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Old October 30th, 2002, 10:53 PM   #1
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camera to pc to cd to dvd player

I'm having good success transfering my video (canon xls1) to the pc via premiere producing an *.avi ,then through a encoder to an *.mpg then using roxio's video write VCD format then play this cd and it works good on a home DVD player.I still have not been successful using either premiere or adobe after effects to insert graphics on the the tape or in the actual movie.I think the programs are too difficult to just wing it.
The quality of what I'm doing is 480x352- 29 frames ,can i get better than this .My goal is to be able to make real good quality video on cd's and that any person could play them back ,is there a better format or technique I could use.I would appreciate advice from people who have been there ,done it.
I just purchased this camera . Also is there a quality difference between the dv and vhs-s ,seems the one capture port on my pc handles VHS-S and the pictures look good but what gets me is that the capture software outputs *.mpg and the files are more manageable than *.avi.
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Old October 31st, 2002, 12:47 PM   #2
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No offense, but "real good quality" on a CD aka. VCD is kind of an oxymoron. VCD is only VHS quality at best.

Your SVHS port is an analog port. you would use that to capture from an analog device that has a S-connector. DV is a digital format so keeping the data digital as far through the process will result in the best results. You should take the DV into the PC via 1394 firewire (DV) and this way it stays digital. You then edit it in the DV-Encoded AVI file, add your effects and titles and then output to your desired format (avi, mpg, etc.). I started with Pinnacle Studio because it had about a 5 minute learning curve. I was able to create a few VCD and DVD projects quickly. I also then realized how limited it was, but to get started it gets you going quick. So the next step is to a product like Premiere or Vegas Video. Vegas is a quick product to learn and is powerful, and has great audio tools. From what I read Premiere has a slight edge on Vegas Video on the video side, but is harder to learn. I was fortuante to buy both (sis is a teacher and they get like 75% off on software). If you already have Premiere then stick with it and check out www.wrigleyvideo.com for some good Premiere tutorials. I use TMPGENC ($48) to create all my MPEG1 and MPEG2 files, it is slow but great quality.


As for the files, DV is 13GB per hour of video, it is a 5:1 compressed signal. MPG files can vary depending on bitrate, but at a good quality 6000kbps rate you get about 75 minutes on a 4.7GB DVD. VCD is MPEG1 is 1150kbps and fixed at 320 x 240 resolution, about the same as a VHS picture. MPEG2 files are harder to edit because not every frame has all the data needed to create the entire frame picture. Lay persons explanation: MPEG starts with a FRAME of the entire picture then uses the next frames to capture only what has changed on the picture. Then every few frames it generates a forward ad backward predicted frame, so it knows what changed and what will chnage. Then there is a GOP (group of Pictures) which is the entire set of frames from the first full frame up until the next full frame. Trying to do precise editing with a picture that could be spread over 10-18 frames is not easy and has many trade-offs. With the DV steream in AVI format each frame is a self contained complete frame of the picture, no dependancies on the previous or next frame. Making precise edits is much easier this way. Once your edits, effects, titles, etc. are doen then you output either straight to RAM, WMF, or MPEG or back to an DV-AVI (to be converted by another program to MPEG), etc.

I tried to keep this simple so I hope this helps.
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Old October 31st, 2002, 08:38 PM   #3
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back to keith

Thanks for the advice and no offence taken I'm self taught so every bit helps.I am using the firewire input to the pc (p4 2.4 ati 8500 --firewire port in this card)I am going to pick up some documentation on premiere shortly but the link you gave will help.And instead of tmpgenc I'm using procorder by canopus and its fine.
So from what you're saying is I need a DVD writer to get better resolution and get past vcd format.
What about the prg VideoPack 5.0 by roxio's anything there that is of value.
stan kern
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Old October 31st, 2002, 08:58 PM   #4
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No problme, I am only about 8 months ahead of you, I got started in February and I have aP4 2.2 with ATI 8500DV. One thisng to watch is ATI drivers SUCK!! The drivers that ship with XP SP1 for AIT 8500 are fairly stable, the most stable are the older 6037 drivers. The current Catalyst 2.3 are OK, but have some quirks with Pinnacle Studio and they don't work with Pinnacle Edition DV.
And you are right if you want best quality go for a DVD burner, get the A05 next month when it ships, I have 2 of the A04 and love them. I can burn 2 DVDs at a time at 2X. I woudl also recommend you avoid the no-name DVD media. I bought 10 name brand Verbatim DVD-RW to do my test mastering on then once I view that ona real TV and DVD player and am happy I burn to DVD-R media. I really like the TDK DVD-R media and in bulk quantity 50 is very reasonable about $120. I have had NO luck with no-name DVD-RW, jsut wasted money on them and marginal luck with no-name DVD-R media.

I do burn some VCD media on CDR, usualy if it is a Video tape I am converting that will not benefit from the DVD video quality. Also VCD makes good demo mateiral, you can burn VCD cheap and distribute as a demo of your capability, as long as it has some ort of disclaimer warning them not to judge the video resolution just the mateiral.
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Old November 2nd, 2002, 11:01 AM   #5
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Back to Keith:DVD vs S-VHS

Once I shoot and edit in DV (Premiere 6.0) I am trying (learning hobbyist) to understand next step ---best equipment/media to display to friends and family. Now, I output from Premiere back to my DV camcorder and play on TV using camcorder S-VHS output. I understand S-VHS higher quality output than VHS and I think? S-VHS getting close to limits of standard TV ability to display. I have been wanting to go to burning own DVD's but wonder how does converting from DV (intra-frame compression) to MPEG2 (intra-frame as you point out) and then to DVD disc and then playing DVD on TV affect quality or compare to S-VHS quality? I think things mastered to DVD originally start with MPEG2 and can effectively use component output/input on TV's so equipped, but would my own DVD's make effective use of component output/input and be higher quality than S-VHS?? A lot or recent "book learning" in there so not sure if it is right.
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Old November 2nd, 2002, 09:54 PM   #6
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The analog outputs on the 2 cams I have are OK, but not great. The best output is to take you production and convert to MPEG2 and put to DVD. I have doen this a few times now and the picture is beautiful, far better than the analog out of the camera. True S-VHS is a nice picture, but still can't beat a true 720x480 MPEG2. Also I suspect the manufacturers are not putting the highest quality into their analog circuits. I suspect their approach is that the analog in/out on the camaera is a convienence. I take my productions rerender to DV AVI then use TMPGENC to convert to a MPEG2 then use Ulead DVD Workshop to author up the DVD. Sure some extra steps and a few different products, but I feel the end result is great!!
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Old November 2nd, 2002, 10:22 PM   #7
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Keith DVD

Thanks for the input, Keith. Makes sense when you put it the way you did that the output (presumably component output from DVD player you use into component input equipped TV) from DVD player would be better than S-VHS and can capture the true 720X480 that DV is capable of.
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Old November 2nd, 2002, 11:38 PM   #8
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Actually my TV is older and does not have component in, so I drive my DVD to TV via S-connector, but the image is so crisp and clean. Like I said I beleive the analog form the cameras is not their strongest feature, just a convienence.
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