Mini DV is DV and not quite an AVI file yet- not until it gets captured into your computer under this setting.
The basic DVD disc holds up to 4.7 Gigabytes of compressed video data- this means a regular DVD holds just under 2 hours of video (you may be wondering 13 GB = 1 hour of video...how can 2 hours fit on a 4.7 GB disc? - this is another topic!) This assumes that the video is of very good (broadcast) quality and that you aren't including many if any menus or other goodies as part of the package.
If you want to transfer Mini-DV tapes to DVD, several options exist for the conversion.
1. Capture the video to a computer video editing program and encode it to MPEG-2 and author a DVD, This is the most time-consuming method but it gives you the flexibility to edit the video as much as you want, adding transitions, special effects, music, etc. But, between the capture time, the editing time and the often considerable time it takes for software encoding to MPEG-2, this can result in several hours of work for your computer - and you - for each hour of video.
2. Capture the video to the computer direct as MPEG-2 (the newest feature in Studio from version 8 and up) and then author and burn a DVD. A one-hour video is captured and compressed to MPEG-2 in one hour. However, if your original tape doesn't need editing this is a fast way to convert to DVD, but still have the flexibility to create custom DVD menus.
I don't recommend capturing direct to MPEG-2- See more here:
3. Connect camcorder to a standalone DVD recorder that works much like a VCR. This DVD recorder basically gives you a DVD copy of your tape in real time. You don't have a lot of flexibility as far as menus, buttons and chapter settings, but it's the fastest and easiest way to convert VHS to DVD. If you get a "DVD VCR" with Firewire connections you can plug a camcorder into it and transfer the tapes to DVD at an even higher quality.
No matter which method you use, you need to ensure that the video has the highest quality possible: flaws in the original video may be greatly magnified when you encode it to MPEG-2 and convert it to DVD.
Last update: 08:03 AM Monday, January 16, 2006