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Options For Saving Files


Enlighten_me

Question

I am just starting to learn how to convert my 25 year old VHS tapes to DVD and finding the online help is only useful if you have a basic understanding of the process to begin with. Here is what I need to know to before proceeding further.

 

1) When recording a 2 hour VHS tape to the My_Video folder, a large My_Video.mpg file is created (>7 gigs). It appear that this is the only format available when recording from the orignal VHS tape for the first time to then begin editing it. Is this correct, and is this mpg file an MPG2 file or MPG4, or in some other mpg format? It appears to be a different size file than the mpg creating by Exporting to "Computer" or "Archiving", though these 2 exported files are the exact same size and larger that the original recording when using the default settings for Computer (there are no choices for archiving). In fact I cannot see any difference between exporting to Computer vs. Archive.

 

2) After burning a DVD, I want to also save the mpg file(s) for future use to be able to send to other family members in the future if requested. When I save the edited vidio clip to the "Computer" option it gives me multiple choice of what to do. I want to save the best quality movie files possible, but need to know when I am overkilling on the settings. by placing them too high, espcially if it does not improve the quality of the final home movie on DVD (to be watched on a 60 inch plasma TV). I also want to be able to save the data to an external hard drive in case I want to burn future DVD's for other family memebers.

Is there any benefit to setting higher than 720x480 or a data rate higher than the default of 8000? I see there is a higher setting above "Best Quality" that sets the data rate at 9800 and give a little bit larger file, but how can it save the original recorded tape mpg in a higher quality than the original recorded image if is still just creating another mpg file? In other words, I need to know if I should be using the highest setting to be safe when creating future DVDs so I do not have to record the VHS tape all over again.

 

3) I presume there is a limitation using XP Pro in how big a file size can be to send to an external drive? It seems whenever I try to copy the VHS tape directly to the external hard drive, it will not allow a file size much larger than 4 gigs is size, it just stops recording the VHS tape. And then I have to chop the original recording up to be able to save it for future use if needed.

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I am finally beginning to understand and ready to go on autopilot. Thank you. You are the first person that has explained this so I understand. I just have a couple more questions.

When I am ready to export the recorded mpg file, I have multiple choices for exporting (Computer, DVD, Archive, etc). Out of curiosity I made no changes to a small recorded video and just sent it directly to "Computer" as well as to "Archive". All 3 clips are mpg files. Only under "Computer" do I have the ability to alter the quality of the video (and not under Archive). Under DVD the quality is automatically adjusted based on how big the files is that is exported. The default settings under "Computer" are mpg2, Best Quality, and Data Rate of 8,000. In spite of the Quality Bar being set on "Best", it is still possible to move it a little further to the right to increase the Data Rate to 9800. The file created is a little bigger. Is there anything gained in quality of Exporting it at 9800 since you are creating it from a smaller file mpg file, and if that is the case, why does it even give the ability the increase to 9800 if the file you are working with is probably only 8000 data rate (presumably because it is a little smaller file).

I then edited a file and sent it to "Computer" as well as "Archive". From the Help Menu it says the difference between these two choices is Archive retains the editing points etc. I assumed that meant it saved my originaly video clip with all the setting changes and would show them back to me when I Import the Archived file again - kind of like saving a project. What occurs is the "Computer" Export (8000 data rate) and "Archived" Export are the exactly same size and I can see no difference between these two choices when importing them both to examine them. Am I missing something or doing something incorrectly? I can no difference between these two choices. Or is the difference that the both do the same thing, but "Computer" gives you the choice of manually downsizing the quality and file size?

Tx again

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I have a new version 201B23A ENU and have the exact same questions as EnlightenMe. I am interested in any extra information about how to best set this software up for the best conversion that I can get from my vhs tapes. One of my own questions is whether it makes any difference between the 16:9 vs 4:3 setting. You would think that the 16:9 would be better for the big flat screen, but the vhs source is probably set up for 4:3 and 16:9 may not look good... any suggestions before I start converting about a million home movies going back to 1986?? :o

 

Just need to know the best settings to get the best quality that I can to digital files that I save on my computer (can't go directly to external- choppy/skips frames) then transfer to an external hard drive, then will want to transfer some files to DVD in the future.

