DVD Authoring Software

I recently built a new system (my two old computers are based around a Core 2 Duo E6700 and E6750 cpu’s) and after reading about the impending Core I7 release I decided to hold out for the best. So now I have a brand new system that uses a Core I7 950 (glad I waited, if I’d shelled out for the 940 I would have been really annoyed), with 6gb of ram, an XFX GTX 260 graphics adapter, two 1TB Caviar Black hard drives running Vista Ultimate x64.

But here’s the thing, I frequently record TV shows (on one of my other computers with a capture card) and burn them onto DVD. I’m still using the version of Nero Vision which came with Nero 7. The thing is that it takes almost as long (maybe a few minutes less) on the Core I7 machine to encode / transcode the video for burning as it did on my old system. About 45 minutes for every 50 minutes of video, so about 80 minutes for two episodes of something on a single DVD. While Nero Vision is transcoding the CPU’s show less than 20 percent utilization on only one of the four cores.

The only thing that I can figure out is that it’s something in the Nero software and that it just doesn’t make good use of the hardware to speed the transcoding process.

A lot of people really seem to be down on Nero 8 and 9 so I’m looking for a DVD authoring tool to use in place of the version of Nero Vision that I’m now using that will hopefully take better advantage of my new systems hardware. It seems that I read someplace (I can’t seem to locate the reference to it) that there was software that offloaded the encoding tasks to the GPU on the graphics card to greatly speed up video transcoding.

Also I’d read a C/Net article about a company giving away a free authoring tool, WinX DVD Author 5.5.8. So I gave it a try and while it was trying to encode the video for burning the program crashed, I tried it several times with exactly the same results.

Can anyone make a suggestion or two regarding better software?



What format are you capturing in? If it is already in mpeg2 that is compliant to dvd-video specifications, then all you need to do is run it through an authoring program, rather than re-encoding. That in itself will save an enormous amount of time.

DVDStyler should be able to make a dvd for you without reencoding the mpeg2 files. DVDFlick can also do this if you go into Project settings -> Video -> Advanced and tick “Copy MPEG-2 streams”.

If you are not capturing in compliant mpeg2, then my recommendation for a conversion/authoring program would be AVStoDVD. http://www.videohelp.com/tools/AVStoDVD

DVDFlick and DVDStyler can also work for this, but I like the HC encoder that comes with AVStoDVD. All three of these programs are free to use.

A commercial program that is liked around here is ConvertXtoDVD. It seems to be substantially faster than most of the others.

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2457018]What format are you capturing in? If it is already in mpeg2 that is compliant to dvd-video specifications, then all you need to do is run it through an authoring program, rather than re-encoding. That in itself will save an enormous amount of time.[/QUOTE]

I usually edit the file first with VirtualDubMod to edit out the commercials and the padding in front and at the end of the show. Then save it as an uncompressed RGB avi file. I would try and recompress it into the correct mpeg2 format but VirtualDubMod only offers these video compression codec’s in the compression options dialog:
Cinepak Codec by Radius
DivX 6.8.5 Codec
ffdshow Video Codec
Helix YV12 YUV Codec
Intel IYUV codec
Microsoft RLE
Microsoft Video 1
Xvid MPEG-4 Codec

If there is a way to add a compatible mpeg2 codec (or maybe one of the listed codec’s is an mpeg2 codec but I don’t recognize it as such) so that I can save it in a compatible format that Nero Vision doesn’t have to re-encode may solve the problem. I did Google on VirtualDubMod and “Save as mpeg2” and manly turned up references to VirtualDub MPEG2 which is marked as obsolete by the author so I’m not sure where to go with that.



I haven’t used VdubMod in years, but I don’t remember using it for mpeg2 conversion.

You might try AviDemux to do the editing and save as mpeg2 files. In AviDemux, set Video to DVD(mpeg2enc) or DVD(lavc), Audio to AC3(Aften) and Format to Mpeg PS (A+V). You’ll want to play with the Advanced controls on the video and audio settings to get them correct for your particular video.

Make certain to make a file name with an .mpeg extension.

Then import this resulting file to your authoring program of choice. Nero used to have a bad habit of re-encoding when not necessary, but I’m told it no longer does this. I wouldn’t know, as I gave up on Nero entirely a while back.

By the way, you’re saving as uncompressed avi with VdubMod?! Have you ever considered Huffyuv codec? It would still produce large files, but not OMG huge files.

I’m sorry that I’ve been absent on this thread after starting it, I had a little family crisis to deal with and now that’s settled I just wanted to get back to you.

I realized after reading your last message that possibly I was asking the wrong question from the start. I think that the real problem is that while VirtualDubMod can edit the files in question it’s just not able to output the edited results in a Nero friendly mpeg2 format.

I did some more Googling and found a couple possible replacement programs including AviDemux which you suggested and so far it’s really streamlined the process and Nero is not having to re-encode the video’s before burning. So I think that I can say this problem is solved.

Thanks for your help.

  • Norm

I’m sorry to say that I’m still having a problem and need a little guidance from people who know better.

Just a quick summary, my PC DVR software records digital / Hi Def recordings in a file format with a .tp extension. I frequently edit these and burn them to DVD and at the moment the process is rather lengthy due to the fact that I have to convert from the .tp format to mpeg and then edit with VirtualDubMod, save as an avi and then Nero has to re-encode the file again to burn it.

So what I really need is an editing program that can open, edit and then export to mpeg the .tp files that my dvr software outputs. (cutting out these intermediate conversions) At first I tried Womble’s MPeg Video Wizard DVD 4.x and the just released 5 but both of these seem to have a problem with the .tp files since after the edit and export to mpeg the audio and video are out of sync. (also a user noted “[I]Version 5 uses one of the worst MPEG encoders out there - MAIN CONCEPT is known and documented to produce very bad quality encodes and noisy MPEG[/I]”) I tried AviDemux but I can’t seem to figure out how to use it properly since after I edit and save the exported mpeg is unplayable.

One user on the Womble forums seemed to indicate that VideoReDo was a good program so any advice?



I use VideoRedo for editing mpeg files, but I haven’t had to deal with .tp files. There is a fully functional trial available for download if you want to test it. I’d get the trial for VideoRedo TV Suite, since it includes all the capabilities of VideoRedo Plus and includes dvd authoring.

MainConcept is not a bad mpeg2 encoder by the way. It is used as a plug-in to very high quality commercial products, like Adobe Premiere. I’ve used it in the past, and it is comparable to ProCoder and CCE.