What am I doing wrong?
Only three obvious things:
1. You are trying to edit material that is OK for watching, but not editing. Get the source material from which these DVD's were made.
2. You use a Matrox. Get rid of it.
3. You can't capture from DVD. You need to import.
ONE: since the material has been already submitted from India, Costa Rica, South Africa, Sri Lanka etc, and the conference is in one week, obtaining anything else is impossible. I need to work with the material I have.
TWO: I won't even address the matrox issue. The fact is I have what I have and it's not up to me to choose differently. Frankly CS4 is not all it's advertised to be from my short experience with this production suite. The problems I'm having are unbelievable and support basically nonexistant. I've been using Adobe Premier since version 4 and have never experienced anything like this. If a poll were taken today, I would not recommend this program to my worst enemy.
THREE: Import rather than capture? How? Each DVD is 1-2 hours in length - I need about one minute or less from each one. If you could please give me some baby steps on how to accomplish this, I'd be most grateful. I have 2TB of hard drive space on my video drive. 500GB on my operating drive. I'm also running on Vista 64.
Import the VOB file you need into your project.