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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for good but not too expensive (free is good too) DVD authoring software that is able to create anamorphic widescreen VOBs. I have quite a lot of source mpeg2 transport stream video in HD format (16:9 Aspect Ratio) with Dolby Digital 5.1 sound captured from HD cable feed. I'd also like to preserve Dolby Digital 5.1 sound during authoring. Anybody doing this or familiar with products that can do this? I see that Sonic MyDVD Deluxe 6 can make anamorphic widescreen DVDs, but it's $100 and I have their older software and I'm not that impressed.


I don't need/care about a package for adding transitions and menus or any of that junk - in fact I like authoring with NO menus or transitions. Just stick in the DVD and let it start playing suits my style. I'm already editing the source mpegs before hand using Womble, so don't need any editing capabilities either.


Thanks for any pointers.

-Kevin
 

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Check out http://dvdauthor.sourceforge.net/. I'm a linux geek, so I haven't checked out if there's much of a windows version going on, but I'd be surprised if there weren't. In any case, the key parameter is "--video=ntsc+16:9+720xfull", and there's likely a nice frontend somewhere for it. Also, if by some slim chance you're in the linux club, here's a script I've thrown together that's quite handy for DVD authoring: http://gtpkt.org/~pmcneill/dvdize.txt -- the "-w" parameter specifies anamorphic mode.
 

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There's a "cheap" way to do it... The only difference is that the mpeg used needs to be flagged for 16:9 AR. You can do that with dvdpatcher (I think that's the app). Do this before authoring.


You won't get the different format menus and such, but... that may not be a problem for you.


If I'm wrong on this it will be a surprise because I don't even remember how I do it. I just suspect how I do it... I'm generally on auto pilot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great tips guys, thanks! Not sure if dvdpatcher will work since my authoring software is transcoding the video into 4:3 from 16:9. i.e. the source is already marked as 16:9 AR. I did find a tool called ifoedit which lets you set the aspect ratio in the VOB .ifo files to 16:9 AFTER you have authored to disk and before burning. It does work, but still I think the DVD authoring software will have thrown away a lot of picture content when shrinking to 4:3 in the first place, so stretching back to 16:9 will not look as good.


I work a lot with Linux so will definately check out the sourceforge dvdauthor. Thanks!
 

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I use DVD santa to burn 16:9. All you need to do is to choose 16:9 aspect, program does rest. However, you don't have much freedom: it will not let you set menu, it automatically set chapter every 3 mins; but it does work. Costs about $30, also supriseingly fast. You can download a trail copy from dvdsanta dot com.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
pmcneill, I tried out dvdauthor. Problem is I get the following error a zillion times on all source mpeg2s I tried (including medium quality 5K replayTV mpegs):
WARN: Skipping sector, waiting for first VOBU...

...


Please let me know where I'm going wrong in this simple procedure:


dvdauthor -o dvd -x try.xml


where try.xml looks like:












Thanks,

-Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, after a lot of fiddling around I'm not sure what I did but things are working now... Sonic MyDVD 5.2 is now transcoding to 720x480 but preserving the 16:9 ratio in the generated VOB fileset. I still have to convert audio to mpeg1-II in order to author it which means I lose 5.1, but I can live with that.


I still never got dvdauthor to work properly even when re-compiling the whole thing from scratch - it still got the same message I described above and mplex wouldn't work for re-muxing a demuxed stream either. Thanks everyone for your help.
 

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The easiest/cheapest way to do it is to mark the source MPEGs as 4:3 with DVDPatcher, then author them normally as 4:3. Once you write the DVD files to your hard drive, patch the IFO files to 16:9 with IFOEdit.
 

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here's what's going on.. the DVD has settings for the AR and that's what IFOEdit will allow you to mess with. The DVD has an AR that you can set with some apps for 4:3 or 16:9 there are other settings for Pan & Scan and Letterboxing (these are important, but not in this case).


Then there's also the MPEG file which is used to create the VOB, this has a Aspect Ratio field which is used for the display.


So, you really have two different things that need to be set correctly for this to work.


DVDPatcher will fix the mpeg stream to get the aspect ratio set correctly (as well as other key fields if needed).


Then you may and I say may need to create a DVD titleset that has an AR of 16:9. I have and have not done this on different DVDs. It's worked each time, but I'm using some custom software....


DVDLab Pro says it will do this but at $200 you might want to try the trial version first. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I confirmed this worked for me today:

1. Start with HD Transport stream:

VIDEO: Res=1920x1088 AR=16:9 Bit Rate=38810Kbps

AUDIO: DD 5.1


2. Womble to edit out commercials & convert to Program Stream + re-encode audio to something Sonic MyDVD 5.2 accepts (this step pretty quick since no video re-encoding):

VIDEO: Res=1920x1088 AR=16:9 Bit Rate=38810Kbps

AUDIO: Mpeg1-II Stereo 192Kbps


3. Sonic MyDVD 5.2 authoring which creates 16:9 VOBs (hours transcoding video):

VIDEO: Res=720x480 AR=16:9 Bit Rate=7000Kbps

AUDIO: DD 2.1


4. Burned to DVD+RW and confirmed it plays in widescreen mode. I was shocked at the video quality - I honestly can't tell the difference between the original HD recording and the resulting DVD.


Ironically MyDVD does a MUCH better job transcoding video than all settings I've tried via Womble - Womble is slower at transcoding and does an awful job at it even when set to highest quality setting + 9000Kbps VBR bit rate.
 

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While the answer may of been given.. let me rephrase the question in hopes that I can get an answer that I can understand...


Source ReplayTV MPEG from a show such as 'ER' or Star Trek' which was broadcast in masked letterbox [aka: black bars'


Is there any way to re-encode the file and strip the mask from the mpeg and have a VOB ready to be burned with chapter marks. so that on playback on a wide-screen TV the image area is filled and yet on a standard TV the DVD player will create the mask for wide-screen??


And of course using 'Free software'


--
 

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dave, not without reencoding. But.. there's always the option to burn letterboxed and use a player like the RP-91 or some of the toshiba players like 4700 that zoom the hardboxed images to fill the 16:9 screen.


Of course other than that you must reencode it.
 
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