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  1. Member
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    I got some great help here previously when I need to convert a PAL DVD for a friend. It was suggested that I use VOB2MPG and then run the resulting mpg file through AVStoDVD and let the latter do the PAL to NTSC conversion which worked great.

    Recently, I purchased "The Saboteurs" which is a region 2 PAL DVD feature. I would like to convert it to an NTSC copy which I can pop in my DVD player. I ripped the PAL VIDEO_TS file successfully.

    Again, I used VOB2MPG to get an mpg file (and that worked fine, combining the 3 episodes on the disc into a single mpg file). My problem comes in, in that the feature uses many subtitles because it's primarily an English feature, but takes place in other countries so there are English subtitles for the translations in those scenes. In looking at my mpg file, the subtitles didn't carry through so they weren't part of the original video. I can watch the ripped PAL DVD files using MPC-HC and get the subtitles, but it doesn't look like making a DVD from the mpg files will have any subtitles.

    Is there a way (or a setting within those programs) that will preserve the subtitles when I make the conversion (or another conversion method which will keep the subtitles)?

    Thanks.
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  2. Originally Posted by RBTO View Post
    Is there a way (or a setting within those programs) that will preserve the subtitles when I make the conversion...
    Don't use VOB2MPG since MPGs don't carry subtitles. Open the DVD itself in AvsToDVD.

    You don't know if the foreign language subs are Forced Subs or have their own subtitle track, but one way or another you should be able to get those subs into the converted DVD.
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  3. Or use MakeMKV instead of VOB2MPG as mkv has subtitles.
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by RBTO View Post
    Is there a way (or a setting within those programs) that will preserve the subtitles when I make the conversion...
    Don't use VOB2MPG since MPGs don't carry subtitles.
    I assumed that so wasn't too surprised there.

    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Open the DVD itself in AvsToDVD.

    You don't know if the foreign language subs are Forced Subs or have their own subtitle track, but one way or another you should be able to get those subs into the converted DVD.
    I went ahead and imported the PAL VIDEO_TS folder into AVStoDVD and everything went well to the end of the conversion, but when I opened the resulting NTSC VIDEO_TS folder in MPC HC, the subtitles don't show. I can open the original PAL VIDEO_TS folder in MPC HC and they are there. I'm temped to burn a disc and see if my stand-along player will show subtitles (assuming MPC HC is doing something strange), but I don't want to waste a DL disc if I can avoid it and I'm thinking they won't show on the burned disc either. Could I be missing a checkbox in AVStoDVD? Otherwise the conversion from PAL to NTSC appears to work well.
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    Originally Posted by videobruger View Post
    Or use MakeMKV instead of VOB2MPG as mkv has subtitles.
    I'm not sure if my stand-alone player will support MKV and will MakeMKV do the PAL to NTSC conversion? I'm really after a standard DVD format, converted to NTSC with subtitles.
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  6. and will MakeMKV do the PAL to NTSC conversion?
    No. You convert the MKV in AVStoDVD.
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    Originally Posted by videobruger View Post
    and will MakeMKV do the PAL to NTSC conversion?
    No. You convert the MKV in AVStoDVD.
    Now I see what you're saying - create an MKV file and import that to AVS2DVD. I'm not quite with you however since the original PAL files directly import into AVS2DVD ok, so why convert to MKV first? Would converting to MKV make AVS2DVD recognize and retain the subtitles any better than it's doing now?
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  8. Originally Posted by RBTO View Post
    ... but when I opened the resulting NTSC VIDEO_TS folder in MPC HC, the subtitles don't show.
    Did you turn them on? They won't play by default in MPC-HC.
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  9. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    You could also open the converted VOBs in MediaInfo and it should show any available subs.
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by RBTO View Post
    ... but when I opened the resulting NTSC VIDEO_TS folder in MPC HC, the subtitles don't show.
    Did you turn them on? They won't play by default in MPC-HC.
    I looked everywhere for a subtitle disable/enable in MPC HC but couldn't find anything. I then went back to AVCtoDVD and clicked on the info button for the imported files. Under Subtitles, there was a "subtitle track not present or not editable" message (see attached screen shot), so from this, I assume the subtitle info wasn't imported along with the rest of the VIDEO_TS information. I also tried to find any checkbox in AVCtoDVD for excluding or including subtitles, but came up short. For some reason, AVCtoDVD is not pulling in the subtitles from the original PAL files. I know they're there (in the PAL files) because if I play those on MPC HC, they work fine. I didn't change any settings in MPC HC when going to the converted feature so I assume if they were enabled (in MPC HC) for the PAL version, they must still be enabled for the NTSC version.
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by RBTO; 18th Jul 2016 at 16:51.
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  11. Oh, so there weren't any subs in the converted DVD to begin with? You could always extract them yourself and feed them into AvsToDVD separately. Or you could try videobruger's suggestion next.
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Oh, so there weren't any subs in the converted DVD to begin with? You could always extract them yourself and feed them into AvsToDVD separately. Or you could try videobruger's suggestion next.
    That appears to be the case since AVStoDVD isn't showing them in the imported files prior to conversion (I only found that out this morning).

