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Old 10-10-2011, 01:31 PM   #1
Sk8Leigh
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Question Questions about Burning DVD's

I just got a TiVo Premiere, and want to start burning DVD's of some of my shows. I have some questions that I haven't really been able to find answers for.

1) The shows are recorded in HD, and I would like to keep the quality as good as possible. As far as I know, though, my laptop just has a normal DVR+-RW burner, nothing special, and I don't have a blu-ray player. So keeping that in mind, what is my best bet? Some of the shows are 2 hours, but I'll be editing out commercials, so it will be less. I'm thinking dual layer DVD's? Are those the same as a regular DVD-R, or is there much loss in quality?

2) I see VideoReDo recommended by most. Do you think that would be best for me? Would I need H.264 or would the regular TVSuite do? I'm not quite sure what the difference is.

3) Anyone have a favorite brand of dual layer DVD-R's?

Thanks for any help you can give me!
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:02 PM   #2
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Regular VideoReDo Tvsuite is fine as it will work with single and double layer DVDs burning
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:08 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8Leigh View Post
I just got a TiVo Premiere, and want to start burning DVD's of some of my shows. I have some questions that I haven't really been able to find answers for.

1) The shows are recorded in HD, and I would like to keep the quality as good as possible. As far as I know, though, my laptop just has a normal DVR+-RW burner, nothing special, and I don't have a blu-ray player. So keeping that in mind, what is my best bet? Some of the shows are 2 hours, but I'll be editing out commercials, so it will be less. I'm thinking dual layer DVD's? Are those the same as a regular DVD-R, or is there much loss in quality?
A regular DVD holds 4.7 GB of info while a dual layer DVD holds holds close to 8 GB. Dual layer DVD's are listed as DVD+R DL (you may also find DVD-R DL, but in my experience those are rare. If you have a fairly recent DVD player, it shouldn't matter). Make sure your DVD burner supports dual layer disks.
If you are used to watching HD, you will notice some loss in quality. Whether it is acceptable, only you can decide.
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Originally Posted by Sk8Leigh View Post
2) I see VideoReDo recommended by most. Do you think that would be best for me? Would I need H.264 or would the regular TVSuite do? I'm not quite sure what the difference is.
If you think you will be editing and/or burning a lot of shows, nothing beats VRD (IMO). Plus, VRD is very good at using all of the blank space on a disk to give you the best quality possible.
As said above, you would only need the regular TV Suite (version 3).

P.S. VRD support is second to none (again, IMO). They have an excellent support forum.
http://www.videoredo.net/msgBoard/index.php
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3) Anyone have a favorite brand of dual layer DVD-R's?
Verbatim is my brand of choice, but I also use Memorex in a pinch.
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Old 10-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #4
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Make sure your DVD burner supports dual layer disks.
D'oh! I'm not sure if mine will or not. That hadn't even crossed my mind. I'll have to check tonight, but if it doesn't, I can get an external burner fairly cheap. (My computer is about 5 years old, so it may not do it.)

And the DVD player that I have is also fairly old, a Panasonic with a HDD that I really don't use anymore. But I could buy a plain new DVD player that should play them with no problem, even cheaper than the burner. I've thought about getting one anyway. At least I've waited until the price has come way down!

Thanks for all your help! I think I'm set until I actually start the burning process.
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Old 10-11-2011, 03:19 PM   #5
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You can put an hour or two of decent DVD quality on a single-sided DVD.

Have you checked to be sure you can actually transfer the shows you want to your PC? Some cable systems (most notably Time Warner) put copy protection on all channels except local stations that prevents transfer.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
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Yes, everything I've taped so far is coming up without copy protection, including the things I want to burn. I have Comcast.

