DVD Recorder vs Desktop PC with DVD Burner

Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

I have tons of VHS and S-VHS home video tapes going back to 1986.
These tapes include my marriage, the birth of my children, etc. Point
being that they are precious to me. My goal is simply to digitize and
preserve them with little to no loss in audio or video quality.
Sometime in the future, I will edit the archived video.

I have a powerful PC with a top notch video card and firewire; however,
the more I read about successful burning, the more confused I get.

Recently, I purchased a LiteOn DVD recorder. It has front inputs that
accept firewire, S-VHS, or RCA inputs. In other words, I can hook my
camcorder directly to the burner. At the highest quality setting, one
hour of video can be placed on a DVD. I tested the unit with one tape
and the resulting burned DVD appeared to meet my needs. Then again, my
TV is not that great. I'm concerned that when I get a new HDTV, I may
see the error of my ways.
I welcome all suggestions. What is the set up I need?
14 answers Last reply
More about recorder desktop burner
  1. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    MD wrote:
    > I have tons of VHS and S-VHS home video tapes going back to 1986.
    > These tapes include my marriage, the birth of my children, etc. Point
    > being that they are precious to me. My goal is simply to digitize and
    > preserve them with little to no loss in audio or video quality.
    > Sometime in the future, I will edit the archived video.
    >
    > I have a powerful PC with a top notch video card and firewire;
    > however, the more I read about successful burning, the more confused
    > I get.
    >
    > Recently, I purchased a LiteOn DVD recorder. It has front inputs that
    > accept firewire, S-VHS, or RCA inputs. In other words, I can hook my
    > camcorder directly to the burner. At the highest quality setting, one
    > hour of video can be placed on a DVD. I tested the unit with one tape
    > and the resulting burned DVD appeared to meet my needs. Then again,
    > my TV is not that great. I'm concerned that when I get a new HDTV, I
    > may see the error of my ways.
    > I welcome all suggestions. What is the set up I need?


    Having an HDTV set will not make your old VHS tapes appear better. As a
    matter of fact, you will be disappointed at how poor the quality will appear
    when it gets upsampled (converted) from standard definition to high
    definition. The quality you see right now is about as good as it's going to
    get.
    Having said that, one thing you might want to consider buying is a Canopus
    ADVC-300. It's not cheap but it's arguably the best box out there for
    improving the quality of old VHS & SVHS tapes. More info on this box at
    http://www.canopus.us/US/Products/ADVC300/pm_advc300.asp

    Mike
  2. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    "MD" <mdindestin@cs.com> wrote in message
    news:1107223261.898733.127040@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >I have tons of VHS and S-VHS home video tapes going back to 1986.
    > These tapes include my marriage, the birth of my children, etc. Point
    > being that they are precious to me. My goal is simply to digitize and
    > preserve them with little to no loss in audio or video quality.
    > Sometime in the future, I will edit the archived video.
    >
    > I have a powerful PC with a top notch video card and firewire; however,
    > the more I read about successful burning, the more confused I get.
    >
    > Recently, I purchased a LiteOn DVD recorder. It has front inputs that
    > accept firewire, S-VHS, or RCA inputs. In other words, I can hook my
    > camcorder directly to the burner. At the highest quality setting, one
    > hour of video can be placed on a DVD. I tested the unit with one tape
    > and the resulting burned DVD appeared to meet my needs. Then again, my
    > TV is not that great. I'm concerned that when I get a new HDTV, I may
    > see the error of my ways.
    > I welcome all suggestions. What is the set up I need?
    >
    If you really believe that you want to edit then later then burning to DVD
    isn't going to give the desired end result. Making copies on DV would
    make more sense. DV can be easily loaded into a computer for later
    editing. The problem with DVDs is that they are MPEG-2 encoded at
    very high compression. It's truly remarkable that it looks as good as it
    does, considering the compression. The problem is the way delta
    compression works.

    In Mpeg-2, as used on a DVD, most frames don't have a full image on
    them. They only have parts of the image that are moving or changing.
    There are "I" frames every so often that are complete frames. They
    tend to happen when sop much of the image is changing that a delta
    frame would actually be bigger, or at a pre-determined interval if not
    much is happening.

    This is fine for playback, but not for editing. In order to shuttle
    backwards
    and make edits at will, the editing software would have to build buffers of
    frames between each set of I frames to give you random access.
    Otherwise you wouldn't be able to make cuts except on I frames.
    I'm told that it can be done.

