WDTV Forum - WDTV Media Player

General WDTV Groups => Audio and Video Conversion => Topic started by: twisty on December 04, 2009, 04:12:46 AM

Title: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on December 04, 2009, 04:12:46 AM
This guide is for newbies wanting to convert DVDs  for use on the WDTV.  So many people ask “how” on this forum and so many people respond (correctly) “what do you want?”.  I thought my experiences may help.  To have a final product you’re happy with you need to know what you want so I’ve included a description of my situation to provide a yardstick.  Then I describe 3 steps for producing a final product.  Remember, it’s a learning curve and you’re attempting to convert and store large quantities of sophisticated data.  Good luck.

I’m a farmer, not a programmer so I will defer, in advance, to those who know better.  However, after about six months with a WDTV and ripping/converting some 200 movies and 15 tv series I’ve gained some understanding of the process.  Hope this helps.

Most good software packages have good forums.  That’s where the experts are!  Do lots of reading and searching.   Follow links suggested. And if you’re going to ask a question on a forum make sure you include this information:

   Software and versions used. eg. Windows vista, handbrake0.9.4, DVD decrypter 3.5.4.0.
•   Container and codec used.  Eg.  .mkv with H.264, .avi with Xvid, .vob, .iso.  
•   Mention the audio codec if this is part of the problem. Eg. aac, ac3, mp3
•   Give detail where you can.  Eg. error logs or media info.
•   Ask your question in a thread that already addresses the topic.  Eg. Ask subtitle sync questions in a subtitle sync thread.
•   Keep your post as short as possible (too long and people will give up (oops...))

It makes diagnosing problems much easier for those inclined.  Asking “why won’t my file play” is unlikely to receive any response.  A newbie needs to at least know the stuff below.  Enjoy.

Overview.

My wife has collected about 1500 DVD’s over the last 10 years and she has lost some treasured acquisitions to overuse, damage and loss.  The biggest problem being overuse of mechanical devices (dvd players come here to die) and discs (left lying around, scratched or broken).  Something had to be done but the impetus didn’t come until I discovered the WDTV.  Although I’ve used computer for decades backing up this much data poses a particular challenge.

I now have 3 WDTV1 (not the Live).  Two are networked and one is stand alone.  The WDTVs are used to display converted DVDs stored on a 4 Tb Western Digital Share Space NAS (Network Attached Storage).  The first WDTV is in the lounge room via Gigabit network attached (HDMI) to a 42" Sony Plasma and audio via toslink to Sony 5.1 amp.  The second WDTV is in the bedroom via NetComm NP210 Ethernet over power attached (HDMI) to a 32" Teac LCD tv and audio via tv speakers using WDTV rca audio out.  The third WDTV is standalone and attached (HDMI) to a 32” Soniq LCD tv.  All WDTV’s have homebrew firmware and are currently running WDLXTV 0.5.8.1.

The physical DVD collection numbers over 1500 including an equal balance of complete TV series and feature movies.  Backup and conversion are done with a quad core processor, 4Gb RAM and Windows Vista (32bit) operating system.   The vast majority of conversions have so far been done with Handbrake 0.9.3 with H.264, ac3 audio and hard burned subtitles in an .avi container.  I’m currently using Handbrake 0.9.4 for the soft subtitle option and evaluating H.264 results in .mkv.

My Philosophy.
Every DVD has been legally purchased.  The DVD collection is measured in length for ease (14 metres standing on edge).  Conversions are for personal use only.  These backups are insurance for a valuable collection and ease of viewing.  

My Requirements.
Quality that is indistinguishable from original DVD.  5.1 surround sound.  Soft subtitles (my wife doesn’t care but I like to turn the subtitles off when by myself).  Easy navigation of online videos.  Cheap or free software.  RAID5 backup (this reduces the total capacity of the WD 4tbNAS to 2.7tb).

Step1.  Decide what you want!

Easy huh?  This is the big step.  The rest is just time and/or money.  You may find that you spend lots of time on Step 3 testing though.  In fact you may need to move to Step 3 soon to decide what suits you.  Luckily you do have a starting point before you start ripping.  

“There's an old proverb in the video encoding world: Speed, size, quality: pick two." From the Handbrake team http://handbrake.fr/. (http://handbrake.fr/.)  They’re right!  Pick two.  

If you choose fast backup and small size the quality will suffer.  Use any Xvid or FFmpeg codec in any encoder. 30-50% original size into an .avi or .mp4 container.   This option doesn’t interest me too much anymore and I am considering reconverting all the DVD’s I’ve done so far.  Blocking of the colour black and other video artefacts become evident.

