DVD-R questions...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by KarenM, Dec 1, 2002.

  1. KarenM macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2002
    Fairfax, CA
    For those of you very "into" DVD's etc, this will seem like a stupid question...but I've never even used one in my iBook drive, nor do I have a DVD player on my TV--still stuck in VCR world.

    If I have a DVD-R drive, say, in a new G4 Powerbook...[I'm thinking about getting one, but which version??]... am I correct that all it's really good for is recording movies from computer downloads? Or, can they somehow be used to record from TV as well?

    I recently researched DVD-R/VHS Combo recorders, and DVD Recorders, with hopes there would be one which would allow me to record TV shows onto DVD's...I ended up thoroughly confused. There appear to be major marketing wars which limit disk swappability etc.

    I'd appreciate input/clarification on DVD-R issues as they apply to use in the Powerbook, but also to choosing a DVD Recorder compatible w/Mac-made DVD's, etc. Does anyone know of a worthwhile DVD-R/VHS Combo Recorder?

    Sorry if this is vague, but I'm fishing here a bit for educational insights to help me as I enter the DVD fray...


  2. howard macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2002
    i won't be able to record stuff off a tv with your dvd drive, unless theres some new technology i'm not aware of. But a dvd-r drive is nice for a lot of things...if you have 7gigs of mp3s say and you want to back them up...you can either use 2 dvds (about 4.7gigs) or burn them on about 12 cd-r's...also if you use imovie and want to make a dvd that anyone can watch on a dvd player...personally i would just use it for burning stuff that won't fit onto cds and if you wouldn't use it for anything i mentioned its probably a waste
  3. cubist macrumors 68020

    Jul 4, 2002
    Muncie, Indiana
    I think if you use a gizmo like the EyeTV...

    ... you can capture video on your hard drive, process it with iMovie and iDVD and end up with a playable DVD. But the quality will depend on your capture hardware. Some folks are using the EyeTV as a kind of DVR for capturing shows when they're not home; they say the quality is watchable but not cinematic.

    Better quality capture is available thru Firewire or PCI, or possibly PCMCIA.
  4. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002
    dvd burner

    i was wondering how easy it is to copy dvds. I have a 1Ghz Tibook on the way with a superdrive, and i was just wondering how I would go about making a copy of a dvd movie
  5. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    Re: dvd burner

    I don't think its possible.

    The DVDs that movies are burned on, are denser, and double sided. You'd have to find a way to span the movie DVD over several disks, and there is also the problem with the formatting I think...its there to prevent people from copying DVDs in the first place. Also You prob won't be able to copy the menus and submenus...I maybe wrong on this. There might be a program/hack to get around this...but too much work!

    Its not an easy process IMO ;)
  6. KarenM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2002
    Fairfax, CA
    how about DVR-Recorders?

    Thanks, guys, for your input.

    Ironically, Howard, I had a huge number of MP3's I'd downloaded from Napster before it got illegal...Then, I had to delete them all because I needed the hard-drive space and it would have taken forever to organize & burn them all.

    Meanwhile, anybody know of a good choice for a DVD-Recorder [for a Sony TV] which is compatible w/Mac DVD's? Do any of them serve as TV show recorders?
  7. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002

    i saw a program that lets you back up dvd movies... it was peecee i think, but itd be the same thing wouldnt it?
  8. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.

    If a DVD is over 4.7 GB, then you don't have a chance in hell of copying the whole thing.
    You can rip just the movie part and convet it to Divx, but as for a bit-per-bit copy of one, naaaah.

    Your best bet is to start investing in Firewire storage, I've got a 6GB ripped copy of Amelie on my PC that I mounted as a virtual drive and it plays back fine, just like a real DVD, I think there's a program called DVD Backup for the Mac that does the same thing, rips the entire DVD.

    There's two main reasons why you can't, one is technical, many movie DVDs are double-layered and it takes a certain kind of laser and other equipment to burn both layers of the disc.
    The other reason is the MPAA. Even if you technically could copy a movie DVD bit-for-bit onto a blank DVD-R, I can bet you that the MPAA would try very hard to make it illegal.


