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  1. Member
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    Hello everyone.

    I'm a newbie here. This is an absolute first for me; I've never posted anything on an online forum, or had an account on one before. I use social media, like Facebook and Twitter and stuff, but not these discussion websites. I'm not sure where my question should go, so I'm posting it here. If I'm in the wrong place, please forgive me and redirect me to where I should go. Again, I have no experience with these kinds of sites. This will be fairly lengthy; I've typed up a wall of text below, so please just bear with me for a bit.

    Before I get to my question, allow me to provide some background on what has led up to the dilemma I've been having.

    Iím working on a fan project. Iím putting together my own compilation DVD of all the music videos by British progressive rock / psychedelic rock band Porcupine Tree. Back in 2004, they released a DVD-Audio version of their smash hit album ďIn AbsentiaĒ, and that disc has a few of the videos which I plan on using. Two of these videos are in 1.33:1 full frame, while the other video is in letterboxed, non-anamorphic widescreen. All three videos include two audio tracks: DTS 5.1 Surround and LPCM 2.0 Stereo.

    What I want to do with these videos is make some tweaks to their aspect ratio presentation. For the full frame videos, I want to pillarbox those. My ultimate goal for these videos is that all of them will appear 16x9 on the DVD, so everything on it will fill up a widescreen monitor. Of course, Iím not actually going to stretch the footage, thatís not what I mean. They would obviously look ugly and distorted if I did that. What I AM saying is, even though they were originally shot in full screen, they could still technically be presented in 16x9 if I added vertical black bars to the left and right sides, and made them a part of the widescreen image. Now, as for that non-anamorphic video I mentioned, all I need to do with that one is crop out the black bars on the top and bottom. I basically plan on just ďblowing it upĒ to 16x9 so it will look anamorphic.

    I converted the disc to ISO, and like all DVDs, the videos' file format is VOB. The reason why I'm bringing this up is because I've tried using multiple other websites that can convert videos to a different aspect ratio, but in doing so, it sacrifices the quality. For one thing, the format would be compressed from VOB to MP4, which would cause problems in the program I'm using to make my project, DVD-Lab PRO 2 (yes, I know thatís an old and outdated software, but I like it). That part of the issue is aggravating enough, but here's what really gets under my skin: although it would give me the aspect ratio I want, it would simply be unwatchable and unlistenable, quality-wise. Incredibly low resolution, extremely pixelated, and oh, hereís the best part......the DTS & LPCM audio tracks would both be replaced with a horrible, truly awful sounding, highly compressed stereo track. I tried using a few "video upscaling" sites to solve that problem, but to no avail.

    So my question is, does anybody know if there are softwares, programs, websites.....anything out there that can do this? Alter the aspect ratio of a VOB video file (or more specifically in my case, add and remove black bars) without screwing up the quality? Without compressing the file format and still keeping at least most, if not all of the original quality intact? I don't need some big, comprehensive video editor. I just want to enhance each video for the 16x9 screen. However, when I do this, it's important that the resolution is preserved as much as possible, and even more importantly, it is absolutely imperative that both of the original audio tracks are retained. I want all the videos on my DVD to include DTS 5.1 and LPCM 2.0 sound, just like the real DVDs that Porcupine Tree released themselves.

    Like I said, I don't think I'll need a complicated program to achieve this, but if that's what my problem requires, then so be it. Paid or free, I don't care. Any suggestions, help, and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading, everyone.
    Last edited by The Pills In Me; 2nd Sep 2020 at 14:59.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Before I go in to any detail, what you propose to do WILL alter the quality of the videos. And the simple reason is that every video will have to be re-encoded.


    Adding the black bars to a 4:3 video is exactly the same as if that video was played correctly on a 16:9 display. You do not actually alter the aspect ratio of the original since you now re-encode as 16:9


    The non-anamorphic is slightly more complicated since you are both cropping and re-sizing. Again you encode to 16:9. But care has to be taken that you crop correctly with an interlaced source else you could ruin your video with combing artefacts.


    Both of these can be done in simple video editing tools and just export to dvd-compliant mpeg2 for DVD Lab Pro to use.


    But if you really care about the quality just create a 4:3 dvd and use the original content straight from the dvd. Only create a 16:9 dvd if you have original 16:9 content as well. I have compilation disks that actually do this.


    Just my opinion. Others will probably take a different view.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Before I go in to any detail, what you propose to do WILL alter the quality of the videos. And the simple reason is that every video will have to be re-encoded.


    Adding the black bars to a 4:3 video is exactly the same as if that video was played correctly on a 16:9 display. You do not actually alter the aspect ratio of the original since you now re-encode as 16:9


    The non-anamorphic is slightly more complicated since you are both cropping and re-sizing. Again you encode to 16:9. But care has to be taken that you crop correctly with an interlaced source else you could ruin your video with combing artefacts.


    Both of these can be done in simple video editing tools and just export to dvd-compliant mpeg2 for DVD Lab Pro to use.


    But if you really care about the quality just create a 4:3 dvd and use the original content straight from the dvd. Only create a 16:9 dvd if you have original 16:9 content as well. I have compilation disks that actually do this.


    Just my opinion. Others will probably take a different view.
    I know that I won't actually change the aspect ratio of the video itself. Maybe that was a poor choice of words. Sorry about that.

