Downloading from dv camera

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Can someone tell me the best way to do this. I am new to the scene and hav been using iMovie to download my DV from my camera. Do I lose quality by doing this ? I understand from a video-editing point of view there is better software around - but if I just want to download and store on my hard-disk what is the best way to do this without losing quality ? Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    I think iMovie is fine for what your doing. You can find other software out there, but it can get expensive.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    iMovie downloads into it's own data-file, but the image quality is not compromised in any way. You can, in fact, access those DV files and move them or do whatever you want with them.

    Now, when you create a movie and export it into a different format (mp4, mov, etc) or size, then it will be compressed and some of the origional "quality" will be lost. As long as you use an adequate frame-rate though, you shouldn't NOTICE any drop in quality (unless you export it for iPod size screens, then try to watch it full-screen on an iMac... that picture would suck )
  • Reply 3 of 10
    radconradcon Posts: 6member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    iMovie downloads into it's own data-file, but the image quality is not compromised in any way. You can, in fact, access those DV files and move them or do whatever you want with them.

    Now, when you create a movie and export it into a different format (mp4, mov, etc) or size, then it will be compressed and some of the origional "quality" will be lost. As long as you use an adequate frame-rate though, you shouldn't NOTICE any drop in quality (unless you export it for iPod size screens, then try to watch it full-screen on an iMac... that picture would suck )



    Thankyou all for your replies. That does answer my question.



    I have another question - how does hollywood get such great quality video onto their DVDs - iDVD appears to degrade the quality quite a lot (or at least the compression algorithms do) - Are the movie makers using special compression algorithms not available to the rest of us ?
  • Reply 4 of 10
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by radcon View Post


    Thankyou all for your replies. That does answer my question.



    I have another question - how does hollywood get such great quality video onto their DVDs - iDVD appears to degrade the quality quite a lot (or at least the compression algorithms do) - Are the movie makers using special compression algorithms not available to the rest of us ?



    Well, they use Avid/FCP/other programs. The compression in those programs are a lot better then what you would find in iMovie.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    radconradcon Posts: 6member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Digital Disasta View Post


    Well, they use Avid/FCP/other programs. The compression in those programs are a lot better then what you would find in iMovie.



    What I seem to find is that it doesnt matter how I compress my movie - eg .mov, .dv, when I drop it into iDVD its size is always constant. I start with 12G uncompressed - when I comress to 3.0G or 6.0G or even leave it uncompressed - as soon as I drop it into iDVD it becomes a 1G file. Why is this?
  • Reply 6 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,177moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by radcon View Post


    as soon as I drop it into iDVD it becomes a 1G file. Why is this?



    I don't think idvd gives you quality options so the output bitrate no matter the source will always be the same. It's the same deal with burning audio CDs. Irrespective of if you use MP3, AAC, OGG, you will only get 80 minutes or thereabouts on a CD. I think Apple should implement some quality slider so that people can fit more onto a DVD or store movies at a higher quality.



    What you can do is export your imovie clip and then use a 3rd party compressor like visual hub or ffmpegx to get the quality/size you want. Then you can't use idvd though. DVD Studio Pro works but you can't get that without Final Cut Studio. There are free DVD authoring apps but they are not very good.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    radconradcon Posts: 6member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    I don't think idvd gives you quality options so the output bitrate no matter the source will always be the same. It's the same deal with burning audio CDs. Irrespective of if you use MP3, AAC, OGG, you will only get 80 minutes or thereabouts on a CD. I think Apple should implement some quality slider so that people can fit more onto a DVD or store movies at a higher quality.



    What you can do is export your imovie clip and then use a 3rd party compressor like visual hub or ffmpegx to get the quality/size you want. Then you can't use idvd though. DVD Studio Pro works but you can't get that without Final Cut Studio. There are free DVD authoring apps but they are not very good.



    Wow - thats exactly what I was beginning to suspect. Given thats the case I can find no fault with iMovie. Its compression options are varied and allow you the full spectrum of no compression to high compression. I just need to find something that will burn to dvd assuming compression has been done and no more is required.



    Thankyou for your replies - I love this forum
  • Reply 8 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,177moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by radcon View Post


    Wow - thats exactly what I was beginning to suspect. Given thats the case I can find no fault with iMovie. Its compression options are varied and allow you the full spectrum of no compression to high compression. I just need to find something that will burn to dvd assuming compression has been done and no more is required.



