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DVD Experiments, with a recipe…

Well, I've burned a few DVD blanks today just to see what I can do. For source material, I decided to go to the feature film section of They have a bunch of films available in MPEG2 format, all fairly good quality and ready for download with minimal transcoding. For my experiments, I chose Max Fleischer's Gulliver's Travels, first released in 1939. I didn't have a copy in my collection, and I thought it would make a good addition.

The first thing I found was that these films aren't quite ready for inclusion on DVD: they lack space to insert a VOBU, whatever the heck that is. But a few minutes with some commonly available utilities will change that. I ran:

mpgdemux -b gulliver gullivers_travels.mpeg
mplex -f 8 -o gulliver.mpg gulliver-0.m2v gulliver-0.mp2

These commands split the original mpeg2 into sound and video, and then remultiplex them for DVDs. Then all I had to do was use dvdauthor to build a directory that contained the final DVD image and built a table of contents.

dvdauthor -o gulliver_dvd -a en gulliver.mpg
dvdauthor -o gulliver_dvd -T

This creates a new directory called gulliver_dvd, and copies in the resulting mpeg as a VOB file. I then use growisofs to burn the directory onto a DVD blank:

growisofs -Z /dev/cd0c -dvd-video gulliver_dvd

And voila! It works. Well, almost. I've had difficulty using DVD-R media in my HP laptop, but DVD+RW media seems to work just fine, and is eraseable to boot. You need to format DVD+RW media first, using the command:

dvd+rw-format /dev/cd0c

Then you can use it with the growisofs command above. I haven't tried DVD+R media yet, but I suspect it will work just fine in my laptop. Both kinds of media work in the Sylvania TV+DVD player I have upstairs, but neither appears to work properly in my ancient Apex 500 DVD player I have downstairs. I'm not sure what the deal is, it just might be too old to be really compatible.

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