Combining dvds onto a blu ray disk

vbimport

#1

Inspired by a recent question on this subject, I decided to explore the problems involved in combining dvds onto a blu ray disc using both my regular tools for working with video and a new tool that has only recently been released. All of the programs I use here are free to download and use without restriction.

I started with three decrypted movies on the hard drive. These are a series from a few years ago, and would make a nice set on a single disc.

I use AVStoDVD for many projects and recommend it for many conversions, but it has a couple of settings within it that made it a good choice for this experiment. First, it has the ability to accept audio and video that are already dvd-compliant and pass them through without re-encoding them. Second, it offers something that my normal dvd authoring program does not have: the ability to output dvd-video in custom sizes, rather than just the two normal sizes to fit DVD-5 or DVD-9.

I knew AVStoDVD could produce dvd-video within the 8.4gb size limit of DVD-9 in custom sizes, but what I needed was something that could go well over that size and still produce a dvd-video, even though that is not within the normal specifications.

So, I went into DVD-Size within AVStoDVD and set the custom size to 24000 mb. Edit: On reflection, this should probably be 23500.

As part of the experiment, I tried to import the videos straight into AVStoDVD. When you import the first ifo file, AVStoDVD starts up DGIndex and indexes the movie. This was something of a disaster from the start. The d2v files, when imported, almost doubled the size of the movies…somehow the upper limit change had completely fubared the internal workings and instead of ~13gb of video, I was looking at 23gb. And the program would NOT let the video pass through without re-encoding it. So I gave up on importing the movies straight into AVStoDVD. I may try running them through DGIndex manually at some point, but for now I fell back on my usual method of importing dvd-video into AVStoDVD, which is to convert the vob files to mpeg using Vob2Mpg.

Vob2Mpg produced three mpeg files from the movies. Since I wanted the subtitle files as well, I used PGCDemux to remove the subtitles for each movie. I imported each mpeg file and added the subtitles for each title. I checked each title to make certain that the program was allowing me to pass the video and audio through without re-encoding anything. I set up the menu so that I could select each movie, then I let AVStoDVD get to work.

This process didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. Neither of the encoders started up, but ffmpeg was running and it eventually gave me an error saying the video was 0 bytes. :eek: But there was an option to ignore the error and continue. So, I let it run. Each time the program came to the end of a title while processing the video, it gave the same error. But in the end, I had a 12.8gb dvd video. The whole process was done in a fairly short time…approximately 12 minutes.

I tested the extra large dvd video in my normal player (TMT3), and it seemed to work ok. Each movie could be selected from the menu, and played well. Audio/Video synchronization was not adversely affected and of course video quality was the same. The subtitles also worked. The only odd thing was navigation. The first movie would not advance by chapter. It simply jumped you into the next title if you wanted to go forward. The second and third movies had chapters you could advance to. Weird. Fast forward and reverse worked fine.

So now we get to the new program that I have only recently heard about. It is called DVD2BD Express. This program will convert dvd-video into blu ray format. The problem is, it will only take one title at a time. So you can’t simply load several dvds into the program and get a blu ray compliant folder output…it will only take the one movie. Which is why I was trying to combine several dvd movies before using this new program.

One good part about DVD2BD is that it will keep the menu intact.

So I imported the oversized dvd-video into DVD2BD and let it work. Twenty minutes later I had a blu ray format version of my combined dvd video. This blu ray version played well in my software player on my computer, with the menu fully functional, and the subtitles worked, but once the movie started playing, there was no navigation at all. You couldn’t jump ahead or back. Fast forward worked, and reverse, but that was all.

So, in the end, I’d say it was a mild success. I now have a blu ray version of the three movies ready to be burned to one 25gb blu ray disc, with no picture quality loss.

Here is the list of tools used (with links):

AVStoDVD

DVD2BD Express

Vob2Mpg

PGCDemux


#2

Very interesting stuff there Kerry, and I enjoyed reading that so thanks for posting your experiences.

The only software I’m aware of that is specifically designed to do this task is DVD neXt COPY Ultimate or DVD neXt COPY neXt Tech both of which will let you combine up ten DVDs onto one Blu-ray.

DVD2One can produce valid oversize DVD titlesets by increasing the VOB sizes (this is supported by the DVD specs but not usually seen) which may solve the chapters problem for you but again this is commercial software.

It would be great if someone could figure out a freeware method of doing this though.

[B]Wombler[/B]


#3

Second attempt, trying to combine four dvds with AVStoDVD wasn’t nearly as successful. I got a dvd-video out of it alright, but the third film wouldn’t play evenly. Not sure what was going on there, but of course, I’m pushing the program well beyond its intended use.


