Converting Video (VCR) to mpg

I'm interested in the equipment (hardware/software) and approximate costs involved in converting short movies (7 minutes approx) on normal video's like you'd record off TV onto CD's in the format of MPG or anything that is high quality (AVI, etc)

The end result being instead of distrubiting videos to clients.  I'd be distributing CD's instead.

Budget is not really an issue as can afford to throw some moneyat this problem.  Quality and ease of use of the CD is paramount however.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

I just bought a Dazzle video capture system ($200US) and it seems to work well. It converts RS-170 (NTSC) video (RCA jack output from your camcorder/VCR) into a .MPG file. It connects to the computer via the EPP printer port and worked well. It captures the sound and video without any problems on my AMD-K6-400 w/128Mb RAM and 2, 8Gb HD's. File size is an issue tho, it ran almost 1mb/second so your application will run 400MB or so, still within the capability of a single CD. It came bundled with video editing software that allows you to sequence clips, capture still frames, do dissolves, add soundtracks, etc. The program is not easy to use but works well enough. It also converts the .MPG into .AVI without problem. Once the .AVI file was created copying to CD was trivial.

rhomulosAuthor Commented:
This is prolly a silly question but this area is new to me.
Which format takes up more space MPG or AVI, are their any quality issues on either one?
Just looked at the file sizes. MPG is significantly smaller. Both looked about the same in the viewer.

According to the manual .MPG is 1/30th the size of .AVI!

At home now. Dataplate says:

DM-4000, Parallel Port Version

Dazzle Multimedia
45778 Northport Loop West
Fremont, CA   94538
(510) 360-2300

I got mine at Office Depot.

They also have DM-4100, USB Version

Haven't played with it a whole lot, but it seems to work well. The software has a screwy GUI but both my flatbed scanner and laser printer both work OK and they're cascaded off this thing.

Installation took a little bit because I had to fiddle with my BIOS to set the printer port to ECP/EPP mode but once that was set it worked fine.

For $200 I don't think you can beat it. It has both RCA and S-Video jacks on it and it has both input and output jacks so you can leave it patched into the video chain and still use your VCR.


Motion Picture Experts Group set the standard. MPG-1 is a lower quality standard, used for Laser Discs and VCDs.

MPEG-2 is used in DVDs and compresses the video even more. MPEG-2 is only used for film quality movies though. If you are using standard video tapes it is not worth getting the hardware for MPEG-2 though.

The mpeg technology reduces the size by extracting parts of the video that the human eye cannot see. The main size reduction is that it only records what changes in each frame, instead of taking a whole new picture each time.

This is also how MP3s work.
First, purchase a video capture card.  Any card will do, the more expensive, the better the quality.  Then you should purchase Adobe Premiere 5.0.  It is the industry standard.  You can play the vcr tape and cpture it in Premiere then output it in a variety of formats.  At that point you would need a cd burner, and you could create the cd.  You can also create a website and use real producer to stream your video over the net with virtually no download time.  Contact me at for further assistance.  Using a website to display your video is a nice touch and very cheap.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Web Graphics Software

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.