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  1. While I have several hundred DVDs of films that I've copied (creating or authoring are too fancy for for my limited experience) from television on my Panasonic DVD recorder's hard drive and then burned to DVD with the recorder, I consider myself a video novice. I play those DVDs with a Sony DVD player on my conventional living room plasma display. I teach a film class and never watch "my" DVDs on my desktop PC (Win 10 OS) and use VLC solely to play CDs while I'm working on my desktop PC, and occasionally check DVDs for my film class, I'm now trying to add subtitles to a non-protected feature film on one of the DVDs I've burned.

    I've looked at more than a few YouTube demos of how to use the VLC subtitling process and they seem fairly straightforward.

    I load my DVD into the PC's DVD drive and read it in what Win 10 uses for File Explorer (I think that's a Win XP term so it's obvious I'm not up-to-date computer-savvy). I then copy the entire file contents of the DVD drive to a new folder I've created in my Documents folder. I then download an appropriate set of subtitles from Subscene to the same directory and extract the subtitle zip file.

    My problem is that my film files, along with all the quite small files like "menu", etc, consists of four separate .VOB files, each of which represents a segment of the film itself. I've clicked on each of the .VOB files and each one seems to play its video and audio quite nicely. Is or are a film's .VOB often divided into several parts (my film's .VOB file names are at least serially numbered)? In all the YouTube demos I've seen the film seems to be represented by a single file and it sits there comfortably in its directory with its companion subtitles file.

    The various .VOB merging processes I've Googled seem to discuss different approaches and recommend various software, freeware and commercial. So far I've been able only to temporarily add subtitles (which appear to be of high quality but way out of sync with the film's scenes) which last for the first part of the film (I suspect those subtitles are attaching--and only temporarily, as I've written--to just the first .VOB file or files and do not appear towards the film's end. Of course I'm just playing the DVD itself through my desktop and realize somehow I've got to make a permanent bond between the film copy in the PC folder and the subtitles and sync them together as well, and end up with a properly subtitled DVD for showing on my television display.

    Should I be using a different software to create my DVD or is there a way to figure out how to use the VLC resident on my PC?

    I'm not compltely sure (or perhaps not even partly sure) where I've gone wrong. And I have no idea what kind of new video file format I need to create to play the video on a conventional player attached to a conventional plsma display.
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  2. If you're reasonably certain the subtitles you've downloaded are the right ones for your DVD movie (not just the right movie, but the right cut of the movie, and for your PAL or NTSC DVD version of the movie), then follow Baldrick's guide for adding those subs to the DVD:

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/277950-How-to-add-new-subtitles-to-an-existing-DVD

    I'd suggest following his Method 2. Good luck.
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  3. Member hech54's Avatar
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    To expect these subtitles to match up to a television version of the movie is RIDICULOUS if you ask me.
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  4. You're probably right since movies for television broadcast are usually cut in places, and we don't know what he did about the ads. Then he can learn how to synch up subs. Given he doesn't even know how to play a DVD properly on a computer, I didn't hold out too much hope to begin with. But you never know.

    He has hundreds of movies captured from television and many downloaded subtitle files so you'd think somewhere along the line he'd have learned something. Hoping for the best.
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  5. Member netmask56's Avatar
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    Possible put it in a mkv container to simplify playback and then a crash course in editing a srt subtitle file using subtitle workshop etc ? I taught a 70 year old how to do that but he needs a direct hands on mentor methinks. I am an optimist!!!
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  6. Well, it's a good thing, I guess, that I posted in the Newbie forum. I shudder (just a bit) to think of the comments from long-time forum registrants that I'd likely have received, based on my initial post, if I'd done so in another forum on the site. It seemed somewhat like The Twilight Zone or some threads on Digital Photography Review. I was innocently hoping that someone here would comment positively on how I might use VLC's tools to merge the .VOB files from the film I recorded with my Panny DVDR's hard drive and burned to a TY disc, and I'm still hoping. Here are some clarifications of my status based on the previous responders' posts here:

    >If you're reasonably certain the subtitles you've downloaded are the right ones for your DVD movie<
    I am reasonably certain. The film is a theatrical one, not made for television, and there are two available, Subscene full-film subtitles of identical length with the later one better-synched with the film.

