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Author Topic: What is best program to create a DVD from any video file?  (Read 48308 times)
KenR
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« on: June 18, 2009, 10:32:14 AM »

Hi. I have a variety of video files that I would like to put on DVD. What is the best program (features, ease of use, etc.) that will convert the file if it needs to be in a different format and then write it to DVD in a format that my DVD player will recognize and play it. The file does NOT need to be freeware. I would rather pay for better software than have less able freeware.

Thanks, Ken
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Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2009, 11:15:06 AM »

I would recommend these 2 sites for information:

http://www.videohelp.com/

videohelp has lists of tools categorized by function, also lists of DVD players with user reviews, and info not printed on the box when you buy the player. It's a bit more liberal on what is discussed.

http://forum.digital-digest.com/

digital digest has good info on burning, media, software and computing generally. On this site it's a good idea to read the rules before posting. I think they were threatened with a law suit in the past because some subjects just will not be discussed.  Like if you post "I'm having a problem with DVD Shrink" the mod will just tell you "see Rule 19" and that's it.  But there's lots of good info and helpful people there if you stay in the guidelines.

Myself, I prefer to burn video with Imgburn and do conversions with free software when possible.  See videohelp.com for lists of DVD players that will do .divx. It can save you a lot of time.  Depends what you want to do. If you need it to play on your player you may want to get a player that does .divx. If you want it to be portable and play on any DVD player, then you're talking about conversion to DVD.  Again, videohelp.com has lists where you can select the video conversion from format and to format from a dropdown list and it will display the software that can do it.  Most software has user comments you can read.
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2009, 11:21:56 AM »

For re-encoding video I like TMPGEnc:
http://www.tmpgenc.net/

For burning you can try StarBurn:
http://www.rocketdivision.com/starburn.html
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« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 12:51:47 PM »

Take a look at DeVeDe. It does any encoding necessary, and lets you build a simple menu.
http://www.majorsilence.com/devede
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2009, 03:03:32 PM »

Another forum:  www.afterdawn.com

Avi2DVD is the name of the tool. It can create a DVD from practically any format, with quite extensive menu builder, option to add chapters and subtitles etc. Freeware. And that site has a tutorial showing you how to create a DVD with Avi2DVD (amongst a lot of other tutorials).

DeVeDe is also a tool that is recommended on AfterDawn.

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mouser
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2009, 03:13:35 PM »

the first thing you should probably decide is what best matches what you want:
  • Do you want to have control over creating title pages, chapters with menu items that link to each one with a nice label or picture, etc.
  • Or do you just want to take a bunch of video files and click "go" and have it build a compatible dvd where you can play each of the video files.

Different programs tend to focus on helping you do 1 of those 2 things.  The first case means more powerful flexible program that will have a higher learning curve.  The second case you should be able to find a really dead simple solution.
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KenR
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2009, 06:11:53 PM »

the first thing you should probably decide is what best matches what you want:
  • Do you want to have control over creating title pages, chapters with menu items that link to each one with a nice label or picture, etc.
  • Or do you just want to take a bunch of video files and click "go" and have it build a compatible dvd where you can play each of the video files.

Different programs tend to focus on helping you do 1 of those 2 things.  The first case means more powerful flexible program that will have a higher learning curve.  The second case you should be able to find a really dead simple solution.

Great thoughts Mouser. So what are the best of each?  dance

Ken  cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2009, 07:42:59 PM »

For consumer level authoring of DVD menus I don't think there's anything that comes close to DVDLab - it won't do encoding but they sell TMPGEnc DVD Source Creator for US$12

The DVDLab Studio version is probably the best all round version of the three DVDLab versions at US$129, I use it, (well, I actually use the Pro version because I want to mix aspect ratios on a single DVD), and considering what you can do, it is extremely simple to use.

For encoding, I've used:
(Retail versions)
MainConcept encoder - blindingly fast and good quality  (I've only used their original MPEG2 encoder which they no longer sell, having been replaced by Reference and CODEC plugins which are ridiculously expensive).  SMP capable - the more processors, the better,
CCE Trial version - good quality but nowhere near as fast as MainConcept (and the trial version is severely limited)
TMPGEnc - good quality output but very slow compared to the above two

(Freeware)
Avidemux - It'll take most files as an input and then you just select DVD from the Auto menu (although the latest build seems to be missing the script for that, 2.4.4 still has it though - they've changed the scripting slightly and haven't caught up I think) - good output and fast  - what I mostly use these days since it lets me do some editing as well.  Also SMP capable.