    Is there a better probability that converting to MKV and then importing those to AVStoDVD will be more successful in bringing in the subtitles? I don't have makeMKV but am willing to go that route if it has a higher chance of succeeding.
    Last edited by RBTO; 18th Jul 2016 at 16:29.
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  13. A screendump of what you should see whe MakeMKV has been used. Never tried to use an .ifo

    Click image for larger version

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    I get the "select subtitles" dialog box similar to what you're showing (minus the demux box in the bottom left) if I double click one of the lower numbered IFOs belonging to a trailer, and it shows a single subtitle file, however, if I follow through and import that trailer as a file, it still shows no subtitle when I click the info button. When I double-click on the VTS_02_0.IFO file to get the full feature (consisting of three segments), no subtitle box comes up which makes sense since no subtitles are being imported. That leads me to believe the subtitles are buried somewhere else. I'm not really sure what I should be clicking on as a first choice in the import selection process but only the VTS_02_0.IFO seems to import the entire feature. Should I try to import each individual segment (of the 3) individually?
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  15. Originally Posted by RBTO View Post
    Should I try to import each individual segment (of the 3) individually?
    Quite possibly. If, for example, when you import the IFO and it shows as the length the 3 episodes added together and you don't get subs, then it's likely there isn't a subtitle file for the three episodes together. There are subtitle files only for the individual episodes. This is the more common way DVDs are structured, although I've seen it both ways. So, yes, you should at least try to import and convert one of the episodes as a test.
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    I'm getting a little more information as I play around. I did find the subtitle enable dropdown in MPC HC. It turns out, it's grayed out if there are no subtitles on the content it's playing, and that's what it's doing for the converted NTSC feature since there isn't any subtitle information.

    The fault apparently lies in AVStoDVD or my failure to understand how it handles subtitles. I tried importing another film which had subtitles and found that there were indeed subtitle files that showed up in the "select subtitles" dialog box (see post #13) but those don't seem to import and don't show up under the main file listing in the imported files box so I'm kind of at a loss of what's going on.

    I tried to import the individual segments of "The Saboteurs" but that doesn't work and the only way I can get the entire disc (all three segments) is to select the VTS_0_2.IFO which then brings in the full 2 hours and 14 minutes worth of video (pairing up the needed VOB files). All the other IFOs belong to trailers and other shorts.

    I'm going to continue experimenting but would like some input from someone who knows AVStoDVD pretty well. Maybe it's just incapable of handling subtitle data. I'm working with the 2.8.4 version (64 bit, I believe).
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  17. Why won't you use MakeMKV? It would solve all your problems.
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    Originally Posted by videobruger View Post
    Why won't you use MakeMKV? It would solve all your problems.
    Could you explain your workflow a bit more. Does MakeMKV do the PAL to NTSC conversion, and how do I get back to a DVD (VIDEO_TS) format? In your previous screenshot, the labels seem to show you were using AVStoDVD. I'm not at all familiar with MakeMKV (and a newbie) so you'll have to guide me through the process.
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  19. Does MakeMKV do the PAL to NTSC conversion
    No. It merely repack to MKV without any re-encoding (or to be more precisly: it can re-encode the audio but you won't be needing that)

    how do I get back to a DVD (VIDEO_TS) format?
    By using the MKV files from MakeMKV in AVStoDVD.

    To me it looks as if the DVD you're trying to use as source has 3 episode. They are authored as 3 titles in the same titleset. When trying to use use the .ifo in AVStoDVD it'll regard this as a single title. MakeMKV will regard this as 3 titles and give you 3 mkv files. It'll also give you the option of choosing the video/audio/subtitle track to keep for each title
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  20. Originally Posted by videobruger View Post
    When trying to use use the .ifo in AVStoDVD it'll regard this as a single title.
    Aha! So that's why my suggestion didn't work. Sounds like a shortcoming of AvsToDVD to me, since it makes it impossible for RBTO to get subtitles without jumping through hoops. Thanks for clarifying that.
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    [QUOTE=videobruger;2453185]

    how do I get back to a DVD (VIDEO_TS) format?
    By using the MKV files from MakeMKV in AVStoDVD.
    Ah, I'm beginning to see what you're talking about.

