video conversion bleg

I would like to take DVDs, rip them to my hard drive, and create video files that can be played back on my standalone DVD player (which supports DivX). I also would like to be able to convert video files I get off torrents to a format that the DVD player supports (note that there’s a usb connection on the front, i can attach a jumpdrive and browse the file directly). Can anyone suggest some resources to handle these tasks? I am a windows guy, it must be noted.

7 thoughts on “video conversion bleg”

  1. I do have this guide I written a while back to convert an H.264 encoded MKV file to an XVID encoded AVI file to play in my DVD player. It’s been a while since I’ve really used it since I now use TVersity to stream videos I download to the XBOX 360 connected to the main TV without having to go through this coversion process. It was also written at a time when there was no specific guide or free-ware tools, so there might be better instructions and programs around.

  2. I like auto-gordian knot, a set of codecs and automated scripts. I first extra dvd’s to my hard drive with dvd fab decrypter into a folder, then run autogk on them. Doesn’t take terribly long on my core2duo cpu, but it is processor intensive. In the end I have a 700 meg .avi that is xvid based, you can put 5 of them on a dvd-r.

  3. I’ve never gotten auto-gordian knot to do its dirty little task. There are several others I tried too, but in the end I settled on the following:
    1) rip with DVD Decryptor (for older disks, simple, easy, free but not updated anymore) or DVDFab (newer disks due to new encryption B.S., full trial avaialble and is updated unlike decryptor)
    2) recomboobulate (err… remix and re-encode) to AVI or MP3 with FairUse. An awesome piece of software, well worth the cost. Also it will rip the entire disk to a movie or split chapters
    3) if split chapters, recombine episodes with AVI Joiner (several programs do this… most all are just called AVI Joiner… weird)

    Other useful programs:
    – Xilisoft AVI MPEG Converter – does what it says.
    – AVIsplitter – some episodic discs weren’t broken into nice chapters and I had to section manually. Also nice for trimming fat out of the file like dead space or secondary credits
    – MediaCoder – a more robust converter… will convert bit rates, frame rates, audio or vidio compression and etc into many formats (or within the same format). I was playing with this when moving some of my anime to my Wolverine media player. I had mixed success.
    – ffdshow – basically a codec pack that allows you to play most every movie encoding. Allows for parameter adjustments during playback. Most important if you rip to AVI.
    – Deamon Tools – creates a ghost DVD drive on your pc so you can play ripped (ISO format) DVD’s without turing them into movie files. Nice for checking ISO file quality before spending hours to convert to AVI or MPEG.
    – x264 – newer codec, lots of stuff starting to use it. I haven’t messed with it much.
    – DivX – another good codec. I might try this one next since my Wolverine player should support it after the last firmware update.
    – CCCP (Combined-Community-Codec-Pack) – a codec pack to keep in mind if all else fails. Usually, however, ffdshow fixes most playback issues. ffdshow might actualy be in CCCP… been a while since I played with it.

    Good luck… It took me a week or so to get everything to mesh together. I think, thought, that some of my issues were from Win XP x64.

  4. Windows, eh? Don’t know about that. I do all my video munching on NetBSD. I’m also just crunching them into smaller MPEG 2s so I can fit more on a DVD. Lower quality, of course, but quantity has a quality all its own.

    I use dvdbackup for the ripping. There might be a Windows port of that.

    Then I cat the .VOB files of interest together (might be a problem for Windows if you’re not using NTFS) and spit the result throught a little program I wrote called vobwalker; it walks through the .VOB and splits it on cell boundaries, which usually (but not always) correspond to chapter boundaries.

    Then I have to look through the cells and decide which ones go together into an episode.

    I re-encode them at a lower bitrate using a combination of mpeg2dec and mpeg2enc. I use a custom version of mpeg2dec for which I wrote an output driver that spits out the format understood by mpeg2enc. I’m pretty certain I’ve seen windows transcoding thingies build around mpeg2enc, but it’s been a while since I’ve looked.

    I use mplayer to decode and spit out the audio, then re-encode to MPEG 2 audio using twolame. You can probably find Windows ports of those.

    I multiplex the crunched video and audio back into a .VOB using mplex, one of the MJPEG tools. You can probably find windows ports of those. For synchronization between the two streams, I grab the time difference from the original .VOB using a little program I wrote, deltapts, that constructs the offset command line parameter for mpeg2enc.

    Finally, I put them back together into a DVD using dvdauthor. I’m pretty certain there’s a Windows port of that. I have a small Lua program to generate the dvdauthor XML file from a list of .VOB files.

    Then it’s mkisofs to build the UDF disk image and growisofs to punch it out onto a DVD.

    Simplicity itself!

  5. DVD Decrypter for the rippin’, VirtualDubMod for the convertin’. All you need, though I’d suggest downloading AMVapp, which can be found at Literally everything you’d need (codecs, DVD Decrypter, VDubMod) in one relatively small container. Throw in CCCP (as mentioned above), and you’ll have all the codecs to watch just about anything you throw at it.

    You’d have to provide your own dvd authoring program, though.

    As far as converting x264 or mkv goes, there’s a program called AlltoAVI that is fairly decent. I played with it for a few hours, and it does do what it claims to, though it lowers the video quality while doing it. *shrug*

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