Should be simple DVD menu problem



Hello people. For a long time I have been using this forum as an extremely helpful resource for my projects. This is my first post here though, and I’m not sure if I posted in the right category. Mods, please feel free to adjust as needed.

I have been attempting something that I was certain would be quite simple, but after days of reading articles and trying out a large variety of software, I am beginning to understand that it may not even be possible. After much frustration, one day it occurred to me that there must be many people that are quite knowledgeable in DVD structure and protocol, and some of them probably wouldn’t mind spending a very small amount of their time in order to save me a great deal of mine. If you are one of those people, I would very much appreciate your help.

It seems that what I’m trying to do is either virtually effortless or absolutely impossible, so here’s the deal:

I want to make 1 DVD5 backup copy of each of the commercial BD and DVD disks in my collection. Sounds simple enough, right? I mean it’s done hundreds of times each day, all over the world. However, I evidently have a unique goal (or actually more of a prerequisite) in the backup process. It’s evidently unique because I cannot find anyone else who wants to do it, nor can I find templates for doing it with any BD/DVD authoring software. What I want is just a matter of making a simple menu, so why has this been so hard for me? I’m not exactly an idiot when it comes to computers, software and video, but after the past few days I certainly feel like one.

So, great ones, please tell me how I may fulfill the following deceptively unobtrusive prerequisites within my little project:

  1. There will be one title (usually the main movie) per backed up disk.

  2. The title will have chapters.

  3. The disk will have one menu and no sub-menus.

  4. The menu will appear on the screen when the disk is inserted into the player.

  5. The ONLY buttons (or user interactions) available from the menu are the choice of chapters. One possible exception could be a “Play Movie From Beginning” button, but that would merely be linked identical to the “Chapter 1” button.

  6. IF POSSIBLE: After X amount of time has elapsed with no interaction from the user, video manager jumps to the beginning of the first chapter AND PAUSES there.

  7. IF POSSIBLE: It is normal for video manager to remember the play position at the time the stop button on the remote is pressed. I think my PS3 even remembers the position after the disk is ejected and the player is turned off. BUT CAN I: (7a) Have a button on the menu that will return to, and start playing from the last previous play position? AND FURTHERMORE CAN I: (7b) Have a button that acts the same as 7a, except pauses there instead of start playing?

Folks, maybe I should be ashamed to say it, but I kind of freaked out after I eventually started trying to figure out the exact bits and bytes of DVD menu structure. At this point I’m inclined to believe that what I want might not be possible, solely due to the requirements and limitations inherent in the DVD structure. I have tried a lot of software, both pay and free, and of varying complexity and ability. I’m still left pulling my hair out. Please help me if you can, but please note that I am not interested in software or methods for ripping, burning, muxing, chapter making, protection bypass… Or anything else other than a way to make the simple menu that meets the criteria above.

Please help if you can. And if you can, well woo-hoo, you da man! (and/or woman!), and thank you VERY MUCH.

I tried to be somewhat detailed (or was it long winded?), but if you have any questions please feel free to ask. I’ll be happy to do what I can to help you help me.

Oh, and I guess I should mention that there is a potential fly in the ointment. So far during the course of this project I have been unable to try several applications, such as DVD Architect. I am using Windows 8, which comes with Net Framework 4.5. DVD Architect and some others require Net Framework 3.5, but try as I might, I am unable to install it on my computer (another frustrating story). Just an FYI in case your solution falls into this category.


Welcome to the posting side of the forums dipstick666.

When you say you want a DVD5 backup of both your commercial dvds and blu ray movies, do you want all of them in dvd-video format, or are you trying to make a small blu ray or AVCHD disc from the original blu rays? This is an important distinction, as menus in blu ray are still a problem, and limit choices in free software.

Compression of original dvds to DVD5 size is easily done. I prefer using DVDRebuilder Pro for this, but the free version will work also. Once you have the dvd in the correct size, demux the video, audio and subtitle streams using PGCDemux.

You are now ready to make your new dvd with the menu as you want it. I use a rather expensive dvd authoring program called DVD Lab Pro. Lab Pro can certainly make chapter selections from the main window. There is a free trial for Lab Pro available for download. And DVD Lab Pro does work in Windows 8…I use it myself.

