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Thread: Advice on file format needed

  1. #1

    Default Advice on file format needed

    Hi all

    I'm new to video editing and sorry for asking these very basic questions but I have to start somewhere, I guess.

    I have about 20 VHS tapes that I need to convert to DVDs. This is how I planned to do it.

    On my PC, I have WinFast TV2000xp video capture card. Plugged in VCR and capturing nicely on it. I cut the file sizes in 200 MB and then transfer them to mu G5 iMac. In there I convert them into DV where the 200 MB MPEG2 file becomes some 900 MB of DV. Then I import it into iMovie, do some editing there and export to iDVD.

    But for some reason I think I'm doing something wrong. Firstly, when I export from iMovie to iDVD it took me good 20 minutes to process and then burn 3 minutes movie ! I just looked up on the DVD the one VOB file for 3 minutes of video is 270 MB, which would make an hour movie well over 5 GB. I guess it's just way too much.

    Back to capturing, it's MPEG2 6000kbps, I thought of going with MPEG1 but would the video quality bu far worse in this case ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Blog Entries


    There seems to me to be a lot of unnecessary encoding going on there. Each encode loses quality and obviously takes time to render.

    I would suggest you reassess your work flow, as it sounds like a lot of work! Essentiallt you are capturing to MPEG, encoding to DV, then encoding back to MPEG (DVD). How much editing are you doing? The final encode would be a lot quicker if you edited in MPEG (although I couldn't suggest any MPEG editors or plugins for the Mac).

    I would suggest you look into a way of capturing direct to DV on your Mac (e.g by buying a firewire device such as a Canopus ADVC110), or on the PC (you may be able to do this using your setup, but the AVI wpon't be playable on the Mac), or as I suggest, look into a way of editing MPEG on your Mac.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005


    If you want to convert your VHSs to DVD then why are you not capturing them directly to MPEG2? This will negate those unnecessary encodings as Marc stated.

  4. #4


    dunno if this will help but my friend just hired a dvd recorder for a week and burnt the dvds straight from that, like you play your vhs tape...wired upto the dvd player then u just click record on the dvd recorder. there pretty cheap to hire too but it means you cant change the tv channel until its finished lol

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Kilbirnie Ayrshire

    Default Advice on file format

    Forget going the PC route. I tried it 3months ago Too much hassle. That was after spending a good few quid on a box and various cables that would convert Analog to digital. I got hold of a cheap DVD recorder ( albeit +r +rw format ) I connected the out put scart on the VCR with a scart adaptor to convert it to Video Audio jack plugs -- connected this to the input sockets on DVD rec. ( the one you would plug your DVC camcorder to )--
    Connected a scart lead from output on DVD rec. to input on portable T/V -- Stuck a VHS tape in VCR -- Blank DVd in DVD rec. -- Switched every thing on -- Watched video playing on T/V -- pressed record button on DVD rec. -- Recorded 10 mins. -- Stopped every thing -- finalised disc -- put it in my standalone DVD player and YES!! it works a treat.. I can now sit with 2 remotes starting and stopping recording, if I want to edit out any part of the video I change the format to -r using DVD decrypter so that I can be sure it will play on other DVD players. As i'm typing this i'm transferring The Quite Man video to DVD in the other room -- 15mins to go then another VHS bites the dust. Dont ask me how it works but it does for me ..So I aint gonna fix it
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