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Can Toast Do This? Basic Edits From Dvd Source W/o Transcoding


jgp

Question

I'm just getting started moving some VHS to digital format for viewing on set-top DVD players and of course to backup. I've explored the pass-through with camcorder to DV option, iMovie, etc. Long story short, I'm finding that the best quality I can get is by making direct dubs of the tapes with a dual-deck VHS to DVD recorder. But I would really like to do very minimal editing - rough crops and adding chapters - that isn't possible with the deck I have. Plus I hate the menus this recorder makes.

 

My goal is to keep the quality as close to the source as possible, and trying to avoid unnecessary transcoding (if it makes a noticeable difference).

 

Given that I am getting the best "raw" capture by going straight to DVD, what I need is software that will let me work with the video from the direct dubbed DVDs without transcoding it again. Is this something Toast can do? Being noobish it is hard to tell whether the converting Toast seems to do for this case = transcoding.

 

Equipment: Magnavox VHS/DVD recorder deck (composite video out only), Canon miniDV cam with passthrough, iMovie and iDVD 09, intel iMac.

 

Thanks

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The short answer is Toast is great for this. I have a Pioneer standalone DVD recorder and frequently do this with Toast. No re-encoding is required.

 

There is a longer answer, though. Many (if not all) standalone DVD recorders create frequent timecode breaks (they are invisible) when recording a video-mode DVD. Toast can have trouble with those files. If that is the case with yours you'll first need to use MPEG Streamclip to fix timecode breaks before using the video in Toast. Again, this does not require any re-encoding. It just adds an extra step and some wait for the copying the MPEG file to the hard drive. MPEG Streamclip is free but it requires the $20 QuickTime MPEG 2 Playback Component which is purchased as a download from Apple's online store.

 

It may not be a problem if you burn to DVD+R discs which I believe is supported by your Magnavox unit. My recorder only uses DVD-R so it may be different with DVD+R. Be sure to finalize the discs so they can be read in the Mac.

 

If your DVD recorder lets you record in VR mode then do that instead of video mode. Toast reads and imports video from VR mode discs using its media browser. There are no timecode breaks in VR-mode discs. VR mode also uses rewritable media.

 

Toast has an editor that lets you trim parts of the MPEG video. The editor merely marks what parts you want to exclude in your final DVD. It's pretty simple. I've had to learn some workarounds to use the editor with my VR-mode videos and will share those with you if you encounter any problems with yours. It really is pretty simple once you settle on a workflow.

 

The final quality will be identical to what you recorded with the standalone DVD recorder. Plus you'll have much better menus.

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tsantee - what's your advice on chapter customization? This is probably where we get into workarounds. It looks like Toast will do either automatic chapters every x mins, or none at all. What I'd really like is to stick a chapter marker where I want it. My tapes are really a series of events. It seems like I'll want to take the source and crop and save as individual mpeg2 files using Streamclip, before going into Toast. Not so bad I guess, but not sure what to do on the toast end.

 

For reference, I looked here, but dunno if this advice is outdated: http://forums.support.roxio.com/lofiversio....php/t4292.html

 

I get that adding clips as separate movies makes them separate titles on the menu. It seems that I'd want to group several clips into one title in most cases. I did that by messing around with "Merge Clips" though I still havent figured out exactly how this feature behaves and why it is disabled most of the time. So I've made images to test this out and the only problem is that there is a brief hesitation going from one clip (chapter) to the next. On the physical DVD player it was worse - about 2 seconds. I would understand hesitation from title to title, but hoping clip to clip would be smoother. It's not the end of the world if this cannot be overcome, but I'd like it to be smooth if possible.

 

Something i read last night lead me to believe that demuxing in Streamclip and adding all these parts back into Toast might work - Toast could iron over the seams when it remuxed. I tried but dunno how to put these files together in Toast. Hoping there is a simpler solution.

 

 

 

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Thank you so MUCH for the reply - this is encouraging news after a few hours of frustration. I'm excited about moving forward with this. Toast is downloading now, and I will have to mess with the DVD recorder a bit to see what I've got.

 

What would you recommend for extracting from the DVDs? Do you just copy the VOB files off the disk via the Finder, or use an app? Thanks again!

 

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Thank you so MUCH for the reply - this is encouraging news after a few hours of frustration. I'm excited about moving forward with this. Toast is downloading now, and I will have to mess with the DVD recorder a bit to see what I've got.

 

What would you recommend for extracting from the DVDs? Do you just copy the VOB files off the disk via the Finder, or use an app? Thanks again!

There are two ways to go (presuming your source is a finalized video-mode DVD). For both of them you start by choosing DVD video as the format in the Video window.

 

Option 1: (The quickest way). Drag the VIDEO_TS FOLDER from the source DVD to the Toast Video window. Toast will show each recording (title) on the disc. Next to each title there are two buttons. One is Edit and the other is Extract. Click the Extract button to enter the video editor. If nothing shows up in the editor then close the editor and go back to Toast. This time click the Edit button and then again click Edit in the window that appears. If neither of these works try my second option below.

 

Presuming you are seeing your video in the editor, move the scroll bar to a frame where you want the edit to begin. Click the triangle at the bottom-middle of the window. Now drag the right half of that triangle to the right to mark where you want the edit to end. Do this as many places as you want to edit. When done click Save.

 

Back in the Toast window you need to set up your menu. See Toast Help (the Getting Started Guide) for instructions. You can change the thumbnail that is the menu button to show a different frame of the video by clicking on it and moving the slider.

 

When you have everything the way you want, choose Save as Disc Image. When that is done you can mount the disc image file (one easy way to do this is control-clicking on it in the Finder and choosing Mount It from the contextual menu). When mounted the disc image can be played in DVD Player the same as if a DVD was in the drive. (Actually you may want to eject the source DVD when you are ready to mount the disc image so DVD Player automatically chooses the one you want to preview).

 

If you like how the disc image looks and plays, burn it to DVD using the Image File setting in the Toast Copy window.

 

Option 2: Instead of dragging the VIDEO_TS folder to the Video window, choose DVD with the top button of the Toast Media Browser. Double click on what appears in the browser window. Drag the titles you want to the Video window. Toast extracts the VOBs from the DVD.

 

Now do everything else you need to prepare your new DVD as described above.

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There really isn't a simpler solution. Toast can use chapter markers that are already present in the MPEG video file. If none are present Toast automatically creates chapter markers in five minute intervals. That's all it can do.

 

You've experimented with creating multiple titles instead of chapters. As you've seen, the problem with this is the slight pause when the DVD player goes from one title to the next. That's normal.

 

My sense is that in many cases the pause between titles isn't too distracting because the subject matter in the video changed significantly. For those videos where you have made a cohesive movie but still want the ability to access specific scenes (such as a video of a band performing) then the best solution is to convert that video to DV and add chapters in iMovie which Toast will recognize when encoding the video for the DVD. One generation of converting to DV and back isn't going to do much harm to picture quality.

 

I have a different application that allows me to place specific chapter markers. But I much prefer using Toast.

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