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Make Your Own DVD Movies

As technology advances and prices continue to drop, digital entertainment through the use of DV camcorders, digital cameras and other related equipment is becoming increasingly more common in the average home. Research shows that digital camcorders are in a period of high growth. In 2001, the sales of DV Camcorders reached almost 6 million (double from 1999). However, taking recorded video and creating stylish looking movies, in good quality and in an easily shareable format, has been a challenge since the inception of the camcorder.

In the past, most people have relied on the video stores and professional video processing shops to help transform recorded video from DV or analog camcorders into easily accessible VHS tapes or DVD/CDs. But now, as PCs become more powerful and video software become more easy to use, making your own CD or DVD movies at home is something almost anyone with a camcorder can do.

With the help of the right software and hardware accessories, it is now possible for you to create DVD or CD movies, at home! If you are new to working with video on the computer and are looking for an easy solution, than a program like PowerProducer is right for you. With PowerProducer, you can make movie disc in only 3 steps: Capture video, create DVD movie menus, and then burn onto disc.

But what hardware accessories do you need? Don't worry; the following article will help you find out what tools you need for creating your very own movie disc.

Basic Tools - Must Have

Recording Tools: Before you start making movies, you will need to get some video contents. Normally the video contents comes from a DV Camcorder, Analog Camcorder, PC Camera, Digital Camera, VHS Tape, or recorded TV programs.

PC: A computer is needed for processing video contents. The faster the processor speed and the more RAM you have, the more easy it will be to handle higher quality video on your PC. Check the system requirements of the software you are going to use before you begin.

Software Tool: It is required to have a software program that can handle everything from video capturing to the disc burning (or writing back to DV tape) process. The following are two such solutions.

For those new to video editing and CD/DVD production, PowerProducer is the ideal software. It does the job in 3 easy steps. It can captures video from various sources, provides basic editing features, the option to create menus, and then output videos in various disc formats (DVD, VCD, SVCD, MiniDVD) or write back to DV Tape.

For more video editing and creative movie making features, PowerDirector Pro is the most suitable software. It is also packed with disc output features, but also includes numerous video-editing features for those who want to add a personal creative touch to their home movies. It provides the option to add Transition Effects for that continuous flow from scene to scene; Titles, Motion Video Special Effects, Multiple Audio Tracks, and more.

Video Capturing Tools

Depending on the source of your recorded video, you will need a hardware device to assist in the process of getting the video contents onto the PC.

DV Camcorder Video: To capture DV camcorder video, you'll need to have a IEEE1394 FireWire™ card and cable.

Video from Analog Device: To capture video from any analog device (such as an analog camcorder and/or VCR), you'll need to have the video source connected to a capture card on your PC. For more information on compatible capture cards for PowerDirector (click here) and for PowerProducer (click here).

TV programs: To record TV programs on the PC, you'll need to have a TV tuner with a cable source connected to the computer.

PC Camera, Digital Camera: Capturing contents from most PC and Digital cameras only requires a USB connection, and most of today's computers come with USB ports.

Disc Output Tools

To output onto disc, you must have A) a CD or DVD writeable disc, and B) a CD or DVD burner. Below, are the four major disc types you can create, and the equipment needed for output.

DVD: Ideal output format for MPEG-2 quality video (DVD movie quality) and audio files. It has an average of 4.7 GB storage capacity (meaning you can store around 2 hours worth of MPEG-2 video). DVDs can be played back on DVD players and DVD drives for the PC. To output onto a DVD, a DVD-R/RW or DVD+R/RW drive is required.

VCD: This format is basically a CD containing digital video and audio files in MPEG-1 format (video playback quality is better than VHS but not as good as MPEG-2). The average CD has a 650MB storage capacity (meaning you can store around 1 hour worth of MPEG-1 video). VCDs can be played back CD-ROMs and most DVD players. A CD-R/RW drive is required for outputting movies onto VCD.

SVCD: It is similar to a VCD in that it holds digital video and audio files The difference is that SVCDs offer better quality video through the use of MPEG-2 video, while the audio track is still in MPEG-1 format. To make an SVCD movie disc, a CD-R/RW is needed.

MiniDVD: It is a CD disc containing MPEG-2 format video and audio files. An average CD can only hold up to 650 MB of data, therefore a MiniDVD only contains around 15 minutes worth of MPEG-2 video. MiniDVDs can only be viewed on the PC and require an MPEG-2 software decoder for playback. For outputting a MiniDVD, a CD-R/RW is needed.

Source: Shop at CyberLink,The Complete Digital Home Entertainment Center!


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