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Recommended Workflow For Analog Tv(dvd-vr) To Dvd-r?


Mike W

Question

Folks,

 

I regularly use Toast 9 on my Mac G5 (dual processor, Mac OS X 10.5.3) to convert OTA digital TV content, captured with an Elgato Hybrid and EyeTV, to DVD-R disks.

 

But now I want to capture, edit and burn DVDs from analog TV material. I'm using a Panasonic DVR to capture the analog (OTA or pre-recorded on VHS) material to DVD-RAM, which produces a DVD-VR format disk. For example, I captured one 4 hr. VHS, which just filled up a DVD-RAM at LP mode.

 

The DVD-VR can be mounted and read on my Mac. The content is in a "DVD_RTAV" folder, containing 3 files: VR_MOVIE.VRO, 3.95 GB, the content; VR_MANGR.IFO, 96 KB, a catalog; and VR_MANGR.BUP, a backup copy of the catalog. The format of the video content is MPEG-2 NTSC 4:3 720x480. The audio is Dolby stereo, 48 kHz.

 

I can even use the Media Browser in Toast to grab this 4 hr. "Title 1" from the DVD-RAM and drag it into a DVD-Video composition window in Toast. So far so good.

 

But there are two problems:

1. The encoding of this 4 hr. content to a video DVD takes longer than realtime, probably around 8 hours. (I did it overnight, so I don't know the exact time.)

2. I really would like to do an editing pass to chop out the commercials and break the content down into chapters.

 

Enter MPEG Streamclip 1.8 (1.9.1 is current IIRC). It opens .VRO files directly and allows me to clip out the commercials, resulting in 3 hrs of real content in 16 segments, thus solving the second problem.

 

So here are (finally :) ) my questions:

1. What format should I choose for MPEG Streamclip output which Toast will accept, which will preserve whatever level of quality is in the source material, and which will minimize the Streamclip export and Toast encoding time? (Note: I tried a test clip export to MPEG 2 of approx. 10% of the content, i.e., about 20 min., which produced a file of 350 MB, roughly 10% of the input, at the same resolution settings (720x480, etc.), and which took about 1x encoding time in Toast on another machine, a MacBook Pro (dual core Intel). Seems to be a reasonable choice.

2. Any other formats, e.g., TS, demuxed streams, etc., that I should try for going from Streamclip to Toast?

3. Is there a better tool than MPEG Streamclip that I should try?

4. Is the Elgato Turbo hardware worthwhile to reduce my encoding time, if I want to generate standard video DVDs?

5. Any other recommendations for a better workflow?

 

TIA,

 

Mike in Palo Alto, CA

 

PS: I also have a Sony conversion box that takes analog video (composite or S-video) and converts it on the fly to DV. I suspect that gives me a higher quality conversion (than my DVR), and I can edit the DV with iMovie, iDVD, etc. But my input video quality isn't that great and the intermediate DV files are much(!) larger, about 5 min per GB, rather than about 60 min per GB for MPEG 2. The Toast encoding time to DVD is also excessive IIRC.

 

PPS: I'll probably have additional quesions about OTA digital --> Elgato Hybrid/EyeTV --> Toast --> DVDs later :)

 

 

 

 

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Choose Convert to MPEG in Streamclip after doing your editing. That keeps the video in the identical MPEG 2 format as the source so there is no change in quality. Add that MPEG file to Toast. If after clicking the burn button in Toast you see Encoding instead of Multipexing, click the cancel button, go to Toast's custom encoder settings window and choose Never re-encode. What you should see is Multiplexing which goes quickly and retains the same quality as the source.

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