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  1. Member
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    Ok, I need some help from somebody who actually has experience with this situation. It's a complicated situation, and I have searched around on forums for people who have the same problem. Some people seem to suggest this, and they claim it works, but I need someone who can say for 100% sure this will work before I put any cash into this method.
    Anyways, here's my problem:

    I have loads of really rare Japanese metal programs such as Pure Rock, some Headbangers Ball Japan, Mutoma World, Rock City, Tokio Rock TV, Music Tomato Japan, Sony Music TV Japan and more, but I'd say half of the DVD's are VR Mode DVD's. I can't watch them in any of my DVD players, which is really a bummer. However I can watch the .VRO file, which is like a huge uncompressed .VOB file, on my computer only.
    I know you can take the .VRO file and use all these different programs to turn it into a regular DVD-R, but I really don't want to go through all that crap. I have way too many, somewhere over 100 to 150 DVD's. I know I've got every episode of Pure Rock from 1987 to the very final episode with Bruce Kulick from late 1989.
    These were all done with a Japanese standalone DVD Recorder, I believe my friend told me they were done with a Toshiba DVD Recorder.

    Here's my question though, I was told by a couple people (plus the threads I found online as well) that if I were to actually purchase a Toshiba DVD Recorder with a HDD, and copy the VR Mode DVD to a DVD+RW, then copy the DVD+RW to the hard drive of the Toshiba DVD Recorder, it would let me somehow switch the VR Mode DVD to a regular DVD-R with a VIDEO_TS folder and everything.

    The reason I want to do it this way is so I can keep the original DVD Recorder menu and the original chapters intact. Is this possible? Does anyone here actually have any experience doing this? I've tired to read around on forums, and I noticed a couple people who said this method has worked for them before, but spending cash on a Toshiba DVD Recorder with a HDD (because my current DVD Recorder does not have a HDD, and it also doesn't support VR Mode DVD's) would be a huge step if I didn't know for sure this would work or not. Also, will any DVD Recorder (that supports DVD-VR) work with a HDD? Or does it have to be a Toshiba? The guy who sent me all of this stuff told me that he used a Toshiba DVD Recorder with a HDD, so I just assumed that's what it has to be, but if any DVD Recorder will work, I could probably find a Sony DVD Recorder with a HDD for cheaper. It seems like the Toshiba DVD Recorders are getting harder to find, and it's less likely that I will even find a working one.

    I personally hate all of these NeroVision/custom computer menus, after years of collecting, I actually prefer the standard DVD Recorder menus for VHS to DVD transfers, so I would rather have the original structure for the DVD left alone, besides changing it from VR Mode to DVD-R.
    And I know this stuff is priceless, he recorded loads of stuff that only aired on Japanese TV in the 80's and 90's, rare music videos and interviews that we will never see anywhere else.
    I've been trying to figure all this out, if I could just quickly copy the DVD to the HDD and change it into a regular DVD-R, it would be worth the $250-$400 I spend on another DVD Recorder, but if it's just a waste of money and this method won't work, I won't bother with it.
    The thing is, I really don't have the time to sit and transfer over 100+ DVD's with Tmpgenc, or whatever program you use to do it, so that is just out of the question for me.
    Not only that, but as I mentioned above, I really want to save the original DVD Recorder menu, the original chapters, and I don't want to have to re-encode the video either. I want the DVD's to be as untouched as I can get them, while switching them to regular DVD-R format. It's a shame that they weren't already regular DVD-R's, but I really can't complain to my friend, as rare as this stuff apparently is.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    I do not see how it will work.

    Firstly, you would require EXACTLY the same model dvd-recorder that these VR disks were created on. Just because you get another Toshiba is no guarantee that the disks will even play since firmware could be different. That is why these disks will not play on any player except the original or exact same model.

    And, no, you can not simply change from a VR disk to a Video Disk. The file structure is different. That menu that you want to keep is native to that disk. It can not be transferred to a Video Disk.
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    I don't think this will work the way you expect either. Assuming the DVD recorder can work with your -VR mode recordings and can dub from a DVD to its HDD, which is far from certain, dubbing only copies video to the hard drive. Dubbing doesn't copy menus. -VR mode discs don't even have menus to copy. When loading a -VR mode disc, the DVD recorder creates a virtual menu using information in the the VR_MANGR.IFO file and displays it.
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    Even if this method was possible, if you really "don't have time" to do a software method, I really doubt that you would have time to do this in the way you proposed either.

