I want to convert a few old movies I have that are only available on VHS (and some old family tapes, kid’s football games, etc.) The longest video (a movie) is 1:44:13 – but at some point in the future I may need a 2+ hour movie. I obviously want the highest quality DVD video possible (for varying movie lengths) but I don’t want to have to acquire an engineering degree to get it.
I have a little WinTV USB2 gizmo that works like a champ. I rip MPG files of various sizes/qualities (“standard”, “high-quality”, etc.) - easy peasy. (I assume it’s MPEG-1, but possibly MPEG-2 inside the MPG file.) This has been sufficient over the last decade but at this point I’m rolling up my sleeves to get those 3 to 7 gig MPG files converted to standard playable DVDs. It’s a quest. (Perfectly timed to be outdated by Blue-ray technology – but that battle is yet to be scoped, much less fought. I’ll save all the source VHS for future ripping to highest quality possible within the relaxed constraints of that medium for the future. Right now it’s all about DVD.)
After a meticulously planned and thorough study of the various applications (that lasted a duration of < 3min via Google) I concluded Any Video Converter was the way to go to get those MPG files to DVDs. But now I’m second guessing the great research work I’ve done (as I’m waiting for over 2 hours for AVC to “convert” an MPG file, and having no idea if it’s actually going to write to disc or how and if it knows how to right-size the source for optimal quality within the fixed DVD media size – or what quality MPG file I should create to begin with?) I’m thinking taping into the Borg with its vast wealth of information and hard won experience is a much more humane way to go about solving this life event.
I don’t suppose larger minds can give the A, B, C treasure map on how to “best” solve this conundrum? (App, settings, key info?) Note: I also have DVD Decrypter & CloneDVD2 (God bless’em) but I don’t think that gets me anywhere with MPG, unless I find an intermediary app to convert the MPG file to an ISO or multiple VOB. (Perhaps that is the easiest approach?) I don’t need editing, or merging, but the inclusion of chapters would be a very nice function to have as well for navigation – vs. having to sit on the FF button for a long time.
I can download a bunch of apps and try them. 20 years ago nothing could be more interesting, but so many of you have already traveled this path and can cut to the chase with aplomb.
I humbly acquiesce to your domain, and thank you for your input. Cheers!
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Just buy a DVD recorder and feed the output of a VCR into that. Anything else is going to require you to do more work and learning than I think you really want to do.
Do NOT buy a DVD recorder/VCR combo unit! Buy a separate DVD recorder. If you have any problems getting your tapes to record, you'll have to research what a TBC is and get one of those to place between the VCR and DVD recorder.
I assume you captured the tape video to some form of MPEG on your PC. As DB83 suggested, the free MediaInfo tool will give you (and us) definite specs on what you captured. And please note: you didn't "rip" the tape, you captured it. http://www.videohelp.com/glossary?R#Rip http://www.videohelp.com/glossary?C#Capture
As jman98 says, if your research ambitions flag out after 3 minutes, you're a good candidate for a DVD recorder. In the USA these are few and far between, with Magnavox marketing the favored models nowadays. It makes sense to feed your VCR into it rather than use the VCR that comes with DVD/VCR combo units; those players are the pits, but the DVD section is at least decent. Many members would say the "best" way is to capture to lossless AVI, do some cleanup, then encode and author to MPEG2 for DVD. But that's a lot of work, more than you can imagine at this point.
BluRay players can play DVD. If you're worried about future technology (who isn't?), archive your original captures or recordings to an external hard drive. It's possible to make slight improvements in VHS captures using newer encoders; but as-is, MPEG1/2 isn't BluRay compatible and lacks the resolution that higher-res sources have in order to force them to look like BluRay. For that matter, VHS looks like VHS; they won't look like DVD, but they can most definitely be improved.
Beyond this, no one could offer more detail without at least some MediaInfo specs. The tool's report can be copied as text and posted in the forum.
Last edited by sanlyn; 8th Mar 2013 at 15:53.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
Yeah, the AnyVideoConverter5 “converted” the mpg file ..to another mpg file, then failed to write the file to a DVD. (I guess I should have paid closer attention to the app name… I also have Nero 188.8.131.52, but I don’t think it gets me anything for the task at hand.)
MediaInfo. This is from a smaller file that fit onto the DVD vs. the best capture possible from my little WinTV unit.
