How to backup your DVD to VCD (with DVD2SVCD)

How to backup your DVD to VCD (Alternative way)

This is an alternative method to produce top quality VCD's from your DVD's. The guide is substantially easier to use than using DVD2AVI/TMPGEnc method but most importantly, the final results have an improved overall quality, for both Video and Audio. Overall conversion time is similar to the DVD2AVI/TMPGEnc method. It uses DVD2SVCD with the aid of TMPGEnc Encoder.  While DVD2SVCD does support the use of CCE for encoding to VCD, it will produce very poor results. I do not recommend it for VCD, only for SVCD or DVDR.

This procedure is very simple to use and involves only a few steps with very little software to install (and all freeware or shareware).
1. Rip the DVD to HD
2. Load and encode
3. Burn to VCD

Although this guide uses SmartRipper to rip (remove the movies encryption and transfer to your Hard Drive) the movie off the DVD, the built-in or supplied vStrip ripper can also be used. DVD2SVCD is used basically as a fancy but simple GUI of many command line freeware programs to produce the Audio file and then Avisynth to frameserve to TMPGEnc to actually do the final encoding. Then bbMPEG is used to multiplex video and audio together and finally cut them ready for burning. This is all controlled by DVD2SVCD and needs no user input or involvement. So far I have not experienced anything other than perfect lip-sync.

This guide is based on using VCDEasy to burn the final MPG files to VCD (with or without Chapters or Images) or to burn the CUE/BIN files to VCD if you chose to make them. Nero can also be used if you prefer but it is unable to include Chapters. See later about Chapters.

I have only tested this method with PAL Region 2 & 4 DVD's. I know it works for PAL, there may be some tweaking needed for NTSC.

Software you will need:

1.	SmartRipper 2.41 or DVD Decrypter, if needed (d/l from or )
2.	DVD2SVCD 1.2.1 Build 3 or later  ( d/l from )
3.	TMPGEnc Plus 2.521 or later  ( d/l from )
4.	VCDEasy  ( d/l last freeware version from )
You will also need a Computer with:

*	Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000 or XP installed.
*	A Pentium II 500mhz or equivalent as a minimum (TMPGEnc requirement).
*	At least 128meg memory.
*	An internal DVD Rom player (any speed).
*	Hard drive with at least 10 gb FREE space in one partition.
*	A CDR(W) Burner to produce the VCD and a box of good quality CDR's
*	A sound card and VCD player to check the finished product.

Tips before we get started:

*	Turn OFF your Screen Saver, it will simply slow the conversion down by hours.
*	Do not run any other program in the background while DVD2SVCD is running, especially if you have a slower computer.
*	Turn the screens colour depth to 16bit colour or better.
*	Re-boot the computer BEFORE you start the conversion, most important.

So you have downloaded the software and checked that you have the right stuff in your computer.  Sounds good, then lets rip into it!

[b]Step 1:  Getting Ready.[/b]

1.	Install SmartRipper or DVD Decrypter (if needed).
2.	Install TMPGEnc.
3.	Install DVD2SVCD latest version, and select Avisynth 2.52 while installing.
4.	Install VCDEasy.

[b]Step 2:  Copying DVD files to hard drive.[/b]

1. Put the DVD movie into your DVD-Rom player. Pretty easy so far!

2. I prefer to use SmartRipper than DVD2SVCD own internal programs as I can strip out unwanted Audio and Subtitles tracks.  This speeds up the conversion and uses less hard drive space as well. I can also do this part at my leisure and it has never given me a problem.

3. Run SmartRipper, it should detect your DVD and unlock all files. If it has problems, actually play the movie with WinDVD or other DVD player first, then run SmartRipper.

4. Click on Settings and for Key Check set Every VOB File. For File Splitting, set Every VOB File and for Options select Unlock Drive, DeMacrovision, Copy IFO File and Create Directories.  You only need to do this the first time also.

5. Click on Stream Processing tab and check which audio stream is English or the language you wish to rip. Also, if you enable Stream Processing and unselect the languages and subtitles you DONT want, then the final conversion can be sped up considerably.  The VOB files will now be smaller on your HD than they are on the DVD.

6. Click on Start to start ripping the VOB files off the DVD to your hard drive. This can take 5 to 30 minutes depending on your computer setup and the actual DVD.

What you end up on your Hard Drive after ripping is similar to:

VTS_01_0 IFO          77,824 <- - - - - IFO file
VTS_01_1 VOB   1,048,565,696\
VTS_01_2 VOB   1,048,565,696 \ <- - The Main movie
VTS_01_3 VOB   1,048,565,696 /
VTS_01_4 VOB     589,365,248 /

[b]Step 3:  VCD Conversion.[/b]

1. Run DVD2SVCD.  It may complain it cannot find CCE (we don't need CCE installed as we will be using TMPGEnc), so click the [b]Encoder[/b] tab and then select TMPGEnc and in the TMPGEnc x.xx box, point to TMPGenc.exe file in the folder you installed it to. This will happen first time it is run only.

