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bulldog17

Plug & Burn Vs. Capture To Disc

Question

I'll try to be brief.

 

I want to transfer my wedding video from VHS to DVD. I can do the analog-to-digital conversion with my digital camcorder. My questions have to do with burning the DVD (using DVD Builder, natch.)

 

My goal is to achieve the best possible image quality.

 

Here goes:

 

1. Will I achieve the best possible image quality by burning straight to DVD with Plug & Burn?

 

Going with Plug & Burn means I have to accept whatever menus DVD Builder assigns. I would prefer to create my own menus first and then burn to DVD, but not if doing so will affect the image quality of the final result.

 

2. Will editing the video (with VideoWave) adversely affect the image quality?

 

Let's say I was to get ambitious and capture the video to my hard disk, do a little video editing, create the menus and then burn the project to DVD. I understand that format conversions, image editing and multiple 'save-ing' can reduce the quality of the video image. To achieve the best image quality, should I just leave the video the way it is?

 

Many thanks for helping out this obvious video-newbie.

 

Bulldog

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I'll try to be brief.

 

I want to transfer my wedding video from VHS to DVD. I can do the analog-to-digital conversion with my digital camcorder. My questions have to do with burning the DVD (using DVD Builder, natch.)

 

My goal is to achieve the best possible image quality.

 

Here goes:

 

1. Will I achieve the best possible image quality by burning straight to DVD with Plug & Burn?

 

Going with Plug & Burn means I have to accept whatever menus DVD Builder assigns. I would prefer to create my own menus first and then burn to DVD, but not if doing so will affect the image quality of the final result.

 

2. Will editing the video (with VideoWave) adversely affect the image quality?

 

Let's say I was to get ambitious and capture the video to my hard disk, do a little video editing, create the menus and then burn the project to DVD. I understand that format conversions, image editing and multiple 'save-ing' can reduce the quality of the video image. To achieve the best image quality, should I just leave the video the way it is?

 

Many thanks for helping out this obvious video-newbie.

 

Bulldog

 

If you are using your camcorder as a "pass-through", then your camcorder should be connected to your computer via firewire. You would then capture the video as an .avi file, not an mpeg file.

 

You can then take that .avi file into VideoWave and edit it the way you want. You then save your project, then take it to DVD Builder for final authoring and burning. I would recommend not burning directly to a disc, but to an image file (ISO) first, then to a DVD using Disc Copier.

 

Your quality will be excellent doing it by this method. If you capture as an mpeg2 file first, then do editing, the quality will be lower than using an .avi file.

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Thank you for all that information. If I may bother you with one last set of questions:

 

If you are using your camcorder as a "pass-through", then your camcorder should be connected to your computer via firewire. You would then capture the video as an .avi file, not an mpeg file.

This is confusing to me. I have read that capturing in one format (.avi) and then converting to another format (mpeg-2) can degrade the image quality. I have also read that DV format is best for capturing video if you're planning to edit it, as it is "easier to work with", whatever that means.

 

What's your opinion on converting formats and DV format vs. avi?

 

I would recommend not burning directly to a disc, but to an image file (ISO) first, then to a DVD using Disc Copier.

I presume you recommend this to help avoid disc write errors and/or the inconvenience of starting over again should there be a problem with my DVD burner.

 

If I was to say 'to heck with editing' and just capture to an image file and burn to DVD, would I then be capturing in mpeg-2 format?

 

Many thanks,

 

Bulldog

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Thank you for all that information. If I may bother you with one last set of questions:

This is confusing to me. I have read that capturing in one format (.avi) and then converting to another format (mpeg-2) can degrade the image quality. I have also read that DV format is best for capturing video if you're planning to edit it, as it is "easier to work with", whatever that means.

 

What's your opinion on converting formats and DV format vs. avi?

I presume you recommend this to help avoid disc write errors and/or the inconvenience of starting over again should there be a problem with my DVD burner.

 

If I was to say 'to heck with editing' and just capture to an image file and burn to DVD, would I then be capturing in mpeg-2 format?

 

Many thanks,

 

Bulldog

 

The image quality with be the same regardless of which of the 2 methods you use.

 

The real advantage of burning to file is that it relieves your PC of some of the load which seems to cure many of the audio sync problems.

 

Get some RW media to experiment with and try it both ways.

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Guest mlpasley
The image quality with be the same regardless of which of the 2 methods you use.

 

Theoretically, they should be the same, but it doesn't work that way with my digital to analog pass through.

I'd also suggest that Bulldog do a couple of test DVDs with short pieces of capture to see which method works best with his computer.

 

When I capture in MPEG2 with my Sony camcorder signal converter, edit it and burn it to a DVD, the video is REALLY bad (pixelated) on the TV. When I capture in DV AVI, edit, and burn it to a DVD at the Best quality, the picture is good. Not as good as the digital footage, but definitely acceptable.

 

For Bulldog, the DV AVI footage is not compressed as it is captured so as James said, it's easier on the computer and I get less dropped frames. The audio is part of the imported file when you use the signal converter, so you shouldn't have audio/video sync issues.

 

You're not going to be able to say 'to heck with editing' and just capture to an image file and burn to DVD'. You're going to have to capture it and put it on a DVD Builder menu, then either burn it to an image file (good for multiple copies) or a DVD.

