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  #1  
Old 02-17-2004, 10:49 PM
possmann
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Default Video to DVD - best/cheapest package

there seems to be quite a bit of discussion on transferring movies from an 8mm cam corder or VCR tape through your computer (to edit or not) and then ultimately on to a DVD. While I looked at the www.denevi.com suggestion I'm thinkin' that is an awful lot of money to transfer movies to a DVD when I could just about purchase all the hardware/software I would need....
I've got old 8mm tapes and some vcr tapes that I want to put on DVD's, have a DVD burner and would like to hear from the gang what their suggestions are for doing this yourself. I am looking at some basic editing features - nothing really fancy - but something that gives me control over the process. I've seen the products from Pinnacle (dazzle) but what else is out there in combination of hardware/software that will allow me to accomplish this? Let's put a price of about $200-$250 ish at the most to start...

suggestions?
 
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:57 AM
`helios
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I may be able to actually help you out. I've been faced with the same problem with the 8mm reels. I went to a local place that was gonna charge me $1000 for about 1 Mile worth of film 14 reels @ 400ft per reel and $0.18 per foot.

If you wanna do it on the cheap, do it this way. You'll need an 8mm film projector, and digital camcorder.


Step 1) Connect said camcorder to computer
Step 2) Setup projector with film
Step 3) Play film from the projector on a white wall in the dark while using camcorder to capture video from projector.

It's dead cheap. I was looking on ebay, and you get can 8mm projector for under USD$50.

If you use this method, you'll be able to do all the digital editing (chapters, etc) you want.

You could also use this process for transfering your VHS tapes.

My setup is:

VCR -> Digital Camcorder -> PC via firewire

Just play the tapes through the camcorder, and set your software to capture the video feed.

Hope that helps!
 
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2004, 08:58 AM
Philip Colmer
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If you've got 8mm video or VHS video tapes that you want to transfer, there are a few parts to the process:
  • Capturing the video through an analogue connection;
  • Editing that captured material to trim the ends or making other tidying changes;
  • Burning the material down to DVD.
Since you are starting out, I would suggest that you look at picking a relatively cheap bundle package then do some searches for reviews of that product to see how other people have got on with it.

You do mention Dazzle and although I haven't got any experience of the product, Pinnacle's Dazzle Digital Video Creator 150 would fit the bill in terms of functionality. It avoids the need to open up your system by using a USB 2 port for the connection, it has S-Video and composite video connections (so there is your video transfer capability) and it comes with software to allow you to manipulate the captured video & burn it to DVD.

Buy.com has that at $126 so that should fit into the price range you've suggested.

Please do not take this as an endorsement for the product, though. I've no experience of any Pinnacle products so I cannot comment on the quality or reliability. Hopefully, though, by suggesting a product that would meet your needs, you've now got something to compare against.

If you want other choices, the Video Guys have got a Getting Started page that lists other suggestions.

--Philip
 
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Old 02-18-2004, 09:47 AM
Philip Colmer
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A couple of points about my previous posting:
  • The Dazzle hardware does require a USB 2 connection. If you've got an older PC that has USB 1, it isn't going to be fast enough - you'll either need to buy a USB 2 card or buy an internal video capture card.
  • The Dazzle hardware only has analogue video connections - it doesn't have a DV connection if you ever decided to get a digital video camera. Depending on what your video plans are, you might want to think about spending a bit extra on getting a capture system that copes with both analogue & digital capturing.
--Philip
 
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Old 02-18-2004, 04:25 PM
possmann
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Default Thanks Philip

I just mentioned Dazzle as it seems to be popular in my searches - but I'm not always looking for popular - just looking for what works and would like to rely on info from more experienced people rather than cnet reviews. BTW - cnet picked a pinnicle product as editors best choice, but looking at the user reviews almost all of them - 85% - gave it a thumbs down - and those were recent reviews. It poses the question who do you trust? :roll:

Dazzle and Pinnicle products get about average reviews on Amazon as well - nothing that pops out at me and says buy this for your needs.

What do you use? What do you see your friends using?
 
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Old 02-18-2004, 05:46 PM
Philip Colmer
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I use Matrox RT.X100, but they do do a cheaper version, the RT.X10, if that is within your budget.

I also have read negative comments about Pinnacle but since I haven't used any of their products themselves, I didn't want to pass on hearsay.

Most manufacturers do run forums and you can often gain read-only access to those forums without having to buy the product. That gives you an opportunity to see how existing users are getting on with their purchase.

--Philip
 
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  #7  
Old 02-18-2004, 07:56 PM
ux4484
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I have a Dazzle DVD creation station 200 (works on both USB 1.0 and 2.0) and it is plenty fast to grab video (and can still be found at some online retailers, and new on ebay). The the 200 (and the 150) have a built in mpeg-2 encoder, so it does the work usually required by hours of crunching on a PC in the time it takes to play the video into the device. A Dazzle DVD CS and a PCI firewire card will be able to grab video from both your old and new video cams, and can be both had for under 200 bucks combined (If you go with a 150 you should get a PCI USB 2.0 card, which of late have been free with rebates). Though I have not been overly impressed with the packaged software that the Dazzle came with, it has been very serviceable (and mostly painless) to convert all my VHS and VHS-C tapes to DVD. The frame by frame editing tools work well, but if you want to lighten or "improve" old video, you'd have to tinker with other's software, but if you just want to get your old stuff digitized, Dazzle is an inexpensive, reliable way to go.
 
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Old 02-19-2004, 04:54 PM
ruffas
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Default VCr to DVD

I bought Magix Video Deluxe 2.0 and an analogue capture card.
I paid 50 for this bundle, though I think it should have been around 70.
(I have since upgraded for a nominal fee to Movie Edit Pro 2004 also from Magix, these are great software packages and very easy to use)

How easy can you get?

Obviously you need a DVD burner and too, and I have just installed one for 100.

I don't think any of the other posts have taken into account the cost of a DVD burner, and this is by far the most expensive piece of kit in the whole set up.

Anyway, I think I win with 150 including the DVD burner!!!

Ruffas
 
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2004, 10:15 PM
Glen8
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Well I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to digital video editing, but I'm learning! I've had Pinnacle Studio version 7 for quite a while, and used it sporadically to edit video from my 4-year-old JVC digital video camera. [I have a number of tapes which I've never edited! :wink: ] I found Pinnacle Studio 7 to be pretty good, but the learning curve is fairly steep and I don't think of it as being very intuitive. I've also used the free Windows Movie Maker 2 but found its features pretty limited compared to Studio. But I've just got a brand new Sony DCR-PC330 digital video camera (which I love) and decided to upgrade the Pinnacle software to version 9, which I ordered, but it hasn't arrived yet. I used Studio 7 to edit the first mini DV tape from the new Sony camera.

On the strength of Jason Dunn's glowing review some time back, I purchased muvee technologies AutoProducer 3 and indeed it is great for doing a quick rendition and is eminently suitable for video which you don't want to spend a lot of time editing.
 
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