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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 28th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #1
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Record DVD live on fly at event?

I'll be shooting video at a live-band karaoke event and the organizers want to record LIVE to a DVD and then sell DVDs immediately after the show.

They insist this can be done with a DVD recorder costing no more than $150 that plugs directly into my GL2's video out. (I'm getting stereo sound off the mixing board.)

I'm not familiar with this technology. Can someone point me in the right direction?

Also, even if this DVD recorder can do what they say it can, how well does it create menus in a format that can be read by most popular DVD players?

Then there's the issue of just how quickly we could burn, say, a dozen DVDs from this master copy.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Leigh
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Old December 28th, 2005, 04:44 PM   #2
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As long as the recorder has firewire input then the rest is trivial. Just connect it to your camera's firewire port and press the record button on the DVD recorder.

However most of these recorders only have firewire IN so you couldn't connect another recorder to it and dub a copy using firewire. If you need multiple copies then look at models which also have an internal hard drive which lets you dub to disk. They may also be able to make copies faster than realtime. Any large electronics store (Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, etc.) will have a variety of models you can look at and compare specs.

I have a Sony RDR-GX7 which is several years old now, haven't looked at the newer models. But I suspect they're similar when it comes to making menus. Forget it... unless you love scrolling around a grid with cursor keys to pick letters. And the resulting menus will be pretty unattractive. Definitely something you'd want to do for multiple copies.

But if you just want to put video on a disk quickly then recorders are pretty handy. I only use the highest quality mode (HQ) and have been really pleased with the results. This gives you a max of 60 minutes per disk however.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 05:06 PM   #3
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Boyd,

Thanks for the quick response. I guess my main fear is relying on a bottom-line piece of hardware (I've since checked and found some of these DVD recorders cost around $100 new online) to create something that's being sold to someone as an impulse purchase. I'm also wondering whether it's better to let folks order a DVD online that's more professionally done -- or if it's indeed best to strike while the iron is hot.

Leigh
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Old December 28th, 2005, 05:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leigh Hanlon
Boyd,I'm also wondering whether it's better to let folks order a DVD online that's more professionally done -- or if it's indeed best to strike while the iron is hot.
The later of course. (And the "less" sober the better).
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Old December 28th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #5
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I think that in those situations you need to strike while the irons hot. I've produced some seminars and functions before and 95% of my orders came from people who attended the event. And of those, most came after they could see the material at the event (we showed on a screen the material from the night before and people loved it).

Quality wise it's fine. I've used Panasonic units quite a bit and the hardware encoding isn't as good as software encoding, but it's still very good and very usable. It wouldn't be worth your time to do all that encoding later just to add a fancy menu and a slight quality edge. You'll save yourself a lot of time and effort if you can go straight to dvd.

You don't have to have a firewire input for it to work. The people at the venue were right, you can just hook up your gl2 with the mini-plug/rca-break-out cable directly to the dvd-r unit and go from there. You can extend the break out cable if needed as well. The quality of the composite (yellow, white, red cable) connection will be fine.

For duplication, the stand alone recorder will take about 5 minutes to finalize the disc, then you can put the disc into a duplicator and crank out as many as the duplicator can handle. I'd have a 13" tv set up and playing one of the finished discs as soon as the first batch is done. People will almost certainly buy a copy of it if they can see the quality of the work right then and there. Even if you can't fill all the orders on the spot you should have the material playing at the end and that should lead to a larger number of orders for you.

Good luck. Live production is fun and exciting (and you only get one go at it ^_^ ).

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Old December 28th, 2005, 05:44 PM   #6
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Sony's 2nd generation stand-alone "DVDirect" burner is the VRD-VC20
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Old December 28th, 2005, 06:06 PM   #7
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I was looking at one of those in the store the other day. Would be interested to hear from anyone who has used one.

"I guess my main fear is relying on a bottom-line piece of hardware". Well you can also buy a camcorder for a couple hundred bucks. I wouldn't buy bottom of the line for professional use regardless. I think you'll find nice units from well known companies (Sony, Panasonic, Pioneer, JVC, etc) that are well made. Hey, I paid something like $700 for mine a few years ago! I think you could get something comparable for around $300 now, maybe less.

