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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are several threads about various dvd-r/rw/ram units, but I have a question that really doesn't fall into the technical discussions of the recorders themselves.


I'd like to get a DVD recorder for various reasons, one of which I would like to be to transfer my laserdiscs over to dvd-r.


If I were able to do this I could sell the LD player and recoup some of the cost of the DVD Recorder.


Do LDs have any sort of macrovision or other copy protection that might interfere with the transfer?


Thanks,


Jim
 

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LD's have no Macrovision, but you must be aware that DVD-R's of LD's will not look close to LD quality, due to the low bit rate. I just had two of my most prized laserdiscs DVD-R'd in case the LD's rot and I am happy with the results.


But there is no question that the laserdiscs look superior. The DVD's look almost like SVHS copies. There are constant artifacts on the DVD's, like mosquito noise, that will be glaringly obvious on a large screen. On a smaller Tube TV, not so much.
 

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.. I'll speak up on the archiving of LD >> DVD-R, as I did the transfers for Matt. (which took way long but that matter is resolved for the time being)..


Let me give you some of the details/facts on the current state of the effort and what I have to work with.


I use a Dazzle DVC II to do realtime MPEG-2 transfers. Capture rates are up to 10mb/s VBR (remember DVD only is supposed to go video up to 8mb/s). I've got the Pioneer A03 recorder on a 900mhz Intel box.


Currently blank DVD-R are limited to single layer, 4.7gb per disc. Approximate captures for these are...


4mb/s CBR = 2 hours/disc

8mb/s CBR = 1 hour/disc


4mb/s CBR = 3.5 to 4 hours/disc (depending on source material)

8mb/s CBR = 1.6-2 hours/disc (dosm)


One problem I have now is that the software I'm using for an MPEG-2 editor is slighly brain dead and 'thinks' everything is CBR, that means if want to record two hours in 8mb/s VBR, it thinks that it would be a 8gb file and tell me to get stuffed. This will (hopefully) go away in the next version which will be XP compatible. Right now to get around that problem, I have to make 'pseudo' chapters to let the two pieces fit on one disc and play back in order, there is unfortunately a slight pause at the break, but if for some reason there is a fade at each side it's hardly noticable.


Multiple audio tracks - commentary tracks, isolated music, different languages. Not on a single disc. [But DVD supports multiple audio tracks?] Not on the current consumer level DVD mastering software. If you wanted to do things like that, then count on one DVD-R copy PER AUDIO TRACK (ie. Escape from New York with the Carpenter/Russell track) would have to be a complete seperate copy of the disc, completely recorded/mastered from scratch. Even if I could put in multiple audio tracks, I think I would lose what is left of my sanity trying to sync them up.


Chapter stops - except for the 'pseudo chapters' as descriped above, nope.. not gonna be there. Again a case of the consumer mastering software not being up to the task.


CBR vs VBR - I don't think ANY realtime encoder can ever be artifact free, but CBR will definately decrease it. If you wanted to make a LD>DVD-R archive to two discs, there would be little reason to NOT use 8mb/s CBR. I have EXPERIMENTED with capturing at 10mb/s CBR and feeding it to a two pass, software encoder to get it down to 8mb/s VBR, but for a 30 minute program it took 28 HOURS to do (and that's on a 900mhz box).


Time involved - well, for a two hour disc, figure 2 hours for the capture, about 30 minutes to clip/trim the files, 30 minutes or so to layout the disc, roughly 2 hours to build the disc image, another hour or so to burn a check disc on DVD-R/W, if I want to do a THROUGH job on checking it, 2 hours to watch it, is all is well, another hour to burn the final disc (since I had the good sense to save the disc image). Total of 9-10 hours (a good day's work). While it's doing the capture/disc image construction I usually take and scan the LD cover and produce a suitable DVD cover.


The Costs - well (and I know, if you shop a bit you can get better prices, this is retail) The A03 drive is $799, the DVC II is $399. DVD-R Blanks, 'video grade' (TDK,Verbatim, Pioneer, Mitsu) run (now) between $9-15 each (depending on where you buy and when.. prices (it seems) change HOURLY. 'data grade' [ie, good for storing the raw mpeg images or whatever, but may not perform well in set-top players) can be had as low as $6.50 each. Also, even tho it's a hardware encoder, you will need a FAST machine with FAST HD's to keep up with the encoder.. and a LOT of disc space). And, the DVC II is a bit touchy on which MB's/Video cards/IRQ's it will get along with... plan on having a dedicated capture/edit box.


