by October 11, 2003 0 comments



The trouble with VCDs is their limited capacity. Most movies span across at least two VCDs. So it can get irritating if you have to switch to the next VCD, especially when you’re watching the most exciting part. DVDs, on the other hand, don’t have this problem. They have plenty of capacity to store a complete movie or maybe a few small movies. If you have a DVD-Writer, then it is possible to extract your movie out of the multiple VCDs and put them all together on a single DVD.

Working with video is a resource intensive task, so you’ll need a decent machine for the job. A P4 with 256 MB RAM and a 20 GB hard drive is a must, along with of course, a DVD-Writer. Anything lower would probably take a lot longer. On the software front, you’ll need some DVD ripping tools and DVD authoring software. Most of the software that we’ve used in this article, is either freeware or commercial software, and you can easily download them from their respective Web sites. Plus, most DVD-Writers nowadays come bundled with DVD authoring software, which can also be used. On the OS front, we used Win XP with SP1.

Combining MPEG files into a single file using TMPGEnc


STEP ONE

Extract the video from VCD
The first step is to extract the movie from your VCD. As the movie is in DAT format, you’ll need to convert it to mpeg files. There are various tools to do this. We used VCDGear v3.55 (download from www.vcdgear.com). If you use the same tool, then from the Extraction/Conversion drop down menu, select Dat > mpeg. Then click the Load button and select the Dat file from the VCD. Next a file dialog box appears to save the DAT file to mpeg. Give the file a name and location to save it. Finally, click the Start button to extract and convert the DAT file to mpeg.

Converting DAT files into MPEG


STEP TWO

Combine mpeg files into one file
As a VCD can have multiple DAT files, the above step will create multiple MPEG files. Now the next step is to combine them into a single file. For this we used the TMPGEnc utility (download from www.tmpgenc.net). It comes as a zip file, which you must extract into a separate folder. Go to that folder and run the TmpEnc plus program. This utility runs a Wizard, but you can close it and do the task manually. So select File>mpeg tools to open a mpeg tools window. Go to the Merge and cut tab and select all the mpeg files you created in step1. After adding the files, click on browse to save all the mpeg files to a single mpeg file. Now click on Run.

Create menus and chapters using TMPGEnc Author


STEP THREE

Make mpeg file DVD compliant
After you’ve created the mpeg file, you need to change it to a DVD compliant file. For this, we used a software called MainConcept Encoder (download from www.mainconcept.com). The software’s interface shows a window with a video source, audio source, and output file. Open the video source and select the mpeg file you created in step 2. Next set the output format to Mpeg. Type DVD, Stream type program (Video+Audio), Video mode to PAL and audio mode to Layer 2. Now click on the Details button for Advance Settings. Here, set the frame rate to 25, audio frequency to 48000, and audio mode to stereo. Click Ok to return to main window, and from there, click on the Convert button to create the final DVD file.

Burning a video DVD using interVideo


STEP FOUR

Do the DVD Authoring
Now comes the most exciting part, where you have to get the DVD MPEG file you just created ready to move to the DVD. Here, you can create menus and chapters for the DVD movie. We used a commercial software called TMPEnc DVD Author (download from www.pegasys-inc.com). When you run the software, select Create New Project from the interface and add the mpeg file you encoded in step 3. From the same window, click Edit Clip button followed by the Chapter Cut Edit button. Here you can add multiple chapters based on time code, time intervals, and the total number of chapters you want.

Now to add chapters for the movie, select the frames of a movie from the frames showcase panel. Then click on Add current frame to the Chapter button or right click on chapter list and select add frame to specific time code. Here you will get a choice of options to insert chapters on the basis of time code, time intervals and number of chapters. Select Automatically insert specified number of chapters. This is 15 by default, but you can change it as per your requirement. It will automatically create a specified number of chapters from the full movie. Next, we will create a menu for the final DVD. For this, click on the Menu button. From here, you can change or create the layout of the menu and see the chapters created above. Finally you need to rip the movie with the menu to a DVD. Select Output button from the TMPEnc DVD Author and specify the path of an empty folder, where you need to rip the DVD. Now, click Begin Output to start ripping.


STEP FIVE

Burning a DVD
Run you DVD burning software. Most DVD-Writers come with their own software. We used a software called InterVideo DVD Copy (download from www.intervideo.com). Here you just need to specify the location where you have ripped the DVD movie in step 4. Finally click the ‘Start Burning’ icon to burn the DVD movie.With this your DVD will be ready for viewing. You can use either your DVD-drive or even a DVD player .

Sanjay Majumder

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