Quantcast Recommend a DVD-burner? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
11-01-2007, 02:08 AM
Scott Scott is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi, I'm very happy to have found your forum.

I am working on my first family photo slide-show, and I would like to burn it to DVD for watching on a regular television DVD player when completed.

My computer system is a Dell Dimension 8300 from 2004:
  • Pentium 4, 3.2GHz
  • Windows XP Pro
  • 1 GB RAM (2 x 512, two open slots)
  • 120 GB Hard Drive (30GB free/available)
  • ATI Radeon 9550 / X1050 video card
  • Internal CD-burner
  • Internal DVD player (not a burner)
  • NEC 20WMGX2 widescreen monitor
  • Epson 4990 Photo Scanner
I am currently learning to use the trial version of "Memories on TV" slide-show software. I have downloaded the trial version of Sony Vegas Studio 8 Platinum Edition, but I have not installed or tried it yet.

I have never tried to do anything like this before, I realize this is kid-stuff for most people but this is my first time.

I will want to add video from home VHS movies to future slide-shows, but this first one is time-sensitive (I'm in a hurry!) and I have enough learning to do just to get a slide-show together in a timely fashion without complicating things further by adding video at the moment.

If there is better slide-show software available, what do you recommend?

IIRC, you recommend a Pioneer DVD-burner, but I think the post I read was from a year or more ago. What's your latest recommendation?

I'm not very comfortable with connecting things inside the computer box, but I can probably do it if it's not too complicated. I'm guessing an internal DVD-burner is the way to go, but I would consider an external DVD-burner if the quality and performance is comparable (I can handle plugging in a USB or Firewire cord with a high degree of confidence ).

Also, what is the best/highest resolution I should use for photographs to use on a DVD slide-show that will be viewed on a widescreen HDTV set? I am scanning/saving most of my photos in 48bit color/1200dpi for the film negatives when they're available, and 24bit color/1200dpi for actual photographs. These are huge files of course, but it's an unbelievably tedious process to scan these things into the computer, so I donít want to have to do it more than once, and I want to get reasonably high quality images for permanent long-term storage on DVD (not slide-show, just to have them stored digitally). I know I don't need such high resolution for DVD slide-shows, and I should be able to downsize copies of the images for the project, but I don't know what the best resolution/color-bit would be for viewing on an HDTV set.

Is there anything else I will need to complete the project?

Thanks very much in advance, it's great to find this place,
Scott

P.S. Iím guessing Iíll need another video card to import VHS video on my next project?
Reply With Quote
Someday, 12:01 PM
admin's Avatar
Ads / Sponsors
 
Join Date: ∞
Posts: 42
Thanks: ∞
Thanked 42 Times in 42 Posts
  #2  
11-01-2007, 10:58 AM
admin's Avatar
admin admin is offline
Site Staff | Web Development
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,333
Thanked 635 Times in 452 Posts
The computer hardware looks nice. Do yourself a big favor and stay on Windows XP. Don't try Vista unless you're into self-punishment.

As far as a DVD burner goes, always go for a Pioneer. They invented the technology, and have always stayed ahead of the pack, in terms of product quality. The current model is the Pioneer 112 burner. The other manufacturers/brands to to waiver a bit, never 100% consistent in producing burners that both read well and write well. The second-choice favorite right now is Samsung, but it's still in Pioneer's shadow. You can find the Pioneer pretty cheap (approx. $40-50) at any number of places, including Best Buy, newegg.com and some of the blank media stores onine (meritline.com, supermediastore.com, shop4tech.com, etc).

Installing hardware into a computer is no more difficult than changing the blades on a lawnmower, or the filter from an air conditioner. Just turn it off, unplug it, unscrew it, find the slot where it fits, and stick it in. Plug up wires as described in the book, or use another computer and post a question here asking for guidance. Since you've already got a DVD-ROM drive in there, you'd basically just be swapping, so it should be easy to see how things are plugged in together.

When it comes to slideshows, it depends on what you want to do. I've always been pleased with using Adobe Premiere (another major NLE like Sony Vegas Video). I can drop images onto the timeline, make an image display for as long or as short as I want, and even add in an audio track, be it music or commentary. (In fact, when I author the DVD, I often use two tracks, one of family commentary, one of music ... listen to the one that best suits your mood ... and the commentary assures that you'll never forget who is who and what is what!) Adobe Premiere Elements is really cheap (at least in terms of video software, at only $100) and comes with a free trial from adobe.com.

I'll look into some options here for you, as I've not used slideshow software in a number of months.

The highest resolution allowed by a DVD is 720x480, period. Some DVD players will read photos off a disc, not authored as a DVD slideshow. This will let you show higher-res images. But it depends on the player used. Some HDTV sets also have USB drives, where you just plug in a 1GB or so card with photos on it, and they display full screen using the max res. Sometimes these options are preferable to a DVD slideshow.

Images will always be 8-bit as JPEG. High resolution is pointless beyond the display device (1920x1080, on a 1080p set). It won't be displayed anyway. It's often a good idea to crop images to fill the screen too, either in 4:3 or 16:9, but it's very much a personal choice.