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Very simple ;)

 

It captures a 8,000 kbps.

 

Archive saves at that setting, every time!

 

Computer allows you to tinker, as does DVD… Don’t!

 

You can’t make it better than what you started with (in some cases worse). :o

 

Some DVD Players will not be able to read one rendered above 8,000 kbps :(

 

5xwhy: Look again! 4:3 or 16:9 is for MENU

 

Captures will always be 4:3 as VHS was not actually capable of 16:9… (electronic trickery in your Player and TV allowed it)

 

If you have a bunch of tape in Widescreen, you will have to get better software. HOWEVER!!!

 

You have VHS Quality and nothing will change that! If you ‘blow up’ a Widescreen to 16:9 your quality will suffer! ~ I have a few I did that way as they were not available on DVD at the time, 2003. They really look bad today!

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Thanks Jim. I feel much more comfortable now in beginning to convert by 50 or so VHS tapes from the past 25 years, and it appears the softrware does just what a want to do, and do it simply. In addition, I like your idea of making smaller projects that I can save and work with (no more that 4 gigs) I had several previous contacts with tech support email but they just did not seem to grasp what I was asking and wandered all over the place with irrelevent answers to questions I did not ask. I am sure I wandered in my questions, but if you do not know much about the topic, it is hard to know exactly how to phrase it. You were able to zero right in on my concerns and and questions with precise answers. It is obvious you have a wealth of experience doing so. Thanks again.

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Thanks Jim. I feel much more comfortable now in beginning to convert by 50 or so VHS tapes from the past 25 years, and it appears the softrware does just what a want to do, and do it simply. In addition, I like your idea of making smaller projects that I can save and work with (no more that 4 gigs) I had several previous contacts with tech support email but they just did not seem to grasp what I was asking and wandered all over the place with irrelevent answers to questions I did not ask. I am sure I wandered in my questions, but if you do not know much about the topic, it is hard to know exactly how to phrase it. You were able to zero right in on my concerns and and questions with precise answers. It is obvious you have a wealth of experience doing so. Thanks again.

 

Another small point. When you are talking about video forget about file sizes, they do not tell you very much. Think mainly in terms of time length of your video. For example, a 1 hour video can range from a file size of a mbs to 14 GB depending on the format and quality. Always work with the best quality vide which in your case would be HQ.

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I am just starting to learn how to convert my 25 year old VHS tapes to DVD and finding the online help is only useful if you have a basic understanding of the process to begin with. Here is what I need to know to before proceeding further.

 

1) When recording a 2 hour VHS tape to the My_Video folder, a large My_Video.mpg file is created (>7 gigs). It appear that this is the only format available when recording from the orignal VHS tape for the first time to then begin editing it. Is this correct, and is this mpg file an MPG2 file or MPG4, or in some other mpg format? It appears to be a different size file than the mpg creating by Exporting to "Computer" or "Archiving", though these 2 exported files are the exact same size and larger that the original recording when using the default settings for Computer (there are no choices for archiving). In fact I cannot see any difference between exporting to Computer vs. Archive.

 

2) After burning a DVD, I want to also save the mpg file(s) for future use to be able to send to other family members in the future if requested. When I save the edited vidio clip to the "Computer" option it gives me multiple choice of what to do. I want to save the best quality movie files possible, but need to know when I am overkilling on the settings. by placing them too high, espcially if it does not improve the quality of the final home movie on DVD (to be watched on a 60 inch plasma TV). I also want to be able to save the data to an external hard drive in case I want to burn future DVD's for other family memebers.

