1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

DVD-Video Authoring FAQ

Discussion in 'Video to DVD' started by vurbal, Oct 12, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    In an attempt to answer some basic questions people have when they start authoring DVDs I've created a (far from complete) FAQ to get started. If you have any comments about or suggestions for this FAQ feel free to post them in the FAQ Discussion thread (http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/243225).

    1. What is DVD Authoring?

    2. What software can I use to author a DVD?

    3. What are the requirements for DVD compliant video?

    4. What are the requirements for DVD compliant audio?

    5. What software can I use to encode audio to AC-3?

    6. How do I change my VOB files into a standard MPEG file so my editor or authoring program can open it?

    7. I already have VOB files. How do I author them to a DVD?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2005
  2. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    1. What is DVD Authoring?

    DVD authoring is the process of combining video, audio, and sometimes subpicture information together into a format that a standalone DVD player can read. This does not include encoding video to MPEG. Those questions should be posted to our MPEG encoding forum (http://forums.afterdawn.com/forum_view.cfm/40). Technically audio encoding isn't part of authoring either, but since no other Afterdawn forum is really intended for this, and it's commonly done in authoring software, it's fine to post those questions here. You may also want to try the Audio forum (http://forums.afterdawn.com/forum_view.cfm/37) for audio help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2005
  3. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    2. What software can I use to author a DVD?

    There are many different programs for DVD authoring, ranging from the professional tools costing thousands of dollars that commercial discs are created with to simple tools available for free that may only create a single set of VOB files for a single title. Some authoring software includes editing, burning, or encoding features while others are only capable authoring. This is a sampling of what's available:

    Freeware/Donation-ware
    IfoEdit (http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/dvd-r_tools/ifoedit.cfm)
    MuxMan (http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/video_tools/muxman.cfm)
    ReJig (http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/video_tools/rejig.cfm)
    dvdauthor/GUI for dvdauthor (http://www.videohelp.com/~gfd/)
    DVDStyler (http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/dvd_tools/dvdstyler.cfm)

    Home Software
    TMPGEnc DVD Author (http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video_software/dvd-r_tools/tmpgenc_dvd_author.cfm)
    DVD-Lab Studio (http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/index.html)
    DVD Movie Factory (http://www.ulead.com/dmf/features.htm)
    DVD Workshop Express (http://www.ulead.com/dws/dws_express/features.htm)
    MyDVD (http://www.sonic.com/products/Consumer/MyDVD/default.aspx)
    Nero Ultra Edition (http://www.nero.com/nero7/enu/index.html)
    DVD Architect(http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/products/showproduct.asp?pid=977)

    Professional/Pro-sumer Software
    DVD-Lab Pro (http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/dvdlabpro.html)
    DVD Workshop (http://www.ulead.com/dws/features.htm)
    Encore DVD (http://www.adobe.com/products/encore/)
    ReelDVD (http://www.sonic.com/products/Professional/ReelDVD/quicklook.aspx)
    DVDit (http://www.sonic.com/products/Professional/dvdit/dvditStandard/quicklook.aspx)
    DVDit Pro (http://www.sonic.com/products/Professional/dvdit/dvditPro/quicklook.aspx)
    DVD Producer (http://www.sonic.com/products/Professional/Producer/Producer/quicklook.aspx)
    Scenarist (http://www.sonic.com/products/Professional/Scenarist/default.aspx)
    Movie Studio+DVD (http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/products/showproduct.asp?pid=967)
    DVDMaestro*

    * Spruce Technology, the company that made DVDMaestro, was purchased by Apple and DVDMaestro is no longer produced, but you may be able to find an existing copy for sale. If you need a newer version of the software you should look into DVD Studio Pro for Mac OSX.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2005
  4. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    3. What are the requirements for DVD compliant video

    The DVD standard allows several standards for resolution and framerates. Which combinations are compliant for a given DVD depends partly on what standard it's authored to (NTSC or PAL) and partly on whether it's MPEG-2 or MPEG-1 video.

    NTSC:
    Framerate
    - 29.97fps
    - 23.976fps w/pulldown *

    MPEG-2 Resolution
    - 720x480
    - 704x480
    - 352x480
    - 352x240

    MPEG-1 Resolution
    - 352x240

    * All NTSC video is read at 29.97fps but most film sources are actually encoded at 23.976fps and pulldown is used to make the player's MPEG decoder repeat some information so the effective framerate is 29.97fps. Your DVD authoring software may do this for you or you may have to do it before using the video for your DVD.

    PAL:
    Framerate
    - 25fps

    MPEG-2 Resolution
    - 720x576
    - 704x576
    - 352x576
    - 352x288

    MPEG-1 Resolution
    - 352x288
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2005
  5. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    4. What are the requirements for DVD compliant audio?

    The DVD specifications allow for LPCM (uncompressed), AC-3 (Dolby Digital), MPEG Audio, and DTS (Digital Theater Systems). The official requirement is that all NTSC discs must have at least 1 AC-3 or LPCM audio stream, while all PAL discs must have at least 1 AC-3, LPCM, or MPEG Audio stream. Because of this (and because DTS support is optional in DVD players) it's generally not a good idea to have only DTS audio on a DVD, however if you have a player and stereo that support DTS it may not be a problem. MPEG Audio is also questionable on some players. You may run across an NTSC player that doesn't support it (though this is rare) and you may not be able to output it using a digital connection.

