Unreadable DVD format

vbimport

#1

Last summer I bought a SONY DVD recorder and have transcribed a sizeable number of programs recorded off-the-air (on RW discs) to MPEG II format using Any Video Converter Pro and a Pinnacle editor. In February I tried to resolve an unrelated issue on the SONY via changing some parameters for the setup. Before that time, the device never asked for the format type (the options are “Video” and “VR”), but now I must choose. However, either way I lose. None of the discs I have formatted since February are recognized by my PC. Since I have both a Toshiba model SD-R5372 burner and a Samsung SH-S182M burner on my system and neither can read the discs, I assume the problem is that I am somehow creating a non-compatible format on the SONY recorder. (Resetting the recorder settings to factory default did not help.) However, since one never knows for sure just what evil lies in those Microsoft Windows updates we are compelled to install, I can’t really be sure. (I am running Win2K, SP4.)

When I tried to format a DVD on my PC to see if the SONY recorder would read it I was surprised to find out that my NTI CD & DVD Maker siftware has no option for formatting a DVD, leaving me confused as to why the SONY recorder requires a format but my PC doesn’t seem to need to.

My questions are: 1) does anyone have any clue as to what has happened to make my recorder-created discs unreadable?, 2) how do I get around or fix the problem a) on new discs, and b) on the discs already burned?, and 3) what are the underlying format standards for DVDs?

George Mondie


#2

I have a recorder that also records -RW discs in DVD-VR mode, but I’m able to rip them with DVD Shrink, DVD Decrypter or DVDFab HD Decrypter. If you’ve already tried those and they don’t work try ISOBuster to see if it can extract the video. Not sure if the freeware version can do it or not as it has some limitations.

Here’s a web page that will give you some info on DVD Video Recording Formats.


#3

LouV68

Thank you.

The problem could possibly be with the rip software, but my Windows browser may “reject” what it sees before the application can see it. NTI CD & DVD Maker recognizes these discs and knows how much data is on them. But Any Video Converter Pro, Intervideo WinRip, Intervideo WinDVD, Avex DVD & Video Converter Pack, and AVS Video Remaker all respond with the same MS Windows error message (L:/ is not accessible. Incorrect function.) my browser gets when I try to access the burner’s drive letter with them. This is the same message I get when I put a blank disc in the drive and attempt to access it.

It is a good bet that using -RW media is at the bottom of this somehow, since I have sampled about a dozen discs written on my SONY recorder and only the “-RW” discs present a problem. However, it is not JUST that. Both my burner drives are supposed to work with -RW media, and indeed I just experimented with my current batch of blank media, creating a data DVD on my PC and then attempting to access it, with everything working as it should.

I have just launched another experiment aimed at recovering what I have previously recorded. Since NTI CD & DVD Maker has no problem with the discs, I am using it to create a copy - on DVD+R media. I will see how that works and report when it is done. However, if it works I will be even more confused!

Thanks also for the link to info on the VR format.

GRM


#4

LouV68

The results of the DVD-RW to DVD+R copy experiment: The +R copy acts just like the -RW original. That is, the Windows browser and DVD rip applications do not recognize it and treat the disc as if it were blank.

GRM


#5

grMondie,

Did you try using the rippers I mentioned above? I’ve not used the one’s you mentioned, so I cannot comment on them. Another thing. Did you use NTI CD & DVD Maker to place the files on your HDD, then burned them or did you do it on the fly? If the files were ripped to the HDD, what folders do you see? Do you see a VIDEO_TS folder that contains .BUP, .IFO and .VOB files in it?


#6

LouV68

I just formatted a -RW disc on the SONY recorder using the “Video” (vice “VR”)option, recorded some video on it, “finalized” it (takes a LONG time), and tried to read it. This works. Sounds like a solution, but I tried this before and it failed. Have to look further into it. (Unlike the previous attempt, this time I used a disc that had first been written on on my PC.) So for the future I have at worst a klugy solution for existing blank -RW discs and will NOT buy any more -RWs.

Now I just need to salvage what is already recorded on the 30 or so -RWs I have already used.

GRM


#7

LouV68

Replying to your Q re. the copy process.

I have not yet tried the software you suggested but will do so this evening.