    The other problem is the clincher though. Every time you recompress,
    you loose quality, in much the same manner as you do with VHS. DV
    treats every image as a complete frame so all of the compression takes
    place within each frame. This makes DV much more friendly as an
    editing medium. It would be better to edit the DV and then make the
    DVDs from the edited material.

    You could do a combination. Burn everything to DVDs, but make a DV
    copy of anything that is super important to you. That way you have 2
    backups of the original.

    Are you really going to edit them? If you are then the first step to editing
    is logging all of the tape so you know where various scenes are. You
    might want to log as you do your dubbing. You can remove the shots
    of your feet too :-) I shot half a day at Seaworld where I stopped the
    camera for all of the good parts and rolled on everything else (like
    my feet walking along the sidewalk) not great video, and it doesn't
    deserve to be preserved..

    None of this is going to look very stellar on your new High-Def TV.
    Not even the original VHS.

    David
  3. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    Mike Kujbida wrote:
    .....one thing you might want to consider buying is a Canopus
    > ADVC-300. It's not cheap but it's arguably the best box out there
    for
    > improving the quality of old VHS & SVHS tapes. More info on this box
    at
    > http://www.canopus.us/US/Products/ADVC300/pm_advc300.asp
    >
    > Mike

    I bought one of the first prosumer S-VHS camcorders back in 1986 so my
    old tapes have significantly more lines of horizontal resolution than
    standard VHS tapes. Even so, I suppose the video quality is no better
    than your normal DVD?

    Also, a few years ago I purchased a dedicated JVC HR-S7600U VCR because
    it claimed to improve old tapes using Digital TBC/NR plus it has an
    S-VHS input to maintain the higher quality of the S-VHS tapes I used.
    The reviews back up their statement, but I read once that the VCR may
    only improve the tapes on playback and will not pass the improved
    signal through to DV. If that's the case, I will need to spend the
    money on the canopus. I need to do more research.
  4. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    > If you really believe that you want to edit then later then burning
    to DVD
    > isn't going to give the desired end result. Making copies on DV would
    > make more sense. DV can be easily loaded into a computer for later
    > editing.

    That's good news because I purchased one of the first Sony camcorders
    several years ago that digitally record to 8MM tapes and copied the
    oldest tapes at the highest quality settings. I did this by hooking
    the VCR playback machine directly to the camcorder and recording the
    input to the best quality tapes I could find.

    I'm concerned though that these tapes, though digital, are now aging
    and will need to be transferred again. Each time I do it, I may be
    loosing quality and I have no idea how often I should transfer the
    digitized video on the 8mm tapes to new fresh tapes.


    >The problem with DVDs is that they are MPEG-2 encoded at
    > very high compression. It's truly remarkable that it looks as good as
    it
    > does, considering the compression.

    I knew that DVD recording used MPEG-2 compression on the two hour
    setting, but what about using the one hour setting, is it still being
    compressed using MPEG-2?


    > You could do a combination. Burn everything to DVDs, but make a DV
    > copy of anything that is super important to you. That way you have 2
    > backups of the original.

    I previously purchased a 200MB hard drive for video editing and will
    transfer as much of the video that I can to the HD based on your
    advice. The goal will be accomplished, but at the mercy of a hard
    drive not malfunctioning.

    > Are you really going to edit them?

    My wife would find that question amusing since she asks the same thing.


    If you are then the first step to editing
    > is logging all of the tape so you know where various scenes are. You
    > might want to log as you do your dubbing.

    Luckily, I have always handwritten the date on the tape's label when I
    inserted a new tape and again when I filled it up.

    Mark
  5. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    "MD" <mdindestin@cs.com> wrote in message
    news:1107260003.588229.264220@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    >> If you really believe that you want to edit then later then burning
    > to DVD
    >> isn't going to give the desired end result. Making copies on DV would
    >> make more sense. DV can be easily loaded into a computer for later
    >> editing.
    >
    > That's good news because I purchased one of the first Sony camcorders
    > several years ago that digitally record to 8MM tapes and copied the
    > oldest tapes at the highest quality settings. I did this by hooking
    > the VCR playback machine directly to the camcorder and recording the
    > input to the best quality tapes I could find.
    >
    > I'm concerned though that these tapes, though digital, are now aging
    > and will need to be transferred again. Each time I do it, I may be
    > loosing quality and I have no idea how often I should transfer the
    > digitized video on the 8mm tapes to new fresh tapes.
    >
    You shouldn' lose any quality making straight dubs of DV material.
    My only quam about Digital-* (I assume that's what you are talking about.)
    is that Sony will probably drop that format before long. Once your machine
    dies, you may have trouble recovering that information. DV will go away
    eventually too, but it will be a lot longer before you can't faind anywhere
    to dub it for you.