Image editing software (Adobe Photoshop Elements, anywhere from $50 on sale in local stores, to $100 from adobe.com, and again free trial at adobe.com) might be extremely helpful in correcting the color/size/etc of your photos, before placing them into the slideshow format (whatever it is that you choose).

What you have now is basically just the display graphics card. To capture video, you'll need a video capture card, yes. When the time comes for that, let me know what you want to do (how much editing is involved, if any; what condition are the tapes in; recorded in what mode -- SP, LP, EP/SLP), and I can suggest a setup that perfectly fits your needs. Give a budget too, both ideal and max.

I'll test some slideshow software here and get back to you in a couple of days. There are two slideshow programs I want to test news versions of, as well as verify the current version of Premiere Elements still does what it needs for such a project.

What I use for slideshows is Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, part of the Master Collection. But the cheaper consumer Elements versions will do all of the basics needed for a slideshow project. I also author in Ulead DVD Workshop 2, with dual audio tracks. I might switch to Adobe Encore CS3 for my next project, just to try it out. Premiere Elements and other slideshow software has built-in authoring abilities, although dual-track audio is usually not an option.

- Did this site help you? Then upgrade to Premium Member and show your support!
- Also: Like Us on Facebook for special DVD/Blu-ray news and deals!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
11-01-2007, 11:03 AM
admin's Avatar
admin admin is offline
Site Staff | Web Development
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,333
Thanked 635 Times in 452 Posts
If you need anything else, while I research the software, just ask.

- Did this site help you? Then upgrade to Premium Member and show your support!
- Also: Like Us on Facebook for special DVD/Blu-ray news and deals!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
11-01-2007, 07:48 PM
Scott Scott is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
If you need anything else, while I research the software, just ask.
Nothing else I can think of at the moment, thanks very much for the help and encouragement, I'll track down a Pioneer 112 internal DVD-burner asap!

I'll check back in periodically, and thanks very much once again,

Scott
Reply With Quote
  #5  
11-02-2007, 12:05 AM
Scott Scott is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
As far as a DVD burner goes, always go for a Pioneer. They invented the technology, and have always stayed ahead of the pack, in terms of product quality. The current model is the Pioneer 112 burner.

Is this the model I'm looking for, and if so, is there any reason to be concerned about only a 70% "excellent" rating from a sampling of 137 reviews?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...px?Item=N82E16 827129007


Is an earlier Pioneer model more reliable and/or worthy of consideration, or is this kind of review/rating just par for the course?


Thanks again,

Scott
Reply With Quote
  #6  
11-02-2007, 04:54 PM
admin's Avatar
admin admin is offline
Site Staff | Web Development
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,333
Thanked 635 Times in 452 Posts
The Pioneer 112 is the drive, yes. It is available in black or beige. Are you wanting black?

Reviews online have limited value. There are three things to remember about online reviews:
  1. Negative comments are more likely than positive comments. People love to complain, but they rarely praise.
  2. Most negative technology reviews come from people who know very little about the devices they bought. So the wrong item is blamed for what is essentially user error.
  3. Lots of unknowns. For example, cigarette smoke forms tar on optical devices, just like it does in a persons lungs. Your CD or DVD drive will basically get "lung cancer" and die in a smoking environment. Any smoke, actually, causes it, be it campfires or recreational drugs. Too few people know this. Power surges are another good example.
Reading these reviews, looking specifically at the cons, I can make several observations:

  1. Some people received bad drives. Okay, it happens, especially with discount OEM hardware. Those are produced in bulk and lemons get in. Consider the many thousands of drives produced, combined with the fact that most comments left about any product are complaints, and then notice how only a few dozen people at most complained about a DOA. That's less than a 1% return ratio. Not bad. Valid comments, but not a major concern. Just use the return policy if this happens, and it can happen to anything.
  2. Lots of burn issues. Given how people like to buy the cheapest media in stores, it comes as no surprise. Those cheap Memorex and no-name discs don't work well in any burner. Those comments are user error.
  3. The drive cannot "scan" media. That's a non-issue. Scanning performed at home is unreliable anyway, and is for entertainment value only. Some people online want to think scanning is the end-all/be-all of media quality, but that's a myth. So those comments are dismissed as ignorant.
  4. One person blames the burner for his player not reading the disc. Well no, that's something else which causes that problem.
  5. The typical silly comments of not liking the color.
  6. Somebody else blames the drive for not being able to copy a copyrighted DVD bought in the store. That's user error again, wrong software for the task. A task that probably shouldn't be performed anyway.
  7. Somebody had a drive arrive damaged in shipping. That's really not a product review, or even newegg's fault, but UPS or whoever did delivery.
  8. Another person clearly has a PIO/DMA mode issue on their computer but doesn't know it. So again, the drive gets the blame.
  9. Few complaints about discs not being recognized right away, some spin time required. This is almost always a cheap media issue, or using a media that is so new the firmware doesn't have a media ID available. Not really a valid complaint. The first one is user error, the second is a firmware upgrade. With so many media IDs out there now, all drives seem to spin a bit.
  10. Cannot booktype DVD+R to DVD-ROM (single layer only) on stock firmware. This is a valid complaint, but it matters to less than 1% of folks out there. There is really no reason to change booktype, as you can use DVD-R instead. Few people require DVD+R as DVD-ROM. Valid, but niche. DVD-R is suggested anyway.
Also notice that the 70% rank was the percentage of excellent reviews. There were 10% good, and the other 20% were average or worse.

