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Old February 7th, 2002, 12:08 AM   #1
Quantum Productions
 
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DVD Writers

I'm looking at buying a Pioneer DVR-A03 DVD writer.
Video Guys.com has them for a decent price and alot of good info.
I have a Canopus DV Raptor card and M.S.P 6.0 for editing with lots of drive space etc.
I use my XL1 for all footage as well.

Many of you out there making DVDs?
Some input would be greatly appeciated before I 'plunge' into this!

Thx...
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Old February 7th, 2002, 01:17 AM   #2
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I'm going to plunge into this myself too later this year.
The important thing to consider is how you are going
to encode to mpeg2. This will determine the quality
you get. The best available software mpeg2 encoder
seems to be CCE @ http://www.cinemacraft.com/
It's a bit complicated program but can create very
good mpeg2! Guides can be found at www.robshot.com
and doom9.org. After you have created the mpeg2
you need to author it into a DVD (usually simple
authoring software is included with the burner). And
then it is off to burning! Since the A03 can also burn
to a RW format it is probably wise to test with this
media first. To see if your pc is properly setup and
can handle the data stream. After that your ready
to burn!

Good luck
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Old February 7th, 2002, 07:57 AM   #3
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Uleads Media Studio Pro 6.5 has all this included. The price isn't too much but the cinemacraft is pretty darn expensive!
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Old February 7th, 2002, 08:11 AM   #4
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Mac Option

...or you can just buy a new Macintosh with superdrive and FCP 3.0. All superdrive models come with iDVD included free.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 08:18 AM   #5
 
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do yourself a big favor and cross-check the prices for the A03 on Pricewatch.com. I think you'll find that videoguys is a rip off.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 10:21 AM   #6
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Guys,

burning DVD's on a PC machine can sometimes turn out to be a hit and miss affair. You have to ensure that nothing else is going on at the same time. One of the biggest problems is windows can't multitask, no matter how much MS says it can.

Even when burning a CD there are sometimes problems, Data transfer speed too low, buffer underruns etc. These problems are caused by the background services that windows runs.

Macs can multitask, which is why they burn DVD so well. The best soloution for a windows DVD burn machine is to set up a box just for that purpose, or as John(aka zchildress) said, buy a Mac.

Just something to be aware of. Especially at the cost of media and the fact that you guys will need reliability for your businesses.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 10:24 AM   #7
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My current setup is virtually a dead match to what you're considering... and yeah, I bought from videoguys.com partially for their reputable track record versus the pricewatch bunch and partially because they offered Authoring Software bundles with the drive.

I went with the Sonic DVDit SE bundle, but in hindsight should have gone with the ReelDVD bundle as it offers AC3 Dolby encoding and motion menus. My Win2K system is bulletproof when fed decent software. DVDit is not decent software, IMO. Through a series of patches and thorough reading on their Message Board, I did eventually manage to avoid most pitfalls and get my first DVD material created to HD folders which in turn got burnt onto a disc using the Prassi Primo software. Attempting to burn from within DVDit was a failure for me. (As much as I hate DVDit, there's no better solution at the sub-$1000 pricepoint - Once you factor Apple pulling a Microsoft by buying SpruceUp)

My process included:
1. Editing on MSP6 & AfterEffects5
2. MPEG2 encoding using TMPGenc
3. Authoring with DVDit
4. Burning with Prassi Primo

Do your homework by pouring through these sites:
http://forums.sonic.com/
http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/DVD/authoring.html
http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html
http://pwp.netcabo.pt/0165394101/TMPGEnc_Template.html

And give some serious thought to getting Ralph Labarge's book "DVD Authoring and Production". Had I known about this book at the time, it would have saved me a boatload of legwork:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1578200822/cartertg-20

Regardless of how cautiously you enter this, be prepared to waste a bunch of coasters during the learning curve. Once you mastered the black art of DVD making, the light at the end of the tunnel is pretty nice. Being able to offer DVD bonus material and Chapter Search makes all the aggravation worthwhile. Picture quality of the XL1/GL1 is maintained to the customer and no longer tainted by VHS.

