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Easy Dvd Creation From Eyetv?... Not!

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My EyeTV3 version 3.5.6 (6920) software documentation suggests an easy way to burn a DVD of my program.... use Toast.

 

So, I purchased the current version of Toast Titanium 11.1_1072 and downloaded it. (I had owned Toast 10 and earlier versions.)

 

I was looking for a straightforward, no-frills way to transfer a couple EyeTV programs to DVD.

 

So I launched EyeTV and Toast, dragged the first EyeTV program over to the Toast video pane, verified there would be enough space on a regular size DVR disc and pressed "Burn". The process went way too fast. I had a bad feeling about that. There were no warnings issued by Toast and I ended up with 16 minutes of my two hour show on DVD. I tried the second two hour show and got maybe 30 minutes of it.

 

By the way, I'm running Mac OSX 10.8.2 on a MacBook Pro Retina purchased a few months ago.

 

The first progress message indicates that it is Encoding. It gets up to 13%.

Next it indicates that it is multiplexing and gets up to about 13%.

Then it starts multiplexing again at 0%, briefly.

Then it indicates that it has started writing and that it will be done in a couple minutes... not a good sign.

 

Soon it is done. Yup, 16 minutes, 45 seconds (again).

 

I tried turning off verification, recording at 4x (way reduced speed), etc.

 

Finally, I figured out how to move iDVD from another computer, Exported in iDVD format from EyeTV, launched with iDVD, set up the menu screen and burned it. No fuss, no muss. The second two hour show was equally successful via iDVD.

 

This appears to be a software problem, perhaps in EyeTV, but more likely in Toast. I'm not optimistic that there is an easy solution. I suspect that Toast 11 has serious flaws. Keep in mind that it did not give me any error message.

 

I'm not too keen on a lot more experimenting. The whole reason I got the new version of Toast was to make the process very simple.

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Sorry it didn't work right. I am curious how you got it to work with iDVD. The EyeTV file can't be read by iDVD. If your EyeTV video was an MPEG 2 video then it also can't be read by iDVD. Maybe you have an EyeTV that recorded the video as MPEG 4.

 

The "official" way to add EyeTV videos to Toast is to either use the send to Toast command in the EyeTV application or to access it using the Toast Media Browser's video panel. I don't know if that would matter, though, since Toast did recognize the EyeTV video when you dragged it.

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Thanks D.G.... I exported the file from EyeTV using the iDVD format choice, yielding a ".dv" file which was readable by iDVD.

 

The method I used to move the video from EyeTV to Toast was by dragging it from the EyeTV Recordings window to Toast's video pane, following instructions in the EyeTV user manual. This drag-and-drop transfer was accepted by Toast. I could scrub through the entire video in Toast, everything looking good. As described above, the burning process was a disaster, with no warnings. Toast hiccuped in the reformatting/conversion process, but just kept right on going to burn just 16 minutes of my two hour video. Toast was satisfied that all went well.

 

The ".dv" conversion and burning via iDVD gets the job done, but requires extra steps. At least it works reliably, unlike Toast.

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Thanks D.G.... I exported the file from EyeTV using the iDVD format choice, yielding a ".dv" file which was readable by iDVD.

 

The method I used to move the video from EyeTV to Toast was by dragging it from the EyeTV Recordings window to Toast's video pane, following instructions in the EyeTV user manual. This drag-and-drop transfer was accepted by Toast. I could scrub through the entire video in Toast, everything looking good. As described above, the burning process was a disaster, with no warnings. Toast hiccuped in the reformatting/conversion process, but just kept right on going to burn just 16 minutes of my two hour video. Toast was satisfied that all went well.

 

The ".dv" conversion and burning via iDVD gets the job done, but requires extra steps. At least it works reliably, unlike Toast.

Thanks for the info. It should have been easier with Toast than with iDVD but it wasn't in this case. With the iDVD process the video was converted to .dv and then iDVD re-encoded it back to MPEG 2 so there was some loss in picture quality. What should have happened in Toast is, after clicking the burn button, you should see Toast "multiplexing" rather than "encoding" the video. Sometimes it is necessary to go into Toast's custom encoder settings window and turn on Never re-encode in order to force Toast not to encode. Multiplexing is pretty quick and has no effect on picture quality.

