Jerky video with Nero 7

Hi all, I’m a newbie with a question that I can’t seem to figure out on my own. I have Nero 7, and I want to burn MP2 movies to DVD format. I want to make clear that these are perfectly legal movies, okay? There’s a huge stash of legal public domain movies on www.archive.org – crazy, bizarre stuff, industrial training films from the thirties, and so forth. Never would I dream of doing anything illegal ;).

Anyway, here’s my problem. I tried burning one of these ancient movies to DVD using Nero, but some of the frames appear jerky. I wonder if there is something I need to adjust in the settings, but since I am so completely clueless when it comes to this stuff, I really don’t even know the questions to be asking. For all I know, this might be an inherent problem with the way the program translates from the MP2 format – I notice that there are many different “codecs” available on the web, and I gather that each one translates in a slightly different way.

The problem occurs whenever there is action in the frame – when a person walks or moves, for instance.

I’ve looked at the original mp2 files and do not see the problem there. But when I look at the burned DVD on my TV, and go through the program frame by frame, I notice that these “action” frames do not appear to be stable. These unstable frames appear to be the cause of the jerkiness.

Because I really don’t know any of the proper terminology, I’ll try to describe what I am seeing in these unstable frames. The moving parts of the images seem to “shimmer.” That is, it looks as though the conversion program tried to gather information from two adjacent frames in the original video, and so there’s a bit of a garble, and the image does not stay steady. Instead, you see bits and pieces of each image, and they seem to jump back and forth. Interestingly, the parts of the image that are repeated from one frame to the next remain entirely stable.

When I advance to the next frame, it seems to look all right.

I should mention that I have been using a 22-minute black and white MP2 video as my test file, and Nero automatically adjusts the settings so that I am recording in HQ mode.

You know, I thought that all video was done at a fixed rate – 30 frames a second here in the U.S. – and so there wouldn’t be any problem for a computer program to keep up with it. But I guess I don’t know a darned thing about this new world of video technology. If there’s some sort of variability in the frame rate, and the computer translation can’t keep up with constant changes, well, maybe that explains it.

I suppose that by asking a question like this one, I reveal just how little I know about this technology. But here’s the big question. Is this something that can be corrected by adjusting settings in Nero? Does this have something to do with “frame rate”? Or is the problem more to do with the way that Nero does its translation, and is there a better product to be using?

Thanks,

Erik Smith

Say, it’s been several hours since I posted the last message, and I see no one’s responded, but…

Well, I tried a different DVD conversion program, and I got much better results. Which makes me think that maybe it really is a matter of the program that I use, and the codec that the program uses to translate from one format to another.

The program that I tried is WinAVI Video Converter.

With this one, about 90 percent of the “jerkiness” is eliminated, and I also notice that the overall image seems less harsh. Some portions of the images still seem a little blocky – that is, they still look a little like something a computer would generate. But they are a good deal smoother than what I got using Nero.

Makes me wonder. Anyone know why I’m getting results like this? And whether there might be a program that might give me even better results?

Thanks,

Erik Smith

One of the reasons you might not be getting any replies is because we don’t know what an “MP2” video file is. Normally this is a type of MPEG1 audio file, but you obviously have video and therefore can we assume you mean they are MPEG2 encoded?

If you’re downloading the files in this format and wanting to watch then as a DVD-Video then there’s no need to re-encode to another format. If you could give us some examples of the filenames that would help a bit - Nero tends to want to re-encode when it isn’t really necessary and you could save a lot of trouble by just authoring the downloaded files to a DVD (with .IFO, .BUP, .VOB, etc)

I guess it just goes to show what a newbie I am to the whole idea of digital downloadable video. I’m really not familiar with the various video formats. This particular website that I have mentioned allows you to download these public domain movies in various formats. These are listed as MP1, MP2, MP4 and occasionally “Cinepack” and some sorts of Real Video formats – I forget exactly what they’re called. The FAQs on this particular website indicate that the files recorded in “MP2” are the least compressed and therefore the best suited to burning to disk for viewing on a television screen.