Small size and high quality will take a long time to create the backup (depending on cpu, ram etc). Convert using any x264 encoder to .mkv, or .mp4 container.  50-70% original size.   With the price of storage dropping this option is becoming less viable.  .mkv is useful as you can pack multiple audio/subtitle/image files.  .mp4 is Apple (Ipod, Itunes etc) and if you intend watching DVD’s on your new Iphone then go for speed and size.

Choosing fast backup and high quality then your file size will increase.  Convert to .iso format.  100% original size.  With the price of storage dropping this option is becoming more viable.  Future ability to burn to DVD disc at 100% quality.  All DVD features retained with most (subtitles included) functional on WDTV.  I have no experience with .vob files but expect similar performance as an .iso.

With bulk storage costing about $0.35AUD per gigabyte (Nov2009) my choice comes down to, for example: (edit 7Dec09)
•   .iso average size for Startrek episode (40 minutes) = 1.5 gigabytes (DVDShrink).  $0.50 to store.  1500 videos (4 episodes or 1 feature movie) at $2.00 = $3000 (9 terabytes)
•   .mkv average size for Startrek episode (40 minutes)= 1 gigabyte (Handbrake 0.9.4).  $0.35 to store.   1500 videos (4 episodes or 1 feature movie)  at $1.40 = $2100 (6 terabytes)
•   .avi average size for Startrek episode (40 minutes)= .6 gigabyte (Handbrake 0.9.3).  $0.20 to store.   1500 videos (4 episodes or 1 feature movie)  at $0.80 = $1200 (3.6 terabytes)
•   Brand new WD 4Tb ShareSpace NAS = $900 (additional 2.7tb storage) = 1800 .iso or 4500 .avi Star Trek episodes.  450 .iso or 1125 .avi feature movies.
•   My time = priceless


 “If you can’t pay cash for your toys then you don’t deserve them.”  Anonymous. Figure out how much storage you need, how much you have and how much you’re prepared to pay.

Containers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Container_format_(digital)) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Container_format_(digital))) such as .mkv, .avi, .mp4 (m4v) and .vob are simply vessels for video in an mpeg format (2/4/4.10), audio in aac, ac3, mp3, subtitles in vobsub, sst, srt and images in various formats.  .iso is not a container but an image of the disc, or part thereof.

Encoders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_video_encoders (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_video_encoders)) are the programs that convert/compress your original video (Handbrake, Make MKV etc).  Codecs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_video_codecs (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_video_codecs)) are the way your original is de/compressed by your encoding software (usually h.264, Xvid, FFmpeg etc).  For more information start with Doom9 (http://www.doom9.org/ (http://www.doom9.org/)) “The definitive DVD backup resource”.

You can mix and match most codecs and containers but just remember, not all devices can read the file you create.  Your standard DVD player will only play .vob (DVD files) and some will also play DivX (.avi).   Read the instruction manual so you know what your device supports!

Step2.  Rip the disc.

At this point you have 2 choices depending on your choices made above.  Rip to your hdd (into a new VIDEO_TS folder) for conversion later, or, rip directly to your final file.  To rip your DVD to your hdd for conversion later you will want to use a program such as DVD Decrypter.  Some of the newer DVDs don’t take kindly to being copied (thanks Walt) but a search on Google for other software will yield results.  

DVD Structure from Doom9.org **Not Written by me**  cut n paste job

When you access the DVD drive you'll see at least 2 directories:  AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS.  There might be more directories which contain DVD-ROM features for your PC.  There are 3 types of files on a DVD: .VOB, .IFO and .BUP:

VOBs - Video OBjects.  A VOB contains several streams multiplexed together: Video, Audio and Subtitles.  Video is MPEG-2, audio can be AC-3, Linear PCM, Mpeg 2 multichannel or MPEG1 layer2 2 channel audio. It's possible to have up to 9 different audio streams.  AC3 is pretty much the standard.  A VOB can contain one main video stream and several multiangle streams, allowing you to switch (as an example) the perspective during the movie. This feature is mostly used to display storyboards or other extra features during playback.  It's also possible to have up to 32 different subtitle streams. Subtitles are 4 color bitmaps which are overlayed over the video stream.

DVD video content is broken into titles (movies or albums) and parts of titles (chapters or songs). Titles are made up of cells linked together by one or more Program Chains (PGCs).  The PGC corresponds to the Title number being displayed in your player.

IFOs – InFOrmation.  IFO Files give the player important navigational information, like where a chapter starts, where a certain audio or subtitle stream is located, etc.  They are not encrypted.

BUPs – BackUP.  BUP files are just backup files off the IFOs. As their counterparts they are not encrypted.