I see many glowing reviews. Some of those use specific comments regarding good media and good software, so it comes as no surprise. The burning experience is only as strong as the weakest link (software, media, hardware, video source).

I've owned the following drives:
Pioneer 103, 104, 105, 109, 111; LG, LiteOn, HP, NEC, BenQ-Acer, BTC, TSST-Samsung-Toshiba, and some others.

The Pioneer have almost never failed, while the others have bit the dust one by one. The only drive that died on me was the 105, but I pretty much abused it for two years with heavy burning. I retired the 103 because it was only 2x and I couldn't find media for it anymore (the last media it liked was 4x discs). Same for the 104. Pioneer burn quality outperformed the others. Few burners would read better (BTC, mostly).

- Did this site help you? Then upgrade to Premium Member and show your support!
- Also: Like Us on Facebook for special DVD/Blu-ray news and deals!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
11-07-2007, 02:25 PM
Scott Scott is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wow, thanks for taking the trouble to look through all the reviews of the Pioneer 112!

I checked in (day before yesterday, I think) and wrote a long post, but before I finished I had an IE error that freezes up Internet Explorer and the only thing I can do is choose whether to send an error report to Gatesland or not before closing IE and losing whatever I was working on. This seems to happen about 3 times a day, I don’t know what’s causing it.

I know better than to type any correspondence online, always better to write in Word or WordPerfect and then copy-and-paste, but I didn’t start out with the intention of writing as much as I did. When I lost it, it was too frustrating to start over right then, but a day or so later I’m back.

I will be using the DVD burner primarily for two purposes, to occasionally archive data for permanent back-up and to make DVD’s (slide-shows and family movies) for family members.

I don’t know or understand much about backing up hard drives. I’ve been incredibly lucky so far, with only one hard drive failure in my experience. It was a 120MB Western Digital IIRC from around 1993. They were able to freeze it and transfer all data to a new hard drive. Other than that, I’ve been lucky.

Once in a while I used to record critical personal data (letters, family pics, music collection [wouldn’t want to catalog all that again], and some work-related creations) to CD-R, but that was the extent of my “back up” capabilities. At only 650MB or so per CD-R, they don’t hold much.

With a DVD burner and a dual layer DVD-R at 8GB per disc, I should be able to back up just about everything I could imagine worth saving with about 6 DVD-R DL’s for music, 1 DVD-R DL for data and 3 or 4 DVD-R DL’s for family pictures. If I have a catastrophic hard drive or system failure I would lose all of my settings and software that I don’t have installation discs for, but my most critical data would be preserved on DVD. That would be a lot better than the protection I have now, which is none at all.

I’d much rather pay a little more for quality media than waste money on something with a high failure rate, and after researching digitalFAQ.com, it appears that Verbatim is the best quality maker of DVD-R (DVD dash R) DL discs. Verbatim also makes LightScribe compatible DVD-R DL discs.

The Pioneer 112 looks like the drive to get, but before I place the order I wanted to get your opinion of the LightScribe capable drives. I have never burned a DVD before, and I’ve probably only burned about 10 CD-R’s, for archiving data purposes only, so my experience is almost non-existent. I had been looking at external DVD drives before you convinced me that swapping my current DVD-Rom for a burner would not require rocket-science capabilities on my part. The drive I had been considering was a LG GSA-E10L:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827136112

I’ll go with an internal drive now (cheaper too), but does Pioneer make a LightScribe capable drive (I haven’t seen one), is it a worthy consideration or a gimmick, does it cause the laser to burn out sooner than otherwise, etc.? I don’t have (and won’t be getting) an inkjet printer to make DVD labels, so if not LightScribe, how do I label the discs?

I read that you do not recommend the DVD+R dual layer discs on your blank media quality guide FAQ, saying that the RW Alliance rushed the technology again and it’s not compatible with existing DVD players and software.

Are the DVD-R (dash R) dual layer discs still the way to go, and if so, is Verbatim the brand to get?

Thanks very much,
Scott
Reply With Quote
  #8  
11-08-2007, 02:06 AM
admin's Avatar
admin admin is offline
Site Staff | Web Development
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,333
Thanked 635 Times in 452 Posts
I suggest you join the 40% of the world who has dropped Internet Explorer and started using Mozilla Firefox as their browser. The only time I use IE these days is to check Outlook Web where I work during the day. MS has limited non-IE access to Outlook servers. Those dirty you-know-whats.

www.getfirefox.com and dump IE (and all it's holes and errors) forever. Firefox is to the 2000s what Netscape was to the 1990s.

