Software ! What do YOU use ... ?



Hi all

Blimey, this digital video stuff ...:rolleyes:

Been playing around with some new gear - got the miniDV, got the firewire card ( Pinnacle one off Ebay - £12 :D ) installed - couldn't get the Ulead 5 or MGI 5 software to recognise it so I installed Pinnacle studio 7 LE ( came free with some CD's ) and had a play - blimey - easy interface or what !
Anyway, now I am in a position to download some video - had a "play" with some footage and added a soundtrack - seemed fine, rendered it as MPEG - it played back fullscreen with loads of lines - looked terrible so I did it as AVI - better, but still not great quality - certainly not DVD anyway. Played ok in the small window it opened up in though.
Was thinking of upgrading to VS9, but after reading the comprehensive slagging that it has recieved, I don't think I'll bother
The Ulead one I don't find intuitive at all, the MGI Videowave is better, but not great. I have Vegas 4.0, which I installed, took one look at and though it looked a little complicated so uninstalled it ( this was when I was playing with analogue stuff a while ago )
I only want to do basic stuff to DVD of the kids and maybe a little motorsport so don't need anything too fancy.
If I have a go with vegas 4.0 - will this output to DVD, or do I need to get another software package to transfer to DVD.

One thing I did was edit the video in Studio 7 and then record it back to mini DV - that seemed to work ok - suppose I could always transfer that to VHS, but as I just lashed out on a DVD recorder I'd prefer to do that.

What are your recomendations for software for basic editing and output to DVD ??


Vegas 4 is a fantastic editor. Very powerful , great audio, (semi) pro software.

It won't do DVD within natively but can be purchased with DVD Architect which is their authoring program. DVD Architect is verion 1 authoring program , has some good features (including 5.1 Dolby mixing & encoding) but has too many limitations to be considered Pro in version 1.
Whatever you use will never look good on a computer unless you de-interlace it and then it wont look good on a TV. The only way to get a qualitive assesment is to burn a DVD from each application and view it on your TV.
Agreed, a PC monitor does not display the same as a TV screen. When editing you need to have a TV monitor connected to see what the final output will really be like.
If you only want very basic editing and then copy to DVD then Ulead DVD MovieFactory 3 for around £25 online will do the lot. you wont get loads of fancy editing tools, but will be able to cut out the unwanted bits. You will then be able to add a menu and chapters and burn to (S)VCD or DVD.

Be better when DVD's don't cost around £3.00 each - gets a bit expensive testing - although I suppose I could get some DVD RW
Can you burn a DVD to a CD - if it's a small file size ??

DVD-R are about 60p each from SVP - film reel Ritek G04 are excellent
Originally posted by spokey
Be better when DVD's don't cost around £3.00 each - gets a bit expensive testing - although I suppose I could get some DVD RW
Can you burn a DVD to a CD - if it's a small file size ??


Test projects on re-writeable media first.

Yes DVD MPEG-2 can be burned to CD with some authoring software. These are referred to as MiniDVD or cDVD. There are very few stand alone DVD players that play this format though & they are primarily used for distributing smaller promotional type material for playback on PCs.
You mentioned you'd tried Vegas... try downloading the trial version of Screenblast Video factory. The free trial has lots of features... and it only costs about £35 to unlock the full features.

Screenblast is a simplified version of Vegas... and a very easy learning curve. Once you know how to use screenblast, moving over to Vegas is a synch... and one version of Vegas comes with DVD authoring. But it does cost several hundred.
You say that you should have a TV monitor attached to your PC during editing, does this mean that you could use a stand alone DVD recorder to record off the TV monitor if you have one of these but not a DVD drive and buring software on your PC. If so, would the quality be comparable to a PC burned disc?:confused:
Depending on your standalone DVD recorders connections depends on what you can do.
If the recorder has a DV input then you just need to write your footage back to cam, but connect DVD instead of cam to your DV card on the PC.
If you only have S-Video etc then you just need to record in the same way you would for recording from the PC to a VCR. If your camcorder has DV-in but have no analogue video outputs you can use the cam to convert from DV to analogue to record/monitor.

If recording to an external recorder you will not need any authoring software as chapters and menus will not be copied across via analogue and I don't think DV will either. These will need to be handled by the recorder.

The quality with an external recorder is down to the connections used. DV should give just about a 100% quality copy, subject to the equipment being used. Any analogue connections will result in a fair amount of PQ loss. How much is lost will be down again to the equipment, leads etc.


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