    >To expect these subtitles to match up to a television version of the movie is RIDICULOUS if you ask me.<
    My film is not a television version of the movie, as I've noted above.

    >You're probably right since movies for television broadcast are usually cut in places, and we don't know what he did about the ads. Then he can learn how to synch up subs. Given he doesn't even know how to play a DVD properly on a computer, I didn't hold out too much hope to begin with. But you never know.<
    As I've noted above, my film is a theatrical release and is complete with no commercials (I posted above that I'm a film instructor and have no recorded films with commercials. I've edited out the commercials from those that previously had them). I certainly know how to play a DVD properly on a computer, but don't choose to do so; I play all DVDs through my Sony DVD player cabled to my my very modest plasma display, or watch them on a much larger screen in my film classes. I also view several theatrical movies each month in theatres.

    >He has hundreds of movies captured from television and many downloaded subtitle files so you'd think somewhere along the line he'd have learned something. Hoping for the best.
    I'm absolutely new to this adding subtitles business (that's why I've sought help here) and have just one set of downloaded subtitles (from Subscenes).

    I'm going to pursue the link that manono provided in his first post.

    Fellas (or gals--you never know for sure with web postings), I hope that some statements in your posts were for April Fool's Day and that this forum will become a useful source of information for beginners like me.
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  7. Originally Posted by Mohun View Post
    I was innocently hoping that someone here would comment positively on how I might use VLC's tools to merge the .VOB files from the film I recorded with my Panny DVDR's hard drive and burned to a TY disc, and I'm still hoping.
    To do what you want to do (add subs to a DVD), VLC isn't needed at all. As for merging the VOB files, netmask56 mentioned one way - Put the VOBs into an MKV container. To do that you'd use MakeMKV. It doesn't reencode and you may or may not want to keep it after testing the subs with the movie. Then with both movie and subs named the same (Movie.mkv, Movie.srt) you can play the subs together with the movie to test the synch. At least that way you can test the subs before going through the trouble of actually adding them to the DVD.

    Other ways to merge the VOBs into one include VOB2MPG or VOBMerge or DVDVOB2MPG.
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  8. Thanks for tip. I'll try that approach.

    I'm sorry about my snarky reply. As a beginner but no stranger to films, theatrical and otherwise, I was feeling a bit outnumbered by high-tech posters.

    The Panasonic DVDRs, no longer sold in North America, are pretty easy to use (I've owned four them) gems for recording (and editing out commercials where necessary) videos of non-copyprotected films from television if only in SD versions. I believe PAL-Region 2 machines are still sold in the UK and I seem to remember that some fairly pricey BD machines were available in Japan a few years ago.
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    Originally Posted by Mohun View Post
    I was innocently hoping that someone here would comment positively on how I might use VLC's tools to merge the .VOB files from the film I recorded with my Panny DVDR's hard drive and burned to a TY disc, and I'm still hoping. Here are some clarifications of my status based on the previous responders' posts here:
    VLC is not the tool that I would use to add subtitles to a DVD, based on the instructions I've seen online. First, it seems like you would prefer to have a video DVD, but using VLC to add subtitles will give you a video file that a regular DVD player is very unlikely to play (although some Blu-ray players can play video files burned as data on a DVD). Second, the subtitles will be a permanent part of the video that you cannot turn on and off. Third, the video will be re-encoded, which you may wish to avoid, and VLCs encoders are not the best.

    I would do exactly what manono suggests too. If the subtitles are in sync with the video and are in .srt format, then it should be possible to author a DVD with the original video and audio and proper DVD subtitles. Note that keeping the menus from the original DVD would be more difficult than creating new ones with the authoring software.
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  10. A couple of questions and comments:

    What is the format (extension, etc--I'm not at all sure of what's required and appropriate) that I'd need for a video DVD?

