Well, this is where I seem to be having much trouble, the understanding of formats, sizes and quality. If I shoot a miniDV tape and then import it, its size is apprx 12 GB. If I download a HD TV program which is AVI and approx 45 min or so in length it is 350 - 400 MB. I have even downloaded HD movies which are approx 2 hours that are around 800 MB... Now, the quality of the MiniDV is no where near that of the HD format which is 1080. What I am trying to navigate through here is what is the best way to "maintain" the quality that exists in the miniDV while reducing the size into a reasonable format for playback.
So, I have approx 4 hours of unedited content which when I edit it my guess is that I will remove 10-25 percent. This would leave me around 3 hours that I would like to burn to a DVD for playback in standard DVD players.
I am not interested in dropping the quality of the video, just putting it into the most efficient format that I have seen many examples of high quality in smaller efficient file sizes.
I have been told from a few semi knowledgeable people to edit in AVI, produce the complete project how you want it and then put it in DivX format, then put DivX to DVD. DivX I believe is Mpeg-4 which seemed to be one of the highest compressions without quality loss.... I believe this because when I select the format in EMC9 it shows the size expected and states "identical to original".
I also have similar video from 8mm camcorder which I have imported nearly 6 months ago and when I went through that process I put it into Mpeg 2 and noticed a significant quality drop. I want to revisit that import and produce an identical quality that exists on the 8mm.... I may not be able to because it is analog to digital so I should expect some loss but I am just looking for the correct methods that will result in the best quality given the tools I am using.
Thanks very much for taking the time to explain and I hope my overview of what I am interested in helps clarify what I am looking for.