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Laser Disc Conversion?, What's Needed?
X-ray Doc
post Jun 21 2010, 18:05
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I have a collection of about 120 laser discs. Although I still own two laser disc players, I was wondering if I might be able to copy them and burn them to standard DVD format so that I wouldn't have to keep the players. What would be needed to do this with maximum quality and minimal expense? I think I'd probably need a video card with an S-Video input for video capture, but I really don't know all that would be involved. If you can describe the process, including what software I would need, that would be great! Thanks.
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post Jun 22 2010, 08:26
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The faster way is to connect a DVD-recorder to your LD player.

If you wanna digitize (LD is analog) the movie by a PC you should get a capture card or you can also use your camcorder (if you have and it has AV in) with a firewire port.

The other method in mp.
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post Jun 23 2010, 19:39
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There are 2 steps, which may require different software:

1. Audio/Video Capture (digitizing & recording)
2. DVD Authoring

As forart.eu suggested, if you have a DV camcorder with "passthrough" and a Firewire connection, that's one of the BEST capture methods. It will give you high quality AVI/DV video and high quality LPCM audio. (The video will need to be convered to MPEG-2. The audio can be left as LPCM or converted to AC3... Your DVD authoring program can usually take care of the conversions.)

A set-top DVD recorder would be the EASIEST way to do it, but your ability to make menus & chapters is limited. (Although, you can read the DVD into your DVD authoring software and re-author & re-burn the DVD.)

Video capture cards/devices run from super cheap (I've seem them from less than $10 USD) to very expensive. The cheap USB capture devices seem to cause a lot of people trouble, and you will have a limited choice of audio/video formats.

For example, I have a mid-price Hauppauge capture card and it works great but it captures to MPEG-2 audio & video. MPEG-2 video is the video format required for DVD, but MPEG-2 audio is only valid for PAL DVDs. To make a NTSC DVD (the North American standard) I have to convert the audio to AC3 or LPCM.

You can simply burn audio/video files onto a DVD, but if you want to make a "Video-DVD" that plays on all* standard DVD players, you need DVD-Authoring software. This will create the normal VIDEO_TS folder with VOB files, etc., and will allow you to create a menu. If you buy a video capture card/device it will come with capture software and it may come with DVD authoring software, or you may need to get a separate program for that.

Some helpful websites:
List of DVD Authoring Programs (Wikipedia)
ATI (Video capture products)
Pinnacle (Video capture products)
Hauppauge (Video capture products)

* Some DVD players have trouble with homemade "burned" DVDs.

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