What is my best option? MC5+Panasonic MiniDV preserving quality

Anonymous (not verified)

It is my goal to capture the highest quality video I can to burn to
Archival DVDs with my current equipment.

I have a Panasonic Mini DV PVGS120 camcorder and boatloads of wonderful movies I want to save. But this camcorder will NOT connect to any of the 4 computers I own (firewire) Believe me, I have tried EVERYTHING with multiple computers, made tons of calls, dropped messages on forums, etc. The camcorder cannot be recognized as a device and videos cannot be imported. If this would work, I would be done and happy.

So, I got my hands on a Sony VRD-MC5 | DVDirect MC5 Multi-Function DVD Recorder, which works like a champ with my Little Panasonic. Videos transfer over, and the way I understand it, the video it creates is MPEG2. To my eye, this part of the process preserves quality of the MiniDV tapes pretty well.

But ... here's where things go wrong.

Standard Def Videos from the MC5 will not play in new Sony BluRay DVD players. MPEG2 is not listed among the compatible formats for my new Sony Blu Ray, and the disk freezes up if you insert it. Only SONY camcorders can record in AVCHD on the MC5.

So what would you do?

  • Dub the videos to the MPEG2 disks using the MC5, edit them in Corel Video Studio and then output a DVD*?
  • Buy another MiniDV camcorder that the PC will recognize (I really don't want to spend the $$$ - I have a Canon HDD/HD camcorder already)
  • Something I'm not thinking of?

* My cursory test of this method shows "muddy" video output (like VHS
quality) but I cannot figure out where the quality loss is happening -
or how to avoid it.

I'm exasperated. Your expert opinion is needed