General Complete name : C:\Temp\_Ant-3_20130307_205940.mpg Format : MPEG-PS File size : 3.99 GiB Duration : 1h 44mn Overall bit rate mode : Variable Overall bit rate : 5 494 Kbps Video ID : 224 (0xE0) Format : MPEG Video Format version : Version 2 Format profile : Main@Main Format settings, BVOP : Yes Format settings, Matrix : Custom Format settings, GOP : M=3, N=15 Duration : 1h 44mn Bit rate mode : Variable Bit rate : 5 001 Kbps Maximum bit rate : 6 200 Kbps Width : 720 pixels Height : 480 pixels Display aspect ratio : 4:3 Frame rate : 29.970 fps Standard : NTSC Color space : YUV Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0 Bit depth : 8 bits Scan type : Interlaced Scan order : Top Field First Compression mode : Lossy Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.483 Time code of first frame : 00:00:00:00 Time code source : Group of pictures header Stream size : 3.63 GiB (91%) Audio ID : 192 (0xC0) Format : MPEG Audio Format version : Version 1 Format profile : Layer 2 Duration : 1h 44mn Bit rate mode : Constant Bit rate : 384 Kbps Channel(s) : 2 channels Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz Compression mode : Lossy Delay relative to video : -111ms Stream size : 286 MiB (7%)
I also installed AVStoDVD (“standard” install – about 5 different apps). As mentioned, I had already captured various MPG quality levels (read: file sizes) and had to select the one that was not too big for the DVD, fair enough, but nothing dynamic or right-sized, so I’ll just have to “know” what level to capture at, which is tough because I have to capture the entire VHS real time before I’ll know how big the file is, but it works, auto chapters and everything - bada bing, bada boom! You solved my problem. I now have a DVD!
Thank you all for the ..Video Help! Nice work.
may i offer a suggestion
capture everything at the 5k to 6k basic rate setting
process your file as if to make a DL 8.5gigb dvd disc
if the resulting dvd folder is too large say 6gb
you can run it through DVDshrink, use the "deep analysis" before doing the shrink pass
this will give you a higher quality final product, than trying too tune your capture quality/rate to match the run time of the video
you might consider a DL burner and using DL discs and your files won't have too be 4gb or less
Here are my options. The only thing I can do is capture one mode at a time and create an MPG file for each and see what I get 1:44:13 later. I don’t know what the discrete settings are for each of these options.
What I did already was capture the following:
1.) “DVD Standard Play”, resulting in a MPG file 5,421,000 KB. (What else would my first guess be?)
This resulted in AVStoDVD balking with some red numbers in a calc (presumably signifying “N”,”O”, “Nuh-uh” - although I did not try it for fear of a wrecked blank DVD.)
2.) “DVD Long Play”, resulting in a MPG file 4,185,584 KB, with no red numbers calced in AVStoDVD. This file is the spec numbers posted above. This is the file used in a pretty decent DVD that works fine. But - in for a penny, in for a pound - I’m willing to take this all the way and do head-to-head comparisons in resultant DVDs.
So – first thought is to ramp it up big with the “MPEG2 HQ (CBR)” option – whatever that is – and use DVDShrink to stuff it somehow onto a DVD, but more sober minds must prevail. … Your sober minds; I’ve had a load of scotch. What would you do here? Which capture mode is “best” before using DVDShrink?
The problem is that those hauppuage settings do not tell us much.
I suspect, but your manual should confirm, that it is using the following bit-rates:
Standard Play - maximum 9,200 kbps or approx1 hour per single dvd (4 gig)
Long Play - maximim 6,200 kps or approx 90 minutes per dvd
Extra Long Play - maximum 4,000 kbps or approx 2 hours per dvd.
If you saw these term in a dvd-recorder they would mean something else.
The audio could also be recorded with different codecs for each profile. Mp2 as used above uses less space than LPCM. So you are getting more than the above approximations.
Keep to the dvd settings as they are producing dvd-compliant mpeg2 video which will not be re-encoded so you will not lose any quality with avs2dvd. DVdShrink is an option but you will lose some quality in the re-encoding so it is always better if you can gauage the file size and choose the appropiate profile first.
One reason why analog is captured to lossless AVI and cleaned up before re-encode is because typical VHS noise increases bitrate requirements by 25%, usually more. To the noise add the usual amateur photographer's zooms, pans, and kids jumping all over the place, and bitrate starvation soon sets in. The original tape would probably look better. But that's the way people like it.
