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Old December 22nd, 2010, 02:03 PM   #1
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Transferring VHS to DVD

I am new to video editing and production -- but not to computer technology and video taking.

I recently bought a Diamond VC500 cable converter in order to capture the video and transfer it to my computer. So far so good...I figured out how to capture and save to my machine. It works just fine.

Now that I have the video on my machine I want to do real basic editing -- mainly crop leader static/noise and trailer static/noise off my digital video. Then I want to burn it to a DVD.

Couple of questions for the experts out there willing to lend a hand:

a) I can capture as NTSC_M or NTSC_M_J (I can also capture as PAL or SECAM but I have been told I should be using NTSC). So which should I capture as? NTSC_M or NTSC_M_J?

b) I can save as DVD, AVI and a host of other formats. I have elected DVD and the converter saves the video as MPEG in a much smaller disk consumption amount than AVI when I repeated the capture to the other format. So which should I capture as?

c) I have a Progressive Scan DVD player. So does that limit me to certain output formats? (Again I am an extreme newbie in this "video world" so thanks for bearing with me.)

d) I have tried to identify a relatively low-cost / no-cost editing software...especially for MPEG formats. So far from my limited research I have honed in on NERO, Ulead VideoStudio, and CyberLink PowerDirector. Maybe down the road I might try some advanced things, but to get started I simply want to crop the front-end and back-end of the video and get it onto a DVD in order to play it. What software would be best?

e) in burning to DVD is there anything I need to be cautious or aware of?

Thanks so much for helping me get started in video...
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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Hi Doug,

You've asked a whole mouth full, here. There is a huge amount of info that would be applicable to your questions but I will just stab at them.

First, NTSC has two flavors, North American and Japanese. The white levels are slightly different in Japan and that's about all I need to say. Use NTSC_M.

Use a really simple NLE such as Adobe Elements or maybe the freebie from WindowsXP called MovieMaker. Probably the cheaper the better because will little functionality it will be easy to use. You can probably just install on your computer and just start hacking away without consulting a users guide. If you went with the pro-grade software you would get lost right away and not get any use out of them at all. The sub-hundred bucks packages will do all that you are looking for, anyhow. I don't know that any of the consumer NLEs are any better than any of the others. One word of caution, though: They are full of bugs. Save your work often using "save as..." creating a new version every so often. If you push them too far the bugs will eat you alive. Just stay with simple editing and you'll do fine.

When you speak of "save as" I am going to assume that this is the download format. ALWAYS download as AVI. AVI is uncompressed whereas MPEG is compressed. The MPEG video will look fine to view but has severe limitations for editing. Do you editing with an AVI format and then export to MPEG for final delivery.

Almost certainly your video is interlaced called 60i. Unless you really know what you are doing, don't try to change your frame rate or deinterlace unless it is done automatically for you in a preset. Don't worry about your DVD player. It can figure out what to do for itself.

In transcoding your editing for a DVD make sure that you limit your bitrate to maybe 7mbps but certainly not more than 8mbps. When burning to DVD write the DVD at least one speed slower than it is rated for. If the DVD is rated for 16x then burn it at maybe 12x. If you want your DVD to last or it is important that it have the best universal playability then only use Taiyo Uden DVDs. You will probably have to get them through mailorder. For things you don't care about you can use the cheapest DVDs you can find at retail outlets.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 02:52 PM   #3
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Thanks Wesley...I'm quite sure I am asking you to give me the 4-year academic training plus all the years of your experience boiled down into a brief 2-3 sentence answer. But thanks for responding nonetheless.

I actually have Windows MovieMaker on my WinXP. I think I tried it initially before I went off and downloaded trial versions of CyberLink and Ulead. For some reason it did not work, but maybe it's because I was trying to edit MPEG and not AVI. I'll try again.

Just an FYI...I did install and use both CyberLink's PowerDirector and Ulead's VideoStiudio. I pretty much hit the ground running as both UI's and functionality seemed to be easy to understand and to use.

But I'll go back to MoveMaker and give it another shot once I transfer the view into AVI using the NTSC_M format.

Thanks again for taking time out to begin educate me here. Merry Christmas to you.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 03:02 PM   #4
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One more thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Cardone View Post
When burning to DVD write the DVD at least one speed slower than it is rated for. If the DVD is rated for 16x then burn it at maybe 12x. If you want your DVD to last or it is important that it have the best universal playability then only use Taiyo Uden DVDs. You will probably have to get them through mailorder. For things you don't care about you can use the cheapest DVDs you can find at retail outlets.
What I am doing just to get started is using DVD-R's I had on hand. They are COMPUSA DVD-R Recordable 4.7GB 120min DVD. They don't have a speed rating on them. Any advice or suggestions on the burn rate?

Thanks for the tip on Taiyo Uden DVDs ... I'll go that route once I get "good" at this.
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Old December 22nd, 2010, 10:52 PM   #5
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I converted 3 of my videos to AVI files. They are each over 100GB. Earlier when I used Ulead to edit the MPEG's (which were way smaller in disk size) I could crop them pretty quickly.

