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  1. #1
    Star Lounger Roderick's Avatar
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    DVD's say they hold 4.7GB and 120 minutes but is this somewhat misleading? I have no problem putting one hour on a DVD but how do you get up to 2 hours on the DVD with any decent quality?

    Here's my problem. I videotape some church functions with an analog camera (VHS) and some of these run more than an hour, sometimes 90 minutes or longer. I connect my VCR to my computer using a Pinnacle Dazzle DVC100 cable. I capture, edit, and create the DVD using Pinnacle Studio 12. Up to one hour I can use Studio's "best quality" setting. Anything over an hour I need to use the "automatic quality" setting.

    The problem is that I'm experience problems with the resulting burned DVD's when over an hour as when played back in a DVD player, there are instances or pixellation (the little square blocks) and if it is too bad, the picture freezes. I didn't know this at first as I was testing the DVD's in the computer and they play fine there.

    Is anyone out there creating DVD's between 60 and 120 minutes long with good results? It's cumbersome to have to split these performances into two disks and I'd like to find a way to make this work if possible.

    Rod Corkum

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    I use WinTV to record stuff. WinTV has several DVD-centric recording setting, including a standard, long and extra long play setting for MPEG recording. On the regular setting, I can get only 82 minutes on a single-sided DVD (I do have to change the sound setting though - the default setting does not compress the audio and reduces the amount of video even further). On the long play setting I can get close to 110 minutes. So I set the recording level based on the length of what I am recording: standard for 82 minutes or less, long for 83 to 110 minutes, and standard for anything over 110 minutes (I split it onto two DVDs).

    Of course, if I was not so cheap and was willing to spring for two-sided DVDs then I could get more on a disk.

    By the way, I also use Studio 12 and when creating the DVD image I always use 100% quality. With this quality, Studio 12 will not re-encode the MPEG. Which means that:
    a) the quality does not change from the original MPEG recording (note that I record only using MPEG; not AVI or any other format)
    b) I do not lose any closed captioned text (this was handier before I got a blu-ray player though...)
    c) the DVD creation does not take forever

    One other thing I have found is that Studio is overly conservative when it comes to estimating what will fit on a DVD. According to Studio, my 82 minutes of standard MPEG video will not fit on a single-sided DVD - it claims that I have around 20 minutes of overflow. So I tell Studio to create the DVD image on disk only and then use a DVD burning package (I use Nero) to burn the resulting video files to the DVD.

    The resulting DVDs are good enough that they look fairly decent when played on an 1080p HD TV, as long as you don't look too closely.

  3. #3
    Star Lounger Roderick's Avatar
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    By the way, I also use Studio 12 and when creating the DVD image I always use 100% quality. With this quality, Studio 12 will not re-encode the MPEG. Which means that:
    a) the quality does not change from the original MPEG recording (note that I record only using MPEG; not AVI or any other format)
    b) I do not lose any closed captioned text (this was handier before I got a blu-ray player though...)
    c) the DVD creation does not take forever

    One other thing I have found is that Studio is overly conservative when it comes to estimating what will fit on a DVD. According to Studio, my 82 minutes of standard MPEG video will not fit on a single-sided DVD - it claims that I have around 20 minutes of overflow. So I tell Studio to create the DVD image on disk only and then use a DVD burning package (I use Nero) to burn the resulting video files to the DVD.

    The resulting DVDs are good enough that they look fairly decent when played on an 1080p HD TV, as long as you don't look too closely.
    Peter,

    Thanks for the response. Would you have a peek at these screen captures from Studio 12 and based on your experience let me know if I should change anything in the settings? In the Make Disk setup, I had checked "Always re-encode entire movie" but if I understand your comment about not re-encoding, maybe I should have leave that unchecked. There are only two image types available ... the VIDEO_TS as shown and an ISO file. I don't have Nero but I have Roxio that came with my computer and it can burn from an ISO file. So I could select "Create disk content but don't burn" and then burn the ISO file with Roxio. Does that make sense?

    Otherwise I'm about to give up and go get some dual layer disks and try that! The project I'm working on right now is 79 minutes.

    Rod

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    [quote name='Roderick']In the Make Disk setup, I had checked "Always re-encode entire movie" but if I understand your comment about not re-encoding, maybe I should have leave that unchecked.[/quote]
    Leave that unchecked - it lowers the quality and takes way too much time to process.

    I also check "no scene detection" and mark my own scenes.

    You capture format setting seem similar to my "standard" settings in WinTV - MPEG-2 at 6000Kibit/sec. (Or at least that is what I recall, and earlier version of WinTV let me control the capture rate but the newer version removed the feature.) For recording longer than 82 minutes you might want to change that setting to a longer play selection.

    For the Make Disc settings, use "create disc content but don't burn". And change the Audio Compression to Dolby Digital 2-channel. You should then be able to get 82 minutes on a single layer DVD.

    I am not sure if that basic version of Roxio has the necessary features. When Studio gets done rendering the movie you get a movie directory with a VIDEO_TS directory containing a number of files. You need a burner that will brun such a directory structure onto a DVD as a video DVD. The freeware CDBurnerXP has that capability.

  5. #5
    Star Lounger Roderick's Avatar
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    Peter

    Thanks very much for the info. I'll try your suggestions. And no, my Roxio won't find the VIDEO_TS directory. I'll download the CDBurnerXP and give it a try.

