Video Quality. What should I expect?

I’m new to DVd burning. I’ve tried to make some simple dubs of my home movies and I have some concerns about this technology and just what I should expect of it.

First, I’m incredibly picky. I expect my dvd’s to be at least as clear as the original Hi8 camcorder images. On the test dvd’s I’ve burned so far I see a somewhat lower quality than the original tape. The image on my 27 inch tv seems to be made up of “micro-blocks” with the worst blocky imaging taking place around the area where the camera auto focus was trying to lock onto a subject.

My Burner is an Emprex +/- R/RW (which I have read some negative reviews from users). My capture devices have been a borrowed Dazzle USB device, and a recently purchased Avermedia DVD EZmaker PCI. Several capture programs were tested using low to highest grade of capture rates (of which I know little) but the interesting thing is that at some of the higher resolutions the caputure software did not recognize the capture device or said that it was in use by another program. The image seems to be a bit better using the Dazzle USB, though I cannot be sure.

My Operating system is WINXP. My machine has an AMD 2500 cpu with 512 megs of RAM. Other specs include a new MSI Mboard with the Nvidia chipset, Sound blaster gamer+mp3 card, and a gamers card (Nvidia GeForce) with 128 megs of ram.

thanks for your help.

Robert Pratt

the quality of the video will depend on the hardware u use to capture, as well as the software u use to encode the video to mpeg-2. the blocking u’re seeing is called “macroblocking,” and is usually the result of the use of a bad encoder. u can try downloading a trial of CCE SP here to see if u get better encoding results. CCE Basic is the consumer version of their software, but it doesn’t have a trial.

What format are you capturing in AVI or Mpeg? for best video quality you should capture in AVI either uncompressed or use Huffyuv 2.1.1. this will create large files and you should have a separate hard drive for this purpose. You can then edit your video and save back in the native format. From here using a good program to encode it, I like Nero 6.3 it is fast and provides good results. I have tried several different software, and found Nero is pretty good at encoding (not the best but still good).

Capture at the higest res your system can handle with out dropping frames, you can always reduce at the encoding stage.
Hope this helps

I’m capturing in MPEG because that is the default format (I think… I’ll have to check, I haven’t thought about it before now) of the Dazzle device which I am using.

When I can afford it I will buy a better device. Somenone reccomended the Avermedia USB 2.0.

Your reccomendations will be followed. Thank you for your help.