I used the copy to HDD then disc methid, but the NTI software uses its own format for the intermediary files (*.ncd) and provides no mechanism for a direct DVD to HDD file copy, so I can’t examine the contents by folder & filename.

GRM


#8

[QUOTE=grMondie;2035220]LouV68

I just formatted a -RW disc on the SONY recorder using the “Video” (vice “VR”)option, recorded some video on it, “finalized” it (takes a LONG time), and tried to read it. This works. Sounds like a solution, but I tried this before and it failed. Have to look further into it. (Unlike the previous attempt, this time I used a disc that had first been written on on my PC.) So for the future I have at worst a klugy solution for existing blank -RW discs and will NOT buy any more -RWs.

Now I just need to salvage what is already recorded on the 30 or so -RWs I have already used.

GRM[/QUOTE]

If you use a disk written by computer, you have to go to FULL ERASE before using it in recorder. Full erase take a long time, but disc is clean.
Before using recorder’s disc on PC finalize first in recorder.
You do not need ripper, just copy VIDEO_TS folder to HD and do your editing work as usual.


#9

[QUOTE=CDuncle;2035228]If you use a disk written by computer, you have to go to FULL ERASE before using it in recorder. Full erase take a long time, but disc is clean.[/QUOTE] Not necessarily, but wise if content to be recorded is important to you. Both my standalone recorders will “Quick Erase” a disc that has been written to by my PC.

[QUOTE=CDuncle;2035228]Before using recorder’s disc on PC finalize first in recorder.[/QUOTE] Yes, most definitely needed, otherwise it will likely not be recognized by most players or PC’s (without CD/DVD recovery tools).

[QUOTE=CDuncle;2035228]You do not need ripper, just copy VIDEO_TS folder to HD and do your editing work as usual.[/QUOTE] Also true, but his PC would not recognize the disc to begin with.


#10

LouV68 & CDuncle

Didn’t get a chance to install the SW this evening, but if I correctly understand CDuncle, I don’t need rip software. What I need is a video editor that can work directly with the *.vob files on a DVD. (My Pinnacle v9 editor won’t.) Of course I still need to be able to read the disc in the first place, but if such an editor exists (for not too many bucks) I have wasted a lot of time converting first to MPEG II. Is there such an editor? Can it burn DVDs with the edited product?

When I worked with communications software many years ago we had a nice set of tools that let us see at the byte level exactly what was going on. They were needed because when you are debugging such stuff it is more or less a given that not all the data is correctly formed. Is there such a utility for DVD analysis that would let me examine a DVD regardless of the format or content?

-GRM


#11

grMondie,

First thing you should probably check is that the 30 or so discs you’re having a problem with have been finalized, as CDUncle pointed out. That may just be the problem. Unfinalized discs will not be readable by most standalone DVD players or DVD writers, only the recorder it was burned on.

Rippers are required when copy protection schemes are in place. For home recordings, that is not the case. Windows can copy them just like any other files.

If you want a good affordable editor I’d recommend VideoRedo It’s very user-friendly and is quite powerful. It can do frame accurate edits with minimal re-encoding (recodes a few frames at each cut point) I’ve been quite happy with it. It has a lot of other nice features.

If you still cannot retrieve the content off the troublesome discs even after finalizing, then definitely give ISOBuster a shot. I’m almost sure even the freeware version can do it. At least that was the case a while back, when I had trouble with a DVD Video I could not extract. ISOBuster did the trick.


#12

Firstly, your VOB are Mpeg2 files already. Some people claim that just renaming the extension to .mpg2 will do the trick for some software to read it. I did try, but it did not work for me.
For VOB or Mpeg2 I prefer Mpeg Video Wizard DVD from Womble.
It has lots of feature and you can import .bmp file, export as DVD compliant video, useful in other software, you can record your own sound, do transitions and so on. It will not re encode DVD compliant file.
As for retrieving your old DVD try what [B][I]LoV68[/I][/B] recommend. There are other retrieving software, but you will have to search. I ran into them during my searches of video forums, but since they were not needed I do not have any links.


