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.