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  1. I want to capture the 20+ miniDVs (60 mins each) that I have and burn the clips to DVDs [I know this should have been done a couple of years ago ]. I did some searches on the Internet with regards to the tools to use and processes to go through.

    Would appreciate it very much if you could advise whether my understanding of the tools and workflow are correct or there are any better ones.

    Here are the tools that are available to me:
    • Sony Handycam DCR-TRV8E
    • iMac mid-2007 (running OS X El Capitan), with QuickTime Player 10.4
    • MacBook Pro 2018 (running macOS Mojave), with iMovie 10.1.10
    • A firewire 4-pin to 9-pin cable

    This is the workflow that I have understood from my researches:
    1. Capture the video clip: connect the Sony Handycam to the iMac with the firewire cable. Launch QuickTime Player and record the video clip to the computer. An MOV file will be created.

      [a] Within QuickTime Player, Quality is set to “Maximum”. It will refuse to record if I set it to “High”.
      [b] The date and time of the video taken aren’t displayed in QuickTime Player. I can only get them on the display of the Handycam.
      [c] The size of the file thus created is as large as 80MB for 10 seconds.
    2. Convert the captured clip: launch iMovie on the MacBook Pro and import the clip captured in step 1 above. Export the clip to a file in the mp4 format by choosing File > Share.
      For Resolution, I use 749x576 (not 540p).

      [a] For Quality, I use “High”. Other available options are Low, Medium, Best (ProRes), and Custom.
      [b] The mp4 file thus created is about 7MB of size.
      [c] I haven’t go into editing clips in iMovie yet.
    3. Burn the clips edited in step 2 above in mp4 format to a DVD-R. As the MacBook Pro doesn’t come with an optical drive, I will need to use the DVD drive of the iMac.
      [a] It seems that a few free software are recommended like Burn, SimplyBurns. (Which is better? Any other suggestions?)
      [b] I haven’t tried this out yet.


    Apart from the above, one thing I don’t understand. The video clip that is created in step 1 above has a dimension 702x576, as I can see it in the Finder app. The dimension of the mp4 video clip that is created in step 2 above is however 748x 576 (slightly different from what is chosen though). So, the mp4 clip has a taller height than the MOV clip. The images are therefore looked elongated. Is anything that I have done wrongly? Or, how can I fix it?

    Thanks again in advance for any help.
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  2. Member
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    Are you trying to make a DVD-Video disc, or a DVD-ROM with video files stored on it? If the former, you are losing quality converting to MP4, because DVD-Video requires MPEG-2 files. If the latter, there is some doubt about the longevity of writable DVD media as an archival medium
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  3. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    first, the video on the tape is non-square pixel DV. it's 720x576 and should be captured that way if done correctly. in square pixel mp4 format it's either 4:3 768x576 or if 16/9 1024x576 . maybe see if imovie itself can capture the tape?

    second, i'm not sure why you want to put mp4 on a dvd? you can fairly easily convert DV to dvd spec mpeg-2 and author it to create a real dvd.
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  4. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Quicktime is converting DV on the fly therefore you are loosing quality, Then you want to convert that to DVD and you loose quality again, Best, transfer DV to computer unaltered using free programs like WinDV and keep those files the way they are as masters and then from there choose a format that is suitable for sharing it doesn't have to be DVD, DVD is almost outdated already.
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  5. Thanks JVRaines, aedipuss, and dellsam for your great help.

    So for step 2 in the workflow, it should be the editing (trimming, combining, ...) of the captured video clips by using iMovie. The edited clips will then be authored to DVDs. There is no the need to convert the clips to mp4 format. Is that correct?

    I may need to use iMovie or another software for capturing the clips from the miniDVs. However, I will then have to buy two adapters from Apple to connect the firewire cable to my MacBook Pro (with thunderbolt 3 ports), while I don't have iMovie on the iMac (and it seems that it is impossible to download the old versions of iMovie from reliable sources).

    On the other hand, dellsam pointed out that I can choose the Windows way. If so, I will need to buy a firewire adapter for installation onto a Windows PC available to me.