Isn't there alternative capture software that might lend a little more precision to this process?Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
#1 i would not burn using avstodvd, just use it to produce a dvd folder
#2 i set avstodvd for 8.5 gb , even when authoring a single layer disc
i have avs setup to use qnec cbr 5000, as default
try the recording the same video at different settings, like std and HQ
view both mpg2 files before authoring
author both folders, using avstodvd on the 8.5 DL size
they will only be as big as the coding requires, you are only setting the max disc size
view both with vlc, before shrinking, then view them both again after shrinking
you can use imgburn to create the disc using the folder you like best
quality is not just a matter of how much data is present, it is subjective to the eye and mind
a vhs analog tape contains a finite amount of data, capturing at a higher bitrate then recoding mainly looses 'empty' extra data without sacrificing quality
IMO deep analysis and recoding produce a better quality with the lower bit rate
than a straight on the fly capture at a lower bitrate
this will take a little time, extra effort, for this 'testing', but once you compare and decide, you will have a system in place and can use it and know what to expect for the quality of the finished dvd
Last edited by theewizard; 9th Mar 2013 at 12:53.
I buy your logic Wizard. You wouldn’t believe the paths and idiocy of effort I just took, but eventually I ran the larger MPG file through at DVD-9.4, and the resultant directory (shrunken with DVDShrink “deep analysis”) is still 4.88 GB, so it’s just a bridge too far with this particular VHS and tools. I was all fired up last night but now my jets are powered down and I’m out of the game coach.
So basically this video is analogous to what happened here – the first gap is me actually creating a workable DVD last night, with everyone’s help, and the second ramp is me flailing around this morning, hung-over, trying to do something technical beyond my capabilities.
Thanks again for everyone’s contributions!
with dvdshrink you can do custom compression,
you can adjust the slider until the video is down to 4.2 gb
you could also split the mpeg file in two, and create to dvd's ... pt-1 & pt-2
need some one more knowledgeable here, but iirc vhs std is either 640*480 or 320*240
not sure which
but ... if analog vhs frame std is 320*240, you could change your capture settings
and greatly reduce file size with out reducing bitrate
320*240 has 1/4 the number of pixels as 640*480
just something to check into, its still dvd compliant video
VHS does not have a fixed resolution as it is analog. It is generally accepted that the resolution equivalent is about 320x240 pixels. Yes dvd does support lower resolutions but I seem to recall compatibility issues with some standalone players. It would not be worth the effort nowadays to capture at any resolution less then D1 720x480 for NTSC. It would be better to split with video onto two dvds.
I'm with loster. And if anyone wonders, the DVD SD spec accepts 720x480, 704x480, 352x480 (lower quality). 352x240 can be used, but not interlaced, can be encoded as MPEG2 but is usually the format for MPEG1.
Why peo0ple are obsessed with cramming hours of video onto a disc is beyond me. They complain about the low PQ of VHS, then they make digital video that looks worse. Beats me.
The PAL and NTSC DVD specs are here: http://www.videohelp.com/dvd#techOur inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau
take it from a 65 yr old tech that got out of it many yrs ago
its 'LINES', analog is scan lines
scan lines as in old 'raster' mode tv cameras and crt screens
horizontal scan lines 240 per feild, 480 for std interlace broadcast video
the width of the line across the screen is analyous to '352' if it were divided by the same demension/distance covered by the height
and yes an analog scan line can hold more picture information than 352 pixels can
just as a 35mm print frame can form a better picture than a 16 mega pixel digital camera
Last edited by theewizard; 11th Mar 2013 at 12:25.
I remember a showing at the USC School of Cinema and there was a stoppage about 20min in and the entire crowd chanted and stood up and demanded the poor projectionist start the whole thing over from the beginning. It was an overwhelming majority. The point is, you have some people out there who demand continuity well above a smidge better image quality. To be sure.
To each his own.
As far as your second sentence assertion, obviously no one said any of that in this thread, to support your axe grinding.
Besides, you must have never been a sales guy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FL7yD-0pqZg : )
dl discs and burner have been mentioned previously
the OP did not tespond to that sugesstion, apparently it is not in the budget
although this is by far the best way to transfer with maximum quality for the longer videos