Oh, and now I have checked, and it doesn't look like my laptop's drive will do dual layer. I'd rather go with the dual layer than try to fit things on single. So it looks like I'll be getting an external burner. But it's not a big deal, since they're under $100. These are small-ish investments to get going.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
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On second thought, after doing some math (algebra, even!), I think I might be able to get away with single layer, once I take out the commercials. I think I'll try it before I buy the new burner.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:25 PM   #8
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Basic question, why do you want to burn DVDs? Why not just get an external HD and store your shows there? With pyTivo you can push them back to the TiVo when you want to watch them on a TV.

That said, I used to (that's right.. used to) create the disc image in VRD using the Folder option so if it went over 4.5GB, I'd used DVDShrink to recode the image so it would fit on a single layer disc. It does so with little to no noticeable PQ loss.
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Old 10-11-2011, 10:46 PM   #9
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I need to create some DVD's because I need to give something to someone else. I have been dragging my feet on getting started.
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Old 10-13-2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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Basic question, why do you want to burn DVDs? Why not just get an external HD and store your shows there? With pyTivo you can push them back to the TiVo when you want to watch them on a TV.
This is for things that I want to save permanently, and I would rather not put them on a HD, in case the HD would crash, and then they would be gone.

Quote:
That said, I used to (that's right.. used to) create the disc image in VRD using the Folder option so if it went over 4.5GB, I'd used DVDShrink to recode the image so it would fit on a single layer disc. It does so with little to no noticeable PQ loss.
It seemed to me from what I've read that VRD had a method to do the shrink, but is that not right? I would need to use DVDShrink?

I downloaded VRD and edited a short clip, and it seemed pretty easy. That was without reading any instructions first, so I think that'll make it easier. I saved it as .mpg2 (I think that was it.) Is that an ok file type to use for this? I didn't really know which one to pick.

I haven't tried burning a DVD yet. That's the next step. I'll probably just do it with this short 1 min clip first, as a test.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:44 PM   #11
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It seemed to me from what I've read that VRD had a method to do the shrink, but is that not right? I would need to use DVDShrink?
No, there is no need any longer, in my opinion. VRD does a good job using the available disk space.

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Originally Posted by Sk8Leigh View Post
I downloaded VRD and edited a short clip, and it seemed pretty easy. That was without reading any instructions first, so I think that'll make it easier. I saved it as .mpg2 (I think that was it.) Is that an ok file type to use for this? I didn't really know which one to pick.
If you're burning DVDs, there is no reason to save the file first. You edit the program and then click the Create DVD button.
If you're putting multiple programs on a DVD, after you edit the first program, you click Add Title to DVD, then proceed to open the next program for editing. When done, click Create DVD. All in one session.

Having said that, for saving programs, .mpg is the universal format that most any software program/video player can use. If you plan to send edited programs back to your Tivo use the .tivo format.

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I haven't tried burning a DVD yet. That's the next step. I'll probably just do it with this short 1 min clip first, as a test.
Why not just try a full program you want to save? Burning a 1 minute clip will just waste a DVD (unless you use an erasable disk).
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:04 PM   #12
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The Panasonic dvd with HHD is that just a recorder or will it also make dvd's? The reason I ask is that I have a dvd burner that I use to watch DVD's on my TV. I have it connected to my Tivo and when I want to keep a show I burn it on the dvd burner. It does it in real time so if the show is an hour long it takes an hour to burn it. It's basicly a digital VCR that uses a disk instead of tape. It doesn't record them in HD but my receiver has the ability to up convert to HD when I watch DVD's on it.
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sk8Leigh
It seemed to me from what I've read that VRD had a method to do the shrink, but is that not right? I would need to use DVDShrink?
VRD does. I should clarify... my source is TiVo S2 mpeg files, if the mpeg files where a tad too big to fit on a single-layer disc, I would use DVDShrink to recode the disc image as it does it faster than VRD. VRD does a great job of recoding the files to fit on the disc, DVDShrink just does it faster.
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:26 PM   #14
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Success on my test, I'd say! I ended up doing two small clips of two different shows, as two different titles. I changed the output to 16:9 and HQ, but I think that was most of what I changed. They look almost as good as the originals when I play them on my Panasonic. It's a really old DVD player, so if I got a DVD player with upconversion, do you think that would make it look slightly better? I think slightly better is all that I'd need. It really looks close to the original.

