Video from miniDV tape to DVD question?

Tel boy

Active Member
Hi,
I’m very confused as to what is the best way to get footage from a mini DV tape to a DVD :rolleyes:

Below are the methods I know of…can anyone explain the differences between the two in terms of quality of the finished DVD?

Method 1
Connect the camcorder to a computer via firewire & transfer the footage…you now have the footage on the computer & can set about editing it etc…..When done burn a DVD from the computer....I believe this metod is very time consuming.


Method 2
Connect the camcorder to DVD recorder either by firewire or the AV connectors (Red White & Yellow) & burn a DVD of the footage.
Put the DVD in your computer & edit it…then burn the edited footage back to DVD....I believe this method is quite quick.


Thanks for any advice.
 

Andy98765

Distinguished Member
I would suggest, Firewire downloaded onto a PC.
Advantages.
1. The PC software recognises the breaks in your filming so editing is very straight forward.
2. It would take just as long to download to DVD recorder as the PC but no need to transfer to PC later with burnt DVD.
3. Finish DVD in the PC and create chapters, add a bit of music to quite scenes etc and also add any still photos to the end of the DVD so the whole DVD becomes the total viewing experience.

Disadvantages.

ERMMM, can not think of any unless you do not plan to edit your DV movie.

I use Adobe Premiere and the software although not cheap gives excellent results and makes the whole process painless for me. Tried all the cheapies and the freebies, NO THANKS, I'll stick to good software.
 

Tel boy

Active Member
Hi, thanks for the advice.

I’m still a bit confused….

When you use method 1 the footage in the computer has to be converted from AVI so it can be burnt to a DVD (mpeg 2 I think)….this takes a long time.

If I used method 2 & then put the unedited DVD from the DVD recorder into the computer & import the footage into an editing suite to edit the footage, when I go to burn the edited footage back to DVD in the computer will it not burn the disk a lot faster as the footage will not have to be converted?
 

Andy98765

Distinguished Member
You try editing MPEG 2. When presented in Adobe premiere it inserts automatic breaks/chapters as each scene is downloaded, if the scene is no good just click delete and it will knit the scenes either side back together again.

Speed is dependant on your processor.

The only issue I had with Adobe premiere was to forget to set the default aspect ratio of my camera in the software to 16:9, after that never had to set again. I edit in the evening, I can then preview EXACTLY what the DVD will turn out like, put blank disc in PC, set to burn, go to bed and in the morning I have the finished result. On my PC a two hour film takes about 4 hours to complete.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
When you use method 1 the footage in the computer has to be converted from AVI so it can be burnt to a DVD (mpeg 2 I think)….this takes a long time.
Yes the footage does get compressed to MPEG-2 before burning to a DVD. However if you are doing a lot of editing, adding effects, backing music etc etc then it is better to be working with .AVI files as the PQ remains at 100%
If I used method 2 & then put the unedited DVD from the DVD recorder into the computer & import the footage into an editing suite to edit the footage, when I go to burn the edited footage back to DVD in the computer will it not burn the disk a lot faster as the footage will not have to be converted?
If only doing small cuts of unwanted footage or other simple edits then this should be fine with little loss of PQ. However if the editing software does not offer 'smart rendering' then the whole footage will be rerendered and will take a similar amount of time as rendering from .AVI (but with a possibly noticeable loss of PQ). Smart Rendering will speed things up and reduce the loss of PQ.

Mark.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I agree that for minimal editing, it is quicker to use the DVD recorder route ( I use it sometimes too)
But unless your DVD recorder is very good, capturing and editing as DV AVI, then encoding to mpeg in software on the PC will result in better output
The Downsides are time to capture, and time to encode as well as HD space used up
Otherwise there is no downside.
The "degradation" that occurs with mpeg ( Unless there is "smart rendering") due to multiple renders ( effects transitions etc) don't occur with DV AVI.
This limits you to software that has SM this and not all that do implement it well.
The lack of generational PQ drop is why DV AVI is better than mpeg ( from HDD camcorders and DVD ) as starting material

By using the mpeg from DVD
You are relying on the DVD recorder for a good mpeg encoding
The mpeg ( from said DVD) will then undergo various levels of potentially PQ degrading rendering during editing

