In the continuing search for an effective way to edit video files created by Sony Handcam DVD models, I got some great feedback from a number of people.
Marc Bowyer and a number of other people pointed out Sony does include a ripping solution for their DVDs in their Sony Vegas editing suite. That’s great, but where’s Sony Vegas or a disclaimer or a free trial in the camcorder packaging when I get the DVD camera home from the store? If I just purchased the DVD camera to shoot my kids birthday only to discover I couldn’t do anything with the video when I’m finished recording, I’m not a happy camper. I have a copy of Vegas; it’s a great editing product, but this creates a lousy experience for anyone who actually elects to own a Sony DVD Handycam. The DVD cams are generally more expensive than MiniDV cams with comparable features, even though I can edit my video out of the box if I buy MiniDV.
Another alternative, cited by Keith Baddams, is to use the VirtualDubMod with support for MPEG2. VirtualDubMod does a great job of working directly with the MPEG2 video inside a VOB file natively and it’s free. The software is less elegant than something like Sony Vegas or Adobe Premiere Elements, but it will get the job done. The only downside is VirtualDub saves video as AVI only, so if you want a different format, you’ll need to convert your finished file. At the same time, the AVI is ready for importing into any DVD authoring tool for burning a finished movie complete with menus and titles.