I looked but didn't see any posts on this subject.
I've made various quick stabs at converting .avi movie files to DVD Video/MPEG (a Video_TS folder with .vob files) format in the past with various utilities and could never get anything to work. Recently I gave it another try after figuring out DVDFab Creator. At first I was totally lost because I thought it was a conversion, so tried in vain with "DVDFab Converter", but apparently that tool is limited to audio/music and various strange mobile/telephone formats. Then I got lucky (I guess) and hit upon DVDFab Creator...
I have two versions of DVDFab, the older 8 and the newer 9 version. The first time I ran the 9 version with an attempted "DVD Creator" operation, it crashed. Went for about a minute then disappeared. No open processes left running. No error messages. Nothing. It just vanished, as if I hadn't run the software at all. I must have been in a mood for punishment so I then gave the 8 version a try, and wa lah... It produced a fairly good conversion of a .mkv Bluray file to a DVD Video folder! I was amazed and delighted, my first *ever* successful conversion of anything to anything! Not all was perfect... The aspect ratio was off. The people looked a little bit too tall and skinny. But otherwise it was pretty good quality video and audio, so I was encouraged.
Since then (in the last few days) I've tried some other conversions of .mkv and .avi to DVD Video with mixed results. For example, in one case I was supposed to get a DVD5 size output result, but it was over 5000 MB instead. And as noted above, the 9 version of DVDFab Creator continues to crash with .mkv files, usually. Also these creations/conversions (.avi or .mkv) take a very long time! The last one I ran was over 8 hours, so progress is slow to figure things out. I don't really know what it will do, or won't do, yet.
I've also taken a fleeting look at other video conversion software but didn't pick up the ball. It's too complex for me, in general. My old brain won't confront learning new things very easily. I need something simple, like DVDFab, which is mostly a push button operation. So I'll probably continue to putz around with it for awhile yet, hoping to discover its limits and tricks.
For the most part, I'm only interested in doing such conversions where the DVD movie isn't readily available. Also some of my VHS to DVD transfers were poor quality/damaged, so I need to replace/upgrade those. That's my entire motivation, to get all of my movies onto DVDs in the best possible quality. It's purely a part time hobby interest, nothing serious.
And that's where it stands... If you can toss me any tips or advice for someone at my novice level of comprehension, I'll appreciate it. Thanks.
+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 30 of 35
Thread: DVDFab Creator
Most of us don't recommend DVDFab for conversion.
For conversion of mkv or avi to dvd-video, I'd recommend AVStoDVD using the HC encoder in a two pass configuration. This isn't hard to use, and you have the option to make a menu or not, depending on your needs.
Here is one guide for using the program: http://club.myce.com/f32/avstodvd-guide-331620/
Speed of the encoding process usually depends on the speed of your main processor in your computer and the number of cores it has. But eight hours is fairly long for any modern system.
I'll plan to give that one some time.
Just one question: do you know the minimum system requirements and software prerequisites to run it?
I'm using Windows XP SP3 and do *not* have .NET, which I've found doesn't work right on my computer. It's an older model, 10 years old...
Thanks again. I've got one running already. Your CDFreaks tutorial got me thru it with only a few minor difficulties...
There is no "Preferences" button. It's "Preferen", must be some kind of font cutoff.
I have never heard of DVD "Assets" but fudged in some likely paths anyway, mimicking yours.
I chose to try an .avi movie file that I've worked on with DVDFab Creator several times, so have a fair idea of what I'll get. Also I installed VLC media player just so I could see what the original looked like. However it presented me with several riddles right away...
--It said the encoded FPS was 25 which was more typical of a PAL encoding, so I would get better results with a PAL DVD output. Of course I had to say No because I can only play NTSC. I wonder if it would be better to accept the PAL DVD output then run a PAL to NTSC converter(?).
--I had 3 subtitle files associated with the .avi file. AVStoDVD checked one of them automatically then asked me which ones I really wanted. I had no idea but decided to check all 3. It then told me that one of them had an error, and did I want it corrected? I said Yes, of course. Then it told me the encoding would overrun my DVD size by 185%. Egads, I have no idea why, nor what to do about it.
Anyway it's running, and maybe I'll get something that's playable by tomorrow. It's very slow... taking about 3 hours for the first pass on the video encoding. After that presumably the audio and subtitle encodings will proceed sequentially, maybe taking less time than the video(?).
One difference I notice while it's running is that the FPS encoding is holding relatively steady at about 15-20. It was varying over a larger range, about 5-25 with DVDFab Creator. I'm guessing that's partly why I got poor, uneven results with the latter. Some of the video action scenes were transformed into slow motion skips & jumps. The audio stayed OK but the video couldn't keep up.
