Hello everyone ... this is not quite my first post here but if I may I'll borrow
a few relevant words from my first post......

"" I've owned a Panasonic NV-GS33 for over 2 years now .... up until now I've been lazy and just played the unedited tape straight through to the TV

But in the last month or 2 I've acquired a DVD writer on the PC and firewire cable & card.

So I'm now into the "real stuff" ... I've many questions and have experienced many brick-walls already.... I appreciate alot of the answers I'm looking for may well be very close by but may I just describe what I've done so far and ask for some general starter advice ?

My aim is to get my own home videos from the camcorder edited on the PC and then written to DVD with as good a quality-level as possible.

I've downloaded video clips (a matter of a few minutes only for initial expriments)
through the fire-wire to my PC ( XP SP2 with 1.5ghz processor and 512 MG ram)
- I've used MS Movie Maker for the capturing and have .avi files as a result

I already had Nero disk burner and had already purchased a DVD writer 'plug-in' .
Nero however expected .bup/.ifo/.vob files ... Movie Maker didn't look like it could produce those - so I've got an evaluation copy of a Cucusoft avi-to-dvd coverter...
this produced the DVD files which Nero took and put them on DVD with the appropriate file/folder structure in place for a DVD -

Now the resultant DVDs so far play on my DVD player but the quality is far from satisfactory .... I appreciate playing the camcorder straight into the TV is going to give a crystal clear picture that probably can't be matched ... but my results so far
are no where near as good as what I used to get going from analogue camcorder to VCR / video cassette.

So as a starting point - where am I loosing the quality ?

more specifically :

1) I'm told MS Movie Maker just is not very good for capturing if you want to retain quality (something about the transfer rate being too slow ?)

2) excepting the point in 1) is it possible for to MS movie maker to produce the
DVD files avoiding the need for the avi converter ?

3) if I do need a converter is Cucusoft ok - or may that be the cause of the 'loss' of quality

4) can Nero do the converting to DVD format (I can't find a way with the version I have)

As another point (and this probably should go on another forum).... I've just
loaded an evaluation copy of Adobe Premiere ... I hear good things about this ...
should it be able to do the full works ... from capture upto and including DVD burning ?

Sorry - there's alot there - but any starter points gratefully accepted (or contact me if some of these points should be separated out and re-posted)

thanks TP