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Thread: Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

  1. #1
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    Default Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

    Last week while visiting my mother in North America, I was asked by a friend of my mothers (a German lady in her mid-80's) if I could change a DVD she had received from relatives in Germany, such that it could play on her North American DVD player. My laptop is a European laptop, so it can play European region DVDs with out a problem. The movie was in PAL format, and after determining she only cared about the "title" track, I agreed to convert her DVD movie to NTSC format that would play in a North American DVD player

    The applications I used were all packaged by Packman packagers and available for all supported openSUSE versions:
    • k9copy,
    • tovid (and also idvid which comes with tovid),
    • avidemux,
    • dvdauthor
    • vlc,
    • k3b


    I initially inserted the PAL DVD in my laptop, and with k9copy ripped the title track (being careful in k9copy to select title track and the German language track) to my laptop's hard drive (with k9copy - took about 40 minutes ) to an avi format (I called the file "rippedvideo.avi"). This was about a 4 GB file.

    I then, from a konosle with tovid, converted the avi title track to NTSC mpeg (with tovid - took a few hours ) with a resulting 3 GB file called "friendsdvd". The command line I used was:
    Code:
    tovid -dvd -ntsc -normalize -in rippedvideo.avi  -out friendsdvd
    That created a video called friendsdvd.mpg

    The audio had desync'd by 750 miliseconds from the video, so I loaded the friendsdvd.mpg video into avidemux, and then used avidemux to resync the audio and video (took 30 minutes of trial and error to get the sync right - I had to make a 750 msec change), being careful to save in mpeg format. To determine audio video sync, I used a scene where a door was slammed, and also used a scene where a lot of people were talking, with their mouths clearly visible in mouthing the words at the same time as the audio to ensure I had the sync correct.

    Once complete, and having saved the resynchronized audio/video, I used "idvid" from the tovid package, to confirm my avidemux operation did not impact the dvd compliant mpeg formt.

    I then created a simple custom xml file (called 'customfile.xml') to use with the program dvdauthor. Since I was only backing-up/converting the title track for my mother's friend, this is what the xml file looked like:
    Code:
    <dvdauthor dest="/home/oldcpu/data/dvd">
     <vmgm />
     <titleset>
       <menus />
       <titles>
         <pgc>
           <vob file="/home/oldcpu/data/dvd2/friendsdvd.mpg" />
         </pgc>
       </titles>
     </titleset>
    </dvdauthor>
    I then ran dvdauthor to convert the mpeg to a video_ts directory in dvd compliant format:
    Code:
    dvdauthor -x customfile.xml
    and that created a video_ts directory under /home/oldcpu/data/dvd

    I then ran vlc, and opened the "video_ts" directory under vlc. vlc played it properly, giving me confidence that it was safe to proceed to burn.

    I then ran k3b, selected a video dvd project, and I simply dragged the contents of the /home/oldcpu/data/dvd/video_ts directory into the corresponding video_ts area under the k3b video dvd project. I then selected a slow dvd speed and burned the DVD.

    I then tested the new DVD on my mother's standalone DVD player (which is an old player). The video played, but the widescreen did not work in my mother's older dvd player. Clearly vlc run on my laptop, could not pickup the limitation in my mothers stand alone dvd player (as they are different machines). Now DVD -R's are inexpensive, hence just to be complete, I modified the xml file to force a widescreen by adding the line
    Code:
    <video aspect="16:9" widescreen="nopanscan" />
    such that the new xml file looked like:
    Code:
    <dvdauthor dest="/home/oldcpu/data/dvd">
     <vmgm />
     <titleset>
       <menus />
       <titles>
         <video aspect="16:9" widescreen="nopanscan" /> 
         <pgc>
           <vob file="/home/oldcpu/data/dvd2/friendsdvd.mpg" />
         </pgc>
       </titles>
     </titleset>
    </dvdauthor>
    Again, I ran dvdauthor:
    Code:
    dvdauthor -x customfile.xml
    and that created a video_ts directory under /home/oldcpu/data/dvd, it tested ok under vlc, and then I used k3b to create a second dvd. I tested this in my mother's DVD player and it worked in widescreen.