This seems to jibe with the file sizes. The smallest downloadable MP1 files of a particular 20-minute video might be 20mb in size, while the largest MP2 files might be 600mb. The MP4 files in this example might be 400 mb.

I have noticed when downloading these files that the “MP1” files have the extension “mpg,” while the “MP2” files have the extension “mpeg.”

So yeah, I’m not making this up.

The FAQs on this website make the same observation you have – many DVD players are capable of playing MP2 files directly, without conversion to DVD format. It also suggests that burning these files as SVCDs might be another option. However, what I’d like to do is to burn them as DVDs, so that they might be playable on my home unit (which isn’t as capable as many) or so that they might be playable on the machines of friends who most likely do not have machines with this kind of capability.

You raise an interesting question, however. Would it be possible to play these “MP2” files directly on a typical DVD player without conversion if I found a way to add IFO, BUP and VOB files? And if so, how would I go about it?

If this was a possibility, I think we could avoid the distortion that the conversion from MP2 to DVD format apparently creates.

I’m sure that I am probably misunderstanding several key principles in this process, but that’s okay – please, I’m looking for enlightenment. Makes sense that I’m posting in newbie forum, right?

Thanks,

Erik Smith

That’s fine, Erik and thanks for the extra info. Welcome to CD Freaks, by the way :slight_smile:

From what you say and the descriptions on the website, the “MP2” files will be MPEG-2 and therefore, as you note, are indeed compressed. The MP1 (MPEG-1) files are of lower quality but smaller in size and usually suitable for fitting on a CD.

It is true that many modern DVD players can play MPEG-2 files directly, but certainly not all and if your player is older then it might be worth you looking up in the manual or manufacturer’s website whether this is the case for your machine. If yours will play them, then the filename extension would probably have to be changed to ‘.mpg’ (which although on the site seems to confusingly be used for MPEG-1, in fact this extension is more widely used for an MPEG-2 file).

If your machine will not play bare MPEG-2 files, then they must be ‘authored’ to the DVD-Video standards. In doing this, the original video content of the file will not actually be re-encoded, but lots of different markers, navigation pointers and other information added to it. It will also get split up into segments of about 1 GB and renamed with the filename ‘VTS’ (Video Title Set) and the file extension '.VOB (Video OBject). The splitting is to ensure compatibility with filesytems which have a limit on the maximum filesize. All the information about navigating through the content will be collected together and put in what is essentially a giant text file: the. IFO file (InFOrmation - it will have a backup copy made which has the file extension .BUP). So really the .IFO file contains all the instructions to the DVD player on how to play the content back: the screen aspect ratio, order of playback, where the chapters may be, the menu commands etc, in a package which is universally acceptable round the world for playing back MPEG-2 video.

Just as a last note: as you get to know the terminology, it’s helpful not to confuse “DVD” with"DVD-Video". ‘DVD’ stands for Digital Versatile Disc and as the name suggests is a physical disc standard which can be used for storing a wide variety of stuff (programs, games, databases etc). ‘DVD-Video’ has a very specific meaning and is only used for the storage of audio-visual material of a well-defined collection of files.

If you would like to do more reading there is a huge but very useful collection of information here: http://www.dvddemystified.com/dvdfaq.html

More specific and complicated MPEG-2 info here: http://www.fh-friedberg.de/fachbereiche/e2/telekom-labor/zinke/mk/mpeg2beg/beginnzi.htm

Edit:
I clean forgot in all that woffle to recommend an application that will author a DVD from the MPEG-2 file, without the risk of re-encoding. You can try DVD Styler (click here), which is a public-domain package that will make menus and do all the adjustments and produce the relevant files. When it’s installed you just drag and drop the MPEG2 file (or files) on the window and set it going. It will make a folder on your hard disk called ‘VIDEO_TS’ which you will then need to write to DVD using the burn function of Nero Burning ROM.

