05-06-2004, 09:33 AM
myron myron is offline
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I have been reading all I can about DVD creation (probably too much) and must admit that I am both overwhelmed and still somewhat confused. I am overwhelmed with the piecemeal approaches suggested (i.e. edit w/ a NLE, encode/decode/demux/mux, author, and burn) in that the choices are many with each having significant pros and, more importantly, cons (plus the cost of obtaining many of these components). I am still somewhat confused with the encode/decode and demux/mux aspects - especially when coupled with suggestions like: "... use this authoring program but be sure to not let in encode the video as it's encoder is really poor ..."

While I am capable of absorbing these topics and such I really am just wanting an end result (i.e. a playable DVD with decent to great quality). I have plenty of other areas that I would rather spend my time with as a hobby. What really got me started in this was my fear of my old camcorder tapes of my children when they were young going bad - thus I want to get them transfered onto DVD.

So to finally ask a question here: is it your opinion that I will achieve significantly better results by investing the time to work with all the component parts as in your sites "How To Do Video the Digital FAQ Way" vs. trying again with Pinnacle Studio (I took your advice and bought a sound card, instead of the on board sound chip, hoping that it would help with my out of sync (OOS) problem that I had encountered)?

To recap my experience and where I am. I initially used Pinnacle Studio (both 8 and 9) and encountered the audio becomming OOS with the video (version 9 was much worse than version 8). I then started reading such sites and got as far as capturing better via this sites guides with ATI MMC and then editing MPEG2 content using Womble's MPEG video wizard (my experience with Womble was very positive). At that point I became overwhelmed with whether or not to demux and doink with audio aspects and then author. The choice of authoring programs and thier respective pros and cons just didn't leave me with a clear choice on which to proceed with.

If your answer to the above question is to proceed with the components approach then would you please suggest a full solution path (and maybe it will be to follow the "Straight conversions on perfect or imperfect sources") and I will proceed with the next steps and ask specific questions as necessary.

By the way - have you tried the DVD-lab authoring program (it seems to be good on the surface reading a guide on the doom9 site)?
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05-07-2004, 02:46 AM
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DVD-LAB was a decent program, but early versions had bugs, and it never had all the options I wanted ... therefore I never adopted it. Time has been kind to it, and the new DVD-LAB PRO is something I plan to try in the future, probably later this summer when I may need it more. It's probably worth learning.

Everything I do is based on a balance of speed and quality. To this end, the processes I've listed out ont he digitalFAQ Way page accomplished that.

Editing audio is optional, and only needed if there are audio problems (quite common to have hiss). If you are using your own DV shot source, there probably is not much hiss, not like tapes at least.

If you've managed to capture video (or transfer DV footage), and edit, and get good final MPEG files ... the hard part is over.

If you have files that you are happy with, then it's time to author. Tweaking audio or restoring video is optional.

Some authoring programs require separate audio and video files. Sonic programs are like this (DVDit!, ReelDVD ... even Scenarist). Other programs are not (TMPGENC, DVD-LAB, etc).

Demux is a simple step that take just a few minutes (of PC time, you just sit and wait). It separates audio and video, and TMPGENC (free software) has this tool in the MPEG TOOLS under the FILE menu. I use SIMPLE DEMUX to split the file.

DEMUX Vocabulary == The separate video and audio files are called ELEMENTARY STREAMS because they only contain one kind of data in the file (video in a video file, audio only in an audio file). PROGRAM STREAMS (or SYSTEM STREAMS) have both audio and video data together in the same file.

To this end, following the digitalFAQ WAY is the best thing to do. Skip optional steps of restoring audio if it's not needed. Use whatever AUTHORING program you want to use. I like my programs, but DVD-LAB is probably not a bad option (though I can't help with it), and you may want to check out the new DVD-LAB guide at VideoHelp.com that is on the front page. Some guy insisted you spell "complete" as "compleat", so you'll know what to look for. But I'd say DVDit! PE will probably do MOST of what you'd you want as an easy and quick software (only real exception is motion menus).

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