    There aren't any solutions for the computer that can do that , but there is at least one stand-alone DVD recorder that acts like a Tivo, it uses a DVD-RAM disc and you can pause, resume and record TV on it. There'a another version with a 40 GB hard disk and you can burn recorded TV shows on DVD-Rs.

    Now as for Karen M's origional questions.......

    If you want to record downloaded movies on a DVD disc, you can do it one of two ways, the first would be to use iDVD to convert the movies into MPEG-2 which is then recorded onto the DVD. But watch out if the movies are Divx encoded, ( some .avi, some .mp4, some .mp4s are also Quicktime mp4s, yes it gets very confusing ) because it can be a bitch to reencode them into a format that iDVD can read.

    The second method would be to just burn the movie files onto a DVD.
    The upside of that is it's so much easier and faster, the downside is you can only play them back on your computer since most DVD players can't read the multitude of formats computers can.

    It's basically Phillips against Pioneer, Pioneer has the '-' format while Phillips has the '+' format. Currently '-R' is the most compatble, but '+' is getting to be the most popular.

    I never knew there were combo DVD recorders/VCRs, there are plenty DVD players/VCRs, but none recordable, maybe I'm missing something..........

    Any stand-alone DVD-recorder will make discs that your Mac can read. No problems there.
    But not all DVD-recorders (or players) can read DVD-Rs (Superdrive)
    Chances are if the recorder uses DVD-R/RW, or DVD-RAM, then it should read a DVD burned on a Mac.
    If the recorder uses DVD+R/RW, then maybe not.

    There's a big list of DVD players and which discs they're compatible with, but I can't find it now, may have to Google it.

    It really doesn't matter what brand of TV you have, just as long as it has the right connections.

    You can either use composite (little yellow RCA connector), s-video (usually black, looks like a PS/2 port), or component (three RCA plugs, one red, one green and one blue)
    If you've got a newer Sony TV that's above 27" (I think) then you have all three.
    Component is the best since it uses progressive over interlaced bit s-video's second best, even it it's only interlaced.

    C|NET did a first take of a DVD recoder like you want (I think) it's got a DVD-RAM/-R and a 40GB hard drive that you can use as a Tivo and a DVD recorder.
    It'll cost ya though, $999 at Circuit City.

    Hope this helps.[​IMG]
  9. KarenM thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2002
    Fairfax, CA

    Thanks for taking the time to answer. I guess I've figured out now that the only real purpose of DVD-R is storage--in particular of home-made movies and MP3's....and since I don't do home movies, and no MP3's since Napster closed, I probably don't need it. I do store photos I take, but I can use CD's for those, as the quantity isn't so big as to need DVD's.

    Guess I'll wait for what I want to come down in price.

  10. dynamicd macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    I know there's another thread or two about this but oh well. I copy DVD's all the time using the DVD'R drive on my imac. If the DVD is small than 4.7 gig's then all you need to do is back it up using DVD backup and then burning the VIDEO_TS file using toast.
    If the DVD is bigger than 4.7 then you need to run Ifoedit using windows 2000 with VPC. This cuts the dual layer in half so you can burn it onto two separate discs. After ifoedit you just use dvd backup and toast again.
  11. CBoldman macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2002
    It seems like its mostly the bounus stuff that makes the DVD so large. My Office Space disk is 4.0g. It dosetn have very many features but the film itself. On the other hand, my Meet the Parents disk is 7.42g. But keep in mind that the the 7.42g also includes bonues features, captions, delete scenes, outakes, little games, and even a PC installer to interact with the disk. There has to be a way to just read the feature of the film and back that up.
  12. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002
    ok ok...

    ok. im glad someone finally told me how to go about and do the whole copying thing. thanks. now, if i want to go and back up a dvd i already own, and its more then 4.7gig. its most likely the video itself is less right? its just the special features and all that stuff thats making it more. is there a way to know what dvd files are the special features, and what parts make up the actual movie. then i could put the video on one dvd and the special features on another, or not at all. thanks
  13. rickvanr macrumors 68040


    Apr 10, 2002

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