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Converting to DVD

Creating a DVD

Let's review a couple of facts before going into the juicy details.

  • Avidemux will create the MPEG file for you.
  • You will need an authoring program to convert that MPEG to the DVD file hierarchy. Most of them are using dvdauthor. For example you could use Varsha, KDvdAuthor or whatever.

The mostly automatic way

Use the Auto→DVD menu. It will setup most of it with sensible defaults. The only thing left to you will be to set the video codec to 2pass mode and enter the desired final size.

Preparing the video

To be DVD compliant, the resolution must be :

  • 352*480 or 720*480 or 704*480 for NTSC
  • 352*576 or 720*576 or 704*576 for PAL/SECAM

How do i know if it is PAL or NTSC?

Click the info button (File→Properties). If the “Frame Rate” field is 25, it is PAL or SECAM. If it is 23.976 or 29.97, it is NTSC.

If it is not exactly one of these values, you will have to use the Resample(nbsp)fps filter to convert to either PAL or NTSC.

Now that you have identified the type of video, you have to resize it to a proper width/height. The simpler way is to use the “DVD res” button in the Video Filter Manager dialog that will do that automagically.

Warning: You cannot blindly resize to 720*480 or whatever. You must take into account the aspect ratio to do it properly. And the aspect ratio is not the same for PAL and for NTSC. The best is to let “DVD res” do it for you.

Selecting the video encoder

You have two codec families that are suitable for DVD creation: “DVD(nbsp)(lavc)” which is using libavcodec, or “DVD” which is using libmpeg2enc. They both have their pros and cons:

  • DVD (lavc): Faster, good, use only in 2-pass mode for DVD.
  • DVD: Slower, good, can be safely used in CQ mode or in CBR mode.

For DVD the total bitrate must be below 9.8(nbsp)Mb/s. So to put it simply a max bitrate around 9(nbsp)Mb is okay. Assuming you will use 2-pass mode with DVD(nbsp)(lavc) you must enter the video only final size. So it is better to use the calculator first, that will compute the video size from the final size.

Preparing the audio

For DVD, audio must be 48(nbsp)kHz and one of:

  • AC3 (FFmpeg AC3)
  • MP2 (FFmpeg MP2 or TwoLAME)

If the audio track from the source video is suitable, the best might be to use it and let the audio to Copy. Else select your favorite encoder (for me it would be TwoLAME).

Don't forget to setup the audio filter. Setup downmixing if needed and don't forget that the audio must be 48(nbsp)kHz. Use a resampling filter if needed.

So for example, you will set downmixing to Dolby Prologic 2, resampling to 48(nbsp)kHz, TwoLAME encoder at 160(nbsp)kb/s.

Selecting the output format, simple case

For DVD, if you are happy with one audio track and no subtitle, the best would be to select “MPEG PS A+V” as output format using the format menu. The resulting MPEG file will be suitable to authoring. Just hit the Save button and you will get foo.mpeg which can be authored afterward with your favorite authoring program.

Selecting the output format, elaborate case

Doing a multi track audio is a bit different, but not complicated. First you will save the audio, using the Audio→Save menu (of course, all of the above concerning audio is needed). You will get foo_1.mp2 file for example.

Repeat for all tracks you want to convert, changing the audio track using Audio→Main Track. At the end you will have foo_1.mp2, foo_2.mp2 etc…

Now select “MPEG video” as output container and hit the Save button. You will save as foo.m2v for example.

Once you have all your files, time to fire up mplex to create the MPEG file. The syntax will be

mplex -f 9 -i final.mpg foo.m2v foo_1.mp2 foo_2.mp2


final.mpg is then suitable for authoring.

tutorial/converting_to_dvd.txt · Last modified: 2021/06/13 15:11 by mean