Apologies if this has already been asked before... I searched through, but couldn’t find anything specific to my setup.
Equipment I have:
Laserdisc Player - Sony MDP A550
Output: 1X RCA (Audio/Video)
Pioneer DVD Recorder
Output: 2 x SCART Output
Output: 1 RCA (Audio/Video)
Output: 1 S-Video
Output: Optical Digital Audio
80GB Hard Disk Drive
Switchable between PAL / NTSC (recording and burning)
i3 / 4GB RAM
250GB Hard Disk Drive
Apple Mac Pro
Dual-Core Intel Xeon
250GB Hard Disk Drive
What I want to do:
I have a bunch of NTSC laserdiscs I want to back up.
Previously I have hooked the laserdisc player up to the DVD Recorder via RCA phonos (as the laserdisc player only has RCA phono output)
Then recorded the Laserdisc to the DVD Recorder HD and then used the DVD Recorders (rudimentary) editing features to trim and organise.
Name the individual videos (main title, trailer, deleted scenes etc) and then author to DVD-R using the DVD recorder.
However, I now want to cut out the DVD Recorder and go straight from the Laserdisc player to either the Mac or the Win 7 laptop.
• on the assumption that I can get a better looking and sounding backup of the laserdisc
• so that I have more editing features and can create more professional looking menus and navigation before authoring to DVD-R
So, the big question is:
Which should I use? The Mac or the Win 7 laptop? Given that the Win 7 laptop only has USB inputs and the Mac has USB and Firewire inputs as well as a bunch of empty PCI slots free at the back.
On the Mac I have i-Movie and i-DVD.
On the Win 7 Laptop I have no image capture software or DVD menu creation software that I am aware of.
I have been looking at the following hardware:
USB 2.0 Video and Audio Capture Card for MAC and PC - S Video / RGB to USB Transfer Cable - External Grabber Lead for Window 7 / XP / Vista / Mac OS X v10.5 or above
And from what I can tell from the reviews and youtube, it captures video to the HD, so I can then edit, trim etc before authoring to DVD-R.
With a budget of £20 - £30: will this product suffice? Or can I do better?
Would I be better using this device with the Mac or the Win 7 Laptop?
Based on the answer to the above question:
Should I use the Mac with i-Movie and i-DVD?
What programs (preferably free) on the Win 7 Laptop should I use?
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Me personally.....I would stick to the recorder if it is possible to pull the data from the recorder's HDD directly to a computer instead of burning to a DVD in the recorder.
• I have no idea what format the files would be in (although I assume MPEG)
• I have no idea what format the HDD is in and whether or not it would be readable on a Mac / Win 7 (although I would assume it would be either NTFS or Fat 32
and the big one...
• I would have to open up and pull out the HDD every time I want to transfer a file to the Mac / Win 7
But I am open to suggestions
As an IT guy with years of experience with Windows, Mac and Linux/Unix, I can tell you that EVERYTHING is HARDER on a Mac. You'd be better off to go with Windows.
You get what you pay for with capture devices and no offense, but people like you are always assuming that only suckers pay more for capture devices and you can get just as good results with some cheap crap that nobody has ever heard of. Many reviews on Amazon are shills or from know nothing customers who are ecstatic that the thing worked at all and care nothing about quality. If you fall into the "just get it done as quickly as possible" category and getting it done quickly and easily is far more important to you than any other considerations like quality, then I suppose you could consider that, but I'm not personally seeing how any device that small could be anything but a POS. Don't come back here expecting a lot of device specific help if you do get it because none of our experienced members have ever used it.
Whatever you get, you should do all your captures via old style composite video (typically this has a yellow connector) and not via S-video as laserdisc was not designed to use S-video correctly.
Many if not all DVD recorders that use hard drives encrypt what they record. You'll have to research whether it's even possible to work the data once it's on a hard drive if you want to consider hech54's suggestion. And note that the hard drives are often in some file system used under Linux that neither Mac nor Windows will natively support. I know that you aren't very enthused about that idea with good reason.
To be blunt, if you fall into the "just want to get it done as quickly as possible" camp, you'd probably be a lot better off to just use the DVD recorder than buy a cheap capture device, go to a ton more effort to edit your captures and make DVDs out of them only to find out that the quality is worse.
Care to explain?
