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Thread: Experienced advice needed please

  1. #1

    Default Experienced advice needed please

    Hi everyone,

    I apologise if this is posted in the wrong section but my problem is not really specific to any one subject.

    Right, Ive got an analogue sony camcorder and have transfered probably 15 hours worth of footage on to e180's. Recently, I purchased a Philips recordable DVD recorder (dvdr70) and set about transfering the best bits on to DVD. It's a very straightforward process, although the quality of the vhs tapes has deterioated so much that transfering it results even worse quality on the DVD.

    Computer wise, I have a Advent 7037 laptop which will has an iLink connection, I also have a home built Barton 2500+ on a Asus A7N8X deluxe mobo, with a Radeon 128mb Gcard and 80gb sata barracuda HD. Although I realise that it would be sensible to use my main computer to edit home video, it really would be more practical for me to do the work on my laptop, which is a pretty powerful laptop but only has 40gb hd, which I do intend addressing.

    So, thanks to this site , the other night I ripped some original home video footage from a DVDRW used in my Philips machine, then using Moviemaker had a play around with the resulting mpeg files and was really impressed, even if quality was dissapointingly poor.

    From my short experience, I now realise that I really have a keen interest in this and would really appreciate any help with the following questions:

    (1) I am considering getting a dv camcorder, but for my old footage and any future footage on digital, would it make sense to edit and record my footage on my Philips recordable DVD, then rip the condensed files on to my laptop for movie making ?

    (2) What software from this website would be best to use to handle the ripping and conversion should the above be a good option. ?

    (3) Having produced a 3 min film using my ripped footage and moviemaker, how do burn it ( have dvdrw & cdrw on laptop ) to a disc that would play on stand alone DVD players ?

    (4) My 3 min film has black borders top and bottom, is there a way to make it full screen ?

    As you can see i'm a novice but i'm eager to get as much footage on to permanant storage as i possbly can. I'm sure once i go dv the whole process will be more straightforward, but i really would appreciate any help/advice that stops me going round in circles here.

    Thanks guys


  2. #2


    As you've probably realised, editing in MPEG is a complete nightmare. Because of the way the codec works (it compares one frame to the next and discards anything that hasn't changed), getting precise edits is almost impossible. This is okay to start off with, but when you want to cut at a precise audio point, it's annoying.

    So essentially, when you've got your DV camcorder, I'd advise you to use this footage on your PC for editing rather than encoding to MPEG first. It will eat harddrive space, but remember you don't have to transfer everything. I often use the capture process as a part of video editing by discarding anything I know I won't use. For me, two DV tapes will get down to about 10-15GB of harddrive space. I'd also throughly reccomend using your Desktop rather than the laptop if it's significantly better. You'll notice a big difference in encoding times etc

    And how do you burn a DVD to play in a DVD player? Well, that's simplicity itself with the right software. If you want to make some funky menus, you'll want to take a look at the DVD authoring programmes by the likes of Ulead and Sonic (for example DVDworkshop and MyDVD). The cheapest are around £40 - but for more sophisticated software, you're looking at over £100.

    However, as ever there's a free way! I just recently tried out a neat package that just creates the VOB files needed for a DVD. All it does is take your DVD compliant MPEG2 file and create the files need to burn on to a DVD. It's called ifoedit and can be downloaded from: Just ask if you want more info about the process.

    You can easily take out the borders, but may I ask why you would want to? This can be done in TMPGenc when you encode yoru video. Its a bit of a process to explain, but would be more than happy to if you're going to use this application to encode your video to MPEG.
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  3. #3


    Thanks Marc for a rapid, comprehensive reply.

    My biggest and most immediate problem is editing and transfering my exsisting analogue footage from VHS to digital media. I have the time to play through each tape and reduce the footage to a minimum, then burn it to DVD via my Philips which I can then rip and turn into some form of movie. I am in the process of doing this right now.

    In answer to your question regarding borders, I am only assumng that as it plays with borders in Moviemaker, this effect will be repeated when I eventually get it on to DVD ? My reasons ? Well, I would just prefer it to be full screen even though I suspect quality would suffer as a result of a larger picture, but as it is old footage, it's something i'm prepared to accept. An explainantion of how to would be great, if you have time. Also, any thoughts on why it might or might not be beneficial.

