I've been trying to solve a problem for more months than I care to remember. I've tried other forums and received some good advice to date but thought I should cast the net a bit wider. This is my first post in this forum. Its quite a long blurb & I apologise for that, but I want to provide as much info as possible in case anyone can help.
I've had a Sony handicam DCR-DVD755 for around 12 months and have been using Premier Elements v3.0 to edit & burn DVDs. I had some suspicions over that time that not all the scenes were showing up in the finished product, and a few months ago this was confirmed when a number of significant scenes (very important to me) did not show up in the clip once imported into PE.
I was advised via another forum that PE is a bit hit & miss in terms of editing .MPEG or .VOB files and I should try alternate ways of 'getting' the clip.
Some of my actions described below may sound weird, but I’m not technical and have been trying to ‘feel’ my way through this and am actually learning a lot, tho clearly not enough…:
It was suggested that I buy an ADS Pyro AV Link and 'get' the files directly from there into PE via a firewire link. I bought the AV Link over the net (cost me $200 Australian in total, incl delivery from the US - $240 by the time I bought an Aus power adapter).
I attached the AV Link to the computer via firewire and attached my Sony DCR-DVD755 Handycam to the AV Link via the port on the camera labelled ‘AV’. (the camera has only 2 ports – one labelled AV and a USB port) I used the cable that came with the AV Link, which splits into red, yellow & white plugs.
I fired up Premier Elements & ‘got’ the video direct from the camera via the AV Link. This worked a charm and I was able to see and edit the scenes that have been missing so far (finally). I was ecstatic at this point, but when I burned the DVD & played in on TV, the quality was poor (fuzzy – probably watchable, but not great). I assumed that this is because the signal was changed from Digital (in the camera) to Analog (via the red, yellow & white plugs) and back to Digital into the computer.
Next I went in search of a cable that would connect to the USB port on the camera and into the 4 pin ‘DV’ port in the AV link, hoping that the quality would be better. I checked around the web a bit, but couldn’t seem to find one to fit (it’s a bit tricky being certain from the pictures on the internet), so I took to the streets. I walked around for half a day from electronics stores to computer stores to large retailers with my cables, so I could demonstrate clearly the cable ‘ends’ I needed. No luck.
Finally, I made it to Sony Central, where the bloke there told me that I didn’t need a cable or the AV Link because the camera’s USB port (or any USB port) would not be fast enough to ‘stream’ video to the computer and end up with any sort of digital quality (I think I may also have read this in a forum at some point).
He then gave me a lesson in ‘video file types’ as follows:
The video file on the handycam (either MPEG or VOB) is ‘compressed’ and can be played by well MS Media Player or other players that are tuned to this format, however, editing with Premier Elements is a bit hit & miss on these file types. To get the most out of PE, the file type needs to be DV- AVI’s.
All I needed to do, said the Sony man, was to copy the VOB file to the PC, then ‘uncompress’ it, using something called a ‘codec’ (?), then bring it in to PE, to do the editing and burning.
This all made sense & the guy even sent me a link to the FAQ's on this site that would explain a solution (FAQ # 10). I followed the instructions. I downloaded a free ‘uncompressing utility’ (my words, sorry) VirtualDubMod and the Panasonic DV codec as advised.
This again looked to do the job. I was able to ‘uncompress’ the file into .avi using the above utilities, import the clip (with all scenes, which was my original problem) into Premier Elements and edit, but again when I burned it, the quality was shocking. Significant flickering all over every scene.
I tried reversing field dominance and removing flicker and even rendering… and every combination of these. Removing flicker did get rid of most of the flickering, but any fast movements in the clip still flicker and its really not ‘watchable’ quality.
My feeble mind then began to wonder if it could be the Panasonic codec being used on a Sony file, so I went in search of a Sony codec, and found 2. I tried all of the above combinations with both Sony codecs and the results were always the same: major flickering if I didn’t ‘remove flicker’ and minor flickering if I did. I’m now up to combination number 12 but don’t know what else to try.
Its bizarre, because if I ‘get’ and edit the clips in VOB format, some of the scenes don’t show up, but if I ‘reverse field dominance’, the burnt DVD is perfect quality.
So now I can either have a top quality DVD with half the scenes missing or have all the scenes with poor quality (flickering) or poor quality (via AVI Link analog port – fuzzy).
I now find myself at the end of my options (and, just quietly, I’m driving my wife round the twist trying to get this right).
Does anybody have any thoughts on this?
My next thought is to buy a major television network so they can sort it out. I’ll just have to make a billion or so repayments at $15 per week……