270 .Vobs a Week, Help Convert!
March 17, 2008 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Need help on a huge .Vob conversion to the best bandwidth saving format project.

I've stumbled in an on going project that I need to take charge otherwise my life will become hell.

Every week we will have 270 1 hour videos on DVD. The project trial will last 16-18 weeks but may become mandatory after that. The cameras in use record straight to DVD and are approximately 1.4 gigs. The person in charge proposes a horrible two-stage conversion process. 1) A shareware program to convert VOB to WMV which brings it down to "150 megs". 2) Windows Movie Maker to bring it down to "80 megs". This process takes 1.5 hours for each video. The person than will upload the video to a private youtube. The video will be embedded using Microsoft share point services. Bandwidth is very tight.

1. What's the best video format that’s watchable but requires the less amount of bandwidth?

2. Any cameras that record straight to FLV with running time of 2+ hours, or to the answer #1?

3. Embedding vs. streaming. Is it true that embedding only saves on bandwidth if the viewer doesn't watch the whole thing or fast forwards to certain points in the video?

Instead of the propose method I thought of the following alternatives:
1. Send all videos on DVD to a third party company that will process VOB files and convert them to lowest bandwidth usage format (flv?). They will host the files for us (eliminating the need for extra in house bandwidth). This saves staff time and would probably pay for itself over time. Do you know of a company that does this local to the US?

2. Create a server that performs batching processing of VOB files to FLV. The server will watch an incoming folder, any time a VOB files is present it will convert it to FLV and upload it via FTP to a third party host. Do you know of an application that does this? Winff is great for individual use, but I don't think it has the features I would need.

3. Hire students and interns to do all the converting.

4. Other suggestions?
posted by bleucube to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
ffmpeg will do all you want and more. It can convert from unencrypted VOB files. It will transcode to damn near anything in one step. It is fairly fast. Most importantly, it can all be done from the command line which means a 15 line perl or shell script could likely automate this whole thing for you.
posted by MasterShake at 2:17 PM on March 17, 2008

Avidemux will convert directly to .FLV from .VOB files. It is cross platform, and can be run from either the command line or a GTK+ or QT interface.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:24 PM on March 17, 2008

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