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Problems burning VCD's

I can't seem to be able to produce a VCD/SVCD from an AVI file, using DVD2SVCD/TPMG/CDRWIN, that will load in either my CDRW/DVD drive or any of my standalone DVD players.

The latter is hardly surprising as I now don't think that the standalone devices support VCD/SVCD (XBox, PS2 and Hitachi DV-P305E) and I can't produce the required DVD format from my PC drive (Samsung SM-332B) so that they will read the VCD/SVCD disks.

However, why don't these disks work in the drive which created them? I am using Imation 700MB CD-R disks which, following an apparently succesful conversion using DVD2SVCD etc, don't even show any files upon inspection in Windows Explorer.

I have checked all of the settings for the conversion programs on: http://www.doom9.org/index.html?/mpg/dvd2svcd-avi.htm

I am using Windows XP with Real or Windows Media Players.

Any suggestions would be most welcome.
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glenlucken
Asked:
glenlucken
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1 Solution
 
chicagoanCommented:
You have the MPEG4 codec?

http://www.codec-archiv.de/progs/codecs/mpeg4/mpeg4x.zip

In media player are you selecting PLAY>VCD?
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
Thanks.

Have now installed MPEG4 codec, but still cannot see anything on the VCD disk using the 'file open' option (the Media Player 9 does not permit selecting the VCD option on my Windows XP version).

There are, however, .bin and .cue files stored on the c drive for the cd image ready for burning. Should I be regenerating these and try to reburn the VCD's?
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
glenlucken,
Are you demuxing the audio and video first, then reencoding them, then muxing?  TMPGEnc doesn't do so well with audio encoding, so you may be better off first splitting the audio out as a WAV file (you can use VirtualDub to do so), then use TMPEGENC to convert the video only to M2V/MPG format.

Is the VCD/SVCD file structure visible on the CD after you burn it (should have a single large file on the disk, within the MPEGAV or another directory on the disk, along with some other small (5K or so) files).  This file is usually a .DAT file taht you can open with Media Player (its just the raw MPG video stream).

Have you looked at www.dvdrhelp.com?  They used to be VCDHelp.com and have many good "how to" articles, such as:
http://www.dvdrhelp.com/guides?tools=&madeby=&formatconversionselect=AVI+to+VCD&osselect=Windows&howtoselect=%3B&search=Search+or+List+Guides (The Sefy guide: http://www.dvdrhelp.com/sefy/?id=divx2vcd.html should be the best one)


-dog*
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
You shouldn't need an MPEG4 codec installed outside of the DivX or XVid codec (or whatever format your AVi is in) if you are able to view the AVI file already in media player.  Sometimes you can't playback VCD in mediaPlayer unless you have a DVD codec installed already (i.e. WinDVD, PowerDVD, etc).  Again, if you are able to see the file (VIDEO001.DAT usually, or similar .DAT file that is 500MB+) then you *should* be able to open it in mediaplayer using File/Open, "Any file (*.*)" as the file type.
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
I can view the AVI and MPEG files without problem. I can't see the .DAT files, or any other files for that matter, on the VCD. I can see big .BIN files and matching .cue files on the hard disk, but nothing seems to transfer to the VCD, although it does something actively on the CDRW/DVD Drive for about 20 minutes and then gives a "successful" message when completed.

Will try splitting out audio separately and report back later on results. The help pages are very useful, thanks.
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
If you're not seeing any files on the CD, then one of two things is happening:
1) The CD is not actually being written; its just using "test" mode and no data is actually recording (this will frequently happen if you're using a "cracked" version of CDRWIN.  You can use Nero (www.nero.com) to burn .bin/.cue file pairs just fine, and its a much more functional application than CDRWIN (which the last time I bothered with it, all it really could do was bin/cue and CD image file creation, etc)

2) The .bin file that is being generated is not valid, try re-generating it.  Following up 1) above, Nero can create VCD discs (directly from AVI I believe, with the "full version", or if you use the download trial from nero.com, be sure to get both Package 1 and 2 from http://www.nero.com/us/neroue-prog.php, from the New Compilation window, just choose Video CD or Super Video CD, or use the Nero Vision Express application to do it.

-dog*
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
I thought I had downloaded a Freeware version of CDRWin, but have now deleted and replaced with Nero. This did the trick, so many thanks for your help.
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Glad I could help.  I'm not quite sure why CDRWIN keeps going, unless the newer versions have some better capabilities than the old one, its really eclipsed by nearly every other CDR software out there...

-dog*
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
I have progressed well following your advice but, as you pointed out, audio encoding is a problem.

The encoded video file using AVI2VCD is fine, but the audio file cuts off prematurely at the end. When I use VirtualDub I get an error message that advises that the source file has an improper VBR audio encoding which it can fix with an 8424ms skew - is this significant and, if so, do I need to decompress/recompress? This is probably the source of the premature cut off using AVI2VCD.

How do I proceed from here and generate a video only encoded file using AVI2VCD and then link it to the audio file generated from VirtualDub?

