updated : 25 april 2005
How to burn a DVD
from a DTH7000 video
with several titles, chapters and only using freewares

organigram icone
  1. Software used
  2. Other softwares
  3. Some explanations about chapters and titles
  4. Various steps
  5. Let's summarize

Burning a DVD from an original VOB file is not as easy as we could imagine, especially if we limit our tools to :
However the solution I found is limited :
Before start, I must tell you to forget the straight approach that could consist to directly create IFO files from the existing VOB files and burning all of them on a DVD. File corruption will generates failing DVD.
Instead, we need to demux and remux VOB files to "clean" them. So below all tools handle, more or less, demux'd streams (separated audio and video files extracted from the original VOB file).
Because this process doesn't do re-compression into mpeg2 format, it is faster, but it still take some time because several steps have to be followed. Finally, the total time needed to create and burn a DVD is not as short as we could expect, but faster than if we would have need to re-encode them and faster also because of the use of TurboVOB which bring you more automation in the process. I estimate that the time needed for an usual simple DVD creation is approximately 1/2 hour work. (This timing could vary a lot depending on your videos, machine and knowledge).

NEW !!! This page describe how to process using TurboVOB. Before I created this software, I was using an other process with ifoEdit and vobEdit : See the old page.

Software used

Other softwares

Be carefull, when using other softwares, including commercials like Nero vision express, sonic DVD... They often re-encode (re compress) the original files. They let you create amazing menus. All features are included inside an unique software. They are easy to use. BUT they degrade the initial video quality during the re-compression process and this one takes a lot of time to proceed, more than with the method I propose, even if it contains more steps.
To finish with other softwares, I tried several free GUIs for DVDauthor free authoring software (dvdAuthorGUI, GUI for DVDauthor, DVDstyler) to try to create freely DVD with menus and no re-compression but I never succeeded ! Resulting DVDs can be played on my computer, but my DTH7000 doesn't like resulting menus and display black screen instead ! If you succeeded with it, please tell me what to care off.

Some explanations about chapters and titles

A DVD can contains several titles, which contains themself several chapters. A DTH7000 VOB file can be used as one title (one movie), it already contains chapters marks approximately every 5 min, written by the DTH7000 itself. But forget these chapters, they will be erased by importation (it's the reason why DTH explorer also create CellTimes.txt files after importation to be able to re-build a new chapter list).

Various steps

The straight forward approach (no demux/remux process) is fast, but very limited and absolutely not guaranteed. However if you still want to try it, you will have to create IFO files for the original VOB file and ask your burning software to burn the VIDEO_TS folder including IFO and VOB files inside.
I don't recommend this method !

Instead, I propose the following 3 main steps 1, 2 and 3+4 (3 and 4 could be grouped together) :
  1. Importing video from the DTH7000 :
    Once the DTH7000's disk is inserted into your computer running windows, it's easy to import videos with DTHexplorer. By default you will end up with a folder named as your video was named inside the unit. This folder contains some txt files and a main VTS_01_1.VOB file containing the whole video. This file is the only absolutely required file.
    Don't try to import DTH's IFO files. They exists but cant be used ! They are not made for a DVD but for a DTH7000...!
  2. Demuxing, Remuxing and Author the DVD :
    Demuxing means separating internal video and audio streams of the video (VOB file) to end up with 2 separate streams files (.m2v and .ac3 files) for both video and audio.
    Once the video is demuxed, you can Remux it immediatly. It could seems very stupid to separate streams and re-assemble them just after without doing anything special in between. In fact this operation keep video and audio datas as they were before but probably fixe (I'm not an expert) navigation packs (or similar) and therefore performs some kind of cleaning of the original video file. It is usually sufficiant to make imported videos from DTH7000 compatibles with usual video softwares.
    Some comments here : A DVD is made of one video folder (named VIDEO_TS). This folder mainly contains video files (VOB files), but it also contains binary informations files (IFO files) which includes various informations, such as chapters locations, titles... and so on.
    Let's return to our story : Once the streams are remuxed again, a new "cleaned" VOB file has been created. Authoring the DVD means creating a whole VIDEO_TS folder from this VOB files. To do that, the VOB file will be splitted into smaller files below 1024Ko size if it is too big at beginning. IFO files will then be created (VIDEO_TS.IFO and VTS_xx_y.IFO files).
    All this operation can be easily performed using TurboVOB, a software I made to automate this operation. Additionnaly you can tell it to create chapters at desired locations (the chapter list can be imported or directly entered in the task manager form)
    We will see later, that all these operations can be done separately to be able to work on the demux streams to cut the video.
  3. Authoring multi titles DVD and creating the ISO file to prepare the DVD burning :
    Once a VIDEO_TS folder exists with all needed VOB and IFO files inside, burning of it requires some last operations = Conversion to ISO file.
    DVD shrink is a very efficient and convinient software to do that. This wonderfull software was initially made to burn together ripped video's from big DVD or several different DVD. It offers features to remove specific streams, re-encode VOB files to modify their size and so on...Its features that interest us the most are :
    To place together several titles on the same DVD, tell it where are VIDEO_TS folders to use.
    When you validate ([backup] button), it will create the ISO file (if you ask it to do) and automatically start DVDdecrypter to burn this DVD image file.
  4. Burning the DVD :
    I use DVDdecrypter or I should rather say DVD shrink uses it for me.
    Why DVDdecrypter ? Because :