The Panasonic that I have is a DMR-E85H. It's got a HDD and can burn DVDs. Before I got an HDTV (and even moreso, digital cable), it did pretty much everything I needed, basically what I'm doing with VRD now. However, once I had capabilities for HD, the picture that I got when using the Panasonic just looked so bad, that I've been trying to find something better. When I play something on my Comcast DVR and record it to the Panasonic (it has to go through the Comcast, which it's live or already taped), the resolution isn't very good, and it's letterboxed. It's just no good.

Thanks, msmart, for clarifying! I just barely have a grasp on the technical stuff behind all of this (mostly I just know what I see and how it looks ), so I've got a pretty steep learning curve for doing all of this.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:13 PM   #15
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This is for things that I want to save permanently, and I would rather not put them on a HD, in case the HD would crash, and then they would be gone.
You do realize DVDs don't last forever, either? If your storage facility (your house?) enjoys reliably low temperatures and you store the DVDs properly, you might get ten years from them. If not, don't expect them to be there unless you periodically copy them to new media. For off-line storage, a hard drive is probably more reliable.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:45 AM   #16
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You do realize DVDs don't last forever, either? If your storage facility (your house?) enjoys reliably low temperatures and you store the DVDs properly, you might get ten years from them. If not, don't expect them to be there unless you periodically copy them to new media. For off-line storage, a hard drive is probably more reliable.
This web site has what seems to be a good discussion of optical media lifetime:
http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/opticalm...hor-What-35882
Key points are:
1. DVD lifetime (even with proper storage conditions) can vary from 2 yrs to (possibly) 30 years or more.
2. DVD quality varies widely with manufacturer and there is no way for the consumer to know the quality, other than PERHAPS you get what you pay for.
3. Testing lifetime is expensive so it isn't done much. The tests have to be "accelerated" (i.e., with elevated temperatures). There is no absolute proof that such testing actually predicts true lifetime.

If you are serious about archiving you have to have multiple copies. DVD media might be a component of such a strategy, as might HDD.

Considering the cost and hassle of putting everything on DVD, I would think a backup HDD (i.e., using redundant HDD copies) would be cheaper and easier.

However if I was only "semi-serious" about archiving (i.e., ten years is long enough) then a good brand of DVD might make sense, although the cost/convenience tradeoff vs. HDD still makes me wonder.
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Old 10-17-2011, 12:15 PM   #17
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I think I fall into "10 years is enough for me", as far as that goes. This is just a tv show, not home movies or anything, so I may not even be interested in 10 or more years. And I know they've said similar things about videotapes, but I have videotapes from 1984 that are still viewable, and I think DVDs would hold up way better than those. So that's not that much of a concern.

Cost/convenience may be another story. I guess I'm not that experienced with external hard drives, aside from having one where I back up my laptop. So if I had one devoted to my TiVo shows that I wanted to save, would it just show up as a new drive when I plugged it in to the laptop, and I'd copy things there, and it would just show up as a window like anything else that I plugged into a USB port?

But with that, how would I watch it on my tv, without pushing it back to TiVo? Which would only work as long as I had TiVo, and would take a while to do.
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Old 10-17-2011, 01:38 PM   #18
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USB drives just show up as any other drive in windows explorer.

You could strip the TiVo wrapper off your files to make them mpeg2 (.mpg) files using either tivodecode (free) or videoReDo (not free but does many things including cleaning up time code errors that sometimes exist). This is a very fast process and can be automated in various ways including kmttg and VAP (link in signature). mpeg2 is probably the most common video format. You can always transcode these files to an h.264 format later if you want to save space -- but it's questionable if it's worth the computer time given how cheap disk storage is now.

pyTivo (free, highly recommended, especially with the vidmgr add-on) can push or pull your files to the tivo, with very little delay before you can start watching them. You lose metadata when you convert tivo to mpeg2, but either kmttg or VAP will automatically generate pyTivo-style metatdata text files that allow metadata to go with your mpeg2 file when pytivo sends it to the tivo. pyTivo will work fine with your files on a USB drive.

