Video Conversion


I'm looking for a utility to convert various forms of video to one and other.  In particular, I wanted to rip DVDs to AVIs, burn AVIs to DVD that can be played in a non-computer DVD player and reduce file sizes of some video files removing definition to save space.

I've been evaluating Total Video Converter by Wondershare which talks a good fight, but I can only burn about an hour of video to a whole DVD and the picture is not great and the ripping to AVI is worse.  It does everything I want, but poorly.

Can anyone recommend another utility? It would be nice if it were free, but doesn't have to be,


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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
dvdfab is a popular program.  Check for legal restrictions in your country
Hi Peter
Why would you consider this>rip DVDs to AVIs, burn AVIs to DVD
Not a good move, AVI is a poor quality video scale to go up to DVD mpeg2 Vobs. Poor picture.
Sounds like your trying to copy DVD ( legal or not)  and the only format you know of is DVD to avi, unfortunately we are Not Allowed to post links to this type of activity since it contravenes EE guidelines and EE can be sued.
However i can post you some ideas.
What you can do Google DVD shrink it works brilliantly to copy your own legally bought DVD for backup.
However it will not work on Bluray or the new dual layered discs.
Google DVD Shrink guides as well, It is very easy to use and free
So my work around was to use VLC. Also open source and free
It's time consuming but I get a backup copy of my DVD.
Since I buy them from over seas. VLC will record the player screen and save it as an mp4.
Perfect quality. Good enough to author to DVD as well.
VLC also converts.
My preferred tools for converting is Super old versions as the new apparantly have addware,  the version I use is Build 42 this is still my best tool for converting anything. even batch runs fine in windows 7
 and WLMM any good Video tools that have an export option. Nero Vision. Etc
If you are already getting good avi another work around I love is the put them all onto the USB external drive and plug that into to your DVR or DVD player or TV if they have USB support.
Divx avi play perfect. But the need to be divx to work.
Use Super to convert to divx avi.
Install ffdshow as well.
Hope that helps you.

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Peter044Author Commented:
HI Merete,

Yes, that was helpful.  What I am more concerned with is file size.  I use the AVIs about 700Mb each for a movie and have a large number of movies stored on my hard drive.  I can transfer data to and from DVD with my existing tools, but the DVD format is quite large and I would like to shrink it. I'd be happy to use another format, but AVIs seem to be quite common.

The other thing I'm trying to is burn a disc that can be played in an ordinary DVD player.  The player in particular that I'm concerned about belongs to a friend and it has no USB support.  Since most of my files are already stored in AVI format, I've already lost the detail - I'm just trying to get something that will play in his player.

Is that a bit more clear?

Hi Peter,
yes very clear,  here's your key>The other thing I'm trying to is burn a disc that can be played in an ordinary DVD player.<< pity, the work around here is a laptop.

 let me explain this, when burning your avi to DVD you have two choices, a data DVD avi stays the same format, well one really unless your DVD player supports divx avi Data DVD, mine did but was too many discs to burn.
or a DVD Video standard DVD with all avi  authored  to vobs etc so you can play it via a dvd player on the TV.

So you can't actually shrink the DVD video as it is based on the size of your avi,  the only part you can shrink is the avi so that output size for authoring is also smaller, but you lose more quality, even converting them WMV will just lose the quality as it still needs to be re-authored to mpeg2 >vobs for DVD Video.

 Believe me I have crossed this path as well, used DVD-RW
 I had so many star trek episodes all avi and around 600 megs minus the adds lol,  I wanted to keep and watch them on the bigger TV screen later.

What I did was buy a capture card on my PC connected that to my TV so that everything I watched on my desktop would also be on the secondary screen TV in full screen
However you need cables across the floor one s-video and one audio , I could also capture what was on TV on my PC.
These days I use a DVR set top box.
It worked just fine for a long time but I tired of the cables, so then I went to the USB media drive that solved it all for me no more DVD RW or cables across the floor, I can take USB drive with me anywhere and plug it in have all my video and music right there.
Portable media drives is very good, or connect the PC Windows media Center to the TV and play the video off your PC, you need a TV card to do this.

The only other work around is go to Bluray or dual layered but not in rewritable.
Dual layer refers to a DVD recording technology that provides users with 8.5GB of recording space (as opposed to 4.7GB of space) on a standard DVD+R discs).
The additional recording space is the direct result of dual layer technology.
As the name suggests, dual layer technology provides two individual recordable layers on a single sided DVD disc.
To take advantage of dual layer technology when recording DVDs, you must use a dual layer enabled DVD burner and dual layer DVD media.
Dual layer technology media can be read (once recorded) by most DVD drives and players currently on the market.
Dual layer technology has been used for many years in the production of commercial DVD movies but is now available for home and business recording as well.
 Dual Layer is more commonly called Double Layer in the consumer market, and can be seen written as DVD+R DL or DVD-R DL on recordable DVD media and hardware packaging.
Or a media box USB hard drive
this is the one I use now I have 4 actually, @ 1 terabyte Buffalo USB drives

So unless your friend upgrades his TV or DVD player with USB  you don't have any other choices because the end goal is a DVD Video playable on DVD player.
Or try the dual layer discs but they are write once.
But you can fit them on both sides of the DVD
 sorry but your choices are really none and you just have keep to doing what you have been doing.
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
The other thing I'm trying to is burn a disc that can be played in an ordinary DVD player.  The player in particular that I'm concerned about belongs to a friend and it has no USB support.  Since most of my files are already stored in AVI format, I've already lost the detail - I'm just trying to get something that will play in his player.

Some more modern dvd players can play .avi's but they must be in the vc-1 codec, not divx, or xvid, or h2.64 formats. Your computer has the horsepower to handle the decompression but most dvd drives don't.

Try one and find out otherwise you are limited to about 1hour of recording per single layer dvd
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