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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, yesterday I couldn't stand it and bought a Phillips DVD+RW drive. Best Buy had them on sale with a $50 rebate so total cost was $233.

Yesterday I hooked it up and first tried to get it working as a CD-RW. Come to find out that Roxio CD Creator 5 will not work with the drive. However, a simple update from the Roxio web site did the trick and now it works great.

Then, I tried to put together a DVD using one of the DVD+RW discs. The program that came with the drive was Sonic's MyDVD. A very simple program and pretty easy to use. Using my Digital 8 camcorder with a firewire connection, I captured 3 scenes and set them as chapters. I burned the DVD and took it over to my player which is hooked to a 16X9 Toshiba big screen.

When I put the DVD into the player, the first thing that appeared on the screen was the main menu with the 3 chapters. Success! Played all 3 chapters and the PQ was decent although slightly pixelated. No big deal for regular recording purposes.

Now, the downfalls. First, my home videos are recorded in anamorphic wide screen. The DVD authoring software had no 16X9 features so when the disc is played back on a normal TV, there are no black bars which means everything on the screen is distorted (tall and skinny).

Second, the authoring software had no provisions for encoding a stereo Dolby Digital track which means all of the audio is PCM.

Obviously, the authoring software that comes with these drives is very limited. Sure, they work great for the average Joe but for anyone serious about puting together a nice DVD package, purchasing better software is a must.

After some searching around on the internet, it looks like Sonic's DVDIt Pro Edition (PE) is the best thing to get. It has 16X9 support and encodes audio in Dolby Digital. It's very expensive on Sonic's internet site ($1000) but I found a couple of older versions of the software on E-Bay for $50 which should work fine.

My opinion? When getting a DVD burner for the computer, consider getting better software right off the bat. Also, expect several days or weeks of experimentation before archiving home movies or TV shows. DVD's take time to compile and render and so the learning curve is quite high in some cases.
 

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Awsome Chris! I've been looking at that DVD burner for a while. When I got my Philips CD burner I also had to download the updates from Roxio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally posted by David_Levin
Cool - Great Price.

Does this drive support DVD+R?

Do you think the +RW/+R camp is going to with the format war? They seem to be getting more popular.
Yes, it will burn DVD+R.

There is no format war between +RW/+R. It's more between DVD+RW/R and DVD-RW/R. DVD-RW/R is fully supported by the DVD council. DVD+RW/R is a competing format developed by Phillips, Sony and Hewlett Packard.

The great thing is that it really doesn't matter which format you use. They are both pretty compatable with existing DVD players. I mainly chose DVD+RW/R because of the price and the a few of the features. If the format fails, no big deal. The discs will still play on almost any DVD player.
 

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Welcome to the club! Have you done any Analog VCR stuff from VCR to DVD. A friend once said that his Digital Video Camera was capable of being a Bridge between the Analog VCR and the Digital Computer. If true, did that work for you. Having had no Type of Bridge or bridgable video card, I had to buy a Analog to Digital Video bridge.

I have 3 versions of Authoring SW. I am now pretty efficient with Complete DVD (came with the Analog to DV bridge) and will stick with that for a while.

I also have myDVD SW (which came with the drive), I was going to try it, but I'm going to wait tillI really need it. My needs a pretty much met by Complete DVD (so I don't know any better :D )
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Originally posted by gcutler
Welcome to the club! Have you done any Analog VCR stuff from VCR to DVD. A friend once said that his Digital Video Camera was capable of being a Bridge between the Analog VCR and the Digital Computer.
Haven't tried that yet. I hope it works. I do know that regular analog Hi8 recordings when played back in the digital camcorder are automatically converted through the firewire port which is really cool.
 

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To get anamorphic wide screen you will probably have to use a third part MPEG-2 encoder. http://www.tmpgenc.net is an excellent encoder that is like free for 30 days then $50 (they used to be free forever, but the MPEG group got after them for licensing fees, so they had to start charging).

The encoder flags the MPEG-2 stream as being anamorphic. You then import this file into the authoring software.
 

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Originally posted by Chris Blount
Haven't tried that yet. I hope it works. I do know that regular analog Hi8 recordings when played back in the digital camcorder are automatically converted through the firewire port which is really cool.
Are there Audio and Video INs on the Digital Camera that would accept data from a regular VCR. If not than it would not work as a bridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Originally posted by gcutler


Are there Audio and Video INs on the Digital Camera that would accept data from a regular VCR. If not than it would not work as a bridge.
Yes there is. When I bought the video camera 3 years ago, one of the first things I did was backup important home movies from my Beta machine to Digital 8 in case the Beta crapped out. I have about 10 Digital 8 tapes filled with home movies waiting to be transferred to DVD.
 

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On my XP hardware config, my AV to DV converter actually lists as a "AVC Compliant DV Tape Recorder/Player" So I guess you proabably have all of what you need to take TV or VHS or anything else and convert it to DV.
 
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