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Digital TV to DVD conversion guide

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Digital TV to DVD conversion guide

Last Edit: 23/02/05 - Added 16:9 to 4:3 format correction guide. Thanks dcallan.

Links

http://www.doom9.net/ contains a wealth of information, free utilities, codecs, and guides related to Video and Audio processing. Not all software packages are mentioned here or on Doom9, there are quite a few professional (and more expensive) packages that provide professional features.

Digital TV related utilities: http://www.doom9.org/software2.htm#DigitTV

Frequently Asked Questions

Q) What video format do Digital TV cards record in?

A) MPEG2 (Basically the same as a DVD movie, but in "TS" format - see next question).

Q) Why does my Software DVD Player stutter or give an error when playing back my recordings?

A) The MPG files saved from a Digital TV card differs slightly from a DVD Movie. The video format is the same (both are MPEG2), but contain different packet sizes optimized for transporting the MPEG2 data over the air waves. Software DVD players were designed to playback DVD Movies and therefore get confused with the different packet size when a Transport stream is played. The latest versions of WinDVD and PowerDVD now support MPEG TS files

* MPEG2 Program Stream (This format is used for DVD Movies)

* MPEG2 Transport Stream (This format is used for DigitalTV broadcasting)

Q) Can I burn my recordings to a DVD Disc to save Hard Disk space?

A) Yes, you can simply burn your recordings straight to a CD or DVD disc and playback the MPG file(s) using PowerDVD/WinDVD etc.., but if you wish to play them back like a Commercial DVD Movie in a proper DVD Player, you need special software to process your recordings into DVD format (see the guide below).

Q) My MPEG2 Editor gives an error when opening a recording?

A) You first need to convert your recording into an MPEG2 Program Stream (DVD compatible) file, or Demultiplex your recording into two elementary audio + video files if your MPEG2 Editor supports them.

Q) What is Demultiplexing/Remultiplexing?

A) Digital TV recordings and DVD Movies have a video stream and audio stream that is woven together into one MPEG2 file. Demultiplexing is the process of splitting an MPEG2 file into seperate audio and video files/streams. Remultiplexing is the process of combining seperate Video and Audio streams together into one file.

* Video stream (.mpv or .m2v extension)

* Audio stream (.mpa or .m2a extension)

* MPEG2 file (.mpg or .vob extension - combines the above streams into one file)

Q) Can I burn HD (High Definition) to a DVD?

A) Yes, some hardware DVD Players can play HDTV, but as for software MPEG2 editors and DVD compilers, its a matter of researching the softwares' capabilities or by experimentation.

Guide to convert a TV Recording to a DVD Disc

Generally speaking, the process of burning a DigitalTV recording to DVD is as follows:

* Demultiplex (split) the MPEG TS recording into seperate Audio + Video streams.

* Editing out unwanted parts of the program such as ads or trailing programs.

* Compiling the Audio + Video streams into DVD format so standard DVD Players can understand how to play it.

* Burning the DVD files to a recordable DVD Disc.

STEP 1 - Demultiplexing (Split your recording into seperate audio + video files)

Download a Demultiplexer:

PVAStrumento (freeware) ( http://www.offeryn.de/dv.htm ) *** Recommended ***

* Clean interface and easy to use.

* Accepts HDTV.

ProjectX (free/open source) ( http://www.lucike.info/page_projectx.htm )

* Interface can be confusing, but can sometimes be more reliable with corrupted recordings.

* You will need to have SUN JAVA runtime installed, unless you download the precompiled EXE version.

* Can merge seperate recordings (under the Tab: Special->'concatenate different recordings')

* Guide: View this thread for ProjectX usage.

* Can have trouble with HDTV (Java crash error)

If your recording has corrupted frames due to bad reception or static interference (for instance when someone flicks a light switch nearby), then the resulting audio and video streams may become out of sync.

These utilities can detect bad frames or GOPS, and drop them. If the audio frames are missing or corrupted, they will insert null samples (muted audio) to keep up with the video stream timing.

If your Audio + Video streams become out of sync during editing (in Step 2 below), then try:

PVAStrumento: Experimenting with the GOP options in Defaults->Expert

ProjectX: Enabling the "add frames" option under the "Audio" Tab.

Note; ProjectX generally does a better job at correcting stream errors than PVAStrumento, so use ProjectX if the recording has lots of errors.

