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Old March 5th, 2007, 06:32 PM   #1
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how to cram a 3 hour vhs onto a dvd

Well, I captured a 3 hour vhs tape and it comes in about 10.7 gig when i open it in DVD Architect. This is using the standard capture template and bitrates. NTSC DV (720x480, 29.970 fps). Obviously i have to re-render it at something less than 8mbps. To get it down to ~4.44 gig (for a single sided dvd with a little overhead for the menus) DVDA tells me i need to compress to 3.5 mbps. Rather than reinvent the wheel by burning the project at different compression settings, has anyone here come across this problem and reached a conclusion as to what is the maximum compression that vhs can tolerate without becoming noticeably worse than the original?
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:24 PM   #2
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3,500,000 average bitrate would be about right for 3 hours (assuming AC3 audio). How it looks is for you to determine. However, it is generally recommended that you don't go over two hours. What if you created two 1.5 hour DVDs instead?
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Old March 5th, 2007, 08:34 PM   #3
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Ed is correct.

Since MPEG2 takes the difference between frames into consideration when compressing, the more pristine the video, the higher the quality you can maintain at low bitrates. Since VHS tape is pretty noisy, it will suffer much more image degradation at low bitrates. (6-hour-mode VHS is the worst.) You could help this by applying a video noise reduction pass in Vegas.

Mike Crash has a very effective, free noise reduction filter for Vegas, it can be downloaded here:

http://www.mikecrash.com/modules.php...showpage&pid=6

John
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Old March 6th, 2007, 07:32 AM   #4
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thank you. i got the filter and will give it a try. where do i put it? (please be kind)
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Old March 6th, 2007, 09:39 AM   #5
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The filter will install in Vegas and show up under VideoFX. There are three ways to apply it. a) Drag the filter and drop it on the clip on the Vegas timeline. b) Drag it to the clip in the media pool, which will apply it to everything in your project which uses that clip. c) Drag the filter and drop it on the preview window, which will apply the filter to your entire project.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 09:54 AM   #6
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One thing you could do, is use Half-D1 resolution for your DVD (Half-D1 is valid for DVD). 352x480 is enough resolution for transferring from VHS, and would make the lower bitrate (for three hours) go a lot further.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 07:48 AM   #7
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well, i've been studying on the noise issue. This is a real problem because noise confuses the compression algorithms. The best thing obviously is to get rid of the noise before one starts (thank yoou again for that noise reducer plugin). Another problem with the chain of vhs->dvd is the capture and render cycle. VHS gets captured and saved to hard disk as an mpeg2 or wmv or avi or whatever-i-choose file. this file then gets put into dvda where the menus etc are made and the file is then RERENDERED (no i dont stutter) and then the dvd is burned. That's 2 cycles of compression and rendering. I'd like to eliminate the compression part of the capture process. AVI is the choice that comes to mind as dvda will accept it-but it generates HUGE files. WMV is compact and dvda takes it. mpeg2 is the standard and dvda takes that also. To eliminate compression artifacts in a noisy (VHS) capture, is mpeg2 the best way to save the initial capture or avi?
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Old March 7th, 2007, 08:14 AM   #8
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Best would be to capture as an uncompressed AVI.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
Best would be to capture as an uncompressed AVI.
If Stephan is struggling with capturing at all, or questioning MPEG vs AVI, it would seem to be a foregone conclusion he doesn't have the equipment to capture an uncompressed signal at all. Most folks don't, and don't want to spend the money.

Stephan, capture as a DV stream, which is also an avi format.
Edit as such. Render. I understand you wish to avoid the re-rendering, but it's going to happen one way or another. Editing MPEG isn't a good option, and delivering a wmv means you'll only be softening the picture due to yet another recompression of already challenged media.

The best answer, IMO, is to create a dual layer disc, if you have a dual layer burner. Most burners today are DL capable. Double the space means nearly double the available bitrate.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 06:31 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
One thing you could do, is use Half-D1 resolution for your DVD (Half-D1 is valid for DVD). 352x480 is enough resolution for transferring from VHS, and would make the lower bitrate (for three hours) go a lot further.
how do i set up vegas to do this? do i change the advanced analog capture properties from 720x480 to 352x240? (there is no 352x480) Or do i change the rendering template? I am wary about changing the standard dvda template but under the video tab there is the option to change horiz and vert independently. And obviously set quality to best.

BTW, there is only avi as a format, no DV-AVI, are these equivalent?
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Old March 8th, 2007, 08:14 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stefan George
BTW, there is only avi as a format, no DV-AVI, are these equivalent?
You pick "AVI" as the file type. Then you pick "NTSC-DV" or "PAL-DV" as the preset.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #12
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AVI is a "container" for video. Many encoding schemes (codecs) can be used within that container, including DV. As Douglas mentioned, DV would be a good codec to use for your purposes (and the captured file would take up a heck of a lot less disk space on your computer).

If you have access to a camcorder that can take composite or s-video input and pass a DV signal out through it's firewire port to you computer ("pass through"), that could be the simplest way for you to get a high quality capture. Many inexpensive consumer camcorders can do this.

You could capture at 720x480 and then resize to 352x480, using Virtual Dub (www.virtualdub.org), or take Douglas' suggestion, and create a dual layer DVD at 720x480, which would likely be easier and probably produce acceptable results (at around 6mbps).
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Old March 10th, 2007, 06:27 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Edward Troxel View Post
You pick "AVI" as the file type. Then you pick "NTSC-DV" or "PAL-DV" as the preset.
thank you. so to recap the workflow (to make sure i am not wasting or have already wasted my time)
1 capture as 720x480
2 denoise
3 render as avi using dv template.
4 bring that into to dvda

i am experimenting with different rendering methods (step 3) and do not see that much difference. however, if i capture at different sizes, that makes a big difference.
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Old March 10th, 2007, 06:55 AM   #14
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I think your best solution is to use a DVD recorder. Then author from this file. I use a Panasonic ES15, record to DVD-RAM disc then author ( in my case with DVDLab, since it can author directly from the DVD-RAM disc). I find that this DVD recorder does a much better job of encoding than any of the software encoders I have for these long programs, and its realtime too with AC3 audio. The analogue inputs have good filtering for just this task of VHS conversion. You might well also find that something like Womble will do a better job of cutting the MPEG file before authoring. Premiere, Vegas , Edius etc are great for their intended tasks but converting VHS, cutting out pieces and creating a DVD may be accomplished better with the products designed for consumers. Record with DVD recorder edit/author with Ulead Moviefactory or Womble. The latest Panasonic will creat a DVD with this length of program at least as good as the original ( and often looks better to the eye) on a single sided disc.

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