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casa_lightbody
09-01-2001, 02:20 PM
Two questions. First is it even possible to make this product work on a souped up 7600? Is it possible to author video DVDs from iMovie on a 7600? Is it worth it? What would it take to make it work?

tekcan
09-06-2001, 09:37 PM
I don't know how "souped up" you are, but yes, you can author imovies and create DVD format movies on a 7600.

There are requirements though, imovie and DVD authoring will run under OS 9.1. This means you can work on movies in imovie and export them to DVD format. Are you running 9.1?

1)How are you going to get the movies on your 7600? Do you have a video capture card? Or Firewire?

2)How are you going to get them on a DVD or VCD? Do you have a good CD burner? Or are you looking at burning DVD's on a DVDROM?

3) Fast hard drive space. You will need lots. 30 seconds of 320X240 video at millions of colors takes up about 100MB's. HD's must transfer faster than 10MB's a second for minimal capture, anything faster, it only gets better.

4) RAM. I don't know what kind of movies you plan on making but 300MB's of RAM is just the beginning.

Is it worth it? How souped up are you so far?

Terrible asking questions..

casa_lightbody
09-19-2001, 09:34 PM
Sorry, I left out the details:
7600
466 xlr8G3 running at 500/250
198MEG RAM
xlr8 Machfire card
Miles2
18Gig Cheetah
Keyspan USB

Right now I have no problem running iMovie2 and putting together video clips but what I really want to do is put them on some non-magnetic media. I was considering putting them on CDs in QT with a CDRW but I really would rather them be in DVDs as then people don't have to have computers to see them. I was leaning towards buying a CDRW and doing the QT film option but I wanted to find out if I could even consider burning DVDs with a 7600. I realise it will take a long time but is it even possible?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Ian

DHB
09-20-2001, 03:47 PM
DVD "MOVIES" from your Mac or PC...like you rent at the video store?
From what I've read it just ain't possible...at least not without some BIG hardware expenditures. The Mac's 'super drive' won't do 'em either.

VCDs...you might not want to go there either but it supposedly can be done.

My son tried it for some time with Toast 5.0, which 'supports' making VCDs.
BUT getting a typical home DVD player to display the VCD movie is a whole different animal. My mid-range Toshiba DVD player is clueless. Supposedly some of the 'Apex' units will play VCDs. There's a ton of info on the webb regarding multiple lasers for various formats, etc.

I even went so far as getting a couple special computer-burned VCD (& S-VCD) disks for testing a player. If the player worked then I could buy some of the S-VCD 'blank' disks and burn my VCD movies (mpeg-1 actually).

Then there's the DEDICATED computer for burning these puppies. Just a few short minutes of QT movie converting to mpeg-1 et al took overnight on my son's G3/500 256MB, OS 9.1 Pt Pro. VERY cpu intensive. We watched for a while and the disk was not touched for a long time.

A G4 should improve throughput...but a review of Cleaner 5 at MacNN.com used a Power Mac G4/500 MP (yes, TWO cpus) to convert a SIX-minute QT movie to mpeg-1...and only took 18 hours http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/eek.gif to complete the task.

It seems that unless going without your Mac for a day or so is acceptable then 'dedication' is your 2nd Mac's name. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

MacNN tried the same 6-minute QT movie conversion using a MS Windows beta utility for encoding Windows Media Files and completed the conversion in FOUR minutes (yes, 4, 4, 4 minutes...my word). They say the results were just fine.

Remember when burning AUDIO cds, at ANY speed, was the best thing since sliced bread? Old news now. I don't think DVD is ready for prime time players like us and may NEVER be if the movie industry has any thing to say about it.

Things may improve with time but 'glacial' conversion speeds and a shortage of DVD players that will play a home-brewed VCD disk make this 'hobby' activity more than a bit frustrating.

casa_lightbody
09-20-2001, 09:15 PM
What I was wondering was if iDVD will work on my 7600 and if so if it's worth it to invest in the hardware to do it. It sounds like it may not if it takes forever to make a DVD of a few minutes length. I don't ever imagine making movies much beyond 15-20 minutes long and most of them would only be 5-10 minutes. I really want to make DVDs that will play in an ordinary DVD player so when I send movies to my non-techno savvy relatives they don't need computers or have to download QT to view it. Is this possible on a 7600 or should I just invest in a new G4?

casa_lightbody
09-20-2001, 10:38 PM
One other question. If I try and put QT movies to a CD, how long can they be? This is my other less preferred option.

dragon_x
09-20-2001, 10:44 PM
DVD "MOVIES" from your Mac or PC...like you rent at the video store?
From what I've read it just ain't possible...at least not without some BIG hardware expenditures. The Mac's 'super drive' won't do 'em either.