#4

I did find out that my regular dvd authoring program, DVD Lab Pro, can produce an oversized dvd with no problems. You simply have to make a multiple VTS dvd-video and a VMG menu to select the individual movies. Each movie is a separate VTS in that structure. Doesn’t help with the goal of finding a free solution however.

Anyone know of a free dvd authoring program that offers this?


#5

Great work Kerry56

BTY the PGCDemux link did not work here


#6

^Thanks for letting me know bean55. It should be fixed now.

Next attempt with AVStoDVD went well. Only one warning notice from ffmpeg while processing four movies (changed the third one). And the oversized dvd plays well. But so far, there is no navigation by chapters with any of these oversized dvds in the first movie. Skipping forward or back by chapter does sometimes work in the others. But it hardly matters, as nothing so far has had chapter navigation once converted to blu ray structure.


#7

Fixed

Keep up the good work Kerry56


#8

Great topic.

We do a LOT of “Best Of” DVD creation - snagging episodes from disparate boxsets, or collecting our own videos for best-of series. Our Nero 6 and 7 setups on XP allow us to easy accomplish this (as well as create ‘oversized’ folders of DVD-compliant files) but the Win7 versions (Nero 10 and 11) no longer provide this service (or that we can find, at least - hiding tried-and-true services doesn’t seem like any more of an ‘upgrade’ than just tossing them out in the first place).

This will be a thread I’ll study later to see if these tools can help us make the eventual move out of XP services into an equally easy-to-use format.


#9

Kerry, on the other thread, there was a mention of using dvdremake to produce the vob set necessary for DVDtoBDExpress.
Since I am not much of a geek, I was unable to determine it dvdremake could be used to do this as the program isn’t very intuitive.
DVDtoBDExpress seems to be solid.
I could get mpeg video wizard to generate a vob set but DVDtoBDExpress would error, if I remember correctly, on the 8th vob.
I tried DVDWS2 and it would crash everytime, maybe I will fool with it some more…

I followed the way you were doing it, using Vob2Mpg to get a mpg for each movie then trying to author 3 movie dvds with those program I listed.
For some reason, authoring progs don’t seem to like putting multiple dvds together, going over the dvd9 size.


#10

@Steve33
DVD authoring programs are designed to produce an output that is compliant to the specifications set out for dvd-video. Pushing beyond the size limits for DVD-9 may not be completely out of spec, but it is so unusual that the authoring programs don’t always allow it.

As I said, I’ve only found a couple of ways to do this so far. AVStoDVD uses Muxman for authoring purposes, so I have to assume that it will work to make an oversized dvd by itself, but I don’t see how to do that with the free version of Muxman. And the whole point of this experiment was to use free tools.

I’ve been talking to MrC (the author of AVStoDVD) about the error in ffmpeg, but so far I don’t think he’s been able to figure out what is triggering the error message. Hard to troubleshoot from long distance sometimes.


#11

MrC has added a timer and default action to continue processing the video when the glitch shows up in ffmpeg. This can be found in the 2.5 Alpha version of AVStoDVD, which can be downloaded here. There doesn’t seem to be an full install version available yet, so I used the no-install version.

With the timer and default action to continue, this means AVStoDVD can be used on unattended compilations of oversized dvds.

So, to sum up, it seems we do have a solution now to combine several dvd movies into one large blu ray movie using only free tools. You won’t have the original menus, or extras, but you will have a simple menu to select each movie.

Here are the step by step instructions:

1.Decrypt and rip your movies to the hard drive. I prefer AnyDVD HD for this, but use whichever program you prefer.

  1. Use Vob2Mpg to consolidate the vob files in each movie and output to a mpeg file for each.

  2. If you want the subtitles, extract them from the original dvd rips using PGCDemux.

  3. Use the 2.5 Alpha version of AVStoDVD. Set it up to keep dvd compliant video and audio, and set the output size to Custom, with a total size of 23500 Mb. Also make sure you are making a dvd video for your area (NTSC for the US, PAL for most other places)

  4. Import the mpeg files, start the Menu Editor and setup the menu however you like. Close the Menu Editor, make a name for your dvd and set your output where you need it on the hard drive. If you want to include subtitles, right click on the movie in the main window of AVStoDVD to get to the controls for adding subtitles.

