Why won't all my DVDs play as they should?
May 3, 2009 11:29 AM   Subscribe

How do I burn VIDEO_TS folders to DVD Video discs that work on standalone players?

I'm using an iMac, Leopard 10.5.6, internal SuperDrive for DVD burning. These are not copies of for-sale DVDs; they are fan-generated content or abandonware porting of 1970s quadraphonic recordings to modern surround systems.

I found a Terminal command line using hdiutil which is supposed to work... [hdiutil makehybrid -udf -udf-volume-name VOLNAME \ -o MY_DVD.iso /Volumes/File/Location]. I've tried using both BURN and Disk Utility to burn the resulting disk image. This doesn't seem to be doing the job, however.

I've tried using Disk Utility to make disk image DVD/CD Master of the VIDEO_TS folder and burning that, doesn't work...

The confusing thing is, the disks seem to be recognized by the iMac's DVD Player software and will boot that up and run just fine, but the discs won't play in my standalone Panasonic DMR-EZ17.

Even more confusing -- sometimes the DVDs I make using the above methods play in the standalone, sometimes not. This seems to be based on the VIDEO_TS folder I am using, as if I cannot get it to convert / burn / play under one system, it is unlikely I will get it to work at all.

(Complicating this even more, ALL of the VIDEO_TS folders that I mount using the File -> Open DVD Media... menu selection inside DVD Player work. This seems to have no bearing on whether the files will burn into a standalone DVD Video disk.)

Does anyone have any suggestions for me, short of $pending to get Toast or some other non-free solution?
posted by hippybear to Computers & Internet (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried Burn?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:31 AM on May 3, 2009

Response by poster: Yes, I have tried using BURN. It will not create a DVD Video disk by simply being fed a VIDEO_TS folder. It will burn the disk image files created by using Disk Utility or using the above-mentioned line command, but those will not necessarily result in a usable disk which will work in my standalone player.
posted by hippybear at 11:38 AM on May 3, 2009

I had good luck on Linux using:

$ mkisofs -dvd-video -o dvd.iso ./DIR_WITH_VIDEO_TS/
$ growisofs -dvd-compat -Z /dev/dvd=dvd.iso

Poking around my own Mac, I see the tool which has mkisofs is in MacPorts. You might try these out (I haven't done so myself):

$ port search cdrtools
cdrtools @2.01.01a48 (sysutils)
ISO 9660 filesystem and CD creation tools

dvdrtools @0.2.1 (sysutils)
a fork of cdrtools DVD writer support

Found 2 ports.

posted by cj_ at 11:53 AM on May 3, 2009

I think DVDRemaster will do what you want. It has a demo mode if you want to try it before buying.
posted by zippy at 11:53 AM on May 3, 2009

Yes, I have tried using BURN. It will not create a DVD Video disk by simply being fed a VIDEO_TS folder.

Try clicking on the "Video" tab, instead of simply burning a data disc.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:58 PM on May 3, 2009

Roxio Popcorn will do exactly what you need, but you'll have to shell out $50, or get it by other means.

"Copy non-encrypted DVDs, disc image files, VIDEO_TS folders from hard disk with complete control including selection of individual video titles and languages. Compatible with DVD-Video content from popular ripping utilities."
posted by mtphoto at 2:01 PM on May 3, 2009

Do you have the appropriate ifo files? Do you have menus?
posted by wongcorgi at 2:05 PM on May 3, 2009

Response by poster: Yes, I have tried using BURN. It will not create a DVD Video disk by simply being fed a VIDEO_TS folder.

Try clicking on the "Video" tab, instead of simply burning a data disc.

Yeah, tried that. I have two different versions of BURN on my machine... 1.71u and 2.2u. the 1.71u will go through an elaborate import / conversion dance requiring a lot of processing time before it spits out the "an error occurred while burning this disc" message. 2.2u doesn't bother with the long wait and goes directly to the error message.

Perhaps I am doing this wrong? I boot up BURN (doesn't matter which version), select "video" and then make sure the menu is set for either "DVD" or "DVD Video" depending on the release. I then use either the + button or drag-n-drop the desired VIDEO_TS folder to the BURN window... and click "burn"... am I missing something?
posted by hippybear at 2:10 PM on May 3, 2009

Response by poster: zippy: I downloaded DVDRemaster with great enthusiasm, and would have been happy to pay for the program had the demo yielded the results for which I was seeking.

Sadly, I had a DVD like so many others... my iMac's DVD Player will recognize it as a playable DVD, but my standalone player will not.

