View Full Version : Need quick overview of tape transfer to DVD

7th March 2002, 17:16
just need a basic idea of how to take VHS tapes and get them on dvd without losing quality. I have the ability to get them on the computer via digital camcorder (from vcr to camcorder to computer via firewire). Once there, I will edit them with some sort of editor and then i want to get them on a DVD. Is it MPEG-2 I want? and if so whats a good converter. Also how much tape can I fit on a DVD. I know DVD-r usually hold 2 hours of video but VHS quality is not that great, so i am trying to save as much of the VHS quality but at the same time, keep the file size small so i can fit more on a dvd. I have like 4 home videos that are 6 hours each. any info is appreciated. thanks

8th March 2002, 15:19
First the quality can never be better then the original material.

If you want to have good quality you will have to stay at the 6Mbit/Sec data rate, what will give you about 100Min of video per 4.7 DVD-R.

Quality Vs. time it's all a question of playing with data rate.

And yed,after editing do the conversion directly to Mpg2.
I was reading of people first compressing to DviX and recompressing to Mpg2, try to do as less compressions as you can and avoide cascading compressions.

The worse quality is a Mpg2 DVD - Riped and compressd to DviX and re encoded to VCD.

you get 3 diferant compressing methods for one final product, and wth the allready questionable quality of each and every one of them - with emphasis on VCD :rolleyes: you get the idea ;)

8th March 2002, 18:50
thanks for the info Scuba. just wanted to clarify something. I dont want to make it any better quality than what i have on VHS already. I just want to get them over on DVD without losing any quality. hence i thought i could fit 120 minutes worth of footage on a DVD-r. have you done this before scuba? if so, what program you suggest to convert to mpeg2? thanks again

9th March 2002, 00:21
Personally I am using professiona grade Hardware encoder cards, As I don't have the time to wait for a file to be encoded Nor my clients willing to pay for such exessive computer time ;)
But learning how to get the maximum out of TmpgEnc you will do wonders.

If it's only 1:1 VHS to DVD convertion you might want to look at Set-Top DVD recorders such as the Panasonic DMR-E20 or Pioneer somthing-7000.

17th March 2002, 06:19
Today's software-based MPEG2 video encoders, more specifically TMPGEnc and CCE, do an incredible job encoding video with fairly strict bitrate limitations. This is easily demonstrated when converting a DVD to SVCD as the SVCD has a max mpeg2 video bitrate of roughly 2.5mbps but the SVCD output quality is most typically indistinguishable from the original DVD if the process is done correctly.

That said, the original DVD disc usually contains very clean progressive video, which is generally easier on the mpeg2 encoder than say, crappy quality and interlaced VHS video :) . Even so, I speculate that TMPGEnc or CCE could still do a near-perfect job at encoding the captured VHS video, encoding the static and all, with an average bitrate of perhaps 3.5mbps and a max bitrate of 6mbps. I suppose that a pixel-for-pixel duplicate of the source video is very-near impossible, but for all resonable standards....

The more complex question is filtering. Some gentle filtering techniques may actually improve not just the viewability of the video but also improve the accuracy of the video data; perhaps 9 pixels will be made more accurate for every 1 pixel that is made slightly-less accurate, although all of the changes will probably 'seem' more accurate and make the video more pleasing to the eye. If you are going to still 'have' those VHS tapes in storage, then just very very mild filtering would be very tempting and as a side effect, it should be easier on the video encoder which again helps to maintain accuracy.

Let us know what you decide to do.


27th August 2002, 19:05
This question for Scuba: Do you have the name of your video capture card, and also what is the average time for encoding (ex: 2hrs home movie).fps in NTSC standard 29.97fps?

Thanks for your help.