Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Want Higher Quality Video Capture ( No Answer,   3 Comments )
Subject: Want Higher Quality Video Capture
Category: Computers > Graphics
Asked by: socal_19-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 02 Jun 2006 23:12 PDT
Expires: 02 Jul 2006 23:12 PDT
Question ID: 734939

I am looking for advice on how to best capture video from my camcorder
to my PC.  I have some home movies that I want to edit and burn onto
DVD.  I am able to capture the video using the NTSC 720x480 setting at
30fps.  When I burn the video onto a DVD and play it on my TV, the
picture quality/resolution looks like a VHS as opposed to digital

Here is a listing of my equipment:
Camcorder: Sony DCR TRV20 that records to miniDV.  This camcorder has
a firewire port.
Computer: Dell Dimension 5100 with 2GB RAM, 3.4GHZ P4 and 50GB+ of free space.
OS: Windows XP MediaCenter
Video Card: ATI RADEON X600 256MB HyperMemory
Video Capture Software: Cyberlink PowerDirector 5 and Pinnacle Studio 8.12

I have several questions:
1. Is it possible to capture video from a miniDV, then burn a DVD disk
and have the video play back so it looks better than a VHS tape?
2. What software, if any, would do a better job at capturing the video
so it looks great when playing on a consumer DVD player/TV combo?
3. Will Adobe Premier (roughly $500 package) do a better job with video capture?
4. Can I capture video from my camcorder at a resolution higher than
720x480  (even though my camcorder is not HD)?  How do I do this and
would it help picture quality?
5. There is so much data on video formats/codecs that I am confused
which one to use.  I want to burn DVDS that will be played on a TV. 
What is the best capture format/settings?
6. What other special settings do I need to care about.  I read
somewhere that I should use square pixels for videos to b e watched on
a computer and pixels that are 0.9/1.0 for videos that will be
displayed on TV.  Is this true and how do I control it?

I am willing to buy new software if that will really make a difference. 

Clarification of Question by socal_19-ga on 04 Jun 2006 22:29 PDT
Thanks charltonian,

I will check out this software.  As luck would have it, I use a PC. 
Maybe this is one of the rare cases when I am not penalized for my
decision in 1990 to switch from Macs to PCs.

Does anyone else know of a way to capture video from a miniDV at
higher than 720x480?

Clarification of Question by socal_19-ga on 04 Jun 2006 22:53 PDT
Here is some additional information.  I don't know if this is a
factor, but my video card itself does not have a firewire port on it. 
I connect my camcorder to a separate stand alone firewire card that is
installed in my PC.  The software I use still recognizes/detects the
camera.  Could this be an issue?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Want Higher Quality Video Capture
From: charltonian-ga on 03 Jun 2006 11:54 PDT
Although I can't be the biggest help to you here. I can recommend
Adobe's Encore software for making DVDs.

I have just gone through using it, and beleive a good number of
answers to your other questions will arise from trying it out.
Unfortunately it seems to be pc only.
Subject: Re: Want Higher Quality Video Capture
From: murunbuchstansinger-ga on 05 Jun 2006 13:09 PDT
If you connect your camcorder to your TV, is the quality appreciably
better than that on the DVD?

There is simply no point in capturing at a higher resolution, even if you could.

Capturing via any firewire port will give the same results as your PC
is connecting digitally to your camcorder.

Adobe Premier will do no better a job - it is simply a more powerful
editing package.

The video codec you are using is logically MPEG2, as used on DVDs.

Are you creating a DVD file, not VCD? 

Try asking on the Pinnacle forums, where there is lots of friendly
advice available for free.

If you are capturing from Firewire, this should be in AVI format and
take around 10GB per half hour. If not, then you may be capturing in
the wrong format.

In summary:

Are you sure this is the capture/rendering process at fault, not
simply how your films look when played directly from your camcorder?

Pinnacle is entirely capable handling DVD quality material.

Ask on the Pinnacle forums.  Advice will be better, focussed and free!
Subject: Re: Want Higher Quality Video Capture
From: hj12-ga on 07 Jun 2006 08:05 PDT
I think murunbuchstansinger have given you most of the answers.
1.Adobe allows you to make a lot of decisions when capturing. Some
software compress the video and that can cause your quality problem.
If the video you captured looks good on your monitor, there is a
problem with your exporting to DVD.
2.If you want stronger edditing software, try Adobe Elements it
includes Photoshop Elements & Premier Elements for roughly $150-00.
Download the trial from I have never used it but it
looks good. I use Adobe Premier 1.5, but it might be to strong for
your purposes. I agree with murunbuchstansinger, Pinnacle should do
the job.
3.Video is very simple, Quality recorded = quality captured. If your
recordings are in 4:3 mode changing settings to 16:9 will stretch the
pictures. Attempting to manipulate video mostly result in worse
quality, not better.

If you post your export settings, maybe someone can help

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy