hi hope someone can help!!
i had some old mini DV tapes i want to transfer to DVD. my laptop does not have firewire to connect to my old camcorder, which does. after alot of searching i could not find any adapter to connect my camcorder to my laptop, bought a few and all failed. i paid to have the mini DVD tape transferred to DVD in the end. i ripped, edited and burned to DVD, but the end result was very poor, much worse that the original DV tape. below is the process i used:-
1) photo shop transfered mini DV tape to DVD.
2) ripped to avi using trial version of dvdfab.
3) edited avi in windows movie maker 6.0. saved end movie to DV-AVI.
4) converted and burned using binglesoft avi to dvd converter.
5) dell inspiron 17r. windows 8.
6) panasonic nv gs27 camcorder
7) decent blank dvds
8) DV tape and end DVD viewed on same HD TV.
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buy an older used computer with a firewire port to capture over firewire with. you need to edit in the native dv then only encode once to mpeg-2 for the dvd.
 or buy editing software that will not re-encode edited mpeg-2 like vegas or womble mpeg video wizard. you can convert the vobs on the dvd from the shop to mpeg-2 without any loss. it's just a container change.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Are you familiar with "generation loss"? You're wreaking havoc with all those "ripping" and conversion steps. Since you planned to edit you should have found a place that would transfer the contents of your tapes to hard drive in AVI format rather than converting to DVD (which is not an editing format).
You didn't say whether you're happy with the quality of the DVD you got from the photo shop in the first place. If so, you can reduce further losses by editing using an application that does smart rendering. It probably will cost money, though.
Here is how I create DVDs of my DV recordings:
1) Capture your MiniDV tapes into your PC using the firewire connection between your camcorder and PC (yes, you will need a card with firewire input for your PC)
2) Edit (or filter) your AVI files if needed. I use VirtualDub for that purpose, although there has never been a need for me to filter original DV recordings, since the quality is good enough first place. It's a different story with my captured VHS and S-VHS recordings, though.
3) After you edit your footage, make sure it is saved in the same DV-AVI format as it came in. Don't perform any compressions. You have to be careful with the Windows Movie Maker: Up to Windows Vista, you could save the edited file as DV-AVI, but that option is no longer available in Windows 7 to my knowledge.
4) I highly recommend using TMPGEnc for burning DVDs of your AVI files or simply converting them into the DVD format. It costs money, but has an excellent quality and reputation. You can test it for 30 days for free. I select the highest available bitrate to minimize quality losses, and in fact a 60 minute MiniDV tape fits perfectly onto one DVD (4.7GB) at the highest possible authoring quality. I am happy with the resulting quality - it is hardly distinguishable from the original DV-AVI file. However, that depends on the quality of your DV recording. Noisy videos can stress the compressor to its limits and produce minor artifacts, although the noise would need to be extreme for this scenario. If the videos are clear, usually there is very little quality loss.
The DVDs you got from the shop should be the final product, but if you want to edit, the process you are using is completely destroying the quality.
1) Copy the DVDs to your hard drive. You don't need a ripper since the DVDs are not encrypted.
2) Edit with MPEG-2 software that supports smart rendering, like VideoReDo.
3) Author the new DVD with software that does not re-encode the video or audio. I like the free version of Muxman.
4) Burn with ImgBurn.