I am backing up my Laserdiscs on VCD (waiting for the moment when I'll have DVD-R), and I'm taking careful measures to ensure the best possible quality (i.e. taking 50 hours for TPMGEnc to encode a 2-hour movie).
Before you accuse me of bootlegging, I must tell you that my LD player is dying on me (I can only watch one side of a disc every two days, since it can't "see" the media if it's been recently used).
I've been using these Princo CD-Rs (pale blue-green), but my Panasonic RP56 pixelates at random during playback - although the phenomenon does not repeat at the same point after rewind. The computer plays the VCDs without many problems, but it's still occasionally doing the same pixel game.
So I'm thinking it's the media. Should I go for something deep blue, like Verbatim, or something lighter in colour? Do Panasonic DVD players have CD-R "preferences"?
My machine is a P3-900 with 392 RAM and 80GB free on the HD.
Here's the procedure:
1. LD to Digital8 video via S-Video and regular stereo audio
2. Digital 8 to computer via FireWire, using Ulead VideoStudio 5 (to trim and arrange clips)
3. the resulting AVI file (about 15 GB) to TMPGEnc, with Inverse Telecine, Ghost Reduction, Block Noise Softener and best quality settings... leave the computer on for a day and a half or so (only use it for light Internet browsing) and voila, you have what's probably the best-looking VCD file you'll be able to get. By comparison, Ulead is fast when encoding to VCD, but the results are mediocre to say the least.
So, why is the image breaking up? It has to be the media...