(AIO convert and simple menu)
WinAVI Video Converter - reasonable quality, fast and let's you merge clips and automatically create a menu with a button per clip - I used to use it a lot for MPEG4 to DVD but I now have a standalone that does MPEG4-ASP so don't bother with it.

So, after that lot what I basically use these days is:
DVDLab Pro almost exclusively if I have to author a DVD with/without menus;
Avidemux for basic editing and conversion;
A really old version of Sony Vegas 5.0 that I picked up cheap on ebay, (or a computer swap meet, I forget where), if I have to do any more involved editing with transformations or have to resync video/audio before conversion, (being able to see the waveform together with video makes it so much easier than just trying to listen).

For a cheap selection I'd probably recommend:
DVDLab Standard + TMPGEnc DVD Source Creator - It will let you do quality conversion and DVD authoring for US$111, (as long as you don't need the features of Studio or Pro, eg. if you need SubTitles you have to get at least Studio).
Avidemux - for basic editing and fast decent quality conversion of a variety of video formats.

I should mention there are freeware DVD authoring programs but I can't comment on them, as soon as I tried DVDLab I was sold smiley

Oh yeah, for burning - always and only ImgBurn is what I use.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 07:56:26 PM by 4wd » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2009, 10:01:26 PM »

If you are looking for something simple Nero will do what you want. Ulead also sells something that is fairly powerful, but won't overwhelm with complexity.
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KenR
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2009, 11:16:40 PM »

Hello.

Great start to the thread. Thanks for the comments folks. Hopefully a lot more members will comment.

I am a little surprised that no one has mentioned ConvertX to DVD, Video DVD Maker, or DVD Flick. All of these are encoders and writers. Do people dislike these three programs for some reason? Negative feedback about software to warn me away from problematic software is also welcome!

Again, thank you very much.

Ken
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Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2009, 11:34:45 PM »

DeVeDe is a nice program (I reviewed it in the mini-reviews section sometime ago) - it's dead simple to use, and you get a nice result at the other end. 

i did quite a bit of further testing and in my case the final video quality didn't end up being very good so I reverted to DVD flick (good quality, but no menus Angry).

This could have been because of the source files I was using (I had more than the program could handle, so I had to kludge them together), or because the app (apparently) converts the source into a common format before encoding (too many conversions), or simply because i didn't know what I was doing... 

This isn't to say that DeVeDe isn't a good tool (it is), or that it won't work for you (only one way to find out  tongue), only that ultimately it fell short for me
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4wd
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2009, 11:43:02 PM »

I am a little surprised that no one has mentioned ConvertX to DVD, Video DVD Maker, or DVD Flick.

I did actually try ConvertX to DVD way back when it first came out but I found I had much more control over the output with WinAVI so I kind of stuck with that - it might of been seriously upgraded since then though so that's one reason why I didn't mention it, (the other is I forgot smiley )

Arrghh!  My brain hurts!

Yes I also tried Video DVD Maker Free but again, compared to the control I had over the final product using discrete programs, (DVDLab and one of the encoders I mentioned), I never really progressed past trying it.

I also tried DVDAuthorGUI:
Quote
The gui is meant to be an easy means to create a basic DVD.

My brain must have been on holiday at that point because it drove me crazy after about 10 minutes and I gave up.  Read: I couldn't do what I wanted easily and gave up.

Addendum: BTW, I have yet to see over the years since DVD players first appeared, any DVD player that won't play a straight MPEG1 or MPEG2 file directly off of a disc.  So if you're not concerned with fancy menus or chapter points you can try just encoding your various clips to MPEG2 format using Avidemux and then just writing them to a DVD as files with .mpg extensions.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2009, 11:59:38 PM by 4wd » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2009, 12:47:32 AM »

I've used DVDAuthorGUI over the past few years. It's a bit different.  When I used it often, I had chapter text files with the chapter times, such as 8 minutes apart, 10, 15, and just pasted the times into the chapter window.  It has some quirks.  Adding titles that are demuxed into video and audio is straight-forward, but you can also use .mpg files that have navpacks.  As with subtitles, it looks like originally supported file types were put in first, then later additional file types were added but you have to drop the list down to see them.  A bit weird until you know the other file types are there.  Still, it's an easy way to author esp. if you don't care about motion menus and just want to take .mpg output from QuEnc or something similar.(another free converter btw QuEnc .. based on ffmpeg.)

