It seems I lost pixels when playing a VOB clip after copying it out of its original DVD.
In order to play the VOB on my mac, I simply renamed the extension to .mpeg
(My goal is to archive this VOB as it is family stuff, I don't care about the format, and I don't need no "chapters" or "subtitles" etc, just I need to preserve the footage itself in the highest quality possible)
But I am observing a loss in resolution as compared with playing directly off the original DVD.
So my question is - could it be that there are other files on the DVD (IFO etc) which must be present in order to preserve resolution?
Or perhaps its just due to playback settings on my mac, and nothing to worry about?
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1. Go back to your original DVD (we'll call that your source) and re-rip using DVDDecrypter - not for the decryption (since these are home movies), but for the ability to pull the title out as a single VOB, or, better for your purposes, MPG file.
2. If you have a VOB and need an MPG, do NOT just do a name change, use VOB2MPG as DB83 suggests.
3. Understand that DVD can be interlaced (as manono said) and/or it could be less that full SD spec to begin with. DVD supports 720x480, 704x480, 352x480 and 352x240 (those last 2 being "1/2 D1" and "1/4 D1 or CIF" spec). If you're not sure, use MediaInfo to check (you could post the text of the detailed readout if you need our assistance/agreement).
Thanks Manono - that answered it. Sure enough I see its "interlaced," which my mac wouldn't handle, unlike it's DVDplayer. So now I can rest assured that my self-sufficient VOB will be archived with all it needs.
Now regarding converting the VOB to something more useful, although that's another topic, thanks everybody for the pointers. And thanks Cornucopia for pointing me to MediaInfo, I found VideoSpec from which I pulled the following (see below), so if my goal were to preserve the highest quality during a conversion, any advice would be appreciated.
*** General Parameters ***
- Name: VTS_02_1.VOB
- Container: Mpeg Program Stream
- Size: 10.16 MB
- Duration: 10s 43ms
- Bitrate: 8 090 Kbps
- Fast start: Not available
- Encoding Library: Created by Nero
- Encoding Application: Undefined
*** Video Track Parameters ***
- Format: MPEG-2 Video
- Size: Created
- FourCC: 0x10000002
- Track number(s): 0
- Bitrate: Max.: 9 641 Kbps
Average: 7 737 Kbps
- Frame rate (fps): Max.: Undefined
- Bitrate mode: Variable
- Encoding profile: Main@Main
- Resolution: Undefined
- Width (Pixel number): 720
- Height (Pixel number): 480
- Pixel Aspect Ratio: Undefined
- Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
- Chroma subsampling format: YUV 4:2:0
- Standard: NTSC
- Interlacing: Interlaced - Bottom Field First
- Encoding library: Created by Nero
- Additional Parameters: BVOP: Yes
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) ratio: 0.747
*** Audio Track(s) Parameters ***
*** Audio Track #1
- Format: AC3-A52
- Size: 240.6 KB (2%)
- FourCC: 0x2000
- Number(s) and language(s): 189 (0xBD)-128 (0x80): Undefined
- Details: Undefined
- Profile: Undefined
- Bitrate: 192 Kbps
- Bitrate mode: Constant
- Resolution: 16 bits
- Rate: 48.0 KHz
- Channel(s): 2 (stereo)
- Position: Front: L R
- Encoding Library: Undefined
- Additional Parameters: Not available
*** Miscellaneous ***
- Subtitle(s): No Subtitle
- Metadata: Album: Undefined
Part number: Undefined
Track name: Undefined
Track name number: Undefined
Encoded date: Undefined
Album artist: Undefined
That is another question/topic. And the answer really does depend on your intended playback device.
And I would suggest that you post it in the dedicated mac forum since they will know what tools, other than those already mentioned, are available.