    I really want the subtitles to be a permanent part of end DVD product (I already have the non-subtitled version (and dups of it) from which I want to create a subtitled version and have no wish or need to be able to turn the subtitles on or off).

    I do know, but mostly from anecdotes about recording and burning speeds involved in creating DVDs with a DVDR, that re-encoding is sometimes not a good thing and may well result in DVD copies with artifacts, etc.

    As to your comment about whether the subtitles are in sync, the subtitles available on Subscene are really quite good, in .srt format and appear to be complete, but are not in sync with the video which never had a subtitle "track" to begin with, so synchronization of the video and subtitles presents a challenge (for which VLC provides apparently fairly easy tools for the synching element).

    I'm sure I could produce adequate titles and credits for the film if necessary.
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    If you burn the subtitles into the video, then the video must be re-encoded, which can be time consuming, and will lessen the quality of the video to a some degree. Those here who hard-code subtitles for their DVDs all use other methods which produce DVD-compliant results so they only re-encode once. If you insist on using VLC as you appear to be intent on doing, you will need to re-encode twice. The VLC hardcoding method will not produce DVD-compliant output, so a second re-encoding will be needed.

    DVD uses "subpicture" subtitles, which are graphics based. The file extension used is .sup, but proper DVD subtitles are not often used independently from the DVD structure. They are normally multipexed into the DVD's VOBs along with the audio and video. Some authoring programs (AVStoDVD is a free one) can automatically create proper DVD subtitles from .srt files prior to multiplexing them into the VOB structure.

    If someone wants their DVD's subtitles to be on all the time and would like to retain the original video, there is a "forced" flag that should do that, although I've not tried using it. I've only created subtitles which can be turned on and off.
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  12. Originally Posted by Mohun View Post
    What is the format (extension, etc--I'm not at all sure of what's required and appropriate) that I'd need for a video DVD?
    The same as on your DVD already - VOB, IFO, BUP. If you don't see them, then turn on your file extensions.
    I really want the subtitles to be a permanent part of end DVD product...
    No you don't. You just think you do. Once the selectable subs are in the DVD you can make them forced - make them always play. Burning the subs into the video requires reencoding the video, a waste of time and degrading to the video quality.
    I'm sure I could produce adequate titles and credits for the film if necessary.
    By following the guide to which I linked in my first post, you keep menus and anything else in the original DVD.
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  13. manono,

    >The same as on your DVD already - VOB, IFO, BUP. If you don't see them, then turn on your file extensions.

    >I really want the subtitles to be a permanent part of end DVD product...

    >No you don't. You just think you do. Once the selectable subs are in the DVD you can make them forced - make them always play. Burning the subs into the video requires reencoding >the video, a waste of time and degrading to the video quality.

    If the subs are not burned into the DVD end product, how can they--or can they--be actuated simply through the Subtitles button on the DVD player remote, and is this action repeatable without further work each time at the PC? Or do I have to go back to my desktop PC to actuate the subtitles each time?

    And is there a provision in the software to synch the subs to the video and not have to re-synch them for each showing?
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  14. Originally Posted by Mohun View Post
    If the subs are not burned into the DVD end product, how can they--or can they--be actuated simply through the Subtitles button on the DVD player remote
    Your DVD player's remote control has a subtitle button with which you can turn the subs on or off.
    ...and is this action repeatable without further work each time at the PC? Or do I have to go back to my desktop PC to actuate the subtitles each time?
    Not sure I understood all of that. Just as when using the standalone DVD player's remote control, all software DVD players have a way to turn on subtitles. Yes, for both the hardware and software DVD players you'll have to turn on the subs each time you watch the film. Or, you can make the subs play by default each time the DVD is watched from either the hardware or software DVD player. That's easily accomplished using PGCEdit before burning the final newly subtitled DVD to disk.

    This stuff is trivial. Your real problem will most likely come from having to synch your subs.