    Originally Posted by videobruger View Post
    To me it looks as if the DVD you're trying to use as source has 3 episode. They are authored as 3 titles in the same titleset. When trying to use use the .ifo in AVStoDVD it'll regard this as a single title.
    Exactly and that explains why all three episodes are lumped together when I choose the single IFO. I was wondering how AVStoMKV would synchronize the subtitles when all three episodes are run together since the original timestamps would apply to individual episodes (assuming it worked which it doesn't).

    I'll download MakeMKV and get back as soon as I get it up and going. I'm assuming MakeMKV will handle my PAL files??
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    Hooray for videobruger!!
    That worked like a charm and even allowed me to create a menu page in AVStoDVD (once I had the MKV files) with the three segments selectable through player controls.

    I was scared for a moment when I played the converted feature on MPC HC because no subtitles showed - this time however, I had to enable them in MPC HC and the subtitle button wasn't grayed out.

    Now I have another problem which I hope can be answered. When I went into ImgBurn to try to burn this compilation to a DL DVD, it couldn't find a place for the layer changeover and ImgBurn gave me the message in the attachment below. It sound's grim - "end of the world".

    Any suggestions before I try the "continue anyway" option?

    Many thank's to those who helped and videobruger who had the patience to stay with me.
    Image Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Last edited by RBTO; 19th Jul 2016 at 23:10.
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  23. Apparently you created a DVD that will fill a DVD-9 pretty close to full. You can do it over again, this time creating a new cell about where it suggested. Or you can take the finished DVD and create a new cell (chapter point) at a good place.

    Here's a guide for creating one in VobBlanker:

    http://download.videohelp.com/jsoto/guides/VobBlanker/splitting_cells/index.htm
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Apparently you created a DVD that will fill a DVD-9 pretty close to full. You can do it over again, this time creating a new cell about where it suggested. Or you can take the finished DVD and create a new cell (chapter point) at a good place.

    Here's a guide for creating one in VobBlanker:

    http://download.videohelp.com/jsoto/guides/VobBlanker/splitting_cells/index.htm
    That's right. The DL DVD is at 99% capacity with this content. So you're saying that the problem may be due to the lack of chapter points (of which I assume there are none right now)?

    My other thought was to move one of the three segments to a second disc with the remaining episodes (assuming there is room with those episodes) and give ImgBurn wiggle room on this one. Of course, I might run into the same problem on the second disc.

    I will follow up on your suggestion for creating chapter points and let you know how that goes.
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  25. If you ever have to do this again, I suggest that you skip everything you have read here and instead simply play the PAL DVD on your TV set. I assume that you did not do this because your DVD player will not play PAL discs.

    However ...

    The DVD in your computer or laptop WILL play it. Also, if you have an XBox or other similar device, and it has a DVD drive, it too will likely play the disc. I play PAL discs all the time, and I either put the disc into my son's ancient XBox 360 that he left behind six years ago when he left for college, or I play it in one of my laptops, and then connect that laptop to my home theater TV set. All modern LCD TV sets will play PAL discs (or pretty much any other video).

    I do this all the time and, since my wife is hard of hearing and needs subtitles, I have to use a method that lets us watch the subtitles as well.

    No work involved, and no degradation of video quality.
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  26. Sorry, double post
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  27. Originally Posted by RBTO View Post
    So you're saying that the problem may be due to the lack of chapter points (of which I assume there are none right now)?
    I'm far from an expert at deciphering that message, but you (apparently) have several cells in addition to the one created at the beginning of each episode because the error message mentions a cell number 5 in the middle episode. Maybe you created them automatically every 10-15 minutes. Not sure. Your problem isn't due to a lack of chapter points (cells), but the lack of a chapter point in the right place (near the exact middle). The more full the disc, the smaller the 'window' for a cell on which to create the layer break. Layer breaks can't be created any old place, but always on a cell boundary.

    Following that guide, it should be easy enough to create one as long as you have that error message to consult so you can pick the place to put it. VobBlanker gives both the relative and absolute sector numbers to help you with what you're looking for. Ideally you want to create that new cell at a major break in the episode, or at least at a major scene change. The reason is that at a layer break there will be a split second pause while the laser switches layers and you want it as seamless and unnoticeable as possible. That is, not right in the middle of a scene. But if there is no such place, then anywhere will do in a pinch.

