I'm new at this stuff and don't understand very much at all. My adventure in digital video editing started after I downloaded a bunch of videos from Google (video.google.com), which can only be viewed using the Google Video Player.
When my HD started getting clogged, I wanted to store the files on DVDs. I figured, why not make them into DVDs that I can watch on a television DVD player, if I can find a program to convert from .gvi to a format that will work for my plan.
The program I've been using is called Naevius. It makes .gvi files into .avi files. It's very simple to operate. Once I have .avi files, I can add them to a "project" in Nero, design a menu, and burn to DVD for television. But I have had a bunch of problems that I don't understand, and would like some help.
The first thing I don't understand is why Nero cannot fit more than about 675 MB of .avi file onto one DVD. If the file is too big - like one that I just tried, which is a 703 MB .avi file. When I add the file to the Nero project, it says this will not fit on a regular DVD and asks if I want the project quality reduced automatically to fit in the available space. If I click No, it shows the size of the project is 4.44 GB (0.06 more than available). If I click Yes, it reduces to around 3 GB.
So I wonder, not only why it turns less than 1 GB of data into almost 4.5 GB, but also, how much of a quality reduction will there be in the resulting movie? I don't want to reduce the quality because this video is already not very good quality to start with.
Also, sometimes after the converson from .gvi to .avi, Nero refuses to accept the file into a project. The error message says something like "Unable to add video file". No explanation.
In this kind of case, I have found that converting the .avi file to .mpg format first will cause Nero to accept it. For this conversion I was using a little program called MediaCoder, which is very hard for me to understand and I had to fiddle around with various settings (it has dozens of different options, but no help file!) that I can't even remember what they are let alone what they're for, but at least the conversion process was rather quick - like about 5 minutes for a file in the 600-700 MB range.
But occasionally the MediaCoder program wouldn't work; I would add a file to process, then click Start, and immediately see a popup window saying [sic] "No file is outputted". This happened with the file I am trying to get onto a DVD right now.
Then I found out there is a newer version of MediaCoder, and installed that, hoping it would solve the problem. The file I was trying to process with the older version did not produce that error anymore with the new version, but there was a different problem....
This time, the conversion process was way slow. Like, instead of 5-10 minutes to convert a file, it would take two hours or more. Which is a pain because although in previous experiments with MediaCoder the resulting .mpg files were usually slightly smaller than the original .avi file, and I needed the file to be slightly smaller for Nero to be able to put it on one DVD, I had no idea if the .mpg file would be smaller in this case. I let it complete anyway, and it didn't matter what size the file came out to because the quality was very very bad.
So, my next experiment in converting this file was done with "Easy Video Converter" which gives the option of converting to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2. I don't know what the difference is, so I tried both. The process took over two hours each time. The MPEG-1 file was smaller, but still way bigger than the original .avi file, and the MPEG-2 file was HUGE - way, way bigger than the MPEG-1 - and of course I cannot use either of these files for my DVD.
So I tried using VirtualDub, which lets you cut a video clip down. I figured I would just clip a bit off the opening credits and final credits to reduce it enough to fit in that Nero project, but it wasn't enough.
While I'm jumping through all these hoops to do a simple thing, I'm thinking there has got to be an easier way. I'd really like to understand what's going on with Nero, why does it make file grow so much larger when you add them to a project, and is there another way to accomplish what I want to do?
Any help at all will be greatly appreciated. I hope no more software will have to be purchased. I have already invested too much in software.