Am I not up to your standards because I don't own a high end Windows editing PC?
Im a bit baffled by your response... Also by you lack of help, despite the 5 paragraphs telling me how dumb I am.
You offer me no practical advice... given the equipment I've got and my reluctance to open up the DVD recorder and putting aside your issues with Mac hardware / software... do you actually have any specific practical suggestions?
Going the capture to PC route might of course take far more time and effort and usually yields better results, but laserdisc shouldn't need all that much fixing unless the source has real problems (and many of them do). Whether or not the DVD recorder has a hard drive, if you plan to do any editing, cutting, cleanup, etc., you can record to either HDD or disc at highest bitrates and copy (not record) that recording to a PC if you want to do more work with it. If the video is too long to fit on a DVD-R at highest quality but you want to edit, you can get it to the computer in one of two ways: record as much as you can, say the first hour or so, and copy that recording from disc to PC. Then record the rest and do the same thing with the rest of the video. Or: record at the hard drive at the highest quality, then use the DVD recorder's editing features to cut the video into two or more parts that will each fit on a DVD disc, then copy what's on that DVD disc to your PC.
Assuming you want it all on one disc with no further work, set the bitrate accordingly and accept the results you get on a single disc.
I agree with jman98. Cheapo capture devices are cheap. Period. You don't have to spend a fortune, but going with the bottom of the barrell won't save you anything and you won't like the results. Working with a laptop, too, is another way to make life long and hard, and a Mac will make it more difficult. As people say, it's not 1984 any more and the playing field has changed considerably.
Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 04:31.
Then I have a bunch of DVD-R's in VIDEO_TS format (the recorder does not record to AVI or MPEG format as far as I know)
So what is the next step? What's the best way to then convert the VIDEO_TS to something workable? AVI MPEG (I assume) etc
And then, what do I use to stitch and / or edit these files?
And then, what should I use to author a DVD with menus? (chapters, special features etc)
NB: Im only after the audio commentary channels, so there will be no need for multiple audio, unless there are multiple audio commentaries - but I'll cross that bridge if and when I come to it...
DVD recorders record DVD (MPEG2). They do not record AVI. AVI is a container, not a format.
DVD recorders don't record VIDEO_TS folders with video VOB files inside a folder. They record a single full-length MPEG2. When you burn that video to disc, the recorder's edit features create the necessary folders and indexes and converts that MPEG to a "DVD" for disc playback. The exact file and sector format of the HDD itself is different for different recorders.
To get the disc content onto a PC, you can use free or paid stuff to copy the VOB files into a single MPEG on your PC. Note that the video is copied, not recorded or captured. From there you can use free or paid editors/re-encoders\authoring\burning software to do whatever you want. Keep in mind that color correction, noise reduction, timeline editing, etc. etc., involve decoding and re-encoding the video. Re-encoding involves a generation loss, unless you use a smart-rendering MPEG editor to make simple cuts and joins. The more complicated you get, the more complex the software you'll have to use and the more you'll have to learn about processing video. Some of the best software that you can use for this processing is free, some of it isn't.
MPEG, like AVCHD and BluRay, are not designed as "editable" formats in the sense of complicated correction or timeline work. They are designed as lossy-compressed final delivery formats. Video encoding/re-encoding is a lossy process; it's not like ZIP or RAR.
So getting your VOB's onto a computer is a simple copying process. VOB2MPG is one free utility that can perform that work. What you'll need after that step depends on what you want to do with the video.
Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 04:31.
That was a really helpful post.
I'll go with the Laserdisc to DVD Recorder to DVD-R to VOB2MPG process and then I'll research and figure out which editing software I use. (Win 7 route me thinks)
Many thanks for all the links. Really helpful.
The most important thing is DO NOT let the recorder squash down the "Fine" recording to fit on a single layer DVD. If you need to take 1/2 hour pieces of video per DVD.....DO IT. Even good quality Verbatim DVDs are inexpensive.
Oh....and I happen to own a DVD recorder that can do a straight transfer from the HDD to my computer. That is the only reason I mentioned it. I understand there are not many that can do that. Sorry for the confusion.
