Export from DV to Mpeg Quality

I just purchased a NEC 2510 and Nero 6 ( last week. I am trying to back up mini dv camcorder footages and using Nero 6 and I noticed quality deterioration in the final export file. Is this what is expected from Nero and/or other encoding software? To be exact, I did the following:

  1. Captured video to hard disk from miniDV camcorder through firewire and store as very large AVI file.
  2. Used Nero Vision Express ( to cut the portion of video I want and export to DV-format file. Noticed slight deterioration in quality compared to uncut file.
  3. Then Used Windows Movie Maker 2 to do something similar and export to DV-format file. The export was much faster than Nero Vision Express and the quality was like the original captured dv file.
  4. Anyway, I used Nero Vision Express to open the two exported DV files and export to DVD format (Mpeg).
  5. Burned the Mpeg files to CD (rather then to DVD at this point because I don’t want to waste DVD disks whilst testing the files).
  6. Played both files on my computer using Windows Media Player and then played them on my Philips 625 DVD player.

There is definitely a loss in quality with both files when compared to the original captured DV video. I have copied mini dv output to videotapes (normal composite video) in the past and though VHS is lower quality, the taped videos were very good. I would have expected the Mpeg videos to be better then VHS tapes. I have tried re-exported using High Quality, 2-pass encoding but the same result.

What I would like to know from those of you who have experience in this area are:

  1. Do you find a reduction in quality from Nero Vision Express when you use it to cut portions of a video and export in DV format?
  2. Do you also find a reduction in quality when you export a DV file to DVD (Mpeg-2) format?
  3. Is the reduction in quality from DV to Mpeg2 expected from all other software?

Thanks in advance.

I recently got the OEM version bundled with my LiteOn 832 S drive.

I have been using it in much the same way as you, except that I have not been editing the files. My process is:

Capture DV (huge AVI file results) --> Add chapters --> burn to DVD

Like you, I am disappointed in the video quality of the final result. And I skipped the editing step.


If you are still there, I have the answer: NeroVision 2 has a pretty lame MPEG encoder. Here’s how I figured it out:

I had thought it was perhaps the media that was the trouble, but this proved not the case. Then I thought perhaps it was my burner. So I burned a project to the hard drive and viewed it there – and it exhibited the same problems.

Drive and media ruled out. That leaves my system hardware or the software. I defragged, stripped out background programs, etc. – no help. I checked my NeroVision settings and discovered that “atuomatic” quality was selecting a low bit rate. I chose a much higher bitrate, but still the final video was poor.

Time to look for a NeroVision alternative. I downloaded free trials of several Editing/DVD authoring programs (Intervideo, Ulead, Pinnacle) (Roxio, by the way, does not have a free trial download. So I didn’t try them.) I tried capturing, editing and burning with each, and found one that does a much better job – Pinnacle Studio 9. It has a much better user interface, is more powerful, and the MPEG transcoding rusults in much better quality.

BTW, I sent a query to Nero support about the poor video quality several days ago, but have received no reply.

My personal opinion has always been that the “freebie” media software that comes with a package fundamentally designed to do something else (in this case, burn optical media) are never very good. The codecs are kind of weak and they usually have no or few options for quality control.

You might want to look into TMPGEnc (there’s a time limited eval and the final product isn’t terribly expensive). It does a really good job with MPEG encoding and can multi-pass encoding as well for even better finished products, with the disadvantage that multi-pass encodes with a lot of motion estimation are really time consuming – as in start before you go to bed.

I’ve haven’t reinstalled my copy on my new P4-3.2 box, but even on my old dual P3 system (and it will use two CPUs if you have them), ~30 mins of video took 12 hours or so on the highest quality setting.

mobocracy -

Thanks for the tip, i will look at TMPGEnc as well. It seems to be an MPEG encoder only, so I’ll have to figure out how to get it working with editing/mastering software.

I did use an external encoder to create an MPEG file, and then used NeroVision Express 2 to create a menu, and burn the project. Though I did not edit the MPEG file at all, Nero re-encoded it! Talk about a waste of time!

If you have the disk space, consider keeping all your working edits and final composition in DV-AVI. You’ll retain all the resolution and image quality as well as editor compatibility. Only then consider recoding your final edit for MPEG output.

Also, you may want to consider TMPGEnc DVD author as well; it can either burn or just output the DVD-Video file structure and you can use plain old Nero for final output.

Good luck, i’m still leanring as well, and you often end up with a swiss army knife’s worth of software. I kind of wonder if maybe it wouldn’t be less frustrating to just dump the money on a copy of Premiere Pro.

Thanks, Mobocracy.

Yes, I capture full DV quality to AVI. Anyone who is not doing this should looke at the cost of hard drives – there is no reason not to. Circuit city has a WD 120 Gig for $40 right now (119 and 80 worth of rebates.)

FYI: I have settled on Pinnacle studio 9.

Hi guys,

I am planning convert MiniDV footages to DVD using Liteon 832SX.

I have a Toshiba Satellite Pro M10 Series laptop. It has a Intel Centrino processor, 40GB HD and 256 MB RAM, 4 pin firewire port and USB ports.

  1. Please guide me a link which gives detailed instuctions for doing this.
  2. With my laptop configuration, how much time will it take to burn a DVD (MiniDV to DVD)?
  3. Would you suggest a HardDrive or Memory upgrade?
  4. Do we need to purchase Pinnacle studio 9?

Thanks in advance.


Your questions are a bit off topic – next time, start a new thread. :wink: But here is some info to help you get started:

You need to do three things (1) capture the video in DV (AVI) format from your camera through the firewire port (2) edit it and set up DVD menus if desired and (3) burn it to disc.

How you go about doing this will depend a lot on the software you choose. (see my response to item 4). The software support sites have quick-start guides.

  1. With my laptop configuration, how much time will it take to burn a DVD (MiniDV to DVD)?

You dont mention the speed of your processor. What takes a long time is encoding the audio and video, which is CPU intensive. The actual bruning is fast by comparison. On my 2.4 GHZ Celeron with 512 MB ram, it takes about 4 hours to encode and burn a full DVD. (Good to run it overnight)

  1. Would you suggest a HardDrive or Memory upgrade?

Your hard drive may be a bit small, but you might be able to squeeze by if you clear off a lot of free space. 1 hour of digital video takes about 15gb storage in AVI format. Then, when you encode the DVD, the software will need at least 5gb for the disc image (temp files) plus it will probably need a lot of scratch space. (maybe another 5gb). So you’ll probably need about 25GB free space at least.

256 MB Memory is probably low, but try to author a disc and see how it goes before spending money on an upgrade. (Use Task Manager to see how much is actually being used.)

  1. Do we need to purchase Pinnacle studio 9?

If your Lite-On came with Nero, you can try NeroVision Express 2 first. Of course, that package is the subject of this thread, and we have been dissatisifed with its video quality.

I would avoid NeroVision Express and try something else. Pinnacle Studio and TMPGenc Author have both gotten favorable reviews in this thread. Try a free trial from one or more of these products before you buy.

Good Luck,



My processor speed is 1400MHz Celeron. Thanks a lot for your detailed response. I am now browsing this forum on how to captured video to hard disk from miniDV camcorder through firewire. Please direct me to the correct link if you can.



Just tried the 8/13 update from Nero (Nero Buring Rom / Nero Vision Express

No improvement.

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