I need to find out the quickest, most effective way to post our casting tapes on the web and I would like to know the best software to do this. First of all the dvd's are not copy protected, they are the one's we create in our casting sessions. Right now I use handbrake to rip the files to mp4, save them as mov in quicktime and the save them as wmv with flip4mac, this takes along time. I know of a facility that we have used that can have an hour's worth of video posted on the web as mov and wmv files in less than an hour, Anyone know how they do this?
It's definetly possible depending on your resources and workflow. Since your DVD's are not copy protected (analog or digital) you can copy the files directly from the disc to a folder on the hard drive as their native .VOB files, then convert the .VOB directly to the formats you need. On the PC side, at least, I use Procoder which is capable of converting .VOB files directly to several different formats. Watch folders can be set to automate this process. Then it's a matter of CPU horsepower.
What audio format are the DVDs in? If they are AC3, then your best bet would be MPEG StreamClip (free). Since your DVDs aren't encrypted, all you need to do is insert the DVD into the drive, run MPEG StreamClip, import the video from the DVD (no need to rip to HDD first, but that would speed things up in the long run likely) into MPEG StreamClip, and choose to export from here to your necessary formats. Exporting to MPEG-4 or QT shouldn't take that long, but using F4M's WMV encoder is a time consuming process. My only suggestion here would be to try using Episode (about 4 - 6x faster) or some PC based encoder.
You can also feed a video and audio signal into a Media Center PC, or any PC with a video card and Windows Media will encode from a live source. Works pretty good too. From a firewire camcorder you can even mark in and out and the encoder will do the preroll and everything. Its pretty much like doing a dub. It would be very cool if Microsoft would make an appliance that just took video inputs and encoded to WMV. Like one of those DVD recorders. They'd be onto something!
Works well? Yes. Produces good quality? No, at least not at full SD resolutions. WME will either generate good quality and drop tons of frames or it will generate somewhat acceptable quality and drop fewer frames. The reason there isn't an appliance yet is that in order to encode WM live at good quality and without dropping frames is to use a Quad Proc machine like a top of the line Opteron or Woodcrest. Dual Proc machines can do a decent job as well, but you won't be able to turn on nearly as many of the tools for encoding without quickly dropping frames. There are hardware encoding chips for WMV but they run about $1K a piece. And to encode SD WMV at 480i takes about 3 chips.