Capturing back off a DVD

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Paul, May 4, 2004.

  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    Hi Group,

    My apologies if this has been posted before, I tried searching but could not
    find anything. I have taken a lot of home movies and burnt them to DVD. Is
    it possible to re-capture them back again into my editing program - (I am
    using Pinnacle Studio V.8), or via a seperate bit of software?

    I have tried the obvious, trying to load them from within Pinnacle but it
    did not recognise the video files. I also tried to lift them directly off
    the DVD but the audio and visual tracks appear to be saved in different
    folders, how would i reconcile them back together?


    Paul, May 4, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  2. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Many camcorders with DV-in will do this using analogue pass-through, All
    Sonys do.

    Run the camcorder with no tape in.
    Tony Morgan, May 4, 2004
    1. Advertisements

  3. Paul

    Keith Laws Guest

    The guides here
    might be of some help. Never tried it myself though.
    Keith Laws

    What's my solution?

    Keith Laws, May 5, 2004
  4. Paul

    Jukka Aho Guest

    You need some software which can extract the MPEG-2 streams
    from inside the VOB files on the DVD. Take a look here:


    ....and here:


    For an example of one such tool, see this article about
    using DVD Shrink:


    Once you have the original MPEG-2 streams on your hard drive,
    you can readily do simple cuts-only editing (although only
    at the GOP boundaries - the GOP structure is usually 18
    frames) with some suitable tools - such as TMPGEnc's
    built-in "MPEG Tools":


    Then again, you could also purchase some more advanced tools
    which allow _frame-accurate_ MPEG editing while preserving
    as much of the original quality as possible (they do this
    by reencoding only where necessary, and leaving the other
    parts of the file untouched:)


    Of course, it is also possible to convert the MPEG-2 files
    back to DV (or HuffYUV or uncompressed) domain and edit
    these converted files in any NLE app - just like you would
    with any of your original DV captures. However, this is not
    the brightest way of doing it since re-encoding reduces the
    image quality. The cleanest way to do it is using a fully
    MPEG-2-aware NLE app/tool which is intelligent enough to
    not reencode the file in places where it isn't necessary.

    Then again, if you only need some simple, short clips of
    the old footage - i.e. you are just borrowing a couple of
    seconds worth of some old video, instead of basing _all_
    your editing work on the old material - maybe straight
    reencoding is less of a hassle than doing it in a more
    advanced way. If so, you could get by simply by inserting
    the MPEG-2 clips on the timeline of your DV project.

    * * *

    It is hard to offer any more specific advice without
    knowing exactly what you are going to do with the old
    footage. Where will it end up? What is the target
    format? A new DVD? A VHS cassette? How much of the
    old material are you going to use for your project?
    Is the whole project all about reediting the old
    footage, or are you only going to use some short
    clips here and there (with most of the material
    being newly captured?) Questions, questions...
    Jukka Aho, May 5, 2004
  5. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Does he really need this? Surely the best solution is to run it straight
    from his DVD Player [1], into his camcorder using analogue pass-through,
    then firewire into Pinnacle ?

    All the rest you recommend is no doubt correct but overly complicated.

    [1] Assuming he's burning DVDs I must assume he has a
    DVD player. And the only additional item he might need
    is something like:

    I'm afraid, Jukka, I favour a KISS approach.
    Tony Morgan, May 5, 2004
  6. Paul

    Jukka Aho Guest

    Best if you aim for simplicity, yes - best quality-wise, no,
    not really. Capturing the video from a DVD player involves
    an extraneous D/A -> A/D conversion step while reading the
    data off from a DVD on a computer does not.

    Converting first to analogue (the DVD player converts the
    digital data on the disc to analogue signals for playback)
    and then back to digital again (the camcorder does a D/A
    conversion to get the video back into digital domain and
    encodes it into the DV format) does not sound like the
    brightest way to deal with video which was already digital
    to begin with. :)
    You can extract the MPEG-2 video data and the accompanying
    audio stream(s) from the VOB files in a single step using


    Just open a VOB file, press Demux button and check "Demux
    all video streams" and "Demux all audio streams". Then it
    asks you where to save the files and churns away for a
    while, producing an m2v file (elementary MPEG-2 video
    stream) and (usually) wav or ac3 files.

    After having extracted the video and audio streams from
    the VOB file, the complexity of the further steps depends
    on what you actually want to do with the data.

    If your NLE app supports MPEG-2, you can drop the file
    straight on the timeline. If not, some other conversion
    steps (or acquiring and installing a suitable MPEG-2
    plug-in codec) may be necessary. Or maybe you only want
    simple cuts, in which case TMPGEnc's MPEG tools could be
    enough. It all really depends on what the end product
    is supposed to be, and the OP did not tell us much about
    Jukka Aho, May 5, 2004
  7. Paul

    Jukka Aho Guest

    Thanks for the tip. DVD2AVI (which I had not previously tried,
    though I have seen it mentioned on web sites) certainly seems
    to make things easy and straightforward if you want to insert
    the footage back on the timeline of your NLE application.

    You could probably also use HuffYUV or the Alparysoft Lossless
    Codec (instead of uncompressed) to save some space.
    That a good thing, too, though editing at the GOP boundaries
    might not be that bad a restriction if all you want to do is
    just some simple rearranging/cutting of the home video DVD
    clips, while keeping the full original quality. (Whether to
    stay in the MPEG-2 domain or convert to some AVI format
    should probably be decided on a project-by-project basis.)
    Jukka Aho, May 5, 2004
  8. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    While I agree with the mechanics, IME the resulting quality is excellent
    by using AV ---> DV, and (by the arguments spelled out below) is
    unlikely to be improved upon..