I was searching a zero quality loss method and found this:
Probably it's not related to what op asked but it's interesting, I wonder if that player could be disconnected and plugged to a normal desktop PC, that would make things a lot easier, there is another solution but for Pioneer players only:
Did anyone ever manage to read a LD from a PC interface? I really want to convert my LD to Blu-ray but at the same time I don't wanna lose any quality
The PC can only control the transport of that player (seek, play, pause, etc.). It can't access the picture.
Capturing laserdisc output can't be "lossless". The signal stored on the laserdisc is analog composite video. It has to be digitized one way or another. The quality of that digitization (and any subsequent filtering) determines the quality.
The analog recording on the laserdisc is composite video. The s-video output from laserdisc players is usually pretty poor -- the comb filter leaves a lot of dot crawl artifacts. The dot crawl filter of most composite capture devices is superior.
so it's like vhs? some time ago I read somewhere that the audio can be extracted lossless, I don't remember exactly how but I thought it would be the same for the video, too bad if it's analog...
A few laserdiscs to have digital audio. But the video is always analog composite.
All the capture devices I know of will only record LD in standard definition resolutions so you don't really gain anything by going to BluRay unless you need the larger disc size. You'll still be dealing with standard definition video on BluRay unless you do your own upscaling and I don't recommend that.
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OK, English subs for English audio aren't essential. But for some films, like "Return of the Musketeers", I would have found it really helpful if I had been able to extract the Closed Captioning from the US LaserDisc (there are no subtitles available anywhere else).
(Oh other films I wouldn't mind the captions of are Being Human (Robin Williams, 1994) and Jupiter's Darling. Just in case anyone has these LDs lying around. )This is nøt å signåture.™
It was quite a project transferring the video and data to a newer format...
It's not really relevant to capturing normal laserdiscs though.
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My bad. So if you can go back in time AND don't have a movie laserdisc there may be a way to connect a laserdisc to a 1980s era PC and have it read. Although how you get that data into 2014 is an exercise left for the reader.
By the way Spiny Norman, I found these English subs for Return Of The Musketeers in like 1 minute. Are they right?
00:00:00,968 --> 00:00:04,288
The year 1649, a year of the monarchies of Europe
00:00:04,289 --> 00:00:08,040
In England, Charles I is overthrown by the people of Oliver Cromwell
00:00:08,140 --> 00:00:12,140
In France, King Louis XIV child is
monarch, but the country is ruled by his mother,
Whether they're right or wrong, I'm not sending them to you. But if they're right, too bad.
Spiny Norman, that's interesting, thanks.
FWIW and AFAICT, the video from these devices didn't go through the 1980s computers in the sense of being digitised - the two separate outputs (computer and LD) were mixed/switched in the analogue domain. I think.
Actually, he didn't win.
As 2Bdecided just mentioned, both citings from S.N. deal with Computer-controlled LD players. One worked with a modified LD disc where the audio channel was partly replaced (L vs. R) by packets of data. The data included positional info about the media (timestamp addresses, if you will) and database metadata, so that a database search engine residing on the PC (originally microcontroller) talked via RS-232 serial cable to the data readout at the position of the picture/video/audio in question. This was what was known as (and S.N. didn't get this right either, even though it was mentioned in the article he cited): LV-ROM. The other citing didn't even modify the disc, but used a standard CAV LD disc chock full of still pictures (and possibly some additional audio/video) and used the standard Timecode as access points. Regardless, none of these devices and methods used DIGITAL MEDIA anywhere. Digital control/meta data, yes in one instance, but no digital media. LD was, and remains, an ANALOG-ONLY format. As such, it is impossible to import/export/interact with a PC (then, or now). The PCs as cited were just glorified remote controls. And just like 2Bdecided said, they were switched/combined in the analog domain.
So Tonnad's question "was it analog like VHS"? Yes, better quality for sure, but yes.
Just go play Dragon's Lair.
Oh, yeah, I remember Dragon's Lair. Thanks for that blast-from-the-past, jagabo.
Yeah, another computer-controlled LD. Probably one of the best examples.
Hmm... never heard of that one.
This is still irrelevant to cpying movie discs, but I find this early multimedia/computer work amazing - not least because (like most school children in the UK) there's something I wrote somewhere on those discs - a feat that seemed far more amazing back then than it did once anyone could put information on the internet.
Thank you. You may have been trying to thwart me, but you have actually performed a service: You've made my day. Well done!This is nøt å signåture.™