I would like this product, as it would simplify the MPEG conversion process. I currently use Edit DV2.01 (purchased from VideoGuys) with Win2k Dual PIII 1ghz, 512mb ram, Geforce 32mb video 2GTS card, 200 gigs of ATA100 drives - 5 total with windows 2000 SP2 with all the fixes. I do my video work with a PD150 and use firewire for transfer with a simple OHCI 1394 card. All this on a ASUS CUV4x-D via chipset motherboard. Recently I purchased a Hypermedia 8X +R/4xRW drive. The Edit Dv uses quicktime *.mov files but I can do an *.avi export from the program.
I noticed this standalone MPEG encoder only has analog RCA and S-video inputs. Is there something similar to this that offers 1394 DV in connectivity? I would rather not suffer the additional generation loss experienced with analog conversion if possible. Going to MPEG format you tradeoff quality for compression already.
Also any recommendation on the set top burners like the once sold Phillips DVR985?
The Convert X does not have DV inputs because they would not produce any improvement in quality. In fact, it would probably be lower quality endcoding.
Think of good old fashion analog video as uncompressed video. It is a pure video stream, that only gets encoded once by Convert X. The video gets digitized to your hard drive on the fly, in real-time, using the compression you select (MPEG1,2,4 or DivX).
Now lets look at DV. What gets passed along the FireWire is video that is already compressed. The DV compression is approx 5:1. The quality of the video transfered into the machine as DV is perfect. The problems come when you have to convert DV compressed video into another compression scheme like MPEG. You can do this using pure CPU power and a software encoder, but you would need two passes. One to get the DV stream into your computer, then the second to encode it into MPEG. I do not believe there yet exists a chip that will take DV and convert it directly into MPEG2 that could be built into an inexpensive external box.
Hope this helps.
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Gary, thanks for the response. It looks like what I would need to do is do my editing in EDV and do a "print to tape" to the PD150. Then use the rca outputs of the PD150 to go directly into the Convert-X to get it to mpeg format for burning. I think I may be able to do a print to tape with just the PD150 (transcoding -not recording to tape) acting only as a pass-through.
I know there are some software solutions for doing the mpeg encoding but even with a dual PIII 1ghz and acess to all the memory and hard disk needed, they are extremely slow and taxing to the win2k system from what I hear. The Via chipset really isn't the best for doing this CPU intensive work. I just didn't know any quality was lost going DV to analog then analog to mpeg (externally) versus DV straight to mpeg (internally via software).