Understanding video settings
You can specify the video settings you want to use when capturing source files by using the Video Capture Wizard.
A number of encoding characteristics affect the size and quality of the captured video or saved movie. As the video display size and video bit rate increase with higher video settings, so does the file size. It is generally most efficient to choose the setting that provides the smallest file size while producing the quality level you require.
When choosing the video settings in Windows Movie Maker, consider the following:
- Delivery method of your final saved movie. When capturing video and audio, consider the method of delivery for your movie. For example, will your movie be watched over the Web or saved to a recordable CD? If your movie is saved and sent to the Web through a video hosting provider, then you will want to use a lower bit rate setting, so your movie can be watched over the Web easily. If you plan to share your movie by saving it to a recordable CD to give to others, you can choose a higher bit rate setting (which increases the quality of the movie) as long as the file size does not then exceed the available space on the recordable CD.
For example, if you plan on capturing video from a DV camera that you will edit in Windows Movie Maker and then save back to tape, you should choose the Digital device format (DV-AVI) option that lets you capture video as an AVI file. This option is well-suited for recording back to tape after you make your edits on your computer.
- Capturing quality. Remember that the quality of the video and audio in your final movie depends on the source video and audio you capture in Windows Movie Maker. Therefore, you should choose a higher video setting when capturing your live or taped audio and video in Windows Movie Maker. You can always save your movie at a lower setting.
Saving the movie at a higher setting than the original video setting increases the file size, but does not increase the overall quality of the audio and video in your movie. Also, the quality of the final captured video depends on the quality of the original recording.
- Hard disk space available. If you have large amounts of video and audio to capture to your computer, you may need to consider the hard disk space you have available. Lengthy video and audio can create quite a large file even though its highly compressed by using Windows Media Format. Again, you should generally try to achieve the smallest file size possible for the audio and video quality required for your movie.
- Video and audio content. When capturing live or recorded video or audio in Windows Movie Maker, consider the overall content. Video that contains a high amount of motion and audio requires a higher video setting, which increases the file size. You can save video that contain little action or motionfor example, a series of still pictures with narrationat a lower video setting without compromising the quality of the video and audio in your movie.