On my computer I have both Freemake and Honestech VHS to DVD 5.0. Using Honestech I have had fairly good results capturing and burning many of my old VHS tapes to DVD. However, recently I have begun trying to use the Honestech software to burn onto DVD various mp4 music videos I copied from YouTube. While the end product is decent, I am getting noticeable macroblocking and jagged lines -typically the resolution is 720x480 and I set the bitrate at a fixed 7500 kbps. But when I use Freemake to convert the same Youtube videos to DVD, the end result looks far better, smoother - as good as the source it seems - despite a much lower bitrate. Apparently Freemake employs a VBR, usually between 3000-4500 kbps, but sometimes much lower.
I would strongly prefer to use Honestech rather than Freemake for my project, as it allows me to create chapters and more advanced menus. I tried using Freemake to create an ISO of my nearly two-hour concert video (it was 2.37 GB), but the Honestech software seems incapable of importing this image file. I also used the Freemake to create a Video TS folder/Audio TS folder, but again Honestech can't import these as far as I can tell.
After using Freemake to join the files into a single concert, I used it to convert to an mp4 movie (.98 GB). That will import into Honestech program, but playback on that software's preview pane skips and and stutters constantly -trying to burn onto DVD gave the Honestech horrible fits.
I realize neither of these programs is in the same league as Nero etc, but I'm trying to figure out:
1) why does Freemake give such a pleasing DVD result burning mp4s, at a low bitrate, yet the Honestech provides a worse DVD at a higher bitrate? Would lowering the bitrate help?
2) Ignoring Freemake entirely, how can I get the Honestech software to handle YouTube mp4s better? Should I first be converting these to MPEGs, or...?
3) When I created the same project via Honestech, the two hour video was about 4.8 GB (thus needing a DL disc, of course), but the end final size through Freemake was only half of that, yet looked much better - why such radically different file sizes?
I feel like I'm going in circles and need direction; the more browsing various forums I do, the more confused I get. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Go back to your attempt to create the VIDEO_TS folder with Freemake, change the file extension from VOB to MPG and check if Freemake will import those. If you can't see the file extensions go to the windows control panel, under folder options and remove the check mark from "Hide extension of known file types".
Nic2k4 - thanks. Changing the file extension from VOB to MPG did allow the Honestech software to import some of the files, but not all. The files ending with IFO and BUP won't import, either with the original files names or .MPG. So I'm now getting smooth playback of the video, but without any sound. (I presume the sound information is contained in those other files?)
Additionally, the entire two hour concert video now appears split at random points into three separate VOB->MPG files; wouldn't these need to be reencoded by the Honestech software into a single file before any DVD burning?
And if this Honestech software is going to reencode your already encoded DVD then you're going about this all wrong. If it'll import the DVD (or MPG) and allow you to make menus and chapters without reencoding then maybe it's OK.
As for joining the clips, you need to author a DVD to do that. Whether Honestech can do the job, you'll have to find out for yourself. I understand this is what you're used to, but it may not be the best solution. Look through the DVD Auhtoring tools, DVDAuthorgui is alright or you can IFOedit (no menu). At the bottom of each page there's a list of tutorials.
BTW, use DVDshrink to squeeze a video that's a bit too large to fit on a single layer disc.
Thanks - I checked again the Freemake settings I applied; my choices were AC3 and MP2 and I had selected the former. When I switched to MP2 and imported the video to the Honestech software the sound played fine.
I did go ahead and download DVD Authorgui; I'll play around with that sometime in the next few days. The Honestech has worked alright for me when doing straight transfers of old VHS, but whenever I've tried to edit and then reencode anything with it, the results seem a bit subpar. Thanks again for your help.