 

What seems to have happened in your case is that the video may have had dropped frames at the point where Toast stopped working right. When the video was converted by EyeTV to .dv format that break was repaired. I'm fairly sure that the .dv video you used in iDVD would also work in Toast without any issue. One advantage of using Toast with .dv video files is Toast encodes the DVD's audio to Dolby AC-3 format rather than iDVD's uncompressed audio. What this means is on videos longer than one hour you should get somewhat better video quality with Toast than iDVD because the audio doesn't take up as much room on the disc.

 

There is a workaround that may interest you because it saves a lot of time compared with converting video to .dv and back. Choose EyeTV's export as elementary program streams. This saves the program as a video (.m2v) and audio (.ac3) file. Add just the .m2v file to Toast and it will either automatically match it with the audio or ask you to locate the audio.

 

If this still results in Toast failing to work with the entire program, the problem is very likely dropped frames. In that case your process of converting to .dv is the best approach.

 

None of this should be necessary, of course, but Toast can be picky about video source files. I believe you should find that Toast works with most videos captured with EyeTV.

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Thanks again D.G.--- I tried what you suggested without success...

 

I set the custom option to Never re-encode. Then the two hour video would not fit on the DVD, so for the sake of experimenting, I shortened the video until it would fit on the DVD. I executed the burn command and watched the result. As expected, it did not attempt to re-encode. It did (as before) make two runs at multiplexing, each time getting to about 15% complete. After the second incomplete attempt at multiplexing, it went ahead and started to burn the disc, no warning message that I had a problem. I stopped it because it was clear that the process would not yield more than a fraction of the total video. Your theory about dropped frames may be true. Clearly EyeTV is able to manage this problem way better than Toast.

 

I tried exporting from EyeTV as elementary program streams and dropping the video file into Toast. That dis work partly. It took several minutes before the edit screen was ready. There was no audio when I played the video in edit mode. When I left edit mode and tried to burn, I got an error message that there was no video to burn.

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

I bought this version of Toast to make the DVD burn process convenient. It isn't. I have iDVD as a slow but reliable fallback.

 

I'll contact the company on Monday and request a refund.

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Something is wrong here. A 2-hour EyeTV standard-definition video will certainly fit a single-layer DVD without any editing when choosing never re-encode. Toast is either misreading the video information or Toast's preferences are corrupted. I know you're returning it so I probably won't hear back from you, but if you do choose to pursue this a little longer I have two questions:

1. How does Toast describe the video's specs after it is added to the Toast window?

2. How much space does Toast say is available for a DVD when nothing is in the Toast window?

 

Your experience with Toast and EyeTV is uncommon.

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When the video window is empty, the amount of available space on a DVD shows 4.38 GB

 

When the setting is Automatic - Best quality, the video I want to burn will take 4.26 GB.

When the setting is Custom Never Re-encode, the video requires 5.34 GB.

The video's specs are: MPEG-2, 4.0 Mbps (8.0 Mbps max)

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{sigh} Look like I'm a beta tester again...

 

As far as I can tell, drag and drop from EyeTV to Toast cannot be made reliable with the EyeTV files I have to test with.

 

I did find some recommendations on the Elgato site:

 

http://support.elgato.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticleid=4300

 

Some don't seem to work but one does:

 

In EyeTV choose File:Export, then choose MPEG Program Stream (not MPEG Elementary Streams) as mentioned by Digital Guru above.

The result is a file of type ".mpg". The export is quite fast because it doesn't involved re-encoding.

This can be dragged into or opened by Toast.

I played with burn settings and the ONLY reliable way to do it is to leave re-encoding set to Automatic (the default).

 

 

That method does avoid the double re-encoding when exporting to a ".dv" file from EyeTV, then moving it to an iDVD project for burning. So it probably introduces fewer artifacts and is certainly faster.

 

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I usually have EyeTV set to add formatting for viewing by iPhone and iPad. That extra data is added to the ".eyetv" file. Perhaps that added information is giving Toast indigestion.

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SO.... if anyone is reading this who knows... is there any way to talk with a live representative of the publisher after all this? I would really like to encourage them to make the drag and drop option easy to use!

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------------------------------

I usually have EyeTV set to add formatting for viewing by iPhone and iPad. That extra data is added to the ".eyetv" file. Perhaps that added information is giving Toast indigestion.

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I'll give this a try with my EyeTV to see if I can replicate it. I hadn't noticed that option.