  5. Click Start in AVStoDVD

  6. Take the oversized dvd that AVStoDVD creates, and use it as input into DVD2BD Express.

  7. Let DVD2BD Express finish, then if you want to burn to a disc, use ImgBurn to burn to a 25gb blu ray.


#12

@ Kerry . I won’t take up too much space & get this off topic .
Just to see how it goes you might try to DGIndex the vob files of each movie & use the .d2v file . I can’t say if that would be better than Vob2Mpg or not.

I previously downloaded the AVStoDVD alpha but I haven’t tried it yet.
I’ve been thinking of trying it on the problem I’ve posted in another thread.
Still playing around with AVStoDVD on that but no real sucess so far.


#13

This alpha version is slightly different and was just released today cholla.

I may try d2v files as input, but what I’d really like to see is a free authoring program that could work with the Video_TS folders directly and import the video, audio and subtitles in one step. Theoretically, AVStoDVD could eventually do this, but in the current version, its use of DGIndex internally is basically broken when going to oversized output.


#14

Although I’m still going to work with the stable version for now I will download this alpha.
Probably later today.
I think I posted this it the other thread but I think it is applicable to this thread.
If you use AVStoDVD to “join” the .vobs into an AVS file with Tools/Join Source Titles (AVS file) the Audio will only be 2 channel even if the source is 5.1 . I haven’t tried the Alpha to do that so maybe it would have different results.
I also don’t know how this would work with multiple movies. In theory I guess they could be done individually & a multiple made from the AVS files if it wasn’t for the Audio problem.
I’m not working with blu ray yet so I can’t test .


#15

I used that no install version you have linked and was able to get through the process entirely and had DVD2BD to complete its task but didn’t really closely check results.
Yes, I agree, it would be nicer to simply place dvd folders in an authoring program rather than change it to mpg.

I processed 3 dvd movies to BD some months back using multiavchd but didn’t check the results of it very closely either.


#16

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2644688]@Steve33
DVD authoring programs are designed to produce an output that is compliant to the specifications set out for dvd-video. Pushing beyond the size limits for DVD-9 may not be completely out of spec, but it is so unusual that the authoring programs don’t always allow it.
[/QUOTE]

Yeah the VOB file sizes are normally set at 1 GB for backwards compatibility with older filing systems such as FAT32.

I remember getting advice from MPUcoder about this a while ago and there’s no reason why you can’t have larger VOBs according to the official DVD specifications.

As you’ve found out though very few programs support this by default and they’re nearly all commercial programs.

This is a fascinating thread BTW that I’ve been following with interest and I’m glad you’ve eventually been able to get all this to work.

[B]Wombler[/B]


#17

Very nice indeed Kerry! :flower:

I was thinking you could probably save a step (ie combine 1 and 2 in post #11) by using DVD Decrypter in IFO mode, with file splitting set to ‘None’, to rip the main title set (all with AnyDVD running in the background). Then just change file extension to .mpg

Would save using Vob2Mpg to separately combine the VOBs.


#18

There seem to be some issues with using DVDDecrypter in IFO mode and then renaming the vob file. I set DVDDecrypter to output as one vob file instead of breaking them into 1gb chunks. I also set it to allow stream processing and left out one extra audio stream.

I then renamed the vob file as an mpeg file. (you’ll need to enable viewing of known extensions in Folder Options to do this). What I got was an mpeg file with one ac3 audio stream and the video. Importing this to AVStoDVD, the program wanted to index the file. The first time I tried it, I did so without indexing it, but instead of a 5.2gb file, it showed up as a 256mb file. :confused:

Alright, so I tried letting AVStoDVD index the file with DGIndex. The result was an 8.3gb file in the assets. So I tried to run DGIndex manually, but it would not process this mpeg file.

On rare occasions you will find programs that don’t like vob files renamed to mpeg. DGIndex appears to be one of them. [B]Edit: Ooops. My mistake. Second attempt went fine, so it wasn’t the fault of the renaming.[/B]

Its been a very long time since I’ve used DVDDecrypter, so maybe I’ve set something incorrectly? I’m currently trying the process again.

Since you won’t have a full copy of the movie on the hard drive using this approach, you’ll need to extract the subtitles straight from the disc. There are a lot of ways to do this however.


#19

Can I get DVDDecrypter to run on Vista 64?
I think I got a non-compatible dialog box on trying to install it several years ago.
Perhaps I’ll try again…


#20

Next attempt to use the IFO mode output from DVDDecrypter also failed. There is something odd going on. Oh well, it was a good idea.

@Steve33
Back when I used Vista 64bit, it worked for me. It certainly works in Win 7 64bit. If you have any issues, run it in XP SP2 compatibility mode.