are several technical breakouts in the DVD Cookbook that
provide technical and background information for you.
Technical breakouts include Video Formats, Codecs, S-Video vs
Composite vs Analog RGB, Streaming Video Considerations, NTSC
vs PAL formats, SVCD Format, Backup Storage Media, and more.
We provide technical breakout sections for several reasons.
the steps simple.
By putting certain information in breakouts, we don't confuse
you or cause you to have to wade through a bunch of detail
that is not relevant to getting the job done.
Technical breakouts often explain why we don't use a feature
or why we take a certain approach. The reason for this
is you may run into this feature in the product manual or on
the web and you'll wonder why the DVD Cookbook is not using
this. We equip you to understand why we took the
approach we did.
technical breakouts are provided to help you understand some
of the technical basics behind digital video and creating DVDs.
Technical Breakout on Video formats
following is a breakout section in the DVD Cookbook.
Studio works with each frame as a still image in JPEG
format (this format is designed to compress the size of a
digital image efficiently while still being able to quickly
render the original image with minimal loss of quality).
The actual format is called MJPEG (Motion JPEG) because it is
a special version of JPEG designed for video that links each
of the digital images together into video. There are
approximately 30 digital images or frames per second to make
high quality video.
can select the quality level of each frame when you capture
the video (the higher the quality the larger the size of the
Captured Video file). Higher quality captures save more
pixels (points) in each frame to create a clearer picture.
We will always capture with "Best" quality.
can contrast MJPEG video with MPEG2. MPEG2 is a format
that does not keep track of each frame as a still image.
Rather it creates each frame by only keeping track of what has
changed from the last frame. Since there are relatively
few changes from frame to frame, this format is more space
efficient and can achieve very high quality as well.
it is much more difficult for software to figure out how to
edit this format. To edit a format like MPEG2 is called
"non-linear" editing meaning that the amount of data
to record each frame varies (whereas it is the same amount of
data to record each frame with MJPEG). The more
professional (and expensive) video editing software programs
do non-linear editing, but it typically requires special
hardware to assist the software. As we have discussed in
this newsletter, Studio 8 now offers editing of MPEG2 files.
However, since this editing is not assisted by hardware, it
has performance impacts unless you have a 1.8 Ghz processor or
big win with non-linear editing is you can see the effects of
the edit right away without a separate rendering step.
This saves time and enables video editors to experiment a lot
more to get the final effect they are looking for. Pinnacle
Studio also enables you to see your changes in the video
window right away without a rendering step. However,
unlike professional products with hardware assistance, this
immediate video playback is a low quality version and to get
the final high quality MPEG2 version requires a rendering
step. Nonetheless, it works well in that you still get a
chance to review the effect of your changes immediately.
Examples . . .
are some other items we deal with in The Home Video DVD
Cookbook. Try to imagine
sorting through each of these on your own.
The time alone to figure it out would involve many, many hours
of research. Now
imagine if you got some of these wrong. I certainly did!
Add more extra hours to back up and redo your work.
And, add money wasted on purchases you shouldn't have made.
I have to buy a new PC and if so, what should I buy?
I need a new PC? Do I need a second disk drive?
What technology, speed and size? What processor speed should I
get? How much memory do I need? What kind of
graphics card should I get? What kind of sound card do I
need? What other I/O do I need such as USB and IEEE 1394
interfaces? We provide a fully configured Dell system as
video formats should I use?
I capture everything in DV format? What are the
advantages and disadvantages? Should I capture to MPEG2?
What about AVI files? We tell you what video formats to
use for capture, rendering, and backup.
I take the leap to DVDs or just stick with VCDs?
take you through the 6 Point / Counterpoint considerations of
burning DVDs or VCDs so you can decide if you want to go to
DVD right now. If you decide to go with VCDs, we tell
you steps to take now so you will ready to make DVDs later.
do I create great movies from my videos?
long should my movies be? How should I use titles,
transitions, background music, and voice-overs? What
about special effects? How should I adjust audio levels?
