Convert VHS video and archive to DVD or CD?, Part 2

Dennis Faas's picture

Continuing on from our previous discussions with regard to converting VHS video and archiving to DVD or CD, Infopackets Reader Jim L. wrote in with the proceeding follow-up question:

" Dear Dennis,

First, in reference to the program 'DVDSqueeze' that I spoke of previously: now that I think about it, I believe the program was linked from your newsletter through the Google ads.

I didn't see the ad in January 20th's newsletter [regarding the conversion of 8MM film to DVD / CD]; however, I did read the comments you recently made concerning Movie Shrink and Burn (MSaB). Although MSaB sounds very intriguing, I don't remember seeing anything in your article with respect to how many hours one can record video to a CD or DVD. I believe that the 'DVDSqueeze' program website stated that it could fit several hours of compressed video on a single CD, and that it was playable on a home DVD player.

If the Ashampoo program allows several hours (preferably more) to fit on a CD, and is playable on a home DVD player then that's the software for me. I'd really hate to put just 1 hour of VHS on a CD, as I would wind up with many more CDs than I would like. Comments? "

My response:

Great question. In a nutshell, calculating the number of [video] hours you can record on a CD or DVD is dependant upon:

  • the video compression used (hint: higher compression = more video that can fit).
  • how much information can be stored on the target media; bigger media = more video time (hint: DVDs can hold more than CDs).
  • Caveat: only certain video codecs (software responsible for compressing the video) are compatible with Home DVD-players. For DVD compatibility -- and to fit the compilation all on one DVD (or CD using SVCD or VCD format) -- you may choose to re-encode the video with a lower frame-rate [resulting in 'jerky' video]; if you don't want to lose any quality, you may choose to split the video across multiple discs [CD or DVD].

    Having said that, what makes Movie Shrink and Burn so great is the fact that you can tell it:

    • what kind of video codec you want to use (for compatibility and compression)
    • what kind of media you're going to record on (CD or DVD)

    ... and, Movie Shrink and Burn will automatically calculate what needs to be done and provide you with the choice of fitting it all one one disc (yielding the best possible frame-rate) -- or allow you to span the video across multiple discs (resulting in no loss of quality).

    I mentioned this in another article, but it's worth mentioning again: Movie Shrink and Burn can burn directly to your CD or DVD recorder using multiple formats such as (DVD, SVCD, or VCD). In other words: even if you don't own a DVD burner, you can still make a video CD using a regular CD burner that can play in *most* DVD players.

    With all of these options, Movie Shrink and Burn is especially enticing to a lot of folks that don't want to waste time trying to figure out confusing settings found in most video rendering software (not to mention trying to figure out the 'best setting' to get the project to fit exactly on the target media can be next-to-impossible).

    Side note: In case you missed the review on Move Shrink and Burn, you can read the full review online our site.

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