DVD Structure from Doom9.org **Not Written by me**  cut n paste job

Ripping directly to a file will normally be either .iso (with DVD Shrink) or .mkv (with no compression by Make MKV).  Ignore step 3.  Depending on whether your DVD drive has a “rip lock” this process can take 10 – 25 minutes for a DVD9.  Also be aware I suspect removing the rip lock may cause video replay defects (especially movement combing (http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Decomb (http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Decomb))). Enjoy.

Step3. Convert your DVD.  

The easy bit.  Now you’ve decided which container, encoder and codec you want to use, run some tests and preview via your WDTV.  Try a few different methods and settings if you aren’t happy for some reason.  I’ve found many answers here at http://wdtvforum.com (http://wdtvforum.com) but sometimes I’ve had to venture elsewhere for specific information.  Remember, it’s a learning curve and you’re attempting to convert and store large quantities of sophisticated data.  

Finally, I guess you were expecting a blow by blow of ripping and converting but as you have read, it depends on what you want.  Sorry  ;D

Look here for my procedure http://wdtvforum.com/main/index.php?topic=3991.0 (http://wdtvforum.com/main/index.php?topic=3991.0)

Some sites to start with:

Handbrake 0.9.4 http://handbrake.fr/ (http://handbrake.fr/) for converting from hdd video files to .mkv or .mp4 (h264, FFmpeg).
DVD Decrypter http://www.dvddecrypter.org.uk/ (http://www.dvddecrypter.org.uk/) for ripping DVD to hdd.
DVD Shrink http://www.thedvdshrink.com/ (http://www.thedvdshrink.com/) for ripping to hdd in .iso.
Make MKV http://www.makemkv.com/ (http://www.makemkv.com/) for ripping to hdd in .mkv.
Doom9 http://www.doom9.org/ (http://www.doom9.org/) for lots of info, guides, download and forums.
Media Info  http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en (http://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en) for getting media information.

Any Questions?

@ jayallan.  Use any of this as you see fit.

twisty

MOD: MADE IT A STICKY!
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: B5Fan on December 06, 2009, 09:53:40 AM
Thanks for the info but some of your numbers don't make sense.  You said you have 1500 DVDs, but in your example you used 1 TV series episode.  Since a DVD usaully holds 5-6 episodes your numbers are off.

1 DVD in iso format, untouched = ~8 GB.  1500 DVD = 12 TB.
1 DVD in iso format using DVD Shrink = 4.3 GB.  1500 DVD = 6.5 TB.
1 DVD in MKV/AVI/MP4 (handbrake high quality setting ~1.4 GB/hr, assume 2 hour movie) = 2.8 GB.  1500 DVD = 4.2 TB.
1 DVD in MKV/AVI/MP4 (semi-standard 700 MB/hr, assume 2 hour movie) = 1.4 GB.  1500 DVD = 2.1 TB.

So using your 1500 DVD collection example, Your 4GB NAS server with raid would only be able to hold your whole collection if you converted them all to a lower quality format.  You would need 2 servers to hold them in ISO format using DVD Shrink or in the high-quality mode.  Or a staggering 5 servers to hold them in their original format.  At $900 per server that would be a total of $4500.  So there is a significant difference in price.  Your example made it appear there was very little advantage to converting your movies.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: jayallan on December 06, 2009, 12:39:31 PM
Very nice guide!   I have not compared the numbers as B5 did above, but I think it is very well written and laid out.   I think what people need to realize, and you have spelled it out correctly, is that there is no "simple answer" to how to rip your collection.  Everybody's needs will be different. 

Thanks for taking the time to write this! 
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on December 06, 2009, 07:41:06 PM
Thanks for the reply B5Fan,

Thanks for the info but some of your numbers don't make sense.  You said you have 1500 DVDs, but in your example you used 1 TV series episode.  Since a DVD usaully holds 5-6 episodes your numbers are off.

I've only ever discovered more than 4 episodes on a disc with short stuff (20 minutes or half hour sitcom such as MyNameis Earl etc).  All the tv series discs I've converted such as StarTrek, Stargate, Galactica, Charmed, Xfiles (40 minutes) have no more than 4 episodes per disc.  Regardless of ripping method all my tv series (long) episodes are about 1.5Gb in .iso format.

So using your 1500 DVD collection example, Your 4GB NAS server with raid would only be able to hold your whole collection if you converted them all to a lower quality format.  You would need 2 servers to hold them in ISO format using DVD Shrink or in the high-quality mode.  Or a staggering 5 servers to hold them in their original format.  At $900 per server that would be a total of $4500.  So there is a significant difference in price.  Your example made it appear there was very little advantage to converting your movies.

Thanks for pointing this out.  I would say you're about right.  I calculate each disc (4 episodes) at 6Gb (not 8 ) x 1500= 9Tb for the entire collection (4 x 4Tb Nas with Raid5).  This also demonstrates the decision to be made when storing this much data.  I've taken to converting all TV series episodes to .avi (previously) and now compressed .mkv.  I save favourite feature films in .iso. "B" movies may never be backed up!

My original post amended.

Thanks again.

Twisty
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: B5Fan on December 07, 2009, 08:50:27 AM
Great guide Twisty.  BTW, 1500 DVD's is a very impressive collection.  I've only got around 400 myself.  Any suggestions for mass converting a large collection ?  I rip my DVD's to my HDD 10-20 at a time, then do the conversion when I have about 50.  Usually takes a weekend, which is fine for me since I don't use my computer much during the weekends.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on December 07, 2009, 08:10:13 PM
Any suggestions for mass converting a large collection ?  I rip my DVD's to my HDD 10-20 at a time, then do the conversion when I have about 50. 

B5Fan,

Get a VERY comfortable chair!  Avoid mind altering drugs during tv series conversion (numbers get mixed up).  Remove dvd drive riplock.

I do much the same as you. TV series I do a season at a time and let the computer work overnight.  "A" movies get ripped straight to .iso.

twisty
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: onneeye on December 11, 2009, 05:31:10 AM
Thanks for the great great.

WOW 1500 dvd is a lot. Took me two months to convert 200 dvd of mined. What slowed me down was audio sync problems on older dvd movies. But  ;D, the new version of handbrake fix my audio sync problem and its free. Fixed ID4.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on December 12, 2009, 04:40:24 PM
Thanks for the great great.

WOW 1500 dvd is a lot. Took me two months to convert 200 dvd of mined. What slowed me down was audio sync problems on older dvd movies. But  ;D, the new version of handbrake fix my audio sync problem and its free. Fixed ID4.

G'day onneeye,

I'm glad you found the information useful.

My wife DVD collection measures over 14 metres on the shelves  :o and I'm being encourages to build another 5 metres of shelves.  Shes just gone shopping now and I expect some new DVD to arrive for conversion shortly.  We haven't used a DVD player for months now and many of the DVD's have only been out of their case once  ;D

Handbrake 094 is my favourite now with soft subtitle support.  I'm slowly converting my .iso files to .mkv and letting Handbrake run overnight with a big queue.  Conversion takes about 75% of running time (eg. 40 minute tv episode in 30 minutes).  Aint computers great!  ::)

twisty
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: shinobigarth on December 13, 2009, 02:48:02 AM
so im starting my first bit of test ripping, and im using Handbrake to go from DVD into MP4. then if i have some files that i want put together i use AoA Video Joiner cause its the only free file joiner i could find that looks like it works worth a damn (go from the MP4s into uncompressed AVI). then from their i send it back through Handbrake again to get it back into H.264. seems to be good output so far but still testing. Handbrake rules though.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on December 13, 2009, 04:11:52 PM
G'day shinobigarth,

i send it back through Handbrake again to get it back into H.264. seems to be good output so far but still testing. Handbrake rules though.

Seems like a bit of double handling to me.  Through Handbrake twice  ???  What are you trying to join?  Why .mp4?  I use .mkv now and there are some very good software packages for adding, appending and attaching to .mkv (eg. mkvmerge).

Handbrake Rules  8)

twisty
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: ScottCocoaBeach on December 22, 2009, 07:34:07 PM
Twisty - great information.  Would you mind sharing the exact settings you are using in Handbrake?  I'm sure it would be helpful to myself and others since it sounds like you have found settings that work well.

Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on December 23, 2009, 01:15:32 AM
Would you mind sharing the exact settings you are using in Handbrake?  I'm sure it would be helpful to myself and others since it sounds like you have found settings that work well.

G'day ScottCocoaBeach,

I'm glad you got some useful info  ;D

I think the trick is to leave the constant quality at Handbrake recommendations (60-70%).  .mkv, h.264, strict anamorphic, frame rate same as source, audio (ac3 5.1 passthrough 4 me) and subtitles to your taste.  I select all the english subtitles because sometimes the first subtext can be directors comments etc...  I'm not sure how well they work but these settings work 4 me!

Although I have noticed a bit of black (colour) "blocking" in some recently converted files I'm happy to continue with these settings as 99.99% of conversions please my wife (my ultimate critic).
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: shemilio on January 01, 2010, 03:48:05 PM
....
I now have 3 WDTV1 (not the Live).  Two are networked and one is stand alone.  The WDTVs are used to display converted DVDs stored on a 4 Tb Western Digital Share Space NAS (Network Attached Storage).  The first WDTV is in the lounge room via Gigabit network attached (HDMI) to a 42" Sony Plasma and audio via toslink to Sony 5.1 amp.  The second WDTV is in the bedroom via NetComm NP210 Ethernet over power attached (HDMI) to a 32" Teac LCD tv and audio via tv speakers using WDTV rca audio out.  The third WDTV is standalone and attached (HDMI) to a 32” Soniq LCD tv.  All WDTV’s have homebrew firmware and are currently running WDLXTV 0.5.8.1.
...


G'day twisty!!

You said that your were a farmer, as apologizing for not being a technical guy, but you had made a great setup at your home and your tutorial is very clear with lots of answers to common doubts. Congratulations "mate".

BTW: In case I would like to hold a 1500 DVD collection, I would need to move first to another house !!! hahaha

Have a nice day,
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: hnQ on January 02, 2010, 09:59:22 AM
I have about 600+ movies, and I would like to follow you guys' step.
Yet thinking, uhh, maybe I wanted to purchase a T1 internet connection, have all of the same movies queued from uTorrent, and the computer will take care the rest.
With that, I don't have to be near PC to attend the DVD carousel 600 times, converting, etc. It may take longer time, but it's painless.
What do you think?
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on January 02, 2010, 06:33:30 PM
@ shemilio.  Thankyou.  As for a new house, DVD's are easily stored in boxes under beds once converted.  No need for a new house, tada  ;D  Glad to help.

@ hnQ.  Seems to me you're taking all the fun out of it!  Be aware of copyright laws in your country.  Painless, well, for me ripping is now done while doing other things on the computer (trolling forums etc) and with the rip lock removed a couple of hours at the desk will see 20 DVDs ripped.  Setting up the conversion queue takes minutes with Handbrake and conversion done overnight.  Quality, reliability and consistancy with this process for me.

I've seen downloaded video on my system and the quality sucks  :o.  Downloaded subtitles often need to be adjusted and are sometimes not complete.  Poor quality, unreliable and inconsistant.  My two cents.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: DavidWinter on January 04, 2010, 04:22:10 AM
twisty, this is an excellent guide. You say "I’m a farmer, not a programmer" (which reminds me of the famous "I'm a doctor, Jim" :) ), but if only more people who call themselves "experts" would write guides that comprehensible...

Anyway. I haven't bought a WD TV for myself, but I got one for my father, who doesn't want to deal with computers, and he seems to be happy with it.

I considered doing the same as you, i.e. rip my existing DVDs, but I definitely need soft (switchable) subtitles. So just to make sure this is worth trying: With Handbrake 0.94, you get "soft" subtitles (stored as what; an SRT file?) when transcoding to H.264?

And how do I get these to play on the WD TV (Live)? Can I just put the .m4v file from Handbrake and the subtitles file in a folder on a harddisk, or is a specific container format/file extension required?

And have you tried using several subtitles (in several languages) on the WD TV?

Thanks again for the good work!
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on January 04, 2010, 02:31:48 PM
I considered doing the same as you, i.e. rip my existing DVDs, but I definitely need soft (switchable) subtitles. So just to make sure this is worth trying: With Handbrake 0.94, you get "soft" subtitles (stored as what; an SRT file?) when transcoding to H.264?

Handbrake 094 does both soft (switchable) and hard (burned in) subtitles.  Soft subs are stored in your chosen container as bitmap (VOBSUB).  .srt can be imported before conversion.  Handbrake does NOT convert VOBSUB to .srt.

And how do I get these to play on the WD TV (Live)? Can I just put the .m4v file from Handbrake and the subtitles file in a folder on a harddisk, or is a specific container format/file extension required?

And have you tried using several subtitles (in several languages) on the WD TV?

Thanks again for the good work!


I don't have one of them new fangled "Live" but I guess it should all work the same.  Handbrake with .m4v (.mp4) can not pass-through VOBSUB tracks.  see http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Subtitles (http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Subtitles) for much more detail.  Handbrake with .mkv (what I use) can pass-through multiple VOBSUB tracks.  I often have more than one English VOBSUB and have, on occassion, mistakenly added foriegn subtitles.  Once the file (.m4v or .mkv) has been converted place it where you need it for the WDTV to access.  Spend some time at the Handbrake guide (above) if you intend using Handbrake further.

Glad to help  ;D
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: Whoheart on March 01, 2010, 02:50:42 PM
I've seen downloaded video on my system and the quality sucks  :o. 

Not that i wish to lead you into a life of crime, but I suggest there is a difference between a 155 Megabyte Avi and a 27 gigabyte blueray download ;-)

I often have more than one English VOBSUB and have, on occassion, mistakenly added foriegn subtitles.  Once the file (.m4v or .mkv) has been converted place it where you need it for the WDTV to access.  Spend some time at the Handbrake guide (above) if you intend using Handbrake further.

You could, if you wish, remove the extra subtitles again with Mkvtoolnix programs. It doesn't reencode so no quality change, so doesn't take long.

On the other hand subtitles are so tiny and take up such a small amount of file there isn't any real point in doing so.

If you were to remove all the subtitles from your wife's 1500 DVD's it would probably amount to less space than one Star Trek episode :)
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on March 01, 2010, 11:38:37 PM
G'day Whoheart, thanks for the reply.

Not that i wish to lead you into a life of crime, but I suggest there is a difference between a 155 Megabyte Avi and a 27 gigabyte blueray download ;-)

hehehehe ... I'm to old and slow to be led anywhere. Thanks for the concern though  ;D  There sure would be a  difference between the 2 files but 27 gig is almost 6 months downloads for me, so, not something I would (ever) consider.

You could, if you wish, remove the extra subtitles again with Mkvtoolnix programs. It doesn't reencode so no quality change, so doesn't take long.

On the other hand subtitles are so tiny and take up such a small amount of file there isn't any real point in doing so.

If you were to remove all the subtitles from your wife's 1500 DVD's it would probably amount to less space than one Star Trek episode :)

That's my solution as well.  A quick check of one of my .mkv files (2gig) shows 83% of total file size is video, 15% audio (1 AC3 track) and 2% subtitles (2 vobsub tracks).  Much easier to teach my dear wife correct use of the "options" button  ;D
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: jimmy8765 on March 10, 2010, 12:27:56 AM
wow,thanks,it's usefull

I like ISO files more.Because WD TV Live can well play ISO files from a USB drive, while network shares do have problems actually.

I want to buy some Blu-ray DVDs,who played Blu-ray ISO backups on your WD TV Live?


Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on March 10, 2010, 12:55:19 AM
G'day Jimmy,

You're welcome and glad to hear.

Actually, I don't have any problems playing .iso files over my network (ethernet and over power) except when I overtax the NAS.  I've no experience with BD, yet, but will post my thoughts when I do (probably a question better asked in the "Live" forums). 
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: jimmy8765 on March 10, 2010, 09:53:50 PM
G'day twisty,

I have been doing a ton of research on this matter lately.

Quote
Here's the list  of WD TV HD Media Player supported file formats:

Video: MPEG1/2/4,  WMV9, AVI (MPEG4, Xvid, AVC), H.264, MKV, MOV (MPEG4, H.264), Subtitle SRT  (UTF-8)

Audio: MP3,  WMA, OGG, WAV/PCM/LPCM, AAC, FLAC, Dolby Digital, AIF/AIFF, MKA Playlist PLS,  M3U, WPL

Photo: JPEG,  GIF, TIF/TIFF, BMP, PNG

WD TV HD Media Player promises to play just about any video format you throw at it, including high definition video up to 1080p. You put the videos on any USB mass storage device, like an external hard drive or a thumb drive, and plug it into the device, WD TV HD Media Player will recognize the files on the drive and play any video, audio, or photo files it finds. However, according to the feedback  provided by some users, WD TV HD Media Player does play m2ts selectively only,  some are, and some are not.

So,i think if we want to playback BD on WD TV Live or on TV via WD TV HD Media Player,we need a blu-ray ripper and a video converter.  :(???
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on March 11, 2010, 12:42:32 PM
i think if we want to playback BD on WD TV Live or on TV via WD TV HD Media Player,we need a blu-ray ripper and a video converter.  :(???

... and BD Drive.  My camera mts files play just fine raw across my network.

For more info on converting BD to mkv see jayallans' post here http://wdtvforum.com/main/index.php?topic=37.0 (http://wdtvforum.com/main/index.php?topic=37.0)
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: jimmy8765 on March 11, 2010, 09:35:11 PM
thanks,twisty
 ;)

i find a freeware named MakeMKV,but its output format only .mkv and the file sizes little big.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: jimmy8765 on March 16, 2010, 06:03:10 PM

And how do I get these to play on the WD TV (Live)? Can I just put the .m4v file from Handbrake and the subtitles file in a folder on a harddisk, or is a specific container format/file extension required?

And have you tried using several subtitles (in several languages) on the WD TV?

Thanks again for the good work!


Handbrake output format only:MP4 and MKV. WD TV is able to beautifully playback HD MKV files up to  Full HD 1080p

Function comparison about Pavtube Blu-Ray Ripper, AnyDVD HD, and MakeMKV, i choose pavtube blu-ray ripper last,because it enable me directly rip Blu-ray and protected DVD movie from the discs and more cheapper.

Blu-ray DVD vs HD DVD  ;)
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on March 16, 2010, 08:50:08 PM
G'day jimmy,

Handbrake output format only:MP4 and MKV.

Incorrect, sort of  ;)  from http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Containers (http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Containers)

"Be aware that chapters and AC3 audio can only be seen by QuickTime if you change the file extension from .mp4 to .m4v. HandBrake will do this for you automatically when you enable those features..."

