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    Hi all,

    First post so I hope I'm in the correct forum!
    I have done a search for this issue, with hundreds and hundreds of results not directly relating, so I thought I'd ask for some advice here as to what capture card and filters would best suit my needs.

    I'll be using directshow and c++ on Windows7 to produce some software to capture video and audio.
    My understanding is that a capture card will deliver the raw captured frames to a filter chain, with a file output at the end of the filter chain, and an optional preview window.

    My project is that I want to capture video and sound from the capture card and create a dvd disc that can be played back in the majority of dvd players (PAL/NTSC - I know they are different formats but I'll have an option to choose)

    My questions are...
    A long shot but are there any filters available that would produce the video_ts/audio_ts respectively at the time of capturing?
    If not then what filters would be recommended to produce a true dvd compliant mpg file without the need for demuxing and remuxing?
    Or... if not via the filter chain, is there a capture card that can produce the necessary files directly to hard disc that I can burn to dvd later?

    Cheers!
    Dave
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    Welcome.

    People don't use "filters" to create DVD's. They use editors, encoders, and authoring software.

    If you want a PAL version and an NTSC version of the same video, capture to lossless AVI, from which you can progress to any number of formats from DVD to BD. If you can't do it that way, you'll need to capture analog source to high-bitrate lossy encodes such as MPEG or some form of DV (keeping in mind that DV is not DVD-compliant and will require another lossy encode).

    You might want to browse the several articles on this website: http://www.digitalfaq.com/guides/video.htm . Many forum members got their start at digitalfaq.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 14:06.
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    Originally Posted by BrainAche View Post
    Hi all,

    First post so I hope I'm in the correct forum!
    I have done a search for this issue, with hundreds and hundreds of results not directly relating, so I thought I'd ask for some advice here as to what capture card and filters would best suit my needs.

    I'll be using directshow and c++ on Windows7 to produce some software to capture video and audio.
    My understanding is that a capture card will deliver the raw captured frames to a filter chain, with a file output at the end of the filter chain, and an optional preview window.

    My project is that I want to capture video and sound from the capture card and create a dvd disc that can be played back in the majority of dvd players (PAL/NTSC - I know they are different formats but I'll have an option to choose)

    My questions are...
    A long shot but are there any filters available that would produce the video_ts/audio_ts respectively at the time of capturing?
    If not then what filters would be recommended to produce a true dvd compliant mpg file without the need for demuxing and remuxing?
    Or... if not via the filter chain, is there a capture card that can produce the necessary files directly to hard disc that I can burn to dvd later?

    Cheers!
    Dave
    1. Direct Show MPEG-2 encoding filters are normally provided with the drivers and software packages that come with a capture card, unless the product does not support MPEG-2 capture. If the card doesn't come with suitable filters, then it is unlikely that you can find a free one that will produce high-quality DVD compliant video. They do not exist.

    2. I have never seen a Direct Show filter that authors a DVD during capture. Instead, DVD authoring is performed after the fact using authoring software.
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    Oops...
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 27th Jun 2013 at 17:41. Reason: double post
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    Thankyou for the replies.
    I have a little more information now...

    I have now been provided a capture card ( Hauppauge Live2 ) and I have now made some working software. The capture card does come with DirectShow filters that produce MPEG2 files however I'm lead to believe that there is a difference between an MPEG2 file and a DVD compliant MPEG2 file. The filters provided do produce a good quality MPEG2 capture. I've initially decided to use dvdauthor to create the dvd files on the hard drive which I burn to multiple ( only 2 ) dvd recorders. Unfortunately the process fails with dvdauthor complaining of missing VOBU information, which again I'm lead to believe is present within a true DVD compliant MPEG2 file. So I then used mplex to produce the DVD compliant file(s) which are passed to dvdauthor, which is time consuming depending on the length of the capture.

    My ultimate goal is to try to cut as much video processing as possible so that the process from capturing from camera to hard drive and then producing a DVD disc is as fast as possible. The reason to hard drive first is that there will be other very small text files stored on the disc too.

    My thoughts are that I know there are some, for eg handheld, dvd camcorders that can capture direct to disc so I was thinking that there *may* be a similar existing pc based solution, be it hardware or software.