There are other options for streaming video files (not .tivo format) from your PC to your TV, such as a DLNA server/client(media player) combination. Win7 has a DLNA server built into WMC. There are a number of DLNA client options -- I think some TV's even include them. WDTV, some Blu-ray players, and the Logitech Revue include them, although I don't believe the Revue player handles mpeg2 at the moment (but major upgrades are expected soon).
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:49 AM   #19
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I was talking to a friend at work about this, and he was saying that I could probably save them to an external hard drive as MPEG files, and then if I got a DVD player that had a USB port, plug the drive into the player and play them that way. I was looking online, and it seems like that's possible, but that it doesn't always work. People were saying that you have to format the drive as FAT32 (which I don't know how to do, but could probably manage). But then it seems like it still might not work. It seems like it depends on which equipment you have, especially the player.

Does anyone do this, or have a recommendation for equipment I could get? I'm thinking that sounds like the best thing to do (I could back up the HDD if I wanted to), but I'm afraid I'll buy all of the equipment and then it won't work.

Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:49 PM   #20
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And I know they've said similar things about videotapes, but I have videotapes from 1984 that are still viewable, and I think DVDs would hold up way better than those. So that's not that much of a concern.
It just depends on a number of factors. The Library of Congress has done testing on DVD media, and as dfl pointed out, the longevity of the media varies wildly from one to another, and there is no good way to know a-priori which one a consumer has in his hand. The longevity of VCR tapes is also dependent upon a number of factors, but outside of heat, the causes of failure of the two media are quite different.

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Cost/convenience may be another story. I guess I'm not that experienced with external hard drives, aside from having one where I back up my laptop. So if I had one devoted to my TiVo shows that I wanted to save, would it just show up as a new drive when I plugged it in to the laptop, and I'd copy things there, and it would just show up as a window like anything else that I plugged into a USB port?
In the simplest deployment, yeah, pretty much.

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But with that, how would I watch it on my tv, without pushing it back to TiVo? Which would only work as long as I had TiVo
Not necessarily. There are plenty of devices that can stream video.

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Originally Posted by Sk8Leigh View Post
and would take a while to do.
Well, yes, but then it takes a while to watch the video, too. Depending on the model of TiVo and the file format, you may be able to transfer at more than twice real-time speeds. What more is necessary?

Last edited by lrhorer : 10-24-2011 at 03:39 AM.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:24 PM   #21
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I was talking to a friend at work about this, and he was saying that I could probably save them to an external hard drive as MPEG files, and then if I got a DVD player that had a USB port, plug the drive into the player and play them that way.
It's not the path I would recommend. It is certainly not what I would do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sk8Leigh View Post
I was looking online, and it seems like that's possible, but that it doesn't always work. People were saying that you have to format the drive as FAT32 (which I don't know how to do, but could probably manage). But then it seems like it still might not work. It seems like it depends on which equipment you have, especially the player.
Which is one reason I wouldn't recommend it. Not that it cannot be made to work with a particular player, but then you are locking yourself in to a narrow range of players. It's not portable and it is not future-proof.

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Does anyone do this, or have a recommendation for equipment I could get? I'm thinking that sounds like the best thing to do (I could back up the HDD if I wanted to), but I'm afraid I'll buy all of the equipment and then it won't work.
I would recommend a more platform non-specific solution revolving around a central server. An ancient, low resource PC is probably sufficient for your requirements. I would recommend an on-line drive or array for the videos and a hard drive backup. I'm running a much bigger, more powerfuul system than you are likely to need, but I have a primary system with an 18 Terabyte RAID array and a backup system with a 14 Terabyte RAID array, all backed up to multiple 1T drives for off-line storage.

Last edited by lrhorer : 10-24-2011 at 03:40 AM.
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