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Old April 6th, 2004, 04:34 AM   #1
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DVD Recorders with IEEE394

As a lazyarsed total amateur who cant be bothered getting to grips with a software package I was thinking of getting an entry level DVD recorder for A$500 and recording the bits of my movie tape I want to keep straight from MiniDV to DVD.
The DVD recorders have realtime MPEG2 encoding built in.
Most of the discussion on the board seems tobe about high end edting suites with people wanting to archive vast libraries of material.
I just want to keep a couple of hours worth of stuff a month.
I did a search but couldnt find this approach discussed anywhere.
Does anybody do this?
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Old April 6th, 2004, 08:37 AM   #2
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I have a Sony RDR-GX7 that I like. This approach works well, but you won't be able to make fancy custom menus or anything. $500 sounds a bit low, but there are probably some models with firewire around that price. A nice side benefit of the DVD recorder is that it should convert firewire to component video which allows you to hook up a monitor at highest quality.

This actually has been discussed a bit here. Try searching for GX7 and you'll find several threads.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 02:53 PM   #3
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These have really come of age in the last few months.
I have a Philips DVDR75. This stand-alone recorder has Firewire and sells for under $500 at BestBuy stores in my area.

When set to "1 Hour" mode (fits 1Hour of video onto a single DVD), the compression is almost invisble when compared to my GL2 original DV.

It turns out to be a really handy way of capturing video. At least for personal stuff and anything that a client wants strictly for computer playback. I'm free to use my computer while a camera dumps video to a DVD on the Philips. My editor can "capture" from DVD (including the AC-3 audio) without recompression so the process is mostly seamless and let me be quite a bit more productive.

The one thing to be aware of is that compression artifacts do begin to show, even at "2Hour" compression. My wife won't even set it below "3Hour" compression when recording her TV shows and even VHS can match it's quality if you compress in 4 or 6 Hour mode.

The menus are no match for what you can create with even basic consumer authoring programs, but they are actually better than I expected. You get a verticle "scrollable" column of user selected thumbnail images for each chapter and title.

Hope this helps.
Have fun.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 06:34 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by Nick Jushchyshyn : My editor can "capture" from DVD (including the AC-3 audio) without recompression -->>>

Do you mean that you can read the files from the disk using the DVD drive in your computer? One thing to keep in mind if you're considering one of these consumer DVD recorders is that virtually none of them offer firewire OUT, just firewire IN. In other words, you can capture DV from either a camera, deck or NLE using the DVD recorder, but you can not send firewire data from the recorder back to your NLE.

They are handy though, and the quality of the 1 hour disks is quite good. I did run into one problem with some relatively noisy DV footage. It looked acceptable when played back directly from my NLE or camera. However after burning to DVD the MPEG2 compression created very distracting artifacts from the noise.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 06:45 PM   #5
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Do you mean that you can read the files from the disk using the DVD drive in your computer?
Yup. Exactly.
Sorry, didn't mean to leave the impression that it would be capturing over firewire.
That would be a be redundant anyway because the computer capture would likely need to be realtime.

With "capturing" from DVD, the file simply copies at the top speed of the PC's DVD reader. :)

Have fun.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 08:03 PM   #6
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that sony deck works well.

i believe that it has video filtering on the analog input signal, and the mpeg2 encoder does a good job.

the problem with using it in a professional capacity is the chapter break problem... afaik, you can't put chapter breaks on a dvd-r disk that you are recording.
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Old April 8th, 2004, 08:49 PM   #7
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This is pretty much true to the best of my knowledge, provided that you're recording directly from your NLE via firewire. The recorder will arbitrarily create index marks that you can jump to. But the deck is really geared towards importing footage from a camcorder. I have never tried this, but it is supposed to do start/stop detection and break the footage into chapters based on this. It will evidently create little thumbnails automatically this way as well. There are a lot of editing functions that can be used in this mode, but they really looked too complicated for me to explore further.... the interface is like programming a VCR from hell ;-)

But I really just wanted an easy way to dump DV footage to something of higher quality than VHS so that I could distribute copies. Works fine for that.
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Old April 9th, 2004, 08:06 AM   #8
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I use a Panasonic E30 ( no iLink ) to encode directly from tape or output from my NLE to DVD-RAM disc. Place DVD-RAM disc in my DVD-ROM drive then author using DVDLab authoring software and burn on an A04 DVD burner. THis way I get realtime encode with AC3 audio for maximum data rate for length of video on the DVD ( use the flexible recording feature to set time). I have found this to give the best results and is fast. I have stopped using my software encoders. DVDLab is low cost and reads directly from the DVD-ROM drive(doesn't copy to your hard drive first). My intent in getting the Panasonic was to quickly backup a lot of tapes to DVD but the lack of menuing soon got me authoring. USing DVDLab is the quickest way of doing it this way. Most of these videos are about 2 hours so I can complete the whole process and make a DVD before I would have finished encoding using a quality software encoder!!!

Ron
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