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Conversion from .vob to...what's best?

Discussion in 'Multimedia' started by frank1492, Mar 31, 2008.

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  1. frank1492

    frank1492 Thread Starter

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    I have some .vob files that were recovered from a corrupted camcorder-recorded, finalized DVD-R video using IsoBuster. They play fine (and look fine) in programs like Media Player Classic. The problem is that I now would like to convert these clips for use in WinMovieMaker or some other software. I have tried to convert them to MPEG-2 using Koyote Free Video Converter. The resulting video is of poor quality. Is the problem due to the converter, or to the fact that I have chosen MPEG-2? Would .AVI be better? It seems to me that .AVI has many different codecs, which adds to the confusion.
    Could someone please give me some guidance as to how to get clips in some common editing format that are just as good as the original .vobs? Your help would be very much appreciated! Thank you!
    Frank
     
  2. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

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    Well, if you change the .vob to .mpg and there is only one main audio stream, you have a specific mpeg-2 file (DVD-compatible). Many editing programs then have no problem seeing and opening the file for editing.

    A very common editing format (before any more compression is made to export to DVD or a small video playback device, etc. is DV-Avi. Almost any program can open those for editing but they can be large files (preserving quality at the expense of size) and cause issues in that manner for some programs unable to handle that much data all at once.

    Personally I really like the Divx-Avi codec. I find it to be far superior to mpeg-2 at lower bitrates (about one half to two thirds DVD bitrates) and it works great as a stand alone end file stored on a computer or as a very able substitute for DVDs though it requires a Divx compatible DVD player to go that route.
     
  3. frank1492

    frank1492 Thread Starter

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    Thank you again Fairnooks. (You have helped me before.)
    The Koyote Free Converter has an .avi capability, which is really what I would like to use.
    Here are the choices:
    DIVX
    DIVX5
    DV Digital Video
    H.263
    H.264
    MPEG4
    MS-Mpeg4-V1
    MS-Mpeg4-V2
    Xvid
    The DV Digital Video has a size of 720X576, aspect 5:4. (Wouldn't it be best to match the
    aspect ratio of 4:3, which is the camcorder aspect?)
    The DIVX has many different sizes, aspects (including 4:3), fps and bitrates.
    I am afraid I am not savvy enough to know how to choose a combination. Assuming I do go with the DIVX codec, perhaps you could help me choose a size, fps and bitrate. I assume the optimal choice will be related to the nature of the input .vob files.
    Again many thanks for your help.
    Frank
     
  4. frank1492

    frank1492 Thread Starter

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    Now I am concerned about the ability of Win Movie Maker to deal with these Divx-Avis_and the ability of my player to play them. Could you comment?
     
  5. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

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    If you want to be editing this video, not just converting it, I would either use the original video which is already mpeg-2 and so shouldn't need to be converted to anything just to get it into "editing" format or I would convert to DV-Avi which in your list looks like its DV Digital Video.

    All the other choices in the list I think of more as final product conversions, where I would not subsequently use the converted file in any editing program and produce yet another file from that unless I had no other choice.

    Win Movie Maker and many other editing programs are in fact restrictive to what file formats they will open and allow editing (hence the more widespread use of DV-Avi which is almost universally compatible). Win Movie Maker also happens to be one of the weaker editors for the formats it can handle so you could have problems even with a compatible file if its too much of one thing or another.

    The aspect ratio of the DV Digital Video may be misleading, it may transcode just fine and only mean it is capable of the 5:4 aspect ratio if need be. So the bottom line is that for continued editing use the original file or convert to DV.

    Good luck
     
  6. frank1492

    frank1492 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for clearing up the aspect ratio issue. I did notice that the aspect ratio in DV-AVI did not seem to change.
    Are you telling me simply to change the file extension from .vob to .mpg without trying to run a conversion? I will try that.
    I'm sorry it's just a little unclear to me.
    Frank
     
  7. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

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    Yes on the last question, if the .vob file only has one normal audio channel it is a 720x480 mpeg-2 file so all you need to do is change the extension to .mpg and viola!
     
  8. frank1492

    frank1492 Thread Starter

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    Worked perfectly! Again thanks so much and I think I am ready to go back to a normal life.
    I have been working on this problem for my son-in-law actually. I think he must consider getting a new camcorder as we have no clue as to why these DVD's have been rendered unreadable.
    Just a reminder that ISO Buster *does* seem to work very well. I understand there is a downloadable upgrade, but I didn't seem to need it.
    Frank
     
  9. frank1492

    frank1492 Thread Starter

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    Whoops. Not perfectly. A few seconds into playing the .mpg (formerly .vbo) file in Win Media Player, the image freezes. In the case of Win MM, if the clip is dropped onto the storyboard and played, it plays only the first few seconds, as above. I suppose we won't be able to figure this one out.
     
  10. frank1492

    frank1492 Thread Starter

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    Fairnooks, I have stumbled on the answer! One of these other DVDs had .vro files on it. (It looks like some camcorders use these which are typically streaming files. I will have to get to the bottom of how many options this camcorder provides when making a DVD!) I came across a free program called MPEG Streamclip 1.1 that would supposedly convert these files to .mpg (my original conversion program wouldn't.) In the process of converting, it mentioned that it had to remove timebreaks. The resulting .mpg then ran smoothly on Win Media Player without halting. I am cautiously assuming that if I use this program to convert the .vob files, it will find timebreaks as well and fix them, so that the resulting .mpgs will run correctly as well.
    So when you told me to simply change the file extension, that would have worked except for the timebreak issue. Are these the result of the video being indexed for chapters when originally made on the camcorder?
    Will report back later.
    Frank
     
  11. fairnooks

    fairnooks Banned

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    One factor which may mean nothing or something is that these files were extracted non-traditionally by Isobuster. Another factor is the Windows Media Player, you should at least test playback with another player like VLC Media Player to see if its just something in the settings of the codec or indexing the camcorder is using or if there is a real problem with the file itself.

    If I use Win Media Player its version 11 and I have absolutely no problem playing back any vob file changed to .mpg even though I may have put 6 or 8 chapters into it because they're just ignored (the whole video is just one single clip). However, my vob files are coming from Studio 11 or Premiere Elements after editing the analog-captured file from my camcorder.

    I'm not as familiar with .vro files but it seems to me a streaming file should have nothing but a beginning and an end--all indexing is normally held in a seperate but related ifo file so I'm confused when Streamclip says it needs to remove timebreaks unless that means it is just ignoring the related ifo file.

    You have something non-standard going on it seems so you may have to try a conversion to DV just for giggles and see how that works.
     
  12. frank1492

    frank1492 Thread Starter

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    ###I had tried the DV conversion, and it worked fine, just the files were too big. All the conversion software produced useable clips, it was only changing the extensions that didn't seem to work for me.
    I guess a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing, but for now I am happy I have found a tentative solution. The bottom line is I now have good-quality, useable .mpg clips, and I am ready to move on.
    Again can't thank you enough for your kind attention to my problems. I have copied and pasted all your comments for future reference.
    Frank
     
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