    LPCM
    LPCM audio may be sampled at 16, 20, or 24 bits, with a frequency of either 48kHz or 96kHz, and up to 8 channels, but using anything other than 2 channel/16 bit/48kHz LPCM doesn't work correctly (or at all) on some players.

    AC-3
    AC-3 audio may be sampled at up to 24 bits, with a frequency of 48kHz, and anywhere from 1 to 7.1 channels. AC-3 is generally categorized by bitrate, and the DVD specifications allow for bitrates between 64kbps and 448kbps. 2 channel AC-3 audio is generally encoded at 192kbps, while 5.1 channel is normally at either 384kbps or 448kbps.

    MPEG Audio
    According to the DVD specifications MPEG Audio is only supported on PAL players, but in reality most NTSC players can play it, especially if they also play VCD or SVCD. MPEG audio may be sampled at 16, 20, or 24 bits, at 48kHz, with anywhere from 1 to 7.1 channels. Like AC-3, MPEG audio may be encoded at different bitrates, although the range is 32kbps to 912 kbps. Like LPCM, playback of anything other than 2 channel/16 bit/48kHz MPEG audio can vary from 1 player to another.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2005
  6. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    5. What software can I use to encode audio to AC-3?

    Most of the time AC-3 encoders are sold either as part of, or an add-on to, DVD authoring or video editing software, but you can get a standalone encoder. You can find freeware encoders, but they generally aren't completely standards compliant, and are never licensed by Dolby Labs.

    Freeware Standalone Encoders
    FFMPEG (http://ffmpeg.sourceforge.net/index.php)
    BeSweet w/AC3ENC plugin (http://dspguru.doom9.net/)

    Home Standalone Encoders
    TMPGEnc AC-3 Plugin [has a standalone interface] (http://www.pegasys-inc.com/en/product/tsp_ac3.html)

    Professional/Pro-sumer Standalone Encoders
    SurCode Surround Dolby Digital AC-3 Encoder (http://www.surcode.com/)
    SurCode Stereo Dolby Digital AC-3 Encoder (http://www.surcode.com/)

    Soft Encode*

    * Soft Encode is no longer produced, but you may be able to find a used copy.

    Home Software Plugins
    TMPGEnc AC-3 Plugin [TMPGEnc DVD Author, DVD-Lab Pro] (http://www.pegasys-inc.com/en/product/tsp_ac3.html)

    Professional/Pro-Sumer Software Plugins
    SurCode Dolby V-Plug [Adobe Premiere] (http://www.surcode.com/)
    Sony Pictures Dolby Digital AC-3 Encoder [Sound Forge, Vegas]
    Nuendo Dolby Digital Encoder [Nuendo] (http://www.steinberg.de/ProductPage_sb241c.html?Product_ID=2442&Langue_ID=4)

    Software That Includes A Bundled or Plugin Encoder
    Scenarist (http://www.sonic.com/products/Professional/Scenarist/default.aspx)
    Vegas+DVD Production Suite (http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/products/showproduct.asp?pid=967)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2005
  7. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    6. How do I change my VOB files into a standard MPEG file so my editor or authoring program can open it?

    Technically VOB files are 100% standards compliant but those standards allow for private information that isn't used in all MPEGs. There are several ways to extract the video and audio into standard containers (ie either muxed MPEG files or individual audio and video files) so more programs can use them.

    The easiest way to get an MPEG when starting from DVD title sets is using VOB2MPGEG. It will create 1 MPEG file for each title set (VTS). This will include every menu and title in the set of files. If you want a single title instead, you may want to make a movie only copy with a program like DVD Shrink first and then let VOB2MPEG create an MPEG file with just that title.

    Demuxing
    If you need to get separate audio and video files (elementary streams) you can use DGIndex (formerly DVD2AVIdg) to demux either a title set from a DVD or an MPEG from VOB2MPEG. If you're starting with DVD files on your hard drive use the auto-increment option to open the first VOB and then the Demux option from the File menu to get separate audio and video files. The audio files generated by DGIndex will have names that indicate any delay between the video and audio in the VOB. This may come in handy later to keep them in sync with each other.

    Audio Encoding
    Depending on whether the program you're demuxing the streams for can handle AC3 (Dolby Digital) audio you may need to convert it to either PCM (uncompressed) or MPA (MPEG Audio). You can do this with BeSweet. Since BeSweet is a command line utility you'll probably want to use a GUI like BeLight.

    Muxing
    If you need to Mux the elementary streams output by DGIndex you can use any MPEG editor - Cutterman is a good free choice. Since it's a frame accurate MPEG editor you can make any cuts you want as well. Other MPEG editors like Womble MPEG-VCR, Womble Video Wizard, or VideoReDo can be used as well, but Cutterman is free.
    Note: Cutterman only accepts elementary streams as input, so if you're starting out with VOB or MPEG files you'll need to demux before using it.

    Links
    VOB2MPEG
    DGIndex
    BeSweet
    BeLight
    Cutterman
    VideoReDo
    Womble MPEG-VCR & Womble Video Wizard
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2006
  8. vurbal

    vurbal Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2002
    Messages:
    3,102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    66
    7. I already have VOB files. How do I author them to a DVD?

    As long as the VOBs are all for the same title you can author them directly in many programs. Unless you're very short on time or hard drive space I don't recommend authoring with muxed (combined) video/audio files if you can avoid it. By using the methods listed in the previous question of the FAQ you can demux the VOBs to elementary video and audio files for use in your authoring program. If the VOBs contain more than 1 title you'll also need to use an editor of some kind to split them up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2005
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page