The DVD-Rs I've burnt since have been played successfully on a growing list of customer machines:
Apex AD-800
JVC XV-M567
Panasonic DVD-A120
Pioneer DVD-115
RCA RC5240D
Ricoh MP9060A
Sony PCVRX560
Sony Playstation 2

By all indications, my personal compatibility findings should be on-par with the compatibility reports over at:
http://www.vcdhelp.com/dvdplayers.php
At this stage, I'm confident enough to tell my customers to use VCDHelp as a reference to whether their player can read my DVD-R.

Avoid the tripe being fed by the DVD+RW camp. DVD+RW is roughly equal to DVD-RW when it comes to set-top DVD playability...and THAT's nowhere close to DVD-R's far-wider compatibility. Promises of DVD+R being as compatible is so much vaporware sitting on the same shelf as 'Duke Nukem Forever'. All the poor saps who bought the HP Writer clinging onto their promises that a future firmware release will enable DVD+R capability are in for a looooong wait, IMO.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 01:28 PM   #8
 
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It never ceases to amaze me how parochial people on this site can be. For what its worth...

1-I've done 1000's of dollars worth of business thru Pricewatch and never been burned...and only a couple of difficult situations. The vendors on my best sellers list include Newegg, Multiwave Direct, and Compuplus. Multiwave Direct is currently selling the Pioneer A03 for MUCH less than Videoguys. I've purchased items from Videoguys and they're OK....just OK. If you need the security of knowing you paid more than you had to, by all means, sleep comfortably.

2-What you say about multi-tasking is only partially true. I run a dual processor machine that I built specifically because of the problem you mentioned. I will put my machine up against ANY single processor Mac you can think of.

It's time, I think, for off the cuff, meaningless statements to be put to task.

Last edited by Bill Ravens; February 7th, 2002 at 01:41 PM.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 01:58 PM   #9
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Hey Bill,

That's the beauty of these forums, don't you think? Everyone exchanging ideas...within the confined scope of what they know (which, as you know, is the literal definition of "parochial." I guess, in that sense, we're all a tad parochial.).

I can't speak for Pricewatch...don't know anything about it. But I can chime in about the new G4s. In fact, here's a quote...

<<The dual 1GHz Power Mac G4 is an astonishing 72 percent faster than the fastest PC on the market with a 2GHz Pentium 4 processor. Fact is, even the single processor 933MHz and 800MHz Power Mac G4 systems outperform the Pentium 4 by 51 percent and 26 percent, respectively. How, you might ask, can even the entry-level Power Mac G4 outperform a PC with a Pentium 4 processor running at more than twice the megahertz? It’s further proof that megahertz alone is a poor indicator of real-world system performance, particularly when comparing different overall system architectures.>>

The mistake a lot of people make is they think that the measurement ratios between PCs and Macs are equal. But 1 GHz on a PC is not equal to 1 GHz on a Mac.

Add to that the fact that the G4 comes standard with:

Your choice of...
—*ATI Radeon 7500 graphics card with 32MB of DDR SDRAM and ADC and VGA connectors; supports digital resolutions up to 1920 by 1200 pixels and analog resolutions up to 2048 by 1536 pixels
or a...
—*NVIDIA GeForce4 MX graphics card with 64MB of DDR SDRAM and ADC and VGA connectors; supports digital and analog resolutions up to 1920 by 1200 pixels
plus...
-Dual display support for extended desktop and video mirroring modes
plus...
—SuperDrive (combination DVD-R/CD-RW drive; writes DVD-R discs at 2x speed, reads DVDs at 6x speed, writes CD-R discs at 8x speed, writes CD-RW discs at 4x speed, reads CDs at 24x speed)
plus...
-OSX...rated by PC magazine as the most stable operating system available
-a whole assortment of software geared toward graphic artists, photographers, and DPs

Concerning multitasking...

