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Old December 7th, 2004, 12:05 PM   #1
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Quality diff in method of transfer to DVD ?

I have access to facilities which have a stand alone DVD burner unit. (like a seperate VCR- I dont know what theyre called.) Anyway, this is how Ive been burning my DVDs. Out from FCP to dvcam tape. And then playing the tape and hitting record on the DVD recorder.

Recently, my wife got a laptop with a DVD burner in it. So ive been thinking of trying that DVD burner. What do you think the quality difference will be? I have to compress the file to fit on the DVD itself. (only like 4 gigs right?) Will this compression make it look worse than if I just went from DVCAM tape to the stand-alone DVD burner?

Ill probably try both, but I just wanted to know what you guys thought. The DVCAM deck and the DVD burner are not hooked up through firewire... so Im sure theres some loss in quality there.

What do you think?
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Old December 7th, 2004, 01:03 PM   #2
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DVD's use a form of MPEG compression that packs a lot more data per gigabyte than DV. You could only fit something like 20 minutes of DV on a DVD, and it wouldn't be compatible with DVD players.

I also use a standalone DVD recorder (Sony RDR-GX7) to burn simple DVD's. When set to the highest quality mode (HQ) you get one hour per disk and it is pretty difficult to tell the difference between the DVD and the original.

But I connect my DVD recorder to my Mac via firewire, if you have a deck hooked up via s-video I suspect you're losing something along the way through the digital > analog > digital conversion.

I think you have a good idea though - do a few tests and look at the results on a good monitor. I don't really have any experience with burning DVD's from an internal drive on a computer, but I'm sure somebody will offer a few insights.
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Old December 7th, 2004, 01:48 PM   #3
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Some DVD burners have Firewire Inputs, did you use something like that? If you did do the analog into the DVD burner the laptop with an internal burner option should give you a better result because it stays digital the whole time.

You can control the amount of compression similarly to HQ on the DVD burner as with the laptop's burner, depending on the software you use to make the DVD.
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Old December 8th, 2004, 09:54 AM   #4
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The DV stand-alone recorders work OK for a quick-and-dirty copy of the video. For shorter videos, the quality is pretty good. In my experience, there is not much fall-off in quality when using the S-Video out as opposed to firewire.

The big disadvantage in these recorders is that you have so few compression options (e.g., SP, LP, etc.). If you compress your video with a program like DVD-SP and/or Compressor, you have direct control of your bit rate, and you can A.Pack your audio to allow for a significantly better video encode.

If you're just making quick copies, it's not a bad option -- to achieve maximum quality, though, your best (and most time consuming option) is to output from a video editing program, compress your video and build/burn the DVD in something like IDVD or DVD-SP. Even IDVD is pretty limited -- your maximum capabilities reside in Compressor/DVD-SP.
-- Vic Owen --
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