    Menus/subtitles are not wanted at all. All that matters is that the finished disc contains the captured movie file(s) that be can played back in the majority of DVD players as well as PCs.
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    Just burning an MPEG2 (.mpg) file to a round, disc-shaped object is NOT A DVD. To get a playable(in a home DVD player attached to a television for grandma and grandpa to watch ON THEIR TELEVISION), you must AUTHOR your MPEG2 (.mpg file) to DVD Video format(.vob files and other related files) to a VIDEO_TS folder.
    That is the way it is done. That is the way it must be done. You are not going to re-invent this wheel.
    You need this type, size and framerate during your initial CAPTURE depending on whether you are working in a PAL or NTSC environment:
    https://www.videohelp.com/dvd#tech
    Once you have that, come back and ask about step two - Authoring:
    https://www.videohelp.com/glossary?A#Author
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    Just burning an MPEG2 (.mpg) file to a round, disc-shaped object is NOT A DVD.
    Yes, I completely understand this and have not indicated otherwise.

    First I'd like to say that this project isn't allowed for any editing of the final files before burning to dvd. It must capture and write what it captured to a dvd.

    I'm asking broad questions about what is possible and what isn't without the need to be technical at this stage.

    I now understand that I MUST author the dvd as a separate step. I accept this and it's a small ( in terms of production time ) step anyway. I can, and have done, this with no problem once I have the DVD compliant MPEG2 file(s). I was initially merely querying the possibility of whether it was possible as an easy step to capture directly to the compliant video_ts folder with the final .ifo/.vob et al files, if not then I was asking for some alternative solution whilst keeping the steps as minimal as possible.

    One of my questions is that of capturing directly to a "DVD compliant MPEG2" file. The capture card produces separate video and audio sources so I don't understand why I have to capture to a standard MPG file, demux it only to remux for a DVD compliant MPEG2 file. This then lead me to ask about what DirectShow filters ( if any) are capable of doing this - to produce a DVD compliant MPEG2 file as I'm capturing, NOT a standard MPG2 file. I know I did ask about any filters that can produce video_ts/* files, but that question was supposed to also include "capture to DVD compliant mpeg2" files.

    I am now thinking of saving a .m2v for the video capture and saving a .ac3 for the audio capture in the correct resolution/bitrates. And letting mplex produce the dvd compliant mpeg2 files, which will be passed to dvdauthor.
    Using mplex is still an extra step that could be elimated during the capture process as the capture is being saved to harddrive, no?

    Cheers!
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    Originally Posted by BrainAche View Post
    The capture card produces separate video and audio sources so I don't understand why I have to capture to a standard MPG file, demux it only to remux for a DVD compliant MPEG2 file.
    I own a Hauppauge USB Live2 (used it yesterday) and none of the software I use to capture (Magix Movie Edit, WinTV7, DScaler and VirtualDub) gives me demuxed video and audio.
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    Originally Posted by BrainAche View Post
    I am now thinking of saving a .m2v for the video capture and saving a .ac3 for the audio capture in the correct resolution/bitrates. And letting mplex produce the dvd compliant mpeg2 files, which will be passed to dvdauthor.
    Using mplex is still an extra step that could be elimated during the capture process as the capture is being saved to harddrive, no?

    Cheers!
    The audio and video must be encoded to meet the specs set out for DVD to be DVD compliant. Multiplexing has nothing to do with the audio or video itself being DVD compliant, although multiplexing during the authoring phase has to be done correctly to produce compliant VOB files.

    I have seen at least one DirectShow MPEG-2 encoder that could not be configured to output an elementary MPEG-2 video stream. It was designed to always multiplex its output instead. If your capture device uses that type of encoder, then you have no choice but to demultiplex to produce elementary video and audio files. Other DirectShow MPEG-2 encoders output an elementary MPEG-2 video stream that could be written to an .m2v container, although I do not know which dump filters can create a proper .m2v file.
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Originally Posted by BrainAche View Post
    The capture card produces separate video and audio sources so I don't understand why I have to capture to a standard MPG file, demux it only to remux for a DVD compliant MPEG2 file.
    I own a Hauppauge USB Live2 (used it yesterday) and none of the software I use to capture (Magix Movie Edit, WinTV7, DScaler and VirtualDub) gives me demuxed video and audio.
    Do you realize the OP is writing his own capture program?
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    What's next? Fire?

