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looking for opinions on this alternative to the need for a DVD burner.

Posted on 2005-05-13
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Question by:nickg5
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by:Callandor
ID: 13996813
I see those in spam email all the time.  You still need a CD burner, and you lose resolution because a CD can only hold 680MB, while a DVD can hold 4.8GB.  The program will downgrade to VCD format or force you to span multiple CDs if you want to keep the same quality.  Not worth considering, in my opinion.
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by:nickg5
ID: 13996868
I saw a similar item by another seller. They both have 100's of good feedback to suggest the process does work.
It might be worth my $2.75 to try it out.
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by:innovator_joel
ID: 13996875
Please do not go for it. I agree with Callandor!
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:chiingliang
chiingliang earned 360 total points
ID: 13997556
Duh.... nero burning rom includes this software. even the express version also have.....
if u have cd burner you sure have nero, or equivalent.

When asked 'what do u like to burn' select videos/pictures, then vcd
drop your file in and nero will encode to vcd format, and burn it.

of course, you have to get the vhs video into your pc. get yourself a tv tuner card/video capture card.
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by:nickg5
ID: 13997616
mmmm, I have a cd burner and Nero.
I have a video capture card but it does not compress and would take 6 cd's to get one hour of video.
If the Ebay item above requires to get the VHS to your PC first in a way other than my video capture card then I do not know how to do that or have the equipment.

His item also states you can put a DVd on CD.....does that require something else too? since you can play the DVD on your pc......how would you capture it before burning to the CD?

I was getting ready to buy a table top dvd recorder and thought this Ebay item might be a way to get started to learn the process and do some practice without spending a ton.

I'll increase the points to allow for these extra questions.
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LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 360 total points
ID: 13997794
A VHS tape conversion to DVD requires a capture card or equivalent device (DV camcorder, Canopus ADVC-100) to convert the analog signal to digital.  There is no getting around this.

Converting a DVD to CD is easier, because the movie is already in digital format, saved as mpeg2 files in a special tree structure.  The program resamples it to produce VCD mpeg1 files or Super VCD mpeg2 files.
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Accepted Solution

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Watzman earned 560 total points
ID: 13998176

Well, in the first place, the primary reason for getting a DVD burner, in my opinion, has nothing to do with video at all.

How many of us have hard drives larger than 700 megabytes?

That means that your hard drive is too large to backup on a single CD.  Forget video, when the best DVD burner made is less than $60 (the Pioneer "09" burner, at Newegg and other places), you need it for computer backup, video not withstanding.

For video, you can convert video to some forms of video CD (but not, literally, "VCD" format) which will give DVD or very near DVD quality on CD media, however it won't play on most set-top box DVD players.  The best solutions involve DivX encoding.  It can do the job, but the process is not particularly straightforward, and you end up with a disc that will only play on very, very few set-top players, and only on computers with a DivX codec.

["VCDs" are the "standard" video format that will fit on a CD and that most set-top players will play, BUT the quality is really bad, not DVD quality, not even as good as VHS tape.  The quality loss is substantial.  "SVCD" (super-VCD) is DVD quality on CD media, but you only get about 10 to 20 minutes of record time.  And far less players will play SVCD than will play VCD.  "DivX" is a proprietary encoding that can get essentially 2 hours of full DVD quality on a 650 to 700 megabyte CD-R media.  The format does work, but you need an encoding package that is not free (about $50), the overall process to get a top quality result is quite complex and not straightforward, and the resulting media, while it does work as advertised (approximately full DVD quality on a CD, with a 2-hour recording time) will only play on a VERY small number of set-top DVD players or comptuers with the DivX codec (the player-only codec is free).  Please note, I THINK that what you are seeing advertised is only a standard "VCD" product.

However, every computer needs an optical drive and a burner (in my opinion), and the Pioneer burner is now selling under $60.  It burns everything --- CD-R, CD-RW, and all 6 formats of DVD (+r, +rw, -r, -rw, +rDL and even -rDL (which isn't yet on the market)).  So whether you want to use this solution or not, if the objective is to avoid getting a DVD burner, then in my opinion, you are trying to find a solution for a non-problem.  You still need a burner, the difference between the best DVD burner and any other burner is insignificant, and even if the solution was perfect in all respects (it's not), it only addresses video and not use of the burner in the computer for data backup.  And in my opinion, data backup, and not video, is the primary reason for getting a DVD burner in the first place.

As for video, normally you capture to uncompressed AVI (13 gigabytes per hour), then you "encode" the captured video to the desired format (MPEG 1 for VCD, MPEG 2 for SVCD or DVD, or DivX for DivX).  The encoding process can be quite slow, I've had it take more than 12 hours to encode one-hour of video to MPEG2 on a slow computer with an encoder that don't think is very good.

DVD's being converted to SVCDs don't need to be captured.  The video can be "ripped" from the DVD as a data file (although breaking the encryption isn't legal, but plenty of products do it, it's not difficult), and then re-encoded into MPEG 1 and burned to a video CD (VCD).  However, again, MPEG 1 is drastically lower in quality the MPEG 2 (which is what DVDs use), and a video CD is nothing like a DVD in terms of image quality.

Spend $60 on a Pioneer DVD burner for your computer, and $20 to $100 for a copy of "Pinnacle Studio 9 Plus".  That will give you all the capabilities you need, plus DVD data backup.  There is a significant learning curve for any of the video editing software products, but the problem with set-top DVD recorders is that you don't get much -- or, usually, any -- ability to edit.  You get your video converted to a DVD format media, but you have all of the unwanted scenes, everything is entirely in it's original sequence, and you really have minimal ability to create a meaningful menu structure.  All of that can be better resolved on a computer, but there is a higher degree of effort involved.
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LVL 11

Assisted Solution

by:yukele
yukele earned 360 total points
ID: 13998706
If, after all the above comments, you still want to put your videos onto CD (I can't imagine why you would...) then go to www.videohelp.com and get the same information without paying any money.
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Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 13999085
I may decide to go with the table top DVD recorder. It is lower priced than the DVD burner + the software mentioned above.
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Assisted Solution

by:Diane258
Diane258 earned 360 total points
ID: 13999484
Might i suggest a Lite-ON dvd drive?

http://www.liteonit.com/ODD/English/e_product/e_dvd%20rw.asp

I liked them so much i got two!
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LVL 25

Author Comment

by:nickg5
ID: 14103468
I bought a DVD recorder for $99, new. I'll see how the quality is. It is a table top model, that should be alot easier for VHS transfer to DVD than the computer way which needs a DVD burner, video capture, etc.
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