DVD the hard way


Written the 2011/04/23, translated the 01/05/2015.

Sometimes, the all-in-one software you can get are not sufficient.
When you have exotic file formats (everything that's not a .m2v), with sometimes errors, it's a challenge to put onto a DVD.
I present a little trick inspired from this article

Explanation on DVD video file format

If you ever opened the inside of a DVD, you probably stumbled upon .vob files inside VIDEO_TS/ directory.
It's a container called MPEG PS. They contain a M2V (MPEG 2 Video) video and MP2 audio.
There's also MPEG TS mostly used for broadcast.


You can skip this section if you want to burn a DVD with files from a DVB-T recording, as long as it's MPEG 2.

If you understood ffmpeg's CLI, you'll have to encode with -vcodec mpeg2.
Personnally, I find a 3000 Kb/s bitrate sufficient. On commercial DVD I found a 5000 Kb/s bitrate.
I advise MediaInfo software to get informations on video/audio files.

Remember to add B-Frames (informations here and here), otherwise the DVD creation will fail.
With ffmpeg -bf 2 -b_qfactor 1.5 -b_qoffset 1.0

If like me you happen to have a video file and Windows indicates it lasts approximatively 256204778:48:05, it's not a problem.
Just use DVDPatcher on the headers (keep original video parameters, or fix them to a size DVD PAL/NTSC with the good ratio* for the DVD to read correctly).

* 720x576 for PAL 4:3 and 720x405 for PAL 16:9


The software I'll use is IfoEdit.

Go to DVD Author > Author new DVD. Choose your .m2v and .mp2 (plus subtitles if you have). You can set the locale and time shifting of the audio track.

In case you want to add chapters, create a text file with at each new line the corresponding image (ex. 25fps, at the 10th minute, you get 15000).

Click ok, the software will produce the content of VIDEO_TS in the corresponding directory.

If you have the error Too much frame lost, I solved it by adding B-Frames (see above).

Multiples files on a same DVD

IfoEdit can't do this. You have to modify the .ifo and .bup.
The only software that worked for me is DVDFab but you have to pay. In DVD to DVD, click on Merge, then move VIDEO_TS folder into the white space.
Click Next. Check the boxes to keep the streams. DVDFab should output the completed DVD.