Note; You can skip this step if you use MPEG2 Editing software that can demux for you such as VideoReDo.

STEP 2 - Edit unwanted parts out of your recording.

Download an Editor:

MPEGSchnitt (free) ( http://www.mdienert.de/mpeg2schnitt/ )

* Excellent MPEG2 editor with a preview window and easy to use interface.

* Only accepts demuxed streams (two seperate Audio + Video files), and cannot remux.

* German and English versions are available.

* You cannot cut at every single frame position, but good enough in most cases.

* Worked with a ch9 HDTV recording tested (v0.6g)

Cuttermaran (free/open source) ( http://cuttermaran.movie2digital.de/ ) *** Recommended ***

* Excellent MPEG2 editor with a preview window and easy to use interface.

* Capable of cutting at any frame by re-encoding if you have TMPGEnc 2.5 encoder utility.

* Can remultiplex using mplex.exe (bundled with Cutterman)

* Failed to work properly with two HDTV ch9 recordings tested. (v1.60)

VideoReDo (~$50) ( http://www.videoredo.com ) *** Recommended ***

* Accepts DVB recordings, no need to demux (not sure how good corruption handling is though)

* User friendly interface, shows preview window and cut list.

* Accepts SDTV and HDTV.

* Can output to a PS MPEG2 file or seperate Audio + Video streams.

* Can configure the mouse wheel to skip individual frames.

* Very Fast!

These MPEG2 Editors let you visually navigate through your recording and let you cut out unwanted parts of the recording.

I wont go into B, P, and I Frames, and GOPS, but basically MPEG2 has limits to where you can cut the frames, for instance you can only cut every fourth frame. Cutting at 'any' frame you want requires re-encoding the missing frames between GOPS.

MPEGSchnitt usage:

MPEGSchnitt works by "IN" and "OUT" Marks that specify your programs' segments.

1) Navigate to the start of the segment, click "<IN" or "IN>" and click "In"

2) Navigate to the end of the segment, click "<OUT" or "OUT>" and click "Out"

3) Click "New" to add the mark range to the cut list.

4) Repeat 1-3 for the other segments...

5) Click "Cut" to save your edited streams (You cannot save to a single MPEG file just yet).

Cuttermaran usage:

Cutterman works by "IN" and "OUT" Ranges that specify your programs' segments.

1) Navigate to the start of the segment, click "I<" or "I>" and click "Set cut in"

2) Navigate to the end of the segment, click "P<" or "P>" and click "Set cut out"

3) Click "Add range to cut list" to add the range to the cut list.

4) Repeat 1-3 for the other segments...

5) Click "Cut video/audio" to save your edited streams (You can save to a single MPEG file if you have mplex1.exe).

STEP 3 - Remultiplexing your edited Audio and Video streams back into a single MPEG2 file or into DVD compatible files

Part A If you just want your "cleaned up" MPEG2 recordings stored on your Hard Disk and use WinDVD/PowerDVD to play it back:

Download Mplex1.exe to Remultiplex your edited Audio+Video streams into a single MPG file:

Mplex1.exe ( http://members.aon.at/johann.langhofer/mplex1.htm )

* This is a single EXE file that runs in a Command Prompt (DOS prompt)

* Usage: "mplex1.exe yourvideo.mpv youraudio.mpa [yourmpeg.mpg]"

* Simple to use and reliable. If the Audio is out of Sync, then your Demuxer didnt handle frame corruption well.

Part B Prepare your recording for DVD playback on a DVD disc:

There are many DVD compilers available, but most of the good ones are shareware or commercial software.

DVD Compilers let you create a DVD menu, different chapters, and other DVD features you see on normal DVD Movies.

Some compilers may do the demuxing/remuxing for you.

Here are some not too expensive (or free) packages that are useful:

DVD Lab (Shareware) ( http://www.mediachance.com/dvdlab/ ) *** Recommended ***

* Brilliant visual interface packed with features such as motion menu's and chapter flow charts.

* Can accept a wide range of media files, including pictures for the menu's and buttons.

* Can accept MPEG2 files already remuxed, and demuxes them automatically when compiling the VOB's.

TMPGEnc DVD Author (Shareware) ( http://www.pegasys-inc.com/en/product/tda.html )

* Has a library for creation of main and sub menus.

* Creates chapters for separate episodes or specific points.

