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Old August 31st, 2003, 06:55 AM   #1
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DVD Newbie headache!!

So I built my new P4, learned photoshop7, re-arranged my old computer for my mom, learned XP Pro, and then decided to learn how to burn my video to DVD's. Should be simple right, just like CD, drop it in, turn it on, instant DVD. Guess I haven't been reading the DVD forums here. Bought an OEM pioneer A06 ($169) dropped in Cast Away to see how it plays and whamo, computer says "no mpeg2 decoder". More research.

I didn't expect such a learning curve for DVD's and my little brain is fried from all the research in putting together the right computer. So, here's my question.

I need a one stop solution to DVD burning, Is Vegas 4+DVD a complete package? encoder, player, burner? How is transition to V4 from VV3? I realize V4 is an editor but with the price of DVD authoring software why not just get V4+DVD?

Is the quality of burned DVD's just as high as digital video, (it is digital) I ask because I see so many that have burned DVD's and say it's not?

Thanks to all on this great forum.
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Old August 31st, 2003, 10:38 AM   #2
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I believe you can "upgrade" from VV3 to 4 + DVDA. For much less than buying them outright. That's what I did. I edit everything in 4, render an mpeg2 with audio separate, then render audio ac3. Open dvd architect, and it goes to the correct folder, select modify, burn.
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Old August 31st, 2003, 02:58 PM   #3
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The only truly 'all-in-one' software packages are things like Sonic's MyDVD in which you can id the theme, the clips and tell it to go. Many limitations though. And the quality isn't great. Much better if you encode the video in a stand-alone encoder.

For example, Sonic believes that the upper or A field is always first. Not so and the results are ugly whenever motion appears.

Usually, the stand-alone encoders are a bit better. Like the Canopus ProCoder. They can create tighter and higher quality encoding and allow you to match the level of compression to the length of the video.

There are some other good sites out there for DVD burner users. DVDRhelp.com is one that comes to mind.
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Old August 31st, 2003, 05:58 PM   #4
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What is it that V4 is missing? does it not have an encoder? The DVD program that comes with V4 is DVD Architect.

I have read alot and I am getting more confused. DVDrhelp is on my favorites folder but nothing explains things completely. my take is that I turn DV into AVI files. encode them to mpeg 2, then download them into a folder that is then burned onto the DVD. The problem with most help files is that they skip or stop. I don't mind reading a book as long as it has the whole story. So far, I can't find the whole story in one nice long start to finish explanation.

Sorry to be a pain, DVDrhelp is a very scattered website.

Thanks for the help folks.
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Old August 31st, 2003, 08:25 PM   #5
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With V4 you can edit your video and then convert it to MPEG2 ready for DVD.

This is just the "raw material" for DVDs. Now you have to "compose" your DVD with one or more Menus containing links to play the MPEG2 clips, or take users to other Menus, etc

This is where DVD Architect comes in. It allows you to design, structure and burn the DVD using the clips that came from Vegas, and add whatever other features you may want.

These can include:
* Automatic first play movie - maybe an animated logo and/or a cop[yright warning.

* Motion Menus - having a looped section of video playing as part or all of your menu background.

* Menu Audio - may be music, or spoken word etc.

* Motion Buttons. Buttons can themselves be a small thumbnail playing an excerpt from the video clip.

* Additional text containing relevant (or irrelevant) information.

hth
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Old September 1st, 2003, 12:02 AM   #6
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Thanks Peter and everyone.

So Vegas4 + DVD does in fact have everything to encode, render and burn to a DVD, thank you.
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Old September 1st, 2003, 01:05 AM   #7
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AC3 encoding!

Don,

There's one thing I'd like to add. When you buy DVD-A together with Vegas 4, you will also get the Dolby AC3-encoder. Which has the advantage that when you mix your audio in 5.1 surround mode within Vegas, you are able to render an AC3 file, that can be used together with the MPEG2 file in DVD-A. This is a real advantage over all the entry-level dvd-packages.
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Old September 1st, 2003, 08:39 AM   #8
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Thanks Peter
Through my reading I understood the AC-3 part as the best one for audio as it takes up less space on the DVD.

In reference to Mike's idea, how is the quality of the encoder of DVD architect? And correct me if I am wrong, the encoder is the compression / decompression (encoder/decoder) engine?? And MPEG2 is the format (language)?

Thanks everyone, I think that I almost have it.

(not plus not equals double not) :)
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Old September 1st, 2003, 08:51 AM   #9
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Don,

Bottom line: Vegas + DVD includes everything you need to make DVDs. The DVD format is MPEG2 and they BOTH use the same encoding engine. So, you have two options:

Render to MPEG2 and AC-3 in Vegas, import these files into DVD Architect, build your menus and burn the DVD.

Alternately, render to a single AVI file, bring this into DVD Architect, build your menus, and DVDA will encode it to MPEG2 and AC-3 for you.

You may wish to look at http://www.jetdv.com/tts and read the newsletter that talks about DVD Authoring.
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Old September 1st, 2003, 09:07 AM   #10
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My advise is to render from the Vegas timeline using the MPEG2 en AC3 templates for video and audio. Rendering is faster inside Vegas compared to DVD-A.
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Old September 1st, 2003, 10:08 AM   #11
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I agree with what Peter just said. Faster to import mpeg from vegas. (I edit with a "slow" machine also)
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Old September 1st, 2003, 10:31 AM   #12
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I, too, render to MPEG2 and AC-3 from Vegas. While it *may* be faster, I haven't tested it. It will DEFINITELY be faster if you have to make a small change to a menu option AFTER creating the DVD as the video does not have to be re-rendered each time.

However, for simplicity, it is EASIER to just use a single AVI file as you can then use the optimize box to adjust the bitrate to get everything to fit. When rendering from Vegas, you have to make sure an appropriate bitrate is used.
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Old September 1st, 2003, 01:27 PM   #13
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You folks are awesome, My questions have been answered.

I realize I still have a bit more reading to do once I get V4 + DVD, but at that point I will be able to follow the softwares instructions, websites and forums for assistance. I like VV3 and can't wait for 4.

Virtual root beer for Edward Harry Peter and Mike !!! (and Chris for the site)
Thanks again

Edward, I am at that site now (what a great author) and it is just what I needed, Thanks.
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Old September 1st, 2003, 07:24 PM   #14
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Thanks. Buuurrrrppp!
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Old September 9th, 2003, 05:57 PM   #15
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To answer your other question, to play back a DVD you need
DVD player software. The two most used seem to be WinDVD
and PowerDVD. You should be able to pick these up quite
cheaply. Demos are available for both.
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