<<OSX utilizes preemptive multitasking which essentially works like a controller that enables the PowerPC G4 to process several different tasks simultaneously. The controller gives priority to your primary applications, while the PowerPC G4 continues to crunch away at other tasks in the background. Mac OS X uses this controller to monitor the processor at all times. The controller prioritizes tasks, makes sure activities are at peak levels, and allocates resources on the fly to ensure that every task has the processing power it needs.>>

The bottom line...it's just a good option to consider...that's all. Especially for someone who's just building their system. No slurs intended to non-Macsters.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 03:00 PM   #10
 
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Hey Z...


LOL....that's why I said, "....any SINGLE processor Mac". You are quite right about the duallies. And, I will offer apologies to anyone I offended....sometimes I can be a little brutal...I think it's the result of age...no strike that...let's call it "maturity". I just speak my mind....and anyone else has the same right, for sure.

Thanx for your note.

BTW....a small but significant point....Mac's are NOT multi-tasking. They have what is called a Reduced Instruction Set Processor(RISC chip) which speed thread processing but still serially process all commands. Only multi-CPU machines are trully multi-tasking.

Last edited by Bill Ravens; February 7th, 2002 at 03:50 PM.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 04:33 PM   #11
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Regardless of what kind of multitasking is or is not used, Macs are easier to use, have better software and usually produce better results without setup headaches and the such. Oh yeah, Macs don't use "drivers" that can get all messed up or need updating every other week... at least the good stuff doesn't. Some devices will still load an extension, though. And in my opinion both OS 9 and OS X look so much cleaner than Windows, so it gives the illusion of being less cluttered.

iDVD is fine for making DVDs, but I really want DVD Studio Pro. It lets you mix 6 channel Dolby Digital (drool). That alone is worth the price. You won't find better DVD mastering software out there, especially if you use it in tandem with Final Cut Pro.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 04:46 PM   #12
 
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ahhh, here we go, again......an US vs. THEM discussion....<groan>. well, yes, Mac's are easier to use, and perhaps the software is better, perhaps not, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So, what's the cost of all this user friendliness? Well, the answer to that question lies in the system overhead required to run all this ease of operation. I am tempted to say that OS 9 and X are rather bloated when it comes to occupying CPU processing cycles...and there-in goes the purported better efficiency of the RISC chip. But, in retrospect, I have opted to consider that Windoze is not exactly an efficiently trimmed OS either. So, perhaps it's a draw. Either way, I submit that we all want to produce the best video that we can, regardless of our personal poisons. Since this thread has drifted far afield of "QUANTUM"s original question, my apologies to all...and good night.
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Old February 7th, 2002, 04:59 PM   #13
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I have a Windows PC as well. There are some things that the Mac just doesn't have the software for yet. And I like using it to make sure my web sites look good on both OS's and their browsers. PC's definitely advance faster. That kick ass video card you bought yesterday? You can get a newer one that's twice as powerful at half the price the day after tomorrow. Macs are definitely more expensive, but you do get what you pay for most of the time and if you are going to sink a lot of money into producing video you will probably get a Mac.

I agree that this forum should be about video and not computer wars. But you must understand that I ALWAYS have to get in the last word in order to feed my superiority complex :)
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Old February 7th, 2002, 05:50 PM   #14
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Wow! That was cool! :)

Anyway, I'll shop around for the Pioneer DVR-A03 DVD writer.
I can't afford another computer so I'll have to stick with my P-3, 750, 392 ram, DV Raptor computer. I'm hoping that M.S.P. 6.5 and the burning softwear with writer will be enough to make a DVD! ....I hope! I'm just doing a simple wedding video with left & right audio, nothing fancy! Just maybey 2hrs and about 3 or 4 sections. I don't mind some extra coaster as I have alot of CD ones anyway! They look cool on the walls! I'll check out some of those sites as well. Thanks guys!
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Old February 7th, 2002, 09:33 PM   #15
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All right...group hug! (Yes...even the PC people)

;)
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