I can't believe I couldn't figure this out on my own, and sorry if it's an annoyingly frequent question, but:
- DVR recorder made a DVD
- I have .VOB files from said recorder, copied off the disc (still have DVD if that's handy)
- I want to join associated VOB files together into sane AVI or MP4 files (preferably AVI)
- I want no transcoding
I've tried with avconv (couldn't get it to work), VOB2MPG (wouldn't run), and avidemux (made AVI files that VLC could not play).
It's possible the VOB files are a little wonky, given that they are coming from a DVD recorder -- not sure if that's relevant. They play OK enough on their own in VLC.
So what's the current sanest way to get this done? The goal is to convert them to AVI, do some de-interlacing in MeGUI, do some editing in vegas, etc etc. I don't mind transcoding in a lossless fashion (e.g. audio to a more normal/uncompressed format at same depth/rate). I'm comfortable in linux and windows.
Thank you eternally for any pointers!
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Unless you want MPEG2 video inside an AVI (a very rare & unsupported beast indeed), you WILL HAVE to transcode (or more correctly, re-encode).
Assuming the recorded DVD used standard DVD-Video mode (not DVD-VR mode, etc. and not unfinalized), I would:
Rip in DVDDecrypter in IFO mode and choose the main title and demux to raw. This would give you (most likely) an *.M2V (mpeg2 video) file and *.AC3 (dolby digital audio) file. The way the app works in IFO mode automatically "rejoins" the separate VOB clips properly, giving you one file of each stream for the whole title. Since your source is a burned disc, you should have no difficulty with it reading it (DVDDecrypter's only weak spot is its age vs. newer forms of encryption/obfuscation, which wouldn't exist on a burned/recorded disc). Remux to MPG using Imago, TMPGEnc, etc.
Convert that to a codec that works with the target usage. AVI is a deprecated format and has limitations, especially with h264 codec, so I don't recommend that unless truly necessary. Most consumers these days do best with either MP4 or MKV using the AVC/h264 codec. The audio may be left as-is (aka lossless "pass-through" to an AC3) or be converted to something like AAC, or as you suggested decoded to uncompressed LPCM. Handbrake, MeGUI would be a good choice here (though you may need to fashion an AVISynth source-reader script).
In general: Never talk about VOB files. A "DVD Video" medium is not just a sequence of VOB files, it might be a lot more complex, and using tools which know nothing about the interpretation of related IFO files may fail, produce e.g. asynchronous results or even worse.
But, well, your example may be an exception, DVD Recorders only record a minimalistic DVD Video structure, usually in contiguous VOB segments, without extras or unusual authoring tricks.
Still, using PGCDemux (or a common ripper in IFO/Movie mode, as Cornucopia mentioned, with "Stream processing" enabled) to extract the main movie PGC as continuous M2V video stream and (probably) AC3 audio stream should give you the best suited material to be converted further.
This has got to be the most consistently helpful forum on the face of the earth. Seriously. I think 100% of my questions over the years have been immediately answered. So, thanks!
Here's where it stands now:
- audio stream in ths VOBs is apparently PCM. I'm wondering if that was the cause of some issues? See the "P.S." below.
- dvdvob2mpg worked a treat! Took the VOB files and generated an mpg which seems to play great, and which opens in Vegas and seems to work great there as well.
So: are there any gotchas or other hidden issues that simply copying the VOBs and converting with dvdvob2mpg might bring? Sync problems, glitches, etc?
And now that (I think) I have the archival file that I'm seeking, I also want to use it in Vegas to generate progressive-scan square-pixel files for sharing. I want to do "bob" deinterlacing, because I like the idea of keeping the temporal resolution and i'm happy with twice the framerate, but Vegas (8.0) doesn't have fancy deinterlacing methods, so I need to process the video a bit first.
I read about the QTGMC script (http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=156028) -- is that still the way to go these days? I never know when I'm years behind the times.
P.S. in case anyone is curious about how the other routes turned out:
- got VOB2MPG to run. I'm on Win 8.1 but the Win 10 instructions made it work for me (and I saw other posts on the 'net saying similar -- might be that those instructions are needed for 7/8/10, not just 10). But I couldn't get it to see any of the VOB files in vobset mode, for reasons unknown -- perhaps it needs an IFO file to work? (I had none).
- DVDDecrypt in 'raw' mode generated two streams, but VLC couldn't play the resulting audio stream. In 'demux' mode, both streams worked. But I was unable to mux those two streams with TMPGEnc or the mp4 muxer in MeGUI. Given an error i saw in TMPGEnc, I wonder if it's because the audio is a linear PCM stream, and not ac3 -- some kind of violation of a standard or something? It also gave an error when the ripping started: "On-the-fly IFO/BUP file patching failed! File name: VTS_13_0.IFO Size: 47,104 bytes Reason: Invalid IDO / BUP file." (But processing happened anyway.)
Ok -- looks like QTGMC is indeed the way to go. I tinkered around all evening and got it working in MeGUI.
I want to do the deinterlacing to a lossless format, edit in vegas, and encode at the end of that process, but megui seems to only do xvid or x264. The way I found was to make the AVS with megui, open it in virtualdub, and save it as an AVI.
But I just learned that H.264 has a lossless mode and found some instructions for doing that in MeGUI, so I could skip virtualdub -- is that the smarter way to go? I suppose the file would be smaller... would editing be easier with a giant uncompressed AVI or a smaller-but-CPU-involved compressed file?
The more efficient a video is compressed, the harder it is to edit it afterwards; you will certainly lose more quality when you compress it again, and you won't have free choice where to cut it when you try not to recompress it.
Thanks -- I know that there will be loss when I finally encode it again, but I need to do some editing and color correcting and the like, so I'll have to take the hit.
Looks like I have some testing to do now.