    Yet it might come to something. They laughed at Fulton. I've used some capture software that was strictly garbage
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 14:07.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    What's next? Fire?

    Yet it might come to something. They laughed at Fulton. I've used some capture software that was strictly garbage
    He's writing custom software that will capture video from a camera and quickly author a simple DVD from the captured files which also includes some text files in a non-DVD folder. It sounds like this will be an automated, one-click program for in-house use. If you know of a single pre-existing one-click program that can do all those things I'm sure the OP would like to hear about it.

    [Edit]There have been requests for similar software before from people who want to record church services, performances, lectures, or other events and distribute the recordings on DVD soon after. A DVD recorder might work, except for the need to include text files on the disc.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 28th Jun 2013 at 15:24.
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    True. The text files are a problem. But isn't the text added later anyway? I hav the idea that the program will capture, encode, and add text at the same time....does that mean text superimposed on the image? I've seen DVD's with something like PDF files added to the AUDIO_TS folder. Text that's brought up with a menu selection? How will the text be displayed?
    Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 14:07.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    True. The text files are a problem. But isn't the text added later anyway? I hav the idea that the program will capture, encode, and add text at the same time....does that mean text superimposed on the image? I've seen DVD's with something like PDF files added to the AUDIO_TS folder. Text that's brought up with a menu selection? How will the text be displayed?
    The OP never mentioned subtitles. He hasn't said what the text is, or how the text will be displayed. He may just want to include text files for prepared lessons, lectures, or notes to view using a computer. All that could be ready before he ever starts recording anything.

    What he wants doesn't seem all that odd to me. I include a "RECIPES" folder when I burn my recorded cooking shows to a new DVD. I recorded a knitting show for my sister and put all the patterns for the episodes on each disc in a "PATTERNS" folder. It keeps everything organized.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 28th Jun 2013 at 16:44.
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Originally Posted by BrainAche View Post
    The capture card produces separate video and audio sources so I don't understand why I have to capture to a standard MPG file, demux it only to remux for a DVD compliant MPEG2 file.
    I own a Hauppauge USB Live2 (used it yesterday) and none of the software I use to capture (Magix Movie Edit, WinTV7, DScaler and VirtualDub) gives me demuxed video and audio.
    Do you realize the OP is writing his own capture program?
    You do know that it appears that he is blaming the "hardware" for producing demuxed video and audio?
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    Thankyou all for your replies.

    usually_quiet understands what I'm doing, and worded it better than I did.

    I'm producing my own software, which means I have a quite a lot of control over what can happen during the capture process using my own code and my own filter chain(s). I'm making a one-click capture solution to a simple basic DVD, the text files have nothing to do with the video other than being simple notes/metadata about the captured file(s), and are added in a separate folder on the disc.

    I've just noticed that the capture card uses a .ts transport stream and comes with DirectShow filters that can manipulate it. These filters are made by MainConcept. Before I rewrite some sections of code, has anyone used those filters to produce DVD compliant video/audio file?

    There have been requests for similar software before from people who want to record church services, performances, lectures, or other events and distribute the recordings on DVD soon after. A DVD recorder might work, except for the need to include text files on the disc.
    Yes, a DVD recorder is a different hardware based solution, does anyone know of a similar pc based solution, ie a capture card that produces an unedited DVD disc similar to how a DVD recorder would work. Or again, at least produces the DVD files ( which means I can use the same process within my code ) ? If not then I see this as a hole in the pc based video capture market.

    You do know that it appears that he is blaming the "hardware" for producing demuxed video and audio?
    I'm not, I'm ASKING about hardware or software that can produce dvd compliant files.

