DVD Recorder vs Burner

I have several hours of MiniDV home movies. I would like to transfer them to DVD.

One route would be buy a DVD burner ($100), and read the mini-dv into the computer, and them burn it onto a DVD. I’ve read a lot of posts where people are have problems donig this, or end up with very poor quality.

Another route is to get a DVD Recorder ($400) that has a mini-DV input (IEEE 1394 Input), and let it do the whole thing. But I’m not sure if just having a IEEE 1394 Input means you can read the mimiDV format, or what the picture quality wiull look like.

Lastly, I could wait for the technology to improve to the point where it is easier.

any information would be greatly appreiacted.


DV to DVD Quality issues depend much on with which program you re-encode the Raw DV to DVD MPEG2. I recommend you Canopus ProCoder, it has several encoding “templates” for DVD, (S)VCD and even Streaming video! You can choose Final Enconding Quality, it’ll take a lot of time in “MASTERING MODE”, but the quality will be the best ever possible. I actually use that for encoding DV to DVD and had always great results.

Obviously it depends on your PC speed. It won’t take the same compressing 15 minutes of DV to MPEG2 in a Celeron 500mhz than doing it in a P4 2.5ghz.

Considering Cost/Benefit relation, I advise you to buy a DVD Burner. You’ll have much more “possibilities” with one of that, than a DVD Recorder.

  • You can author your videos with Menues, Chapters, add subtitles and audio comments channel to your videos by using your PC and a DVD Authoring Software such as DVD Arquitect (is the one I use) from Sonic Foundry [ http://mediasoftware.sonypictures.com ].
  • You can use it as a DVD-R Burner to burn backups of your DVD Movies, hard disk data, and other stuff.

Instead, if you want ease, you should consider a DVD Recorder. Quality might not be the same of Raw DV, because MPEG2 is lossy, much more than DV, and I never had good results with MPEG2 Hardware encoders.

Greetings from Argentina

Also keep in mind your connection to the computer is a point to consider. If you’re connectiong over s-video or rca cable, the quality won’t be as good as if you connected over firewire. Make sure your computer has firewire, because a digital copy is far better quality wise than capturing video.

Aren’t there external DVD burners with DL facilities soon to have a video capturing card so you can use it like a DVD standalone recorder?

Yup, there are… but they’re based on MPEG2 hardware encoders, and, personally, i really don’t like real-time hardware based encoding that much… I prefer sit and wait for computer based encoding… although it takes a lifetime to recompress a 60 minutes video, quality will be the best you can reach (obviously, with the correct codecs)

Of course, it’s much faster and you’re one step forward… but… by suffering quality loss? hmmmm i think not :wink:

Long Live the MPEG2 Codec Developers :bow:


Are there HDTVs that have Firewire ports? If so, might gave some bearing on recording qualities…

bill,if you like tinkering with video-on-pc,you will buy dvd burner

if you don’t have any will to toy with it,you will buy dvd recorder

if you only have “several hours” to convert to mpeg2,isn’t the dvd recorder a bit too expensive…

regarding quality,offcourse the burner solution is better,as software encoders are generally better than hardware ones(as found in dvd recorders)
so same sequence looks better if done properly with pc-solution,while dvd recorder looks worse AND has higher bitrate
(ie hardware encoding is wasting bitrate)

offcourse…no one said dvd encoding/authoring/burning is as simple as hitting REC on dvd recorder…nor will it ever be…

In fairness…I agree in general with the thread. PC based dvd burner with a firewire port is my personal choice, but we also need to address what was touched on a few posts above, but nobody really asked. What do yu have, hardware wise in terms of a pc to add a dvd burner to?

$100 bucks for the burner is one thing, but if you pluging it into a pentium or celeron 333 with 128 meg of ram and 4 gig hard drive, you’ll be spending more than 400 bucks soon to make these home movies on that machine…:slight_smile:

Also please look into formats such as SVCD, properly done…while purists will acutately say “not DVD” quality, damn good quality. The advantage of this pc based format is that it burns to a CDR (10-20 cents a disk stateside) as opposed to a DVD-/+r (1-2 dollars a disc). It plays on most set top dvd players, and has most of the features you’d actually “use” for home movies…menu page, splash screen…yadda yadda.

i wouldn’t recommend svcd to anyone who can do dvd, really…
because svcd looks slightly worse than plain old vhs…(yeap,read that sentence twice; it’s true)

reasons are twofold;
1-spatially svcd’s 480 digital pixels is not better than vhs’ 240 analog lines…(ie you need at least 480 digital pixels to carry all the stuff vhs holds…not to go into all the detail why this is so…)
(vertical resolution is same for both systems:480 ntsc,576 pal…numbers stated above(480 versus 240) are ‘horizontal resolution’)

2-temporally,svcd is a flop,as rare mpeg2 encoders do such lo-bitrates (up to 2.5Mbit/s) in a nice way…so you have blocking on fast-motion…you don’t get any blocking on vhs,so there,vhs wins…
(vhs’ downside are timebase errors that make image wiggle left/right,but i will take that rather than mpeg2’s blur/blocking on lobitrates)

and then,what is ‘dvd-quality’?
any decent analog 5MHz-bandwidth broadcast will beat it…
(compare the PAL-broadcast and dvd-version of same programme)

(if this seems like jibberish,you may wanna check new doom9 analog capping guide…should be out soon…just to say,to test the things i just said you would need to have capture card and capture in parallel to PC and to vhs…make svcd from PC stuff,hit play on vhs,hit play on dvd-player(spinning the svcd) and compare the two by switching the AV inputs of tv-set…vhs doesn’t look worse,does it?)

the cost of blank media is also not an advantage of svcd,as MB of cdr costs same as MB of dvdr…cdr has much less MB’s to hold,so it’s cheaper…but it’s cheaper in same amount as it’s smaller…
(example;let’s say decent cdr blank is 3Kn(my currency,but doesn’t matter)…a decent dvdr is 12Kn,while it holds more than 6x cdr volume,so actually MB of dvdr is already cheaper than MB of cdr!)

bare in mind that svcd is not a real format except in china…we know the reasons…don’t we…

cel333 can also encode video,but obviously it won’t be as fast as P4 3,2GHz…for sure…

btw. i’m running tnt2 too…heh

(needless to say,everything i just said can be backed-up by screenshots…as it happens,we made plently of those for the guide)

As i said…purists have a valid opinion…depends on what you want the end product to be/do…:slight_smile:

personally for me svcd is used for things like cartoons…family guy…southpark…disney stuff…dvd back-ups…movies,I don’t svcd…everybody has the right to personal taste and choice :slight_smile:

for toons?
then say it like that…<wink>


(“looks better than vhs(that one was for trevlac… )!” is an internal joke…and also,your dvd-player doesn’t have ffdshow to sharpen up the images…)

(you can safely discard muf’s stuff here…he’s :Z …you will see that he said toons have as much detail as natural content(on the end of thread)…no one in their right mind could say that…)

so best toons codec would be rv9…(for everyone with nice tv-out)
for natural content mpeg’s give sharper images(although require much higher bitrates too)

offcourse,if you have dvd-player to watch it on,you can’t use rv,so you must do mpeg…
so i don’t disagree with your choice for toons…
toons don’t really need higher(ie full) resolutions in order to look nice…
natural stuff does…