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Old 07-19-2009, 05:31 PM
 
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Is it possible for me to transfer the videos that I have on mini-DV videotapes to a DVD? Would the content of one 60 minute mini-dv fit on a DVD? I have about 30 or so that I'd like to transfer all to DVD. I know there are external services that do this but I'd like to save some bucks. I'd be doing this via PC. Thanks
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:42 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
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I assume that those mini tapes were all made with a video camera that uses those mini DV tapes ?
If so, and you still have that camera, take a look a the camera and see if it has a port on it that is made for the Firewire transfer system.
This transfer system is also called *I-Link* (for the Sony cameras), or the IEEE port.
You also need a driver so your computer will recognise your camera.
Next you need to know if your camera needs a four to 6 wire or a six to six wire.
If you still have a CD that came with the camera, the driver and some software maybe on it.

If you do not have the camera, uhmm ..... borrow one and the person who you borrowed it from may have all the equipment to transfer the files.

If it does not have that port, you may have a USB port that can do the same thing.

If you tell me what camera you have now, by any chance, maybe I can look up the manual and help you from there.

Here a link to read up on:
http://www.topvideopro.com/burn-dvd/...d.htm#tutorial

Last edited by irman; 07-19-2009 at 08:12 PM..
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Old 07-19-2009, 07:59 PM
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Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
Would the content of one 60 minute mini-dv fit on a DVD? I have about 30 or so that I'd like to transfer all to DVD.
I've had services put analog tapes on DVD. The services can fit 2 hours of video on a DVD.
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Old 07-20-2009, 05:48 AM
 
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Just a couple of notes,

Quote:
Originally Posted by irman View Post
You also need a driver so your computer will recognise your camera.
Firewire (AKA I-link or IEEE1394) is plug and play for camcorders.

Quote:
Next you need to know if your camera needs a four to 6 wire or a six to six wire.
Most cams will have a 4 pin port and the computer will have a 6 pin port so you will need a 4 to 6 pin cable in most cases. Just get whatever you need. The 4 pin port looks similar to a USB port but it will probably be labeled DV. In case you're wondering with the 6 pin port the additional pins can carry power to power small devices. Since the cam is self powered it doesn't utilize them. So 4 to 6, 4 to 4 or 6 to 6 will work, again it really depends on what you have on the cam and computer but it will most likely need a 4 to 6 pin cable.





Quote:
If it does not have that port, you may have a USB port that can do the same thing.
If it's a DV cam it will have a firewire port, the USB is not be used for video transfer and is for transferring pictures from a memmory card for those cams that have still capabilities. Video over the USB port is generally of web quality and much lower by many magnitudes of the quality over firewire. When you transfer DV over firewire it's essentially like copying a file. The stream is a bit for bit copy of what's on tape.

If you don't have a firewire port on your computer you can pick a firewire PCI card up at any computer place for about $15. You'll also need the cable not included with the cam. The card is an easy installation, just plug it into the slot and windows will take care of the rest.

Quote:
I've had services put analog tapes on DVD. The services can fit 2 hours of video on a DVD.
How much you can fit on DVD depends on the (bitrate X length) alone. You can fit up to about 8 hours within the DVD spec. The trouble is the more you try to get on there the lower the quality is becuse you need to lower the bitrate. The next issue is home video is usually hand held footage, analog is usually noisy.... Both of these will eat bitrate for lunch so you should be using a higher bitrate of about 8000kbps which will get you one hour on a single sided DVD.

For 2 hours you need to drop the bitrate to half that. 4000 is the lower limit using the highest resolution DVD. Once you go below that you need to drop the resolution because the macroblocking becomes substantial.


-------Edit--------

Once you have the hardware squared away you'll need some software. If you're looking go cheap as possible try Ulead Movie Maker, it will go from transfer to DVD and doesn't cost that much. It utilizes the maniconcept mpeg encoder so encoding quality is very good.