Charge - I really don't know. I've considered starting a service bureau for folks that want their LD converted to DVD-R (and VHS/S-VHS/Beta/SuperBeta as well) but I don't know what would be a reasonable charge. If you too 'minimum wage' and applied it to the 9 hours above, that would be.. what? $50/disc? But then only about 1-2 hours of that 9 are actually 'doing something' the rest is hurry up and wait. Considering the 'cost of materials' is roughly $12 (take the middle road), what would be fair?? (plus shipping). Realize that to do it i would ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO HAVE YOU SEND ME THE DISC/TAPE TO VERIFY OWNERSHIP OF THE TITLE.


So far I've done the following conversions of my discs and I'm quite happy with them, Song of the South, Wizard of Speed/Time, Gumball Rally and Howard the Duck (hush.. it's a classic) [DON'T EVEN ASK, SEE ABOVE] and I could be open to doing some more conversions IN ABOUT A MONTH. I'm about to embark on a pet project of mine to convert the 71 existing episodes of 'The Amos and Andy' TV show to disc and I'm going to have to massage the audio on some of them quite a bit (and that's 71 half hours/35.5 hours of video).


Anything I missed? Oh, yeah.. what comes out is NTSC, Region-Free, Macrovision-Free. Anything else I left out.. just ask...
 

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i don't know what player you used, but I think the higher quality the source player you use when copying, the better, right?
 

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wow Londo - thanks for all the info...once you get everything worked out i would love to talk about getting my star wars definitive edition transferred to dvd



i'm confused by this - is the second set of times supposed to be for VBR ??

Quote:
Originally posted by Londo
Currently blank DVD-R are limited to single layer, 4.7gb per disc. Approximate captures for these are...


4mb/s CBR = 2 hours/disc

8mb/s CBR = 1 hour/disc


4mb/s CBR = 3.5 to 4 hours/disc (depending on source material)

8mb/s CBR = 1.6-2 hours/disc (dosm)

 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cpc
i don't know what player you used, but I think the higher quality the source player you use when copying, the better, right?
Correct... I've got a (mind blank) Panasonic 'industrial' player that does a decent job... have never given me any problems
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by lizard_boy
wow Londo - thanks for all the info...once you get everything worked out i would love to talk about getting my star wars definitive edition transferred to dvd



i'm confused by this - is the second set of times supposed to be for VBR ??

Drop me a line anytime and we'll talk.. and yes, the second set of numbers are for VBR
 

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I think the best bet would be to get the DMR-E20 and for laser disks use dual sided DVD-RAM so you can store 9 gigs. Then you will be able to use a good solid data rate.


Since Macrovision isn't an issue then you can copy it straight from the laser disk to the DVD-Ram from one side of the laser disk, and then do the other. . . . or you can use multiple DVD-R.
 

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Hello,


I sold several Pioneer DVD recorders (2000 and 7000) to people specifically interested in copying LDs to DVDs, and this is my 2 cents about the question.


Best results of course achieved by recording only one hour per 4.7Gb disc. In the case of the Pioneer, using the native VR Mode (on an RW disc) is supposed to give slightly better results than Video Mode (R disc, or RW disc in Video Mode), even at 1 hour.


Compared to the fastidious procedure described by Londo above, it is a no brainer: basically run the LD and record in real time, just the way you would on a tape.


When not shooting for best possible quality (or if source LD is noisy anyway), an RW disc in VR mode makes it possible to choose a bit rate that will match the length of the program to the nearest 10 minutes.


Pausing for side breaks and resuming recording was said to trigger no lag, drop, or anything else visible, but would require a good timing from your part when recording on DVD-R, as no mistake can be corrected. On an RW in VR mode, you could let the LD player play both sides, record the side break and edit it out afterwards.


The 7000 has an "LD" record setting that is supposed to optimize the recording quality by choosing the proper combination of parameters. It has similar "TV" and "video tape" settings. The parameters can also be adjusted manually and the combination stored in 3 memories; each input can be assigned a memory. So for example if your LD player is on line 2 and you optimize manually the recording parameters, you store them in memory 1 and then assign memory 1 to line 2.