I am using Windows Movie Maker and it is telling me that it will take over 2 hours to import one of my videos. Do I need to wait 2 hours just to crop the leader and trailer of the videos?

Is there a better quicker way to do this?
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 12:31 AM   #6
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Just a note re spelling

Actually it's Taiyo Yuden

Google it and you'll find several online outfits selling them. They make some with nice glossy printable surfaces They're the most trouble free brand I've found.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 04:55 AM   #7
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When you go to burn your transcoded footage to DVD, the application will tell you what the speed of the disk is. Then simply select something lower.

If editing MPEGs works for you then continue. However, the principle is that MPEG is compressed video while AVI is uncompressed. If you start with compressed footage and then recompress for final output you have a second generation of compression. It may be a matter of terminology but you said you were doing a "transfer" into AVI. That implies you are taking MPEG footage and converting it to AVI. This is doable but not of any value.

You cannot convert compressed to uncompressed and thereby gain some advantage. Download your footage from your camcorder as AVI, do your editing, then transcode to MPEG for burning to DVD.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 11:35 AM   #8
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Actually AVI (Audio Video Interleave) is a container format and the contained content can be compressed - as an example, Cineform's compressed capture files can be output as either .mov or.avi - but they are compressed files in either case and an appropriate codec is required to play them.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 01:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jim Andrada View Post
Actually it's Taiyo Yuden

Google it and you'll find several online outfits selling them. They make some with nice glossy printable surfaces They're the most trouble free brand I've found.
I know that they make DVDs for other brand names. Is there a program that tells you the actual manufacturer of the DVD? I can get DTK here. Are they any good?

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Old December 23rd, 2010, 02:40 PM   #10
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Take a look at the following on Wikipedia. There's a chart showing the media codes and hub stamps for Tayo Yuden media.

Taiyo Yuden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Some of the US online outfits carry them - not sure about your area. The JVC connection might be worth following up on
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 08:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesley Cardone View Post
Download your footage from your camcorder as AVI, do your editing, then transcode to MPEG for burning to DVD.
What does "transcode" mean? How do I do it? My AVI's are 100GB+ and the capacity of my DVD is 4.7GB with 120 mins. My video is only 1:36:46 (1 hour 36 minutes) in length.

So it seems like it will fit onto 1 DVD based on the time length but on 22 DVD's based on disk size.

How do the movie people put full length feature films onto 1 DVD?

BTW, I just bought Adobe Premiere Elements 9...hope that can help me solve some of my limitations and help me achieve my desired results.
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Old December 23rd, 2010, 09:30 PM   #12
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Doug

If your original source material is home video - vhs - then you're already dealing with a low grade image compared to modern Digital Video sources. It sounds like you have a hardware 'conversion' that will capture your vhs and compress it to Mpeg2.

Mpeg2 is the codec that you find on normal DVDs. "How do they do it for feature movies?" = They have a very, very, very expensive piece of hardward and software and a very highly paid person who looks at the movies scene by scene and compresses it at different rates depending on what is on the screen. Your automated software compresses all scenes equally at the same time (One pass compression) or possibly in two passes with a 'variable bit rate' (VBR as opposed to CBR 'constant bit rate).

You describe your need as only trimming head and tales off to get rid of extra 'leader'. If that's the case, then the simplest workflow is to capture your source tapes AS mpeg files. Import into your editing system - edit and export onto a DVD - no need to recompress. (DVD players play MPEG2 files.)

You are correct in saying that Movie Maker will not work with MPEG files, but will work with AVI files. IF you want to capture the source material as AVI then import into another editing system for more extensive editing - titling, color corrections, cutting, trimming, etc. - then you can do so. The material when need to be COMPRESSED to MPEG2 onto a DVD for it to play in a set top DVD player.

When you source material is saved as an Mpeg2 file it is then burned onto a DVD player by your burning software. (This may or may not be included in your editing software) Some burning software will allow you to 'author' the disk - that is put chapter points, and menu items on the screen so you can 'jump to' or 'navigate' to different points on the disk.

"Transcoding" means transfer and re-encode into a different format.

I have seen table top 'transcoding' machines for home use. You put the VHS tape in one side, a blank DVD in the other and it 'transcodes' the tape in real time onto the DVD. They do a decent job of compression - and some will even put in automatic 'chapter points' every ten minutes or so.

Here's a link for comparisons.

http://vhs-to-dvd-converters-review.toptenreviews.com/

The bottom of that page does a fair job of explaining the hardware and workflow options.
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Old December 24th, 2010, 01:35 AM   #13
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Here's something really simple. I've used it to convert stuff to iPhone format etc, but it can "edit" to the extent of trimming off the front and back of a clip and can convert between a lot of common formats.

Movavi Video Converter | Buy Now and Save!

And they have a fancier version as well

http://www.movavi.com/suite/

Their converter has worked well for me - it's simple and quick and sometimes it just isn't worth the trouble of opening Vegas for something really simple.
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