    >>The problem with DVDs is that they are MPEG-2 encoded at
    >> very high compression. It's truly remarkable that it looks as good as
    > it
    >> does, considering the compression.
    >
    > I knew that DVD recording used MPEG-2 compression on the two hour
    > setting, but what about using the one hour setting, is it still being
    > compressed using MPEG-2?
    >
    I'd bet that all of the modes on that thing are MPEG-2. You could capture
    your video as DV and save the DV data to to a data DVD, but It won't be
    as convient to play later as a regular DVD or a DV tape.

    >> You could do a combination. Burn everything to DVDs, but make a DV
    >> copy of anything that is super important to you. That way you have 2
    >> backups of the original.
    >
    > I previously purchased a 200MB hard drive for video editing and will
    > transfer as much of the video that I can to the HD based on your
    > advice. The goal will be accomplished, but at the mercy of a hard
    > drive not malfunctioning.
    >
    That is something to consider. I dropped a drive from 3/4" one time
    and it trashed the drive.

    >> Are you really going to edit them?
    >
    > My wife would find that question amusing since she asks the same thing.
    >
    >
    > If you are then the first step to editing
    >> is logging all of the tape so you know where various scenes are. You
    >> might want to log as you do your dubbing.
    >
    > Luckily, I have always handwritten the date on the tape's label when I
    > inserted a new tape and again when I filled it up.
    >
    What a guy. I don't do very well with just labeling tapes.

    > Mark
    >
  6. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    Converting any video to compressed DVD format results in some loss of
    detail. If you are satisfied with being able to archive and later look at
    your complete one hour DVD's, there is no real problem. But if you ever
    want to edit, you want the closest thing you can get to your original tapes.
    Which you have and presumably will keep.

    If you are looking for the best way to digitize them in preparation for
    editing, you could begin simply copying them over to a digital format like
    DV tape. From then on any copies or edits you make can be "lossless". Big
    hard drives (VERY big) are getting cheap. You could buy a 250 Gig or larger
    external hard drive and put quite a bit of digitized video on a drive and
    keep that as your master for future editing. Hope these thoughts help.
    "MD" <mdindestin@cs.com> wrote in message
    news:1107223261.898733.127040@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > I have tons of VHS and S-VHS home video tapes going back to 1986.
    > These tapes include my marriage, the birth of my children, etc. Point
    > being that they are precious to me. My goal is simply to digitize and
    > preserve them with little to no loss in audio or video quality.
    > Sometime in the future, I will edit the archived video.
    >
    > I have a powerful PC with a top notch video card and firewire; however,
    > the more I read about successful burning, the more confused I get.
    >
    > Recently, I purchased a LiteOn DVD recorder. It has front inputs that
    > accept firewire, S-VHS, or RCA inputs. In other words, I can hook my
    > camcorder directly to the burner. At the highest quality setting, one
    > hour of video can be placed on a DVD. I tested the unit with one tape
    > and the resulting burned DVD appeared to meet my needs. Then again, my
    > TV is not that great. I'm concerned that when I get a new HDTV, I may
    > see the error of my ways.
    > I welcome all suggestions. What is the set up I need?
    >
  7. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    My father always told me that when all else fails, read the
    instructions. The LiteOn manual states that 1,2,3, and 4 hour
    recordings are all encoded using MPEG-2.

    The bitrate on the one hour mode jumps from 5.1Mbps to 9.5Mbps. The
    resolution is 720 x 480 NTSC on both 1 and 2 hours.
  8. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    Nah, your doing just fine. If you really want to you can make the whole
    process fantasticaly complicated. Or, if you just want to preserve VHS
    tapes, you can do what your doing.


    "MD" <mdindestin@cs.com> wrote in message
    news:1107223261.898733.127040@c13g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
    > I have tons of VHS and S-VHS home video tapes going back to 1986.
    > These tapes include my marriage, the birth of my children, etc. Point
    > being that they are precious to me. My goal is simply to digitize and
    > preserve them with little to no loss in audio or video quality.
    > Sometime in the future, I will edit the archived video.
    >
    > I have a powerful PC with a top notch video card and firewire; however,
    > the more I read about successful burning, the more confused I get.
    >
    > Recently, I purchased a LiteOn DVD recorder. It has front inputs that
    > accept firewire, S-VHS, or RCA inputs. In other words, I can hook my
    > camcorder directly to the burner. At the highest quality setting, one
    > hour of video can be placed on a DVD. I tested the unit with one tape
    > and the resulting burned DVD appeared to meet my needs. Then again, my
    > TV is not that great. I'm concerned that when I get a new HDTV, I may
    > see the error of my ways.
    > I welcome all suggestions. What is the set up I need?
    >
  9. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    RS wrote:
    > Nah, your doing just fine. If you really want to you can make the
    whole
    > process fantasticaly complicated. Or, if you just want to preserve
    VHS
    > tapes, you can do what your doing.