Buyers were very satisfied with the results and found the Pioneer recorders to fill their initial hopes. Some have sold rare LDs and actually ended up with a profit.


Hope this helps,

Nicolas

http://www.ebaystores.com/id=12753418
 

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Londo-


I think both Nicolas and Chap have the right idea. You are using the wrong tool for the job. Making a DVD-R, in my way of thinking should be the way to do this for best quality since the DVD-RAM dual sided may have certain compatibility issues that out weigh it's single disk benefits. This, in combination with the blank media costs for DVD-RAM make it less desirable than the double disk copy using XP (1 hour mode) The price of media for DVD-R is dropping each week so that is also a good reason to choose the double disk real-time method. If the client wishes to suffer a bit of quality in exchange for the convenience of a single disk copy, you do have that option with this real-time system.


I also wanted to build a service bureau for creating DVD's for customers but never considered doing it the way you described for the very reasons you listed. Several local companies have tried exactly what you tried and are in fiscal pain with the investments of $16,000 - $7000 computer based technologies and can't find the market to want to pay their $200-300 per disk price to even meet the payments on the equipment.

The nature of my service bureau offering is mostly, commercial archiving rather than consumer format conversion. Here's some advantages you should consider:

1. The Panasonic real-time recorder is now well below $1000 investment cost.

2. The businesses with tape based archives have the copyrights to these programs and you don't have to worry about doing a business plan based on possible violating any copyright laws. This is a gray area with some risk.

3. The clients will probably have the players for their media that you may consider in the price of the job. Or, you can rent them at affordable rates.

4. The Panasonic or Pioneer real time technology allows you to sell a DVD-R dub for excellent margins and still have a product that appears affordable to the client. Plus you will spend your time watching TV while your recorder works and you won't be needing to tend to all those software computer issues, driving you insane, knowing all along you are working for $1.25 per hour.


Currently, in my neighborhood, we have 3 businesses offering DVD-R dubbing real-time. The prices are all competitive at $50 for the 1 hour programs, $60 for the 2 hour programs. Considering the media cost of $6 now for DVD-R and a $1 for labeling, you have a business model for a very rapid cost recovery on the technology. In the first week of direct marketing this service, my acceptance rate was surprising and I will be very busy for then foreseeable future just doing real time DVD-R dubbing. You should consider either the Pioneer or the Panasonic real-time technology for any service bureau work.
 

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Don.. I never said I was doing a service bureau work.. this is a hobby... no the stand alone DVD-Recorders look great.. but I find the A03 a very acctractive for the casual and not so casual user..


- I can accumulate episodes of series I want to archive to disc a week (or more) at a time... using 5mb/s VBR I put 5 episodes of Stargate SG-1 on a single disc.. recorded many weeks apart.


- I can do fine level editing of same for commercial removal and in some cases doing audio correction, for example the Amos and Andy episodes I'm working on have really nasty tape hiss.. lemme see, I can make multiple passes to try to clean up the audio problems (which might be audio flutter, hiss, to low in some places) or one recording/encoding pass and then demux the audio to a seperate stream and the post-process and clean the audio and then remux


- I can do multi level menus for the programs (in the case of multi-episode discs)


- I can fit the bitrate to the project. Some things 4mb/s VBR is fine anything more is overkill.


- once I have the disc image built.. I can burn off more as fast as I need them, a week later, a year later, whatever..


- one VERY IMPORTANT aspect is that I can also make DVD DATA DISCS. One of my hobbies is old time radio. 4.7GB of encoded MP3 DATA. Or whatever data I want to hold, like raw MPEG-2 captures, so if I want/need to go back and correct/edit/trim/whatever the raw data to rebuild the same/new disc at any time I like (consider the fun of re-extracting the MPEG-2 data from a VOB, I have... not exactly my idea of fun tho..)


So.. no, I"m not using the 'wrong tool for the job' .. I'm using PRECISELY THE CORRECT TOOL for MY JOB and WHAT I WANT TO DO. The standalone DVD Recorders are find for what they do...


Usng a DVD-R drive and a hardware encoder, software editor, software DVD mastering package is a PRECISION TOOL... the stand-alone units are .. well.. just pedestrian, consumer grade, 'press here to record with limited options' units.. fine for what they do.. they just don't "do" enough...
 