Strange - everything I have read and seen say it is possible. I guess it could depend on what a 'big hardware expenditure' means?-)

iDVD will encode 1HR i about 2 hours of actual time. This is MPEG2 video - and it would be playable in most commercial DVD players - Apple has a list. I think the new version supports up to 1.5HRS of video - of course these encoding times are with the 'old' G4/733 setup. I would not migrate the 7600 to a G4 - I do not think it would help enough. You could only go with a 450G4 (maybe a 450G4/DP will be available?) but then you are still limted by your main bus (50Mhz) and RAM (17Mhz). If you go this route - see how fast it is on your current system.

You could minimze costs by getting a 'superdrive' and maybe testing software on it to see if you get the results you like. If not - then you may want to get an old G4/450Mhz DP or faster. You could probably get one of these for about $1000 or so and get an 'OEM' Superdrive and it would work great in theory.

VCD, from what I understand uses MPEG1 format. This is not very popular in the US, but other regious like it a lot. I guess its downfall (here anyway) was that it was advertised as being as good as broadcast video, but in fact its only slightly better than standard VHS. Still on the plus side it wont wear out (unless you scratch it) and the sound is great... also a 2HR movie fits on 2, 650MB CDs. I have StarTrek 4 & StarWars EP1 on VCD... its pretty cool. I guess you could call it the poor mans DVD http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

A LaserDisc player would probably play any VCD - since all the ones I have seen play standard LaserDisks, short disks and VCD and regular CD audio. Of course those will be pretty rare.

I have heard Media Cleaner is slow ... like watching paint dry.

The 867MhzG4 system comes with everything you need (you may want to add more RAM and get an extra HD) but you could compare that vs. the cost of getting various hardware upgrades that may not work like you want them to.

I guess another option would be to get an analog card - you could master the videos on VCD and then put them to tape - regular VHS. The FUSE card or something like a MIRO DC-30 could do this.... heck even an old ATI 128VR could probably do it OK. Maybe you are doing this already?

dragon_x
09-20-2001, 10:46 PM
You probably want to check this out - but I would consider this a MAJOR expenditure http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/dual_g4_800/dual_g4_800_raves.html

casa_lightbody
09-21-2001, 12:39 PM
Rog. It seems like the DVD option isn't feasable unless I get a mac with the superdrive. If I burn the movies as high quality QT movie can I use them to make DVDs out of them later? I just want to store the movies on some non-magnetic media. Ideally a DVD but that doesn't seem feasible with my current setup. How long a high quality QT movie can a 650Meg CD hold?

DHB
09-21-2001, 12:45 PM
I turned over a few more stones after seeing subsequent posts...

My previous comments about doing 'DVD' disks were based on some research I'd done early this year. Apparently before 'iDVD' became available. 'On the cheap' still doesn't apply, though. VCD IS doable on the cheap, however...if you have the time AND a consumer DVD player that will read the VCD.

Check out the following excerpts and sites:
(BTW - Roxio was Adaptec's 'burner software' division before being spun off)
http://www.roxio.com/en/interest/video/vidcd1.html
vcd intro, testing a DVD player's abilities, cd-r vs. cd-rw
http://www.roxio.com/en/interest/video/vidcapmac.html

http://www.roxio.com/en/interest/video/vidcdhrdmac.html

"Depending on your Mac's processor and speed, and the type of MPEG encoding software you use, it can take anywhere from two to 60 minutes to encode each minute of video--so be sure to budget enough time"

A pretty big spread for doing a minute of video...but NOT as bad as the review of Cleaner http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif

www.vcdgear.com (http://www.vcdgear.com)
http://www.internetdisc.com/apple.html
http://www.macVCD.com/ http://www.oldskool.org/mpeg/
http://www.munich-vision.de/vcd/
http://www.icdia.org/cdprosupport/index.html

www.vcdhelp.com (http://www.vcdhelp.com)
very informative, lists of DVD players and what they play of the various formats (eg. VCD, SVCD, etc.), FAQs are really good

www.dvddemystified.com (http://www.dvddemystified.com)

an FAQ excerpt below...
(BTW - note that MPEG-2 (yes, TWO) is used in DVD, MPEG-1 for VCD)

"[5.8] How do I copy my home video/film/photos to DVD?