I do not suggest DVD+R DL media for archiving. I have doubts about the longevity of the second data layer. Stick to single-layer media for archival backup. I only use DVD+R DL for video projects. And even then, I save all the project source files to a small stack of single-layer DVD+R ot DVD-R.

DVD-R DL are ill-suited for video. The way data is written to the tracks, as well as how the disc is seen by the players, is not agreeable with DVD-Video. Stick to DVD+R DL media, and Verbatim is the ONLY viable choice right now. RICOH, CMC and RITEK are the only other DL manufacturers, and their media is pathetic in quality, making expensive coasters.

In all honesty, single-layer DVD is good for off-site backups (take to another house, your office in a drawer, leave with a sibling/parent/son/daughter). For on-site backups, just use a large external USB2 hard drive. I bought myself a 500GB hard drive for $115 about 3-4 months ago, for this exact purpose. Valuable archives and duplicated with my parents, and some are triplicate in a desk drawer at work. 4GB holds a lot of data, even uncompressed digital scans/photos.

I have Lightscribe at work and on my personal laptop. It's a gimmick. The discs are expensive, and it reminds me of the very aged Daguerreotype (predecessor to modern film printing). Here's an example of a Dagurerotype, if you've never seen one:

daguerreotype.jpg

It's a muddy, goldish image with limited contrast. It's a neat effect that will get boring after the 5th time you do it usually. You can always buy an inkjet color disc printer. Of course, I always says that a disc is the least-viewed piece of a disc package (at most, 10 seconds on average). Just use a Sharpie marker and write on it with clean handwriting. I think more effort should go into the DVD menu and the DVD case artwork, both of which receive far more viewing time (several minutes each, on average).

That's just my opinion on things, having tried them all, and having produced DVDs since 2001. You might notice how some commercial DVDs have gotten simpler on-disc printing in recent years, not more complex or even to the same intricacy as it was at the peak of new adoption a couple years ago. Only a very few discs have fancy printing still, generally items with a heavy fan base (He-Man DVD box sets come to mind).

Several companies seem to have taken the position that LS was a gimmick, and it does seem Pioneer is one of them. I do not recall seeing a LS-enabled Pioneer burner.

DVD+R DL has largely sorted out its issue in the past 12-18 months. The DVD FORMATS page on this site is one of the pages that now has out-of-date information. As you may have noticed, the forum has some notes about a site upgrade in progress. It's been in progress for 6 months now.

DVD-R DL did not rush their product, but they still made mistakes in the lead-in. The disc should have been ID'd as DVD-ROM instead of the largely unknown DVD-R DL type. DVD+R DL can now be booktyped to DVD+R DL in most DVD drives, and many drives (Pioneer is one) auto-booktypes DVD+R DL to DVD-ROM. This brings the compatibility range well in the 75% or greater range. Verbatim media and burner write strategies have also advanced a good bit.

I'm still not done with the slideshow reviews. I had to finish a major project that took 3 extra unplanned days.



- Did this site help you? Then upgrade to Premium Member and show your support!
- Also: Like Us on Facebook for special DVD/Blu-ray news and deals!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
11-09-2007, 07:40 PM
Scott Scott is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
I suggest you join the 40% of the world who has dropped Internet Explorer and started using Mozilla Firefox as their browser.
Thank you for the link. I had an old version of Mozilla on my HD, so I launched it and it advised me to upgrade to the latest version. I did, but there’s a problem.

It’s only showing bookmarks/favorites from a long time ago (probably from when I first downloaded the Firefox browser). I did some checking and I see that it’s supposed to transfer all of my bookmarks/faovorites from IE, but it didn’t update my bookmarks/favorites either when I launched the old Firefox OR when I installed the latest version.

Question: Is there a way to UPDATE the bookmarks/favorites folder so all of my bookmarks show up in Firefox?

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
I do not suggest DVD+R DL media for archiving. I have doubts about the longevity of the second data layer. Stick to single-layer media for archival backup. I only use DVD+R DL for video projects. And even then, I save all the project source files to a small stack of single-layer DVD+R ot DVD-R.
I know this is like kindergarten stuff for you, but it’s all new to me, please let me know if I have any of this wrong:

DVD+R dual layer = NOT good for archiving.

DVD+R single layer = GOOD for archiving.

DVD-R single layer = ALSO GOOD for archiving (but not for video, according to next quote).

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
DVD-R DL are ill-suited for video. The way data is written to the tracks, as well as how the disc is seen by the players, is not agreeable with DVD-Video. Stick to DVD+R DL media, and Verbatim is the ONLY viable choice right now. RICOH, CMC and RITEK are the only other DL manufacturers, and their media is pathetic in quality, making expensive coasters.
DVD-R dual layer = NOT good for VIDEO playback on stand-alone DVD players.
(if it’s not good for video, then to avoid confusion, would I be fine to use DVD+R for

DVD+R dual layer = GOOD for Video, but NOT for long-term storage/archiving.

Verbatim = ONLY source for quality DVD+R dual layer media, BUT it sounds like I should stay away from dual layer media for the purposes I’ll be using the DVD burner.