On the .mpg playback, maybe players are better now at handling data DVDs but I've had players that would only play the first .mpg file in the list.  After that it hangs.  Maybe it's fixed in the new players.  But if you have an .mpg with navpacks, it's easy to author with DVDAuthorGUI or SVCD2DVD(not free but good for some tasks, esp. taking SVCD input and authoring standard DVD from it.. not so much call for that as there used to be, and the author not being dumb added .avi to mpg conversion. The good thing about SVCD2DVD is if the mpg is good as it is, it just authors without reencoding.)

On all these converters there seems to be one or two formats that make them choke and it varies by tool.  So it's a good idea to have 3 or 4.  For fast it's tough to beat FAVC esp. if you have a quad core.  FAVC comes with QuEnc, already mentioned, and another free converter, HC Encode.
You can set it to launch as many video converter instances as you have cores.  It splits up the input file into that many pieces and encodes each piece on a core.  Kicks ass... although at times you can get muxing spikes.  Not sure why.  Seems to work best if you only feed it one input file. The other downer is it looks like v. 1.07 is the last in the list.  Haven't seen Mr Odwin around anywhere.  Maybe he had to actually make some money someplace. smiley


« Last Edit: June 19, 2009, 12:57:58 AM by MilesAhead » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: June 19, 2009, 02:18:39 AM »

On the .mpg playback, maybe players are better now at handling data DVDs but I've had players that would only play the first .mpg file in the list.

We have a better class of cheap Chinese imports here in Australia  tongue

Plus I only write ISO9660/UDF format DVDs, (data and video), so the player never has to deal with foreign formats like Toilet...err...Joliet.

The only problem I've ever had is with the player not liking the DVD brand.
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« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2009, 07:01:09 AM »

I personally rely on ConvertXtoDVD from VSO to master DVD when the source is not mpeg2 and DVD compliant.  A reencoding is then required.  For mpeg2 and DVD compliant sources, I either use VideoRedoTVSuite or TMPGEnc 3.  All those are shareware, TMPGEnc is rather expensive.
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2009, 09:00:55 AM »

Ken,

I have good success with Ashampoo Burning Studio 9. It supports a wide variety of video formats. It sells for $49.99 but if you click on the "Service Letter" option on the menu bar and scroll down a bit on the new page you will see an offer where you can purchase the program for $29.99.
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KenR
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« Reply #16 on: June 19, 2009, 09:05:00 AM »

Ken,

I have good success with Ashampoo Burning Studio 9. It supports a wide variety of video formats. It sells for $49.99 but if you click on the "Service Letter" option on the menu bar and scroll down a bit on the new page you will see an offer where you can purchase the program for $29.99.

mwfuss,

I have been using Burning Studio 8. I found there were video formats that it wouldn't read though. Have video formats been added from 8 to 9? When I looked at it, it looked llike the changes were elsewhere, though I forget the big change now.

Thanks, Ken
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2009, 09:31:00 AM »

Ken,

To be honest, I only use Burning Studio for burning audio discs, I just know from the program and the documentation that it handles a wide range of video formats.
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2009, 10:06:34 AM »

I probably should have mentioned this in my last post, but I'll share my solution with you. I used to run around scurrying for the best ways to put divx files on DVD & I finally got fed up one day & bought a DVD player capable of playing divx files that had a USB port on the front of it.

Now I just put my video files onto my USB flash drive & plug it into the DVD player. Saved me a crap-load of money in blank DVD discs.
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« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2009, 10:09:43 AM »

I probably should have mentioned this in my last post, but I'll share my solution with you. I used to run around scurrying for the best ways to put divx files on DVD & I finally got fed up one day & bought a DVD player capable of playing divx files that had a USB port on the front of it.

Now I just put my video files onto my USB flash drive & plug it into the DVD player. Saved me a crap-load of money in blank DVD discs.

Sure, but with DVD format you also get chaptering, which is useful when you don't watch all in one session.  Also, fast forward, rewind work nicely, for divx it may depend on the player.
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« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2009, 12:09:31 PM »

I probably should have mentioned this in my last post, but I'll share my solution with you. I used to run around scurrying for the best ways to put divx files on DVD & I finally got fed up one day & bought a DVD player capable of playing divx files that had a USB port on the front of it.

