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Just starting and need advice

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Just starting and need advice
on Apr 13, 2003 at 7:12:57 pm


I've been wanting to convert all of my VHS tapes to DVD for the longest time and have finally decided to take the plunge now that DVD burners are more affordable. That and I have to take my computer in for repairs since I think I broke the video card when I was upgrading the motherboard and figure it's a good time to add the DVD components. Now I just need some advice on what hardware and software I should get. I've done the 'Well, this looks good so I'll try it' route before with other things, and some times it's worked and some times I've just spent waaay too much money on expensive clutter. I've been going back and forth between the Studio 8 Deluxe bundle and the USB Instant DVD bundle. I guess it would probably help to have some info about my computer and my learning habits.

If I recall correctly (can't actually tell since I don't have a picture) I have:
1.2 or 1.4ghz AMD Athlon processor
at least 512mb SDRAM
60gb and a 20gb hard drive
the video card had been a decent one, but I suspect I'll have to replace it so suggestions would be appreciated.

As for my learning habits, I admit I'm not really that good with anything that's overly complex. I already know there's no way I'd be able to handle Adobe Premiere. Something that's relatively intuitive is best for me, or that has a good first-time tutorial that will take me through the 'this is how we capture video' 'this is how we take out the commercials' 'this is how we burn it onto DVD' processes. Wouldn't mind being able to add menus right from the start. Eventually I want to move on to the slightly more complex stuff like adding music, and subtitles, and fancy fades and such, but I need to be able to get the basics down first.

Thanks for the help.

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Kenneth Daves
Re: Just starting and need advice
on Apr 14, 2003 at 3:25:44 am

Studio 8 Deluxe is the solution most experts recommend for someone in your position.

Instead of the Instant DVD, take a look at the USB 2.0 hardware Mpeg encoders. I think they do a better job of digitizing analog video without dropping frames and losing audio-video sync the older type stuff. The one I am familiar with is the Snazzi USB 2.0 Mpeg encoder and I like it a lot. Of course, you would need to add a USB 2 card.

A GeForce II MX 400 graphics card should be sufficient for you. Put your money in a second hard drive and Windows XP if you do not already have it.

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Re: Just starting and need advice
on Apr 14, 2003 at 10:25:22 pm

Hi there
Since you already have a 60 gig and 20 gig hard drive I would recommend to you using your 20 gig for you operating system and programs and use your 60 gig for you AV files. Put your 20 gig on IDE 1 as master and your 60 gig on IDE 2 as Master. As far as graphics cards go I am a big fan of ATI I find their graphics cards easy to install, very stable and frequently updated as well as very compatible. If you don't have an AGP port your choice will be very limited though. A software only DVD program that I like and find pretty easy to use is Sonic DVDit. You can check it out for yourself at:
This program easily allows me to make custom titles and backgrounds as well as add music to the menues. You can also make multiple menues and chapter points (unlimited chapter points with DVDit PE).
As far as subtitles go DVDit cannot do this but Sonic offers a more professional version called ReelDVD that allows you to create up to 3 different subtitles (for diff languages) and even multiple camera angles, but this software is much more difficult and expensive. Anyways hope this helps and hope you enjoy making DVD's!
P.S. Feel free to ask any more questions!

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