If you're looking for free you'll need a few tools for each step, I can provide that info if needed.
Attached Thumbnails
Transfer of video from Mini DV to DVD-1394.gif  

Last edited by thecoalman; 07-20-2009 at 05:59 AM..
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:15 AM
 
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Thanks everyone. I do have the original camcorder, and I do have a Firewire port on my PC. I also have Adobe Premiere Elements--so this would be as simple as connecting the camcorder to my PC via Firewire and transferring to DVD via Premiere Elements? Or do I even need to use the software? I'm hoping the quality won't be any worse after the content is transferred to DVD. My main question is really would all of the content from one tape fit on one DVD? Seems that it would? THanks.
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Old 07-20-2009, 07:35 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobeanyer View Post
I also have Adobe Premiere Elements--
I've never used it but that should be all you need, one thing to get you started make sure you are transferring as DV-AVI. The file will be between 13 and 14gigs for one hour. Plug the cam in and turn it to on using VCR/Playback mode. You should get the familiar "dunk" that a new device is found, it should be listed under "My Computer" as camcorder. Open the software and you should be able to start transferring. You control the cam using the software.

Quote:
so this would be as simple as connecting the camcorder to my PC via Firewire and transferring to DVD via Premiere Elements?
Elements should have everything you need but I'm not familiar with it. consumer packages like that always have the basic tools though.


Quote:
Or do I even need to use the software? I'm hoping the quality won't be any worse after the content is transferred to DVD. My main question is really would all of the content from one tape fit on one DVD?
You're going to be encoding it from DV-AVI to DVD compliant MPEG. There is always a loss of quality when you convert from one format to a another. Having said that lossi minimal and if looks worse than what you have playing directly from the cam you did something wrong.

Get yourself a RW DVD, do a couple a test runs with some short segments to familiarize yourself with the process and always view your tests on a TV. Do not rely on the playback on the monitor whether it looks good or bad as their is variety of reasons what you see on monitor is not what you'll see on a TV.

Yes you can easily fit 1 hour on a DVD and many more if you want. ! hour should be your target for home video but if you want to experiment with lower bitrates go for it.

----------------

If you want to do this right... Go get a external drive, transfer the footage to this drive as DV-AVI. Take your tapes to a relatives house so you'll have one copy on the tape in different location and another on the drive. This will prevent catastrophic loss of the material which is one thing few people think about. Never get rid of these tapes. The drive will basically be a library of source material, you never actually do anything to it but use it for source materiel in projects to create other files.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:22 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
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@coalman:
Would you recommend a specific software to do the editing on these movies ?
I tried MS movie maker, but it is somewhat limited.
I am specifically looking for software that can *join*, *split*, and add intros.

TIA

IR
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:36 AM
 
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Ulead (now corel) has a nice line of consumer products. One is called Video Studio and another called Movie Factory. Each will go from capture to burn.

Video studio has more of a focus on video editing and has a lot of advanced features in the editor component. Movie Factory focuses on disc authoring and will have more features for creating discs but limited editing capabilities.

The consumer apps have come a long way, those two above might cost you $150 together and are nearly as good as the $1K worth of software I purchased 5 years ago.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:28 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
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@Caolman:
Thanks, will try the first one.

IR
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
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Quote:
If it's a DV cam it will have a firewire port, the USB is not be used for video transfer and is for transferring pictures from a memmory card for those cams that have still capabilities. Video over the USB port is generally of web quality and much lower by many magnitudes of the quality over firewire. When you transfer DV over firewire it's essentially like copying a file. The stream is a bit for bit copy of what's on tape.
The statement about USB is not true - at least with my Sony mini-DV camcorder. It is a digital stream with the same data content as the 1394 stream. My old computer dropped some frames using USB - possibly because the 1394 simply outperformed it.

As for the original issue - Adobe Premiere will of course do the job. So will MS Movie Maker. Movie Maker is more capable than many people believe. It can trim, splice, join, add titles, etc. Switch the view from story board to timeline or filmstrip and it will behave much more like other video editors.

I suggest also Sony Vegas Studio as a better choice than Ulead or Pinnacle. The Sony product is typically bundled with DVD Architect for about $90. DVD Architect does a nice job creating DVDs with titles, chapters, and menus.
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