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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Don't know much about recorders - but have about 40 laserdiscs I need too back up (before they rot) to DVD-R. I'm already too late on a couple. I'm thinking of picking up a new Pioneer unit and am wondering if I really need an on-board hard drive? The only editing I'll be doing pertains to the side break. After I back-up these lasers - I'll probably sell the unit as I have no other use for it, as I use a DVD-Recorder from my cable company for TV shows. Thoughts?
 

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It's easier with a hard drive because you don't have to be present to pause the recording during the side break. Of course you could record the side break and take the disc to a computer to edit out that part and burn a new DVD. In fact, I do this by using VR-mode DVD-RW's with my Pioneer recorder. If you don't mind the side break appearing (after all, you watched it without too much bother when you were playing your laserdiscs) then just keep it on the disc. Ten years from now you can edit it out when you re-record to whatever technology we're using then.
 

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If you want to do any sort of chapter editing its probably easier with a hard drive unless you are using DVD-RW (VR) mode or RAM.
 

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I have an el-cheapo DVD recorder with no hard drive that I've used to back up quite a few laserdiscs. Since the laserdiscs at most have one hour per side, I've been recording each side onto its own +RW disc at the highest quality. I also don't worry about precisely starting or stopping the laserdisc during the recording, so I end up with bluescreen at the beginning and end of each DVD.


Once I've got the DVDs done, I use DVD Decrypter to rip the video into my computer. Using DVD Shrink, I then re-author up to two hours of video onto one final DVD. I figure the adaptive compresion that Shrink applies is much better than the reduced bitrate that would be applied using the standalone recorder at the 2-hour mode. Anyway, Shrink also allows me to set the start and stop frames for each section, so that's where I cut out the side break and the intro crap.


I set Shrink to compress down to about 4.5 gigs leaving about 200 megs free for menu creation using TMPGEnc DVD Creator. I also use the TMPGEnc program to set the chapter marks to the same locations as where they were on the original laserdisc.


Once I've got that finalized, I burn the final product onto a +R disc. Then I erase the original +RWs and start over.


Results so far have been fantastic. I mean it's not the same picture as a commercial digitally processed DVD. But since a lot of the stuff I've backed up isn't available on DVD, I'm pretty happy with the results.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by AkaStp
As I understand it, Widescreen Laserdiscs are letterboxed inside a 4:3 frame and so won't display correctly on a 16:9 TV without zooming or stretching. If you copy a Laserdisc to DVD can you then edit the .ifo files using IfoEdit and change the widescreen flag to 16:9 so that the picture will fit a 16:9 TV?
Technically, the DVD copies from letterbox laserdiscs do show up correctly on your 16:9 TV. It would be incorrect for them to fill the width of the screen without some distortion from your TV's settings. So, no, there is nothing that can be done with the IFO setting to change non-anamorphic 4:3 video to anamorphic 16:9 video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZManCartFan
I have an el-cheapo DVD recorder with no hard drive that I've used to back up quite a few laserdiscs. Since the laserdiscs at most have one hour per side, I've been recording each side onto its own +RW disc at the highest quality. I also don't worry about precisely starting or stopping the laserdisc during the recording, so I end up with bluescreen at the beginning and end of each DVD.


Once I've got the DVDs done, I use DVD Decrypter to rip the video into my computer. Using DVD Shrink, I then re-author up to two hours of video onto one final DVD. I figure the adaptive compresion that Shrink applies is much better than the reduced bitrate that would be applied using the standalone recorder at the 2-hour mode. Anyway, Shrink also allows me to set the start and stop frames for each section, so that's where I cut out the side break and the intro crap.


I set Shrink to compress down to about 4.5 gigs leaving about 200 megs free for menu creation using TMPGEnc DVD Creator. I also use the TMPGEnc program to set the chapter marks to the same locations as where they were on the original laserdisc.


Once I've got that finalized, I burn the final product onto a +R disc. Then I erase the original +RWs and start over.


Results so far have been fantastic. I mean it's not the same picture as a commercial digitally processed DVD. But since a lot of the stuff I've backed up isn't available on DVD, I'm pretty happy with the results.
Great information! Thanks.

Question:

I may want to try going this route - however:

I do have a DVD burner on my computer w/ DVD shrink software. Never used it. It doesn't have analog inputs. How do I send the L/R audio and video from the laserdisc player to the computer's hard drive?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine
Great information! Thanks.

Question:

I may want to try going this route - however:

I do have a DVD burner on my computer w/ DVD shrink software. Never used it. It doesn't have analog inputs. How do I send the L/R audio and video from the laserdisc player to the computer's hard drive?
Don't confuse a DVD burner in your computer with a stand-alone DVD recorder. They're two different animals.


In order to get the video and/or audio from your laserdisc player, you'd either need a standalone DVD recorder attached to your laserdisc player (this is what I have) or some kind of video/audio capture equipment attached to your computer. The latter is available from $50 USB devices that aren't worth the box they come in to several-throusance dollar professional video equipment.


The route I take is to capture the laserdisc onto DVD from the standalone DVD recorder (which is just like a VCR in operation). I then take the DVD from that and "rip" it into my computer using DVD Decrypter (although Shrink will also do it).


