Why is it easier and quicker to dub from HDD to DVD using a DVDR rather than a PC?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by jackpot, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. jackpot

    jackpot
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    I'm reading alot of threads saying how its easier, quicker, simpler it is to record onto a DVD from a HDD using a standalone DVDR rather than a PC

    Assuming that the signal eg from a TV, goes directly onto the PC's Hard drive and assuming that the PC has all the necessary software and is quick why would this be?

    Can PC's perform high speed dubbing?
    Do PC's have higher bit rates than standalone DVDR's

    thanks all
     
  2. musukebba

    musukebba
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    Not an easy question to answer, if you are new to the subject. There are many misrepresentations of transfer speed in the set-top box manufacturer's claims, and the best thing might be to just compare how long it takes to copy a full DVD's worth of content, approximately 2 hours at SP quality.

    A set-top recorder will often copy a whole DVD from the hard drive to the DVD blank in about 15 minutes (but there may be models which can do it faster now).

    For the PC, the standard quoted speed is 16x drives available for about £50 which, once the DVD is on the hard drive, will copy the whole thing in about 6 minutes. An older 8x drive will burn in about 10 mins.

    Generally speaking, the faster speed of the PC is down to higher data throughput to the drive, itself dependent on the ability of the drives to use the faster speed blank discs which are now available. However you have to bear in mind that the speed advantage of the PC is offset by the need to author the DVD before transferring, which can take some time and for a true comparison, should be added into the total time (the set-top boxes store the DVD video already authored on the HDD).

    Whilst having more potential for fancy menus etc, DVD authoring is complicated for novices and for ease of use, the set-top box copying is worth seriously considering.

    A very simplistic answer: anyone else feel free to chip in...
     
  3. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I used to go down the PC route myself: admittedly several years back and alot has changed since then. In 'my day' I had to ensure suitable components (Motherboard, HDD, video card, memory - not to mention capture card) and even then you would frequently get dropped frames.

    Now whilst things have improved a set-top DVD recorder is a unit optimised for recording. Most models include some form of timebase correction and all have a accessible interface. And some of the better brand models also have better MPEG encoders than the cheap capture cards purchased by many HTPC users and thus the net effect is a powerful recorder at a reasonable price.

    Now to be fair to the PC recording fans you can achieve all the above with a PC. But getting the right components, getting a stable system that works over months and years is generally more trouble than it's worth.

    Since going down the DVD recorder for capture and editting, and PC for authoring route I have never looked back. :smashin:
     
  4. jackpot

    jackpot
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    Why do you do the authoring on the PC when it is already authored when its recorded on the DVDR? :confused:

    Referring to your article on authoring on a PC, does this process apply where the recording has been made to the PC's hard drive? :confused:

    Finally, the panasonic has flexible recording this maximising the quality. Where in the PC process does this take place? Do PC have this facility? :confused:

    thanks
     
  5. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Because I can prepare pretty menus in Paint Shop Pro and use them as backgrounds. The Panasonic or Sony DVD recorders I use offer reasonable but basic menus - I like a little bit more (animated thumbnails, background music etc). Given the title is already chaptered, editted and in MPEG2 format at the correct bitrate, authoring is a 5 min process (plus however long it takes to design the menus!).

    It can apply - the situation is all a bit more complex on the PC. For one thing you need a capturing programming - dependant on what format the footage is captured as (pure DVB for example) you will need a programme to convert it to DVD standard MPEG2 and then another programme to edit and then you can follow my guide for importing and authoring the DVD.

    This all depends upon the initial capture of the footage - and it entirely depends upon the software and mode of capture.
     
  6. jackpot

    jackpot
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    so when you convert to MPEG2 from whatever format it is captured, does it loose quality?

    could you give me some examples of different formats it could be captured and what kind of software i would need and mode of capture to give me flexible recording.

    Once again i thank you
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Depends. If doing a convertion from DVB to DVD quality loss is normally minimal/zero depending on which package you use. If your re-encoding MPEG2 then their will be a quality drop - depending which programme you use will determine how much.

    There are hundreds of examples, if not thousands. What sources do you want to record from? Are you archiving to DVD-R? Are these NTSC or PAL sources? The software you'll use depends upon the hardware you are planning to get - and that depends upon the type of use you want to put it to. You'd be best off asking in the HCPC Forum as they are going to more upto date than me on this subject.
     
  8. JethroUK

    JethroUK
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    Yes!