    OK, let's accept that you don't have time. I don't work with VR video ever so I can't offer any personal insights on what is or isn't possible. So assuming that TMPgenc or some other software method can do what you want I have a serious question for you. Do you have a kid, say a teenager, at home who might be very willing to learn to do the work for you in exchange for money? If it's not too complex and time consuming you might be able to offer a dollar a disc that get converted and pay your kid to do it for you. A teen might be very willing to stick with the job in exchange for the cash and get it done for you.
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    In agreement with the above replies, but will add that TMPGenc Authoring Works 5 can import DVD-VR and its menus and chapters without re-encoding. Assuming, of course, your videos are compatible with DVD spec. There's a free trial if you want to give it a go. But it does take ~ an hour or so to import, export, and burn a DVD-R version of the original.

    Even if you had the original recorder or an exact copy of it, it would copy DVD-VR to its HDD as DVD-VR.
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    I have to agree that using a DVD recorder won't save you as much time as you seem to think. Even if you can find a DVD recorder that is able to copy your -VR mode recordings to its HDD, it will still take time to dub the video from DVD to the HDD, dub each title to a DVD video disc again, and finalize the disc. If you want useful menus you will have to manually label each title prior to finalizing the DVD. "Typing" that in, one letter at a time, on a DVD recorder is a pain in the butt.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 8th Jan 2015 at 12:33. Reason: corrected typo
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  7. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Have you tried DVDShrink on the discs? One of the last official DVDShrink updates was a rather important one involving working with discs created in DVD recorders. I've long since forgotten the exact wording but it sure eased a lot of us Philips DVD recorder owners hardships that's for sure.
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Have you tried DVDShrink on the discs? One of the last official DVDShrink updates was a rather important one involving working with discs created in DVD recorders. I've long since forgotten the exact wording but it sure eased a lot of us Philips DVD recorder owners hardships that's for sure.
    Philps uses DVD+VR mode, which has a file structure more closely resembling a normal DVD Video disc. The OP discs were recorded in DVD-VR mode since the video is contained in a .VRO file. I just tried DVDShrink on a DVD-VR disc and it doesn't work.

    [Edit] I have created DVD video discs from DVD-VR mode recordings (VRO plus IFO and BUP files) on DVD-RAM using software. I had no other choice since the DVD recorder that made them had no HDD. Cyberlink PowerDirector or Cyberlink PowerProducer did a better job importing recordings on DVD-RAM (if that is what the OP has) than TmpgenEnc Authoring Works could do. I tried both. If the DVD-VR recordings are on DVD-R or DVD-RW, then it probably won't matter whether someone uses Cyberlink's or TmpgenEnc's software to import files.

    My present Magnavox HDD DVD recorder creates DVD+VR mode recordings (these have menus and a file system resembling DVD video). It can dub from a DV+VR disc to the HDD and vice versa. I still prefer using software to create compilation DVDs.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 8th Jan 2015 at 12:32.
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  9. Member hech54's Avatar
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    Bummer. Now I have to see if I can find that damn .VRO(?) disc my dad sent me years ago. How in the hell did I work with that?
    Anyway.....no matter. The OP's "keep the original menu" threw a wrench in this right away.
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    It's not only about the time, it's also about saving the DVD menu and original chapters. I don't like all of the PC convert methods, I have done them before and just don't like all the crap I have to go through.
    Even if it only took an hour to copy the discs back on my DVD Recorder, that's better than sitting at my computer for an hour for each disc, making menus and chapters. That to me is a waste of time.
    I rather not even bother with these if it's going to take all of that, if it was as easy as buying a DVD Recorder with a HDD, I would have went for it, but it seems from the replies it's not.
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    By the way, I uploaded one of the discs I got from my friend to Mega, it's a .ISO file that I ripped with DVD Decrypter. I wanted to see if anyone could turn this into a regular DVD with their DVD Recorder, but I'm guessing it's not possible.
    Here is the link anyway: https://mega.co.nz/#!NM43AK4B!NSXfGXFPQJQwF2XXGL5Tb6ANcfoZ2fpQfay7cugFnZ4
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    In agreement with the above replies, but will add that TMPGenc Authoring Works 5 can import DVD-VR and its menus and chapters without re-encoding. Assuming, of course, your videos are compatible with DVD spec. There's a free trial if you want to give it a go. But it does take ~ an hour or so to import, export, and burn a DVD-R version of the original.