Same encoding, different file extensions.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: turtlerckt on August 11, 2010, 01:23:46 AM
As I know, handbrake is very popular, I can see it on many websites, this is benefit from free. On the other hand, it is difficult to use for beginner, lack support and weak stability. HandBrake attend technology and ignore user experience.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV and Handbrake.
Post by: twisty on August 11, 2010, 11:46:33 PM
As I know, handbrake is very popular, I can see it on many websites, this is benefit from free. On the other hand, it is difficult to use for beginner, lack support and weak stability. HandBrake attend technology and ignore user experience.
G'day turtlerckt,

Thankyou for your comprehensive post detailing your opinion of Handbrake, and your justifications.  I don't often repond to "advertising" but as you've replied to my post I now feel inclined.  I presume you have already fled the forum.

Handbrake is popular for many reason.  It works, it's free and it's well supported (have you looked at the forums).  If you read all of my initial post you'd also understand that there is a learning curve when manipulating large quantities of complex data.  Beginners will learn the basics as they manipulate the data into a form that suits their needs including containers, encoders, frame rates and interlacing (to name just a few).  These basic settings are preset in Handbrake, and, like any software, it takes practice and experience to become competent in its' use.  If YOU found Handbrake difficult to use then I suggest some more multimedia theory might help. 

I do not agree that Handbrake is unstable.  The only times Hanbrake crashes or stalls (or stops in any way) for me is when I've asked too much of Windoze.  I regularly queue upto 50 encodes and let it run overnight.  Again, the only time I have a failure is when Doze reboots.  Do you have any experience with stability problems?

Handbrake remains the benchmark for quality conversion software.  Of course they are leaders, and often copied.  Check the internet for lawsuits against online sofware companies selling products based on GPL or open source software.  I wonder if these companies are "improving" the customer experience by simply repackaging GPL code?  I've used many different software packages from CAD to databases to games and Handbrake is one of the simpler programs too use!  Like I said above, you have to learn how to use ANY software.

Finally.  Your URL link suggests an affiliation with a commercial product.  If this is the case and your supervisor checks your work then I have these suggestions.  Learn English and correct grammar.  "this is benefit from free" OMG!  Is the software that good as well?  If you want to sell a product at least look like you know what you're doing!  Be honest!  Buy some advertising space from jay!  However, if I've misunderstood your intention, I appologise without reservation and in advance.

I look forward to your reply.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: neoculture on September 08, 2010, 03:27:12 PM
My apologies if I got it wrong, but this looked like the correct group to post this: I need some pointers, please.

I am currently ripping my anime collection to HDD using MakeMKV (yes, I finally managed to get it to work properly... except for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture".  Go figure) which I rip to MKV with a Japanese audio stream and one set of English subtitles.

Sounds good, except that *some* DVD producers have (for example) six episodes as one big video stream which the menu accesses via jumps to the appropriate chapter.  So instead of 6 x 30minutes files, I get a single 180minutes file.

I have tried a few video splitters last night, but they all seem to have *some* problems associated with them.  MKVToolnix (for example) requires you to already know the exact location(s) you wish to split the files at. The other two I tried did have a preview window, but did not seem to understand there was a subtitle stream associated with the MKV file.

Soooo... can anyone recommend a decent video file splitter which:
(a) has a preview window so I can find the split location(s) easily; and
(b) also includes the subtitle stream in the splitting.

Windows or Linux, doesn't matter - no OSX please as I do not have access to Mac (so this would not help).

Many thanks.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on September 09, 2010, 12:59:19 AM
I am currently ripping my anime collection to HDD using MakeMKV (yes, I finally managed to get it to work properly... except for "Star Trek: The Motion Picture".  Go figure) which I rip to MKV with a Japanese audio stream and one set of English subtitles.

I have tried a few video splitters last night, but they all seem to have *some* problems associated with them. 

Soooo... can anyone recommend a decent video file splitter which:
(a) has a preview window so I can find the split location(s) easily; and
(b) also includes the subtitle stream in the splitting.

G'day neoculture,

Use VLC (as your preview window) to confirm chapter and episode details .

I recommend ripping dvd to hdd then converting. Although it adds another step in the process you can better manipulate and test encoders and output files.  I don't use anything but Handbrake now so ripping to hdd is essential 4 me.  Handbrake will seperate episodes and chapters as well as include subtitles as required.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: neoculture on September 09, 2010, 03:08:01 PM
Use VLC (as your preview window) to confirm chapter and episode details .

I recommend ripping dvd to hdd then converting. Although it adds another step in the process you can better manipulate and test encoders and output files.  I don't use anything but Handbrake now so ripping to hdd is essential 4 me.  Handbrake will seperate episodes and chapters as well as include subtitles as required.