The most advanced dvd authoring program I know of that is free is called GUIforDVDAuthor. I’ve bounced off it several times, but you might find it more accessible.

However, your #6 and 7 points will not be possible even with an advanced authoring program, at least, as far as I am aware.

Now, getting back to the problem children that are your blu ray movies. If you want to convert to dvd-video, then go through the process to make a menu, you can use BD Rebuilder to convert blu ray to DVD5. Then demux and import into your authoring program. If you want to keep them in blu ray format, things get much more complicated. It is possible to compress to this size in BD Rebuilder and make an AVCHD BD5, but then you have the problem of demuxing and making a menu.

Two possible solutions would be MultiAVCHD, or EasyBD. MultiAVCHD is free, but not very stable. And I’m not certain either will let you put chapter buttons on the main menu of a blu ray…not something I’ve tried. MultiAVCHD is flaky, no question. And its output isn’t universally accepted by blu ray players. But it is just about the only free blu ray authoring program around, though it does a lot more than that.

EasyBD (not the Lite version) is a commercial blu ray authoring program. It will only accept separate streams as input, so you’d have to demux the BD5 from BD Rebuilder using something like ClownBD. You’d also have to rename the .h264 video and use an .avc extension. You can get a free trial of the program.


Hi Kerry & dipstick666 , I agree with Kerry on 6 & 7. I believe this is all done by the player instead of the menu or the DVD disc itself. This information stores in the players memory. I’ve never even seen a menu on a commercial DVD that has those capabilities.
Now to help(maybe) . I use an older software TitleWriter. It has the capability to create a simple to fairly complex menu . It doesn’t encode or transcode in the process so it is quick. It also backup the old so you can return to where you started if you make a mistake or don’t like the results.
I also don’t know if it will do #5 like you want it. I’ve never tried to get it to do that.
I usually do my simple menus without a chapter function. My players have this feature both with the remote skip or display & to a specific chapter. I think TW will always create a second menu for chaptere that you access through the main menu.
If I get the time I will check out if TW can put a chapter selection on the main menu screen but I expect it won’t.
If you get that far & want to make further menu changes .Use PGCEdit in trace mode. I can only help a little with that program as I consider myself barely past beginner with it. It has the ability to change button functions . For me this is a trial & error as a lot of the commands are still over my head.
When I use TW I created a 366 byte .jpg . I use this for all backgrounds & thumbnails & I only have highlighted text for selection. The result is a 36KB menu.vob . I guess it might get some larger with a chapter menu.

@ Kerry , I use DVDRebuilder free which as we have previously discussed some different in it’s GUI functions . I create the menu first & then compress menu & all.
With the menu as above that is not much.
@ dipstick666 , These links are not exactly what you want to do but may guide you a bit.
This one shows some function of TW & PGCEdit . I ended up using a modified (by PGCEdit) version of the original menu .

In this topic I posted some pictures of TitleWriter menus . I hadn’t started using the small black .jpg for everything then.

I also want to mention AVStoDVD . It can create menus but not the simple way you want yours.
I hope this helps. I also don’t have Windows 8 so TW may or may not work with it.


Kerry56 and cholla,

Thank you very much for your input. I appreciate your help, and both of you have given me some ideas.

I apologize for the long post. After some more time to think about it, I realize that I should have made it much more simple. I should have said:

[B]Given the requirements and specifications of DVD structure, is it possible to author a single title DVD disk that has only one menu, and that menu is a chapter menu?[/B]

To be honest I have posted my questions in another forum as well, and it seems I have mostly confused people. I have backed up many disks in my time, and I have done so using most of the common methods and software. I have made lossless and lossy backups on most media, including VCD, SVCD, DVD, AVCHD and BD. Please note that I do not want to know how to make backups.

For now, can someone please just answer the above question, and explain why they believe that way? People keep telling me, “sure, that’s easy”. If it’s so easy why can nobody show me an example, and why are there no templates in any authoring software. (And why haven’t I been able to figure out how to do it?) Maybe it’s just a stupid thing to want to do. Oh well, for various reasons, I want to do it. I have put too much time into this already, and it seems it’s only logical to continue if I’m certain it’s possible.

