Why record vhs to avi rather than straight to mpeg for transfering to dvd?

I have a lot to learn about vhs > dvd transfering with my pc, but one thing I want to ask is why do people bother to record to avi when capturing vhs rather than just going straight to mpeg? Don’t you have to convert it to mpeg to be able to burn it to dvd anyway? I hear that people do this so they are able to edit the avi, but can’t you edit the mpeg?

My situation is that I’m on a budget, and my purposes for enabling dvd transfering on my pc is to be able to record non-commercially released, legally tradable concert recordings on vhs to dvd. So editing will be important to me as far as being able to enhance/enrich the picture, and espescially the audio (hiss reduction will be helpful.) Another thing is, though I’m on a budget, I am very concsious & concerned of quality. So I will using one full single layer disc for each show, even those that are only a half hour long, and use as much of the room on the disc as I’m able to, which I figure is about 4.1-4.2 gigs without running into any problems. So if capturing straight to mpeg lowers your freedom to choose how compressed the final product will be, I can see the need to first capture to avi. Because as I said, I want to be able to use as much of the disc as possible for each show.

Simply because mpeg4 (divx/xvid) is smaller?!?

I think so.

Have a look at videohelp.com/convert too.

I think it’s still the case that the best freeware or cheapest commercial editing tools for digital video are available for MPEG2. To take advantage of these then you will need to encode to that standard first.

If your original material is on VHS, then there’s a law of diminishing returns in using higher bitrates to make use of the maximum dataspace available on a single-layer DVD. It depends on individual perception, but recording at SP (~2 hr per disc) would seem to be the maximum cost/effective point for any VHS recording.