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What files can be burned to a DivX disc?
April 26, 2006 5:09 PM   Subscribe

I just got a DivX-capable DVD player. Is there some way of telling (on OS X) what DivX/XVid files can be burned directly to a DivX disc without requiring conversion?

I've tried dropping a few DivX files into Toast, but it wants to convert them all first, which is going to lower their quality some more -- the reason I wanted DivX in the first place was so that I could watch downloaded files on my TV without having to lose quality by having to convert them before watching. Is a particular framerate or resolution required to make a valid DivX disc?
posted by tweebiscuit to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Not sure what dvd player you have, but I have a Phillips 642, which can basically play anything I throw at it - xvid, divx, mpg, whatever. You have to burn the divx file as raw data, as if you were just archiving it, assuming your dvd player works like mine does. So tell Toast to not do anything to the file - just burn it as plain data.
posted by rsanheim at 5:20 PM on April 26, 2006


Have you tried simply burning a DivX file to a disc from the Finder and seeing if it plays?
posted by jjg at 5:22 PM on April 26, 2006


i would try just grabbing the divx file and dragging it to the blank disk on your desktop (skipping Toast entirely). Burn that, and put it in your DVD player. It should work fine.
posted by quin at 5:22 PM on April 26, 2006


I don't know how Toast works, but it wants to convert the videos, it's burning a video disc. Just tell it to make a normal data disc and burn the .avi files as you would any other normal file.
posted by zsazsa at 5:23 PM on April 26, 2006


You need to find out how to burn them as simple data files on an ISO9660-formatted disc. Some of them won't work - standalones (ie, DivX-capable DVD players) generally don't like files which have been encoded with advanced options such as Qpel, GMC, or B-frames. If you're lucky, whoever produced the files will indicate whether those features were used, or if the file is "standalone-friendly". If you're not, you've got a coaster.
posted by unmake at 6:12 PM on April 26, 2006


I have the Philips, as well. It seems to play everything I throw at it, even though it doesn't support Qpel. I suppose most people who encode TV shows (which is almost all of the content I'm playing) aren't using that feature, luckily.

Anyway, your player will play all those other formats when it sees them on a typical data disc. It doesn't do anything fancy. Specifically, as implied by some previous comments, you don't want to make the disc with an application that typically makes DVD video discs unless it knows how to make a plain ole data disc with the file on it. Many apps will be "helpful" and re-encode it to MPG for you.

(Although I've been wondering, and wishing if it's not the case, that I could make a regular DVD video format disc but encode the video with xvid or whatever. That makes no sense being that it's not in spec, but, hey, the player understands that codec anyway, it'd be nice if they let us make DVDs using it.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:28 PM on April 26, 2006


The DivX home players only support DivX files encoded with the home theater option.
posted by SweetJesus at 6:58 PM on April 26, 2006


Data Disc in Toast, ISO 9660 format.

As others have said, the big no-go with the DVP642 is quarter-pixel encoding (QPEL). There's no GSpot equivalent for Macs, but you can get basic codec information in VLC (pause, Cmd-I for info), and MovieGate is reputed to provide more info.
posted by holgate at 7:18 PM on April 26, 2006


tweebiscuit - just set the Toast DivX setting to "never encode".

99% of the avi's I download are either DivX Home Theatre encoded, or XVid and work just fine on my player.
I have only hit an unplayable avi once, and that was easy to reencode externally using ffmpegx.
posted by cwhitfcd at 8:12 PM on April 26, 2006


make a regular DVD video format disc but encode the video with xvid or whatever

This isn't possible, but you can place a number (about 6CD's worth) of divx/xvid files on one (Data-mode, probably UDF 1.02) DVD-R.
posted by unmake at 9:41 PM on April 26, 2006


Yup, the Phillips is what I got too, for that reason. Good to know that popping it straight in will work. Turns out that what Toast didn't like was the XviDs, and kept wanting to convert them -- my player deals with them fine, though. At the moment, I'm just telling it to burn a DivX video disc and "never convert" it.

Ethereal Bligh, that would be great!
posted by tweebiscuit at 11:19 PM on April 26, 2006


EB : "I've been wondering ... that I could make a regular DVD video format disc but encode the video with xvid or whatever."

Unfortunately, no. In theory, MPEG-4 can be carried as a "private stream" in an MPEG-2 container - IIRC, this is how the UK intends to transmit terrestrial HD in the future.

In practice, DVD vobs are a limited subset of the MPEG-2 container which allow only 2 private streams. The first contains subtitles/subpictures & non-MPEG audio (e.g. AC3 / DTS). The second is used for navigation data.

Again, in theory it should be possible to shoehorn a 3rd private stream into a DVD vob - but, being so non-standard, they'd immediately be seen as corrupt by any player.
posted by Pinback at 3:57 AM on April 27, 2006


How does the Philips handle multiple AVI files with subsequent file names? I have the Philips, but rarely burn DivX AVIs. If I had say, two files with the same name and a numerical identifier at the end, would they play as one continuous video or do I have to actually go in and select each one individually to play?
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 10:31 AM on April 27, 2006


If I had say, two files with the same name and a numerical identifier at the end, would they play as one continuous video

Not 'continuous' as in 'can't see the join', but they'll play in alphanumeric sequence (vid1.avi -> vid2.avi etc.)
posted by holgate at 5:41 AM on April 28, 2006



How does the Philips handle multiple AVI files with subsequent file names? I have the Philips, but rarely burn DivX AVIs. If I had say, two files with the same name and a numerical identifier at the end, would they play as one continuous video or do I have to actually go in and select each one individually to play?


I've got the Phillips up-converting one and it plays DivX files in alphabetical order. When the last file stops, it just loads the next one on the disc. You'll get a 5 second "MPEG 4 Loading" message, but that's about it.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:04 PM on April 28, 2006


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