I will be using the DVD burner primarily to:

1. Preserve home video of family, slide-shows I create from family photos and videos, and storage of all the family photos that I've scanned onto my HD

2. Music ripped from my CD collection (using Exact Audio Copy)

3. Back-up of critical data files

All of these are long-term/archiving in nature, so it sounds like I should just stay away from dual layer media?

It sounds like I can’t go wrong if I stick to DVD+R single layer, by Verbatim, unless there are other single layer DVD+R media you prefer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
In all honesty, single-layer DVD is good for off-site backups (take to another house, your office in a drawer, leave with a sibling/parent/son/daughter).
Understood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
For on-site backups, just use a large external USB2 hard drive. I bought myself a 500GB hard drive for $115 about 3-4 months ago, for this exact purpose.
I looked into an external HD, but the more I researched and the more horror stories I read from reviews, the more paranoid I became. It didn’t matter if it was Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, LaCie, or anyone else. Everybody seems to dislike Maxtor. It seems that Seagate bought Maxtor, and is now selling substandard quality Maxtor drives under the Seagate brand label. One of the companies has a 5-year warranty (Seagate, I think) that impresses some people who leave reviews. The next person says theirs failed after 6 months and the 5-year warranty was a joke, it didn’t mean squat. Couldn't get a hold of customer service for days, unresponsive to emails, etc., etc., i.e., the run-around.

Smaller size drives seemed to have less problems overall, but lots of problems regardless. The all seem to run hot enough to cook eggs on (except for other people with the exact same model who inexplicably say theirs runs cool to the touch). They all seem loud (except for the other people who say theirs is so whisper quiet they’re not sure if it’s working and wish there was an activity light).

I usually do a lot of research before committing funds to something, not because I like to, but because I don’t want to make a mistake. Usually I end up with very satisfying results after doing my homework. But with external hard drives, the more time I spent researching, the less sure I was about anything. It would be comical if it wasn’t so infuriatingly frustrating. I must have spent 20+ hours over the course of two weeks researching the rotten things, and the only conclusion I reached is that people who leave reviews for external hard drives are either certifiably insane or else the product is just not ready for prime-time.

If you have a recommendation for a reliable, quiet, cool-running external hard drive, that connects by either USB 2.0 or Firewire, that can be turned off when not being used, and is formatted to work with Windows XP, I would be grateful (I have no idea how to re-format a hard-drive, I know that's pathetic, but I don't have anyone to teach me these things and I can't afford to screw up the only one I have). Portability is a bonus, but the device will spend 99% of its time on my desk or on top of my computer tower/box thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
I have Lightscribe at work and on my personal laptop. It's a gimmick. [snip] Just use a Sharpie marker and write on it with clean handwriting. I think more effort should go into the DVD menu and the DVD case artwork, both of which receive far more viewing time.
No gimmicks for me, so LightScribe is out, Pioneer 112 here we come. Sharpie marker for labels. Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
That's just my opinion on things, having tried them all, and having produced DVDs since 2001.
Your opinion is the one that counts, that’s why I’m here. I don’t know these things, and I don’t have anyone else to ask who is knowledgeable about these things, so I research online as best I can. My research eventually led me here. Your knowledge and experience is far greater than anyone else I know personally, and it would take me years of trial-and-error to figure out what you are helping me to understand so clearly and succinctly. I am grateful, and again, that’s why I’m here; I want to learn!

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
DVD+R DL has largely sorted out its issue in the past 12-18 months. The DVD FORMATS page on this site is one of the pages that now has out-of-date information. As you may have noticed, the forum has some notes about a site upgrade in progress. It's been in progress for 6 months now.
I understand. I try to read as much as I can here on your site about the things I’m interested in so I don’t waste your time asking about things you already discussed elsewhere, but before I make a decision I like to ask, just to make sure nothing has changed, or if something has changed, what the new recommendation or procedure is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
DVD-R DL did not rush their product, but they still made mistakes in the lead-in. The disc should have been ID'd as DVD-ROM instead of the largely unknown DVD-R DL type. DVD+R DL can now be booktyped to DVD+R DL in most DVD drives, and many drives (Pioneer is one) auto-booktypes DVD+R DL to DVD-ROM. This brings the compatibility range well in the 75% or greater range. Verbatim media and burner write strategies have also advanced a good bit.
At this point, I don’t intend to use DVD’s for anything BUT long-term/archival storage. I don’t expect to use the burning technology a LOT, but what I do use it for, I want it to last. Since dual layer is not recommended for long-term/archival storage, it sounds like I should stick to single layer.

As far as single-layer DVD’s go, it sounds like there is no disadvantage to using the DVD+R, if I have understood correctly.

Conclusion: If I’m going to purchase a spindle’s worth of 20 or 30 blank DVD’s, I should get the single layer DVD+R by Verbatim. (please let me know ASAP if I’m wrong!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by admin
I'm still not done with the slideshow reviews. I had to finish a major project that took 3 extra unplanned days.
I am very grateful for your effort, and for taking the time to help me with this kind of individual attention.

