mini DV to DVD video loss of quality

  eddiejackr 20:03 23 Oct 2006

I am transferring from mini DV tapes in my Panasonic video camera, via firewire to my PC. Then editing and burning to DVD. I have used Nero and Ulead software. In both cases there is a loss of quality when compared to playing the original tapes via the camera onto the tv. Nero seems better. With Ulead the loss of quality is too great to tolerate - facial features were sometimes blurred.

How can I avoid this loss of quality? The quality of the original tapes was very good. Is it to do with my PC RAM or graphics card?

I am just a beginner to this so please keep replies at Janet and John level! Thanks for any help anyone can give.

  De Marcus™ 20:23 23 Oct 2006

How many hours/mins of footage are you putting onto one disk?

  eddiejackr 21:04 23 Oct 2006

between half hour up to 2 hours. With the worst quality transfers using Ulead it was 1hour 20 mins. I edited down to this length as I couldn't find a "burn to fit" function in Ulead.

  De Marcus™ 21:28 23 Oct 2006

I'll have to stick with advising on Nero as I know little of the Ulead software.

If your getting blockiness with half hour videos then the problem is highly unlikely to be Nero's smart encoding which by default is set to automatic under video options. One possible cause is that under those same video options should be a transcoding setting which is basically the quality the disk will be encoded at, High quality, Standard Play, long play, etc, etc. Check those settings and report back, in fact report back with all the settings you have currently under the transcode heading in Nero, if you need guidance on how to do this post back.

  eddiejackr 10:05 25 Oct 2006

Hello. I can't tell settings as I was working with trial downloads in order to decide which to buy and they have expired. I think in Nero I was using a "Fit to disc" option. In Ulead I couldn't find this option so I edited my footage down to the max it would allow.
I am on the verge of buying Nero because it seems to be the best of the three I tried (the third was Roxio) but thought I would get feedback on this thread first as even on Nero the quality is disappointing. Do you get quality with Nero equal to the quality of the original tape (if you use it yourself in this way?
Very grateful for your help

  De Marcus™ 11:31 25 Oct 2006

There are certain rules of thumb when burning camcorder footage to DVD, approxiametly 1 hour of footage (with Nero on default settings) will give you a high quality DVD, 2 hours is about the norm though as it's hard to discern the difference between 1 hour and 2 hours quality wise.

Nero 7 is very versatile in many respects but what it won't do is allow you to edit movies in the same way as Ulead Movie Factory, Sonic MyDVD, Arcsoft Showbiz, etc will, i.e. text effects, audio sampling /editing, transitional effects (some in Nero but that good.)

Nero is a burning app first and foremost with extras bundled in.

You can read up about Nero here (provides more info than Nero website) click here which appears to be a new website that's being updated daily (so far anyway).

  eddiejackr 12:25 25 Oct 2006

Thanks I'll take a look at that this evening.
I'll start a new thread with Ulead in the title to see if anyone can help resolve poor quality issues there. It always gets a good write up so people must be getting good quality.

A related problem is that Ulead was very slow to burn - quality issues aside I would have chosen to edit with Ulead and then burn with Nero - but I couldn't find any way to make the formats compatible - Nero wouldn't accept movoes made in Ulead - any words of wisdom on this?
Thanks again.

  De Marcus™ 12:47 25 Oct 2006

Ulead should be able to output normal avi files which Nero should recognise, the only reason I can imagine for Nero not recognising Uleads files is if they are in Ulead's proprietary format (if it has one).

  GroupFC 13:56 25 Oct 2006

I have posted in your other thread - I am work at the moment so can't check but I am pretty certain that, as De Marcus™, Ulead can output the finished movie as an .avi file, which Nero should recognise.

I did find some useful tutorials on Ulead a little while back, but they are on my PC at home.
When I get home, I'll have a look again and if I find them, I'll post some links.

  GroupFC 19:05 25 Oct 2006

This is the tutorial I was thinking about click here

I have now checked in Ulead (I am using VideoStudio 10), and there is an option to create a video file (share tab>create video file>Custom>select .avi from the drop down menu as file type). This should then enable you to use Nero to create the DVD. I would guess however that this is going to be quite time-consuming as presumably it is effectively a 2 stage encoding process, once by Ulead to an .avi file and then by Nero to a DVD!


  oseven 20:19 27 Oct 2006

Ulead is a great product compared to Nero for video editing.Download in AVI format, do your editing then create a DVD all in Ulead.

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