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Thread: Losing resolution during the burn?

  1. #1
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    Default Losing resolution during the burn?

    I've just begun a major project, transferring many VHS home movies (analog camcorder) to DVD. I have a Dazzle DVC-150 which works great and am capturing in MPEG-2 using the Pinnacle Studio 8 (S8) software that came with it.

    S8 works fine for editing, etc but I've given up on it for actually making the DVD as each and every attempt at a burn results in a DVD with entire chapters missing, even though everything looks good in "preview" mode (and other S8 users report the same problem).

    So here's my work-around: I still capture and import my clips in MPEG-2 as noted above and, still using S8, do all my editing. But, when it comes time to "Make Movie" instead of "Disk" I choose "MPEG" with the settings set at DVD compatible (720 x 480, 6Kbs). This leaves me with a bunch of edited mpegs.

    Then, using the lowly Sonic MyDVD version 3.5/Arcsoft Showbiz that came bundled with my HP 200i burner, I import the individual mpeg files captured and edited as above, make my menu, and then make the DVD. The burn goes just fine.

    Okay, thanks for hanging in there with me. Now here's my question: Am I losing any quality by going through this process?

    I ask because when making all those ruined DVDs with Studio 8 it always reported a maximum of 60 minutes available on a DVD using "best quality" or default DVD compatible settings. However in my current build using Sonic I'm already well over 60 minutes worth of imported mpegs and only around 3.5 gigs in space. Sonic isn't as user friendly as Studio but the settings I've been able to dredge up appear to be the same (720 x 480, 29.97 fps, etc).

    I just can't reconcile why I can fit more than 60 minutes of video on the disk when using Sonic to make the movie if the answer isn't that I'm losing resolution somewhere along the way.

    Viewing the two on a set top DVD player (i.e comparing image quality of one disk made with Studio - the one with missing chapters - to the one made with Sonic using the imported, edited, and saved mpegs) the two "appear" identical or at least very close in quality.

    Am I indeed losing image quality and should I abort this process and look for an authoring/creation process that actually works (thanks Studio)?

    Also, am I capturing correcting to achieve maximum quality? S8 allows image capture from the DVC-150 capture device in myriad formats including .avi in addition to MPEG-2. Hard disk space/file space are not conerns to me. I don't care if I only get 30 minutes per DVD as long as it's the best possible quality I can achieve.

    Any suggestions/recommendations?

    Sorry for the length of this; your help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    have u tried dvdlab or tmpegdvdauthor instead of sonic?

  3. #3
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    No, I had no idea what tmpgenc was before you mentioned it. But after doing a little research it appears to be a well-regarded program.

    If my notes are correct, there appears to be two related programs, "tmpgenc" which looks like just an encoder, and "tmpdvdauthor" which looks like an authoring program using input from tmpgenc or other encoder.

    Does tmpdvdauthor also burn to disk as well? I ask because the description at the Pegasys website includes the words " . . . can be burned to a DVD disc using your own DVD writing software . . ." implying it does not.

    Actually Studio 8 does everything well (capture, encoding, and authoring) but fails miserably when it comes to output. So unless tmpdvdauthor will do the burn I'd just as soon stick with Studio as I'm familiar with it already (not to mention having to buy another program.)

    But I appreciate the recommendation, LonelyWolf, and your reply.

    I'm back to my original question concerning loss of resolution. Can anyone else help determine if I'm getting the best quality using the methodology previously described? Would it help if I encoded the analog data to MPEG at 8mbps vice 6mbps? I still haven't been able to determine the bit rate Sonic 3 uses to output their DVD structure.

    Thanks.

  4. #4
    Retired setarip's Avatar
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    "Does tmpdvdauthor also burn to disk as well?"

    Yes, if your O/S is WinXP or Win2000...

  5. #5
    Lord of Digital Video
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    "with the settings set at DVD compatible (720 x 480, 6Kbs)".

    your bitrate will have more to do with your file size than resolution. i'm assuming your 6kbs is a typo error.

    "Am I losing any quality by going through this process?"

    as long as you aren't re-encoding you shouldn't lose any quality.

    "Would it help if I encoded the analog data to MPEG at 8mbps vice 6mbps?"

    i would say no except for high action scenes. This is where using VBR vs. CBR helps.

    "I still haven't been able to determine the bit rate Sonic 3 uses to output their DVD structure."

    try using AviCodec or Gspot to check your file ifo ie. bitrate,resolution etc.

    "Also, am I capturing correcting to achieve maximum quality? S8 allows image capture from the DVC-150 capture device in myriad formats including .avi in addition to MPEG-2."

    i would stay with mpeg2, this way you don't have to re-encode from avi to mpeg2.

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