Thank you very, very much,
Scott
Reply With Quote
  #10  
11-09-2007, 10:00 PM
Scott Scott is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
P.S. I just checked Newegg for Verbatim DVD+R single layer media.

Naturally, there are at least 4 or 5 different types. If I didn't know better, I'd think trying to put together the equipment and software and storage media necessary to make a simple slide-show was more complicated than going to the moon. (sorry, just frustrated).

The "shiny" discs apparently scratch easily, which makes them unreadable(?). The inkjet hub-printable discs seem like they would have a good surface to print on using a Sharpie marker (I’m not going to buy a special inkjet printer to print CD or DVD labels), but I don’t know, and I don’t know if the data side is “shiny” like the other type that are actually called “shiny surface” or if they’re different. Seems like information everyone would want to know, but of course it’s not mentioned anywhere.

I recall from some research I did a month or two ago that there’s a company called Delkin with a product called Archival Gold (http://www.delkin.com/products/archivalgold/index.html), and one of their brands has something they call “Scratch Armor”. I like gold discs because of my experience with audiophile music Cd’s. I suspect Delkin Archival Gold is not one of your recommended brands, and it appears they only make DVD-R (not DVD+R) anyway, but is there something similar to “Scratch Guard” that is available on any of your recommended brands?

My Dad passed away in January of this year, from cancer. He was only 64 years old. He was very worried that his grandson (my nephew Dylan) would not remember him. I told my Dad not to worry about that, and I promised him that I would make sure his grandson didn’t forget him. My nephew was about 1 Ĺ when my Dad died. He’s a very sharp little boy though, and even though it has been nearly 10 months, he spent a lot of time with my parents (they were his baby-sitters every week), and he still remembers my Dad just fine.

I look at family pictures of my Dad with Dylan every chance I get, every week or two, to help make sure he doesn’t forget. A month or so ago I was babysitting him and we walked by the kitchen table where I have a picture of my Dad that I didn’t think Dylan had seen before. He was walking in front of me, and I grabbed the picture to show it to him. I said “hey Dylan, here’s Paw-Paw” (that’s what Dylan called my Dad). It didn’t occur to me until after I said it, but the way I said it sounded like my Dad was actually there, which is exactly what Dylan thought. I felt terrible because he turned around so fast with a big expectant grin on his face and look in his eyes, looking around for my Dad, and I had to explain to him that I just meant the picture, and remind him that Paw-Paw isn’t with us anymore. So he knows and remembers exactly who my Dad is, at least for now, but I want to be able to reinforce those memories of my Dad before it’s too late.

Family videos and vacation videos (Dylan went on a vacation with my parents last year) will be even better, but I need to learn how to do still-photos first, then I’ll tackle digital video, and hopefully I’ll learn how to integrate them eventually. For now, I just need to get SOMETHING for the little guy to be able to see his Grandpa on the TV.

My nephew loves “Cars, the Movie”, and movies and cartoons in general, and I know he will love this DVD slide-show packed with pictures of himself and my Dad together, and I’m setting it to music, but I’ve been trying to figure out how to do all of this for months now. It can’t be this complicated; if it was really this complicated, nobody would ever do it. Ever. Clearly, I must be making it a whole lot harder than it ought to be.

Sorry about the whole-life-story thing, back to the subject at hand. My nephew is hard on things. He’s hard on his movie DVD’s. If there is a “Scratch-Guard” type of product on a recommended brand that isn’t just a gimmick, that would be ideal. If it’s just another gimmick, then I’ll just make new copies of the slide-shows as he wears out or scratches up the one he has.

I didn’t know how I was going to keep my promise to my Dad, but the funeral home made a DVD from family photos that was played on a loop during the visitation. That’s where I got the idea to make my own DVD for Dylan. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to do all of this, and it’s a lot to learn when you’re starting from scratch. My research led to the Epson 4990 scanner, and I have become reasonably good at using it. It was difficult to work with photos on my 11 year old Princeton Graphics 17” CRT (about 15” viewable area), and the picture was going bad anyway. I chose the Princeton Graphics CRT all those years ago because it had a very low dot-pitch and excellent resolution. For the amount of time I spend in front of a monitor, it’s worth it to me to spend a little more to get the best image quality I can afford, especially for something that should last for 5+ years. The NEC 20WMGX seems like a good monitor, so far.

Trying to find the right software was the next hurdle. I’m sure Sony Vegas Studio Platinum 8 can probably do what I need it to do, but I’m concerned that the learning curve will be steep and that it’s like buying a Ferrari when all I need is something to get to the grocery and back. “Memories on TV” is probably an excellent program, but (at least for someone like myself), it’s not very intuitive or self-explanatory, there are no real directions, so it’s trial-and-error at a mind-numbing pace.

Meanwhile, another month goes by and I’m beginning to think my nephew will have kids of his own before I can figure out how to make a dag-gone slide show.

