How to Transfer VCR Video to DVD – Preparation

Whichever video capture hardware you’re going to use, the better the quality of the analogue video input the better the results you can expect to achieve. To this end it’s wise to weigh up if there are settings you can make on your VCR deck to optimise its playback quality. Many modern-day VCRs have self-cleaning tape heads, which automatically remove tape particles and dust from the video heads. If your deck doesn’t, it’s advisable to clean its heads periodically, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, if your VCR has a sharpness control, turn it down. A softer image is likely to have less noise, which can benefit MPEG encoding. Some players also have a noise filter/edit control. Set this in a position to minimise sharpness and/or noise. Its common for high-end capture cards and external converter boxes to support encoding to a number of different formats, typically MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and DV. If this applies in your case, you’re going to need to to decide which of these formats you’re going to opt for before initiating the capture process. MPEG-1 would only be an option if you wanted to produce a VideoCD (VCD) disc. If your DVD Player handles this format, this might be a viable option in situations where the source video footage was either too long to accommodate on a single DVD or of sufficiently poor quality for the inferior VCD format to make little discernible difference in the viewing experience. There are a number of factors to consider when deciding which format to use to capture the video data:: since DV is the less compressed...

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