Are you noobish with no DIVX/XVID capable DVD player? Not a problem. This guide will walk you through taking your various DIVX/XVID files (whereever you might have obtained them) and encoding them with superb quality to be imported into DVD-Lab and ultimately turned into a DVD-/+R.
I've tried various methods to do this with such programs as WinAVI and what have you and the quality was never acceptable. Usually ended up with out-of sync audio, jerkiness, or enormous file sizes. DIKO + DVD-Lab = simply wicked final product. Without further ado...
HOW TO CREATE A DVD-VIDEO USING MULTIPLE DIVX/XVID AVIS
Goal: Create a region-free NTSC DVD with stereo sound and a simple menu using multiple XVID/DIVX source files.
Tools used: DIKO (free), AVICodec (free), DVD-Lab ($100)
1. DVD writer.
2. Hard drive space (9GB for this project).
3. A fairly fast computer.
4. Time. Total project time was around 13 hours on a P4 3Ghz with 1GB of RAM.
As an example for this guide, I will be using AVIs encoded with XVID video and MP3 audio (a very popular combination) with each file having a file size of 350MB. These happen to be HDTV rips of the television series, Lost.
HDTV and DVD rips look excellent on a large TV screen and are idea for this type of operation. Don't expect great quality if you have lower quality source files. It's expected to be a 24 episode season, so I had 3 choices. 2 DVDs with 12 episodes each, 3 DVDs with 8 episodes each, or 4 DVDs with 6 episodes each. I found that the picture quality starts to drop when I tried to fit 10 or more on a single disc, and I didn't see any quality difference between 6 & 8, so I stuck with 8.
Dragging the files into AVICodec, it tells us the files are in widescreen (16:9) format, with audio bitrates of around 128kbps.
DVD-Lab can create the structure of the DVD along with menus, but first the files must be converting into something DVD-Lab can recognize. That's where DIKO comes in. I'm using DIKO 0.77, so the screens may or may not look like the most updated version.
Load up the DIKO GUI and select Select Configuration. The Working Folder is where you files will be created. Set it to what you wish. Now move on to the Parameters tab. Make sure the Mode is set to KDVD, the System to NTSC, the Video Encoder to FreeEnc, the Audio Encoder to BeSweet, and Overhead to 0. Media Size - depends on how many files I'm doing. Ideally, the final product should be no more than 4340MB in total, but if I were to process all 8 files in a batch, it would take my system about 12 hours. I can't afford to tie up my system for that long, so I'm going to do 4 at a time and set the Media Size to 2170MB (half of desired). Do however many you're comfortable doing, just get the math right - 4340MB MAX. Next is the Authoring tab - just disable all the check boxes in this one. On to the Video tab.
Here you get to choose between 1 Pass VBR and MultiPass VBR. I'm not going to get into the differences between 1 Pass VBR & MultiPass VBR, but suffice it to say, MultiPass VBR takes twice as long to encode, but will ensure best picture quality, especially during high-action scenes. If the total size of your source files is less than around 1.5GB, 1 Pass may be okay and will save you a lot of time. I'm anal-retentive about quality so I'll be using MultiPass VBR. MultiPass VBR is one of the biggest reasons I use DIKO. In the Resolution box, I've selected 720x480 (1.5 aspect ratio) - the closest to 16:9 (1.77 aspect ratio). Don't worry, DIKO will not stretch the video - it will add black bars to the height or width accordingly. Pick the resolution that is closest to your source videos. On to the Audio tab.
The selection box for the Bitrate for 2.0 audio should be set to one step higher than the average audio bitrate of your files. Mine were around 128kbps, so I'm going with 160kbps. The audio was encoded with VBR encoding, so there are places in the soundtrack where the bitrate is higher than the average, so here I'm just covering my bases by chosing 160kbps. It might be beneficial to select an even higher bitrate - 192kbps or even 224kbps, but my ears aren't good enough to tell the difference. Incidentally if your files are encoded with AC3, it will automatically convert it to MP3. You need a special program to enable AC3 output in the free version of DIKO. You can skip the Subtitles menu since it doesn't apply here. Double-check all your settings and go back to the DIKO main menu. Select New Conversion.
In the field Movie File 1 browse around and select the first video you want converted. Now select Add Another Movie in the lower left hand corner. The video file name will move from the top field into the window at the very bottom which is where of all the videos you queue up will be listed. Repeat with the second and third videos, etc. but leave the final video in the Movie File 1 field. In my case I'll have 3 videos in the bottom field (only two visible in the above screenshot but the third one is there - notice the scroll bar on the side).
Click Start Conversion, and answer YES when it asks you if this is the last file. Now wait for DIKO to do it's work. Might be a good idea to start it in the morning before you go off to school/work or before you go to bed. When it's finished you will have a bunch of .mpv video and .mp2 audio files - keep these. The rest of the files may be deleted.
Repeat with the rest of your files. When you've got all your .mpv & .mp2 files ready, you're set to import them into DVD-Lab. I won't be explaining DVD-Lab as there's already a very easy-to-follow instruction set at their website: http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/Help/index.htm. The Quick Tutorial will run down exactly what you need to get the job done. Very easy to learn, 10-15 minutes and you'll be flying.
Oh, and when you compile the DVD onto your hard drive, it's a good idea to preview it with whatever you use to play DVDs (i.e. PowerDVD) before burning. For burning the DVD itself I suggest Nero or CloneDVD. Hope this guide helped you out. Enjoy.
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hey.. Thank you so much for the guide. Will update on progress of my work. If you have an updated guide, kindly let us know.
Cheers to you..!