    Can you guys please tell me the pros and cons of the Mac and Windows ways respectively (other than the additional tools required)?

    Also, other than DVDs, what are the media formats that I may use for long-term storage and sharing?

    Thanks again.
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  6. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Why can't you capture DV with your mac? Just don't use quicktime, If it captured unaltered it should be in the AVI DV format not MOV. Also if editing means cutting off some scenes there are some applications that can do that losselessly not sure about the mac though.
    There is no long term storage format, The formats are changing constantly, The best way as I said before leave it in DV and convert to whatever format available as you go.
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    Originally Posted by kennethw View Post
    Can you guys please tell me the pros and cons of the Mac and Windows ways respectively (other than the additional tools required)?
    Sounds like you will have to buy hardware either way, so it's down to your comfort with the installation and operating systems. DV over FireWire is deprecated tech and users have complained about glitches in both OSes. But it's the "right thing" when it comes to capturing MiniDV.
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  8. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    firewire cards for a pc are pretty cheap. for about $10 you can get one with firewire cable, just make sure to get one that matches the slot in your motherboard. https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=-1&IsNodeId=1&Description...CE&PageSize=96

    pc firewire capture software is free. windv works fine.


    and a program to convert your captured DV to a burnable dvd image can be had free. AVStoDVD works well.
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    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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    Originally Posted by kennethw View Post
    Also, other than DVDs, what are the media formats that I may use for long-term storage and sharing?
    What you save to is less important that having multiple backups. Save everything. Your original captures, work in progress with assets, final results on DVDs, Blu-Rays, hard drives, cloud storage.

    General backup rules:

    Don't wait until you're project is done to begin doing your backups. Ideally you should be backing up as you go. After you've done your capturing. Again after you've done your editing. And again when you've completed your project. You never know when your hard drive(s) may fail.

    1-2-3 / 3-2-1. One original, two backups on different, one in a different location in case something happens at the location of the first two.

    If they're videos you're planning to share, e.g.family videos, don't be the sole holder of the backups. Spread out the backups to at least one other family member, so if
    something unexpectedly happens to you, they'll be able to access your work.

    Verify that your copied files are identical to the source. If you're on a PC, I highly recommend Teracopy with verify while copying or ViceVersa to files that have already been copied.

    Don't toss your tapes. They may last longer than any other backup media.

    Check and copy your backups every few years and copy to new media, either the same or different.

    If you're using hard drives, don't backup to a brand new drive. Use it for a few weeks/months to ensure it's not DOA.

    Storage media notes:

    If you're using optical media, use only Verbatim AZO or Taiyo Yuden DVDs. Both are difficult to find and beware of non-AZO Verbatims. Read this thread how to identify the real Verbatim AZO packaging https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/391272-Beware-of-new-Verbatim-non-AZO-packaging. If you're in the U.S., Amazon is the best place to buy Verbatim AZO and Supermediastore is highly recommended for Taiyo Yuden. For Blu-Ray discs, only Verbatim is recommended.

    Don't buy into the M-Disc promises of guaranteed DVD longevity or any other claims that other manufacturer's discs are reliable as Verbatim and Taiyo Yuden. They're not.

    Don't use SSDs, flash drives or SD cards for backups. They're not meant for long term storage and they fail, the date is near impossible to fully recover.

    Read this thread https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/390282-DVD-lasts-longer-than-portable-hard-drives-or-not for my thoughts about external hard drives and what others have to say about backup methods, media.
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  10. Thanks you very much folks.

    I think I will go the Windows way for the process. What I need to get now is a Firewire card to be installed onto my Windows 10 box (with i3-4130 CPU and 4GB RAM), as well as applications. Will it matter if I buy a Firewire 400 and not an 800 one, or the other way round? I tried to search on the net but got nothing about this.
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  11. Originally Posted by kennethw View Post
    Will it matter if I buy a Firewire 400 and not an 800 one.
    Yes. Get a card that has FW400 connectors. Hard drives work fine with 800, cameras and decks often do not.
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