Hope me, video Gurus!
September 25, 2003 11:28 AM   Subscribe

DVDRHelp. Ever wondered about the difference between DVD-R and DVD+R? Want the best tool for ripping VHS to DVD? All things video are revealed at DVDRHelp. Discover freeware tools like Tsunami MPeg Encoder. Compare the latest DVD burners. Be overwhelmed at the learning curve of making your own DVD videos. AKA VCDHelp.
posted by Wulfgar! (29 comments total)
Having recently purchased a DVD writer, I was instantly overwhelmed with the possibilities and pitfalls of backing up my DVDs, of converting my VHS tapes to DVD, and of making picture dvds. This sight is a god-send to newbies such as myself, and to those budding videographers out there. Be sure to check out the forums!!!
posted by Wulfgar! at 11:29 AM on September 25, 2003

I'm a month into it and my new sony +R/-R burner still refuses to burn at anything but 1x. Thanks for the resource.
posted by shinnin at 11:34 AM on September 25, 2003

I'm a video tech so if you guys have specific questions give a shout in this thread and I'll answer as best I can.
posted by velacroix at 11:51 AM on September 25, 2003

Great link, thanks Wulfgar!
posted by Outlawyr at 11:53 AM on September 25, 2003

Well, since the link is here, maybe I can all ask you a question...

When I download a VCD or SVCD .mpg file from the internet, how do I actually get that onto the CD so that the DVD player will read it? Just burn it, or is there some special program I need to use? Sounds like a question that I could easily find the answer to, but somehow, I have not been able to find it..

posted by eas98 at 12:49 PM on September 25, 2003

eas98, it will depend on the format it comes in as to how you burn it. If it comes down as an .mpg, then it should be proper VCD format, and burn ready. Probably the best tool for the job (strictly my opinion) is Nero 6.11 ultra edition. If you want to watch it on your DVD player, then there are a huge number of variables. Seriously, go to DVDRhelp and any answer you want is there.

By the way, I can't say enough about personal experimentation as the key to wisdom. CD-RW and DVDRWs are your friends!
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:00 PM on September 25, 2003

Ok, if we're allowing this thread to degenerate into a tech support forum, here's my deal velacroix: I have a Sony DRU510a burner. It should burn +R and -R DVD at 4x. I am using good media (TDK discs approved for 4x). The drive burns CD's nicely in 4 minutes. When burning a DVD, however, the screen initially says its burning at 3.9x, ETA: 12 minutes. Moments later, the figure turns into something like 70 minutes...... thoughts?
posted by shinnin at 1:01 PM on September 25, 2003


Are you saying I just burn in onto the CD like anything else, with its filename intact and everything?

posted by eas98 at 1:03 PM on September 25, 2003

Okay, I feel bad that my response wasn't more informative, so here goes:

1) Can your DVD player play VCD or SVCD disks. If yes, then use Nero to burn the video DC and your done.

2) If not, then you need to convert/encode the downloaded video into the proper DVD format. Several tutorials on DVDRHelp on how to do that depending on the tools you wish or have to do the encoding.

3) Once encoded, you can add menus (called authoring the DVD) using Ulead Movie Factory or a number of other tools. Again, several tutorials exist to help you.

4) Burn to a DVD disk, using Nero or UleadMovieFactory or EZ DVD Creator or ... Again the process depends on the tools you have or choose.

I strongly suggest starting with the newby's forum. If you have a question, I almost guarentee that someone has asked it before.

On preview, no, you don't burn it as a data disk. Nero 6 has video burning options (as does 5.5) that will allow you to burn a video CD. You need burning software that has such an option in it.
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:12 PM on September 25, 2003

eas98 - grab a copy of VCDEasy. As long as the file is in the right format, it's just drag and drop, couple of clicks and you have a VCD or SVCD burning.
posted by SiW at 1:12 PM on September 25, 2003

Oh great. Tell all the newbies about VCDHelp. This is gonna be worse than AOL on Usenet. Just kidding. Share the DVD-R love, people. Share the DVD-R love.
posted by VulcanMike at 1:32 PM on September 25, 2003


What Wulfgar! is saying is that you need some form of authoring software to turn that MPG video clip into an SVCD because it involves more than just transferring the clip to disc and burning. An SVCD is encoded a certain way to make it copy protected and playable via software. There are a lot of different software packages that can do this. Some have already been listed here others you can find on DVDRhelp. Regardless you will need some form of authoring software and a tutorial on how to use it. Plenty are available on DVDRhelp.


One possibility is that the transfer mode isn't set properly. Try this:

Switch between DMA and PIO.

Go to:
Right Click My Computer
Choose Manage
Choose Device Manager
Click the + in front of IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers
Double Click the Secondary IDE Controller (If that's where it's installed)
Click Advanced Settings
Under Device 1 – Next to Transfer Mode choose DMA (or vise versa)
Click OK
Reboot your System

You could also need to update the firmware. This page has that listed for download as well as other fixes and a util for tweaking the read/write speed of the drive. I suggest giving all of those options a try.

Another possibility is that the drive doesn't like your TDK media (quite common actually). A common misconception is that all media is of the same quality (it isn't) and that each vendor makes their own media (they don't). The majority of DVD media is made by a few companies and they then resale to name brands who relabel the disc and then sell them. Many of these manufacturer's don't place very high QA controls so there is a lot of crap out there. Here's a good list to go by:

Maxell is good. The MXL media formula, not the brand.
Pioneer is good. The PVC media formula, not the brand.
Ritek is good. Most RITEKG03 and all RITEKG04. (what i use -- 1000's and 1000's of them)
Apple is good. The brand. They have a high quality control in their contracts.
Verbatim is good. The MCC media formula, not the brand.
Optodisc is good. The gold ones. OPTODISC media code.