    Even if you had the original recorder or an exact copy of it, it would copy DVD-VR to its HDD as DVD-VR.

    I like this reply, but are you sure this is possible? If I use this program it will save the original DVD menu and chapters?
    This is what I'm really trying to accomplish here, I don't want to have to sit at my PC and make some cheap looking Nero Vision menu, as stated above, I like the very plain, very standard DVD Recorder menus. Don't ask me why, I've got over 2,000+ metal DVD's, mostly taken from VHS or Laserdisc sources, and they all have standard DVD Recorder menus.
    Plus not only all that, but when you trade with someone and you send them a DVD they want with some bogus looking Nero Vision menu, they just assume you got the source from some .avi file online, I don't mess with .avi or .mkv files what so ever. All of my DVD's are straight VHS/Betamax/Laserdisc/U-Matic to DVD Recorder.
    If it took 2 or 3 hours to do this on my PC and I was able to save the original menu and chapters, and I could just walk off and let it do it's work without having to make a new menu and everything, that would be fine with me.
    I already did one of the discs with Nero Vision, and I was not happy at all with the quality. I didn't bother even making a menu for it, but when compared to the original disc, it don't look as good. I just did the one disc with Nero Vision so I could actually watch it on my TV.
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    The reason it does not 'look good' is because the original recorder efficiently encoded the video in to mpg2 for the dvd.

    You are now ripping that vro file back to mpg2 and in the process when authoring back to dvd re-encoding that video since it is not dvd-video compliant or atleast Nero, which is not the greatest tool on this planet, re-encodes regardless.

    You might try avstodvd just to see if this is compliant video and it will not re-encode with that. And it makes simple menus. But you can really forget about those 'menus' on the original disks.
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    I just tried this TMPGEnc Authoring Works 5 trial out, and it copied one of the VR discs in no time it seems.
    I guess I'm going to lose the menus regardless, but does anyone have any idea where I could somehow duplicate one of my standard DVD Recorder menus from one of my other DVD's? I have so many of them, but there are a few I prefer.
    I didn't see any menus that I even remotely liked on the template. I just want something that looks like the old standard DVD Recorder menus. I even have some regular DVD-R's that have Japanese DVD Recorder menus, of course those are in Japanese but they are better (in my opinion) than these computer created menus.
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    Something like this (above) would be great.
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  15. Luckily the TMPGEnc method seems to be working for you: now you just need a disc menu template that mimics the typical bare-bones recorder design. It should be possible to find one posted somewhere, or tips how to create one yourself, if you comb thru enough threads re TMPGEnc, DVDStyler, etc. The great advantage of doing this job on a PC is you aren't held hostage by a cantankerous unsupported old recorder that could die on you at any moment.

    IDK if it will relieve you to know this, AnthraxFan1987, but the odds of you actually finding a fully functional Toshiba DVD/HDD recorder compatible with your old VR discs were between zero and nada anyway. Those models have not been made since 2006, and their dvd drives were notoriously fragile (prone to errors then death before the warranty was even up). They were amazingly versatile machines, and might indeed have been able to do those conversions for you by ripping DVD-VR > HDD >DVD-R Video Mode (I remember this topic coming up on very old Toshiba threads: they had remarkable re-authoring capabilities, and my own Pioneer brand recorders can do a similar VR>HDD>DVD Video trick, retaining chapters and title names). But the hopelessly crappy Toshiba dvd drives would have derailed you: most surviving Toshibas were long ago retrofitted with quasi-compatible generic PC drives (also failing now). Getting those third-party burners to work in a Toshiba was tricky, and always involved significant loss of dvd functionality (flexible ripping options being the first to go).

