Greetings experts: killer website. I have a Magnavox ZV427MG9 DVD recorder/VCR (line-in recording, no tuner). I want to transfer multiple short term (10-20 minutes) VHS home made movies to DVD. Which DVD format must I use? I don't necessarily need to rewrite them, simple record. Obviously, for efficiency reasons, I don't want to use a 1 DVD for 1 short movie. The Owner's manual is confusing, as imagined for a newbie. I apologize if my question is in wrong Forum section. Thanks.
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Among several methods for transferring old home-made VHS videos to DVD, using a DVD/VCR combo is among the lowest-quality methods. But since your mind is made up after having browsed several recent and current threads in this forum on exactly the same subject (they show up at about 2 per week or so), you can record up to 90 minutes of those episodes as DVD, or about 2 hours max. This will give you 720x480 MPEG2 (DVD) or 720x576 if you're in PAL country, at bitrates of about 6200 VBR (better) or 4600 VBR respectively (4600 will do until you get noisy tapes and lots of motion, in which case the noise and motion smear will look worse than it would at the 90-minute or the "best" 1-hour rate). You can probably record more time than that for a standard DVD disc, in which case your recorder will use lower bitrates and get worse quality. Your recorder will determine the bitrate based on the recording time you specify.
Your Magnavox was made by Funai. Pretty much the same unit shows up with Toshiba and other brand labels, but they are still Funai products. The "big names" haven't made DVD recorders or VCRs for years.
For more comments on a similar matter, try this thread from earlier today:
Last edited by sanlyn; 5th Sep 2013 at 11:49.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
There's no reason that you can't try to do what you propose and put multiple home movies on a DVD. sanlyn has given you the rough guidelines. Please do NOT save your final copies to DVD-RW or DVD+RW as you may not know this but you need to be aware that RW discs are NOT designed for long term storage. If you want copies to keep forever (or a very very long time) then you need to burn to DVD+/-R discs.
Verbatim makes the best easily obtainable DVD media these days for US people unless you want to order Taiyo Yuden online. With Verbatim, just avoid their cheap "Life" series and everything else they make is golden. I'd really advise you to use Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden discs rather than being cheap because the cheaper discs don't last.
Note that if there are various imperfections in your source video tapes that your DVD recorder may falsely interpret the tapes as being Macrovision protected and refuse to record them. This problem CANNOT be fixed in a VCR/DVD recorder combo unit and can only be fixed by having separate units and putting a TBC (time base corrector) between them.
Finally, the truth is that most people just want to get their tapes copied to DVD and not have it turn out horrible. A lot of our members get carried away with complicated, time consuming and sometimes expensive capture and encode methods that most people have no desire to do. As long as your combo unit doesn't refuse to record your tapes, what you propose is certainly doable. The Magnavox units are fairly good and in my opinion it's likely to meet your needs in terms of quality, but you do really need to try wrap your head around the manual. If you have any younger friends or relatives who might could help you, I'd advise you to seek them out.
There is nothing wrong with using a DVD recorder to put a couple of home movies onto DVD for safe keeping and sharing with freinds and family. Holy shit guys....this is not lost, never-before-seen NASA Challenger footage.
Thank you Sir! Perfect answer to my layman question!
Given the owner's circumstances, sticking with a reasonable bitrate should give the owner what he/she wants. One major word of caution: keep the tapes you value most. If you change your mind about the results and the tapes are gone, you're stuck.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
And ALWAYS use the recorder's slowest/best quality "mode"....often called XP mode. You will only get 1 hours per DVD but the bitrate will be VERY high resulting in the best quality achievable for that recorder.
....so don't get RW discs. They just suck.....period.
Your Magnavox ZV427MG9 should allow you to make simple compilation DVDs with several clips on each.
Since these are personal camcorder clips of short length, you can do as hech54 recommended and use the top-quality XP (which Magnavox sometimes refers to as HQ) recording speed. This fits roughly 65 mins per DVD and would give the best possible result with your recorder.