I'm sorry if this has come across like a rant, I didn't mean for it to be, but after reading this post, I can see how it might seem that way. It’s been a long week, and today has been frustrating, I think I might be a little stressed out…

I’ll check back periodically, thanks once again for your help and have a good weekend,

Scott
Reply With Quote
  #11  
11-10-2007, 08:48 PM
admin's Avatar
admin admin is offline
Site Staff | Web Development
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,333
Thanked 635 Times in 452 Posts
In Firefox, go to FILE > IMPORT...
Tell it you'll be importing from Microsoft IE and the just go with the wizard, import whatever you want (not just bookmarks, but cache/etc is an option).

Get the newest Firefox, version 2.0.0.9, don't use the older 1.x version, if that's what you have.

-----------------------------------------------------

It is very basic to me, but I have no problem re-explaining it until it's kindergarten for you too. Remember, all you ever needed to know, you learned in kindergarten!

DVD-R = best for video, good for data
DVD+R = good for video, good for data
DVD+R DL = best for video, not suggested for backup/archival data
DVD-R DL = bad for video, pretty much useless altogether
DVD-RW = good for temporary video or data
DVD+RW = good for temporary video or data

By "temporary", we're talking a few hours, days, or maybe weeks. No more. RW media can die fast, because the phase-change materials alter with time and use. This is different from pressed metal or dye-based recordable media.

DVD+RW DL and DVD-RW DL does not exist yet that I'm aware of. It was in development, but probably can't work for various physics reasons.

DVD+R can be booktyped to DVD-ROM in some burners, but it's usually not required, and it's easier to use DVD-R anyway. Booktype requires extra software and extra steps. Pioneer, along with most others, cannot booktype single-layer DVD+R.

DVD+R DL needs to be booktyed to DVD-ROM, and many burners, including Pioneer, automatically do this for you, no extra steps required.

-------------------------------------------------

Either DVD-R or DVD+R would be fine for you, for your needs of ripped audio data files, computer backup data files, and author DVD-Video/slideshow content.

-------------------------------------------------

Again remember that most people review a product when they want to complain. There are also any number of unknown variables that go with this. When it comes to hard drives, you're never sure if it was secured on the desk, if it was hit or knocked around by kids, if somebody bumped the desk every time it was writing, if the room was too hot and the unit was stuffed in a desk cubbyhole where it overheated, etc etc.

The only hard drives I ever had die were Maxtor. Seagate did buy out Maxtor, but there's no reason to believe Seagate quality went down. In fact, Seagate probably made the Maxtor facilities get their act together. This happened with Verbatim, back in 2004-2005, and how they forged relationships with CMC and MBI. Verbatim made CMC and MBI improve, at least on the Mitsubishi products.

I have a Western Digital 400GB USB2 drives with an off switch. I bought it back in 2005, love it. They don't seem to make drives with switches anymore, not sure why, it's stupid. I bought a WD MyBook 500GB a few months ago, and it turns on with my computer. Luckily, I need it on each time, so not a big deal. In my research, I learned that Iomega has a 320GB and a 500GB external USB2 drive, that has an off/on switch, and is stocking Seagate drives inside. My last purchase was driven largely by budget, so I didn't go for the Iomega, as it was about $40 more expensive. Staples, Office Depot or OfficeMax has it. Look into that.

Another option, in terms of external USB2 drives, is to just unplug it when you don't want it (only when computer is turned off).

Speaking of which, turn off the computer daily when not used for 4 or more hours. For starters, electricity costs money, and it's not green-friendly. It also ages your computer parts prematurely (dead hard drives, etc). That's another variable you never know about when people have computer problems. I find too many people let a computer run 24/7 and then wonder why it broke.

----------------------------------------------------

You can buy Verbatim DVD-R or DVD+R an that's a good choice. I watch sale ads at Officemax and Best Buy weekly, for their sales. Verbatim 50-packs are often $13-18 on sale. The 25-packs are often $8-10 on sale. The 100-packs are often $25-35 on sale. I wouldn't pay regular prices (about $1 per disc, which is nuts).

If you want 100 discs, B&H has a 100-pack for about $25 plus about $6 shipping. www.bhphotovideo.com, a reliable store I've used for my photo and video needs for more than 10 years now. I suggest that store to so many people I should get commission.

I personally use Verbatim DVD+R for duplication, because my dupe burners (BTC drives) works best with DVD+R media. My Pioneer uses whatever I want, and my players all play both.

If money is no object, Verbatim does make archival media. Truly archival grade media, not just a marketing word like others try to do. Most "archival" media is BS, but not Verbatim's. However, I'm still not convinced it's not just another gimmick to reign in a potential "stupid audience" that insists on buying gold-plated so-called archive discs. The Verbatim uses silver-colored reflective, but a gold upper, with the premium AZO dye. The only difference here is a strip of gold, and you pay a lot more per-disc for it (about $1.50 per disc).

Whether you want those is up to you. Personally, I don't see the need, but I want you to at least know your options. I think it's just gold to give somebody a fuzzy warm feeling, because "gold is better than silver" (an aged cliche, especially if you watch the silver and golds markets!).

