Creating compilation DVD from many DVD-RAMs

I just finished copying about 70 Hi-8 video tapes to DVD-Ram media using a Panasonic DVD recorder. I now want to make some compilation DVDs using various scenes from many of the DVD-RAMs. Can you tell me how to do this? I am using Windows XP. I am willing to buy a decent sw package if it would be easy to use. Thanks,

Mark

I use TMPGEnc-Author. How you proceed really depends on the nature of the discs. RAM uses DVD-VR format, and many programs do not play nice with VR. If the discs have just one recording session on them, then it’s simple and you can use any software. Just re-name the “VRO” file to “MPG”, and import it into any authoring program. If a disc has multiple sessions on it, then you must use a program that can fully import VR discs, like TMPGEnc-Author.

If you used a high-bit rate recording setting on the Panasonic, you will be able to put maybe 3 hours onto one DVD by shrinking the final project to fit. If you used a lower bit rate recording setting, it won’t shrink well at all.

So author your new DVD with as many of the recordings on it as you like, create a menu, and away you go. And get a big-assed hard drive to store the ripped recordings on till you’re sure you have the output you want.

Avoid programs that will re-encode the video, as this will always result in some loss of quality. TMPGEnc will not re-encode, and if you need to shrink the project, DVDShrink is the ticket.

Thank you so much CDan for the advice. A couple more questions: I recorded the DVD-RAMs in the two hour mode. How does that relate to your “high bit recording setting” comment? Also, when i bring the recordings from DVD-RAM to the hard drive, is that a simple process, or does it have to be done in “real time” - i.e. a two hour DVD-RAM will take two hours to bring over? My thinking is that i will be taking scenes from a number of different DVD-RAMs to make the compilation DVD. For a second compilation DVD, I may need scenes from some of the same DVD-RAMs, or others. I doubt that I could afford a hard drive with the capability to store all my DVD-RAMs, so what would you suggest as a good capacity? Finally, would I have been better off copying the Hi-8 tapes to a different media? The Panasonic would also allow me to use DVD+R. Finally, can you explain what you mean by re-encode and shrink? I’m new at this but I learn fast. Thanks,

Mark

The SP (2 hr) setting is adequate for most uses. Assuming your PC drive does in fact read RAM discs, it’s simply a matter of copying the files over to a folder on your hard drive. How long that takes depends on your drive’s reading speed, probably 3x. If you want a new hard drive, I’d suggest a 250GB external driver, as these seem to be the best values right now. Since you wish to use material from several DVD’s in your new compilation, having them on hard drive will be a big advantage.

A good authoring tool like TMPGEnc-Author will allow you to import segments from various discs or files, and will treat each segment as a chapter or as a separate title, depending on your wishes. It also lets you do basic editing of the segments.

Virtually any editing or authoring software will have similar functions. If you want to get creative with things like audio over-lays and fancy transitions between scenes, then you need an editing tool because authoring software won’t offer those things.

Ulead Videostudio or one of their other programs all come with fully functional free trials. These are popular programs for beginners and experienced users alike.