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video success

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yesterday I was able to make my first video DVD. This was a huge accomplishment for me.

I have a PC: 2GB RAM, Core 2 Duo processor, the cheapest NVidia video card for Vista, and Windows Vista Ultimate. Last year I had purchased and installed a TV tuner card, the Hauppauge HVR1600. We don't have cable. The card allows me to grab digital TV signals over the air (OTA).

Anyhow, the antenna signal comes through a cable which I connect to the tuner card. In Vista, I go to Media Center then I think I had to go to "Tasks" then "Settings" and somehow get it going on recognizing the TV tuner card. Once that's done, I as able to recive TV signals in Media Center and program the computer to record certain shows for me. The programming is like "record this show" -- I don't know if I can program it to record at xx time, xx channel. Anyhow, the programing by show worked ok for me.

Media Center records in dvr-ms format. The tricky part for me was finding where the recording went. It's in c:\Users\Public\Recorded TV. Once I knew that, I can open Windows Movie Maker (it came with Vista Ultimate), select to import video then go find the recording and import it. With Windows Movie Maker I can cut out segments of video if I wanted to. In this case I did because what I wanted on DVD totaled 4 hr 5 min. I wanted it less than 4hrs so that I can be sure I didn't have any problems fitting it on 2 DVD's. Windows Movie Maker also allowed me to combine the 1hr video with the 3hr video, and then split it at the "2hr" (or wherever you want to split it) mark. So I ended up with two projects - the first half for the first disk and the second half for the second disk. Once I finish messing with the video - and save it, I select the "publish to DVD" option.

Up comes a message that says it will close the project and open Windows DVD Maker. Select OK and Windows DVD Maker comes up. It had options for creating menus but I didn't mess with any of that. I went with the default and went on to the option to burn DVD. Some several hours later (go away, do something else), the first DVD is finished. I repeat in Windows Movie Maker for the second half - "publish to DVD." It will prompt to close Windows DVD Maker, after which it will re-open with the new project. Go through the same process and several hours later, the second half DVD is produced.

Voila. Digital OTA TV to video DVD.

I did save the project each time, hoping that it won't go through the several-hours long conversion the next time I want to burn a copy. I haven't test this.

I did have an audio sync problem with one of the clips, but it sync'd back up at the next clip. There is a way to shift the audio clip relative to the video, but I didn't mess with that this time around.

Media Center interface is cryptic to me. It's weird and takes some getting used to. But video quality was excellent, and the recording seemed reliable (no stopping at random, it recorded at the designated time, and no time was lost in resetting between recordings). Overall, it went smooth except for having to find where the recording went. Next I will have to figure out which files I need to keep: I now have the original recordings of the two shows, three Win Movie Maker files (the whole shebang and then the split 1st and 2nd projects), and two Win DVD Maker projects.


seeking_something said...
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