the video in MPEG-2 format. This takes a little under 5Gb per hour and will then not need to be converted before writing to a DVD disk. This is a highly compressed format that will cause loss of quality if trying to edit, but is still possible with some editing software.

The above 2 options are all dependent on the software that you install to do the capture & editing and will also take up space on the HDD.

You could add another external HDD to give you the needed space for video capture and this should only cost around £100.
I would suggest that you connect the external DVD (and HDD if getting one) via firewire and not USB2.0 as firewire is more reliable for editing applications as this is basically what it was designed for.

Good luck,

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