* Automatically create chapters at preset intervals (i.e. 15 minutes) to make navigation through movies easier.

* Creates iso images.

IFOEdit (Free) http://mpucoder.kewlhair.com/derrow/

* No Frills, its cheap and dirty but works well, has various useful tools built in.

* No menu creation, it basically creates the VOBS and IFO files so your recording will play straight away.

* Pan and scan instructions: View this thread

Search www.google.com or www.download.com for other software, or reply if you would like to add something.

STEP 4 - Burning your DVD files to DVD-R or DVD+R

After you have used a DVD Compiler to complile your recording into a DVD friendly structure - which typically contains IFO, BUP, and VOB files, you can burn them straight to a blank DVD.

* Important *

All the IFO, BUP, and VOB files must be placed in a folder called "VIDEO_TS" on the DVD, otherwise it wont play. Also create an empty folder called "AUDIO_TS", for instance:

D:\VIDEO_TS\ (contains your IFO, BUP, and VOB files)

D:\AUDIO_TS\ (empty)

Nero 6 (Bundled or shareware) ( http://www.nero.com ) *** Recommended ***

* Excellent CD and DVD writer package with great compatibility with a wide range of DVD writers.

* Has a DVD-Video wizard that checks if your DVD files are in order.

Roxio DVD Creator (Bundled or shareware) ( http://www.roxio.com )

* Also a good package with excellent compatibility.

Note that many DVD compilers have DVD burning functionality built in.

Correcting a 4:3 recording that was broadcasted in 16:9

Some 4:3 format programs are broadcasted as 16:9, but are padded with black borders on the sides when played in a DVD player. To correct this:

NB: You will need to Author your recording to DVD Format (VOB files) first.

1) Download IFOEdit from http://www.ifoedit.com/ (Free).

2) In IFOedit, open your VTS_01_0.IFO file.

3) Double-click on the video stream listed in the lower window.

4) In the Settings Dialog that opens (over on the right):

5) Untick the "Automatic Letterbox" option.

6) Tick the "Automatic Pan & Scan" option.

7) Save the altered IFO file and repeat for VTS_02_0.IFO, VTS_03_0.IFO, etc

8) Burn your DVD files to a blank DVD Disc (make sure you place them in \VIDEO_TS\ on the DVD).

Converting HD to SD

If you have recorded a show in HDTV and need to convert it to SD so your software and/or DVD player can accept the file, try the following:

1) Demux the HD recording using PVAStrumento so you have an .MPV and an .AC3 file.

2) Convert the .AC3 file into an .MP2 using BeSweet from http://www.doom9.org/ac3tomp2.htm

You need to download the BeSweet command line utility and the BeSweet GUI, unzip them both, but make sure you put the BeSweet command line files within a folder called "BeSweet" in the GUI folder.

i.e. C:\BeSweet\ (contains the GUI files)

C:\BeSweet\BeSweet\ (contains the command line files)

3) Convert the .MPV and .MP2 file to MPEG2 PAL SD resolution (720x576) using TMPGEnc Plus 2.5 (14day trialware). Note that the free version of TMPGEnc doesn't encode MPEG2.

NB; If you know of a better/easier way to convert HD to SD, please PM me or post a reply.

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Hi ..I am also in a quandry regarding HDTV conversion...I have the Fusion card and recorded HDTV in a number of TP files which I converted (demuxed) using projectx but when I attempted to compile the reulsting mpv and ac3 files using temgenc dvd author I have been stopped as the format (1440 x 1088 ) is not compatible..what to do ? Can this be remedied..I have important material I would like to burn (eventually) to DVD..

Any assistance is much appreciated

Regards

Geejazzer, Sydney

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Hi ..I am also in a quandry regarding HDTV conversion...I have the Fusion card and recorded HDTV in a number of TP files which I converted (demuxed) using projectx but when I attempted to compile the reulsting mpv and ac3 files using temgenc dvd author I have been stopped as the format (1440 x 1088 ) is not compatible..what to do ? Can this be remedied..I have important material I would like to burn (eventually) to DVD..

Hi Geejazzer,

Why don't you give a try to the FusionConvertor that is included with your card?