You can find a lot more information on all of this at http://www.videohelp.com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No - I'm not confusing them - just wondering if bypassing the stand-alone DVD recorder - and sending the laserdisc video/audio directly to a computer - would be a better route for me to go. However my computer (as it is) won't allow me to do this.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ballentine
No - I'm not confusing them - just wondering if bypassing the stand-alone DVD recorder - and sending the laserdisc video/audio directly to a computer - would be a better route for me to go. However my computer (as it is) won't allow me to do this.
Ok, gotcha. Are you looking to record digital audio from a modded AC3 laserdisc player? If that's the case, I really don't know what to tell you. I'd guess you could probably use one the digital-ins that would be available on a Soundblaster card.


But if what you want is to record the audio through regular analog outs from the laserdisc player, I'm wondering what the point would be unless you just wanted to record audio CDs from laserdisc material. If you did want the audio separate, I guess you could just use an RCA to 1/8 inch cable to the line-in of your soundcard. I would be really surprised if your computer didn't have an input.


For me, the DVD recorder just records the audio along with the video from the laserdisc player. It records in Dolby Digital 2.0 which carries all Dolby Surround encoding along with it. The audio and video are then ripped concurrently into the PC when I do the editing.


That also makes me wonder how you would synch up the audio and video on the PC if you did record them separately. I would think it would be pretty tough to get an exact match.
 

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My solution to recording audio/video on PC's is to use the ADS Pyro A/V Link (API-550): http://dealtime.net/xPF-A_D_S_20690029


Then you just need IEEE1394 (FireWire) on your PC and you can capture DV-format files (*.avi) using Windows Movie Maker II (among others).


Edit and author the captured video using Tsunami MPEG Encoder and Tsunami DVD Author. There are lots of similar software out there but I find the Tsunami is a high-quality encoder.


Then with a Dual-Layer DVD Burner such as the NEC DC-3540A, typically under $50, you can burn both sides of your Laser Disc to one DVD+/-R, at maximum DVD resolution, if you so desire.


Just throwing this out as one approach.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZManCartFan
For me, the DVD recorder just records the audio along with the video from the laserdisc player. It records in Dolby Digital 2.0 which carries all Dolby Surround encoding along with it. The audio and video are then ripped concurrently into the PC when I do the editing.


If you have laserdiscs with PCM digital audio tracks, particularly concert laserdiscs, I would highly recommend you record them using LPCM audio to the DVD recorder. LPCM is virtually full bit rate audio, uncompressed, as opposed to the compressed audio of AC-3 or DD 2.0. That's why laserdisc soundtracks are generally much better sounding than DVDs.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by squonk
If you have laserdiscs with PCM digital audio tracks, particularly concert laserdiscs, I would highly recommend you record them using LPCM audio to the DVD recorder. LPCM is virtually full bit rate audio, uncompressed, as opposed to the compressed audio of AC-3 or DD 2.0. That's why laserdisc soundtracks are generally much better sounding than DVDs.
I would love to do that. But, I think I'm limited by a couple of things here. First, my laserdisc player only has analog outs. Second, my DVD recorder only has analog ins. Third, I'm not really sure what you're talking about. :eek:


I mean the acronyms make sense, but I don't have any concept about how to get from point A to point B.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZManCartFan
I would love to do that. But, I think I'm limited by a couple of things here. First, my laserdisc player only has analog outs. Second, my DVD recorder only has analog ins. Third, I'm not really sure what you're talking about. :eek:


I mean the acronyms make sense, but I don't have any concept about how to get from point A to point B.
Obviously the sound does not remain in the digital domain the entire path. But I had this discussion before on this board and it was my understanding that there would be very little, if any, signal degradation from going LPCM from the laserdisc to LPCM on the DVD recorder. Maybe whoever told me that was wrong, but the other alternative is to record in DD 2.0 which is a much more compressed format. So I guess my thinking is that recording in LPCM will come closest to capturing the best possible audio, and outputting the PCM audio tracks on the laserdisc, as opposed to analog stereo or AC-3, outputs the best possible signal.
 

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Please forgive me; I'm really not sure what everyone is saying here. My laserdisc player only has analog outs. My DVD recorder only has analog inputs. And there are no selections of what kind of audio to record on the DVD recorder. It automatically records DD 2.0.


Am I missing something? Other than a more feature-rich DVD recorder, that is.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZManCartFan
Am I missing something? Other than a more feature-rich DVD recorder, that is.
Yes, or depending on your recorder, you don't know how to select a different audio recording option.


Different makes/models offer different options. Example Panasonic EH-50 have the option while recording in XP mode to record audio in LPCM or Dolby Digital Stereo.


Check your laserdisk player also, it may have differnet audio options depending on the disk to be play. Look for an audio selection button on the remote and look at the cover jacket of the laserdisk to see what it is recorded with.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZManCartFan
Please forgive me; I'm really not sure what everyone is saying here. My laserdisc player only has analog outs. My DVD recorder only has analog inputs. And there are no selections of what kind of audio to record on the DVD recorder. It automatically records DD 2.0.


Am I missing something? Other than a more feature-rich DVD recorder, that is.
Well, lets ask the obvious question--what recorder do you have? If its a cheap one, it may only allow you to record in DD 2.0. Most decent recorders have a LPCM setting that allows you to choose to record in LPCM audio. Yours may not have that option, or you haven't read throught the manual to see how you choose that option.
 

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Like I said earlier, it's a cheap one. I've got an RCA 8312n dual VCR/DVD Recorder. I've been through the options a few times now, and I don't see anywhere that I can change the audio recording settings. :(


It's good to know, though, that I wasn't missing something obvious in terms of not understanding what you all were talking about. I thought I did understand, but I wasn't sure.


Thanks for the help, everyone.
 
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