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MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders

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ccnlab
MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 21, 2002 at 11:41:26 pm

Ok, I work in a lab where we want the DVD authoring process to be as simple as possible. I understand the process of recording in Minidv or Digital8 and then editing, compressing and authoring, but would it make sense for my lab to buy a Microdv camcorder that already comes in MPEG2 format and then just the DVD authoring software to create the DVDs?

We want to stream directly from the Camcorder to the PC, so the limiting capacity of the minidisc should not be a problem. I was looking at the Sony DCR IP7BT. It seems equipped with everything I need, but I just want to make sure that the process would be easier if I took this route? Also, I know that this MPEG2 format is a hybrid Sony created, but does anyone know if it still allows for the same compression and control of frame rate? I need to get this video down to 4.7gb, which is the ultimate goal, so I would not want to lose that ability by using this camera instead of a minidv or Digital8.

Any thoughts...or pros and cons about taking the native MPEG2 route?

Thanks,

ccnlab


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John Q
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 22, 2002 at 3:45:05 am

Hate to inform you that miniDV, Digital8, and microMV are all types of MPEG2 encoding. The miniDV and Digital8 are encoded in DV format at 25 Mbps. The microMV is encoded at 12 Mbps. All of them will have to be transcoded to MPEG2 IBP format (maximum 9.8 Mbps bitrate) for DVD.

I don't know what software is provided with the microMV for editing and transcoding purposes, but all the popular commercial packages support DV format.

If you're interested in transcoding speed, then the Matrox RT.X100 will transcode to MPEG2 IBP from the Premiere timeline in realtime. Otherwise, transcoding is a very time-consuming process.


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ccnlab
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 22, 2002 at 12:23:41 pm

Can you explain this more:

I thought I understood from my research, but I guess not. So DV camcorders and the so-called native MPEG2 camcorders are exactly the same, but they are just recorded at different rates?

So there would really be no advantage to purchasing one of these, because the process of editing and DVD authoring will not be any easier...maybe even harder b/c the software that is out there is all made for DV format?

Am I close? If you suggest Minidv/Digital8, do you have any favorites?

Also, can you explain a little more about transcoding speed? would this allow me to compress the video easier? I heard that IBP is not the way to go, and to use IFrame, do know why?

Thank you so much for your advice I really appreciate it.

ccnlab


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Kenneth Daves
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 22, 2002 at 4:32:12 pm

I am far from an expert, but I can tell you there is a big difference between DV compression and Mpeg 2.

Here is a link to mpeg.org that may help you.

http://www.mpeg.org/MPEG/index.html

There are a number of products that purport to encode DV to Mpeg real time or nearly so, including products by Mediostream and Ulead. I do not know how well they work, but they need relatively powerful computers to do it.

If you do go the MicroMV route, I believe the new Pinnacle Studio 8 has the capability of editing it.

Editing Mpeg is almost heresy in video editing circles, but some products will let you do it without losing quality as long as the input and output settings match. It is not a good idea to re-encode Mpeg to different settings.





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John Q
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 23, 2002 at 5:41:48 am

There are differences in the MPEG encoding for DV and microMV besides the data rate. Although I haven't seen detailed specs, I assume the microMV is MPEG2 I-Frame. Does it help knowing what the detailed differences are? Not really. It only matters what formats your video editing software can import and edit. All of the better software can handle DV.

Neither DV nor microMV are encoded in MPEG2 IBP, which a DVD requires. At some point in time, you'll have to edit your video and transcode it, no matter which format you choose, and transcoding takes time.

I chose the Digital8 format, because I already had a large collection of 8mm tapes, which the higher end Sony Digital8 cameras can play and export via their firewire port. I've been very pleased with their video quality for a single CCD sensor, their battery performance, and the NightShot mode, which allowed me to videotape the Aurora Borealis.

For editing, I use a Matrox RT.X100 with Premiere, which exports my edited video to IBP format in realtime, which is a real timesaver. My older system with an RT2000 took at best 5 hours to transcode each hour of video, at worst 10:1. It was like watching paint dry. It worked, but just took too long to be practical.


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ccnlab
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 23, 2002 at 12:28:02 pm

Thanks John,

So you would definitely suggest encoding in real time to IBP. So this Matrox RT X100 is a digital video editing card, right? Which is totally separate from the capture card? I don't really understand the term real time when used in this context. Does this mean that while editing the video it is also getting transcoded to the IBP format?

Thanks again,
ccnlab


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Kenneth Daves
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 23, 2002 at 1:43:41 pm

If the goal is to stream video from a camcorder directly to a DVD with little or no editing, then wouldn’t a product such as the RT.X100 be like hunting squirrels with an elephant gun? I thought that the chief advantage of “real time” cards like that is their ability to preview multiple streams and output to analog. Would such a product produce superior quality Mpeg 2 IBP to that of a real time DV-to-Mpeg 2 software encoder such as MyDVD or Ulead DVD Workshop? How about the hardware/hardware-assisted encoders in the Dell Movie Studio or the Snazzi III AV.DV?


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ccnlab
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 23, 2002 at 3:26:19 pm

Ok, you really have to bare with me, because I am just learning. I have absolutely no background in video authoring, and I appreciate all of the help that everyone is giving me.

So it is possible to go from Camcorder (minidv) to direct DVD authoring if there is no need for much editing? And this would require a hardware-assisted encoder as opposed to video editing card? If so, this is exactly what we want to do. There is basically going to be no editing in our videos and we want the process to be as simple as possible.

Thanks again,
ccnlab


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Kenneth Daves
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 23, 2002 at 4:39:18 pm

There are a number of products that claim to do exactly what you want, including Sonic's MyDVD, Ulead's DVD Movie Factory and DVD Workshop, and Pinnacle Express. They all need a relatively powerful computer (at least 1GHZ processor) and the faster the better, the more RAM the better, etc. I cannot tell you how well they actually work. SNAZZI makes the SNAZZI III AV.DV that claims to do the same with a hardware encoder connected through fire wire. They also claim that they do a superior job of maintaining audio-video sync. There is a similiar product called Dell Movie Studio that comes with some high-end Dell computers, and I believe Canopus now has something similiar.


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John Q
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 24, 2002 at 4:01:25 am

If you need to edit your video, then you need to import it into an editing program in either DV or MPEG2 (I-frame) format.

I have to edit and combine multiple video sources, so I import my Digital8 video in DV format and edit it. The X100 performs realtime editing, i.e. most effects, transitions, and titles are viewable and exportable without rendering. With a dual Athlon 2100, even rendering things like scrolling titles is fast. When I've finished editing, I'll write a DV copy back out to tape and use that to dub multiple VHS copies.

If I need to makes DVD's, I'll use the X100's realtime export to transcode the video to MPEG2 IBP format for import into DVDit. Exporting from the timeline on my RT2000 ran at 8-10:1. I'd basically start a transcoding project and work on the DVD authoring the next day.


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Ted Jan
Re: MPEG2 Camcorders vs. DV Format Camcorders
on Aug 24, 2002 at 10:46:37 pm

just buy one of these cameras from Hitachi. It comes in 2 versions...one for $6000 and one for $8000.

Hitachi Denshi MPEG-2 camcorder

It creates MPEG2 IBP and burns the video directly onto DVDR or DVDRAM.

I think that will solve all your problems. Since all you want to do is create/put video directly onto DVD.


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