The file size you experience on an export to DV-AVI is normal.
I believe the run rate on DV-AVI is around 13 gig per hour of video.
Keep in mind that the file on export is fully decompressed and primed for editing.
It's not pretty, but this file format works very well with PE...
As Kodebuster states, the file sizes are to be expected and are the nature of AV files. One can never have too much hard drive real estate, when working with AV files - they are HUGE!
I have found that the best workflow for getting VHS tapes digitized and onto the computer for editing is:
Utilize an A-D device (not an intermediate DVD conversion). This can be a bridge device, like the Canopus 100 (or similar), or feed the analog signal to a miniDV video camera that has passthrough capabilities. If one does not have passthrough for their video camera, then dubbing from the VHS deck to the tape in the camera works well too. I happen to use a capture card, and its software to digitize and output to a DV-AVI Type II file, which is Imported directly into Premiere and is ready to edit. If I did not already have the necessary hardware and software, I'd go with the Canopus 300, as it offers even better color and density correction from the VHS tapes. However, it does cost more, but if you have a lot of tapes, especially ones with suspect quality, it would be a good investment.
This method gets around an extra MPEG compression step (going first to DVD), and a conversion step (either with 3rd party software, or internally, converting to DV-AVI Type II). Since my Export from Premiere will usually be to DVD, that would be another MPEG compression with your method. It is the only compression with mine.
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Also regarding DVD files (VOB's), when multiple VOB files are generated on one DVD, then copied to a PC, they tend to have Audio/Video sync problems.
This will usually manifest itself by seeing the audio drift in and out on the tail end of the VOB's.
This can sometimes be addressed by combining the VOB's into one large file, prior to import to PE (and conversion to DV-AVI).
Check out this link for details:
This works most of the time, but sometimes this won't even solve the problem completely...
Thanks for the additional info (the link to combining VOB files was very helpful). I didn't explain myself too well in my question, though, sorry about that. I was surprised at the size of the AVI file, but I know I can buy a large hard drive to house all my home videos if I wanted. What I'd like to do is take the files that I've converted to DVD, edit them in PE7, and then write them back out to DVD so I can give my kids copies of the home movies. Is there a format other than DV AVI that I should use for the export to get the file back to a DVD that can be played on a TV DVD player? I don't think the 27gb file would even fit on the new blu-ray format, let alone the standard DVDs that would play in my family DVD players.
Thanks for your help.
The thing is... DV AVI Type 2 at 13Gig per hour is DESIGNED to be edited
MPEG-2 (the format inside a VOB) at "about" 3Gig per hour (it varies, depending on the compression used) is NOT designed to be edited... only viewed
Go to my Adobe notes page http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM and click on the link about editing compressed files to learn why you should not try to edit a compressed file
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Dan, If I understand your current workflow it would look something like this:
VHS to DVD (this creates VOB's).
VOB's to your PC, then import into PE7, Export as DV-AVI.
DV-AVI import to PE7 for editing and DVD Menu creation.
Then use Share to create DVD's for distribution.
This would work, but there would be some quality loss due to the VOB-to-AVI-to-VOB workflow.
I've been this route with some old Hi8 tapes I had, and was reasonably satisfied with the output quality, although a hardware solution similiar to Canopus as described in the above post would be much better.
I did try editing large VOB's directly in PE and ran into problems with hangs/halts and an unstable PE, so my only option was conversion to DV-AVI...
"I don't think the 27gb file would even fit on the new blu-ray format, let alone the standard DVDs that would play in my family DVD players."...
On export/burning the 27Gb DV-AVI will be transcoded to a 4.7Gb MPEG2 VOB file which will fit on the DVD. Note however burning 2 hours to a DVD will result in a lower bitrate, reduced quality DVD compared to burning an hour on a DVD... which is what you can fit on a DVD with PE7's highest bitrate of 8Mb/s. The bit rate will automatically be reduced to fit the video to the DVD. Burn a copy and see how it looks... even at the lower bitrate it should look OK as your source files are VHS.
The ultimate workflow would be to use an A-D (analog to digital) "bridge," or other device to capture your VHS to your computer. This "bridge" could be a stand-alone product, like the Canopus 100. In loose terms (bridge usually refers to a stand-alone) you could also use a capture card, like the Turtle Beach, or similar, or you could also use a video camera with pass-through capabilities, or even record from the VHS to miniDV tape in the video camera, and then Capture in PE. With the first methods, you will want "capture" your analog source to DV-AVI Type II files, and edit those. Yes, they will be big, but only the total edited Duration will matter (as Paul_LS and John pointed out). When edited, you will Export to DVD-Video via the MPEG-2 CODEC. This will compress your material to the DVD spec.
This saves going thorugh two MPEG-2 compressions and will yield better quality. Whether that quality is important to you, only you can judge. To me, 2 MPEG-2 conversions are more than I can tolerate.
[Basically a restatement of my earlier post, but still the best way to get from VHS to edited DVD]
PS, if you go the bridge route and have a lot of VHS tapes to work with, you might find that the Canopus 300 is the best solution to the A-D conversion, as it offers a lot of timebase corrections for color, density, etc. It is, however, more expensive and the lower-end units work very well. If I had not already had a hardware solution, I'd have opted for the 300, and may still replace my hardware with one.