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Old November 10th, 2008, 12:59 PM   #1
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Sony VRD-MC5 standalone burner.. Can it burn live?

I film high school football games. The videos are used for trade with other teams and for film review. Review usually happens Saturday morning with the team, but some of the coaches will stay Friday night and watch the film.

Right now, after the game is over, I go into the school athletic office where they have a set-top DVD recorder/VHS combo unit. I hook up my miniDV cam via firewire to the DVD recorder and burn the game film to DVD. The whole process takes at least 1 hour from when the final whistle blows. Not too bad for home games, but away games are a pain. I have to shoot the game and then drive all the way back to the athletic office to transfer the game film. This can extend my night by 2-3 hours.

What I want to do is be able to burn directly to DVD while recording to miniDV. I can hand over the DVD immediately after the game and be done. I need miniDV because I clean up the footage at home and edit a DVD with menu and highlights and provide 25 copies to the school the following week.

During the game, I stop recording when the play is over and start it back when the teams get to the line of scrimmage for the next play. This cuts the game film time down to about 20 minutes per game. This stopping and starting may cause problems, but I won't know until I try.

In my research on the web, I found this:

Sony | DVDirect MC5 Multi-Function DVD Recorder | VRDMC5 | B&H


Has anyone tried this product?

The opposing teams flim crew was using a Sony VRD-VC20 (I think) and he said his unit was synced to his camera and DVD recording paused when the cameras rec button was pressed to stop and burning continued when camera recording continued.

This thread also helped:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/wedding-e...fly-event.html


Once I purchase this product in the next day or two, I'll try it out and update this post a necessary.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #2
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I use a similar, but older Sony direct DVD burner with similar specs to record live at my church. It is a great little unit, firewire in - never had a problem. I don't know about the pausing but I would suspect it works just fine, excellent quality.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #3
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Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
I use a similar, but older Sony direct DVD burner with similar specs to record live at my church. It is a great little unit, firewire in - never had a problem. I don't know about the pausing but I would suspect it works just fine, excellent quality.
It appears to be a nice tool that suits the purpose of getting miniDV footage to DVD as quick as possible. What I like about the newer model is that it has a small lcd screen to monitor the input video. However, you can't monitor the audio other than what's coming into your camera.

If the constant stop/start of recording causes issues, it's not a deal killer for me though. For away games, I'll be able to get power to the unit with my automobile power converter and burn to DVD while making the trip back. Then I'll be able to leave the DVD on the coaches desk before the bus arrives.
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Old November 10th, 2008, 07:15 PM   #4
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You might want to give B&H a call and ask them. They've been reasonably knowledgeable on the products I've asked about. They might actually know the answer.

Plan B would be to go to the Sony Web site and download the manual. The answer might be in there.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 07:46 AM   #5
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Update

Great product for it's purpose. I connected my miniDV panasonic GS500 via firewire to the dvdirect VRD-MC5 burner and transferred some footage over and it looked pretty good. As for "burning on the fly" live from the camera, I have to "trick" the burner. With the camera in "camera mode" connected via firewire to the VRD-MC5, the burner says that "burning will begin once a signal from the camera is detected" or something like that. I then placed my camera in "playback mode" and the burner detected the camera. Then I placed the camera back to "camera mode" and what I was seeing through the lens appeared on the preview screen of the burner. Once the "gate is open", so to speak, the burner "sees" the camera.

The burner has a huge record button on top. When you're ready to burn, push the button and you're off. Although the burner doesn't start/pause recording based on the record button being pressed on the camera, the burn process can be paused manually by pressing record button on top of the burner. So, I can manually pause burning to DVD, but it adds to the number of buttons I've got to press during the football game.

For each play of the game, I now would have to press 3 buttons: 1-time for each of my 2 cameras and 1-time for the burner before the snap and repeat the sequence after the play is over. Not impossible, but I'll have to stay on my toes and the extra step will save me several hours each week.

I can easily see how this product would be a nice tool to have for folks who film seminars who would want to sell DVDs on-the-spot with no-need for editing in post. Set this up and have a burner tower on-site and there you go.

As for high school football game film guys, this is great for saving time after the final whistle blows.
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Old February 14th, 2009, 05:03 PM   #6
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I am curious too

Here is the situation. We are going to be recording a competition in the near future and will need to create instant DVDs of each performance. Each performance will last about 3-8 minutes so I think i will probably need 3 of these deployed in a staggered configuration to allow for disc finalizing time. We need to record these live and in real-time and since I don't like the idea of unplugging my firewire and plugging it back in so much i am thinking of using the s-video out on the camera to a 4-way switch and placing one recorder on 3 of the 4 s-vid/rca audio outputs. Then I can switch back and forth between them. If I understand the specs on the SONY site, I can have a memory stick with a preloaded graphic to use for the menu. Am I thinking this all through correctly? Is this the best recorder for immediate delivery? For those of you that have this, what has your real-world experience been with these units? Is there any noticeable quality difference in using the s-video to record vs the FW? What important question should I have asked but haven't? Thanks!
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Old February 14th, 2009, 05:23 PM   #7
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Bryan, could you not just use two: one for recording, one for finalizing/menu? Even if finalizing is slightly slower than the amount of time you're recording, you'd only build up a very small backlog and you wouldn't be degrading the image as much as going through a switchbox.
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Old February 14th, 2009, 05:41 PM   #8
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Oh Shawn, that is a splendid idea. I couldn't manage a backlog on this particular project but if I had one recording and 2 finalizing (my assistant could handle) and then dup on the tower as needed. This sounds like a much better idea.
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