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Old November 25th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #1
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Hand off short videos?

Not sure if this is the best place for this or not. But thought I'd ask.

I was recently approached by a unit at my office about a type of video production we (I) don't typically do.

Essentially, they would like to record short videos of about 15-20 minutes, and after the video is complete, hand off media to the participant for them to keep. No editing is necessary.

In the past this has been accomplished with VHS. It was easy and cheap. Last year they hired someone to do this, and the person recorded to his laptop and handed off a thumb-drive to the participant.

This year, they are expanding the program, and looking to do the same, but instead of one recording, they will have three separate rooms all recording simultaneously. They asked me about the best way to do this.

My suggestion was to perhaps record with the camcorders that use the small DVDs. However, I have no experience with them. The solution they used last year with the thumb drives seems quite reasonable, but I don't know what software would be required to take the output from a camera, and make it playable on nearly any PC/MAC without editing. Anyone got ideas there?

Essentially, I need this solution to work for people who are not very familiar with video gear, but who could load a disk, hit record, stop, etc.

Thoughts welcomed....

-P
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Old November 25th, 2008, 01:57 PM   #2
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What about recording directly to a DVD recorder? Most of them have firewire inputs, and they can be played in any DVD player or computer with a DVD drive.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 06:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Edward Carlson View Post
What about recording directly to a DVD recorder?
This is probably your best solution. It's dead simple and dirt cheap. It should be no more complex than recording to tape and when it's over you have the media in the format you want it. Just remember to finalize each disk when you've finished recording.

The Panasonic recorders have worked well for me and I would heartily recommend them.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 09:39 PM   #4
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The problem with this solution is that I would need 3 DV camcorders, and three DVD Recorders. None of which this group has. How is that a better or cheaper solution that having them buy 3 mini-DVD Recorders for $299 each?
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Old November 25th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #5
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How is that a better or cheaper solution that having them buy 3 mini-DVD Recorders for $299 each?
Good question. If all they are going to do is that application, it's not.

I was working under the assumption that you already had camera(s) since you had been doing it previously. $900 for three complete kits is cheaper than cams and recorders by at least a couple of hundred dollars and would be incrementally simpler to run.

However, the media for DVD cams (I think) is more expensive than the standard DVD-Rs. Depending upon the quantity of media consumed over the life of the system the DVD cams might be more expensive. However there's no way to know if the future costs between the two media types will equalize.
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Old November 25th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
How is that a better or cheaper solution that having them buy 3 mini-DVD Recorders for $299 each?
Good question. If all they are going to do is that application, it's not.

I was working under the assumption that you already had camera(s) since you had been doing it previously. $900 for three complete kits is cheaper than cams and recorders by at least a couple of hundred dollars and would be incrementally simpler to run.

However, the media for DVD cams is much more expensive than the standard DVD-Rs (3/$5.00 vs. ~$.30/ea) and only holds an hour of video. Depending upon the quantity of media consumed over the life of the system the DVD cams might be more expensive. However there's no way to know if the future costs between the two media types will equalize.

The external DVD recorders can record very high quality video for two hours, and up to eight hours if quality is not an issue.
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