I hope I’m not sounding like I’m trying to undermine what time anyone has put into trying to answer my questions. I appreciate any and all ideas and advice. I’ve tried some of the software you guys mentioned, and want to look into the others. I will check out all the links both of you supplied when I have a little more time, hopefully tomorrow. Even if I don’t hear more from you or others, I will report back with my conclusions.


Yes, that is definitely possible.
How many chapters do you want and do you want them in evenly spaced intervals
or at specific places?
mpeg video wizard will do that but I think it starts with a title page then chapters menu can be accessed on following pages.
Yet I think with this program the chapter have to be evenly spaced…could be wrong about that since it has been a long while since I played with it.

An old authoring menu program called dvd workshop 2 will do what you are asking but it isn’t for sale except maybe used now.
If could do that with evenly spaced chapters or pick whatever time and chapter for inclusion in menu.

I wouldn’t be surprised if there are others that will do that perhaps including some mentioned in the above posts.

That is something that shouldn’t be hard provided the provision is included in authoring program.


@ dipstick666 , I still don’t know if TW or PGCEdit will work in Windows 8.
Maybe you can let me know .
Using TitleWriter to create the Menu
You may need more instructions these are the quick ones.
Select : Make Menu
Menu Button Is Thumbnail Text
Selected : On Button Pressed Play Vts Root Menu
Advanced DVD Menu Option :Uncheck: Display Thumbnails as List
Uncheck: Draw Frame Image Around Thumbnail
Movie (VTS) Menu Options : Chapter
Check Do Not Use Create Chapter Thumbnails
Then select : Create Menu And Add It
It should go through the process & ask for a “Yes” & “OK” .

Now Open in PGCEdit.
Edit VMG First Play PGC to:
[30 06 00 01 01 87 00 00] 1 (JumpSS) Jump to VTSM 1, Chapter menu (TTN 1)
Use the “Jump to …”/“VTSM menu” / "JUMP SS-VTSM"
Set to “Chapter menu” & TTN 1
Highlight "Title Menu"
Select Menu/ Remove menu .
Remove the Title Menu

Don’t remove the Root Menu
At this point the chapter menu worked correctly with MPC-HC .
It didn’t with VLC .
The changes below got it to work with VLC.
The pre commands in the Root menu need to be changed to :
[30 06 00 01 01 87 00 00] 1 (JumpSS) Jump to VTSM 1, Chapter menu (TTN 1)
The post commands in the Root menu need to be changed to :

Note: I had 2 pages of chapters since TW only allows a max of 24 per page .
If the DVD was first created with less than 24 all would be on one page.
The “Next” & “Back” button are easy to use for toggling between the pages.
This is Chapter page 1 in VLC :

@ Steve33 , I had some bad luck with Ulead software one time so I won’t install any of it on my computer. So I won’t be testing
dvd workshop 2 even if I could get it.
I didn’t try mpeg video wizard because it seems it would take the same or similar use of PGCEdit to correct the menu functions. TW also starts with a Title page . That’s why PGCEdit was needed .


Ok, here is an example. I’ve taken a movie and demuxed it into video and audio streams and imported them into DVD Lab Pro.

I’ve used one of the simple backgrounds that come with the program (though you can import a jpeg and use it if you like).

Since I didn’t have the original chapter points, I used the automatic chapter selection and set it to make 12 chapter points. You can see them on the time line as green diamonds. There will be 13 chapter points in the movie, as DVDLab Pro always sets the first one at the beginning of the movie.

Here is a picture of the time line with the chapter points:

There are many different ways of setting chapter points in DVDLab Pro. The help files that come with the program are quite good, and will give details on this.

Now I’m working on the Menu. I’ve put the title of the movie at the top. And beneath that, I’m listing chapters. To add text to the menu, you click on the Text tool on the left side of the Menu creation window. Once you have it in, and positioned where you want, you right click on the text to add properties to it. What I’m doing is using the Link command for each chapter entry. This allows me to make a direct link to the specific chapter I want.

Here is a picture of the menu, though it is not done yet, as I’ve only added in four chapters so far:

So this is the root menu of the dvd, which is what will come up as first play when you insert the dvd into a player. And the only commands that are available on this menu I’m making so far are the individual chapters. I can add a Play button also, and set it to start the movie at the first chapter as well.


Kerry , does DVDLabPro do any encoding or transcoding when creating a menu ?