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Londo-


You said in an earlier post-


"Charge - I really don't know. I've considered starting a service bureau for folks that want their LD converted to DVD-R (and VHS/S-VHS/Beta/SuperBeta as well) but I don't know what would be a reasonable charge. "


Sorry if I misunderstood that to mean that you intend to do service bureau work. I was only trying to help as I've been in this business for over 17 years an have some experience in making a living at it.


As a business it is very important to use the correct tool for the task at hand. This means avoiding using a general purpose tool that may not be efficient in the task you intend to do if a better one is available to meet the needs of the job. I agree that using the A03 is a better choice, no, the only choice for data recording as the E20 and 7000 variety will not do data recording. I don't do data recording on DVD yet. I plan to do this very soon and will be adding an A03 drive or similar technology shortly. However, initially, my plan is for strictly dub work and the A03 is really not suited best for that task. I see myself doing interactive video within the next year and this definitly requires a drive technology like you have as opposed to the E20 system. Additionally, I look forward to doing network drive backups with DVD data disks as well.


As for my hobby end of this, I really don't watch that much on DVD. I think I own less than 25 DVD's and rarely rent them anymore. My main interest in HT as a hobby is HDTV. This DVD-R thing for me is strictly service bureau work. The E20 now occupies an SVHS VCR slot in my dub rack.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Don Landis
Londo-


You said in an earlier post-


"Charge - I really don't know. I've considered starting a service bureau for folks that want their LD converted to DVD-R (and VHS/S-VHS/Beta/SuperBeta as well) but I don't know what would be a reasonable charge. "
Ahh.. I see ... I should have said a 'hobbyist service bureau'.. or 'specialist service bureau' for those that might need more than just a 'dump to disc' (ie, specialized editing, one off's and multi-copies of same, oh I have 11 episodes of this 60's vintage show scattered on 8 different tapes with duplicates, but the 1st half of the one on tape 6 is messed up but there is a good 1st half on tape 9, but the last half of that one is fouled up... etc.. etc.. etc..) I *did* look a the possibilities of using one of the stand-alones to do the initial encoding but for the cost ($1300-$1700 vs $300 for the DVC II) and then (in all likelyhood) having the joy of extracting the MPEG-2 streams to any fine-editing/processing.. brrrr...


we've had computer hackers for a while.. just call me a video hackist :D
 

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Londo- When you create the video/audio files on your hard drive, do you have any problems with file sizes beyond 2 gig? All my digitizing here is done to avi and there is a 2 gig limit so anything that goes beyond that is cut off. This is not so much a problem with your MPEG2 encoder but I am using a simple firewire card and it saves all video in AVI uncompressed. I also have a Hollywood Dazzle for converting analog sources to 1394 but it doesn't work too well. It is better for me to dub to DVCAM here and then port that to the computer via 1394. I presume your mpeg encoder works without bugs. The Dazzle hollywood does not properly frame the video.
 

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Don...


well there are bugs and then there are bugs :) I'm encoding direct to MPEG2 at CBR/VBR and whatever bitrate. The DVC II uses the C-Cube DVXplorer chip (I believe). Right now in Win98 I'm limited to a 4gb capture file and it does give me some hassle when I'm recording something in (for instance) 8mb/s VBR, the DVC II only 'thinks' in CBR for it's file size limitations .. and an 8mb/s CBR file would be 8gb. That is supposed to be corrected when the XP compatible version of the software comes out (RSN). As I said long back (points back up the messages) the DVC II can be touchy on what hardware it works with and trying to share IRQ's (ie.. it dosen't).. but it works well for me.. others will damn it, but I'm happy..
 

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Lando,

What about subtitles??

You can do the video image and the audio track, but what about adding text?? Are you able to add user selectable (on or off)subtitles to your home made DVDs??



J.T.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jtkv
Lando,

What about subtitles??

You can do the video image and the audio track, but what about adding text?? Are you able to add user selectable (on or off)subtitles to your home made DVDs??
That is totally dependant on the DVD Mastering software.. there is some that will do it.. but not in my price range.
 

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The 2 G limit, I believe is an AVI limitation but with mpeg2 your limitation is windows issue. I have win2000 here so I don't think it would be a problem but then I don't have an mpeg2 hardware encoder board either. I build long videos in short segments using batch digitizing software that works very well. It takes about 45 minutes to render a 30 minute program to mpeg 1 from the AVI files. Haven't benchmarked MPEG2 yet.
 
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