    And is there a provision in the software to synch the subs to the video and not have to re-synch them for each showing?
    Some software players (and I believe VLC is one, but don't hold me to that) have the ability to move subs forward or back by a set amount. Your problem won't be that, but subs going out-of-synch by greater or lesser amounts throughout the film. It should be corrected before ever adding the subs to the DVD. But you won't know how great of a problem it might be until you get started on the project.
    Last edited by manono; 2nd Apr 2017 at 19:13.
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  15. Member netmask56's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mohun View Post
    manono,

    >The same as on your DVD already - VOB, IFO, BUP. If you don't see them, then turn on your file extensions.

    >I really want the subtitles to be a permanent part of end DVD product...

    >No you don't. You just think you do. Once the selectable subs are in the DVD you can make them forced - make them always play. Burning the subs into the video requires reencoding >the video, a waste of time and degrading to the video quality.

    If the subs are not burned into the DVD end product, how can they--or can they--be actuated simply through the Subtitles button on the DVD player remote, and is this action repeatable without further work each time at the PC? Or do I have to go back to my desktop PC to actuate the subtitles each time?

    And is there a provision in the software to synch the subs to the video and not have to re-synch them for each showing?

    You could describe subtitles as either 'soft' or 'hard' Soft is what is used in commercial DVD's, ie the subtitle track is embedded into the VOB files and can be turned on or off at will by the remote. Hard subtitles are burnt into the image and cannot be turned off as they are now part of the image. Now with soft subs not only can they be turned on or off but a flag can be set so that when you play the DVD they will always be on. That means if you don't want them you have to turn the off with the remote. Most commercial DVD's have by default the subs turned off so the user has to turn them on if required. On a DVD VOB files contain the video, audio track/s and subtitle track/s - the IFO files contain information for the DVD player about navigation and the like and BUP files are backups of the IFO files in case of damage to the disc. They are burnt in a different physical location on the disc.
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  16. Netmask56,

    I take your point about the superior functionality of "soft" subtitles. You discuss commercial DVDs, but I wonder if I can incorporate soft subtitles (that would be fully responsive to typical remotes such as that of my Sony DVD player) in a DVD file to which I'd want to add such titles and if the "new" DVD would generally play on my Sony player and/or others, not just on my desktop PC.

    A second question: While I was contemplating using VLC to add subtitles to a film I've recorded on DVD, I'd planned to use one of the subtitle "tracks" (I'm not at all sure of the correct nomenclature) from the Subscene web site. My observation in the one try I attempted is that those subtitles, while they are out of since with the film's audio and video, are quite crisp and seem complete.

    When I briefly review the software suggested here by manono, it appears that I might have to manually add each line of dialog individually to the film. If this is true, then I'd guess that procedure would be to somehow view the film, and after every line of dialog stop the film and type in each of those lines of doalog. Would that be the process since I assume I could not simply attach the subtitle track to the VOB file (assuming I could manage merging my four VOB files into one)?
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  17. Member netmask56's Avatar
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    I take your point about the superior functionality of "soft" subtitles. You discuss commercial DVDs, but I wonder if I can incorporate soft subtitles (that would be fully responsive to typical remotes such as that of my Sony DVD player) in a DVD file to which I'd want to add such titles and if the "new" DVD would generally play on my Sony player and/or others, not just on my desktop PC.
    Simple answer - Yes, the authoring process (don't get confused with the nomenclature "author" with the creative process definition as in authoring a book etc, it's merely the term to bring together all the components required to assemble a DVD using stock standard "DVD making software" ie add the video file, add the audio track/s add the subtitle track/s and decided on the menu style from a collection of presets appropriate to your needs) You can make specific audio track the default as you can the desired subtitle track and make it default on if you wish.

    Before you do anything use Subtitle edit or subtitle workshop to preview your video with your desired subtitle and make sure it is really in sync, change times if necessary.

    What you really need to do is experiment and try these things for yourself as many of us did a basic trial and error routine.

    There are many sources of subtitles some have been made for 24 fps as well as 25 fps - In subtitle edit programs you can convert one to the other.

    Good luck
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