Now I just put my video files onto my USB flash drive & plug it into the DVD player. Saved me a crap-load of money in blank DVD discs.

Cool idea Innuendo. I'll definitely use that approach when I can.  Thmbsup

Ken
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2009, 12:56:03 PM »

On the .mpg playback, maybe players are better now at handling data DVDs but I've had players that would only play the first .mpg file in the list.

We have a better class of cheap Chinese imports here in Australia  tongue

Plus I only write ISO9660/UDF format DVDs, (data and video), so the player never has to deal with foreign formats like Toilet...err...Joliet.

The only problem I've ever had is with the player not liking the DVD brand.

Could be.  Imgburn seems to do the same if I let it have its way.  I haven't tried it in a long time just because of(bad pun on the way) being burned in the past. smiley
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2009, 01:06:17 PM »

Sure, but with DVD format you also get chaptering, which is useful when you don't watch all in one session.  Also, fast forward, rewind work nicely, for divx it may depend on the player.

Try to get one that at least has Divx Ultra support. At least on mine, hitting the Stop button works like with a DVD instead of going back to the start of the file.  Also I can FF 32x and it supports chapters and menus if the .divx has been formatted for that.  .wmv still has a way to go, it will play but that's about all.  So I convert with AviDemux to xvid one pass or to DVD depending on the vid.
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2009, 01:31:17 PM »

DVD Lab Pro! +1
If you are serious and want to make a full-featured DVD with Hollywood super effects, DVD Lab Pro by mediachance is the only one to look at. Its extensive capabilities and feature set rival scenarist (which is the program Hollywood uses and costs around $20,000!). DVD-Lab Pro does almost as much for $245. And if you need a good video editor, they offer a package deal where you get both DVD Lab Pro and Edit Studio Pro for $299. Edit Studio Pro, which was a product offered by PureMotion (which went out of business), was recently acquired by mediachance who promptly upgraded it to version 6. This editor includes the high quality MainConcept mpeg-2 encoder which produces the DVD compliant files which are required by DVD-Lab. I agree with 4wd that the Studio version is probably the better choice if you don't need the extra bells and whistles that come with the Pro version (i.e. more than 2 audio tracks, titles with both 16:9 and 4:3 aspect etc).

About the company: - The one-man-show of mediachance, ("Oscar" is his moniker), is truly a genius and the quantity and quality of the software he has produced is amazing. His software takes complex tasks (video editing, image creation, editing and manipulation, DVD mastering, etc), and makes them very easy for the user, without sacrificing functionality. Like Jan at JGSoft, he writes lots of quality code that is highly functional and very reasonably priced. I can't say enough good about both of these guys!

But for generating very high quality DVD mpeg-2 files (with Dolby AC3 digital audio), from any input file type, I prefer to use the TMPGenc 4.0 XPress stand alone encoder. It has never let me down (and can convert anything to anything else).

However, if you want a cheaper, but still quite powerful all-in-one application that can edit the video, encode the mpeg-2 files and burn the DVD all in one whack, take a look at Magix Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus. The latest "Plus" version runs about $90 (don't bother with the cheaper non-plus version). I've used several versions of this Magix software (10, 11, 11+ and 14+ but not yet 15) and like it very much (even though its installation process can be rather obtrusive, and the program has been known to crash on occasion.) This software is packed with LOTS of cool features including unlimited tracks, keyframe animation, excellent audio capabilities (5.1 surround), and lots of very powerful effects and transitions. MEP also features the MainConcept encoder. This is my editor of choice.

One more note: avoid Pinnacle products like the plague! Trust me on this one...

sorry about the long post - can you tell I like messing with video? smiley
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 01:33:07 PM by widgewunner » Logged
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2009, 06:04:08 PM »

All sort of comes back around to mouser's comment.  If you want bells and whistles and motion menus and fancy packaging the software list is likely to be a lot different than if you just want an easy reliable compliant quality VIDEO_TS authored from a straight conversion.

OTOH if you want to take source material and actually mess with it yourself, that's another matter. That I am not into.  Think the most I ever did was take some audio and put fades at the end when the end of a track was too abrupt. smiley

Guess it should break down into

    --   Straight Conversions
-
    --   Video Creation

and on from that divide
« Last Edit: June 20, 2009, 06:06:45 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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