We provide you with a simple 10-step process to create
impressive movies from your raw videos.
is involved in burning DVDs and VCDs?
since this is relatively new technology, you need to have
reliable software that will consistently complete the burning
process successfully. Second, you will want to know how
to create personalized menus that will add an additional level
of excitement to your videos. Third, if you do have a
burning problem, we provide you with 6 solutions to failed
should I manage all the files I am creating and how do I back
these files up?
are going to have a lot of files, BIG files. How should
you organize them? How should you name them so you can
keep them in order? What kinds of files are you going to
have to deal with? Capture files? Stills?
Rendered movies? DVD project files? Music files?
We tell you how to set up your directories and naming
conventions. In addition, your home movies are valuable.
You can not afford to lose them just because of a disk crash.
We tell you what to back up and how to back it up cost
else will I need to buy and how can I get the best prices?
I buy a 2nd hard disk, Pinnacle Studio Deluxe version, a
breakout box, a DV Converter box, a firewire cards, CD ripping
Software, a DVD burner, DVD media, DVD Player software for my
PC, Backup Software? We tell you exactly what you need
and when you need to buy it. Several of the items above
are not required. We also provide you with several great
online shopping locations with great prices and strong
warranty and return policies.
Video Capturing Tips
you capture video, there are certain techniques you must use
to minimize losing frames. Frames are lost when your PC
can not keep up with the incoming video. We tell you how
to setup your PC to minimize and in most cases, completely
eliminate lost frames.
keeps certain files in an "Auxiliary Files" folder.
These are important files that you need to protect and take
care of. We tell you how to setup the Auxiliary Files to
make backup easier and to minimize the possibility of losing
these important files.
has a capability called SmartCapture that allows you to
capture in "preview mode" from digital videotape at
a much smaller size to save disk space. Should you use
codec (COmpression-DECompression routine) is critical to the
quality of your videos. There are numerous codecs for
creating video files out on the web. Which ones should
you use? What are the issues with using them? Are
the Codecs provided with Studio high quality?
8 DVD Authoring and DVD Burning
of the promising new capabilities in Pinnacle Studio 8
is the ability to create menus and burn DVD's and VCD's.
Studio 8 menus can include motion video and provide a
high degree of control and flexibility. How do they
work? Are they ready for primetime?
Pinnacle Studio DVD Authoring Software?
eBook shows you the best way to use Pinnacle Studio and Ulead DVD
MovieFactory for VCD and DVD Authoring. Why do we recommend
Pinnacle Studio for DVD Authoring?
selected Pinnacle for several reasons.
First, they are the leaders in video editing software for
consumers. Second, for about $100 you can buy both their
software and their analog video capture card. Third, the new
version of Studio (Studio 8) has similar capabilities as far more
expensive products including MPEG2 capture, DVD Menu creation, and
DVD burning and VCD burning all in one product. Fourth,
Pinnacle has a history of aggressively enhancing their Studio
product line so you can expect additional capabilities in the
future. And finally, Pinnacle is a leader in professional
and broadcast markets as well. Pinnacle has demonstrated a
strategy of moving these technologies down into their consumer
we have one important word of caution. Pinnacle often
releases software too soon in our opinion. As a result, a
few of the features in Studio 8 are not ready for prime time.
We tell you which ones. Pinnacle
provides frequent updates and Studio is its flagship consumer
product, so we anticipate these issues will be resolved.
other software product we recommend is Ulead DVD MovieFactory.
This is a simple, reliable, powerful, and inexpensive product lets
you reliably burn your DVD and VCD projects.
We recommend it because it works very reliably in a world of
unreliable DVD burning.
products are not perfect because there is no perfect product.
In my opinion they are the best price-performers by far and they
get the job done. Keep
in mind, these products are just tools, they are not the end game,
your DVD video library is.
if I don't use or if I already have products that are
different than those recommended by "The Home Video DVD
"The Home Video DVD Cookbook" is useful for any
Windows based video editing or DVD/VCD burning project.
The 10 step approach, considerations on buying a new PC,
need for a 2nd hard drive, file management strategies, VCD
versus DVD, developing a backup strategy, and estimating
total time and effort are just some of the things that will
apply even if you don't select the video editing and DVD/VCD
burning products recommended by the Cookbook. If after
purchasing Full Access you don't agree, you may exercise our
you have it! You are guaranteed success because you
now know an expert in the field. Trial and error is
frustrating. Don't get caught up in it. Get The Home
Video DVD Cookbook, follow the steps and it won't be long
before you pop that first DVD of yours into the DVD player.