Hope this helps.

Hi twisty,

Yes, I realise that I could use a separate viewer to find splitting points for MKVToolnix, but I was trying to avoid that (hoping to find an all-in-one tool).

As for your comment on Handbrake, I must be missing something - I am already ripping the DVDs to HDD; the problem is in the structure of the data on the DVD. Instead of 6 episodes (with, say, 5 chapters) the DVD has one movie with 30 chapters and if I want to watch episode 2 (for example) the DVD player will skip to chapter 6 of the movie. Which means that when I rip the DVD I get 1 large file (which contains all 6 episodes) instead of 6 individual files.

I could use FairPlay2 (paid-for copy) to split the DVD file while ripping, but setup is lengthy (MakeMKV is, by comparison, simple to use since I am not worried about transcoding/compression - just point it to the DVD and start ripping). Since I have a *lot* of DVDs to go through (been collecting for a while), I am trying to minimise the number of steps (and time) I have to go through.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on September 10, 2010, 11:32:41 PM
G'day neoculture,

I understand your dilema.  You can set Handbrake to convert a single chapter or any number of sequential chapters in a pgc (program chain or episode or movie).  I would try converting chapters 1-5 then 6-10 etc (with different file names of course).  I often do this when I'm having trouble with a dvd to test output quickly.  Handbrake offers a preview window but sometimes isn't long enough to identify frame rate, audio or interlacing errors.  Does this help?
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: neoculture on September 12, 2010, 03:17:29 PM
Thanks,

I'll try it during the week.
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: neoculture on September 13, 2010, 03:55:49 PM
Well, I tried a few things over the last few days and DVD Shrink was the easiest to use - Use it to re-author the DVD to an ISO, splitting the titles along the way, then run MakeMKV over the new ISO.  Works like a charm and is fairly fast to boost - quite a bit of the time lost to DVD Shrink is made up by the fact MakeMKV now reads a HDD-bound ISO.

Many thanks to all who helped me.

(now on to figure out the subtitle mistiming problem).
Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: suezeeq12 on February 02, 2011, 07:14:18 AM
wow twisty - awesome post!!!  Many thanks for the info!!!

was wondering if you may know the answer to these 2 questions since you've gained so much knowledge doing this:

1.)  If you convert to .iso and then burn a copy (as an .iso using ImgBurn) will any DVD player be able to recognize an .iso?  I've got 3 different brands of DVD players here but they are all the Walmart type - super cheap will play anything kind - so wasn't sure if the better ones will recognize an .iso?

2.)  You mention .vobs so I'll ask this - I was using a program as a trial and really liked it because it did batch conversions of files and made nice menus if you were converting something that you already ripped as an .mkv or .avi.  If I did the convert to dvd format on one of those files the result was a single .vob file.  In other programs they give you the VIDEO_TS file that has all the vobs in it and the rest of the stuff but this program just spit out one big .vob file.  Any idea what I do with that? 

Thanks in advance and thank you again for sharing your knowledge!
 

Title: Re: Newbie DVD Conversion Basics for WDTV.
Post by: twisty on February 02, 2011, 07:34:27 PM
G'day suezeep, and thanks for your kind words.


1.)  If you convert to .iso and then burn a copy (as an .iso using ImgBurn) will any DVD player be able to recognize an .iso?  I've got 3 different brands of DVD players here but they are all the Walmart type - super cheap will play anything kind - so wasn't sure if the better ones will recognize an .iso? 

.iso is an image of a disk and is used by dvd burning programs to create a dvd with correct structure and files including .vob, .bup and .ifo.  You are simply creating a backup disc.  Any dvd player has to be able to play any (international) standard dvd otherwise it can't call itself a dvd player.  The limitation (standard) is 1gig max file size.  That's why you'll find multiple .vob for a single movie.  That may also partly answer your next question as well.

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2.)  You mention .vobs so I'll ask this - I was using a program as a trial and really liked it because it did batch conversions of files and made nice menus if you were converting something that you already ripped as an .mkv or .avi.  If I did the convert to dvd format on one of those files the result was a single .vob file.  In other programs they give you the VIDEO_TS file that has all the vobs in it and the rest of the stuff but this program just spit out one big .vob file.  Any idea what I do with that?  

Terminology can create confusion.  You "rip" files from a disc.  Some programs rip AND repackage in one go like Makemkv (to .mkv) and dvdFab (to .iso).  I've not used a program that rips AND converts to .avi (why would you want .avi these days anyway?).  The .vob file is simply a container for the video stream and should work with any media player (NOT dvd player as they are restricted by file size, see above).  What do you do with it?  hhmmmm ... throw away your dvd player and use WDTV.

Hope this helps