    Thankyou for your replies - I love this forum



    Nearly, imovie doesn't seem to do the final compression to dvd format. It looks like imovie passes the timeline to idvd (which I imagine would be some sort of Quicktime movie in the imovie project format e.g DV, mpeg-4 etc) then idvd goes through various stages, one of which is where it prepares the movie and it looks like it compresses it at that stage. The only quality option avalable is in the idvd preferences where it says encoding - best quality or best performance.



    So there aren't two compression steps to DVD happening. But still, idvd is the problem. So you need to export from imovie to a quicktime (no recompression required) and then get a program like ffmpegx or visual hub to do the final encoding. I wish that idvd allowed you to use your own mpeg-2 files because it's really not the fastest mpeg-2 encoder but the menu system is ok. I wonder if there is a way to replace the temp files idvd expects and that way it might reuse the files without trying to encode again.
  • Reply 9 of 10
    radconradcon Posts: 6member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Nearly, imovie doesn't seem to do the final compression to dvd format. It looks like imovie passes the timeline to idvd (which I imagine would be some sort of Quicktime movie in the imovie project format e.g DV, mpeg-4 etc) then idvd goes through various stages, one of which is where it prepares the movie and it looks like it compresses it at that stage. The only quality option avalable is in the idvd preferences where it says encoding - best quality or best performance.



    So there aren't two compression steps to DVD happening. But still, idvd is the problem. So you need to export from imovie to a quicktime (no recompression required) and then get a program like ffmpegx or visual hub to do the final encoding. I wish that idvd allowed you to use your own mpeg-2 files because it's really not the fastest mpeg-2 encoder but the menu system is ok. I wonder if there is a way to replace the temp files idvd expects and that way it might reuse the files without trying to encode again.



    Once again great information - thankyou very much. So what I did was download a tool which will create mpg files for me (BURN) and managed to create an mpg file which was about 50% bigger than the one being created by iDVD. I then opened the package contents of my iDVD project and replaced the mpg file in there with the one created from BURN ( I renamed it as well so it had the convoluted name of the orginal mpg file). I then open the iDVD project and play and eveything appears to be working fine and the resolution is much better.



    However... when I burrn the disk image, iDVD somehow manages to retrieve the orginal mpg file and creates the image using that. Damn !! Does anyone have any suggestions how I could get around this ? I have some ideas but seem to be running around in circles at the moment.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,177moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by radcon View Post


    Once again great information - thankyou very much. So what I did was download a tool which will create mpg files for me (BURN) and managed to create an mpg file which was about 50% bigger than the one being created by iDVD. I then opened the package contents of my iDVD project and replaced the mpg file in there with the one created from BURN ( I renamed it as well so it had the convoluted name of the orginal mpg file). I then open the iDVD project and play and eveything appears to be working fine and the resolution is much better.



    However... when I burrn the disk image, iDVD somehow manages to retrieve the orginal mpg file and creates the image using that. Damn !! Does anyone have any suggestions how I could get around this ? I have some ideas but seem to be running around in circles at the moment.



    I just tested doing this and I tried to replace the video with a different movie.



    I made a short imovie clip with clip A and exported to idvd.

    Then I made whatever menu system in idvd and did a normal save.

    The save procedure seems to encode the movie to an mpeg, which I found surprising. I thought it would only do this during a burn procedure.

    As you said, you can open the idvd project and replace the mpeg.

    However, the mpeg file is only mpeg video, it doesn't contain audio. The audio track comes from the original content. So if you encode a movie in 3rd party software, you need to demultiplex it to audio and video tracks first. FfmpegX and MPEG Streamclip can do this, the latter needs Apple's mpeg-2 component.

    So I encoded clip B using Visual Hub to an mpeg. Then I used MPEG Streamclip to demux to m2v and aiff.

    I renamed the m2v to the same as the idvd movie and replaced it.



    Now, I don't understand how you saw a quality difference in idvd after replacing the movie because for me it displayed clip A, which was the original content and not the encoded asset. It only used the encoded asset when making a disc image. I don't know if different versions of idvd behave differently. Anyway, when the DVD image had finished burning, it had my replaced video asset (from clip B) with the audio track from the original (clip A).
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