Monday, February 12, 2007

PAL to NTSC DVD Part II: The PC Chronicles

So I decided to try the PC workflow of converting PAL DVDs to NTSC to see if its any different.

Overall, it turns out that it is pretty much the same workflow as on the MAC except you don't have to convert the file to a quicktime before you drop the VOBs into Atlantic PC.

So first off, you have to rip the dvd.

I googled for recommended programs and decided to try SmartRipper .

I installed Smartripper with no problems. I ran Smartripper and it started to work on ripping the dvd, but it was taking awhile ripping from the dvd drive. I didn't want to wait so

I opened the dvd drive in Explorer and copied all the dvd files to my harddrive. I ran Smartripper again and told it to look at my harddrive copy of the dvd and let it work on ripping those files.

It worked well and now I had my ripped dvd VOBs.

I opened the Atlantis PC program ( click here )and dragged a VOB into the window. I left all the settings at the default and started the processing. After a little while, I had an NTSC AVI! Atlantis writes the avi into the same folder as the source file and names it newmovie.avi. I opened it in Quicktime, it played, and the movie properties said it is 29.97 (NTSC)!

However, there was large, annoying interlaced blocks whenever there was motion on the screen. It happened throughout the avi. The MAC version of Atlantis worked so well, I figured that it had to be my fault so I opened up Atlantis PC again and dragged the VOB in.

The settings window came up again and this time I looked over the settings. About halfway down the window, I found the solution to the interlacing problem. There is a tab and small graphic that says, "de-interlace where motion is present." I turned it on and voila! no more annoying interlacing in my NTSC avi.

The deinterlace function is pretty handy and you can adjust even more settings in the NTSC/Pal options and Advance Options tabs.

So now all I have to do is take my NTSC AVI's and use a DVD authoring program like TMPGenc DVD Author and burn myself an NTSC DVD...well that's what I'll do after I finally get a network card on my PC.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Adventures in PAL DVD ripping on Mac

So I've been messing around with a PAL DVD on my G5 desktop Mac to make it into a NTSC DVD. First I guess your have to "rip" the DVD. Here's what I've got so far...

I've downloaded 3 MAC Rip programs:
Mac The Ripper

I had to change the Mac's DVD Drive player to Region 2 (u can change it 4 times)

Mac The Ripper was only one I could rip the disc with, but it gave me a

"BAD VECTORS" warning that the disc may not playback properly when burned.

I took what I had ripped, dropped into DVFilm Atlantis

gave me

"no audio" and "cannot support HD-size frames" error messages!

I checked the Atlantis help page on making DVD copies.
Looks like Atlantis will only take quicktimes.

Solution: I have to convert the vob or mpeg2 file to quicktime first, you cannot take it in straight to Atlantis.

I tried Mpeg Streamclip.

Must have a DVD-Drive equipped MAC, running OS 10.0 or later, at least 2 GB free hard drive space.

I'm reading that the conversion will only retain the playing video from DVDs, not the menus, special features like languages, commentary, subtitles; but you can create your own with the editing program and some DVD burning programs.

insert the PAL DVD

quit Apple DVD player application (usually opens automatic)

open “Mac the Ripper” application

to rip whole entire DVD: select all .VOB files from DVD

to rip certain scenes: select the .VOB file that contains the scene (may take some trial and error to find right scene, hint: shorter scenes=smaller files)

click ‘Rip’ button, quit program when done

I have an unencrrypted VOB now!

Open “Mpeg Streamclip” application

drop VOB file(s) into Streamclip window

I tried export to quicktime with mpeg B conversion, upper field first selected, quit program when done

opened “Atlantis” application, drop converted QT file into window, I set the Atlantis setting of deinterlace and clicked START

Hooray! It makes a quicktime in NTSC format.

Next I will try burning it with iDVD.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Googled for PAL to NTSC Software ...

and two programs immediately came up. Blaze Media Pro and DVFilm Atlantis.

Blaze is for Windows only and $50.
Atlantis for $45 and you can get it for Windows or Mac.

I'm prety much a Mac person but they have PC's at here at work. I'm going to try blaze first and see how it goes...

OK, I downloaded and installed Blaze pro. Whoa it Installed a bunch of files... then asked me to reboot. I really hate that, oh well. The user interface is kind of confusing. I click on Conversions. Im' looking at the AVI tab. Is that the input format or the output format? It doesn't say. OK, for starters I tried dragging a VOB file (thats the video file that lives on DVD's) that someone gave me.

Well Blaze won't play it back or let me see it or anything. I tried renaming it from .vob extension to .mpg but that's didn't work either. Here is the error message I get: "An error occured during conversion, file format error" That's real helpful. I check the help file, looked in the FAQ... FAQ is empty. Then I went to "Supported file formats." Yikes, VOB is not in the supported file formats. Hmmm this is going to tougher than I thought.

I removed Blaze Pro and will try the other program tomorrow. Obviously this is not going to be too easy.

Just Gettin Started

I'm blogging my process for making PAL to NTSC DVD's and hopefully vice versa. Got some movies that won't play on my DVD player because they came from England.

We will work this out step by step!

What I heard from my friend K. is that to copy a DVD and make any changes to it you have to de-crypt it first with a ripper program. Then convert the decrypted VOB files to Quicktime or AVI (that's windows' video format) and then encode a new Mpeg-2 file, then burn a new disk. So you have to have a DVD burner program at at least and a DVD burner.

I've tried ripping before but it's been a while. Never tried converting formats though or re-editing the movie. Well I have a VOB file that K. gave me that is already decrypted to try some fun things.

Going to try something later today.