    Good luck with your project.
    Last edited by orsetto; 8th Jan 2015 at 19:57.
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    Yeah I saw a Toshiba DVD Recorder on ebay, the seller claims that it's new, but he wants $500 for it. I thought about it, a lot, but $500 is a lot to spend on something that may not even work.
    I don't see the use for all of these VR Mode discs, my Japanese friend claims they are cheaper in Japan, and that's why he did them this way at the time. I asked him if he could re-record them for me, or re-format them for me from his DVD Recorder, but he told me (in broken English) that his old Toshiba DVD Recorder is long gone, and he doesn't seem to want to dig these hundreds of old tapes out to record them again, I honestly can't blame him though.
    The Tmpgenc Authoring method actually saved the chapters, which is surprising. I tried it on 2 of my DVD's so far, a smaller one with just 1 rare music video and a large one, a 2 hour long show, and it worked like a charm. If I could just figure out the menu thing, it would be nice to finally be able to watch these discs on my TV for once.
    I've got several friends who keep begging me for some of the early MTV's Heavy Metal Mania Japan stuff, and I keep trying to explain to them that these are not regular DVD's that I could just copy for them and they could throw in their DVD players, but they probably think I'm just full of it, and don't want to send this stuff to them. That isn't the case, the only method I knew before was by using Nero Vision, and it takes forever (the last disc I made took nearly 9 hours I think), and they come out terrible.
    But when I did the 2 discs earlier in Tmpgenc Authoring, they look identical to the original recordings to me, which is great.
    I've been putting these off for years, thinking that I will buy a DVD Recorder with a HDD and try them that way, and hopefully they will work, but I really need to do something about these discs now.
    Thanks for all the help.
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    Surprised that TMPGenc didn't import the menus, but hope they at least got the chapter markers right. The original menus might have been too off-base to fit their programming. You know, you can make your own menu design, move objects around onscreen, change fonts, etc., and save it as a template. When you start the "Menu Wizard", choose "Create a custom menu by choosing layout and items". This gets you to several tabs of menu items, title blocks, navigation arrows, etc. After you choose the elements you can change their size and position. Might take an hour or so to make up your mind about details and get used to the interface. But save the basic template and then customize it for each video instead of re-inventing the wheel every time.

    I didn't acre for any of their templates either, but I seldom care for anyone else's anyway.
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Surprised that TMPGenc didn't import the menus, but hope they at least got the chapter markers right. The original menus might have been too off-base to fit their programming. You know, you can make your own menu design, move objects around onscreen, change fonts, etc., and save it as a template. When you start the "Menu Wizard", choose "Create a custom menu by choosing layout and items". This gets you to several tabs of menu items, title blocks, navigation arrows, etc. After you choose the elements you can change their size and position. Might take an hour or so to make up your mind about details and get used to the interface. But save the basic template and then customize it for each video instead of re-inventing the wheel every time.

    I didn't acre for any of their templates either, but I seldom care for anyone else's anyway.
    I'm not surprised that TMPGenc can't import menus from a DVD-VR disc.

    1. There are no menus on a DVD-VR disc to import.
    2. I have never seen authoring software that is able to import menus directly from DVD discs and edit them to create new menus or even simply re-use them as is.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 8th Jan 2015 at 21:51. Reason: fix typo
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post

    I'm not surprised that TMPGenc can't import menus from a DVD-VR disc.

    1. There are no menus on a DVD-VR disc to import.

    That isn't true. I downloaded a program, which I deleted some time ago, to see if there were in fact menus on these discs. It read the VR discs like regular DVD's, from the .IFO file in the folder. There were menus on these discs. They were blue, plain and in Japanese, but 4 of the discs that I opened up all had menus. Now I don't know about every single disc I own, but the 4 I chose to look at did.
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    There is a much better quality RageTV (Australia) version of that King Kobra - Never Say Die music video available out there on the interwebs....
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    There is a much better quality RageTV (Australia) version of that King Kobra - Never Say Die music video available out there on the interwebs....
    Yeah I know, I've got that one, I have loads of videos from RAGE. Also have Killer Dwarfs - Keep The Spirit Alive from MTV2 from when it aired on the MTV2 A to Z marathon back in 2000, probably the best copy I own.
    This .ISO was just an example for someone who might be able to switch it over, see if it worked. It's the worst DVD that I got from my friend. The quality sucked on all of the videos (I was expecting them to be at least half way decent, but no).
    I just uploaded it because of the size, it's the smallest, being only 20 minutes in XP Mode.