I will dig out a couple of older players I have later, to make certain that it isn't this one model of DVD player which has this problem.
posted by hippybear at 2:58 PM on May 3, 2009

Response by poster: wongcorgi: Yes, I seem to have a plethora of .ifo files present within the VIDEO_TS folder I am attempting to use. Furthermore, when I use the MacOS native "DVD Player" application and mount the VIDEO_TS folder using the File -> menu, it seems to display menus and other "top level, non-primary" content correctly.
posted by hippybear at 3:02 PM on May 3, 2009

hippybear, are you including the AUDIO_TS folder on the disc? That is, burn two separate folders in the DVD root:

- the VIDEO_TS folder with the relevant video content (vob, ifo, bup files) and
- an AUDIO_TS folder that has nothing in it.

Sorry if that's something you've already tried, but just checking to make sure, since the AUDIO_TS folder wasn't mentioned. I recall reading advice that having the audio folder is helpful for some DVD players to recognize the disc.

I haven't used the software that's been mentioned above, but is there an option to "finalize" or "close" the disc after burning the contents? It may well be automatic, but might be worth checking to make sure it's enabled.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 3:20 PM on May 3, 2009

Yeah, to be 100% compliant the AUDIO_TS folder is necessary, regardless of whether it has anything in it or not.

But, to be honest, I don't think that's your problem. It sounds much more like a disc quality/compatibility issue. Are the media you're using top quality e.g. Verbatim or TDK, rather than some random crap? Not sayin' Verbatim or TDK are the greatest, but they're the closest thing to a known quantity of good quality at retail level.

(And, I don't mean "oh yeah, the guy at the shop / the label says they're Taiyo Yuden" or whatever. Use real discs, until you work out what's going on...)

Errr.... just noticed you say "fan-generated content or abandonware porting of 1970s quadraphonic recordings to modern surround systems". Are you sure the contents of your VIDEO_TS folder are actually valid according to the DVD specs, right down to things like menu structure & GOP size? And I dunno if your burning ritual will necessarily create a correct DVD; things like the VIDEO_TS.IFO & VIDEO_TS.BUP have to be in specific physical locations on the disc; I dunno if you can guarantee they will be just by using hdiutil like that.
posted by Pinback at 4:08 PM on May 3, 2009

I know you said you don't want to get Toast but I know of a guy who may or may not have easily downloaded it off of bittorrents and has had super amazing results with it because it can handle pretty much any burning issue you need. That guy uses Toast all the time to burn _TS folders and watches them on a dvd player.
posted by BrnP84 at 7:31 PM on May 3, 2009

Response by poster: Wow, lots of great suggestions, a lot of them will have to wait until tomorrow for me to dig into them with gusto.

I have not tried making certain that the discs are being burned with AUDIO_TS, but I do know that the most recent disc I tried to burn was VIDEO_TS only. I will try that tomorrow.

cj_: I'm not ignoring you. I will also dig into your suggestion tomorrow.

Pinback: I have two stacks of media. Sony DVD-R and TDK DVD+R. I do not believe the media is a problem because either of these blanks can be made playable if the right material is burned to it. This isn't a universal problem -- it's only occurring with certain specific content, and is quite puzzling.

I will try to inspect the VIDEO_TS folders to make certain they are valid. However, DVD Player will run these VIDEO_TS folders if I mount them in those programs as "DVD Media", which is my first line of checking that.
posted by hippybear at 7:35 PM on May 3, 2009

I've always used a thing called DVD Imager which has never let me down.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 8:02 PM on May 3, 2009

Most software DVD players will play anything vaguely resembling a DVD provided they have at least a VIDEO_TS.IFO somewhere in the VIDEO_TS directory. Hardware players are a bit more particular and often require things to adhere to the actual specs, which include things like the VIDEO_TS.IFO file starting within a certain range of sectors on the disc, not sharing the same block on disc as VIDEO_TS.BUP, &c.

Can you wangle a copy of Toast or similar, and try rebuilding the problematic DVDs by importing the contents of the existing VIDEO_TS folder and burning? 'Cos if that works, it'd point to a DVD structure problem. At the moment, using hdiutil to create a disc image, you're just guessing things are ending up in the right structure & in the right place...
posted by Pinback at 8:16 PM on May 3, 2009

If you have access to a Windows Machine, try DVD Flick.

It's open source, free, and does exactly what you describe.

Sadly, no idea if there is a Mac version.
posted by Master Gunner at 9:18 PM on May 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you have an application that creates "DVD-Video" projects, it will create the VIDEO_TS folder for you, you just drag the contents of your ripped VIDEO_TS (all the .ifo files and such) into that project and burn it.

Works every time for Nero, haven't attempted burning a DVD like that with a Mac.
posted by ijoyner at 8:34 PM on May 4, 2009

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