    Rod

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    I also use Studio 12 (slowly switching over to 14 now in some cases) and while I love some of the features of Studio, particularly the scene detection and multi-clip effects application, I've never been thrilled by the quality of DVD it puts out. If you're still having any issues and you aren't creating elaborate title and chapter introductions I would give the following a try;

    Import and edit just as you've been, no change there, but export the work as a full screen AVI (DV) video and then feed that into a free program called DVDFlick, which will allow you to add a very simple title and chapters if needed, and in this case, the DVDFlick encoder seems to do a very good job almost all the time, bit rate is "to fit" by default and up to two hours on a single layer DVD should look as good as the original recording, since it is VHS and presumable you are importing at high quality rates with the Dazzle.

    That's the route I always take now at least, after experimenting to some degree, not exhaustively, but enough. I can even put three hours on and it doesn't look great but its still very watchable and it seems to degrade much more uniformly that most others like Pinnacle which will be ok for a bit and then just break up badly because of some dark scene or something.

  7. #7
    Star Lounger Roderick's Avatar
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    Byron

    I had gotten busy and hadn't had time to try Peter's suggestion and yours sounded easier so I tried it today. I used DVDFlick ... and it appears to have worked. I see no pixellation issues at least in the first 5 minutes (I haven't checked the whole DVD yet). It was very evident from the beginning before so I'm sure this will be fine now.

    Thanks very much.


    Rod Corkum

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    Star Lounger Roderick's Avatar
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    Here's an update - Now I don't know whether Pinnacle Studio was creating a problem or not ... I'm beginning to suspect not. I made some more DVD's from video tapes and these were approximately 45 minutes in length which Studio burns at full quality. However after making 4 different ones, I checked them in my DVD player and they all showed heavy pixellation. I was about ready to tear my hair out. So I thought next step would be to just verify that my problem is not in the DVD player (it's a Sanyo that's a couple years old but rarely used.) We sell players at work so I borrowed a demo Toshiba machine for a few days.

    So to do the test I decided to check the DVD's again in my machine first, then in the other machine. This time when I played them in my machine, they played perfectly - no pixellation. OK, now I'm more confused. I tried a few more and then came up with one that really was a bad disk - I think it might have gotten scratched a bit (since I originally believed it was bad and hadn't been too careful with it.) This one wouldn't play (no picture at all) in either machine (it' now in the trash.) So then I tried the first disks again in my machine ... now I got the pixellation again on all four in my machine but they played fine on the borrowed machine. Then I tried a DVD movie that I'd purchased and it played perfectly in my machine.

    That test was two days ago. Today I decided to sample every DVD I'd made with Studio (all 38 of them!) and played a couple minutes of each one in my machine and every one played fine - no pixellation. (Some are approximately 90 minutes long.)

    At this point I'm suspecting the problem might be my Sanyo DVD player but I don't understand why it would play fine consistently on one occasion and give bad pixellation on the same discs on another occasion. I discussed this with our service manager at work who is an excellent electronics technician and he was also unable to explain how this could happen.

    I have given copies of some of my DVD's to other people and I've learned of two instances (different DVD's) where they've had some problems playing them - picture freezing. In one of the cases I'd given copies to two people - one had the problem and the other said their copy played fine.

    So for now I'm going to continue to use Pinnacle Studio and keep an eye on the results testing in another machine if I see any problems.

    Rod

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    I have given copies of some of my DVD's to other people and I've learned of two instances (different DVD's) where they've had some problems playing them - picture freezing. In one of the cases I'd given copies to two people - one had the problem and the other said their copy played fine.
    That might be related more to quality of the burn and/or quality of the DVD, or even the tolerance of the DVD player its played back in. The variables don't always allow for 100% success in user-produced DVDs. Overall it seems like good news as you may just have a flaky DVD player and not a bunch of poorly encoded and/or burned DVDs.

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    I use wintv to record movies with analog quality set to best. I have recorded some 200 Turner Classic Movies, many of which are over 120 minutes. I've consistently used NeroVision (both v8 and v9) to create my DVDs. I find that if a movie is longer than 145 minutes, then I use a dual layer disk to record the DVD on. Otherwise, I'm very happy with the quality of the single layer DVDs that I've made - black and white or color. With Nero 8, I used to use a combination of NeroVision and Nero Recode to make my DVDs. With Nero 9, I just let NeroVision automatically fit the video to the standard 4+gig size. I no longer get Turner Classic Movies so now I occasionally record a PBS shown movie in digital (vs analog) and have excellent results with Nero 9 NeroVision. My system is no screamer - 2.60 gigahertz AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core with 3 gig of memory running W7 - 64bit ultimate.

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    I have found that the DVD media plays a big role in the quality of the end result. I always use Sony discs; once I used some other brand (can't remember which, might ave been Verbatim) and had many problems with the the recorded DVDs. The Sony discs work perfectly for me, playing back just fine in my old Sony DVD player, my Sony and Samsung Blu-Ray players, and in every computer I have tried them in.

  12. #12
    Star Lounger Roderick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Johnson2191 View Post
    I have found that the DVD media plays a big role in the quality of the end result. I always use Sony discs; once I used some other brand (can't remember which, might ave been Verbatim)
    I'll keep that in mind too - Just checked my DVD's and seems I started with some Sony, then Memorex, and currently Verbatim. Whichever were at the best price when I bought them!

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    I've had the best luck with HP branded DVDs. I've literally made dozens of burns (maybe a couple hundred) without ever having a fail.

  14. #14
    Star Lounger Roderick's Avatar
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    This is an old thread by now but thought I'd just put a final update on it. I haven't needed to make any DVD's longer than 60 minutes for some time now but have a pack of dual-layer blanks in case it comes up. The pixellation problem seemed to go away sometime after the earlier posts and I'm pretty much convinced most of the problem with the Sanyo player not the DVD's themselves. It eventually quit altogether recently - kept saying no disk when there was a disk in it - so it's been replaced with a new Toshiba and it works fine.

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