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Old April 11th, 2005, 10:52 PM   #1
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best way to transfer miniDV to DVD

hello everyone, i am probably repost this but i couldn't find the right answer when searching the forum. hopefully some experts can help me with this.

I am a total newbie to this forum and to camcorder.. recently i purchase a canon optura 60 so here i am trying to learn from all the experts.

right now most of the stuff i film is in 16:9 so i want to basically transfer this to DVD that can watch in any dvd player and perhaps erase the miniDV and reuse after that. i don't know if there is any good reason for keeping the original film in the miniDV. perhaps for future edit? or backup?

i assume this is how it work.
1. camcorder firewire/usb2 transfer to PC as avi
2. edit avi using some software (maybe adobe premiere)
3. convert avi to mpeg or straight to VOB for dvd? (what software?)
4. maybe with Adobe Encore DVD i can create menu and edit some more. and out put it to VOB.
5. now nero to burn the dvd.

i can and probably will be able to get any software in the world to use and do this work please help me determine what's the best way. i understand a little bit about computer so hopefully learning to use those software won't be as hard.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 05:50 AM   #2
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Since I use a Mac instead of a PC I'll let someone else cover the software issues, but here are a few other points to consider:

1. DVD's are encoded with MPEG2. This requires compressing your DV footage and you lose some quality in the process (possibly a lot, depending on the software and the settings you use). So there may be a good reason to keep your original tapes if you ever want to edit them again.

2. It's generally not a great idea to "erase and reuse" mini DV tapes unless you absolutely need to. They're pretty cheap. Most of us just throw them in a box somewhere and keep in case we need the original footage again someday.

3. If your goal is simply transfering a tape to a DVD then you might consider a DVD recorder with firewire (IEEE-1394) input. They are getting much cheaper and are very simple to use - just plug in your camera and press record. In most cases the quality will also be better with these hardware MPEG2 encoders as well, and of course it doesn't tie up your PC during the transfer, it is faster, and it doesn't fill up any space on your hard drive.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 08:54 AM   #3
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Your procedure is basically correct. Do you own any editing software now? Here's my modified version of your procedure.

1. Capture via FIREWIRE using your editing software's capture utility.
2. Edit the DV-AVI file as needed using your editing software
3. Render to MPEG2 (and I usually recommend rendering the audio to AC3)
4. Load the MPEG2 (and AC3) file into your DVD Authoring program.
5. Design the DVD as needed and then PREPARE the DVD (which will create the Video_TS and Audio_TS folders)
6. Use the DVD Authoring software or Nero to burn the DVD consisting of the just created folders.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 09:14 AM   #4
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Boyd Ostroff,

first off, thanks for the great response. well you're right miniDV are getting cheaper.. i just order like 10 sony premium miniDV for like 23 buck. though i didn't know that you will lose quality when transfer to dvd.

i don't think taking up hard drive space is an issue since i got more than 700GB and you will erase the data once you burn them on DVD. The reason i want to transfer to PC is because i want to edit them, perhaps add music, and some text, nothing fansy.

DVD recorder with Firewire, do you have any idea which one is good for around $400 max? that's my budget if i would going to get one. :)
ohh i just saw this one:
http://www.buy.com/retail/product.asp?sku=90145984&dcaid=1688 is this something you're talking about?

thanks a bunch.

-----------------------------------------

Edward Troxel,
yes i do have 2 or 3 software installed as of right now. i have Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effect 6.5 and Adobe DVD Encore. If you know any software that is good and hopefully its easy to use please recommend them.. i probably will be able to get it.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 09:15 AM   #5
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I don't know how many capabilities you want as far as video editing/DVD authoring goes, but if you have Windows XP then you have Windows Movie Maker already. I think it may be able to burn to DVDs as well. Nero also includes a video editing application.

And I would recommend keeping the original video on the DV tape. One, it's higher quality than the video on a DVD, which is compressed more than DV video is. Second, as you suggested, it would serve as a backup, in case you want to edit it again in the future, or your DVD gets damaged/goes bad. Remember Murphy's law!
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Old April 12th, 2005, 09:48 AM   #6
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James: yes that's a DVD recorder, but there are no specs on it. You want to be sure that it features firewire input (often called "DV In"), not sure if that model does. It also has an internal hard drive. This might be handy, but isn't absolutely needed.

You could still import video from your camera into your computer and edit it if desired. But when you are ready to make a DVD you would plug the DVD recorder into your PC via firewire and hit the record button while the video plays. The downside to DVD recorders is that you can't really make any custom menus or that sort of thing.

Here are a few examples in your price range (I have no personal experience with these models however):

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=374578&is=REG
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=326459&is=REG
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=369884&is=REG
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Old April 12th, 2005, 10:25 AM   #7
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yes i do have 2 or 3 software installed as of right now. i have Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effect 6.5 and Adobe DVD Encore. If you know any software that is good and hopefully its easy to use please recommend them.. i probably will be able to get it.

Capture, edit, and encode using Adobe Premiere

Author and burn using Adobe Encore

That should be all you need.

Personally, I use Vegas+DVD. However, the Adobe programs are all you need to get the job done. No need to buy additional software just for this purpose (unless you really WANT to).
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 05:18 PM   #8
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If you're using Premiere and Encore, you can render the edited footage out as DV (.avi) and import that into Encore. Make the menu's and stuff and you can burn a DVD out from Encore that will play on set-top DVD players. Encore will do the transcoding for you if the footage isn't ready to go as DVD compliant video.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 02:39 PM   #9
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James,

I can see where it's confusing with so many options. Let me give a shot at simplifying.

ONE WAY.
Firewire capture DV to computer.
Edit DV on computer
Convert edited DV to MPEG2 (being sure to meet specs for DVD)
Author (using authoring software to add menus and prepare files for DVD)
Burn DVD

If you already have DV camcorder, and firewire equipped computer with DVD burner, then you just need software. Much software is available for a trial download, and there are MANY, MANY options. Just roll up your sleeves and go at it! Just do a short trial program first.

ANOTHER WAY

Buy DVD recorder like those suggested.
Copy your tapes to DVD (just press the record button)

This is certainly easier and faster, but you have no opportunity to edit, and very little opportunity to create menus. The Panasonic with the hard disc allows you to transfer DV to hard disc, then do cuts only editing to DVD. While a firewire(DV) input is preferable, it is possible to copy using S-Video and analog audio. It really is a very flexible box. You can record off the air (or from DV) onto either HD or DVD while playing back from the hard drive - even playing back the beginning of something while you're still recording it. If you record onto the eraseable DVD-RAM, you can record and play at the same time with it too! You will love this for time-shifting and archiving off-the air stuff. Good-bye VCR!
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