There is every chance that It will be re-encoded after editing... back to mpeg ( further potentially lowering PQ): As such you may not really be gaining any time and you will get worse quality picture

Most NLE software will simply not edit mpeg as well and fluidly as they do AVI. Some even turn the Mpeg to AV ( in the background ) for editing then reencode at the end: Recipe for lower IQ
You can try both routes and see for yourself if there is any difference. If there is none to your eyes, use the easiest route for you
 

Tel boy

Active Member
Some good advice & explanations there people... Thank you :thumbsup: …I think I’m starting to understand a little better now

Ok so let’s say I was to use method 1 (firewire to PC)
I can get the footage into the PC by using Windows Movie Maker & do the burning with Nero which is a quite up to date version & I believe that this will convert the AVI file so it can be burnt to DVD…I’m assuming that Nero will also compress the file to fit a 4.7GB DVD.

From what I have read 1 hour of footage is about 13GB in size….is the quality still ok after this has been compressed to fit the DVD or is it best to put less than 1 hour on a DVD?

Thanks.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Simple Answer:
You wont gain much by putting less on a disc. The commercial ones ( "Hollywood" DVDs) don't. They get the extra time by using dual layer discs
Longer Answer
Mpegs are made by a clever compression method that preserves quality with smaller file sizes than AVI. The encoding "bitrate" is what determines how much mpeg data goes into a given disc space
As such you can fit any amount of video "time" on a 4.7Gb disc .
I hr for a 4.7Gb disc assumes that you are using the highest bitrate and aiming for best quality. Putting any less will not give you better.
"Standard quality " encoding is 2 hrs on a 4.7Gb disc. I would avoid going for more than that TBH but if the original material is pristine and there isn't a lot of fast paced scenes it will be perfectly acceptable IQ

Most software can be configured to use a fixed bitrate and variable bitrate
Variable bitrate ( as named) varies the bitrate to use a higher rate for fast moving scences ( which need higher rates to look smooth) and slower rates during sedate scences. This allows more efficient use of space than a fixed bitrate
Mpeg encoders are not made equal and some will do a better job than others with the same material.
Lastly even where you can adjust bitrate , it is often best not to go over 8Mbits/sec as some budget DVD players may find it difficult to decode
One of the suggested NLE software (Premiere Elements, Vegas Movie Studio Platinum ect) will ultimately serve you better than the combination of WMM and Nero
 

MarkE19

Moderator
One of the suggested NLE software (Premiere Elements, Vegas Movie Studio Platinum ect) will ultimately serve you better than the combination of WMM and Nero
You really don't like Movie Maker do you :D
Seriously it is a great starting point for those new to editing as it is so easy to use, but it is very limited in it's features. Therefore (as suggested by senu) you will quickly outgrow MM2 and want to move to a 'paid for' option such as those mentioned.

Mark.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
You really don't like Movie Maker do you :D
Seriously it is a great starting point for those new to editing as it is so easy to use, but it is very limited in it's features. Therefore (as suggested by senu) you will quickly outgrow MM2 and want to move to a 'paid for' option such as those mentioned.

Mark.


Actually, I dont (not like) MM.:)
I do actually like the simplicity with which it demystifies Video editing but think Microsoft have made a comparison with Apples imovie inevitable. In that it is a bit of a missed opportunity.
Also if a third party Software needs "fixing", a search at their website and forums will often reveal something.
With WMM , if it goes "belly up" sometimes nothing short of reinstalling Windows will suffice . :devil: That is more than a minor irritation
The XP version seems geared towards WMV and suggests to the unwary newbee that this is the "best " format:confused:

Its support for only WMV and AVI is (perhaps) a little irritating in these days of mpeg2 generating DVD and HDD camcorders.

Also, the need for Nero ( to encode the AVI) and author DVD is like using 2 "stripped down" applications promising "Video editing, DVD making" heaven.
In this regard the Vista version is a lot better

I will often point those who love it and seem to not need more to PapaJohns site and Here
However if I sense that a fellow poster wants to do more , I feel it is better to use an established software and get proficient in that one rather than first learn WMM then learn the softwares limitations and feel they arent getting it right
It is fine but as you've stated rather easy to outgrow
 

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