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Thread: Quality When Burning to dvd?

  1. #1

    Default Quality When Burning to dvd?

    I have a sony DCR-TRV18E, I have uploaded the video using the pixela software it came with. I downloaded a freeby dvd burner to then copy it to disc, the quality was quite poor. Since then I have bought a new camcorder, a jvc everio hardrive one, anyway I thought I'd try and burn the old sony footage using the software that came with that called powerdirector/powerproducer, in the hope the quality would improve but it hasn't.
    Im told the quality should be the same as it is when watching it throught the tv, the tapes are fine as they play crystal clear on the camera.
    Im really not very good with computers, can anybody help? What actually affects the quality?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    I recall your Sony model of camcorder is miniDV and has a DV out put. I'm not familiar with the new camcorder's free bundled software.

    If you still have the miniDV camcorder I think you might need to re-capture it to your hard drive.

    Are you connecting the dv camcorder output to a firewire input to your PC? I believe that Digital or miniDV full quality capture requires firewire PC connection.

    DV out should work find - be sure your capture setting regardless of which program you use is for full quality avi capture file format.

    Your file for a one hour miniDV tape captured from your camcorder should be avi with about 13gig size. Before it can be burned to a dvd it must be rendered or treanscoded from avi to mpeg2 which is the basic file format for dvd creation vob files.

    If properly captured your avi files should open in most all editing programs at full quality and after editing render out to whatever end file format you require including mpeg2 required for creation of a standard definition dvd.

    Capturing miniDV to PC and then rendering it out to mpeg2 for dvd creation is pretty standard and most all editing programs should get the job done.

    If your captured video doesn't look good then your miniDV camcorder might have a bad component, clogged video head or some other failure duing the original camcorder shooting - it's either that or some sort of hard drive capture error.
    Last edited by imjay; 01-19-2008 at 01:57 AM.

  3. #3


    Thanks you for the reply.
    Yes it is a mini dv camcorder, I caputured using the usb port with the included lead and pixela mixer software. Ive read a few posts suggesting using a firewire port is best but I have no clue about this at all. Is it just a lead to buy?

    I captured again last night but checked the box for dv-avi files, I then imported it into powerdirector along with the same footage captured in mpeg format so they were along side each other. I burnt to disc using powerproducer, the quality is still quite bad and there is no difference between the avi one and the mpeg one.

    When I dragged the original file into powerdirector it did come up with a warning along the lines of, 'project contains clips whose tv format (NTSC/PAL) is different from preferences, powerdirector will convert but video quality will be degraded.'

    In preferences I can change between ntsc and pal but I don't fully understand what this means. I also attempted to capture using powerdirector but the option to capture from dv is greyed out even when the camera connected.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    First - there are smarter folk than I that lurk here in the forum so I hope they speak up soon. Your problem is pretty straight forward and the answer once you find it will probably surprise you re how simple it is.

    Second, where are you located? NTSC references ages old analog N. American tv standard and PAL more or less references the European version. Example is both have mpeg file formats in the standards but resolutions are different. If your camcorder settings are for PAL standards then your capture software should recognize that and set for compatible capture.

    I know nothing about the software you are using. I suggest you take advantage of the ULead free trial download of Video Studio - download the program and give it a go. Video Studio is loaded for both NTSC and PAL standards.

    I have used three different versions of ULead video studio and all three do a great job or recognizing dv output from our Sony digital camcorder for high quality capture. You just open the program - click on capture with the camcorder on and the cable connected to your PC - click on capture settings to be sure it auto detected a dv device and so selected avi dv capture mode and then you click on capture. Video Studio should cause the camcorder to begin playing the tape and start the capture process.

    Ask around your circle of friends and family. Most all PC dvd burners come packaged with a bundle of "free" software and many manufacturers included ULead video studio in their bundle so if someone you know has such a disc borrow it - it was free software anyway - and try it out.

    What Operating System are you running on your computer? Windows? If so XP or the "dreaded" new Vista?

    Others on the forum may recommend other software which will be just as good as ULead - it's a personal preference thing.

    Third, I have never tried to capture dv via usb2 and have always used firewire which the SMEs (subject matter experts) on all the forums I frequent insist you must have for good quality capture of dv content.

    If you don't have firewire port on your pc (what kind of PC are you using or are you using a MAC?) for less than $50US dollars and much less if you are not afraid to buy at Ebay you can find a PCI card for your PC that will have both usb2 and firewire ports.

    You can always tote your camcorder to a friend or family member whose PC has firewire capability - have them capture in like 20 minutes segments which should burn out on single layer dvd media - 3 discs per one hour of dv content that you can take back home and load to your own hard drive.

    I believe you need a better access port - firewire - and either changed settings with your software or maybe more user friendly and intuitive software. Get those simple roadblocks fixed and you should get proper quality capture of your miniDV content and your problem is solved (so long as your software then renders your files out properly for a standard definition dvd (in the US that would be 720X480 mpeg2).

    Sorry to rattle on so - the good news is you have inexpensive solutions for your difficulties and hang on to the miniDV camcorder.

  5. #5


    Wow, thanks for the reply, Im gradually learning

    Ok, Im from the uk. I now know my camcorder settings are for PAL, well Im pretty sure anyway.
    Im using wndows xp, I have a packard bell but don't know all the specifics(sorry)
    its about 4years old now though.
    I will look into the ulead you mentioned but if its the fact that Im capturing using the usb port that is degrading the quality it may not be worth it.
    I think Im gonna try the firewire idea first, but I don't know if my computer has a port?????????
    I don't really wanna spent lots of money on cables, pci cards and software as I no longer use this camcorder as its having a few problems so I just wanna get the footage transferred.

    So I need to know how to locate the firewire port if I have one?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    Do a google for "firewire picture" and pictures will pop right up. I would imagine you could find a used adapter card for just a few pounds and all you have to do is pop open your pc and plug it into a vacant pci slot.

    It will make capture from both your old camcorder and new camcorder easier.

    ULead is a nice little editing program so might want to download the trial version anyway.

    If you don't want to pay a vendor to capture the video for you and you don't want to buy a firewire adapter for your pc then I suggest again a friend or family member that can capture the tape content in 15 to 20 minute "slices" and then burn the high quality raw capture to dvd data discs so you can both load them onto your hard drive and then save the discs.

    If you can get the tapes to me I'd be happy to do it all for you and ship tapes and discs back to you but that's probably not practical so hopefully you can can find someone a bit closer that will help you.

    Finally, don't take my word re usb2 capture options. Download a better capture control program, install it, plug your camcorder dv/usb2 cord into your pc and see what happens.

    Wish I could be of more assistance. Maybe someone smarter than I will step up with a better answer.

  7. #7


    Thanks so much for your help.

    I don't have a firewire port just dug out the old user manual and googled aswell. I don't think Im gonna start taking the side off the computer and putting in a card, cos I don't know what Im doing.

    I will ask about and try and find some one who has a port on theirs who has time to help. Thats a good idea, thanks for that.

    Do you have any ideas as to why powerdirector capture mode is not recognising the mini dv camera the option is greyed out wen the camera is connected. Maybe I might need to upgrade the software do you think as I seem to for alot of other simple things I want to do when editing??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    Sorry - don't have a clue re Powerdirector but ULead seems to be a very good generic capture control program and latest version eleven has a free trial download.

  9. #9


    Ok thanks for all you help jim, Im gonna download the free trial, it can't do no harm, thanks again, appreciate it

  10. #10

    Red face

    U can try E.M. Youtube Video download tool.

    It can convert video to dvd format, then burn them to dvd disc.

    It works really well for me.

    Hope this can help u.

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