Is there any benefit to setting higher than 720x480 or a data rate higher than the default of 8000? I see there is a higher setting above "Best Quality" that sets the data rate at 9800 and give a little bit larger file, but how can it save the original recorded tape mpg in a higher quality than the original recorded image if is still just creating another mpg file? In other words, I need to know if I should be using the highest setting to be safe when creating future DVDs so I do not have to record the VHS tape all over again.

 

3) I presume there is a limitation using XP Pro in how big a file size can be to send to an external drive? It seems whenever I try to copy the VHS tape directly to the external hard drive, it will not allow a file size much larger than 4 gigs is size, it just stops recording the VHS tape. And then I have to chop the original recording up to be able to save it for future use if needed.

 

For a start, please read this and then tell us which version you have. There are differences in the versions and that will change the answers you get.

 

Not knowing which version you are using, I will attempt to respond to some of your questions.

 

I believe you should have at least two options for the capture format: DV avi (which is actually the highest quality you can capture at) and mpeg2 (at several qualities settings). Capturing to DV avi will create large files: about 13-14GB for about 60 minutes of video. Mpeg2 format is much smaller as you have discovered by capturing the 2 hour tape. This video has already been highly compressed.

 

I also recommend capturing in shorted segments then the complete 2 hour video in one session. For one, you will never be able to burn the 2 hours to a DVD and keep the original quality. A standard 4.7GB DVD can only hold 60 minutes of video at the highest quality setting. Two hours of video would be very highly compressed and would really really look terrible on that 60" screen.

Also if you are editing the video it is a lot easier to work with shorter segments then with a long 2 hour video. Suppose you only make a small change somewhere in that 2 hour video. You would then have to render the whole two hours again which will take several hours. A change in a 15 minute segment will be rendered in 30 minutes or so. Rendered video clips can easily be combined seamlessly.

 

All standard DVD video is 720x480. Only if you are creating BlueRay DVDs would other settings come into play.

 

There is no limit to file size when capturing. The limit you seem to be running up against is the FAT32 vs NTFS format of your external hard drive. It looks like your hard drive is FAT32 formatted which does not allow files >4GB. Use the Help system on your computer to learn how to change the format of that hard drive to NTFS which will allow large files.

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Thank you for the excellent reply. My version is 201B23A ENU. I do not have a screen anything like the link you sent me to. Under preferences there is no abilty to select a choice for recording a VHS tape - it automatically does mpg. Since you say avi contains much more data and gives a clearer image, does this mean the copy I just bought at Best Buy is an older inferior version? I got the box that also includes the yellow, red and white connectors attached to USB connector device in order to record. If so, that really upsets me. The only place I can change the file type is when export to "Computer", and even under Archive there are no other choices. I do want to make the best quality movies possible. What do you suggest? Should I buy a better version, or go yell at customer service at Best Buy for only carrying the inferior product, or do I have another option?

I do not know how to change the way my external drive is formatted. My Dell and XP Pro are around 4-5 years old - can they do that kind of task to my external drive an be sure that is why I can copy a huge file to my C drive but not the external drive? I will try to go through the help menus to see if I can stumble on how to do that. I actually thought AVI was a much older file technology and that is why the files were much bigger while the mpg was able to condense the files without losing quality? Guess I need to do more googling. This is a hard topic to understand searching online unless one has a basic amount of knowledge as a starting point.

Thanks

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No you have the latest and greatest inferior version…

 

Previous version were very much undervalued and it was finally corrected.

 

You still get a bargin that will do what it was intended to do… You have to have an Analog to Digital converter and Roxio sells that as a Stand Alone for $50, sans Software to use it with!

 

I paid $180 for my first one and it won’t work in Win7. I got another that cost $200 and can’t burn a second of Video… So I would say you got a good value.

 

You capture at mpeg2 and if you save (Export - Archive or Computer) at the same quality you won’t see any losses.

 

If you burn to DVD figure on not exceeding 1 hour per 4.7 GB disc and you will have the best quality you can get from a DVD.

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