SO.... if anyone is reading this who knows... is there any way to talk with a live representative of the publisher after all this? I would really like to encourage them to make the drag and drop option easy to use!

You can send a private message to patatrox or ivanatrox to provide feedback. As I noted at the beginning, the official way to add EyeTV videos to the main Toast window is by clicking the Video tab in the Toast Media Browser and finding the video in the EyeTV list. I'll look at that when I test the setting you used to record the video to see if it removes the extra content.

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Actually, the "Official, official" way in the EyeTV 3 User Manual specifies drag and drop:

 

 

 

 

 

 

"To burn a disc from within EyeTV, using Toast:

Open the EyeTV Programs window, choose the Recordings section, and select the video recording you wish to archive by clicking on it once to highlight it.

Drag it from the Recordings section of the EyeTV Programs window, to Toast’s Video section. Then,

 

select what format you want to use (VCD, SVCD, DVD) in Toast. "

.

In the next paragraph:

"You can also highlight the recording, and then press the Toast button at the top of the Programs window, or choose for Toast via the Export command. "

Looks like EyeTV's manual writers got ahead of the programmers. I find no Toast button at the top of the programs window or a Toast choice in the Export sub-menu.

 

I haven't spent a lot of time in the Toast manual. Maybe it disagrees???

 

Thanks for the contact info!

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Actually, the "Official, official" way in the EyeTV 3 User Manual specifies drag and drop:

 

 

 

 

 

 

"To burn a disc from within EyeTV, using Toast:

Open the EyeTV Programs window, choose the Recordings section, and select the video recording you wish to archive by clicking on it once to highlight it.

Drag it from the Recordings section of the EyeTV Programs window, to Toast’s Video section. Then,

 

select what format you want to use (VCD, SVCD, DVD) in Toast. "

.

In the next paragraph:

"You can also highlight the recording, and then press the Toast button at the top of the Programs window, or choose for Toast via the Export command. "

Looks like EyeTV's manual writers got ahead of the programmers. I find no Toast button at the top of the programs window or a Toast choice in the Export sub-menu.

 

I haven't spent a lot of time in the Toast manual. Maybe it disagrees???

 

Thanks for the contact info!

The paragraph before those instructions describes using the Toast Media Browser to access the videos. So it's supposed to work either way. As for the missing Toast icon, ElGato removed it in the current version of their app and haven't updated the documentation.

 

I need to know more about your EyeTV settings. Is the iPhone/IPad setting the one under the iPhone panel in EyeTV Preferences to "Enable access to EyeTV for iPhone/iPad"? Are you recording a digital TV channel or are you making an analog recording? Which EyeTV device do you have? Mine is the hybrid.

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You've helped give me quite an education on changes made in EyeTV. I haven't used mine in some time. I found the setting you are using. I also experienced most all the things you described except for Toast cutting the video short. I'll save you the long description and tell you the easiest route.

 

Step 1: Open Toast and choose DVD video as the setting in the Video window.

Step 2: Either export the video from EyeTV as an MPEG Program Stream, OR go the EyeTV Archive folder in the Finder, control-click on the recording in that folder and choose "Show Package Contents."

Step 3: Either add the exported MPEG Program Stream file to Toast's Video window, or drag in the .mpg file you can see in the Finder after you chose Show Package Contents.

Step 4: Choose Never Re-encode in the Custom encoder settings window if that isn't already chosen.

Step 5: Prepare the menu the way you want.

Step 6. Click the burn button (or choose Save as Disc Image if you're not yet ready to burn the disc). You can select the saved disc image when Image File is selected as the format in the Toast Copy window. This mounts the disc image so it can be played and previewed with DVD Player.

 

If you should encounter an issue where Toast cuts your video short, you can drag the iPad .m4v file to Toast instead of the .mpg file that you'll see after choosing Show Package Contents. Toast will then encode that video to MPEG 2 as part of making the video DVD. If you prefer iDVD you can drag that .m4v file to iDVD which makes it unnecessary to export to .dv.

 

Thanks for hanging in there with me. The inclusion of the other iPhone & iPad videos in the EyeTV file package is new to me and Toast gets confused by the file size as a result, even when adding the video using the Toast Media Browser.

