http://www.thegreenbutton.com/community/shwmessage.aspx?ForumID=41&MessageID=87204&TopicPage=2Ahh yes, the "holy grail" of MCE... Recording TV to DVD. Should be easy, no? NOT! I've been tinkering with this subject for a while and have the following observations. I have not user SonicPrimetime. If soumeone can draw comparisons to the below and add it on, go right ahead please!
A - NerVision Express.
1 - Burn direct from dvr-ms to DVD, no sweat.
2 - Offers an interface to edit the item first
1 - I've yet to be able to burn a DVD of what I would consider decent quality. I always record on the "best" setting, and when converting and burning with NVE3, it generally compresses it too much and makes it look like crap. There may be a way to get this to convert better, but I have not found it...which brings me to point 2...
2 - Horrible user interface. Come on guys, how about a frame by frame advancement option when editing. Also, if you make one small screw up, it has a habbit of re-ordering your segments, and doing other weirdness. Generally, the interface for editing SUCKS.
3 - Not free! You'd think that with the above shortcomings, they'd throw this to us as a free add-on or something.
B - TMPGEnc Express 3.1 (3.0 does not support dvr-ms)
1 - Great user interface
2 - Wonderful editing features (Ahead could learn something here for their next NeroVision product.) Frame by frame advancement, easy to understand cut functions, etc. I loved this product.
3 - Support not just for dvr-ms, but all kinds of files and converting. Just a great tool!
4 - Control over quality of the output. I've been able to make some great DVDs of movies I've recorded with MCE using this product. Again, Ahead, take notice!
1 - Not free...quite costly as a matter of fact, all things considered.
2 - Add on required for DVD editing due to the AC3 audio stream. You've got to be kidding me!? You can't make that part of the product rather than tap me for another $30?
3 - Very resource intensive and time consuming. Don't plan on sitting there watching these convert. Best if done before bed and then just queue up a batch. By the time you get home from work the next day, you'll have some VIDEO_TS directories to burn.
C - Sonic Encoders
1 - Free (you can find them on the web as per the prior post. I believe they're free!)
2 - Support within the MCE interface. Just click Create DVD/CD from the MCE interface, select the files, drop a blank in and away you go!
3 - Pretty quick about burning.
4 - Very very very easy to use.
1 - No editing at all. You burn what you recorded...period
2 - Quality of resulting burns os somewhat lacking.
3 - No menu options. All the DVDs you make will have the same blue MCE Background with the title there. Take it or lea...err, no, wait, you can't leave it....it puts it there, period!
Different needs will dictate which choice you make. For those items that I just want to drop on DVD for someone, for example, a friend of mine missed 24 last week. I dropped a blank DVD in my machine, went into MCE told it to make the DVD (using the Sonic encoders) and within about an hour, I had the DVD burned. He can live with the bad quality and having to fast forward through the commercials (nice friend I am, huh!) So, for things like that, you can't beat the Sonic Encoders.
However, after recording A Bugs Life the other week, I wanted to hack the commercials and create a DVD from it for my collection. Using NeroVision Express, I screwed up a few times, started over from scratch, etc. Upon completion, I ended up with a sub-par quality DVD. I sat down later on with TMPGEnc Express 3.1, went through the same excercise and ended up with a very good DVD. However, my trial has expired for the shareware version of it, and I'm not about to plunk down that cash for it. Just not worth it.
For everyday use, just use the Sonic Encoders. If you're a power user, and don't mind dropping a few bucks, get TMPGEnc. If poor video quality and a bad user interface is worth paying for, then by all means, get NeroVision Express!
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