    Whenever you convert/re-encode you loose quality to greater/lesser degree
     
  9. jackpot

    jackpot
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    I can only see me recording from the TV and VHS to hard drive and then to DVD-R for archiving

    I've looked at the HCPC forum and its all too complicated, As you've probably gathered, i'm pretty thick when it comes to these sort of things but appreciate your time to reply back

    Loosing quality is not an option so how can i avoid this using the PC to record?
    thanks
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    In this particular situation that is not quite correct JethroUK. There are now several packages that extract the MPEG2 stream from a pure DVB and remove the extra data associated with that format to make it a DVD compatible stream. This is not re-encoding and it is not strictly converting: it is merely removing extra data to compensate for the lossy transmission associated with Digital Broadcasting. Data recorded direct from a Nebula TV card or extracted from a Pace Twin is the perfect example of this.

    Which is an excellent reason to look at DVD recorders instead of going the PC route.
     
  11. jackpot

    jackpot
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    True but i'm frustrated that there isnt a DVDR that has everything I want it to do. I'm looking at the Shuttle media centers which are custom built to give me what i need as well as a PC to do PC type things on.
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I thought you said all you wanted to do was record from TV and VHS and archive to DVD-R. Most decent recorders will do a great job of that! Media centre PCs probably offer the most user friendly way into PC recording - although most HCPC fans don't rate them.
     
  13. jackpot

    jackpot
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    Broadly that is what i want to do but I want all the bits in between like EPG, dual layer, freeview, firewire in(have a digital video camera), best picture quality, big hard drive etc and seeing as i need a powerful PC for my work too then i'm looking at the PC/Media center as an option
     
  14. musukebba

    musukebba
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    If you want all that at once then you are going to have to go for the PC and take the time to learn how to use it. You won't get an EPG though (AFAIK), but there's always on-line Radio Times.. :)

    I still suggest, like Rasczak, that you consider a standalone recorder in your setup, particularly as it will make your DV capture much easier as well. It's all right wanting all the powerful PC stuff, but if you get frustrated using it and give up then it would be a waste of money.

    Why not do the capturing of analogue TV/DVB/Freeview/camcorder video straight onto a shiny disc in a set-top box, and get used to the video editing business on the same machine. If you buy a HHD-based unit then you can copy your edited and finished material straight to DVD disc. Later on, when you've got used to the principles of DVD authoring, if you still really want to burn double layer you can rip the recordings, compile a new DVD, author and burn on a PC.
     
  15. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Depending which route he goes he can indeed get an EPG - infact you can use a programme like DigiGuide and even get TivO like functionality. But as Musukebba points out frustration will soon set in when your PC locks up 5 seconds before the 'crucial recording' is about to start :)

    Have you thought about something getting something such the Sony GXD500 (Freeview and EPG) DVD recorder and then using in conjunction with a PC (for dual layer, firewire)? If you wait a few months the Toshiba RDXS34 will be released: 250GB HDD, Freeview (with EPG) and (AFAIK) iLink. Could be ideal for you?
     
  16. jackpot

    jackpot
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    Does transferring from DVD recorded on a standalone to a PC involve re encoding and therefore a loss of quality?

    I think it will be a case of waiting for the RDXS34, unless something better is on the horizon.
     
  17. musukebba

    musukebba
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    There are a few MPEG2 editing apps and DVD authoring programs which in combination will result in NO re-encoding of DVD compliant files (this latter 'compliancy' is another good reason to get a set-top recorder for the initial video capture).

    My personal preference is to rip the titles from the recorded DVD using DVD Decrypter, chop out extraneous material such as adverts with Womble MPEG2VCR, re-save, and then author with Ulead DVD Movie Factory Disc Creator 3.

    However there's no need to do all of this if you have recorded on a rewriteable in your set-top recorder and only need to change the menu. Then DVDMF3-DC will directly alter the menu on the disc without having to rip the video in the first place.

    This is just my preference, and there are a number of guides around to help you use other video editing apps or authoring programs. You should consider other people's views since their equipment may be more closely related to yours.

    IIRC Rasczak has a series of guides on this forum (I have yet to look at them myself).

    @Rasczak: thanks for the pointer to the EPGs. Didn't know that...
     
  18. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    If your interested in going down that route note that it requires a third party add-on (which can be found via the third party apps links on the Digiguide homepage) and that Digiguide must be installed before any HCPC 'over' programme.

    Generally speaking no - especially if you get a DVD recorder with flexible record as this allows you to determine the desired bitrate prior to importing onto the PC. You can then follow the series of guides at www.digital-recorder.co.uk for converting to DVD-R.
     
