Poor Quality of VCD made from Dazzle???

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I bought a Dazzle DVC II and tried it with capturing video into VCD files. After the first several VCD disc was made I compared the quality with those purchased movie VCD discs. What I saw was the quality of the self-made VCDs are always poorer than the purchased ones. Although they are all in MPEG-1, 1150kbit/s standard format they do show difference.

Later I tried other formats. I made SVCD from the same source. The SVCD looks better. However if compared with purchased discs my SVCD is similar but not better than purchased VCD.

Is the problem from Dazzle hardware or something else? I used Nero 5.0 to burn.

Thanks to any reply.

-- Shuo Huang (shuohuang@hotmail.com), March 12, 2001


None of the hardware based consumer mpeg encorders are good !. You are better off using software encoder. I have good results using the following setup:

Canon Elura to convert source to DV tape Download DV tape using Firewire card to AVI-DV format Convert AVI to mpeg 1 or 2 using tmpgenc (free software from tmpgenc.com). It literally takes overnight to convert 1 hr but you'll be satisfied with the results.

-- Kiam Oey (kiam.t.oey@yahoo.com), March 12, 2001.

Since I do not have the Dazzle DVC II, I can only tell that 1) the problem is in the video capture OR the conversion of the captured AVI file to MPEG-1 2) Nero is definitely not the problem here, it simply puts the MPEG files on CD in a certain format. You can read other topics on VCD quality in this forum to find out more. This is what I would do: 1) capture video into AVI file 2) use Windows Media player to play the AVI file to check its quality 3) if the quality is bad than you know it's the capture part, if not then it is the MPEG encoding part One thing I learned: home made VCD with inexpensive equipment (analog ) hardware capture can only come close to commercial VCD. I capture via Firewire (perfect capture) and got near commercial quality only. SVCD has near DVD quality but only few DVD players can play them correctly.

-- ktnwin (ktnwin@excite.com), March 12, 2001.

From two above answers I can see it is probably the encoding part. I said this because (1) If I capture in DVD format (MPEG-2 8M bit rate) the pictures will come out much better. It is better than VHS; and (2) The difference of the result of home made VCD compared to purchased VCD discs is that the picture looks like that the home made has less pixels. For example if I capture from a DVD movie to VCD the subtitles look fussy. However the subtitles in a purchased VCD movie look much clearer.

Why is the hardware encoder worse than the software? My hardware only captures in MPEG or MPEG-2 format, not AVI. Is there a software to convert from a DVD MPEG-2 format down to VCD or SVCD? The DVD format MPEG-2 file captured from my Dazzle looks perfect.

Thank you for your help.

-- Shuo Huang (shuohuang@hotmail.com), March 12, 2001.

i have addressed this issure more time then i care to rmeber and have helped countless others with the dazzle, . In order to get good quality with the dazzle you need to do the followjng things: change the template to movie qulaity and capture at 2900 THEN use an encdoer (such as tmpg) and take that clip and encode it to the format (vcd, xvcd,etc) that you want. Once this is done you will see how your clip will look 1000 times better then that horrendous vcd template can produce. Alot of my vcds look better then the opnes i have purchased. I am in the process of typing up an article now on how to get good results using the dazzle and it will be up on www.vcdhelp.com very soon

-- Doug (mazinz@aol.com), March 12, 2001.

excuse all of my typing typos, i am in a bit of a hurry

-- Doug (mazinz@aol.com), March 12, 2001.

A video cd made with a Broadway Pro which is a real time mpeg encoder will produce a mpeg file that is equivalent to if not better than any software encoder can do. There are also other hardware assisted encoders out there. The Dazzle is the worst one you can buy. I know because I had one.

-- AL (amccraw@yahoo.com), March 13, 2001.

I know we have addressed this before but what is the point of buying a Dazzle if you are going to use it as a capture card and then encode with a software encoder. All the Dazzle card is actually being used for is to capture the video. A good hardware assisted encoder card will capture and encode in real time. I capture an episode of seinfeld . Edit out the commercials and encode the file to mpeg1 in real time

-- Al (amccraw@yahoo.com), March 13, 2001.

Hey Al, you' re right once again im going to argue with you slightly. You do have to keep in mind that their is more then a $200 difference between the broadway pro and a dazzle. Also i still really want to see the results of the card. I no longer trust sites (such as the one for studio mp10) the results it shows for testing look really nice, but for movies and things we do i want to see real results. Either way using my method you can make some really nice looking vcds (close to its source) and some astonishing xvcds. I think Al you brought back your Dazzle card before you did encode a file (which i know you did not want to do)

-- Doug (mazinz@aol.com), March 13, 2001.

I was just trying to make it clear that if you already have a Dazzle and want to use it to capture video and then use a software encoder to create an mpg that your method is good, but there is no reason to purchase a Dazzle if all you are going to use it for is to capture video. If money is an issue then buy a good capture card and use a software encoder. Otherwise buy a hardware assisted card and create mpgs that way. I have heard that with a hardware assisted encoder it is better to capture to AVI first and use the card to encode after you edit. I can send a sample of a mpg file if you are interested.

-- Al (amccraw@yahoo.com), March 14, 2001.

Oops...just read the last part of your response. I brought back my Dazzle after trying to encode the mpg file using both methods. I could not stand to wait the time it took to encode a 30 minute file using a software encoder and the quality that Dazzle produced encoding directly to mpg was horrible

-- Al (amccraw@yahoo.com), March 14, 2001.

i do agree with you that capturing directly to vcd format (template) with the dazzle is aweful, capturing using a higher bitrate was a different story. I Do have a question about the broadway card, does it offer filters when it encodes the files for you? As we both know that sometimes tv reception and or other sources are not the best and you can get video noise. Normally encoding would usually take about 4hrs, but since i use the very nice noise filters in tmpg it increases my encoding time greatly, but produces a very good result. Just wondering. thanks

-- Doug (mazinz@aol.com), March 14, 2001.

No filters as far as eliminating noise. The only filter that I have found is one by Mpegator and I never bougut it because it's pretty pricy. I did find a device that claims it can actually convert video from composite to svideo. They claim it actually converts it. I would like to buy it since it was only around $200

-- Al (amccraw@yahoo.com), March 15, 2001.

yes, it was coevered here a while back, monster cables also made a special cable that converted regular composite to an svide source. Luckily my brother was nice enough to pick me up a super vhs, it ides make a difference. Love that machine.

-- Doug (mazinz@aol.com), March 15, 2001.

I have a dazzle usb..to have good quality video use lowest desktop resolution, color depth and refresh rate. Use movie quality and max bitrate(3000) after that convert it into vcd format with the help of software encoder (eg ulead media studio), if you use vcd capture format do not use windows xp, windows 98 is the best(but for encoding windows xp is the best).

-- dasun lakpriya susewhewa (dasunlakpriya@msn.com), December 04, 2003.

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