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Best format to use to convert to DVD and/or Blue-Ray?



I recently bought Roxio Toast Titanium 10 Pro. I also bought the newest version of Elgato EyeTV hybrid to convert all my old VHS tapes to digital format. I have question in regards to the conversion of these files. Both softwares work well together, but with the EyeTV it gives many options as to what format I want to save the file as. What file type do I want to save my incoming VHS and older DVD's coming into my Mac as so that I can initially store them in digital format, but then as needed burn them to a DVD and/or Blue-ray via Roxio Toast? More importantly what format do I want to save them in so they can be quickly converted to Blue-Ray from digital format?

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The videos you capture are standard definition. There is no advantage to burning them to Blu-ray except that you can place more videos on one disc. The picture quality won't be any better than burning them to standard video DVD.


The EyeTV Hybrid records in MPEG 2 format. This is the format used for video DVDs. It is not a format that's popular for playing directly on computers. That's why you need to watch the video using the EyeTV application. Just leave the video as is in your EyeTV library and it is ready to quickly burn to video DVD with Toast. If you want to delete it from your EyeTV library then save it as an MPEG Program Stream. This doesn't change the video in any way.


The setting you want to use for NTSC recording is 720x480.


If you want to have the video in a format that is common to playing on Macs or devices such as AppleTV, then export using the AppleTV setting. This creates a full-resolution h.264 MPEG-4 file which is the best way to go with today's technology. It also makes the video able to be imported to iMovie.


One thing I believe you should know is that the EyeTV Hybrid is not a great video encoder. It is wonderful in capturing digital TV in its transmitted format. But it lacks a hardware MPEG 2 encoder so the analog-to-digital captures can be of lesser quality. According to ElGato's site the Hybrid's encoding quality is better with Intel Macs so it may not be as big an issue with recent Macs as it once was. The EyeTV 250+ has a hardware encoder so it does better at this. So does Roxio's Easy VHS to DVD for Mac (although it isn't working with OS 10.6) and a standalone DVD recorder. Yet another option is ElGato's "Video Capture." It has a hardware h.264 encoder. If you later want to make a video DVD from those files then Toast will re-encode them to MPEG 2 as part of authoring and burning a video DVD.

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