    Cheers!
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    The strangest thing I've ever seen software do is:
    If you used a DVD Recorder, and recorded something to a +RW disc....
    ULead Movie Factory 2 SE had the ability to add/create a new menu ON THE DISC without transferring anything to the computer. Back in DVD recorder infancy this software was highly sought after for this trick, and it was one of the few softwares of that era that allowed AC3 pass-thru.
    It was painfully slow but surprisingly it worked well and spit out highly compliant discs, even more compliant in some cases than the original +RW discs from those early DVD recorders.
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    Originally Posted by BrainAche View Post
    There have been requests for similar software before from people who want to record church services, performances, lectures, or other events and distribute the recordings on DVD soon after. A DVD recorder might work, except for the need to include text files on the disc.
    Yes, a DVD recorder is a different hardware based solution, does anyone know of a similar pc based solution, ie a capture card that produces an unedited DVD disc similar to how a DVD recorder would work. Or again, at least produces the DVD files ( which means I can use the same process within my code ) ? If not then I see this as a hole in the pc based video capture market.
    Cyberlink PowerProducer 6 Ultra can do direct to DVD recording from a camera, but I have heard that recording this way doesn't work very well. Plus, if you are not also recording with the camera itself, or playing a recording stored on the camera, if something goes wrong with the DVD media, then you are screwed. You have lost at least some of the recording, maybe all of it, and there is no hope of recovery.

    If Cyberlink PowerProducer 6 does not allow users to add non-DVD folders when recording direct to DVD (and it probably doesn't) then I doubt it would be possible to add text files in their own folder afterwards, because the session will be closed.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 29th Jun 2013 at 10:45.
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    Cyberlink PowerProducer Ultra 6 can do direct to DVD recording from a camera, but I have heard that recording this way doesn't work very well. If you are also recording with the camera itself, or playing a recording stored on the camera, if something goes wrong with the DVD media, then you are screwed. You have lost at least some of the recording, maybe all of it, and there is no hope of recovery.
    I agree with you. Capturing and burning direct to a DVD disc opens up the possibility of a complete loss of the capture. This is at least one of the reasons that I queried capturing to the hard drive but directly into the video_ts/* files. At least if the files are stored on hard disc ( before burning to a blank DVD disc ) then all is not lost if something does go wrong with the burning process, and there can still be an an opportunity to burn the disc again.
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    Originally Posted by BrainAche View Post
    Cyberlink PowerProducer Ultra 6 can do direct to DVD recording from a camera, but I have heard that recording this way doesn't work very well. If you are also recording with the camera itself, or playing a recording stored on the camera, if something goes wrong with the DVD media, then you are screwed. You have lost at least some of the recording, maybe all of it, and there is no hope of recovery.
    I agree with you. Capturing and burning direct to a DVD disc opens up the possibility of a complete loss of the capture. This is at least one of the reasons that I queried capturing to the hard drive but directly into the video_ts/* files. At least if the files are stored on hard disc ( before burning to a blank DVD disc ) then all is not lost if something does go wrong with the burning process, and there can still be an an opportunity to burn the disc again.
    Yes, and writing software that can burn DVDs correctly is not a trivial exercise. Authoring the DVD on a hard drive first would allow you to use ImgBurn for burning the DVD.

    However, writing software that can author a DVD during capture isn't going to an easy project either. If you capture first, then use Muxman or dvdauthor to author, you can have something useful much sooner.
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    Originally Posted by BrainAche View Post
    I've just noticed that the capture card uses a .ts transport stream and comes with DirectShow filters that can manipulate it. These filters are made by MainConcept.

    Before I rewrite some sections of code, has anyone used those filters to produce DVD compliant video/audio file?
    There might be set of filters that produce a .ps or .mpg file too. ...and you really need to do some research and get your terminology and your technical details straight so people with the right expertise to help don't have to guess what you mean. You are all over the map.

    I assume are you using either GraphStudio or GraphEdit to construct filter graphs so you can experiment with settings and test the various components in the filter chain. Unfortunately it is unlikely that we have any of the same encoders because I have an TV Wonder 600 USB, not a Hauppauge USB Live 2. However since both devices are capable of uncompressed output, there may be some similarity in the way filter graphs for the two of them are constructed, so if I am ever able to get a graph that creates proper .m2v, m2a, or .ac3 files, it might help you, but so far that has not happened.