    I enjoy computers and home videos so I purchased a Sony DVD burner and
    an ATI X800 video card and naively thought I was ready to begin editing
    and burning.

    When I started reading up on how to transfer the videos to DVD I
    couldn't belive it. There is no standard "hot setup" of software and
    techniques that the majority of people agree on.

    The process is highly technical and it appears it is a herculean task
    to consistently obtain top quality audio and video. I hear the pros
    have as much trouble as the enthusiasts.

    Mark
  10. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    Sometimes everything works and sometimes it doesn't. Just when I think I'm
    beginning to understand the whole thing, I have a big problem and can't
    figure out why except by much trial and error. I believe it's just quite
    difficult to get everything right consistently.

    Jeanne

    > I enjoy computers and home videos so I purchased a Sony DVD burner and
    > an ATI X800 video card and naively thought I was ready to begin editing
    > and burning.
    >
    > When I started reading up on how to transfer the videos to DVD I
    > couldn't belive it. There is no standard "hot setup" of software and
    > techniques that the majority of people agree on.
    >
    > The process is highly technical and it appears it is a herculean task
    > to consistently obtain top quality audio and video. I hear the pros
    > have as much trouble as the enthusiasts.
    >
    > Mark
    >
  11. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    I've been skulking this NG for years trying to decide how to do this as
    well. I was inclined toward the capture boards/boxes but I saw so many
    complaints about them I finally decided to buy a Sonytrv320 and use its
    pass thru mode to digitize old vhs tapes.

    This whole setup was amazingly simple. When I plugged the camera into
    my winxp box a window came up saying it found a new camera and what did
    I want to do. I just went from there.

    Since I didnt' have time to compress I just capture the tape in 18
    minute segments. This created a 3.8GB file that I could just burn
    (uncompressed except for the effect of the Sony DVI).

    Yeah it takes a lot of DVD's and wastes a bit but DVDs are really
    getting cheap lately.

    I was lucky. Somehow my old VHS homemovies from 1980 looked very good
    or else my eyes have aged so much that I can't see the problems.

    I highly recommend the Sony 8mm pass thru method, and you get a nice
    digital cam corder to boot.

    Have fun.

    Don
  12. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    <<<This whole setup was amazingly simple. When I plugged the camera
    into
    my winxp box a window came up saying it found a new camera and what did

    I want to do. I just went from there. Since I didnt' have time to
    compress I just capture the tape in 18 minute segments. This created a
    3.8GB file that I could just burn>>>>

    You mentioned DVI fils, but it sounds like you're using Windows Movie
    Maker and capturing your videos as AVI files, is that correct?

    This sounds like a good option as we can burn to DVD instead of filling
    up hard drive space. Also, we can archive and preserve the digital
    files and edit and burn them to a DVD in MPEG-2 at a later date. Like
    you say, DVD's are cheap (less than 40 cents each).
  13. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    <<<<Having an HDTV set will not make your old VHS tapes appear better.
    As a matter of fact, you will be disappointed at how poor the quality
    will appear
    when it gets upsampled (converted) from standard definition to high
    definition. The quality you see right now is about as good as it's
    going to
    get.>>>>>

    I've read recently where the upconversion process for other sources
    like DVD works very well with excellent results achieved.

    In my situation, my original source tapes were not standard vhs tapes
    with 240 lines of resolution but S-VHS with 400 line of resolution.
    These tapes look very good and were transferred directly to digital
    format.

    You indicated that the upconversion will be a disapointment. Why is
    that?

    Mark


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    mdindestin
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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  14. Archived from groups: rec.video.desktop (More info?)

    "mdindestin" wrote ...
    > You indicated that the upconversion will be a disapointment.
    > Whis that?

    The obvious answer is that upconverted material always
    fares worse compared to the native higher-res format.
    Same holds for audio, video, etc. Both because of the
    native res, and because of the artifacts of conversion.
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