I also burned a DVD-RW of this movie which worked in the standalone I tested it in.
I don’t know why this movie has so many chapters .


DVDLab Pro has only limited encoding functions, and can be used to get a dvd movie down to size necessary to fit onto your target dvd if there is only a small amount of compression necessary. But it isn’t really recommended. You should prepare your movie streams beforehand.

Lab Pro does offer a different package that includes a true encoding program as well as the authoring program, but it is even more expensive, and I don’t recommend it since HCenc is free to use.


I was asking to see if it encoded to create the menu .
Mostly to see if using it to create a menu resulted in a second encod of the whole video.
From you answer I would say it doesn’t do that.
I was probably just going to stick with AVStoDVD & DVDRebuilder to encode with HCEnc.
The movie I used to create the menu in post # 6 was just one I had hando on the HDD.
It was rilled with CloneDVD2 as DVD9 then compressed with DVDRebuilder.
Then I created a menu with TitleWriter which does no encoding that I know of.
The menu would have worked fine for what I normally do but I needed PGCEdit to get it to a Chapter only start menu.


Cholla, Lab Pro is an authoring tool primarily. It can do small encoding tasks, for example, if you have a plug in from Tmpgenc, you can convert to ac3 audio within Lab Pro. But for the most part, it is focused on creating menus and dvd-video. So, for regular use, it doesn’t re-encode anything.

I forgot to take a picture of the completed menu before closing Lab Pro, but here is a snapshot taken with VLC.

All of the chapter controls work. As does the Play button.


Oh wow. I did not expect so much help. I just thought I’d pop in before bed to see if things had changed much. Steve33, Kerry56, cholla, everybody: Thank you so much. I mean it, you guys give me a little more hope for humanity. Personalized, step by step instructions? Really? with screenshots n such?

Both you, and the guys over at videohelp are being very, well… helpful. Much more so than I expected. I think I have found my 2 new favorite forums. Also I’m pretty sure that doom9 just lost a potential customer, and I have no need to wait their insulting required 5 days to ask a question. Man I gotta just say this: I’ve been participating in forums almost since forums on the internet were invented (yes, I’m an old fart). Until doom9, never in my life have I first been rejected because I was a spammer (don’t know what the heck they were talking about), then on top of that forced to wait 5 days to post after my account was finally activated.

Anyways, I rant. Sorry.

But now, getting excited, mood elevating, and it’s because of people like yous guys. I wish I didn’t have to get up early tomorrow, cause I want to work on this now. Soon… Soon, my precious…


I decided to do a different DVD with less chapters so it would only have one page.
Also I wanted to make sure the process would work for another DVD.
It is a concert DVD 1 hour 27 minutes long .
Using TitleWriter.
I decided to stay with my usuall all black backgrounds.
For those I use a 366 byte .jpg created with Irfanview. Very easy to do.
The final menu is 188KB
VTS_01_0.BUP = 62KB
VTS_01_0.IFO = 62KB
VTS_01_0.VOB = 64KB
Once TitleWriter is finished I used PGCedit as in post#6 to turn the menu into a chapter only menu. This one just has 5 chapters.
The Main button doesn’t do anything but the Play is a Play All.


I decided to create a background for the chapter menu with IrfanView.
This way it has a title . The same could be done for a Movie .
TitleWriter didn’t have a way to add “Movie Name” text to the Chapter menu page. A new background.jpg worked fine.
Since it was a larger .jpg 720x480 it added 12KB to the total menu size.


Greetings folks. It’s been a few days, and I just wanted you to know that I haven’t been able to work on this project lately, but I haven’t given up and I’m not ignoring you. I have a condition called gastroparesis, and I’ve basically spent the last week either in bed or the bathroom. This is extremely unpleasant, and as one could suspect, I don’t feel much like working on any project when this condition is at it’s worst.

I hope to get back to this in the next few days, and even more importantly I hope to post definitive results within a few days after that. With all the help I’ve recieved here and over at videohelp, the amount of info for me to review seems a little overwhelming right now. It has certainly grown to something I had not expected.

If anyone is interested in this problem I suggest reading my post on both forums, as there are a lot of helpful comments on both sites. Above all, a big thanks to everyone who’s commented so far.