I am transfering VHS to DVD. I capture using PowerDirector 5. I want about 100 min per DVD-5. My goal is to find the encoding/re-encoding/authoring/shrinking sequence that results in the best quality possible in the final DVD. My ignorance of what is going on during encoding and re-encoding leads me to ask this question.
First I capture the VHS to MPEG2 using an absurdly high bitrate (10,000kbps) at the highest “quality” setting…7…that PowerDirector allows, to be sure to not introduce any MPEG compression artifacts at this stage. But when PowerDirector authors the files in the final step, there is no longer a quality setting, only a choice of HQ, SQ, etc. Maybe I am losing the advantage of the quality setting 7 at this step?
I can think of two strategies. Either (1) I reduce the capture bitrate (but keep the high “quality” setting 7) so that the resulting files will be small enough to fit on DVD-5 without further compression, then author with PowerDirector; or (2) I keep the capturing at 10,000kpbs/quality 7, have PowerDirector author files at HQ which will be too big for a DVD-5, then use DVD Shrink to reduce them to DVD-5 size. My question is: Which strategy is better?
I have a bias (which I can’t support or defend) that DVD Shrink will do a better job of compression than PowerDirector, so my bias is to follow strategy (2). But I have a nagging doubt: Maybe there is something valuable about this quality 7 encoding which would have been kept in strategy (1) (no need to re-encode?), but would have been thrown out with re-encoding in strategy (2). Or does PowerDirector have to re-encode to go to HQ in either case?