Say, I wanted to thank you for all your tips and advice. I’ve downloaded DVD Styler and have managed to burn a disk that works in my DVD player (but oddly, not in my computer). Obviously I need a little help learning to use this program, but I think it makes sense for me to look elsewhere on this forum for advice. (The documentation that comes with DVD Styler is pretty sketchy on a couple of major points. )

The big thing that I think I’ve learned here is that MPEG-2 (or MP2, as it is identified on the site from which I am doing my downloading) IS the proper video format for DVDs. So if my understanding here is correct, there is no need to “translate” the video into another format – you just need to come up with a way to present it properly on the disk, breaking the file down, adding BUP and NFO files and so forth. Umm, this IS right, isn’t it?

I should mention that the quality of the video that I see when I play the disk on my television is exactly what I expected to see. By burning the disk with DVD Styler, I don’t get the distortion that I got by using NERO.

Anyway, thanks for the help!

Hello all,

I’m a newbie, and I couldn’t find a better place to pose a few questions about the operation of a particular program – DVD Styler – so I thought I’d post them here.

Thanks to some advice I received earlier from IMKIDD57, I tried using DVD Styler to create a DVD-video disk from a MPEG-2 file. The result was partial success. I got a disk that plays perfectly in my living room DVD player, and I did not get the jerky video that I got when I used NERO to accomplish the same task. However, I get odd results when I play the same disk on my computer.

I found that the documentation that comes with this freeware tool is not very complete, and it required a little trial-and-error before I was able to successfully burn a disk. So let me first explain how I burned the disk, and then let me explain the problems that I continued to encounter. My guess is that I probably did not do things exactly correctly.

I’m running a Windows XP machine, and I have NERO 7 for burning purposes.

Here’s what I did – I followed the instructions to create a disk menu in DVD Styler and link it to a file on my hard drive, then I pressed the “Burn Disk” button to create the files that are neccessary to burn a DVD. What I got was an “XML” file and an “ISO” file. In case it matters, I should mention that these two files were placed in two different directories.

The documentation doesn’t explain how to use these files to burn a disk. However, I found that when I clicked on the “ISO” file, NERO started up properly and proceded to burn the disk.

This disk works perfectly on my living-room DVD player, and the video looks terrific. After I load the disk, I see the disk menu that I created, and when I click on the “button” that I created, the video fires right up.

However, when I play the disk on my computer, I get a different response. I should mention here that I have two DVD drives in my computer – a newer 16x burner, and a very old 4x burner.

I burned the disk on my 16x burner, but strangely, when I reinsert the disk into the computer using the same drive, the drive does not recognize the disk. The disk spins and spins and spins, but it never fires up.

When I put the same disk into my old 4x burner, the drive recognizes the disk and it fires up properly. I get a message that asks if I want to play the disk in Windows Media Player, etc. But the funny thing is that when the menu comes up in Windows Media Player, I see the background only. The “button” apparently is there, because the cursor changes when I move my mouse over the right location. But the words that I created for the button do not appear.

When I click on the spot where the button is supposed to be, the disk responds correctly. The first frame or two of the video is very pixilated, but after that it looks fine. (I don’t see this effect on my living-room DVD player).

So I guess the question is – what am I doing wrong? What can I do to make this disk work properly in my computer?

More specifically, is there something I should be doing with the “XML” file?

Finally, I did something on this partially successful attempt that I did not do on my previous unsuccessful attempts. I renamed the file extension on the particular video file that I was using, from “MPEG” to “MPG.” Is this a necessary step?

Thanks in advance for any advice I might receive, and again, if I’ve posted this in an inappropriate location, I apologize.

Thanks,

Erik Smith

Good to hear you are making progress Erik. :slight_smile:

You are correct in your conclusions about how to ‘present’ (ie ‘author’) the MPEG-2 video to DVD-Video. However my memory might have been a bit suspect when describing the output of DVD Styler; perhaps it is an .ISO file (a disc image), and not the DVD-Video folders I mentioned. :doh:

The renaming of the original file to ‘.mpg’ may well be necessary, because many programs are written in a rather lazy fashion and thus decide whether to recognise the MPEG-2 video format on that simple file extension basis. A decent program would take the time to analyse the file header information and draw conclusions from that, but you never know and I find it safer to rename.

