From source Files to DVD

Discuss about generic usage of MediaCoder.

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From source Files to DVD

Postby meRobs » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:33 pm

{Updated 7 Apr 2012]

Media files may be captured from a camera, downloaded from the web or created by a resident application, such as Windows Media Centre, etc. To have such files stored on a DVD and playable in most Standalone players is the subject of this discussion.

There is no simple set of steps or recipe for taking a number of Source files through to DVD. This is because there are too many variables and choices to be made. We need to match the requirements of the DVD specifications and the needs (wishes) of the user with the functions and limitations of the programs available to the user. To simplify matters a little, let's restrict ourselves to standard DVDs that will play on most standalone players.

There are three processes to consider:
(1) Edit and/or Join a number of files (Video Editor): you may wish to Trim the ends of each file, remove unwanted material from within it (e.g., TV commercials), join a number of files seamlessly, possibly with Transitions, and add Effects, such as colour corrections and Brightness/Contrast, etc.
Video Editors are described in: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11406.
(2) Conversion of the files to the desired Format – to suit the DVD or Video Editor, etc.
The obvious choice here is MediaCoder!
(3) Author to DVD: arranges the material into a DVD-compliant structure and allows the setting of Menus and Chapters for navigation, and (usually) do the final burn to disc. Authoring will also involve another conversion if the input files are not DVD-compliant (MPEG2) or are too large to fit the DVD.
Suitable Authoring Apps are described in: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8454&start=0.

1. Options for Minimal Editing
MediaCoder is not a Video Editor nor can it author to DVD. It can, however, do a few adjustments during the conversion, via the Effects button on the Picture tab. It allows as-you-watch changes to Hue and Gamma as well as some 'Clipping' (Trim), though, the latter is difficult to set accurately (described here: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8912&start=0). Hence, if these functions are adequate there will be no need of a Video Editor.

This leads to the simplest path. Just do minor adjustments in MediaCoder and use it to convert to DVD-compliant MPEG2 files (see: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8282&start=0). Then, feed the MPEG2 files to an Authoring App (link above) set to Copy the video & audio streams (no re-encoding).

If all that is required is simple trimming and the removal of intermediate segments, such as TV commercials, programs like AVI Trimmer and Avidemux may be used (described in Guide on Video Editors, above). The first does not re-encode and the second should be used in the Copy mode. They both may require two conversions by MediaCoder. One to satisfy their input requirements of the editing program and the second to create MPEG2 files for the Authoring App.

2. An Option for a good Editor/Author Combo
If you have an efficient, quality Video Editor/Authoring combination, all you need do is use MediaCoder to convert all files to the highest practical quality (bitrate) in a format to suit the editor. For example, I use Adobe Premiere for video editing and Adobe Encore to author to DVD, neither of which are free (far from it)! To this end, I use MediaCoder to convert my source files according to viewtopic.php?f=17&t=9488&p=28837#p28837.

3. Use of Windows Movie Maker or Similar
The least efficient path results from the use of a video editor that has specific input requirements, needs to encode and cannot author, like Windows Movie Maker. It prefers inputs in either WMV or AVI and exports in WMV or AVI, neither of which are DVD-compliant. Hence, there would be 3 encoding steps. The first, in MediaCoder to produce the required WMV or AVI files (use high bitrates to minimize degradation), the second conversion would be in Movie Maker and the third to convert the result in MediaCoder to DVD-compliant MPEG2 files. The third conversion is done to avoid encoding in the authoring App. For more info on the use of Movie Maker, see: viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8429&p=25736#p25736, and for comment on authoring, viewtopic.php?f=17&t=8454&start=0.

A discussion on Video Editors is given in viewtopic.php?f=17&t=11406. For example, VideoPad may be used similarly to Movie Maker, although, it does have a wider range of input and output options and is more sophisticated in use. Indeed, if your source files are acceptable by it, the first conversion in MediaCoder may be avoided. Moreover, if you don't want Chapters and Menus, it may be used to output directly to DVD.

4. Choice of Bitrate
Assuming a disc of capacity D in MB, which is 1024x1024 bytes and since there are 8 bits per byte, we have:
Disc capacity in kilo bits = 1024x1024xDx8/1000
............................= 60(V+A)T,
where T is the disc capacity in minutes and Video (V) and Audio (A) bitrates in kbps
Therefore, ............ T = 139.8D/(V+A) in minutes.

For a single-layered DVD, a DVD-5, D = 4485 MB
so, ..................... T = 600,000/(V+A) allowing 4.3% for overheads (menus, etc).
Thus, the capacity of a DVD-5 disc with audio transcoded at 128 kbps is 282 min for a video bitrate of 2000 kbps, 228 min for 2500 kbps, 192 min for 3000 kbps and 145 min for 4000 kbps. If the aim is to squeeze as much as possible onto a DVD-5 disc, and accept the loss in quality, you could use a lower video bitrate, such as 1000 kbps, for which the capacity would be 532 min. And, of course, you could also reduce the audio bitrate to 64 kbps, for example, to push out the capacity a little further, to 564 min!

Similarly, a double-layered DVD-9 disc has a capacity, D, of 8144 MB (7.95 GB)
so, ………………….. T = 1,100,000/(V+A) min, allowing 3.4%.

Also, for a CD of 700 MB, T = 95,000/(V+A) allowing ~3%.
Have you checked out the Tips & Guides for MediaCoder? Try:
Also, get older builds at:

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