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Old August 9th, 2004, 04:09 PM   #1
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live MPEG-2 capture/encode

I posted this to the Mac forum, but recieved no replies, so hopefully DVD guys can help. Keep in mind that I'm using a Mac, since that will probably make a big difference in the answers. Although I appreciate any pointers you might have.

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Soon I will be working on a project that requires numerous 1 hour sessions to be taped to miniDV, burned to DVD, and recorded to VHS. The intention is to use one continuous shot without cuts or further editing (of course, we'll see how this goes). Generally, this process will include many stages - record to miniDV, capture to computer, encode to MPEG-2, burn DVD, record VHS. I would like to make this production as efficient as possible by accomplishing as many tasks at one time as I can.

At this point, I plan to record to miniDV (camcorder), capture to iMovie (firewire), and maybe even VHS (analog out), all at once. That would knock out a lot of time, leaving only the MPEG-2 encoding stage and DVD burning. If possible, I'd like to incorporate the encoding stage into the initial record/capture. My plan would be to use a live/realtime MPEG-2 encoder (firewire or analog out) that would replace the need for iMovie. Unfortunately, I know little-to-nothing about live MPEG-2 capture and encoding or if it is even worth using for this production.

Are there any low-cost (< $500), software or hardware based applications available?
Is there a better, more efficient way of accomplishing this? maybe with a stand-alone dvd recorder?
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Old August 10th, 2004, 01:59 PM   #2
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one option would be to record live directly to a dvd recorder, then copy the vob files to the mac in order to add chapter points, if necessary.

drawbacks might include no ac3 from dvd recorders(??), so you might have to de-mux the audio after it's on the mac, convert to ac3, then re-mux as part of the authoring process that adds the chapter points.

i've never tried working with vob files, so this is pure conjecture on my part :-) but they do contain all the mpeg info.

i don't believe that the mpeg2 spec includes ac3 audio, which is where the vob's come in... you really do want to present de-muxed .m2v-type files to your dvd authoring program anyway, because it will split 'em up if it's given muxed mpg files... and ac3 is the preferred dvd format option here in the states.

just brainstorming here, btw.
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Old August 12th, 2004, 05:27 AM   #3
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You can connect a standalone DVD recorder. The audio will be recorded in AC3 (at least in the Sony DVD recorders that I have used).

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Arnaldo
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Old August 12th, 2004, 11:56 AM   #4
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Thanks guys.
I was actually hoping to avoid the stand alone dvd recorder, but was afraid that it was going to be the most efficient way. I think I will find out more about the requirements of this production and that will settle the question.

Thanks for the help.
Nicholi
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Old August 26th, 2004, 07:41 PM   #5
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Pardon the interuption but, can you actually add chapter points to a VOB file after the fact?

That is, can you use a vob file as if it were an AVI or dv file and author it the same way you would the video? I didn't think that was possible.

I would think capturing it as an MPEG-2 file would be the bext way to do it. You will have to search for MPEG-2 realtime encoder cards. You will probably need a medium sized hard drive and an open bus mastering PCI slot.

Or, you coul hire that part out to a post house. We used Minerva systems where I used to be the engineer.

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Old August 27th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #6
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i wouldn't want to trying authoring with the vob itself... but there are software tools that will extract mpeg2/ac3 files from the vob's.
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Old August 27th, 2004, 11:35 PM   #7
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Most any tool I have ever needed I have found through afterdawn.com

Sean
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