 

Since no two computers are identical and there are different camcorders, we cannot give you a 'this way is best method' answer.

Edited by mlpasley

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Theoretically, they should be the same, but it doesn't work that way with my digital to analog pass through.

I'd also suggest that Bulldog do a couple of test DVDs with short pieces of capture to see which method works best with his computer.

 

No way will they be the same. If you capture as mpeg2, it will be compressed right off the bat, and the quality will be less than a DV avi capture, which is quote, lossless.

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Aha...as I suspected / feared: There is no simple answer. I think the thing for me to do now is to take all your advice and burn a few clips under different circumstances. Had to get my feet wet sooner or later!

 

Again my thanks to you all for your help.

 

Bulldog

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Guest mlpasley
No way will they be the same. If you capture as mpeg2, it will be compressed right off the bat, and the quality will be less than a DV avi capture, which is quote, lossless.

 

It was James that said that there would be no difference in quality no matter which method you used.

 

I discovered how bad the mpeg2 capture was only AFTER I'd done hours of work on the production and burned it to a DVD.

 

However, I think it's well worth the time to do a test DVD with short portions of the video captured in both mpeg2 and dv avi. Only by seeing the difference will someone be convinced which method is better. :)

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Aha...as I suspected / feared: There is no simple answer. I think the thing for me to do now is to take all your advice and burn a few clips under different circumstances. Had to get my feet wet sooner or later!

 

Again my thanks to you all for your help.

 

Bulldog

 

That is an excellent idea. Please come back here and post your results of the tests. It will help others who are in the same quandry.

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That is an excellent idea. Please come back here and post your results of the tests. It will help others who are in the same quandry.

 

Well...if anyone is still out there...I have learned soo much about video editing and video formats since my last post. I understand the whole subject much better now. The web is truly a remarkable resource. I've also since upgraded to EMC 8. I really like the new interface and the additional features.

 

In a very small nutshell:

 

For the very best quality when creating a DVD straight from VHS, the way to go is with a separate capture device that will capture directly to MPEG-2. This gets passed through DVD Builder to a disk image, from which the final DVD is burned.

 

To edit the video before creating the DVD, capture the video to DV format, which is best for editing. You always want to edit from the highest quality source. After editing, the finished DV file gets passed to DVD Builder and proceeds as above. Although this involves two encodings (to DV and later to MPEG) the results are still of very high quality.

 

Thanks again to everyone who responded. Glad I could (finally) contribute something.

 

Bulldog

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Guest mlpasley

So what kind of separate capture device did you use? (Your original question was using a Digital Camcorder signal converter, so I'm assuming that you found a different device.)

 

It sounds like you found that the capture with the camcorder signal converter to a DV AVI file gives you pretty good quality. That's the same result that I get, and I'm glad to know that you find that the best method too.

 

Thanks for sharing your results. :)

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So what kind of separate capture device did you use? (Your original question was using a Digital Camcorder signal converter, so I'm assuming that you found a different device.)

 

It sounds like you found that the capture with the camcorder signal converter to a DV AVI file gives you pretty good quality. That's the same result that I get, and I'm glad to know that you find that the best method too.

 

Thanks for sharing your results. :)

 

I decided to edit the video first, so I used my Sony digital video camera to capture the video from my VHS player. This, of course, captured in DV format, which was transferred, via Firewire, to my computer - which took forever - and edited with VideoWave. Then it was on to DVD Builder and ultimately a DVD burned in MPEG-2 format. The quality of the DVD matched that of the original VHS tape, so I consider my project a success.

 

Had I wanted to burn a DVD straight from the VHS tape, I would have hired someone with an analog capture box to capture the video directly to MPEG-2 format.

 

I should point out that although many DV cameras can capture video, this is not really what they were designed to do. I would have achieved a better (higher quality) capture with a proper analog capture box. However, VHS images are only so good to begin with - and the tape was 9 years old - so my DV camera was probably good enough. Different brands or models of DV camera might do a better or worse job at capturing.

 

Bulldog

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I decided to edit the video first, so I used my Sony digital video camera to capture the video from my VHS player. This, of course, captured in DV format, which was transferred, via Firewire, to my computer - which took forever - and edited with VideoWave. Then it was on to DVD Builder and ultimately a DVD burned in MPEG-2 format. The quality of the DVD matched that of the original VHS tape, so I consider my project a success.

 

Had I wanted to burn a DVD straight from the VHS tape, I would have hired someone with an analog capture box to capture the video directly to MPEG-2 format.

 

I should point out that although many DV cameras can capture video, this is not really what they were designed to do. I would have achieved a better (higher quality) capture with a proper analog capture box. However, VHS images are only so good to begin with - and the tape was 9 years old - so my DV camera was probably good enough. Different brands or models of DV camera might do a better or worse job at capturing.

 

Bulldog

 

What do you mean the capture "took forever"? If I capture a 30 minute clip from my digital camcorder it will take 30 minutes, it captures in real time. I have tried several analog capture devices and have not found any that gives better quality than going via the digital camcorder route.

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Guest mlpasley
I decided to edit the video first, so I used my Sony digital video camera to capture the video from my VHS player.

Bulldog

 

Emmmmmm..... Sorry. I read your original message incorrectly.

 

I have a Sony digital camcorder that has an analog to digital pass through converter. That converts in real time where your method takes twice the time of the tape.

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