    For what it is worth, the DirectShow MPEG-2 encoder that comes with my TV Wonder 600 USB does not multiplex. ATI provides a separate DirectShow multiplexing filter instead. My device's DirectShow audio and video encoders can be set up to produce DVD-compliant MPEG-2 audio and video streams as their output, or I can use an AC3 encoder supplied with GraphStudio to produce DVD compliant ac3 stream. Unfortunately there is one problem I have not been able to solve yet. I have found no file writer filters to create proper .m2v, .m2a, or .ac3 files from the encoders' output, only filters that dump the encoders' output in a file. The pieces that can format these files correctly are missing.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 29th Jun 2013 at 19:52.
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    I finally constructed a working filter graph that produces files containing elementary audio and MPEG-2 video streams that Muxman and IFOEdit accept for DVD authoring. I did not try dvdauthor, but I expect it will work too. (I didn't try dvdauthor and mplex because I only use them with third-party GUIs.) My problem getting working elementary files turned out to be caused by user error. The A/V cable had come loose.

    ATI MPEG Video Encoder and MONOGRAM AC3 Encoder just needed to be configured to use settings that fall within what is permitted by the DVD spec. The ATI MPEG Video Encoder was provided in the driver package for my capture device. Maybe there is a similar one installed with the Hauppauge USB Live 2's drivers, or you can find a MainConcept filter that will work. GraphStudio installs MONOGRAM AC3 Encoder. test.m2v and test.ac3 were created using a filter called "Dump", installed by DVRMSToolbox.
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    Last edited by usually_quiet; 30th Jun 2013 at 16:25. Reason: left out mplex
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    Hi,

    There might be set of filters that produce a .ps or .mpg file too. ...and you really need to do some research and get your terminology and your technical details straight so people with the right expertise to help don't have to guess what you mean. You are all over the map.
    I do seem to struggle with being typing using the same words as I'm thinking. I will learn the correct terminology and take more time when typing.

    Thankyou for taking the time to construct and post that graph.

    As you can imagine I have tried various filter graph combinations that also includes multiplexing ( the Hauppauge USB Live 2 comes with a MainConcept multiplexer filter ), but the file still doesnt seem to be a valid DVD compliant mpeg-2 file. I find that when I include the MainConcept multiplexer into filter graph and use a standard file writer to produce a single .mpg file, then when it comes to using dvdauthor to author ( create ) the dvd files on my harddrive then dvdauthor gives me an error stating that there are missing VOBUs in the video file.

    My current graph is shown below. I'm using the capture filters for the Hauppauge USB Live 2 card and the MainConcept MPEG-2 encoding filters. The MainConcept Audio Encoder will produce MP2 streams ( ffmepg/mplex complain that this file is an invalid file when I save the filters output using a file writer ), so I use the ffdshow filter just to produce an ac3 audio stream. I then use regular file writer filters to save them to hard drive. This works ok. Would you recommend to use a dump filter as opposed to a file writer filter?

    The settings that I'm using for the MainConcept Video Encoder are shown in the pic, and I've also posted a pic of the Output pin of the MainConcept MPEG-2 Video encoder.

    My current approach is to use the graph in the pic below to produce the elementary video and audio streams. I then use ffmpeg ( command line ) with options of -target pal-dvd -codec copy -f mpeg2video to produce another video file ( which is a reasonably fast process even for long, almost 2hr, captures ). I then use mplex to multiplex this new video only file and the .ac3 audio file to produce another .mpg movie file. dvdauthor then uses the new muxed file to create the dvd files on my hard drive. If I don't use ffmpeg in that previous sequence then dvdauthor will still complain about missing VOBUs.

    Thanks!
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    Last edited by BrainAche; 1st Jul 2013 at 04:33.
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    These are the specs for PAL DVD video and audio from VideoHelp's "What is DVD" section:

    Up to 9.8 Mbit/s* (9800 Kbit/s*) MPEG2 video
    Up to 1.856 Mbit/s (1856 Kbit/s) MPEG1 video
    720 x 576 pixels MPEG2 (Called Full-D1)
    704 x 576 pixels MPEG2
    352 x 576 pixels MPEG2 (Called Half-D1, same as the CVD Standard)
    352 x 288 pixels MPEG2
    352 x 288 pixels MPEG1 (Same as the VCD Standard)
    25 fps*
    16:9 Anamorphic (only supported by 720x576)