Also, have tried Nero and it does allow AVI to VCD conversion as you suspected. It also seems much more user friendly for an amateur like me. However, it seems to be able to generate only 1 VCD and not a set of 2 VCD's as I require in this case (the file is too large to fit on 1). Is there a way around this?

Happy to generate another question and award more points if you want.

Glen
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Yeah, alot of these programs (especially VirtualDub) expect the audio to be CBR (Constant Bit Rate), variable bit rate generally produces better quality audio (since there is no need to use 128kb/s for silence during movie credits or a quiet part of a video).

It might be better to make a new question, just post one "Audio problems creating VCDs from AVI" or similar, so that if other people have this problem, they may find the information within useful.

If you want to use Nero to make 2 VCDs from 1 AVI, you'll need to split the source AVI into 2 pieces.  You can do this with virtual dub, but you may run into problems since your audio is probably VBR (which can cause the output VCD to have de-synced audio).  Having CBR audio is also critical in this case (WAV audio is always CBR) to make sure that the audio stays in sync with the video. So you'll split the AVI near the middle (at a scene transition is good), use Virtual Dub to extract a WAV of the audio in the each AVI file (you may have to use Nandub or VirtualDubMod to work with the VBR MP3 audio track in the file), then use TMPEGenc to remerge the AVI video source and WAV into a mpg file (or just use Nero to create a VCD from the video.part1.avi and a 2nd CD from the video.part2.avi, etc).

-dog*
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Oh, see here: http://www.dvdrhelp.com/virtualdubedit.htm for help on splitting your AVI (and some tools to hopefully avoid de-synced audio, MP3Freeze and Nandub)
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
Thanks.

I used VirtualDub MP3 Freeze and the error message disappeared. However, using direct stream copy to split the AVI as the instructions on the link suggest creates huge uncompressed files that my disk can't handle. Is there a way around this?

Will create a separate question to help others out in due course. Can assign points if you wish, just let me know.

Glen
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Hmm...I don't know why it would create huge uncompressed files.  I've split and joined AVIs before with no problems.    Are the files video or WAV files??  Check that you're using Direct Stream Copy on the Audio menu also.

The points aren't really an issue, I'm just looking out for others who might have a similar problem (though based on the number of "repeat" questions we get....its hard to say though, for every repeat question, there could be dozens who find the PAQ with the answer they need).

Thanks!

-dog*
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
To assist others, have posted a new question cross referencing to this question.

Not sure what type of file is being created, so will try again later if necessary once my new experiment of splitting the file in TMPGEnc using the source WAV audio file generated with VirtualDub and the original AVI file for video has completed. It's a bit slow......

Have set no interlacing, but any idea if I need interlacing on video, as not sure what this is? If so, does it matter if I set bottom or top field first?

Many thanks for your help.

Glen

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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Generally, you don't need to worry about interlacing, which is used for TV broadcast, etc.  Some video source is interlaced and you want to deinterlace it (otherwise, you see horizontal "scan" lines in the video)

So you're trying to split the AVI with TMPEGenc and muxing the WAV in at the same time??
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
Yes and it generated a better quality file, although it aborted before it finished and the last 10 minutes or so on the second file have audio/video slightly out of sync. Guess it's the same problem running throughout all of this giving slightly different problems each time.

The compression problem with VirtualDub in generating an AVI file seems to be that it will allow video compression, but audio resets itself to No Compression (PCM) each time I try to change it from this automatic default setting.

Any further ideas are welcome!
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Try using VirtualDubMod or Nandub to do the split (they both support VBR MP3 audio also I believe).  If worse comes to worse, you might have to extract a WAV of the audio track, then reencode it with LAME or BeSweet to a CBR MP3, then remux it into the original AVI, replacing the existing audio track.

-dog*
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
Nandub splits the file out with no compression problems, so that issue is now resolved.

However, although the split Nandub file has no apparent problems, the glitch is still there when I convert to VCD using Nero. What happens with the VCD is that, about 10 minutes from the end, there is a blurring of the video and everything is about a second out of sync thereafter. Strange......
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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Hmm...using the latest (6.0.0.28) version or Nero and/or Nero Vision Express?  Have you tried creating the MPG stream manually with TMPGEnc?  I think it has a "wizard" function for making standards-compliant VCDs...
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
I have version 6.0.0.0 of Nero.

Have tried manually with TMPGEnc, both with AVI and WAV (created by Nandub) source for audio, but to no avail. With WAV source, program falls over at 87% completion. With AVI, the file either triples in size or, if the source length is manually edited, doesn't even start to convert. Very strange all of this.

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Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Try downloading the latest Nero version and get Nero Vision Express also.  I seem to remember VCD fixes being included in a few of the post 6.0.0.0 updates.
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glenluckenAuthor Commented:
Latest version of Nero had no effect. Probably time to give up and live with the sync problem, although it would be nice to know where I'm going wrong for future benefit.

If you want some extra points, and you deserve them after all the help you've given me, then post a comment on:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20819686.html
I will increase points as required.

Glen
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