    In the future, it's usually recommended not to fill a disc to the brim. And if you do (I usually do), to use very good Verbatim DVD-9s. Ordinary media is liable to go bad more quickly and they often go bad beginning at the outside of the disc.
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    Originally Posted by johnmeyer View Post
    If you ever have to do this again, I suggest that you skip everything you have read here and instead simply play the PAL DVD on your TV set. I assume that you did not do this because your DVD player will not play PAL discs.

    However ...

    The DVD in your computer or laptop WILL play it. Also, if you have an XBox or other similar device, and it has a DVD drive, it too will likely play the disc. I play PAL discs all the time, and I either put the disc into my son's ancient XBox 360 that he left behind six years ago when he left for college, or I play it in one of my laptops, and then connect that laptop to my home theater TV set. All modern LCD TV sets will play PAL discs (or pretty much any other video).

    I do this all the time and, since my wife is hard of hearing and needs subtitles, I have to use a method that lets us watch the subtitles as well.

    No work involved, and no degradation of video quality.
    I appreciate that input. In my other thread where I did the conversion, I got into the reasoning for wanting a disc (to provide a neophyte friend a disc he could play in his stand-alone player since he wouldn't be able to handle the steps you mention to play his PAL original).

    In this case, I too wanted a disc I can pop in my stand-alone player which feeds my home theater projector (no TV or other PAL capable device involved), but also I like the learning challenge presented by this exercise. I've already used your technique successfully (and I think I mentioned playing the original PAL files using MPC HC which displayed the subtitles versus my first conversion attempts which did not) using my laptop, but I just don't want the inconvenience of pulling out my laptop when I want to watch this feature, and would rather go the disc route (I can accept the slight drop in image quality due to the conversion process plus the multi-channel audio track is preserved).

    I really think the learning process is what has me hooked because at one point, I was going to do exactly what you mention, but once I got started, I was challenged by the whole process. Now it looks like I'm almost there, and in overcoming several obstacles (with the help of the contributors to this thread), I've learned several new tools and a lot about DVD structure and subtitles so it's been good (not that I'd want to do this whole process again on just any PAL feature).
    Last edited by RBTO; 20th Jul 2016 at 18:19.
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by RBTO View Post
    So you're saying that the problem may be due to the lack of chapter points (of which I assume there are none right now)?
    I'm far from an expert at deciphering that message, but you (apparently) have several cells in addition to the one created at the beginning of each episode because the error message mentions a cell number 5 in the middle episode. Maybe you created them automatically every 10-15 minutes. Not sure. Your problem isn't due to a lack of chapter points (cells), but the lack of a chapter point in the right place (near the exact middle). The more full the disc, the smaller the 'window' for a cell on which to create the layer break. Layer breaks can't be created any old place, but always on a cell boundary.

    Following that guide, it should be easy enough to create one as long as you have that error message to consult so you can pick the place to put it. VobBlanker gives both the relative and absolute sector numbers to help you with what you're looking for. Ideally you want to create that new cell at a major break in the episode, or at least at a major scene change. The reason is that at a layer break there will be a split second pause while the laser switches layers and you want it as seamless and unnoticeable as possible. That is, not right in the middle of a scene. But if there is no such place, then anywhere will do in a pinch.

    In the future, it's usually recommended not to fill a disc to the brim. And if you do (I usually do), to use very good Verbatim DVD-9s. Ordinary media is liable to go bad more quickly and they often go bad beginning at the outside of the disc.
    I understand what you're saying. Once I got into VobBlanker, I could see the individual cells. At that point, I thought splitting cells would fix things (and that was the link you referenced), but now from what you're saying, I need to create a new cell boundary near the desired layer change point. Right now, I'm not at all sure how to do that, and I had some initial problems with VobBlanker in terms of stability but I'm going to give it another go. I'm really considering breaking the feature up into three discs since in looking at the second disc, it has the same size and I would run into the same problem there, plus I can't move one of the episodes to a second disc because it would already be full. The PAL feature is smaller but it probably grew due to the higher frame rate of the NTSC version which has about 20% more frames than the PAL version, so that might be the reason the disc is at capacity.

    Like you, I endorse Verbatim and use their DL discs exclusively.
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  30. Originally Posted by RBTO View Post
    At that point, I thought splitting cells would fix things (and that was the link you referenced), but now from what you're saying, I need to create a new cell boundary near the desired layer change point.
    Splitting cells is creating a new one. One cell becomes two cells and the new cell boundary created should be within the sector number range mentioned in the ImgBurn error message.
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