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  1. Member
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    Hi,
    I have a friend's homemade dvd of a German TV program and wanted to extract parts out of it and burn as my own DVD. I used Handbrake to extract the VOB files as mpeg4 files, then used MPEG Streamclip to combine the files as one 40 minute mpeg4. I then used iDVD (on my MacBook Pro, using 10.5) to burn a DVD. The DVD now works fine on the MacBook Pro, but when I try to view it on my standalone DVD player, I get video but no sound.

    In the past, I have successfully used this same procedure a number of times with no problem. I'm not sure why I'm getting stuck here.
    I've now tried importing all the mpeg4 videos into iMovie and have sent the one iMovie file I created to the Media Browser. I then burned that file using iDVD. The same problem reoccurs. I get video and sound when I play the DVD on a computer, but I get only video when I use my standalone DVD player. I can get a faint audio if I turn the tv sound way up, but its very faint. The video picture, however, is fine.

    I never had this "no audio" problem with any of the other DVDs I burned using iDVD.
    Any ideas on how I can get my audio to play when using a standalone player?
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    MPEG Streamclip should be able to import vobs directly, have you tried that? Because you will lose a lot of quality by reconverting to mpeg4. And it might help your audio problems if you reduce all reconverting steps.
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  3. Member
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    Is MPEG Streamclip more effective than Handbrake? I thought Handbrake was pretty much the gold standard for converting VOBs. Please note that I ended up not using MPEG Streamclip at all when I imported the mpeg4s into iMovie and then burned using iDVD and I still could not get audio on a standalone DVD player but perfect audio playing the
    DVD on my MacBook. Why would that be the case?
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  4. Member
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    What Baldrick is saying is this: Your method forces a transcoding of the MPEG2 .VOBs into Handbrake's MP4. Although Handbrake certainly does a fine job of this task, any transcoding necessarily involves degradation. Since MPEGstreamclip doesn't force a transcode, there's no degradation of any kind. That's what "import VOB's directly" means -- just importing, not transcoding. That's what I would call a true "gold standard."
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    OK, how do I most effectively use MPEG Streamclip in combination with iDVD to create a DVD that will work on a standalone DVD player? I'm assuming I have to open the VOB files in Streamclip and then export the files to a format iDVD can work with. What format would that be?

    I've noticed that iDVD does not seem to be the authoring program of choice on this forum, but its the program I have and I would prefer not having to buy something else (like Toast or Nero, which seem to be the dominant programs on this forum)
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  6. Member
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    iDVD uses PCM audio tracks rather than the more commonplace AC-3 Maybe the way you have the audio connected from your DVD player to your home theater system (i.e. optical link) may require your changing a setting in the set up of the DVD player to output PCM audio through the optical link. I bet you do have sound if you connect to the RCA audio outputs of your DVD player.
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    I am new to DVD authoring, having only recently gotten a MacBook Pro with DVD burner, but I have burned at least a dozen DVDs using the Handbrake/iDVD combination with no problem. Both audio and video have been fine. Its only the current DVD that has been an issue. (Again, the DVD plays fine on my computer but only the video plays on a standalone DVD player.) So I don't think its the settings on the home entertainment system.


    I guess I'm still stuck at what seems to be my main question. How can I get unprotected VOB files into iDVD and burn them in an efficient and consistent manner -- a manner that retains audio and video with some degree of quality? I really don't want to buy more software and I'd really like to keep the conversion steps to a minimum. What does the forum recommend?
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  8. Member
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    Your process works with other discs and it's a mystery why it doesn't work with this one. I'd also try a different brand of media or try DVD-R if you're now using DVD+R (or vice versa). Personally, I'd use MPEG Streamclip to convert VOB title sets from the VIDEO_TS folder to DV format and drop that into iDVD, but that's a preference and your method to create MPEG 4 readable by iDVD is a good approach as well.
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    I thought I would try to use Streamclip to work with VOB files. I looked at the ReadMe file for Streamclip and saw the following about KL QuickTime Alternative.

    "KL QuickTime Alternative is a free unofficial distribution of QuickTime. It has a quite smaller installer (less than 15 MB) and includes MPEG-2 decoding in the "Extra QuickTime plugins". When you install it, be sure to enable the checkbox "Extra QuickTime plugins", otherwise the MPEG-2 decoder will not be installed."


    I went to the KL site and downloaded the latest version of QuickTime alternative, but did not see an "Extra QuickTime plugins" checkbox anywhere. After installing the alternative, I tried using Streamclip to view a VOB file and got the message that the MPEG 2 playback component is not installed. I then went back and installed earlier versions of the QT alternative and never saw the "Extra QuickTime plugins" checkbox. How do I get this plugin installed?
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  10. Member
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    I thought you are using a Mac. If so, that explains why QT alternative doesn't show up -- it's for Windows only!

    Here's what I would recommend: First use something like VLC to identify what the audio format is. Frobozz's comment about PCM audio should be taken seriously. He is quite correct in observing that some standalone players have difficult with PCM audio. So, first see whether this is the case.

    If PCM is the cause of your problem, one solution is to transcode only the audio into something else (e.g., AC3 or MP2). You may leave the video untouched. At a high level, your workflow then would go something like this: Demux; transcode audio; mux new audio with old video; re-author as DVD; burn.
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    Sorry to add to the confusion.

    I'm actually using my office computer (Windows XP) to try to get the files into a state where I can burn them at home on my MacBook Pro. So I should be able to use the QT alternative here. Again, I have no trouble installing QT Alternative, but nowhere in the installation process do I seem to get a chance to enable plugins that ensure I get the necessary MPEG 2 component.


    I will try to determine the audio format for the files created by iDVD for this particular DVD, but it just seems strange that the previous 12 DVDs I burned using iDVD did not have this audio problem. I've even tried two different kinds of blank DVDs with no luck
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  12. Member
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    The Apple Quicktime MPEG 2 Playback Component is sold by Apple as a $19.95 download. Streamclip is free but that component is required to use it.

    I don't know anything about Windows transcoding applications. You want to end up with either DV, Full Quality QuickTime Movie or certain MPEG 4 formats for the video to be accepted by iDVD. It doesn't matter if those are created by a Mac or a PC application.
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  13. Member
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    OK, I googled this and found that Quicktime alternative version 181 has the MPEG 2 component I need. This was the last version of the QT alternative that had the correct plugin. Newer versions no longer have it. I have installed everything and am converting my VOB files to DV right now
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