    I have just downloaded the software you suggested for creating my VOB files for recording and yes it would help if you explain the process. Let's assume my present situation is that I have my edited footage saved as what I assume is an mpeg file edited in moviemaker, saved in my explaination from there would be great.

    Once I go dv, then yes things will be a lot easier. It's really a case of room for me as to why the laptop is a better option at the moment. I will be considering setting up the desktop soley for the purpose of editing dv, but will for the time being concentrate on preserving my precious home video.

    Thanks again for your help so far and in advance for any in the future.


  4. #4


    I assume you're using Windows Movie Maker. This is a great little freeware app, but because it's microsoft, there has to be some kind of snag - and that's that it only outputs in WMV format. It may come as no surprise that WMV is windows very own codec (MPEG4) and not what we need for making DVDs.

    So you're going to have to convert your WMV footage from Moviemaker to MPEG2 DVD compliant streams. This isn't ideal as we're re-encoding the video too many times - and as WMV and MPEG are lossy formats, you'll get a degredation in quality each time.

    However, assuming this is the way you want to go for now, you can use TMPGenc to a) make your video fukk screen and b) convert to DVD compliant streams.

    I'm also going to make a wild assumption and say you;re from the UK. If this is the case, you may be getting borders at the top and bottom of your screeen due to outputting to NTSC rather than PAL. Ensure you're project setting are set to PAL.

    If this isn't the case, we do need to crop your video. So download and install the trial version of TMPGenc.

    Once installed, upon it. Again, assuming you're from the UK, choose the option higjlighted here:

    Click next and then on the next screen browse to your saved WMV file by clicking on the top browse button.

    Note that you have to select All Files from the media type drop down box. The audio will automatically be selected. Click next. Now we need to clip the frame to get rid of the borders. So click clip:

    No adjust the settings marked 1,2,3,4 in the diagram so that you clip the border and then select "arrange setting".

    and then select "arrange setting".

    In this sceen, select "no margin (keep aspect ratio)". Finally click OK, then Next, then Next again. On the final screen, you'll be presented with this:

    Check the box labelled " individual streams" so that we can use these in ifoedit. Click OK, sit back and watch your video encode!

    Once it's done, upon up ifoedit. Please bear in mind used this for the first time yesterday! Select the following menu option:

    Now browse to your video and audio files created in TMPGEnc. Tghe video file will be *.m2v and the audio *mp2. Select a destination folder.

    Click on OK and all the necesary files are created!

    Now we move on to Nero. Upon up Nero and slect the settings as follows:

    Click new, then drag and drop all your created files into the VIDEO_TS file as follows:

    Finally burn your DVD!!!
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  5. #5


    Wow !!

    Thanks to you Marc, I'm now well on my way to transfering my old analogue footage on to DVD, and you know what....the quality ain't that bad.

    Had a few minor problems, firstly, like a fool, I was trying to burn my test on to a DVDRW with stuff already on it, which i think confused the issue as it wouldn't play back. When i used a fresh blank, it went on no problem. Secondly, our versions of Nero differ slightly and finding the section that corresponded with the settings that you suggested was slightly difficult, but i got there in the end.

    My only other problem is the borders. I couldn't adjust things as you described, but can't help thinking it's something to do with originally extracting my footage from DVD, I can't even remember how or what I used now !! Anyway, once I have edited all my home video I'll look at the process again.

    Many thanks again Marc, I'll be a regular here now, once i get my old stuff sorted I'll be looking at all things digital and how i can make the most of what's available.

    Your a star


    PS - UK yes, Colchester.

  6. #6

    Default Movie Maker


    Iíve been using Windows Movie Maker as well. (Iím upgrading to premier soon!) I have been able to capture from my Canon Elura 50 as DV-AVI, edit, and then save as DV-AVI. I am able to import this file into Adobe Encore DVD. I was under the impression that this format would not lose any quality. Is this correct? I am using the upgraded version 2 of Movie Maker if that makes a difference.


  7. #7


    This was in response to:

    "I assume you're using Windows Movie Maker. This is a great little freeware app, but because it's microsoft, there has to be some kind of snag - and that's that it only outputs in WMV format. It may come as no surprise that WMV is windows very own codec (MPEG4) and not what we need for making DVDs."

  8. #8


    DV AVI is indeed lossless. Apologies for the confusion!
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  9. #9

    Default Thanks for the confirmation!

    Thanks for the confirmation!


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