Cheers

Renura

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HDTV vs. DVD

Regarding the HDTV to DVD recording. I have the AVerMedia DVB-T Card, which still doesn't fully support HDTV, but with some luck I was able to record Nine HDTV - just those nature images you see when they're not broadcasting any 'tv' in HDTV - and put it onto DVD. Becuase it was just a test, I didn't edit it at all, just stuck it into Ulead DVD MovieFactory and burnt it as is. I then played it back on my Panasonic DVD player and it worked fine.

Cheers

Infinite

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Hi ..I am also in a quandry regarding HDTV conversion...I have the Fusion card and recorded HDTV in a number of TP files which I converted (demuxed) using projectx but when I attempted to compile the reulsting mpv and ac3 files using temgenc dvd author I have been stopped as the format (1440 x 1088 ) is not compatible..what to do ? Can this be remedied..I have important material I would like to burn (eventually) to DVD..

Hi Geejazzer,

Why don't you give a try to the FusionConvertor that is included with your card?

Cheers

Renura

Im giving ther Fusion converter a go, but it seem like it will take forever to convert a 120min HD movie.

Presently it says that it should take 185mins and the the speed is only 0.63x. And at 2% im worried that i'll wait the 3 hours for this down convert and it will fail like my last attempt.

Just have a look at my config in the signature, as I wouldnt have imagined that this process is so painstakingly long...

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Thanks for your suggestions..

Renura ..tried Fusions converter..although one of the 5 tp files converted others just locked up the machine (3G Intel CPU, 1 gig RAM) and I can only agree with GLO..the converter seems to also take an inordinate amount of time?

Anarchi..tried to use Virtual Dub ..but doesn't accept the tp files?

So ..I'll keep persevering.

Thanks again,

Geejazzer

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I DID IT!!!

I cannot get the smile off my face. I converted my .tp file of "colosseum", which contained all 3 video and audio streams to DVD. This is how i did it:

Nine has defaulted the first stream to be LCN9 (normal digital)

fired up project x

demuxed it to PVA

fired up PVA

demuxed to native .mpg

tested in winamp - all hunky dory

for the second stream, it was difficult, but after some fiddligng, i found out how to do it:

fired up TSreader

found the PID's for audio and video

fired up project x

selected the .tp file and manually inputed the PID's (do this by double clicking the file name, a box will appear, and simply type the PID's in the box to the right)

fired up PVA

demuxed to native .mpg

tested in winamp - all hunky dory

fired up nero vision express - from there i cut out adds, made chapters, made menu's, and have to shrink the bitrates for both to just 4.5Mb!

Tested on my DVD player, AND IT WORKS PERFECTLY!!!!

WOOHOOO i did it. Hopefully nine will now show pyramids sometime soon (which is the final doco installment i think)

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datvman

Congratulations on your success.

But what exactly was your success

If all you wanted to do was create a recording at DVD resolution why not just record the SD stream and use that for playback

Are you able to play back 1080i in native resolution with all the steps you have taken ?

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Thanks for your suggestions..

Renura ..tried Fusions converter..although one of the 5 tp files converted others just locked up the machine (3G Intel CPU, 1 gig RAM) and I can only agree with GLO..the converter seems to also take an inordinate amount of time?

Anarchi..tried to use Virtual Dub ..but doesn't accept the tp files?

So ..I'll keep persevering.

Thanks again,

Geejazzer

after leaving it for ages, i returned to find some errors on screen, but more notably that it only converted 30 minutes of a 120 min recording.

Im having no such luck using the converter...

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For a simpler way to do the whole SDTV to DVD process, try VideoReDo. It will fix up any dropped or added frames (light switch problem), and give you an output in MPEG ready for your ULead/Nero/etc DVD burning software!

Simple! No hassles with multiple conversion, in and out of different apps, separate streams... And takes less time!

http://www.drdsystems.com/VideoReDo/index.htm

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For a simpler way to do the whole SDTV to DVD process, try VideoReDo. It will fix up any dropped or added frames (light switch problem), and give you an output in MPEG ready for your ULead/Nero/etc DVD burning software!

Simple! No hassles with multiple conversion, in and out of different apps, separate streams... And takes less time!

http://www.drdsystems.com/VideoReDo/index.htm

Hi Strobe,

I have d/l this program, and found the part where i can set the frame rate to 25fps but i cant see where or how i actually do the conversion,

any tips pls.

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My suggestion for the guide would be linking to this under Project X and this under IfoEdit.