    We do perhaps have to remember that VOBs are effectively MPEG-2s - which
    are below DV standard anyway. Then we have to assume that the quality of
    the analogue signal coming out of our domestic DVD player is also
    excellent (otherwise there's be no advantage in DVD, since the TV feed
    is analogue). Then of course, the in-camcorder hardware codec is likely
    to be better than most software codecs - especially the Sony HAD 16-bit
    signal processors.

    The killer in my view is that if we're processing a PC-encoded DVD then
    it's likely to already lost some quality by using a lower-than-optimum
    bit-rate to extend the recording over 57 minutes record-time.

    I'm a bit obsessive about quality, and I've done more than a little
    capturing from commercial DVDs in the way I've described, and I'm sure I
    would have noticed a degradation if there was one.
    Tony Morgan, May 5, 2004
  9. Paul

    Ed Fielden Guest

    The point is that if you add _any_ additional stages of A/D conversion
    and/or de/recompression you're going to end up with worse than you started
    with - it really is as simple as that. The big weakness is the analogue
    stage, which in domestic situations almost always means using a composite
    analogue connection - this will lead to loss of sharpness and decreased

    Using camcorder with analogue pass-through connected to DVD player:
    MPEG-2 data ---> DAC ---> ADC + DV compressor ---> PC hard drive

    Using software DVD data ripper on PC:
    MPEG-2 data ---> PC hard drive
    I agree that if you need to convert the video to DV, for whatever reason, it
    is better to use a hardware rather than a software codec (in general).
    But then running it through a D/A converter (in the DVD player), then an A/D
    converter/compressor, you'll make it even worse. You can't improve on what
    you've got - the old adage "Garbage in, garbage out" applies.
    But if my memory serves me correctly, you've never noticed artefacts on DVB
    broadcasts, either, so I'm afraid I can't take that argument very seriously.

    And please, I'm not wanting to start a war, just a bit of sensible
    Ed Fielden, May 5, 2004
  10. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    In message <c7bk42$lmg$>, Ed Fielden
    You seem to be missing the uncontroversial fact that the limiting factor
    with composite analogue video is the bandwidth of the analogue circuits
    - in this context the SCART connectors/leads. If the bandwidth is
    sufficiently high, it supports faster rise-times than the quantized
    MPEG-2 of the source, so there is no degradation of quality.

    Tony Morgan, May 5, 2004
  11. Paul

    Keith Laws Guest

    Do cams with analogue->DV pass through not accept an input on the
    s-video socket?
    Keith Laws

    What's my solution?

    Keith Laws, May 6, 2004
  12. Paul

    Paul Guest

    Thanks so much for all the replies, it's been a great help and I now at
    least have some things to try.

    The main reason for wanting to do this is that I have some DVD's with, say,
    my son's birthdays on which in the future I will want to add to, but in the
    interim I want to watch. I know I could just keep the files on the PC but I
    don't really want to do this for a whole year.

    Given the suggestions above it sounds possible that I'll be able to re-lift
    back into Pinnacle and edit away without too much hassle. Although I would
    like quality, these are ultimatley home movies from a middle of the range
    camcorder so it's not essential that it's pixel perfect. I will however try
    each of the suggestions.

    Once gain many thanks.

    Paul, May 6, 2004
  13. Paul

    Mark A Guest

    Why not simply burn the data files to DVDs as data files? At the cost of
    cheap blanks these days it's the best way to keep them. Then when you
    need them in the future just transfer them back to the PC's drives for


    Mark A, May 6, 2004
  14. Paul

    Tony Morgan Guest

    Perhaps I might mention that I recommend that those clips (after being
    "topped-and-tailed") that you might want to keep (and perhaps re-use)
    are best archived back to miniDV tape.

    Firstly you'll retain optimum quality at very modest cost, then of
    course you are able to re-use those precious clips at any time in the
    future for re-creating movies, perhaps adding more content. Better, in
    the future you can re-create your "viewing media" (perhaps on VHS for
    someone who has no compatible DVD player). And you're insured in case
    that precious DVD gets scratched or damaged.

    There's a walk-through about this at:
    Tony Morgan, May 6, 2004
  15. How big are the raw files on your PC? Would they fit on a DVD?
    Laurence Payne, May 6, 2004
  16. Paul

    Martin Guest

    Does he really need this? Surely the best solution is to run it straight
    Easiest to extract the MPEG from the DVD and import this into the editing

    I had to remove 20 seconds off a DVD - I edited with TMPGENC tools
    Martin, May 6, 2004
  17. Paul

    Martin Guest

    Do cams with analogue->DV pass through not accept an input on the
    Lower resolution

    DVD is component

    DV is component

    S-Video is sub component

    extracting off the DVD is best!
    Martin, May 6, 2004
  18. Paul

    Martin Guest

    (perhaps on VHS for
    How do you do this - off a PC!!

    Sounds a silly idea

    I don't know anyone without DVD with Vhs rubbish
    Martin, May 6, 2004
  19. Paul

    Keith Laws Guest

    Yes, but that does not answer my question!
    Keith Laws

    What's my solution?

    Keith Laws, May 7, 2004
  20. Paul

    Keith Laws Guest

    I know plenty of people with no DVD but with a VHS VCR. I can go
    straight to the VCR from the s-video out on my graphics card. Not that

    But Tony meant that if the footage was on a miniDV tape it could be
    easily transferred to VHS using the cams outputs.
    Keith Laws

    What's my solution?

    Keith Laws, May 7, 2004
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.