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The paragraph before those instructions describes using the Toast Media Browser to access the videos. So it's supposed to work either way. As for the missing Toast icon, ElGato removed it in the current version of their app and haven't updated the documentation.

 

I need to know more about your EyeTV settings. Is the iPhone/IPad setting the one under the iPhone panel in EyeTV Preferences to "Enable access to EyeTV for iPhone/iPad"? Are you recording a digital TV channel or are you making an analog recording? Which EyeTV device do you have? Mine is the hybrid.

 

 

Right you are about the option to use the Media Browser. I had read forward from "To burn a disc from within EyeTV, using Toast:"

 

As for the exact settings... I haven't kept a formal lab notebook... Looking at the package contents of the program that I started with to burn to disc, there is no iPad or iPhone m4v version.

 

I am using the EyeTV Hybrid device and the show in question I captured using the AV input - composite video. So, I guess that would be analog.

 

Most of the shows I have on the Mac are recorded from Comcast cable channels using the digital channels and RF input on the EyeTV Hybrid.

 

Overall, if I force re-encode to Never, I get flakey results, though perhaps not always. If Roxio wants to offer me freebies, I'd get more formal in my testing.

 

Since m4v is such a widely used format, perhaps I could consider burning in that format. My new BlueRay player supports it, just not sure whether I could do a nice top menu of the sort that is supported when formatting a "classic" video DVD.

 

I try to remind myself that my goals on this project were keep it simple, get it done!

 

I will be working on another video project so will keep that in mind... More than ten years ago, I had some 1930's vintage 16mm film to VHS. Yesterday I captured to EyeTV. I may just split it into logical video segments and post it on my website for relatives to grab at will in m4v format. That would avoid disc burning altogether.

 

More later.

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Since m4v is such a widely used format, perhaps I could consider burning in that format. My new BlueRay player supports it, just not sure whether I could do a nice top menu of the sort that is supported when formatting a "classic" video DVD.

 

More later.

You raise a good point here. Do you really need video DVD discs? ElGato sells a tool called "EyeConnect" which lets my Blu-ray player and my HDTV play the contents of my EyeTV library without doing any kind of exporting. They can even play what I'm currently recording. It also provides playback for other videos, music and photos on my Mac that aren't part of the EyeTV library.

 

If you want the convenience of a menu and possibly chapter menus - or you want to play them on a regular DVD player - then you need to create a video DVD. Otherwise, for home playback the easy thing to do is use EyeConnect.

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Yes, I have other options at home including AirPlay mirroring from my Mac as well as via an AppleTV box if I have exported to iTunes.

 

I just posted the converted old films to my website for family members to view. I'll see if any want a DVD version.

 

--------

 

I hope the Roxio folks can clean up the software so people like me get what we had expected.... easy to use software. I'm sorry that I can't give it a hearty recommendation.

 

I appreciate the workarounds you have suggested.

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I am totally new here. I appreciate all the information that has been discussed an understand a wee bit of it.

 

I have a new iMac OSX 10.8.2 and want to buy software to rip DVD-R discs of family movie conversions so I can edit. I think Roxio 11 is the tool to do this but I sense i-Movie is better than Roxio 11 for cutting/pasting/rearranging and editing.

 

Question; Can I extract the DVD-R with Roxio and then load to i-Movie? I think I am in the right direction?! DVD-R is not copy protected.

 

(I also like the Adobe Element pkg.)

 

Thanks!

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It depends on how much you want to edit your movies. iMovie and Elements are great for creating transitions, adding soundtracks and titles and doing other things to make your movies more fun and entertaining. To get video from your DVDs into those applications they first need to be converted to a compatible format (either h.264 mpeg-4 or DV). Toast does this well.

 

If all you want to do is trim and rearrange the videos then you can do this with Toast without using iMovie or Elements. In this case there is no conversion so quality is unaffected and a lot of time is saved.

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Thank you for the response. I do need to cut out sections and paste in other areas. Sounds like Toast 11 is a good fit fort me and I'll try it.

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Thank you for the response. I do need to cut out sections and paste in other areas. Sounds like Toast 11 is a good fit fort me and I'll try it.

If you want to trim and rearrange videos all within Toast you use its Media Browser to access the content from the DVDs. Presuming you want the end result to be a new DVD then choose DVD video as the format in the Toast Video window. I can walk you through this if you get stumped. But please start a new topic for this in the forum.

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