DVD/Handbrake Divx Burning Woes
November 15, 2008 3:59 PM   Subscribe

I using Mac the Ripper than Handbrake to turn DVDs into mp4 files. (I use DVD dual layer)...When I use Roxio Popcorn, I can fit several movies on a disc (4) but it takes honestly a day and a half to burn on DVD !!!! But the DVD plays perfectly in my cheap player. Trying a different route, I tried dragging the mp4s to a blank DVD disc and then clicking "Burn" -- it burns and takes only 30-40 minutes but this version will not play on my DVD player. Anybody out there have an idea what I can do to make the process more efficient? Different software or different method? I appreciate your insight. By the way, I am running Mac OX X 10.5.5.
posted by snap_dragon to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
For the first route, Popcorn is re-encoding your MPEG-4 files back into MPEG-2 files, which will indeed take a while, but will play back on a set-top DVD player.

For the second route, where you're burning a data DVD of MPEG-4 files - your set-top DVD player (perhaps you have a DIVX-certified Philips model?) likely doesn't support MPEG-4.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:09 PM on November 15, 2008

buy a faster computer. the re-encoding process takes a lot of horsepower. (no, really. video - especially with modern, efficient codecs - takes a lot of power to deal with.)

alternatively, get a DVD player that supports H.264, or encode your files into something your DVD player does support. a good number of recent ones will play things beyond just standard DVDs, unless you're buying the $20 jobs at the WalMart or something. or, something other than a DVD player - AppleTV and Xbox 360s can stream from your computer (you'll need additional software to do it via Xbox); they'll play the files that are coming out of Handbrake natively.

if you're already ripping the raw DVD files to your computer (with Mac the Ripper), you might also try just reburning those with Popcorn. Handbrake is just transcoding your DVD-format MPEG2 video into H.264/MPEG-4 video - if you're not aiming to have these videos in, say, iTunes or on an iPod of some sort, you might be able to skip that step.
posted by mrg at 4:24 PM on November 15, 2008

These codecs are lossy, and every time the video is reencoded there's a quality loss. Going from MPEG2 to MPEG4 and then back to MPEG2 won't give you the best results, as well as taking a boat load of time.
posted by Class Goat at 4:57 PM on November 15, 2008

Response by poster: So is there any solution so I can compress a few movies to a dvd dual layer dvd that will play back on a regular dvd player? Is Handbrake an option? Am I going in circles? I think I just might slowly be going insane.


posted by snap_dragon at 5:00 PM on November 15, 2008

"I using Mac the Ripper than Handbrake to turn DVDs into mp4 files."

You're doing it wrong. Handbrake can read the DVD directly and save you the MtR step, if you want to collect MP4s.

"When I use Roxio Popcorn, I can fit several movies on a disc (4) but it takes honestly a day and a half to burn on DVD"

There are a couple of reasons for this. One, Popcorn is really incredibly slow. Two, you're taking an MP4, decompressing it, and recompressing it into an MPEG2. You're asking for a ton of computation purely for the purpose of making your movie look like total crap.

" it burns and takes only 30-40 minutes but this version will not play on my DVD player."

Because you made a DVD with some MP4 files on it, not a VIDEO_TS full of VOBs. A handful of specialty DVD players can cope with that, but not yours.

" Anybody out there have an idea what I can do to make the process more efficient?"

Yes, and with much less loss in quality! Here's how you make copies of DVDs that will play in any old DVD player without waiting hours and getting garbage results:

1. Use MacTheRipper to create an image.
2. Burn the image.
3. Delete the image.

Repeat as necessary.
posted by majick at 5:01 PM on November 15, 2008 [2 favorites]

Why are you going from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 (ripping the dvd with handbrake) and then back to MPEG-2 (brning it with popcorn)? As you've noticed this is slow; it also reduces quality. Can you copy the dvds to your hard drive using MacTheRipper and then burn four of them to one disk with Popcorn?
posted by PueExMachina at 5:03 PM on November 15, 2008

I'd say that you need to read some of the innumerable tutorials on the internet related to these issues.

Alternatively, save yourself the pain in the ass and buy a set top player that can read some of the AVC/mpeg-4 codecs. Then you can rip to a small size, burn a bunch to a disc and play them on your set top player.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:21 PM on November 15, 2008

Easiest solution that does what you want:

(1) Watch your ripped movies on your mac, plugged into your tv. Then you can also avoid burning dvd+r dl's at a buck a pop.

Second easiest solution:

(2) Buy a new dvd player that plays xvid/divx files. Many philips do. You can look this up easily enough. If you can afford to be burning scads of dvd+r dl's, you can afford a new $75 player.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:32 PM on November 15, 2008

Handbrake is a great tool, but it is not the tool for this job. What you want to do, if your goal is to produce a "DVD Video" disc (one playable on any old el cheapo player) with several movies on it, is skip the intermediate MPEG-4 step, and instead just stay in MPEG-2 while dropping the bit rate.

There are lots of tools that can do this; one I believe is called "DVD2OneX", but Popcorn may be able to do it as well.

You will still need to rip the DVDs with MacTheRipper (in order to break the encryption; this is the technically-illegal-in-the-US part and thus what legitimate products like Popcorn won't do), but once you have them ripped you can use any number of programs to drop the bitrate and master them into a new disc image. It might be as easy as ripping several DVDs and then dragging all the VIDEO_TS folders into Popcorn or something. Not being familiar with Popcorn I can't really say.

Personally, I think the cost of computers has gotten low enough so that it's silly and wasteful to burn discs; I would just rip the movies to MP4, store them on a hard drive, and then plug the hard drive into a computer that's attached to your TV or projector and watch them directly. For less than the cost of a good DVD player a few years ago, you can now buy a SFF PC with more than enough horsepower to play 480p content (even HD) and attach it to your SD or HD TV. (And for a little more time and effort, you can make it into a full-fledged media center.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:01 PM on November 15, 2008

DVDshrink, plus your favourite way of running windows apps on a mac will make this really easy, and avoid this encode/decode cycle you're doing now.
posted by pompomtom at 7:44 PM on November 15, 2008

A DVD player that plays DiVX files can be had at any pawn shop for between $20-30. Or, at least, every pawn shop I've walked into in the last few years.

IMHO, that is the simplest solution.

Use Handbrake to rip these movies to DiVX AVis, then burn however many will fit on a DVD.

Or, buy one of these for $25 and just watch your DiVX avis from an SD card.
posted by chazlarson at 8:23 PM on November 15, 2008

1. Use MacTheRipper to create an image.

what does this mean? When I use Mac the Ripper it makes a VIDEO_TS folder.
posted by Manhasset at 10:08 PM on November 15, 2008

Thanks for pointing that out. DVD2OneX can make an image, if you really want one, but that's correct: MtR creates VIDEO_TS directories (which are, properly speaking, not images), which you can then burn. Those aren't block-level images, so the use of the word "image" is inaccurate.
posted by majick at 10:29 AM on November 16, 2008

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