[MacDV] Video project - VHS to DVD to DV to DVD

Mark O'Brien rmobrien at mac.com
Fri Sep 17 07:57:53 PDT 2004

On 9/16/04 8:26 AM, "Robert L. Vaessen" <rvaessen at mac.com> wrote:

> As my project is already past Step 2, I do not plan to back up and
> perform Step 2 over again. I do not have the money to purchase a DV
> capable video camera (with Analog in Digital out capability) at this
> time.

Robert, if you care about the quality of your final product, I strongly urge
you to reconsider. If you can, just borrow a DV camcorder for the capture
process. The reason is not only that it will take many fewer steps to get to
an edited DVD, but that you will be working with the highest quality format
(DV) you can reasonably expect to get off the original VHS tapes using
consumer technology.

When you converted them directly to DVD, the video was compressed into MPEG2
format. Consider that a DVD-R can hold 4.7GB of data, and iMovie/iDVD in its
highest quality compression can fit 60 minutes of video in that space
(including menus, etc.). 60 minutes of DV captured from a MiniDV or Digital8
cassette takes up about 13GB on your hard drive. You can see there's some
compression (i.e. losing data) to go from DV to DVD(MPEG2).

While it's true you can extract the video from the DVD you've already made,
and get it into a format iMovie or QuickTime can work with, you've already
lost a lot of data. Then, once you've done the editing, you'll end up
compressing it *again* in iDVD. It's not quite the same thing as the
generational loss you'd experience in making copies of copies of copies in
VHS, but the effect is similar - you compound the data loss.

Hey, made in 1984??? This is a historical artifact! Make the best output you
can! :-)


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