2. Click the [b]Conversion[/b] tab, and load in the IFO file of the DVD you have just ripped to your HD.  It will indicate its length and will also select the correct Aspect ratio mode.  There is no Cut or Crop features here. I do not recommend ticking NTSC to PAL box unless you like jerky movies.

3. Click the [b]Misc.[/b] tab, then Default Output folder to select the Output folder on your HD where all the files will go.  Leave Dont Delete any Files ticked (not important if you dont) as sometimes you can recover an interupted encode, etc. Change DVD2SVD Level to Advanced. Now click on Load Settings button and load in the [b]VCD.ini[/b] file from the DVD2SVCD folder.  This MUST be done as it sets up DVD2SVCD to encode to a compliant VCD. 

4. Click the [b]CDImage[/b] tab. DVD2SVCD now supports Images for VCD's so select VCDXBuild and this will allow the inclusion of Chapters, leading or trailing images, etc. Clicking the "Movie Info IMDB" button and you are connected to the Internet, will retieve all the Drirectors, Actors, Plot, etc info on the movie.  The DVD front cover is no longer availbale from IMDB, so that has to be obtained manually. If you do not want to make images, you select [b]Don't Make Images[/b] and you will end up with 1-2 MPG files. You can always add Chapters, etc. later if you wish by loading the MPG file into VCDEasy.  See [b]Burning[/b] below. 

5. Click the [b]Subtitles[/b] tab if you want to include any subtitles. Tick the Rip Subtitles box and select Permanent Sub titles only.  In Subtitle Lang. 1 pick the language you want. It must have been on the DVD originally and you must have ripped it to your HD.  VCD's can only have permanent Subtitles and one only. I have not tested this feature.

6. Click the [b]Frameserver[/b] tab and select Resize Method to be Bicubic Resize if is not. Make sure Resize is set to VCD ('cause thats what we are making folks!). At the end of the MPEG2Dec line, click the small [...] button and from the ..\DVD2SVCD\Avisynth2.5 Plugins\MPEG2Dec folder, select MPEG2DEC[b]3[/b].dll if not already that (this assumes you installed Avisynth 2.52 when installing DVD2SVCD).  This can solve some decoding issues and I find it faster as well (only needs to done the first time you run DVD2SVCD).

7. Leave all the other settings alone in the other tabs, there is nothing else to change as the [b]VCD-Settings.ini[/b] file set them all up for you.

8. All is now setup and we are ready to begin the encodeing.

9. Click the [b]Conversion[/b] tab again and click the GO button. Click Start Conversion, then confirm with OK.  If you have selected Subtitles, it will now ask you to select the actual one from the VOB file list.

10. Go to sleep, work or school as this process can take a long time. How long it takes is almost totally dependant on your CPU speed.

11. When finished you will have in the default folder you selected, about 20-30+ files.  There will be 1-2 MPG files like bbMPEG_Muxed_File00.mpg if you did not make an image.  You will have 1-2 BIN & CUE files like CD_Image_File_CD1.bin if you did.

12. Play the mpg with WinDVD (or your favourite VCD player software) to check them for lip sync near start and end of each file and any other problem, such as for correct Aspect Ratio. For the Image files, load the CUE file into Daemon Tools (from ) and run the *.DAT file (in the MPEGAV folder) from there to check it.

13. You have now made your first VCD files and all thats left is to burn them to CDR.

[b]Step 4:  Burning.[/b]

1. Run VCDEasy and we need to set it up for your burner. Click on Settings icon then CDRDAO tab. If your burner is not seen or all is greyed out, you must instal an ASPI Layer onto your PC, a good one is ForceASPI 4.60. Locate your CD writer, then select the Write Speed to be 4x maximum for older 8x or 12x burners. Select 8x or 12x for late model 24x or faster burners. For Force Driver, if your burner is not in the short list, select [b]generic-mmc[/b]. Change the other settings if you wish.  This only needs to be done the first time you run VCDEasy.

2. a) If you made MPG files, run VCDEasy and in Main tab, set VideoCD Type to VCD 2.0.  Select your CD Writer if it is not selected and then enter a Volume Label. Spaces are automatically entered as an "_" underscore. Now click on Add Files button and load in the bbMPEG_Muxed_File00.mpg file for your first CD.  It will check through the file for VCD compliance. 

b) You can make your VCD's more professional by adding Chapters (during playback, allows the use of the >> key on Remote Control to jump to next section [or Chapter]).  You can also add a Title Picture at the start or Change CD picture at the end, the same as can be done for SVCD's.

c) To add chapters, click Chapters tab and select [b]Create 10 equidistant chapters[/b] and click the OK button next to it. All done. Change the 10 to a number that suits your needs but 10 makes a chapter about every 4 to 6 min. apart.

d) If you want to include Change CD pics, etc. the one that comes with DVD2SVCD is excellent (DefaultChangeCD.bmp). Click on Tools icon and goto MPEG Stills tab.  Load in the Pic file, select MPEG Still type as VCD 2.0 and select PAL or NTSC depending on what your burning, and set to High.  Then click Generate button.  Again, you only need to do this once and the resultant MPG file you can now save somewhere on your HD for future use. Back in the Main tab where you loaded the MPG file in, do the same now for the Change CD pic (move to be after the main MPG movie file) and any initial pic file, like the DVD cover your downloaded from or, (move to be before the main MPG movie file). In the Interactivity tab, set the Change CD pic to Wait Infinite.

e) If all is now set up, make sure the small Burn box at top of Main tab page is ticked, then hit the GO button. VCDEasy will check the files again and create cue/bin files first before burning begins. Sit back and watch your first VCD disk being burnt.