Last edited by JohnnyBob; 15th Sep 2013 at 23:59. Reason: ps
I've seen the warning that you were going to produce an oversized output now and again, but it always makes the size dvd that I specified. I'm not sure what is triggering that error message, and I wonder if MrC (the author)is aware of it. It didn't start showing up till this last update to the program.
A two pass encode normally has a faster first pass than second. The encoder is basically examining the input video and determining where it needs to have more or less bitrate according to what is happening in the video. Action scenes will tend to get higher bitrate assigned, static scenes less so. The second pass is where most of the heavy work of re-encoding occurs. The audio is converted with a different program than HC. HCenc is video only. So the audio will be done later with Aften + Wavi unless you chose one of the ffmpeg options for audio.
Once both are finished encoding, the audio, video and subtitles will be muxed together and authored to dvd-video format.
It sailed along OK til I got to the subs encoding then it aborted saying .NET is required. A waste of 6 hours. I guess I can't use it if I want subtitles. Too bad...
P.S. I found that version of .NET at oldapps.com and have installed it OK. It was a PITA to turn off all of the resulting MS update attempts, but I finally got it done (I think). Now I'll give another shot at the encoding with subs...
Last edited by JohnnyBob; 16th Sep 2013 at 06:45. Reason: ps
Sorry about that. I wasn't aware that one of the programs that AVStoDVD uses needed NET. If you look in the folder that you designated for your Assets path, you may have the audio and video already finished. You could import the video, right click on it in the main window of AVStoDVD and then import the audio and subtitle streams (assuming you have the subtitles in a separate file already).
Thanks for your help. I seem to be over the hump with this one...
1.41 GB 656/480 128 kbps .avi B&W movie 2:01:45 -> DVD9
No complaints about oversize this time as I decided to try a DVD9 conversion.
The subs sailed thru without a whimper after installing .NET 2.0, and they actually work *correctly* after the error was fixed by AVStoDVD. They didn't work right in the original .avi or with the DVDFab Creator conversion.
The quality seems about the same as the original .avi, no jerky motion during action sequences, good contrast and sharpness. The bitrate is about double what I got with DVD5. I'll probably use DVD9 for all my conversions, don't have very many to do...
(I'm afraid the special terminology of projects, assets, etc is still not in my vocabulary!?)
Use the green + sign on the right to import the m2v file. Once it is in the main window, right click on it (the line showing the m2v file), and you will get a pop up list of options, which include audio and subtitles. Move down to the audio line in the pop up list and you will be able to add the audio in. Do that again for subtitles.
Worked like a charm! Very gratifying...
Comparing the DVD5 and DVD9 conversions, there are only slight differences in smoothness of motion in action sequences, and in the video shading/sharpness. The DVD5 is pretty good but I'll go with the DVD9.
This particular old movie .avi didn't come with English subtitles, only Spanish, French, and Portuguese. I wonder if there's any special place to go looking for subtitles for old classic movies? I believe that I understand now how to add them in -- if I can find them, or make them.........
Thanks very much for the leading link. I found what I was looking for there, but still have a subtitles-related problem...
I ran a DVD9 conversion of a .mkv movie with AVStoDVD which took 12+ hours. The video and audio turned out beautifully, so it was worth the wait, but there's a problem with subtitles. Note that they appear in the black bar space below the video in this 2.35:1 aspect ratio movie. Some are 1-line captions, some 2-lines. The original .mkv had Romanian and English subtitles, with Romanian turned ON by default. AVStoDVD detected that anomaly and prompted me to change to English default, but didn't offer to turn them OFF by default.
The resulting DVD files indicate that both subtitle languages are English, although one of them is Romanian. I was able to remove the subtitle which corresponded to Romanian with a simple video editor (DVD Shrink), then burnt a DVD... When played on computer with PowerDVD 7, everything is OK, and subtitles are OFF by default. Windows Media Player 11 also works OK, except the subtitles are ON by default.
When played on a standalone DVD player (Magnavox), subtitles are OFF by default. When turned ON manually, the 1-line captions are OK. However the 2-liners are set too low on the screen. The bottom half of the 2nd line is not visible (cut off). This is a serious fault which needs correction. Somehow the subtitles need to be moved a little higher on the screen. How?
The .log file indicates a subtitle file was created, but no longer exists. Apparently it was considered temporary and deleted automatically. However I found the same English subtitles (probably) at your link as a .srt file. So if it would do any good (?), I could edit/remux with the video/audio...
Nope, I can't find any remnants of the .mkv conversion, no video/audio, so have nothing to remux.
I played around and something called DG-something spit out an .ac3 file of the audio. There must be some easy way to extract the video too (?). Then I could try remixing with different subtitle files...