-----------------------------------------------------

Verbatim also has scratch guarded media. Those are also in stores (Best Buy, especially), usually next to the DVD recorders. These also cost more, about $1 per disc, however the coating is real. I use these myself, for discs that are likely to be used heavily. The coating is resistant, and it's your typical Verbatim quality. These are called "VideoGard" discs. Yes, Gard and not Guard.

-----------------------------------------------------

Delkin is a brand used by the company MAM-A and the now-gone MAM-E, who bought out Mitsui. These discs use gold, and like to blow sunshine up a customer's rear, using tempting words like "archival" and everything else. In actuality, gold reflects light poorly, so your gold discs will be the first one to bite the dust. The only CD-R that I ever lost were gold discs from about 15 years ago. It didn't help that CD-R have no protective upper polycarbonate (plastic) layer, like a DVD does, so it helped contribute to the disc death. The data is probably still there, but gold reflects so bad that it can't actually read the degraded disc. The other issue is the cyanine-based dye used on these discs is not very readable to begin with, and it ages badly in independent tests. Of course, their research gives these bogus 3-5 century results. Mitsui, Kodak, Delkin, MAM-A are all to be avoided. If it has gold, run away.

TDK also has ArmorPlate discs. They were the first. The TDK Pro line has some ArmorPlate now, but with CMC producing all TDK these days, quality of disc varies. TDK ID media are almost non-existant, and CMC media is as desirable as the common cold. And equally as common.

As usual, stick to Verbatim. (Another company that should put me on commission!)

----------------------------------------------------

I completely understand the family story. We all have our memories and reason we got into video. I fully believe in chronicling the present, for those in the future. History is a hobby, and that's why I chose journalism as my career. Few things are as powerful and words and images of yesterday.

I got into this because I wanted to preserve my memories, both family photos and videos, as well as pop-culture recordings I had on VHS (favorite cartoons not sold on tape or DVD, etc).

------------------------------------------------

Be very sure your kid only gets copies, and you have your original tucked away in a safe place, with more copies at more safe places (safety deposit box, desk drawer at work, sibling's house, etc).

--------------------------------------------------

The best way to scan photos is to scan the negatives in a dedicated negative scanner. This is more costly, and more time-consuming, but again, those are your options. The lower-res, lesser accurate flatbed scans or prints or negatives will suffice, however, for on-screen video, given the limitations of images on a video screen.

-----------------------------------------------------

I purchased an LG LCD, 19" (not widscreen), because it had many options for brightness and color correction. If you hate to be blinded by LCDs, like I do, look at the LG units. I can tune this thing down as dim or as bright as I want. My Dell at work, on the other hand, is like staring into the sun sometimes (and I'm making them replace it here in a few months), one the minimum trade-in date passes.

------------------------------------------------------

My next post, Sunday or Monday, will have info and directions on how you can make that slideshow easily.

I might also start to upgrade this forum within the next 7 days, so if it is suddenly gone, or you see something other than this gray forum, it means the upgrades are in progress.

- Did this site help you? Then upgrade to Premium Member and show your support!
- Also: Like Us on Facebook for special DVD/Blu-ray news and deals!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
11-11-2007, 01:26 AM
admin's Avatar
admin admin is offline
Site Staff | Web Development
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,333
Thanked 635 Times in 452 Posts
I made a new topic for slideshow software reviews

Tell me which method appeals most to you, and we'll go from there.

My favorite method is still the Premiere method, but DVD Slideshow GUI is really good too, and best of all, it's free! And there's always Proshow Gold, but it's slightly fancy and $70, although worth the price and time spent learning it (not more than a couple of hours for the basics, maybe a few days to cover all the advanced options too).

- Did this site help you? Then upgrade to Premium Member and show your support!
- Also: Like Us on Facebook for special DVD/Blu-ray news and deals!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
11-28-2007, 02:32 AM
Scott Scott is offline
Premium Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm back, not sure where the time went. Thank you very much for the information, I received my Pioneer 112 DVD burner and I will attempt installation tomorrow.

I'll let you know how it goes, hopefully it won't be too painful, and then I'll check out the slideshow software reviews (thank you!).

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving,

Scott
Reply With Quote
  #14  
01-24-2008, 07:37 PM
admin's Avatar
admin admin is offline
Site Staff | Web Development
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4,333
Thanked 635 Times in 452 Posts
Hoping this went well. Never heard back.

- Did this site help you? Then upgrade to Premium Member and show your support!
- Also: Like Us on Facebook for special DVD/Blu-ray news and deals!
Reply With Quote
Reply




Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can somebody recommend a good dvd burner? tek Blank Media 13 04-11-2009 02:02 AM
DVD Burner jrnyhead Blank Media 3 01-17-2009 03:21 PM
Best possible DVD disk that you would recommend? admin Blank Media 0 01-13-2009 04:04 AM
Can you recommend a batch image resizer? mlaviolette Encode, Convert for discs 1 10-14-2006 12:08 PM
DVD burner going bad???? MagnificentMarcus Copy DVDs, Duplicate, Replicate 14 08-09-2006 05:07 PM

Thread Tools



 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:48 PM