  5. Optional step : Cutting, Merging streams and chapters creation :
    It's the most difficult step to do, It often require some works but hopefully it is optional !
    I tried several free softwares to do that :

    In fact it's hard to find one software 100% compatible with often corrupted DTH7000 vob files and fully suitable for common needs.
    However one exists : Mpeg2Schnitt. It works on demux streams. It doesn't generate corrupted files (especially on audio) even if many many cuts are done. It can also merge several videos together before cutting. It owns a very convenient tool to create chapters text files compatible with TurboVOB. To finish, it loads videos quicker than cuttermaran (especially if they has been already loaded one time). To conclude it owns all I need to modify DTH7000's files and do it right.

    Cutting or merging with this software can be done only on demuxed streams. Therefore it means that such operation should be inserted inside the step 2 previously described.

    Step 2.a : Define a new task in TurboVOB, but don't ask it to do the full process on the video. Ask it only to demux the video and nothing more. See the illustration. (and click the [back] button of your navigator to return here).
    Validate that task, Run it and wait it finish.

    Step 2.b
    : Start Mpeg2Schnitt and merge/cut the streams as you want.
    Instead of writing a specific page to describe how to do with this wonderfull software, I prefer indicating you the homepage, in which you will be able to play a video which explains the use of this software => Click the link M2S demo. Unfortunately the video is is german, but sufficiantly illustrated to be understood even by non-german people.
    Additionnaly I can add few words to help non german people

    When the video has been merged and/or cut, a pair of 2 new streams files is ready.

    Step 2.c : With TurboVOB, define a new task to continue the process where it has been left in step 2.a, BUT instead of using the original demuxed streams, now use the newly generated pair of .m2v and .ac3 files.
    Ask TurboVOB to do only remuxing and authoring. See the illustration. (and click the [back] button of your navigator to return here).
    Validate that task, Run it and wait it finish.

Let's summarize

First import the video with DTHexplorer. Usually DTH7000's files need to be repaired, by a demux/remux before use. TurboVOB can help you a lot to automate this process.
For merging and/or cutting the video, use
Mpeg2Schnitt, if you don't have too much needs DVD shrink can also do it.
For last steps (authoring multititle and burning)
DVD shrink + DVDdecrypter is THE pair you need.

Please find below a diagram that illustrates the full process I propose (and I use today until I find a better one).

Dashed arrows stands for optional process.

Red hand stands for user action required.
Approximative process time is indicated on the diagram in orange color. It is measured on my system : Athlon XP2400+, 384 Mo ram, serial ATA hdd 200Go 7200rpm, for a video size of 2.55Go with a 50% reduction after cut.

Click on icons below to jump to each page for detailed operating mode.