Burning Video DVD on Ubuntu

by admin

Burning video DVD is harder than you think. It involves transcoding, subtitles, burning and other complicated things. Each step may not work for you, let alone on Ubuntu!

I just created my first video DVD. My experience may help you get less trouble on burning your video DVD on Ubuntu/Linux.

Most DVD videos are encoded in MPEG-2 format. So, if your original video is not encoded into MPEG-2, the first thing you need to do is to transcode it into MPEG-2. There are lots of powerful tools to handle it, such as ffmpeg and mencoder. They are command-line tools. If you are a crazy fan of command line, you definitely should try them. However, the command line arguments will generally be 10 lines! If you cannot handle them(like me), just try some GUI tools.

The first option is Avidemux. It’s powerful and easy to use. However, its H264 support is poor. When I tried to transcode a H264 video into MPEG-2, it crashed every time. Maybe it works fine with other format, but I have no chances to take a try.

Another great transcoding tool is Hyper Video Converter. It’s a front-end of ffmpeg and mencoder. Although it looks a bit “Shanzhai”, it’s more powerful than its appearance, since it’s the frontend of powerful ffmpeg and mencoder. It’s quite reliable. I used it to transcode my H264 “mkv” file into MPEG-2 “mpg” file. I recommend you to use it, if you have no requirement on gaudy appearance. The KDE version is here.

Then it goes to create DVD file structure. Generally, we need a folder contains VEDIO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders and put some necessary information files in them. This work can be done by dvdAuthor. It’s also command line based tool. As introduced in its website, there are several frontend for it. The most famous one is QDvdauthor. The newest version for Hardy in Getdeb is 1.5.0, which is even lower in repository. 1.5.0 has much bugs in creating subtitles, You should use the newest version, 1.7.0, which is available in Getdeb for Intrepid. I am using Hardy, so I compiled 1.7.0 and created a deb package by myself. Grab it if you need.

Now, we are using QDvdauthor 1.7.0. Just create you your DVD file structure using the MPEG-2 video encoded by Hyper Video Converter. There are some tutorials for QDvdauther. Just take a tour if have problems on how to start.

Once you get the DVD file structure including VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS, you can test them via VLC or SMPlayer. Take SMPlayer for example, select “Open”->”DVD from folder” to test the video.

If everything works, you can create an ISO image. I recommend you to create ISO image and burn image by your self, using genisoimage and K3B. Because there are much things that you can control. The most important thing is that current version of genisoimage has a huge bug. The image created by it is not readable by Windows and standalone DVD machine. This bug is not solved in even the latest version 1.9.0. You have to downgrade you genisoimage into 1.2.0 from debian repository.

One thing that QDvdauther cannot control is the volume name of the image. This is why I recommend you to create ISO image by yourself. You can use this command:

genisoimage -dvd-video -udf -V “Volume-Name” -o “dvd.iso” “DVD-folder”

“dvd.iso” is the ISO image you are going to create. And “DVD-folder” is the folder contains VEDIO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders.

Then, add the Error Correction Codes(ECC) to the image

dvdisaster -i “/tmp/Unnamed/dvd.iso” -mRS02 -n 350000 -c

If this command issues error message, maybe you should remove the option “-n 350000″ or adjust it.

At the last step, burn this ISO image by whatever software you like.

Enjoy your video DVD created on Ubuntu/Linux!

Following is the deb package of QDvdauthor 1.7.0. It could be installed on Ubuntu 8.04.