    Here's the thing, though. You said that when I re-encode the videos' AR, I can export to DVD-compliant mpeg2 for DVD-Lab PRO to use, but that's exactly what I've been having problems with. I add an MPEG video to my project, but DLP just gives me a popup list with a bunch of errors and warnings.

    Take a look at this:

    Image
    [Attachment 54717 - Click to enlarge]
    Last edited by The Pills In Me; 2nd Sep 2020 at 16:19.
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    Can you post a short sample, a clip showing the issue direct from the source DVD.
    Open the VOB in DGindex, mark a section with [ and ]
    file/save project and demux video
    upload the m2v to the thread here

    DVD-Lab is an authoring package, it requires all it's source assets to be DVD (720x480 NTSC or 720x576 PAL) mpeg-2 compliant
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  5. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Where did the 720*356 come from ? Was that your attempt at cropping ? The numbers are correct but you would still import 720*480 in to DVD LAB


    But it appears that you do not have dvd-compliant video to start with. As reported mpeg1 video can be dvd compliant but it tends to be low bitrate and will look even worse after a re-encode.


    We had better go back some steps and post a mediainfo (text mode) report of that video that you were importing in to DVD LAB


    Maybe to save yourself some grief you might wish to upload the original mpeg file as well.
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  6. You've got problems. The 2 audios require quite a lot of the available bitrate, leaving much less for the video portions. As DB83 mentioned, you have to reencode. The result will be better for the one to which you want to add pillarbars and, if done right, might look decent. The one that has to be cropped is going to look terrible no matter what you do. There's just not enough resolution there and increasing the resolution will magnify the problems. Using AviSynth, it's a simple matter to use its AddBorders command to add pillarbars to the 'fullscreen' one and the Crop/Resize commands to prepare the 'widescreen' one so it can be encoded for 16:9 using the HC Encoder.

    I don't know if AvsToDVD will handle this the way you want. Someone that uses it might know.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Where did the 720*356 come from ? Was that your attempt at cropping ? The numbers are correct but you would still import 720*480 in to DVD LAB
    No, I didn't crop it to 720*356. For whatever reason, that was the frame size the video showed up as whenever I ripped the DVD.
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    Originally Posted by The Pills In Me View Post
    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Where did the 720*356 come from ? Was that your attempt at cropping ? The numbers are correct but you would still import 720*480 in to DVD LAB
    No, I didn't crop it to 720*356. For whatever reason, that was the frame size the video showed up as whenever I ripped the DVD.
    Please upload a sample as was mentioned earlier
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    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    mark a section with [ and ]
    I get everything else you said, but what does this mean?
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    Something is not right. Why would a British band release an NTSC dvd.


    But I now wonder whether these videos were not dvd-compliant to start but you could only play them on a PC ?


    We really do need to see that mediainfo report. A sample of the vid would at the very least help but I would still prefer to see the whole thing - nothing to do with the band whom I have never heard of but just to assist you in a fully constructive way.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Something is not right. Why would a British band release an NTSC dvd.


    But I now wonder whether these videos were not dvd-compliant to start but you could only play them on a PC ?


    We really do need to see that mediainfo report. A sample of the vid would at the very least help but I would still prefer to see the whole thing - nothing to do with the band whom I have never heard of but just to assist you in a fully constructive way.
    The DVD is NTSC because it's the US version. If I'm not mistaken, I think they released PAL versions of the disc in other countries. But I could be wrong.

    And the DVD doesn't just work on my computer. It plays on my TV and all my other DVD players perfectly fine. So that must mean that the videos are DVD-compliant, right?

    Now, as for the MediaInfo report, is this what you're asking for?

    Image
    [Attachment 54718 - Click to enlarge]
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    Yes. It would have been more useful to expand the report by view/text but it confirms 720*480 NOT 720*356. So your rip appears to have cropped the letterboxing which has not helped you really since the video bitrate appears quite reasonable.


    So the first thing you need to do is a correct rip from the dvd. Try dvddecrypter first and then post the sample. Your 'rip' may not help your cause.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Yes. It would have been more useful to expand the report by view/text but it confirms 720*480 NOT 720*356. So your rip appears to have cropped the letterboxing which has not helped you really since the video bitrate appears quite reasonable.


    So the first thing you need to do is a correct rip from the dvd. Try dvddecrypter first and then post the sample. Your 'rip' may not help your cause.
    Oh, wait a second........is this what you mean by "view/text"?

    Image
    [Attachment 54719 - Click to enlarge]

    Image
    [Attachment 54720 - Click to enlarge]
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  14. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Yes.


    So you see that the video has plenty of bitrate AND is dvd-compliant. Now do the same for your 'rip' and spot the differences.


    You kinda threw me when you mentioned 'DVD-AUDIO' which is a different beast to 'DVD-VIDEO'. 'DVD-AUDIO' can not be played in a standard dvd-player so you possibly have a dvd-video disk authored with just main audio track(s) plus standard dvd-video as you appear to have here.


    Either way, a rip does not convert mpeg2 video in to mpeg1 video as was reported by DVD LAB.
    Last edited by DB83; 2nd Sep 2020 at 18:46. Reason: enhanced detail
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    Originally Posted by The Pills In Me View Post
    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    mark a section with [ and ]
    I get everything else you said, but what does this mean?
    In DGindex, these are two buttons used to set the cut-in and cut-out of your clip
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