    I then gave my mother's friend back her original DVD, the two new "backup" DVDs in NTSC format. We played both on her DVD player and both worked in widescreen. Her player is newer than my mother's so it appears my 2nd DVD was not needed for my mother's friend .... Still, one never knows. This backup/converted DVD that I created for her did not have the many menu's selections, ... but rather it was a simple backup of the main title with one language.

    Note this is ONLY recommended for videos that you own. Also note that inserting a video DVD from a different region into your computer's DVD player may not work, if your DVD player is set to a specific region. I had purchased my laptop in Europe, so the German DVD was not a problem for my laptop's DVD player region coding.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 19-Jan-2009 at 14:15.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

    I'm certainly no expert here Lee. Your info sounds useful, so I bookmarked it for future ref.

    With the initial k9copy output, might it have been possible to use devede just to create a ntsc dvd?
    Unless the k9 output was too large, in which case you could adjust that I think or even rip the title with dvd::rip.

    or even:
    mplayer dvd://1 -dumpstream -dumpfile movie.mpg
    then avidemux that down in size with a 2pass enc.
    Use that for the dvd.

    I like k9copy. I used it today for some backups. it's darn quick.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

    avidemix,
    Quite sure that should be avidemux,
    Has both a gtk and qt frontend, very nice application, used it in combination recordmydesktop (also has both a gtk and qt GUI!) to make some KDE4.2 video's.
    Special effects <- KDE 4.2 Showing off
    More KDE -> PINK KDE

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    With the initial k9copy output, might it have been possible to use devede just to create a ntsc dvd?
    There are many dvdauthoring front ends to dvdauthor. I merely posted the method I use. On occasion I will use mandvd. In the past I also used a package called KDE DVDAuthor Wizard , ... but it has not been updated for a while, and I have not checked to see if it works on the latest openSUSE-11.1.

    I documented various packages here in this thread:
    Applications - DVD Authoring Tools - openSUSE Forums

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    ... or even rip the title with dvd::rip.
    I have not tried using dvd::rip for a couple of years. I always found its multitude of gui options much more complex to use than a simple konsole command.

    Quote Originally Posted by caf4926 View Post
    or even:
    mplayer dvd://1 -dumpstream -dumpfile movie.mpg
    There are many apps that will copy the dvd content to a file on one's hard drive. User microchip has created a few great scripts that can do this, into different formats.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

    Quote Originally Posted by Axeia View Post
    Quite sure that should be avidemux,
    Has both a gtk and qt frontend, very nice application, used it in combination recordmydesktop (also has both a gtk and qt GUI!) to make some KDE4.2 video's.
    Yes, you are correct avidemux. Typo on my part. I am using the QT version on my KDE-3.5.10 on openSUSE-11.1.

    I'll edit my post.

  6. #6
    bsnipes NNTP User

    Default Re: Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

    tovid -dvd -ntsc -normalize -in rippedvideo.avi -out friendsdvd
    I wonder if ffmpeg would have worked and been faster. Something like:
    Code:
    ffmpeg -i rippedvideo.avi -target ntsc-dvd friendsdvd.mpg
    Brian

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

    Quote Originally Posted by bsnipes View Post
    I wonder if ffmpeg would have worked and been faster. Something like:
    Code:
    ffmpeg -i rippedvideo.avi -target ntsc-dvd friendsdvd.mpg
    tovid in fact calls ffmpeg. But it uses many more options that that.

  8. #8
    bsnipes NNTP User

    Default Re: Convert PAL DVD title track to NTSC DVD

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    tovid in fact calls ffmpeg. But it uses many more options that that.
    Interesting... I'll look it up and give it a try. Thanks

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