View Full Version : Expert Advise/Mini DV to DVD Quality Control!!!

9th May 2003, 07:01
Hello all. Far from an expert. I thought once "digital" the quality of the source could not change. Well I have a Sony Mini DV camcorder TRV-17 that I recorded footage one with a brand new tape, quality is great during playback.
When I link the camcorder up to my computer and through firewire on my windows xp system, i get a prompt to make a dvd with either windows movie maker 2, ulead dvd movie factory 2 or sonic my dvd that my pioneer ao4 came with.
I recently used "record dvd project" w/ ulead dvd movie factory 2, edited, etc and the quality was pretty good, close to source, but not exact.
Then I tried using TMPGEnc to convert the mpeg ulead movie maker 2 saved into mpeg 2 and the burned quality was MUCH worse, worse than VHS.
I haven't tried comparing to making a wmv file w/ windows movie maker 2, then converting to mpeg2 w/ Tmpenc yet, etc, but I assume same results?
I thought if the source is good, once onto your hard drive, etc and digital, the source can't get worse, but it did?!
Has anyone else had this happen? More importantly, can anyone suggest the BEST method of taking footage from a mini DV tape and uploading it to your computer so you can burn onto a blank DVD with the same quality of the source? PLEASE advise.

9th May 2003, 10:12
The data is exactly the same if you copy it. Every transformation you do is that, a transformation.
You have said that you have converted DV to MPEG2 data first. The size changes, and the quality too (although it should not be very visible).
But after that, you take this MPEG2 data and convert it another time to MPEG2. Why?
MPEG2, the DVD and SVCD format, is suitable for storage, but not for editing. Every time you do an encode, you lose quality. Why you do an encode over a previous encode?
If you want to compare the quality of the different encoders, do always the test over the original data (DV).

9th May 2003, 10:17
You will never have the same quality on a DVD than the source, because you are doing a transformation.
If you compress from DV to WMV, and then from WMV to MPEG2, you will have bad quality too.
You must compress to MPEG2 directly from DV.

If you want to use Tmpgenc to compress (don't know why if ulead already gives you MPEG2 and you say quality is good) then you must export your video to DV (if you edit it, if you don't edit, only get the original DV file). If you export to DV, result will be an exact copy of the original (except where you have added titles, transitions or effects, of course).

Anyway, this post should go to the DV section, it is not related to video capture!

9th May 2003, 12:19
Moved to DV.

9th May 2003, 16:27
Thank you, moderator asked for to try this forum and dv, done.

9th May 2003, 16:36
Ok I think I understand I must transfer data from camcorder to computer onto DV or mpeg2 (same thing?) to not loose quality, but where do i do that and can anyone suggest the best program or setting for this transfer? I do have ulead movie maker 2, sonic my dvd and windows movie maker 2. Thanks.

9th May 2003, 16:44
Not same thing
DV is the format used internally by the video camera, so you'll hava no lose of quality when getting a DV file (1:1 copy), but it's 25 mbps (about 12 gigs per hour).
MPEG2 is the format used in DVDs and SVCDs.
In SVCDs its 2400 bps. In DVDs it can go more up to 8 or 9000.
Doing that transformation from DV to MPEG2 is when you lose quality.
If you transform again from MPEG2 to another format (for example another time to MPEG2) you lose more quality.

I don't have a DV camera, so I can't tell you the best way to get a DV file, but any of the programs you say should be able to grab and export to a DV file without problems.

Anyway, they can also export to MPEG2, so you have two options:

-Export to DV, that makes a 1:1 copy without quality lose that you can recompress to MPEG2 with, for example tmpgenc to write to DVD.

-Export to MPEG2 from the program. Then, you can write it directly to DVD.

If you want to make SVCD, video must be scaled to 480x576 PAL or 480x480 NTSC.

If you want to make DVD, video must be 720x576/480, ort you can scale to 352x576/480 to make smaller files (fit more video on a DVD). Anyway, you must then use an authoring program before burning.

9th May 2003, 20:17
Thank you very much! Ok, I am fairly clear now exept I guess how to transfer my data 1:1 to computer as DV? Is that a setting I must change to when uploading the content from mini dv camcorder to computer through firewire? Do I have to change some setting to upload to DV so I get a 1:1 copy with no quality loss?
I thougth DV and Mpeg2 where the same quality-wise, but not sure now...
AND, if someone can suggest the BEST program to do the transfer from MiniDV straight to DVD without losing quality of the source with little authoring/editing, I would love to know your advise. Again I can use either Moviemaker2, windowsmoviemaker2 or sonic my dvd, not sure if those programs are any good, but it's what i have now...

10th May 2003, 13:59
The DV capturing process just copies the DV file from your camcorder to a DV type-1 or type-2 AVI file, which is huge compared to the MPEG formats. There is no quality loss (provided that no transmission errors occur, but that should not happen in a proper setup) during this copy operation.

There are many options to encode the video to MPEG-2; some result in a better quality, some are worse. Very good encoders are Cinemacraft Encoder (CCE), TMPGEnc, and Canopus Procoder. To get good results your conversion towards a good-looking DVD or SVCD is a multistep process, with filtering involved. The resulting quality depends on many factors, among which is the interlaced vs. progressive encoding method. For best results encode the audio separately, and encode the video served through AviSynth. But that's not beginners stuff.

Clearly: Getting good quality MPEG-2 encodes from DV sources is [B]not[B] a one-click process.

As resizing, filtering and decent audio conversion is included in TMPGEnc, you may want to start with this one. You can use one of the standard DVD templates for the settings; feed your DV AVI in, and you should get good results. If your source is interlaced, make sure you use the correct field order (DV is bottom field first). If you don't have a DVD authoring program, you may use IfoEdit (free, has basic authoring included).

If you do everything right, it should be almost impossible to tell the difference to the original DV source; at least when watched on a TV set.


11th May 2003, 05:59
Thanks for the input everyone. I guess once I export to DVD or DV option on authoring software, that's the best my quality will be.