Lead Data is questionable. LEADDATA or LD01 or LD or LEDA media codes.
Accu is questionable. ACCU media codes.
Princo 4x is questionable. PRINCO media codes.

CMC is bad. The CMC media formula, not the brand.
Princo 1x and 2x is bad. PRINCO media codes.
No-names brands like GQ*, Kyphermedia, and others that often use CMC or Princo.
No-names brands like Matrix and shop4tech that have their own media ID and brands.

Fake MXL media. Silver-topped "Maxell" fakes.
Fake TDK media. White-topped and silver-topped "TDK" fakes.
Fake Pioneer. The "PioData" with PIO codes are NOT Pioneer. Pioneer is PVC.

Here's a little program to see what your disc is.

The only other thing I can think of is that your software is conflicting with the drive and it won't burn properly. Try getting the latest patch for it and try again. Also, many different software estimate time to completion incorrectly so you may want to just time it yourself.
posted by velacroix at 1:50 PM on September 25, 2003

Oh, I've timed it myself. Slightly over an hour of my life drains away. I've tried both PIO and "DMA if available," which is the other option listed. I fear that there may be some extenuating circumstance that prevents my machine from actually using DMA. I might disconnect the other drive I have on that IDE channel and see if that changes anything.

I've also upgraded the firmware to no avail. I have worried about the media. They are TDK's made in Taiwan, not Japan. That means they were not manufactured by Taiyo Yuden, but I've read around and other people have had very good luck with those discs. I'm using the RecordNow software that shipped with the drive. Thanks for your efforts and I'll appreciate any other suggestions from the peanut gallery.
posted by shinnin at 2:23 PM on September 25, 2003

It could be a defective drive. Try it in another machine or get an exchange. I have a DRU-500A and I've never had a lick of trouble getting 4x discs burning properly.

Did you try the speed control util on the Sony site?

Also, be sure to update the RecordNow software
posted by velacroix at 2:28 PM on September 25, 2003

I haven't done either of those things. I'll give it a try tonight. Thanks.
posted by shinnin at 2:49 PM on September 25, 2003

Linux + dvdrecord + Sony 4x DVD-R Burner + Maxell media (2x or 4x) works great for me - but that's for data backups. I've also had good luck converting large amounts of still images (I work on a stop-motion kids' show) into DVD video with transcode and dvdauthor under Linux along with dvdrecord.
posted by Fat Elvis at 2:54 PM on September 25, 2003

Is there a single drive that writes all DVD formats (DVD-RAM, DVD-R(W), DVD+R(W)) and writes CD and CD-RW as well? That's the only kind I'd be interested in.
posted by kindall at 3:26 PM on September 25, 2003

There are drives that write DVD-R/RW, +R/RW, & CD-R/RW

(Sony DRU-510A)

There are drives that write DVD-R and DVD-RAM.

(Panasonic LF-D311SC)

There are no drives that I know of that do all of the above.

Unless you have a specific purpose for it, you probably won't need the DVD-RAM.
posted by velacroix at 4:24 PM on September 25, 2003

Well, the purpose for which I need the DVD-RAM capability is reading all the DVD-RAM discs I have.

I'd kinda like to have it all in one drive, but it looks like I'll need at least two.
posted by kindall at 5:10 PM on September 25, 2003

You can get a DVD-ROM that will read RAM disks and save yourself the hassle of looking for a writer that can do that.

Toshiba SD-M1712


NEC DV-5800C

Newegg is a great place to buy components from as well.
posted by velacroix at 5:39 PM on September 25, 2003

hmm... i remember this site from when it was called vcdhelp.com
posted by soplerfo at 5:50 PM on September 25, 2003

Like I said, it looks like I'll need at least two drives.
posted by kindall at 5:51 PM on September 25, 2003

I've used this web site extensively, especially for reviews of what player to buy to make sure that it will play dvds that are burned, etc. Pioneers are good for that. Great resource.
posted by adampsyche at 5:56 PM on September 25, 2003

Like I said, it looks like I'll need at least two drives.

I should read more carefully.
posted by velacroix at 6:48 PM on September 25, 2003

Great link, Wulgar!

I've been using vcdhelp.com for a while now. Excellent guides. So excellent, in fact, that I'm incredibly confused why anyone is asking for technical help here in the blue. I mean, sheesh, you point out dvdrhelp.com to them, but do they GO THERE and CHECK IT OUT? Noooo... they just jump right in with their questions ;)

As Wulfgar! points out, the answer to your question is probably already somewhre in the dvdrhelp.com forums. Now, how did it get there? Someone asked it, and got an answer. If, on the offchance, your question is novel, and you do get a good answer, it won't help anyone down the line. Who, in the future, is ever going to look for the answer to their dvd burning question here?

Spread the love.
posted by scarabic at 7:39 PM on September 25, 2003

velacroix, what's the best tool for toggle-enabled subtitling on DVDs for OSX?

*winces & ducks*
posted by squirrel at 10:46 PM on September 25, 2003

It's actually the DVD playback software that will toggle the subtitles on and off. On your end you just need to author the DVD with a subtitile track (just about every DVD authoring software allows you at least one) and the rest is handled by the viewer who can then choose from multiple subtitle streams.
posted by velacroix at 1:23 AM on September 26, 2003

Scarabic, there are actually several discussions of my problem on dvdrhelp.com and I've read them. The people there have not, however, come up with the answers I need.
posted by shinnin at 10:48 AM on September 26, 2003

I just picked up an LG 2x - multirecorder for £90 today - maaan how prices have dropped :D

Fits in perfectly with my new shuttle system :)
posted by Mossy at 3:51 PM on September 26, 2003

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