You'll need a system with most or all of the following components
A video digitizer ($200-$10,000) or 1394/FireWire interface for a DV camcorder.
An MPEG-2 video encoder ($150-$35,000).
A Dolby Digital audio encoder ($800-$8,000).
A DVD-Video authoring application ($50-$20,000).
A DVD-R recorder ($800-$5,000).

You can get everything you need in one package by buying an Apple Power Mac G4 (iDVD version, $2,500-$3,500) or a Compaq Presario (MyMovieStudio version, $1,900-$2,400).

Then take the following steps
Transfer the video and pictures to your computer. For analog video such as VHS and Hi8, you'll need video capture capability; for film, have it transferred to tape or digital video at a camera shop or video company; for slides or photos, use a scanner (or rent scanning time at a place such as Kinkos).

Bring the video and audio clips into the DVD-Video authoring program. New DVD authoring programs will convert and encode the video and audio for you. If not, you'll have to Encode the video into MPEG-2 (make sure the display frame rate is set to 29.97 for NTSC or 25 for PAL).

Encode the audio into Dolby Digital (or, if your video is short enough that you have room on the disc, format the audio as 48kHz PCM). You can also use MPEG Level II audio, but it won't work on all players.

To put photos on the disc, use the slideshow feature or turn them into menus. Most DVD authoring software will directly read pictures as TIFF, JPEG, or PhotoShop files.

Create a menu or two if you're ambitious, and link the menu buttons to your video clips and slideshows.

Create some chapter points in your video tracks if you're really ambitious.
Write your finished gem out to a DVD-R ($10). "

Sounds like a piece of cake, doesn't it? http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Since my whole scheme for 'doing' a VCD (or whatever that works if home brewed) was being driven by my 16yearold (who has since moved on to bigger things http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/eek.gif ) I've not really pursued finding a DVD player that will also play VCDs.

However, if you check out the stuff at www.vcdhelp.com (http://www.vcdhelp.com) you'll find a nice database of players and what their playing abilities are. Many are way under $200 per unit. This site is the best one I've found for all-around info.

Going back to the original question: using a 7600 for authoring, etc.

I don't think iMovie will do DVD, probably will do VCD but we used Toast 5.0 which worked well and is promoted as such.

Ignoring how much time it will take to encode the movie, the only rub in distributing the VCD copies far afield is player compatibility. An interesting comment at vcdhelp.com is that cd-RW disks appear to be most likely to play rather than cd-R...interesting.

If you purchase the requisite Mac (ie. an 'iDVD' model) and software then DVD should be possible. However, I'd be real sure it all does work as advertised and desired before coughing up some pesos JUST for this scheme.

If you're getting a 800 DP anyway then you're golden. http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/cool.gif

After all this I may just hit all the usual stores this weekend with my son's stack of VCD disks and 'test' disks and see if I can find a compatible player on the cheap.

I have at least two PT Pros not doing any heavy lifting currently that need a little exercise. Toss in a couple G3/466-10x xlr8 cards and hook up some of the 400+Gig of disk space I have sitting in a 'spares' box and I should be ready to
open my own movie studio... http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif



[This message has been edited by DHB (edited 21 September 2001).]

casa_lightbody
09-22-2001, 08:15 AM
Hmmmm. The cost seems to be a bit prohibitive in light of the last few e-mails and the VCD option doesn't answer my requirement of being able of some form of long term non-magnetic storage that is also easily usable by my non-techno savvy parents and in-laws. It seems like I'm going to have to save up for a new mac with a superdrive as that would seem to be the cheapest option. In the meantime I guess I'll have to just keep it all on the mini DV tapes.