programatically loading and unloading DVD (file based) playback in director (shockwave)

Hello All,

We're wanting to create a director/shockwave application which is capable of reading information from a database (specifically the information to load a file based DVD) for playback on a locally created TV channel.

We had an application developed using FLV and Flash which played a show (loaded an external FLV into SWF) played the show through and then read the database playlist and loaded the next.

The problem is that converting our media to FLV format in the quality we need is a very long process and we could streamline this by using DVD based playback.

What I need to be able to achieve is have director access the database, determine the show to be loaded and get its length, start a countdown timer on screen till the show's beginning, then once the timer expires, play the show; before the end of the show, reconnect to the database and get the next show and its play time.  In between the show, randomly select previews of other shows come up (also pulled from the database).

I'm reasonably sure this is possible (as we've had it working in flash) but I have no idea how to get it functioning using file based DVD media (ie: not on a disc, on the file system) or how to get director to connect to the database.

Code samples or examples would be extremly appreciated.

Thanks
Anubis.
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Anubis2005Asked:
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rascalpantsConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I am pretty sure you are write about not being able to convert directly from DVD... mainly because it is a commercial product, and that would be a feature that would have companies suing them...

Anyway...  I have not used Xvid4psp before, but I assume Sorenson is slower, because it delivers much better "pass" results...  quality takes time, unless you have Dual Quad Processors and more RAM than you know what to do with.


rp
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Anubis2005Author Commented:
Wow, I didn't think this would have been so tricky for experts.  Thanks to the mods for your help!

Anyone, have even a small starting point for this project?

Thanks
Anubis.
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rascalpantsCommented:
FYI...

Read through your question and my advice to you, being the resident Flash Zone Advisor, would  be to stick with FLV playback, and just setup some software to automate your conversion process.  

In my opinion, Director is Deadware  :)


And here is a question for you...  What format is the Video source that comes from the DVD?  Is it VOB (normal DVD), or is it raw video in AVI or MOV formats?


And idea I have would be to develop an AIR application that Automates the process of taking a DVD of videos in AVI or MOV format, and doing a batch process using Sorensen Squeeze to turn the videos into HD quality FLVs.  Something to think about.


If you need any help at all with the Flash/Actionscript part of this project, if you decide to go back to that way of implementation, then let me know...


rp / ZA
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Anubis2005Author Commented:
Hi RP,

Thanks for the comment!

I've actually decided to head down that same path.  After going into the deeper depths of Director it was going to be harder to implement in there than it was to continue down the path of converting to FLV.

The DVD's are in VOB format and I think now I've been through and tested about 33 different programs all claiming to be able to convert DVD to FLV.  So far, only 3 have stood out.  

Leawo's DVD to FLV was the quickes but the audio was not in sync; I've contacted them about it but still waiting for a reply.  

Next in line was HandBrake, it doesn't convert directly to FLV but it does to MP4 which works good as well but is the slowest of them all.  

Finally, I've tried Xvid4PSP.  This program was one of the first I found and although it's speed is inbetween that of Leawo and HandBrake it's output has been good each time.  It's batch processing is handy but the GUI still needs some work although that's not a complaint by any means, the program is free (so thanks heaps to its developer).

Thanks
Anubis.
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rascalpantsCommented:

I can't remember if Sorensen Squueze can grab the VOB and convert it to FLV, but that is the industry standard for compression and conversion...

look into that software program...


rp / ZA
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rascalpantsCommented:


^ bump ^
 

please come back and finish up this question...


thanks,

rp / Flash Zone Advisor
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Anubis2005Author Commented:
Hello rp,

Sorry, I hadn't forgotten about it, I'm still in the process of reviewing the programs and options.  I'll get back shortly.

Thanks
Anubis.
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rascalpantsCommented:
Thanks for following up.

rp / ZA
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Anubis2005Author Commented:
Hello rp,

I have now attempted reviwing Sorensen twice, the first time it didn't run properly and just crashed the second time I finally got some encoding happening.

It seems to work good, but does appear slow compared to Xvid4psp additionally it can't convert directly from a DVD, so I need to combine the VOB's first then import to sorensen.

Am I correct or is there some other options in Sorensen I'm missing?

Thanks for your patience with this question.
Anubis
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Anubis2005Author Commented:
Thanks to rascalpants for their input and persistance with my question :)
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