That sounds like rather strange behaviour by your PC burners, and I wonder if you could let us know what brand of discs you are using for the burns?

You’ll notice I have merged this older thread and your new question, since they clearly follow on from each other. I also edited out your email address since there’s a risk that it will get collected by spam bots looking for places to send their rubbish… :wink:

Thanks for the response! Right now I’m using 16x Memorex printable DVD-R disks. I notice that even though my DVD burner is supposed to be 16x, for some reason NERO wants to burn these disks at a rate of 4x.

I think it might also be useful for me to mention the disk burners that I have in my system. The two CD burners in my system are

  1. LITE-ON DVDRW SHW-1606S
  2. PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-105

If I remember correctly, the LITE-ON drive is the newer 16x DVD-+RW drive, while the PIONEER is the older DVD-RW 4x drive.

I have noticed something interesting about the newer drive. Although it is supposed to be a drive that recognizes both DVD+R and DVD-R disks, the 16x DVD+R disks do not appear to work properly in this drive. I’ve noticed that Memorex is sending out a warning with 16x disks, stating that they may not work properly in all drives and all machines. The 16x DVD-R disks seem to work fine at 4x, and the 16x DVD+R disks don’t seem to work at all.

Your response actually has me wondering something: My original problem occurred when I was using NERO 7 Enhanced Suite (Nero Vision 4) to burn a MPEG-2 video file as a DVD-video. The file extension was MPEG, and obviously the program spent a great deal of time (nearly 45 minutes) preparing the file to burn, so I suspect it was re-encoding. The result was jerky video. But I wonder what might happen if I try it again after renaming the file extension to MPG. Would it re-encode the file and thus create distortion? Or would it recognize the file for the good, clean DVD-ready file that it is?

If I could get NERO to produce good video, I would prefer that solution, because NERO appears to be a good, solid no-muss no-fuss program in every other respect.

Anyway, I’ll give that a try and report back…

Erik Smith

Yes, if you could get Nero not to re-encode that would be a very useful thing. The trouble is that these programs tend to like re-encoding on the smallest excuse, and not necessarily one which might be predictable. No harm in having a go with the file renaming though…

Unfortunately I think the Memorex discs may prove to be part of the problem you’ve been having, and possibly responsible for the jerky and pixellated video playback, and general unreliability of being recognised. Memorex as a brand name will use many different manufacturer’s discs under their name, and a lot of them are rather grim; so we tend to advise members to stay away from them.

I suggest you try some Verbatim discs, which are the most consistently recommendable DVD discs around at the moment.

Here it is, a week since my last post in this thread –

I have a question about the operation of DVD Styler.

I’ve learned that when you are working with an MPEG-2 file in order to burn a DVD, if you check the “just generate” option, you can create a simple directory of the files necessary to create a DVD. (The program creates ISO files as a default option). As I mentioned earlier, I had odd results when I created an ISO file, and so I decided to try “just generate.”

I think I see now what might be going wrong, and why I was getting inconsistent results when I tried playing DVDs created with DVD Styler.

I took a sample MPEG-2 file and went through the process of creating a menu, etc. Then I generated the files using DVD Styler, and I went to burn the files in Video-DVD form, using Nero. When I did this, the Nero program told me that a necessary file was not present, and so the disk might not be playable if I continued burning.

The missing file was Video_TS.vob

The question: How do I correct this problem?

I should mention here that I’ve been tinkering and fooling with a lot of DVD burning programs over the last week, but I really like DVD Styler, and I’d like to find a way to make it work. Nero wants to “reencode” MPEG-2 video files no matter how I prepare them, and the result is like looking at a photocopy of a photocopy. But image quality using DVD Styler is wonderful (there’s no re-encoding, right?)

Thanks,

Erik Smith

You get the necessary file when you AUTHOR a DVD.