    Audio:
    48000 Hz
    32 - 1536 Kbit/s
    Up to 8 audio tracks containing Dolby Digital, DTS, PCM(uncompressed audio), MPEG-1 Layer2. One audio track must have MPEG-1, DD or PCM Audio.
    1. Do not encode as progressive. Encode your video as interlaced, because your source is interlaced. Also, I don't believe PAL DVD allows progressive encoding, although NTSC DVD does under some conditions. [Edit] No, I'm wrong. PAL DVD supports progressive video, but since your source is interlaced, encode as interlaced. [End Edit]

    2. The bitrate needed for a good result depends upon the resolution, run time and disc size. For example, if you are putting more than 2.5 hours per single-layer disc, you need to drop the resolution to 352 x 576 to avoid macroblocking caused by overly low bitrate.

    3. I can't help you with dvdauthor. Do you absolutely have to use it?

    4. I'll have to look into File Writer vs the Dump filter.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 1st Jul 2013 at 13:14.
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    Thankyou for the advice on the progressive setting. I think I tried so many options that I'd forgot to reset that one! I should have reset it previously.

    I don't have to use dvdauthor. I can use whichever programs that do the best most reliable job. Do you recommend an alternative to try, ( I'm limited to using the command line )?

    I'm encoding at a constant 5000kbs video bitrate to get approx 2hrs of 'movie' to a single DVD. The only reason of using a constant bitrate versus a variable bitrate was that ( when using the graph in the pic ) I found ( after multiplexing ) there were audio sync issues towards the end of the movie, and the longer the movie was then the further out the sync becomes. Capturing at a constant rate as good as eliminates that issue.

    For burning the actual dvd I wrote my own code using the IMAPI2 api. It works using a 'batching method' streaming the files that I want to burn to an ImageFileSystem then burns to the DVD. I'm not sure if you have used or know of that API or not? The disc will play on the pc using all the usual pc based dvd players ( Cyberlink DVD player, VLC, Windows Media Player, AsusDVD player etc ) but not in a standard home dvd player. I used ImgBurn to burn the dvd disc and it plays fine within the pc and several standard home dvd players. So there's something wrong in my own burning code, which I'll look into. Again I don't *have* to use my own code for burning but it's nice to know what's going on and how it fits together. Using ImgBurn it took about 20 minutes to burn the disc, but I understand there's not a lot I can do about that except use a faster dvd burner and some very good quality blank dvd discs that can be burnt at the faster speeds.

    I'll have a play with dump filters this evening to see how/if anything differs.
    Last edited by BrainAche; 1st Jul 2013 at 15:56.
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    @BrainAche I may have found something that would help you after all. GUIforDVDAuthor, which can use either dvdauthor or Muxman as its authoring engine, creates batch files with command line calls to mplex and dvdauthor, as well as scripts for dvdauthor. The files it produces for dvdauthor will be for an NTSC DVD, but if you think they may be of use to you, I will save a set from a menuless project and upload them.

    The generic File Writer from qcap.dll doesn't work for my graph. Attempting to connect it as I did with the Dump filter makes GraphStudio unresponsive.

    I'm retired from serious programming and stopped fiddling with APIs and C++ long ago. Every once in a while I play with Rainmeter or some other fun little toy. Burning DVDs to create a playable disc is different from burning data discs. It isn't just a matter of writing the files and folders on a disc, there is a specification that describes how they have to be burned.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 1st Jul 2013 at 16:39.
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    Thankyou for the links, I'll take a look!

    Burning DVDs to create a playable disc is different from burning data discs.
    Yes, you're correct. I've looked into it this afternoon/early evening and there are sector layouts that are to be adhered to. DVD players read sectors and use sector offsets and don't really understand *file systems* as such, whereas the pc can read a file system hence why the dvd I burned using my own burning code only works in a pc. I've written boot loaders etc in the past so I understand about how/why/what hardware reads from specified sectors on drives and also the data that's expected to be there. I'm not scared of low level access, and there is plenty of information available on the net. I do find low level access interesting and IMAPI2 is also capable of this kind of read/write access too.
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