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Thread: Video Editing Quality

  1. #1

    Default Video Editing Quality

    I am relatively new to the video side of things (have been involved in pictures for a bit) and have been pretty successful navigating all the idiosyncracies of this craziness, but have bumped into a couple of things recently.

    First...I have a Canon ZR400 DV camera with firewire connectivity. I have a Toshiba DVR with 80GB HD. I took about 3 hours of footage while on a cruise with my family and was going to make a cool DVD (one with stills with background music, transitions, etc.) on my DVR.

    Then, the walls started falling down. No audio track capability in the editing function in my DVR. Big part of what I wanted to do. So, I started investigating software packages. Downloaded a couple of free ones and they messed up my computer. Also did a bunch of editing on my DVR that I didn't want to lose, so I brought a finalized DVD over from the DVR to my computer and ripped the content into .avi files.

    In the meantime, I found that I wouldn't be able to play anything that I edited on the computer in my DVR as the DVR is -R format and my only burner drive was +R, so I got a +/-RW drive. I also got a capture card and PowerDirector Software from Cyberlink.

    I used the .avi content that I brought over, but after editing down to about 1 hour including many transitions, music and other stuff (PowerDirector crashed about 100 times during the editing process) I burned the disc. That took about 2 hours.

    1) Why am I getting lesser quality than my recording in the PowerDirector DVD? Original conversion from DVD to .avi and then back? Processor speed on my computer? Burn speed on the burner? I heard that PowerDirector does not do DVD as well as other packages?

    2) I recorded in 16:9 aspect ratio and burned that way as well, but it plays differently on the computer and the TV/DVR both cutting different parts off.

    3) Can I use an external USB hard drive to capture video to as my internal hard drive is getting full? Will there be degradation there as well due to the speed of USB? Should I save to my internal HD first and then save on the external?

    Any advice anyone can offer will be helpful.
    Jason Wirl

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: Video Editing Quality

    One at a time...
    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    1) Why am I getting lesser quality than my recording in the PowerDirector DVD? Original conversion from DVD to .avi and then back? Processor speed on my computer? Burn speed on the burner? I heard that PowerDirector does not do DVD as well as other packages?
    Yes, it might be the software, but anyway you're transcoding too much. Capture and edit in standard DV AVI (the very format in which video was recorded onto the tape), then encode your final production to MPEG-2 with a VBR ranging between 4,000 kbps and 8,000 kbps (I guess 6,000 would be just fine - higher bitrate files take up more space and are only recommended when there's really a lot of motion content). And author the DVD. OK, so in your case you had to rip a portion from the previously recorded DVD. But other than that, you still lost a lot of quality in the process.
    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    2) I recorded in 16:9 aspect ratio and burned that way as well, but it plays differently on the computer and the TV/DVR both cutting different parts off.
    Hm... did you really need 16:9? Consumer camcorders can't record true 16:9 video; they usually reduce the resolution of a 4:3 picture by letterboxing. That's why you get different results.
    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    3) Can I use an external USB hard drive to capture video to as my internal hard drive is getting full? Will there be degradation there as well due to the speed of USB? Should I save to my internal HD first and then save on the external?
    You can capture to an external USB hard drive with just about any NLE software on the market.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Video Editing Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by svhs
    One at a time...
    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    1) Why am I getting lesser quality than my recording in the PowerDirector DVD? Original conversion from DVD to .avi and then back? Processor speed on my computer? Burn speed on the burner? I heard that PowerDirector does not do DVD as well as other packages?
    Yes, it might be the software, but anyway you're transcoding too much. Capture and edit in standard DV AVI (the very format in which video was recorded onto the tape), then encode your final production to MPEG-2 with a VBR ranging between 4,000 kbps and 8,000 kbps (I guess 6,000 would be just fine - higher bitrate files take up more space and are only recommended when there's really a lot of motion content). And author the DVD. OK, so in your case you had to rip a portion from the previously recorded DVD. But other than that, you still lost a lot of quality in the process.
    Thanks for your feedback. So, if I go directly to my hard drive and then to an authored DVD, I will retain quality. If I burn, rip, and then burn, I lose quality?
    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    2) I recorded in 16:9 aspect ratio and burned that way as well, but it plays differently on the computer and the TV/DVR both cutting different parts off.
    Hm... did you really need 16:9? Consumer camcorders can't record true 16:9 video; they usually reduce the resolution of a 4:3 picture by letterboxing. That's why you get different results.
    It do get a letter-box but I like the wide-screen...give me a wider shot. So, the different hardwares (computer and TV) recognize it differently? How can I keep it wide for all of them?
    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    3) Can I use an external USB hard drive to capture video to as my internal hard drive is getting full? Will there be degradation there as well due to the speed of USB? Should I save to my internal HD first and then save on the external?
    You can capture to an external USB hard drive with just about any NLE software on the market.
    [/quote]Will I lose quality by capturing with my PC via firewire and then storing on the external USB hard drive since USB is slower than firewire?

    Thanks again
    Jason Wirl

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: Video Editing Quality

    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    So, if I go directly to my hard drive and then to an authored DVD, I will retain quality. If I burn, rip, and then burn, I lose quality?
    That's right.
    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    It do get a letter-box but I like the wide-screen...give me a wider shot. So, the different hardwares (computer and TV) recognize it differently? How can I keep it wide for all of them?
    I really don't know. If that was a true 16:9 camcorder you wouldn't have to worry about that now.
    Quote Originally Posted by jkwirl
    Will I lose quality by capturing with my PC via firewire and then storing on the external USB hard drive since USB is slower than firewire?
    You can store to an external USB hard drive. No problem. You'll have to test if you can capture directly to that drive (because of slow speed) and if not, you'll have to capture to another, faster drive, then move the files to the USB drive.

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