Last edited by JohnnyBob; 17th Sep 2013 at 18:35. Reason: pps
If you want to retain the assets (the encoded m2v, ac3 and subtitle files), you need to look at the Advanced Project Settings. If they aren't under the main window, then go to Options, and put a check mark next to Advanced Project Settings. Once you can see them, remove the check mark next to Delete temporary DVD assets files. You'll build up a lot of excess files however, and will need to manually remove them if you do this.
To change the position of the subtitles, go to Preferences-->Authoring/Burning tab-->DVD Subs font. On that line you'll see a button with this marking: ------
Click on that to change the default positioning of subtitles.
Thanks! That's easy, except...
To save the Advanced Project Settings checkboxes as defaults, it's necessary to also check a box on the Preferences>Misc tab. I actually had to read the Help file... Only the .log file survives otherwise. It particularly seems a bad idea to delete the .m2v, .ac3, and subtitle files automatically, in case you need to remux. I suppose other temp files wouldn't be missed.
Like I said, I accidently stumbled upon a fast way to extract the audio from the DVD back into an .ac3 file. Now if there is just some easy way to extract the video back into a .m2v file , that would save me 12+ hours...
If you are starting with a dvd video and want elementary streams, use PGCDemux. This will give you the video, audio and subtitle streams as separate files. Make certain to put check marks in the boxes to save the audio, video and subtitles.
You can also import the dvd back into AVStoDVD and on Options-->Output Setup change the output to Elementary Streams. I believe AVStoDVD can access the command line version of PGCDemux for this particular task, but I prefer to do it outside of AVStoDVD. Either way works.
Thanks again. I demuxed then remuxed a couple of times with different positions for the subtitles. However they stay at exactly the same place in PowerDVD 7 and Windows Media Player 11. They butt up against the bottom of the video, at top of the black bar on bottom of screen, and will go no further. That doesn't test my standalone Magnavox DVD player which would require me to burn another DL disc. I'm hesitating and hanging up my hat for now. It's too frustrating. No matter how much I learn, there's always more that's required. I may or may not take this up again at a future date.
I couldn't resist, just a glutton for punishment, I guess...
I tried another .mkv to DVD conversion with AVStoDVD and had some unusual system problems afterwards. The conversion apparently completed OK, but two of the auxiliary programs failed to close completely at the end, like they should. Their icons remained in systray although there were no associated running processes. Those sticky icons disappeared after I rebooted my machine, but other system problems remained...
One of my old mainstay programs, DVD Shrink wouldn't work correctly thereafter. When I loaded the above converted mkv-to-DVD files for editing/preview, it played the B&W movie in black and green. Green was substituted for white. Definitely weird! Never saw that before. Also there was a broad green bar at the bottom of the preview window which wouldn't go away. Those problems with Shrink didn't disappear when I loaded other known good DVD files for preview/playback. Then DVD Shrink's preview operation went belly up completely, dead in the water, wouldn't work anymore. So the DVD Shrink installation was definitely damaged, and I had a heckuva time getting it back to normal! Just uninstalling-reinstalling DVD Shrink in normal fashion wouldn't fix it.
After a lot of messing around, I finally became desperate and uninstalled all of the AVStoDVD-related software, .NET 2.0, and VLC media player, as well as performed a system restore. My DVD Shrink is working OK again, but now I'm very cautious about reinstalling any of that other stuff... That's a shame because despite these problems, the conversion was a good quality one.
I've never seen nor heard of any of that happening with these programs. And I've used virtually every Microsoft operating system from '98 through my current installation of Windows 8. Are you sure you don't have some hardware issues? Encoding video will stress out your old system more than anything else, and any weak point, like an overheating cpu, marginal memory chips or a failing hard drive can cause problems.
DVDShrink still works for me in Windows 8, though I very, very rarely use it for anything. AnyDVD HD is the cutting edge for decryption. For compressing dvds, DVDRebuilder is very much superior. And I use VideoRedo instead of Shrink to cut out clips of dvds or mpeg2.
I don't know the cause and could only speculate. This old XP computer seems to be working fine, in general.
I reinstalled everything and so far, so good, converting some .avi's with AVStoDVD, except it takes a long time and the quality isn't great. The problem happened with an .mkv conversion so I'll save those til later.
Thanks for the suggestions. I've been using DVDFab and DVDShrink for a long time and old habits die hard. They do everything I need, except these conversions. Hopefully DVDFab Creator will be improved. I like its push-button simplicity.
