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Master Copy duplication Workflow

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Mike Roy
Master Copy duplication Workflow
on Dec 20, 2009 at 3:40:43 am

I work in my high school auditorium, and part of my job is to produce, duplicate, and sell DVD's of most events we host. We have three cameras mounted on Eagle PTZ heads, and control them in the light booth with an eagle controller. From there the cameras are routed into our switcher/ production computer running NewTek VT5.

This is how we have been producing the DVD so far:

We record VT5's program output directly onto a DVD using an external DVD burner. When it is time to copy the disc we take it to another pc workstation that runs a robotic duplicator. This has worked okay so far, but over time the master DVD's wear out and start causing problems. Also, the time it takes the DVD drive to finalize, along with the time it takes the duplicator to create a temporary disk image file to copy from adds at least an extra half hour to our production process.

Here is what I would like to do:

I would like to take the output from the VT5 workstation (most likely Firewire,) and use the duplication pc to capture the feed live. Our shows usually run around two hours, so I would have to somehow compress the video file to fit it on a DVD. Then I need to create a disk image file that the duplication software can work with. By doing this, all I would have to do to make a copy is tell the duplication software to read the disk image, rather than search through the binder for the master DVD.

What I need help with:

I'm looking for any suggestions regarding the best/fastest software that can capture and compress the video, as well as create a disk image. Is there such a program that can do all of that? Would I have to use multiple programs? Also what file formats would be the best to use throughout the whole process?

I am also hoping to archive a file that can easily be imported into an editing program, hopefully not too large a file, but still keeping decent quality.

Random Thoughts/Questions

Is a 6 pin Firewire cable fast enough to transfer the video?
Will a 15 foot Firewire cable affect the quality or speed of the transfer?
I will be using an external hard drive to store the video files and disk images. What kind of drive will perform best, considering the tight budget we are on?
I will most likely need to trim the video at the beginning to cut out any black space/ color bars. Will this software be able to do that, or will I have to use an editor?
Can I set the compressed file size so the entire DVD is used up, keeping the quality as high as possible?

Mike Roy
Video Production
Fuerst Auditorium


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