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DVD feedback for a very confused user

 
 
Jim Ford
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      12-30-2003
I wonder if anybody could provide some feedback on the following
issues surrounding DVDs, which I find very confusing. I have had a look in
http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html, which gives a lot of
information, but further feedback would be very welcome.

I've got some family stuff that I recorded on a digital camcorder (a
Canon Optura 20) on a tape in mini-DV format (I think that's what it is
called) in the US. The camcorder can be connected to a US (i.e. NTSC) TV
set. I would like to transfer the tape to DVD. This raises the following
question: How can I transfer the tape so that it can be played in both US
and Western European DVD players?

I have a number of doubts here:

First, there is the area issue: As far as DVDs are concerned, the US
is in area 1, whereas Western Europe is in area 2. My understanding is that
this really applies only to the DVDs produced by movie studios, not to
DVDs burnt at home. Is this true? Can the mini-DV tape be taken to some
electronics shop in the US, and be transferred to a DVD for which the area
restriction will not apply?

Second, we have the NTSC/PAL/SECAM issue. My understanding is that
such systems have to do with the way an analogic video signal is encoded.
Therefore, since the contents of a DVD are in digital format, the NTSC/PAL/
SECAM aspect should be irrelevant here: a DVD player in the US will take
the info in a DVD and manipulate it so that an NTSC signal is produced,
that can be fed to a US TV set. On the other hand, a DVD player in the UK
will take the info in that same DVD (ignoring the area issue at this
point) and produce a PAL signal that can be fed to a UK TV set.
That is, there is no information stored in DVDs that tells them
on what kind of an analogic TV set they are supposed to work. Therefore,
the the NTSC/PAL/SECAM is not an issue, as far as DVDs are concerned. Am I
right here?

Third, I understand there are several types of competing formats used
to create DVDs. That is, the old VHS/Betamax/2000 war in VCR, only worse.
I am aware of DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM. I don't know
which one, if any, seems to be the most popular one, although I have heard
noises to the effect that DVD-R and DVD-RW seem to be the candidates to
beat (I may be wrong though.) Thus, I assume that before transferring my
mini-DV tape above, I have to make sure that the DVD created from it is
burnt in a format supported by all the DVD players, in the US and Europe,
that I intend to play it on. Is there anything else to consider here?

I would really appreciate input on all this, for I don't want to burn
a DVD that will be playable only in one of the areas mentioned.
Experiences from anybody who has attempted to do this will also be greatly
appreciated.
 
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Skid
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      12-30-2003
The simplest way to answer all your questions is to dodge them altogether.

If you want to do this yourself, you'll need a PC with video in and a DVD
burner with software to burn a region-free DVD in either PAL or NTSC. That's
expensive and complicated, unless you know an A/V nerd with the right
equipment who owes you a favor.

Otherwise it's simple and relatively cheap to call a local lab or online
service that dubs tape to DVD -- a lot of wedding videographers do this on
the side.

The format doesn't make that much difference. -R is generally the most
widely compatible with standalone DVD players, and most European players can
handle either NTSC or PAL. In other words, a DVD that plays on this side of
the Atlantic will most likely play on the other.


"Jim Ford" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
> I wonder if anybody could provide some feedback on the following
> issues surrounding DVDs, which I find very confusing. I have had a look in
> http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html, which gives a lot of
> information, but further feedback would be very welcome.
>
> I've got some family stuff that I recorded on a digital camcorder (a
> Canon Optura 20) on a tape in mini-DV format (I think that's what it is
> called) in the US. The camcorder can be connected to a US (i.e. NTSC) TV
> set. I would like to transfer the tape to DVD. This raises the following
> question: How can I transfer the tape so that it can be played in both US
> and Western European DVD players?
>
> I have a number of doubts here:
>
> First, there is the area issue: As far as DVDs are concerned, the US
> is in area 1, whereas Western Europe is in area 2. My understanding is

that
> this really applies only to the DVDs produced by movie studios, not to
> DVDs burnt at home. Is this true? Can the mini-DV tape be taken to some
> electronics shop in the US, and be transferred to a DVD for which the area
> restriction will not apply?
>
> Second, we have the NTSC/PAL/SECAM issue. My understanding is that
> such systems have to do with the way an analogic video signal is encoded.
> Therefore, since the contents of a DVD are in digital format, the

NTSC/PAL/
> SECAM aspect should be irrelevant here: a DVD player in the US will take
> the info in a DVD and manipulate it so that an NTSC signal is produced,
> that can be fed to a US TV set. On the other hand, a DVD player in the UK
> will take the info in that same DVD (ignoring the area issue at this
> point) and produce a PAL signal that can be fed to a UK TV set.
> That is, there is no information stored in DVDs that tells them
> on what kind of an analogic TV set they are supposed to work. Therefore,
> the the NTSC/PAL/SECAM is not an issue, as far as DVDs are concerned. Am I
> right here?
>
> Third, I understand there are several types of competing formats used
> to create DVDs. That is, the old VHS/Betamax/2000 war in VCR, only worse.
> I am aware of DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM, DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD-ROM. I don't know
> which one, if any, seems to be the most popular one, although I have heard
> noises to the effect that DVD-R and DVD-RW seem to be the candidates to
> beat (I may be wrong though.) Thus, I assume that before transferring my
> mini-DV tape above, I have to make sure that the DVD created from it is
> burnt in a format supported by all the DVD players, in the US and Europe,
> that I intend to play it on. Is there anything else to consider here?
>
> I would really appreciate input on all this, for I don't want to burn
> a DVD that will be playable only in one of the areas mentioned.
> Experiences from anybody who has attempted to do this will also be greatly
> appreciated.



 
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