"The quality of the composite (yellow, white, red cable) connection will be fine.". I'd have to take issue with that statement. S-video is considerably better quality than composite. Component video is noticeably better than s-video. But firewire gives you the full quality that your camera can deliver because it's digital. I wouldn't even consider a recorder without this feature, unless you're happy with noisy VHS quality results.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 07:04 PM   #8
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<< Sony's 2nd generation stand-alone "DVDirect" burner is the VRD-VC20 >>

Mike -- Can this record "live" from my GL2 or does it need to do so from tape playback? Also, some of the reviews of this unit on Amazon seem a bit troubling.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...onics&v=glance

Leigh
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Old December 28th, 2005, 07:13 PM   #9
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Before we decide whether to even attempt this, I'm concerned about the workflow. Doing this without a high-speed duplicator onsite and relying solely on a DVD recorder strikes me as risky. However, the organizers are convinced that if they stagger the karaoke singers so that those who want to buy a DVD of their performance are interspersed with those who don't, the burning time won't be problematic.

In other words, their plan is this:

(A) Karaoke singer 1 - wants to buy DVD. We record performance.

(B) Karaoke singer 2 - doesn't want to buy DVD, so while they're onstage, we complete burning and packaging of singer 1's performance.

(C) Repeat.

If this were a multiple-day event, the idea of displaying the results the next day would be great, but we have just the one night to pull this off.

Leigh
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Old December 28th, 2005, 08:13 PM   #10
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Boyd, I'm in the minority of people who feel that even though the other options are higher quality, there's reasons why it's ok to simply go ahead and use the composite signal:

1. Who's going to notice the difference? For corporate, and possibly for broadcast, svhs or firewire is a must. No question. But for anything local, everyone will be pleased with the results. I say possibly in broadcast because networks have been using coax to carry analog signals for years from pov cameras back to the truck. And the viewers at home know the difference...

2. It's much more efficient (easy) to extend a composite analog signal than a svhs or firewire signal. Svhs cable runs are expensive, and not repairable on site. Firewire needs an extender past 25 ft. (or 50?).
Either way it's way to short for live production work. Composite on the other hand can be extended up to 1500ft with cost effective coax cable. It can also be repaired in a matter of minutes if the cable gets cut or an end gets damaged.

But it's a moot point, and it's fine to go with with better quality if that's what your comfortable with. No worries ^_^

Leigh,

You should still play the material on the single day event. After they finish, finalize the disc, burn a copy, put it in a player. Total time after the disc stopped recording: about 15 minutes.

Take a close look at the sony stand alone unit and find out what options it offers and how much control you have over the settings. The stand alone recorders (dvd player size) are very durable and may offer more options for menu's and be more usable in other situations down the road. Based on the cost of a full unit and the fact they they're proven to be solid, you may want to look at the options there.

If you buy a stand alone recorder don't worry about reliablity. They work just as well as your vcr. You hit record, it records. Done. The only check that you want to make is to buy a quality, name brand, disc. Don't go cheap on the recording disc just to save a buck. You can buy cheap discs to make your copies with. But on the player you want a name brand disc. And do a couple of run throughs prior to the event date to make sure that the player likes that disc. It should record at least an hour and a half continuous directly to the disc. If that goes well then your set with those discs.

Hope that helps.

Ben
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Old December 28th, 2005, 08:22 PM   #11
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This has all been very helpful. I have just two final questions:

(1) I can still be recording on miniDV internally on the GL2 at the same time the live video out is being recorded and burned by the DVD recorder, right?

(2) Does the DVD recorder burn in real time as it goes, or is it buffering the data?

Leigh
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Old December 28th, 2005, 09:16 PM   #12
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I don't have a GL-2. If you put it into camera mode, does it go to sleep if you don't start recording? That might be an issue. I would assume there won't be an issue using the firewire connection at the same time as you record a tape in the camera. It works on my Sony cameras, but I don't have any personal experience with the GL-2.

My DVD recorder burns in real time. After you finish you need to finalize the disk which takes (maybe) 5 minutes. If you want to create menus that's another matter. On my unit, if you start and stop recording then you create a chapter which will appear on a simple menu of numbered items. If you want to create chapter names it's tedious using the remote control.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 09:25 PM   #13
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Boyd,

Yes, I think the GL2 would sleep, but I plan on recording the whole shebang on tape as a backup, anyway, so this shouldn't be an issue.



Leigh
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Old December 28th, 2005, 09:38 PM   #14
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In that case, if you had a portable deck - or even a second inexpensive camera - you could burn copies of the tape while filming the next person. You might want 2 DVD recorders though.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 10:09 PM   #15
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A Gl2 won't sleep. You can turn off that function from the menu's I believe. It turns off the heads after 5 minutes but stays on.

Ben
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