iDVD Frustration

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by balamw, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    I'm getting a bit frustrated trying to digitize some old VHS tapes for a gift for my mom.

    I'm using my camcorder as a VHS->DV bridge and capturing the AVI files on my Dell since it has a much larger internal hard drive than the iBook.

    I think this is my main source of frustration (the lack of disk space on the iBook, and thus the fact I have to capture to the Dell first), and copying the DV compressed video over to the iBook isn't a problem except that the 2 GB file size limitation creates artificial chapter marks every 9.5 minutes or so, which I could try to get rid of by combining the movies in iMovie, but then I'm back to a lack of disk space... (60 GB internal only 12GB free.)

    A couple more things that I find very limiting about iDVD, as compared with the tools I have on the PC.

    1) iMovie/iDVD won't take MPEG2 as source material. Otherwise I'd compress the video on the PC first and save myself some headaches.

    2) The lack of support for Dolby Digital 2.0 encoding in iDVD is a serious limitation as PCM audio takes up way too much space on single layer media

    3) Support for DVD+/-VR would be one way to support "editable" DVDs from standalone recorders/camcorders, but that is not supported in iMovie or iDVD.

    It almost feels like I could be better off encoding the whole project in MPEG4 as input to iMovie, since that appears to be supported.

    **(#$*($ I'll let Nero chew on it on the PC overnight and check out the results. I much prefer the menus I can get from iDVD, but I guess it'll have to wait until I get a Mac desktop...

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  2. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #2
    External drive might be the answer? Use iMovie to allow the camcorder bridge to record straight to DV onto the external drive then edit and pass through to iDVD?

    I had 30GB in an iMovie project and only 18GB left on my Powerbook but was able to send through the iDVD project and burn it without problems.
     
  3. balamw thread starter Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
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    #3
    Yeah, I moved the AVI files off to a FAT32 formatted external Maxtor drive and was trying that for a while on Sunday. I think I would need to re-capture the video on the iBook in larger .mov/.dv files to have a bigger impact, but I'd have to reformat the drive in HFS+ for that.

    I quit when I realized I'd have either have to split up the 120 minutes of video I have into two or sacrifice video quality to get iDVD to fit it on single layer discs because of the PCM limitation. :( It doesn't help that my iBook is a combo drive unit and doesn't have an internal DVD burner. I'd still have to move the project back to burn it.

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  4. McDave macrumors newbie

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    #4
    I'm no Windows user but have you thought of Quicktime Pro on Windows?

    I have quite a bit of .dv archived but have started to use H.264 at full SD res as I don't need to play it back in realtime (no chance on my G4) and it's still good enough for web & DVD source video.

    If you're going from VHS to MPEG2 then MPEG4 or H.264 may be a good interim. The quality is still quite high even at 35-50% (use dual pass VBR rather than fixed bit rate) and you can encode the audio. I know it gives a 2nd generation encode but my results are quite good.

    This bit's just guess-work but I notice you have an iPod video there. I don't think Windows will read it as a drive if you initialised it on your Mac but check if the Mac reads a Windows initialised one.
     
  5. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

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    Sep 3, 2005
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    #5
    imovies did it for me

    I purchased an 250 GB external drive, then I bridge the vhs though my dv camera to iMovies. Was in I could then transfer the project to iDVD where I was able to place my VHS on DVD.

    iMovies I was ab le to create chapters for easer surfing once on DVD. The thing I learned you really need up to 60GB to do a few house of VHS.
     
  6. balamw thread starter Moderator

    balamw

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    Location:
    New England
    #6
    All good thoughts.

    I have QT Pro on my Mac, and had bought Pro for version 6 on the Windows box. I did seriously consider buying a license last night, precisely to try using MPEG4/H.264 compressed video as an interim solution. I ended up using Nero to compress the MP4 and have yet to return to the problem.

    I was able to produce a semi-decent looking DVD from a 1994 vintage VHS tape, but the earlier material from the 50s-80s which went from Super8 to VHS is still giving me heartburn. Turns out one of the middle AVIs is corrupt, and this has been another factor adding to my confusion. Thanks to the choppiness of the Super8 source material optical scene detection is pretty lousy, and manual chapters haven't been too much fun.

    My iPod is Windows formatted, but I have a couple of external drives floating around I can use, most are formatted FAT32 or NTFS though which adds to the complexity.

    As you and Applespider have implied I think I've got to try the capture again straight onto the Mac.... Grrr. That means reformatting one of the drives to HFS.

    If only I could dual boot/virtualize XP on an Intel Mac for those couple of tasks I need XP for I'd replace the Dell and be one step closer to PC free....

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  7. balamw thread starter Moderator

    balamw

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    New England
    #7
    Update

    Further irritation. iMovie wouldn't let me import from the video camera as a bridge and complained about there being no tape in the camera. I could see the video preview, but the import button was greyed out.

    QT Pro however was able to import the missing/corrupt segment of the video just fine. :confused:

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  8. McDave macrumors newbie

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    #8
    B

    Just a stab (as I'm still on Panther) but didn't the latest Tiger update (10.4.5) claim to have better FAT32 compatibility? I take it, it's not just a case of plugging in the drive.

    I'm in a similar position with some old Hi8 tapes but have yet to take on that project. The H.264 archive option lets me re-render to dual-layer DVD further down the line when I upgrade my Mac (it's single layer at the moment - ouch!). Shame QT doesn't have decent inter-MPEG transcoding or quality maintained DV-MPEG transcoding.

    Anyway, best of luck
     
  9. balamw thread starter Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    No problems with FAT32 compatibility, only maximum file size on the file system 4GB which is only about 18 minutes of DV footage. I chose to split the file in 2 GB chunks which gives about 9 minute chunks. On NTFS or HFS+ I could have it be one big 60 or 120 minute file, either of which would be easier to work with than the 1000 files I got when trying to use optical scene detection.

    EDIT: Today's iLife updates took care of the "No Tape" issue! Yay!

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