  19. whatdoiknow

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    Also being a complete div to DVD recording (I only just bought a DVD player and it cost as much as £24.99 from Tesco I didn't know they were that expensive) which HD DVD recorders will record the DVD from the HDD faster than real time and does this affect the compatibility of these discs to be played on other players.

    Thanks,

    Martin
     
  20. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    All the major brands will do this: Panasonic, Pioneer, Sony, JVC, Toshiba etc. They all have the option for re-encoding as well - which is more than some of the poorer brands have. Compatibility is not affected by this process: when you record onto DVD-R you get near universal compatibility with existing DVD players.
     
  21. whatdoiknow

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    Thanks for that Rasczak, would you mind me asking a couple of more questions, at what speed do the various makes, copy say a 2 hour DVD and what exactly is or does re-encoding do.

    Thanks again,

    Martin
     
  22. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    On most HDD/DVD recorders there are two ways to copy programmes from the HDD to DVDR:
    - High speed dub
    - Re-encode

    High Speed Dub is effectively a file transfer just like if you were copying a file on your PC HDD to a floppy disk. If the recording is small enough to fit the disc then it will copy. The benefit of this is it is entirely lossless: the DVD has the same quality as the original HDD recording.

    Re-encoding is used when the recording will not fit onto the disc. It can be done digitally (Sony) or via analogue (everyone else) but the effect is the same. The recording is reduced in size to fit onto a DVDR disc. Obviously this reduces the quality - although on most decent makes this is minimal.

    A word of warning - don't buy a DVD recorder without both (like the Philips!) as it is too limiting. If you record a film that is too long to fit to a DVDR on such a machine then you need to divide it over two or more discs!
     
  23. whatdoiknow

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    Thanks very much.

    Martin
     
  24. musukebba

    musukebba
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    Is that right - the re-encoding process has an analogue stage (non-Sony)? I had assumed out of ignorance that it was a transcoding process.
     
  25. JethroUK

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    I would have to agree - Philips is sooooooo limiting, you would have to set the machine to 2:30 and watch the HD recordings in the same crummy quality as a DVD recording

    Whereas with the other machines you could watch the HD recording in pristine quality - then 'choose' to re-encode to DVD in real-time in even 'crummier' quality

    Decitions, Decitions

    Absolutely - with the Philips HD, if you wanted to dump a pristine quality recording to DVD, it would fill 2 or maybe 3 Discs (@1 hour per disc), whereas with the others machines you would have to ...ermmmm... do exactly the same - that cant be right, surely

    Anyway, with DVD's costing well over 15p each, you need to be extra vigilant :) - I have frivelously finalised some DVD's with as much as an hours space still left :smoke:


    .
     
  26. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    My statement was an over-simplification - it isn't just a DAC then ADC inside the HDD/DVDR but effectively it is an analogue transmission. The net effect though is superior to seperates by a long way.

    Yes it is very limiting. If you have a 28" CRT then it may be acceptable to some - but is totally inadequate for most. Low bitrate recordings are not what any of us strive for :thumbsdow It amazes me Jethro that you rush to Philips defence everytime any bad comment is made about them. There simply is no defence on this issue though: having to use a 2hr 30min mode - when most of us with Philips machines find 2hrs about adequate - is utterly outrageous.

    "Decisions" :) most peeps agree their isn't really a decision. Your only one of a handful of users that actually thinks the HDRW is any good whatsoever. :rolleyes: Go figure....

    But with other machines you can choose between highest quality or re-encoding. The Philips gives no choice. With other machines you can use Flexible Record to maximise the quality to disc ratio. The Philips does not offer such flexibility. As I've said before - the Philips HDD/DVDRs are effectively crippled compared to virtually all other options. I would urge everyone to discount poor rubbish :thumbsdow
     
  27. musukebba

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    Would you care to expand, or perhaps provide a link to an explanation of this..?
     
  28. figrin_dan

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    I bought a Mesh/shuttle media center for the same reasons. TV quality is terrible (Using monitor or tv) and you cannot transfer recordings onto a playable dvd (I've tried so much software)


    This is my next plan.
     
  29. jackpot

    jackpot
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    As a matter of interest why are you still wanting to hook up a DVD recorder to a PC if youve not had much luck with your media center?
    I'm waiting for the new Toshiba which as i understand from various threads on here should be just the ticket
     
  30. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    I'm not planning on 'hooking them up' but can take a dvdrw from the Sony and edit and burn onto dvd on the pc. It's either that or use the Fusion FVRT100 and transfer via S-Video.
     

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