Can 2 hour DVDs be built yet? (Preserving Hi-8, VHS tapes)

Dec 4, 2003
Can 2 hour DVDs be built yet? The catch here, though, is with NO major degradation in the picture. Compression artifacts are ok.

Here at my place we use an iMac for DVD authoring. We have an older copy of iDVD (like from 2002), which burns 60 minutes at high quality, and more than that at low quality. However I find the picture quality unacceptable; to me it looks like the interlace frame is dropped, yielding a coarse video picture.

Basically I'm looking to make direct dupes of all my 2-hour tapes for archival purposes, but not at the cost of horrific degradation. I also don't want to blow a whole bunch of money on new equipment.

Tim, the only way now to fit 2 hrs of high-quality video on a DVD is by using the new Dual-Layer DVDs and burners, which are essentially two DVDs in one (well, two layers). I see a Sony Internal 16x DVD+/-RW Dual-layer drive on for $70... The media is still pretty expensive, so... I'm not sure I'd spend the effort on archived old video to dual-layer DVDs when we're going to have a new format (granted, backwards compatible, but still) in another 12 months when Blu-Ray or HD-DVD are mass produced for the consumer market. Depending upon the format, you'll be able to fit 20-28 GB on each 1st generation disk (Sony already has plans for multi-layer blu-ray DVDs, up to 8 layers -- or nearly 180GB). At any rate, I'd hold off one more year or year and a half if you had a lot of video to archive...
Hmm. Tough decision. Knowing what has happened with CDs and DVDs, I am certain we'll see nothing but expensive or poor-performance consumer burners for the first few years. It's really hard not to bite the bullet and go with DVD.

BTW, has the price come down on capture/mastering hardware/software for Windows? It's a breeze over on my wife's iMac, but I'd hate to tie up her computer. I'm guessing there's good open-source mastering packages available.

I really don't think it's impossible to get 2 hours of very high quality video on a 4.7 gig dvd if you use the right encoding software. The only thing I've crossed yet that does that part right is TMPGEnc software...and it's not expensive at all. They have free trials and just flat out do a terrific job at enoding to mpeg. I did one for an hour and a half of video and to be quite honest it looked better then the original. I turned on the noise reduction filter in the encoding and it was just flat out superb. Dave Lewison recently switched to it and he was quite excited at the results. I've posted about them a billion times now and only do so because I've seen how good they are at encoding.

What I wouldn't do is use other routes just hoping they work. I did this for a long time and spent lots of money being dissatisfied. Don't look any further, just use them as you will be hard pressed to top their quality.

BTW, with that noise reduction on(and perhaps without it, I never tried) it's actually fairly hard to even see compression artifacts. Somehow they have done this with very small blocks.

My latest video was not done with their latest version, but a lot older one and it's pretty dang good I think(nothing like what the new version did though). Dave did his with the new version and I just watched it last night and it's as perfect as they come. It looks like something hollywood created or like you have the dv cam playing a tape back directly into your AV inputs on your tv. No videos I've recieved have matched this level yet.
180 gigs on one DVD!?!?!?!? Holy schmoly. By the time I'm in an old folks home I will have my entire chase career on a sony memory stick, uncut with no compression. But at the same time my mini-drone-self will be out chasing on it's own forever...or until the next asteroid.
you can put about 2 hours of video on a dvd.. In Mpeg 2 format..

DV from the tape is 13 gig an hour.. So you would need to compress it further to MPEG 2 which is standard and looks great.. however editing MPEG2 is full of issues as of now.. With technology it may become easier.. however.. They will have different and better compression algorithms as time progresses.

Im going to post this.. and its really great info.. That way i dotn have to type a novel...