What Is the MOST video you burned to a DVD?

beatnik wrote on 2/29/2004, 10:20 PM
Hello folks, what is the most amount (in terms of minutes/hours) yo burned onto a DVD from a VHS copy? I have a potential client who has emailed me with this question. In the past I have made a 1 hour to 1 and half hours of
highg bit rate dvd's. If I was to lower the bit rate will it look bad? I think that
a typical consumer will not notice the difference of a lower bit dvd or am I wrong?

Thanks in advance,



Sticky Fingaz wrote on 2/29/2004, 10:32 PM
I burned 2 hours worth of VHS to DVD and didn't notice a difference between the VHS and DVD quality. I am guessing this is because VHS is usually such a garbage source that lower quality won't be as noticeable.
kentwolf wrote on 2/29/2004, 10:32 PM
2.5 hours here.

Looked great.
Bobpin wrote on 3/1/2004, 3:03 AM

I have just been transferring VHS music clips recorded from TV, I was able to get 1 1/2 hrs burned at 5000 BR,quality is quite good.
VHS was captured thru ADVC 300.

DGates wrote on 3/1/2004, 4:57 AM
Chienworks wrote on 3/1/2004, 5:15 AM
Well, as a purely academic question, i can answer that i've put upwards of 9 hours on a single DVD. I could easily fit 19 hours.

Of course, what it all comes down to is what you consider to be an acceptable quality level. 19 hours at 500Kbps (yes, that's five hundred) will fit on a DVD and my Apex 1200 will play it. You probably wouldn't want to sit there watching 19 hours straight of that quality, but it works. If you've got tons of little fun stuff (web downloads, for example) that you want to archive then this is a great method.

Depending on the material, 2000Kbps may look sufficiently good. That will get you 4.7 hours on a DVD. But if you want to impress your clients then 5000Kbps is probably the minimum you should use and this will allow about 2 hours.
JohnnyRoy wrote on 3/1/2004, 5:19 AM
I’ve gotten 2 hrs 40 minutes on a single DVD using a VBR of Max 5,000 (kbps), Avg 3,000 (kbps), Min 192 (kbps). There were a few time when I could see some compression artifacts in scenes with water (ocean) but most of the time it was pretty clean. My son said it looked a little fuzzy so I guess that was his way of saying the edges weren’t as crisp as other DVD’s I have made but he was judging that against digital content. Since this was from VHS tapes, I would say that it wasn’t any worse than the noise you normally see on the tape.

One thing I did before encoding was remove as much analog noise as I could using the Dynamic Noise Reduction 2.1 filter in VirtualDub. This limits wasting your bitrate encoding noise instead of signal. When I do this again in 3 weeks, I plan to increase the Max bitrate and leave the average at 3K and see if that helps those times when I did see some compression. Overall, I thought it still looked at least as good as the original tape.

beatnik wrote on 3/1/2004, 8:14 AM
Thank You to all who responded, you gave me some great info!
riredale wrote on 3/1/2004, 8:26 AM
In my experience, it depends on a couple of things:

(1) the amount of video noise in the source;

(2) the sharpness or resolution of the source.

Hollywood shows that you can do a beautiful encode if the source is noise-free (which 35mm film is). I've put about 2 hours on a DVD-5 and there are very few artifacts that distinguish it from the original DV.

If you're working with a lower-resolution source, you can, with many MPEG2 encoders, specify a "half-D1" resolution (240x360) that will still look very clean, and you can get upwards of 7 hours of this on a DVD-5 disk (haven't tried it, though).

And then of course you can use a double-sided DVD-10 disk to double these figures. Finally, by this time next year you'll be able to get dual-layer disks that will get you about 8GB on a single side, rather than the 4.38GB we have now.
johnmeyer wrote on 3/1/2004, 11:20 AM
I have reported on this before. In my experience, with VHS sources that have been cleaned using temporal and spatial filters, they look pretty good up to about 1:45 on a disk. Somewhere between there and two hours, the quality (IMHO) starts to decline.

On a related topic, I just posted in another thread about my experience putting two hours and eight minutes of last nights' Oscars (from the NTSC analog outputs on my satellite box) onto a DVD. Even though the awards show is mostly talking heads, I definitely noticed a degradation. I used Vegas 4.0d to encode, using the Best settings, and a bitrate of 4500 (max 8000), that made the video "just" fit a single DVD. The quality from satellite is somewhat better than VHS from a camcorder, although with the current DirecTV compression, it is not that much better.
craftech wrote on 3/1/2004, 11:22 AM
1 hr. 40 minutes of excellent video. That's my limit. DVD blanks are cheap enough IMHO to go with two instead of one. When dual layer burners are released and perfected somewhat and software bugs are ironed out at the expense of premature buyers I'll invest in that technology and start putting 2hrs. plus on a DVD.

Jsnkc wrote on 3/1/2004, 11:34 AM
We once did a 14 hour seminar and put it all on 1 DVD, it was basically MPEG-1 specs though. It actually looked a lot better than you might think for just a talking head.
donp wrote on 3/1/2004, 11:41 AM
The movies of my old VHS tapes , How the West Was Won and Giant , both were a little over three hours long as I remember. Just did it with lower bit rates and it didn't look any worse or better then the original VHS tape.
kentwolf wrote on 3/1/2004, 6:59 PM
I think I did 1,287.35 hours once on a single DVD.

I couldn't tell the difference from the original... (just kidding...)
TVCmike wrote on 3/1/2004, 9:07 PM
Ironically, one of my clients used your filter chain method for his ancient SVHS tapes, and he put slightly more than 2 hours on the DVD that looked better than the original. Go figure.

The DVD-5 (4.7GB) standard was designed for 130 minutes of video. Given a clean or cleaned-up source, you can put at least 130 minutes on a DVD. You can probably put even more if you have a talking head or low motion/low complexity video, and more if you drop to half-D1 resolution.