I've converted several .avi to DVD OK, but now have encountered a problem with an old 4:3 b&w movie. The .avi plays OK but the converted DVD has a wrong aspect ratio. The images are too tall and skinny. Thus a square became a rectangle. taller than wide. It's not super bad but noticable. My eyeball estimation is that the original 1.33 aspect ratio (4:3) images somehow got distorted to about 1.5. I still have all of the temp and asset files if needed. Here's part of the HCenc log if it helps. Any ideas?
| encoder settings |
frames: 0 - 125597
aspect ratio: 4:3
chroma format: 4:2:0
bitrate Kb/s: 8500
max. bitrate Kb/s: 9000
closed gops: no
VBV check: yes
VBV size (bits): 1835008
scene change det: yes
interlaced: no, TFF
goplen,B-pic: AUTO 15
scan method: zigzag
chapter frames: 0
time code: 0 0 0 0
SMP active: yes
matrix: MPEG, adaptive
luminance gain: yes, level 1
adaptive quantization: yes, strength 1
deadzone quantization: auto
| source stats |
nr. of frames in source: 125598
nr. of frames to encode: 125598
frames to encode: 0 - 125597
My eyeball estimation was correct. I see now that the original .avi has an aspect ratio of 1.5 (720/480). AVStoDVD is squishing it together to make 1.33 (4:3). I suppose there may be settings somewhere to fix this...?
Found it, I think...!!!!!!!!
I had to rightclick the title and play around with the source video aspect ratio. It was1.300 initially. Changing to 1.500 made the picture too fat with black bars at top & bottom. For some unknown reason, changing it to 1.333 seems to bring it into perfect aspect ratio in the preview. Now I must run the conversion again...
Looking back at my prior .avi conversions, I see that the aspect ratio is OK but with 4x3 movies part of the picture extends beyond the visible area, both horizontally and vertically. In other words I'm only seeing the center part of the picture. It's not bad, not usually noticable. Probably a 5% reduction in picture size would fix it. Note that I use a standalone DVD player with an old 4:3 CRT TV. Playing around with the available settings on the DVD player doesn't fix it. If I use their "squish" setting, I can see what's lost on the sides, but not at the top & bottom, although that distorts the aspect ratio. So somehow the picture was made slightly too big for the TV screen. Any easy fix...?
Last edited by JohnnyBob; 25th Sep 2013 at 09:20. Reason: discovery
DVD shrink just gone haywire again. Green substituted for white, and a broad green bar at bottom of the video replay screen. It may be functional otherwise. I'm testing it.
This is while running an AVStoDVD conversion...
HCenc, AVStoDVD, 2 instances of ffdshow video decoder, and 4 instances of ffdshow audio encoder are open. Why so many ffdshow's?!
I have never run into the problems you are now facing so I may not be much help.
Try this. Open ffdshow video decoder configuration (in your Programs list). On the left side you'll start off showing Codecs. Click on Directshow Control just under Codecs. This brings up a different window on the right. On the line that says Don't use ffdshow in there is an Edit button you can click to see all the programs that are not used with ffdshow. Click Edit, then add DVD Shrink 3.2.exe to the list of programs not to use ffdshow. Click ok to close the Edit window. To close out ffdshow, click Apply then Ok.
Reboot and see if DVDShrink is still messed up. You can also try reinstalling Shrink.
Any easy fix...?
I already fixed DVD Shrink with a system restore, so the question becomes whether this will prevent a future recurrence of the problem.
DVD Shrink was also pulling up an ffdshow audio decoder icon in systray, so I added it to that configuration tool also.
I noticed some common popular programs in that exclusion list such as the PowerDVD 8-9-10-11 series, Outlook, etc. I use PowerDVD 7, which hasn't had problems so far, but I'll keep it in mind.
Last edited by JohnnyBob; 25th Sep 2013 at 23:32.
I'd like to try to convert a PAL DVD to NTSC DVD. Reading here and there, it seems that AVStoDVD is recommended. Maybe there's some specific instructions somewhere but they're hard to find. The Help file doesn't give step-by-step examples such as this. Can you point me in the right direction? I've never tried to open a DVD in AVStoDVD, only .avi and .mkv files. It requires a file, not a folder. So how do I start? I'm guessing opening the VIDEO_TS.IFO file might work(?). Any special settings required? Or just let it do its thing? Since these conversions can take a *very*(!) long time, any newbie tips/pointers might save me many hours/days of wasted runtime/effort. Thanks.
In Baldrick's basic guide to AVSToDVD, the second picture down shows you where to select your video standard. Just choose NTSC. As for opening a DVD, I don't use this program, but it can't be too hard to figure out. You'd either open the IFO, or you open the first VOB and the rest follow, or you 'corral' them all to open more than one. I would guess you'd open the IFO. Why not just try? Then if you have any problems ask them in the dedicated AVSToDVD thread as it's off-topic for this one.