First thing you need to do is buy the best quality blanks, which in USA/Canada would be Verbatim AZO. As others have advised, you should examine the package closely for the AZO trademark: if you don't see AZO printed anywhere, but you do see the phrase "Life Series," avoid that package as these are not "true" Verbatims but off-label discount discs (like the suspicious designer clothes sold in mfr outlet stores: they have the branding but not the quality). Avoid RW discs, as these are not reliable for long-term archiving. Instead, get the Verbatim AZO DVD-R media. At the moment, there are increasing reports from Magnavox owners that the Verbatim AZO +R media is no longer working as reliably for them as the Verb -R, so you should probably stick with -R media. (DVD recorders are more finicky about blanks than PCs, so occasionally when a brand makes some slight change to their mfrg it can throw off certain recorders.)
The Magnavox instruction manuals are hopeless, I pity anyone trying to understand them. But the basic operational concepts are similar to other DVD recorders. Before beginning, its a good idea to speed-search thru each tape clip and write down the running time. This way, you can plan ahead to fit them on DVD. You should be able to fit three 20-min clips per DVD, or any mix of clips that total less than 65 minutes together.
Turn your Magnavox on, and follow the instructions for steps 1 thru 9 (as best you can) on pages 41-42 of the manual. That is the procedure you'd follow to dub each individual video clip. However, several key points are either not clear or entirely omitted from the manual. The most important is, try to set time aside so that you can complete one entire DVD in a given session. This makes your workflow easier and more reliable. After you finish with the first clip, repeat the same 9 steps for each additional clip. Note that you must pay attention and babysit the recorder: you need to be aware of exactly when each clip ends so that you can press the stop button and not record dead air.
When you have a dvd filled to your satisfaction, you must remember to finalize it, or it won't play outside the Magnavox on normal DVD players. You have two options on the Magnavox regarding finalization: you can do it manually at any time, and/or you can tell the unit to automatically finalize when it senses the dvd is full. The manual process is given on page 44 as five steps: this is normally what you would do . As an idiot-proof backup plan, you might want to follow the six steps on page 45 that tell the recorder you want it to finalize automatically. You only need to make that setting once, it may actually be already turned on. This way, if you forget to press stop at the end of the last dub, the Magnavox will take over by itself, stopping the dub and finalizing the DVD for you.
The finalizing process is what most trips up new users. They either forget to do it, or they forget to make the custom changes they want on the dvd before they do it. If you simply finalize manually, or let the recorder do it automatically, you will get a perfectly-functioning DVD- but the clip menu that displays when you first load the disc in a player will be generic. You will be able to choose which clip you want to play, but the name will show as the date you dubbed the clip, and the thumbnail picture will be random. This actually works fine for many people, they know what they dubbed and aren't persnickety about the menu design being customized and perfect.
However, most of us DO want the DVD to look as nice as possible with a clear menu for choosing what we want to watch from the disc. This requires more patience and attention to detail. First, you'll want to turn OFF the automatic finalization feature, as explained on page 45 (because it will jump the gun and create a generic DVD menu before you have a chance to customize). After dubbing each clip, follow the instructions on page 62 to enter a customized title name for the clip. Then, follow the instructions on page 67 to customize the menu thumbnail picture for that clip. You can do this individually, as you finish dubbing each clip, or wait until you've filled the disc and then customize them one after the other. If you wait until the disc is full, you MUST remember to make your custom changes to each clip BEFORE you finalize the disc.
(Ignore what the manual says about custom chapter markers: these only work with rewritable (RW) discs. When the recorder finalizes an archival -R or +R dvd, it automatically puts in chapter marks of its own and ignores any custom chapter points you set up in advance. So its a waste of time to bother with the custom chapter system.)
Hope this helps!
Last edited by orsetto; 5th Sep 2013 at 15:15.
You're wasting your time, orsetto. Once you say more than one or two sentences, he's done. It was nice of you to try, but you've exceeded his ability to pay attention.