    I have another question. I came across 3 DVD's that will not open in TMPGEnc, and I can't watch these at all! Yet my friend sent me these for nothing in a trade. One is called 'Metal Fire', one is a more recent 'Rock City' DVD, and the other is a Headbangers Ball Japan DVD from late 2013, they are all in 16:9 Widescreen (or so it says on the information).
    When I try to copy them, I get this error that says 'This Title Is Protected, You Cannot Select It'.
    Granted these are the only 3 discs that I own with this protection problem on them, I have never seen them actually play before either.
    I added some screen-grabs so you can see what I'm talking about:
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    My question is: Is there a way past this? Or are these 3 discs hopeless? There are supposed to be some good videos and interviews on them, but I've only seen them listed on his list.
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    Originally Posted by AnthraxFan1987 View Post
    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    There is a much better quality RageTV (Australia) version of that King Kobra - Never Say Die music video available out there on the interwebs....
    Yeah I know, I've got that one, I have loads of videos from RAGE. Also have Killer Dwarfs - Keep The Spirit Alive from MTV2 from when it aired on the MTV2 A to Z marathon back in 2000, probably the best copy I own.
    If you ever come across any FM (UK band - more 80's hair-rock than "Metal") keep me in mind.
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    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    Originally Posted by AnthraxFan1987 View Post
    Originally Posted by hech54 View Post
    There is a much better quality RageTV (Australia) version of that King Kobra - Never Say Die music video available out there on the interwebs....
    Yeah I know, I've got that one, I have loads of videos from RAGE. Also have Killer Dwarfs - Keep The Spirit Alive from MTV2 from when it aired on the MTV2 A to Z marathon back in 2000, probably the best copy I own.
    If you ever come across any FM (UK band - more 80's hair-rock than "Metal") keep me in mind.
    I know I have all of their videos, except for 'All Or Nothing'. Unfortunately that video is a pain in the ass to find. Even the band don't have a copy of it anymore.
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    Originally Posted by AnthraxFan1987 View Post
    I know I have all of their videos, except for 'All Or Nothing'. Unfortunately that video is a pain in the ass to find. Even the band don't have a copy of it anymore.
    I just found the really good promo for "Someday".
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    Originally Posted by AnthraxFan1987 View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post

    I'm not surprised that TMPGenc can't import menus from a DVD-VR disc.

    1. There are no menus on a DVD-VR disc to import.

    That isn't true. I downloaded a program, which I deleted some time ago, to see if there were in fact menus on these discs. It read the VR discs like regular DVD's, from the .IFO file in the folder. There were menus on these discs. They were blue, plain and in Japanese, but 4 of the discs that I opened up all had menus. Now I don't know about every single disc I own, but the 4 I chose to look at did.
    If the program was designed to work with DVD-VR discs, and you have never played the disc in a compatible DVD recorder, how do you know that the program didn't create its own faux menu internally by reading information contained the IFO files related to the video on the VOB files? That is what a DVD recorder does with -VR discs. I have looked at the VRO files and the other files on -VR recordings, and there are no video files for a menu as on a video DVD. Then there is this article, which explains what the IFO files on a DVD-VRO disc are for but never mentions menus: http://www.pixelbeat.org/docs/DVD-VR/

    DVD menus are made up of VOBs (video) as well as IFOs.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 9th Jan 2015 at 00:38.
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by AnthraxFan1987 View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post

    I'm not surprised that TMPGenc can't import menus from a DVD-VR disc.

