Bummer: DVD Hive wants XP. Best bet for Win2k?

vbimport

#1

I’ve been struggling to assemble all the separate software bits for this DVD burning task and I’m a bit stuck at the moment.

Got the DVD Decrypter to get everything on the hard drive.

Got CDBurnerXP Pro to write a DVD from an ISO image file.

Had ratDVD for reading .VOB containers and making a smaller file, but finally realized (thanks Wikipedia) that it was closed source, proprietary and (oh yeah) couldn’t produce an ISO image for burning.

DVD Hive looked promising, except that it requires XP.

What else is there for Win32 that’s open source or freeware and hopefully does not have a gazillion bloated dependencies like .NET?

I expect to license something like CloneDVD anyway, but I also like to be able to manipulate the different pieces separately if I get the urge.


#2

How small do you want the dvds to be? DVDShrink will get them down a fair ways, and is free.

I’d recommend RipIt4Me for decrypting, ripping and shrinking the disks. It combines DVDDecrypter, DVDShrink and FixVTS in one program—and it is still being updated to work with newer encryption schemes. RipIt4Me is free.

For burning ISO’s the best program I know of is ImgBurn. It is also free—it is an update of the burning engine in DVDDecrypter.

But everything really depends on how small you want to go with the files. Do they have to be in dvd format, or can you use divx or xvid?


#3

It seems to me that by tossing out the 4:3 version, some less than wonderful bonus content and a few other things, you really shouldn’t have to be all that aggressive with the compression.

What ratDVD did seem to compress things well at the default, but GOD was it slow!

I also read in Wikipedia that it didn’t hold any records for either compression size or speed for that matter.

DVDShrink will get them down a fair ways, and is free.

I’d recommend RipIt4Me for decrypting, ripping and shrinking the disks.

It combines DVDDecrypter, DVDShrink and FixVTS in one program—and it is still being updated to work with newer encryption schemes.

RipIt4Me is free.
You just saved me a ton of looking. Thanks!
For burning ISO’s the best program I know of is ImgBurn. It is also free—it is an update of the burning engine in DVDDecrypter.
I’m obviously going to have to try this program again. It would successfully complete the burn process for me, but then hang when preparing to draw some graph or something. Left a message indicating that it was waiting for a thread to finish, so maybe I could go back and play with process / processor affinity and get farther with it.
But everything really depends on how small you want to go with the files. Do they have to be in dvd format, or can you use divx or xvid?
I’m looking for the best balance of size and speed. I’m not willing for something to take twice as long if it only gives me a 10 percent size reduction. I’d be happy to fudge the quality factor a bit and get something that’s pretty good and REALLY fast, for instance. You can always play around with how much of the bonus content you toss out too.

Format? I’m sort of format ignorant at this point. I’ve learned that it shouldn’t be proprietary. I want formats that are well accepted by a variety of programs so that the output has broad utility. The one absolute for me is that if you can’t easily make a disk out of the result then it doesn’t help me.


#4

[B]lasitter:[/B]

For removal of unwanted content, VOBblanker is a nice freeware opensource tool to do what you require.

http://jsoto.posunplugged.com/vobblanker.htm

Once unwanted content has been removed, I would recommend the use of DVDRebuilder freeware edition for conversion to DVD5 if the source is still too large to fit onto standard recordable disc. It comes with several freeware encoders & a transcoder (the method DVDshrink uses to compress DVD-Video). For longer content, an encoder will yield noticeably nicer result, especially the larger the display device you have.

http://www.jdobbs.com/


#5

Wow. You saved me a lot of time looking with this recommendation

Once unwanted content has been removed, I would recommend the use of DVDRebuilder freeware edition for conversion to DVD5 if the source is still too large to fit onto standard recordable disc. It comes with several freeware encoders & a transcoder (the method DVDshrink uses to compress DVD-Video). For longer content, an encoder will yield noticeably nicer result, especially the larger the display device you have.
Just grabbed it. It’s sort of amazing how many sets of input and output files this sort of segmented processing can produce. I can see how having a turnkey solution like CloneDVD or Alcohol can be an appealing thing!

The answers I’ve gotten back from this forum have really helped in narrowing down my software search. I was really drowning in search results from Google, without any clues as to what works well and what does not.

Many thanks.


#6

Quality of the playback experience – hmmm. Do you think I should consider that too at some point? :wink:

I tripped across something that sounds good but I don’t know if it’s “for real”, so I’d be grateful for any insight you have with regards to it.

Ever heard of the “Combined Community Codec Pack” (CCCP)? Is it one of those things that sounds good in theory but is a bitch to pull off in real life, or what?

I guess that if I only wanted to play my backup DVDs on my own machine, I could pretty much pick whatever open format / matching codec offered the best balance of speed and compression and quality, assuming that the player software didn’t get abandoned …

I already have PowerDVD (and other options), but if there were something lite, fast, dependency free but still more full featured than the default dvdplay, I might be interested in that also.

I also have the option of watching standard MPEG files with the Hauppauge PVR-350, which sports hardware acceleration for (external) playback, but with all this other software in the mix I can’t say that I know how best to make use of this capability.

I have to stop for a bit as my head is spinning again from all the options.

Many thanks for those earlier recommendations!


#7

[B]lasitter:[/B]

I’m glad you found my suggestions useful :slight_smile:

I shall try to answer your questions with my own experiences. CCCP sounds similar to K-lite codec & other packages which some users like to use. My personal setup uses FFDshow (will decode most codecs including XviD/DivX/AVC/MPEG), Mplayer Classic (lite,fast & opensource) & Haali Media Splitter.This combination of programs can play nearly all codecs/container formats except for Apple Quicktime/RealVideo (but there are ways to even play these codecs without needing official players).

http://ffdshow.faireal.net/
http://haali.cs.msu.ru/mkv/

As for which codec to use, I feel there are only 3 useful choices:

[ul]
[li]AVC/H.264 : growing hardware support but currently limited, used by HD-Video formats, best size/quality ratio generally. Takes most time to convert to.
[/li][li]XviD/DivX MPEG-4 : good hardware support, quality is acceptable but needs quite large size to be considered perceptually lossless (=picture quality looks same as original source) IMO. Medium conversion time.
[/li][li]MPEG-2 : standard DVD-Video format, best hardware support of course, generally largest file size of 3 choices for same perceptual quality. Fastest conversion time (from very fast for transcoding to relatively fast if using a good encoder).
[/li][/ul]

All 3 should be quite future proof as all have open source implementations available.

If you want to play your video files on other players easily, then MPEG-2 is the only real choice, your Hauppauge PVR-350 would support output of such files to a large screen TV (assuming you want to do this.), or burn to standard recordable DVD disc & playback on a standalone player.