#13

[B]grMondie:[/B]
DVD -RW discs formatted and recorded in -VR mode are the most incompatible of all. Very likely they will only reliably play in the recorder on which they were made unless finalised as suggested above. Even then it is by no means guaranteed. However if they are formatted in DVD-Video mode then read success in increased markedly.

Copying a -RW onto a +R will just copy the -VR structure exactly as it was, and therefore isn’t a solution (as you discovered).

One program suite which I remember does allow editing directly on unfinalised -VR discs (and therefore the copying of content) is Ulead DVD Movie Factory. There is a one-month free full-feature trial of version 6 so you can see if it works before paying out. It’s different to Womble MPEG Video Wizard DVD and VideoRedo, so might be worth a try. Otherwise, yes; ISObuster or CDRoller are good disc content recovery tools.

[B]CDuncle:[/B]
BTW you change the .vob file extension to .mpg, not .mpg2, for recognition.


#14

[QUOTE=imkidd57;2035696]
[B]CDuncle:[/B]
BTW you change the .vob file extension to .mpg, not .mpg2, for recognition.[/QUOTE]

Sorry, my mistake.


#15

I only mentioned it in case that was the reason it didn’t work for you. :slight_smile: There are indeed reports that it sometimes doesn’t, even with ‘.mpg’, but in personal experience I never had it fail after ripping with DVD Decrypter.


#16

:smiley: That’s OK. Some people can use it as an extension.
I think that it depends on editing software.


#17

All

Many thanks to each of you. I now have a long term solution in hand: use +RW discs because my PC can read unfinalized VR discs, no problem. You have also clued me to the futile waste of time in converting *.vob to *.mpg: the simple file rename suggested works beautifully for my existing Pinnacle editor. No cigar, however, on finalizing one of my existing -RW VR discs: this did not make it readable to my system.

imkidd57: you suggested using the ulead editor. Before I install and test it, could you explain how that will get around the problem of my PC not even recognizing the disc? Clearly an application that can do this will have to bypass the Windows browser resource and perform the equivalent directory functions internally. My NTI CD & DVD Maker software appears able to do this. Can the ulead editor do it as well?

GRM


#18

Yes the Windows intrinsic software for DVD reading/writing is very rudimentary and in this scenario almost useless. Third party programs such as DVDMF work at a more fundamental level and have a far better chance of success. Can’t guarantee that success, but it is worth a try :).


#19

All

I have bought and installed IsoBuster Pro. It seems to have just the kind of capability I was looking for. I “extracted” the image file to my hard drive and used the same simplistic trick of renaming the file extension from (this time) .vro to .mpg. The Pinnacle editor was happy with this, so I guess I now have a solution for my existing -RW discs.

I have more questions on other issues, but for now I have to turn my attention to making the IRS happy. Thank you all for your considerable help.

GRM


#20

All

The tax man is paid and I am back fiddling with DVDs again. Unfortunately it turns out I have not yet achieved a complete solutiion to my problem.

I took a two-hour mpegII file retrieved by ISOBuster and renamed (.vro => .mpg) and proceeded to break it into two programs with ads removed using my Pinnacle editor. The image quality of the resulting two DVDs was as good as on the original -RW disc. But the two DVDs I burned are unusable. The problem: audio/video synchronization. For each continuous segment - i.e. program segment between deleted ads - the audio seems to have the wrong sample rate. It’s as if the original were 44KHz and that is being encoded without reinterpolation at 48KHz. At the end of each segment is a long period of silence where the video “catches up” with the audio. The first moments of the next segment are probably okay, but I cant tell because the content is narration over graphics - no moving lips.

I have checked my VCR for audio encoding options: nothing there except for digital output to the TV, and that is already set to 48Khz. I have looked at the original file as created by ISOBuster and it plays correctly using WinDVD. When I play the “source” clips displayed in Pinnacle, that too is correct. Only when I play the clips as copied to the edit area of Pinnacle do I see the loss of synchronization. Yet here again I see no options for audio sample rate.

I am currently passing the original file (from ISOBuster) through Any Video Converter (an mpegII to mpegII “conversion”) to verify that the resulting file will process correctly. When that finishes, I will edit a file from a +RW disc which has simply been renamed (.vob => .mpg) to see how Pinnacle handles that.

Any thoughts as to what is going on here?

GRM