    1. There are no menus on a DVD-VR disc to import.

    That isn't true. I downloaded a program, which I deleted some time ago, to see if there were in fact menus on these discs. It read the VR discs like regular DVD's, from the .IFO file in the folder. There were menus on these discs. They were blue, plain and in Japanese, but 4 of the discs that I opened up all had menus. Now I don't know about every single disc I own, but the 4 I chose to look at did.
    If the program was designed to work with DVD-VR discs, and you have never played the disc in a compatible DVD recorder, how do you know that the program didn't create its own faux menu internally by reading information contained the IFO files related to the video on the VOB files? That is what a DVD recorder does with -VR discs. I have looked at the VRO files and the other files on -VR recordings, and there are no video files for a menu as on a video DVD. Then there is this article, which explains what the various files on a DVD-VRO disc are for but never mentions menus: http://www.pixelbeat.org/docs/DVD-VR/

    DVD menus are made up of VOBs (video) as well as IFOs.
    The menus were different, I know the Toshiba discs (the difference between those from what I can tell, they all say 'TSB0003' when in the drive) had a different menu from what the other discs had. The 2 discs that were titled 'TSB0003' had the same exact menus, but the others had slightly different menus, which looked similar to Samsung DVD Recorder menus. They were all in Japanese too, so I seriously doubt they were 'Faux Menus'.
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    Originally Posted by AnthraxFan1987 View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by AnthraxFan1987 View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post

    I'm not surprised that TMPGenc can't import menus from a DVD-VR disc.

    1. There are no menus on a DVD-VR disc to import.

    That isn't true. I downloaded a program, which I deleted some time ago, to see if there were in fact menus on these discs. It read the VR discs like regular DVD's, from the .IFO file in the folder. There were menus on these discs. They were blue, plain and in Japanese, but 4 of the discs that I opened up all had menus. Now I don't know about every single disc I own, but the 4 I chose to look at did.
    If the program was designed to work with DVD-VR discs, and you have never played the disc in a compatible DVD recorder, how do you know that the program didn't create its own faux menu internally by reading information contained the IFO files related to the video on the VOB files? That is what a DVD recorder does with -VR discs. I have looked at the VRO files and the other files on -VR recordings, and there are no video files for a menu as on a video DVD. Then there is this article, which explains what the various files on a DVD-VRO disc are for but never mentions menus: http://www.pixelbeat.org/docs/DVD-VR/

    DVD menus are made up of VOBs (video) as well as IFOs.
    The menus were different, I know the Toshiba discs (the difference between those from what I can tell, they all say 'TSB0003' when in the drive) had a different menu from what the other discs had. The 2 discs that were titled 'TSB0003' had the same exact menus, but the others had slightly different menus, which looked similar to Samsung DVD Recorder menus. They were all in Japanese too, so I seriously doubt they were 'Faux Menus'.
    In your last post you said all the menus were plain and blue, now they were all different. Different how? Different colors, different fonts? If only the information displayed on the menus was different, it might be because the IFOs contained different information. If the discs or the program originated in Japan, the menu generated by the program probably would contain Japanese text.

    -VR mode discs only have playlists. There is no menu. http://www.steves-digicams.com/knowledge-center/how-tos/filmmaking-tips/limitations-to...vr-format.html
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 9th Jan 2015 at 01:04.
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  28. Member
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    They were all in blue, and in Japanese, nothing I said above is different from what I'm saying now. But I never said 'They were all the same' did I?
    2 of the menus were much like this:

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    The Toshiba discs had menus similar to that above, just with Japanese text instead of English.
    The other 2 discs, which I have no idea where they came from, looked more like this:

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    Still blue, but a different format. Also the text was in Japanese.
    Ok, if you say they didn't have menus, they didn't have menus then.
    I'm not going to sit and argue with you anymore.

    In regards to my question above about the protected VR discs, does anyone have any solution for those? Or are they hopeless?
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    If anyone is curious I found the perfect menu (I think anyway). I've seen this used before for other DVD's I have traded with people, and I didn't know where it came from but I liked it. So I'm using this one for all of my Pure Rock & Mutoma World discs. It looks cool I think:

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  30. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Ok. You say you do not like computer generated menus. Yet the last one (above this reply) is clearly PC-authoring generated.

    Just do not ask what program made it. But if you got this by trades I would suspect some off-the-shelf package Nero etc. since most traders would not have the knowledge to be more ambitious. I say that with respect since I have done a fair amount of trading in the past so I have also seen many examples.
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