"The ICON" Online Newsletter




by Bob Elgines, Editor,
Colorado River Computer Club, Arizona

DVDs are like CDs, but with greater capacity; you can record sound, video, or data. The latest CDs allow 700MB of data, or 80 minutes of sound or video (mpeg1 format) whereas the DVDs allow 4.7 GB or 120 minutes of sound or video (mpeg2 format). Then you have Double Layer DVDs which allow 9.6 GB or approximately 3.7 hours of video. As we probe into the basics you will find approximately 10% of the room on your disk is used by Titles, Menus, and Directories.

First, what do we need to accomplish the recording of data, and sound: A computer with a minimum of 1 Ghz, 512 MB of RAM, 40 GB hard drive, CDR optical drive, video with 32 MB RAM for 1024 x 768 screen mode, and recording software such as “NERO” by Ahead Software.

Second, we need all the above plus the items below for Video:

A DVDR optical drive, an input device such as ADS’ InstantDVD (USB input) or equivalent for recording from VHS tape, and a VCR. A firewire input card can be used if you are recording from a digital camcorder (DV).

To record data and sound on DVDs is very similar to CDs, but video is different only because we use a different format. A CD may be used with this format and would hold approximately 30 minutes of mpeg2 (MP2) video. This CD would be called a “VCD” (Video CD) and would be played on a DVD Player.

There are several different video formats such as WMV, MPE, MPG, MP1, MP2, MP4, etc. MP1 (352x480) is fine for B&W video, but size and quality is too low for color. MP2 (720x480) is the most common format used at this time for doing video DVDs. MP2 can be recorded in low (3382Kbits per sec), medium (5073Kbits per sec), and high (9716Kbits per sec) quality.

Before you start recording video, you may want to shut down all the programs running in the background to gain the maximum amount of System Resources in order to acquire the greatest performance when recording video. You will use 4 to 20 GB of your hard drive for recording a two hour video depending on the format you use.

NERO” (Version 6 or 7) is the cheapest way to go for software. This program will do just about everything for you (two hours plus on DVD, some editing, excellent recording). I also have used “MyDVD v4 or5” by Sonic (easy to use, some editing, up to 1.9 hours on a DVD), “MyDVD v6” by Sonic (up to 3.5 hours on a DVD, but SONY players do not like the recording format), “Premiere Elements” by Adobe (easy editing is great, but recording is only good for one hour, jumps around with movement and going more than one hour really destroys it by also getting choppy), “Movie Factory2” by Ulead (not bad, but very time consuming and hard to use, 1.9 hours on DVD) and “Studio Plus 10” by Pinnacle (very demanding, needs more memory and high quality video card; very hard to use!).

am using an INTEL P4, 3.06 Ghz, 512 MB RAM @ 800 MHz, GeForce FX5200 128 MB RAM video card, and a Digital Research model DDVD116DL (DVD Recorder with NERO software), an ADS Instant DVD VHS input device, which converts the antilog video to digital Mpeg2 format via a USB port, and an IEEE firewire port for my DV Digital Camcorder.

There is no restriction against any non-profit group using this article as long as it is kept in context with proper credit given the author. The Editorial Committee of the Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG), an international organization of which this group is a member, brings this article to you.



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