It's good that the type of licence is mentioned for each program, but if I can make one nitpick, the use of "free" doesn't distinguish between free as in price and free as in freedom. So I'd like to suggest changing this to "free / open source" for programs like Project X and Cuttermaran and perhaps "freeware" for more restricted software :blink:

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For a simpler way to do the whole SDTV to DVD process, try VideoReDo. It will fix up any dropped or added frames (light switch problem), and give you an output in MPEG ready for your ULead/Nero/etc DVD burning software!

Simple! No hassles with multiple conversion, in and out of different apps, separate streams... And takes less time!

http://www.drdsystems.com/VideoReDo/index.htm

I had a bit of a play around with VideoReDo last night and whilst I can't comment on it's ability to pad dropped frames yet (ala projectX) I think it's navigational tools are brilliant. Quickly and accurately finding your cut point is a cinch with the second slider to get within a couple of frames and the L/R arrows to get the exact frame.

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My suggestion for the guide would be linking to this under Project X and this under IfoEdit.

It's good that the type of licence is mentioned for each program, but if I can make one nitpick, the use of "free" doesn't distinguish between free as in price and free as in freedom. So I'd like to suggest changing this to "free / open source" for programs like Project X and Cuttermaran and perhaps "freeware" for more restricted software :blink:

Done, thanks for the suggestion.

VideoReDo and Cuttermaran have also been added.

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I have been reading this forum with the hope of finding a answer to my question re sound missing from recording during play back in third party software, but nothing specific found.

Q. I cannot for the life of me get audio in playback (third party) in a recording off any of the HD channels with Dolby Digital sound, with .mpg recording. I want to put the recorded file into Pinnical for conversion to DVD format. This process works fine with a SD recording.

Divco HDTV DVB-T with the latest drivers.

Any suggestions, Cheers Gav.

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I have been reading this forum with the hope of finding a answer to my question re sound missing from recording during play back in third party software, but nothing specific found.

Q. I cannot for the life of me get audio in playback (third party) in a recording off any of the HD channels with Dolby Digital sound, with .mpg recording. I want to put the recorded file into Pinnical for conversion to DVD format. This process works fine with a SD recording.

Divco HDTV DVB-T with the latest drivers.

Any suggestions, Cheers Gav.

Hi Gavin, I had a few problems with the audio stream in my Channel 9 HD recordings and it turned out that the audio stream was indeed in the MPG file, but my demuxer (ProjectX) didnt output it, where-else PVAStrumento found the AC3 stream and outputted it fine (as a .ac3 file). So in saying this, I think the software you are using may have a problem with AC3 streams.

Try this:

Demux your MPG to seperate Audio+video streams using PVAStrumento (you may want to check the audio settings in the 'defaults' dialog).

Remux the streams into a DVD MPG format using mplex1.exe

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Thank you Anarchi, I will give it a go or I will have to just record the SD channel if I want to save it later to DVD.

Cheers Gav.

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Regarding converting HD to SD, it can be done the following way:

1) Demux the HD recording using PVAStrumento so you have an .MPV and an .AC3 file.

2) Convert the .AC3 file into an .MP2 using BeSweet from http://www.doom9.org/ac3tomp2.htm

You need to download the BeSweet command line utility and the BeSweet GUI, unzip them both, but make sure you put the BeSweet command line files within a folder called "BeSweet" in the GUI folder.

i.e. C:\BeSweet\ (contains the GUI files)

C:\BeSweet\BeSweet\ (contains the command line files)

3) Convert the .MPV and .MP2 file to PAL MPEG2 SD resolution using TMPGEnc Plus 2.5 trial. If TMPGEnc Plus would accept AC3 files then it would be much easier since you wouldnt need to demux or convert, but even so, some DVD players have trouble playing AC3 streams from DVB recordings, yet play AC3 streams from a DVD movie fine.

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Anarchi,

Cuttermaran now has the ability to remux automatically after cutting the video (the download now comes with mplex1 included).

So now all I have to do to make a DVD of an SDTV recording is:

1. Convert & demux with ProjectX

2. Cut out ads and remux with Cuttermaran

3. Put the resulting MPEG into Ulead DVD Movie Factory that came with my DVD burner

4. Add chapters/menu if desired, or just auto-add chapters every 10 mins

5. Burn to DVD.

Managed to do all this to yesterday's Grand Final in a couple of hours.

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