3. If you made BIN & CUE files, run VCDEasy and select Tools Icon, then CDRDAO Tools tab. In the [b]Burn a CUE or TOC CD Image[/b] window, locate your CUE file, un-tick Simulate (if you don't want to do a test run first - be daring!), put a blank CDR into your burner and hit the Burn button, sit back and watch your first VCD disk being burnt. 

4. The excitement builds! When the burning is finished, shut down VCDEasy, label the CD with a felt pen and rush to your DVD player to check it out. If all is okay, repeat this for the second or third disks.

5. You can now safely delete all the files created by DVD2SVCD and delete the DVD VOB files as well.

6. Use only good quality scratch resistant CDR's (like Mitsui, Kodak, Ricoh, TDK, etc.). Some DVD stand alone players will only read from CDRW's, then burn to CDRW's instead. Burning at greater then 4x or 8x speed can also make them unreadable by many players (specially the PSX), particularly the latter part of the CD. A good guide is to burn at 1/2 the maximum rated burn speed of your burner and never faster than 16x for a VCD.

7. I have also found it unnecessary to re-packetize with M2-Edit on the final mpg files or on the image files.


[b]NOTE 1. Batch Mode Processing[/b] 
DVD2SVCD does NOT directly support Batch mode processing of movies.  This would be handy if you wish to process a few small TV Episodes, cartoons, etc. But it can be done! Run DVD2SVCD, load in movie, set everything up as above and in particular the folder you will be saving/encoding to. Hit Go and start the conversion.  Let it run for 2-3 seconds until you see the long line about DVD2AVI come up.  Then close DVD2SVCD by clicking the small X top right of its window.  Go immediately to the task bar and right click on the DVD2AVI button and select Close.  Repeat this for all the movies/episodes you wish to convert but be careful to select a different Default Output Folder for each movie. I use MOVIE1, MOVIE2, etc., folders.  Now go to the folder where you installed DVD2SVCD and you will see a file called [b]dvd2svcd batch.bat[/b].  Open this in Notepad and add the following lines so it will look similar to:

REM DVD2SVCD Batch Control
"E:\DVD2SVCD\DVD2SVCD.exe" -d2s:"H:\MOVIE1\dvd2svcd project file.d2s" -run -exit 
"E:\DVD2SVCD\DVD2SVCD.exe" -d2s:"H:\MOVIE2\dvd2svcd project file.d2s" -run -shutdown

where E:\DVD2SVCD\ is the folder where you have DVD2SVCD installed and H:\MOVIE1\ is the folder where you have selected all to be encoded to.  These will probably be different on every computer. Now Save the file, create a shortcut on your desktop to this file and when you are ready, run it. The above example will now process the 2 movies I had set up in Movie1 and Movie2 folders. If you wish to shut the computer down after encoding is finished, change the [b]-exit[/b] to [b]-shutdown[/b] in the last line. I have successfully done many episodes this way without a problem.


[b]NOTE 2. Cropping & Re-sizing[/b]
DVD2SVCD does NOT directly support cropping or re-sizing of the picture.  However, there is a manual way of doing it!  If you are like me and hate those real wide 2.3:1 movies, then these can be converted to 16:9 by chopping off a small part on the left and right of the picture.  But play the movie first, not all can be converted successfully as there can be titles and lots of action on either side of the picture.  You don't really want to chop these off.

Start DVD2SVCD, load in file and set it up as usual, as above. Click on [b]Frameserver[/b] tab and select [b]Edit when DVD2AVI is done[/b]. Then start the conversion as normal. After DVD2AVI has finished (only a few minutes), a small window with some script will pop-up. Insert, edit and delete the bottom lines to look like these below. Then hit the Save button and then the OK button.  The encoding will now continue as usual.

[b]VCD PAL[/b]
[b]Crop(90,0,540,576)[/b] <-- insert this line here
BiCubicResize(352,[b]288[/b],0,0.6) <-- edit this line
AddBorders(0,36,0,36) <-- delete this line

[b]VCD NTSC[/b]
[b]Crop(90,0,540,480)[/b] <-- insert this line here
BiCubicResize(352,[b]240[/b],0,0.6) <-- edit this line
AddBorders(0,30,0,30) <-- delete this line

ChickenMan (c) 2003 --  Undated Dec 2003