How can I turn swf files into a reasonable quality DVD for playback on TV?
November 14, 2006 9:36 PM   Subscribe

How can I turn swf files into a reasonable quality DVD for playback on TV?

I have a large number of swf files that I need to get onto a DVD so it can be shown on a TV. I just spent some time converting the SWF files to mpg and then burning them to a disk, and they looked atrocious.

Can anyone provide some advice / tips / manna on how to do this and have a reasonably good quality DVD to show for it?
posted by theNonsuch to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The fact that they are in SWF format leads to believe they are already low quality. Have you tried playing the SWF full screen? How is the quality? What resolution are they in?

Either way, did the SWF and the output mpeg quality match? If not you might need a new converter or need to up the bitrate to more closely match in/out-put files. You're not going to get anything *better* than the source though.
posted by mphuie at 9:46 PM on November 14, 2006

"SWF file" could be anything. If you're dealing with vector animation then it could take a very high mpeg bitrate to reproduce the same quality level. If you're actually dealing with FLV clips then it's another matter entirely, since you're just transcoding, rather than rasterizing. In other words, you're a little light on the details.

What's the nature of the SWF file?
What bitrate and resolution did you end up for the final output?
In what way was the quality unacceptable?
Are you talking about vector animation or a FLV clip?
And if FLV, what is the resolution and bitrate of the source clip that you currently have?
posted by Rhomboid at 10:34 PM on November 14, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks - sorry for the lack of details, but I don't really know what I'm doing. :)

The original files were mostly FLV but some of them were SWF. I used VisualHub (I'm on a mac) to convert the files to quicktime thinking I could edit them in iMovie or some similar program and burn the resulting project to DVD. The SWF files I converted to mpg using a PC program that we had sitting around.

The quality after all of this was really bad. I then tried converting the FLV and mpg files directly into VOB files which seemed to do the trick - the quality was generally maintained.

Like I said, I don't really know much about video or flash but I think I've managed to get something that I can live with.
posted by theNonsuch at 11:05 PM on November 14, 2006

You might be able to transcode them into DVD-compliant MPEGs using VLC Media Player's transcoding wizard. If you have access to a PC, you can use Riva FLV Encoder and this tutorial.
posted by fvox13 at 11:49 PM on November 14, 2006

For the last few months I've been using this process extensively for work. It's PC based, but works:

First, if you're starting with an SWF file, use SWFRIP to pull out the corresponding video and audio files.

Second, transcode the FLV files into WMV using commercial software: Replay Converter. I've tried all the non-commercial alternatives, and it's worth the $30 to know you'll get it right every time.

Third, transcode the WMV into MPEG-2 video. I've been using MediaCoder for this step.

At this point, you can use whatever DVD authoring software you like. For my purposes, DVDStyler has worked perfectly, but you might be looking for something shinier. N.B.: If you've started with SWF files, make sure to include both the audio and video tracks.

Despite the multiple re-encodings, the quality of the video, even from You-Tube and other similar sources, has been more than fine for standard TV.

Good luck.
posted by piro at 6:48 AM on November 15, 2006

Dang, I was hoping this question was about vector SWF files.

Anyone know how to make an SWF into a nice DV .mov (for final cut)?

I tried exporting directly from Flash to .mov and such a while ago, but with no success. I think got a single frame.

Also, a bit OT, but a great way to get FLVs is the Download Video plug-in for greasemonkey (a Firefox extension).
posted by kamelhoecker at 8:51 AM on November 15, 2006

Ive had to this a few times and mostly what I do is use something like camtasia and just record the swf playing on the desktop and save that as a raw avi file and the convert that to DVD. Its tedious but its gotten me the best results.
posted by skrike at 1:30 PM on November 15, 2006

I've been having the same problem. I thought it would be a "no brainer" to convert swf to DVD (for playing on a dvd player) - yeah...right!
I'll be trying the suggestions above. Good on you guys! Thanks.
posted by MichaelMMM at 5:36 PM on November 24, 2006

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