[mythtv-users] Transcode entire DVD (menus, etc) to MPEG4?

James L. Paul james at mauibay.net
Tue Mar 9 03:07:52 EST 2004

Hash: SHA1

On Monday 08 March 2004 7:56 pm, Scott Nicholson wrote:
> I've googled quite a bit for this but so far haven't been able to find
> anything...
> We've got a fair-sized DVD collection, and at least half of them are the
> kids' movies. At least a few times each week one of the older kids (6 and
> 7) bring me a DVD that the younger kid (3) has gotten all smudgy with
> fingerprints -- I'm constantly cleaning them. (This is on top of the
> scratches, etc. that they pick up from normal juvenile handling).

I hope you've already made backups. :)

> I'd like to be able to rip all of our movies to the HD to be played through
> the Myth system I'm putting together, but I need to be able to include all
> the menus, etc. (the kids love the games that several of their movies come
> with, and I like the bonus footage on several of mine). Unfortunately, I
> don't have the TB or so of space that'll be needed to store them all in
> their native MPEG2 format.

I'm curious what player you use on your myth box to play the DVD games and 
similar fancy features on the kid's DVDs. I've had terrible compatibility 
problems with most non-simple menu DVDs and Xine. It's good at basic menu 
structures most of the time, but doesn't handle everything my hardware player 

> So... Is there any way of transcoding the movies to DivX or XVid or similar
> MPEG4... while keeping all menus, languages, etc. intact?

In general, no. The menus, languages, subtitles, games, etc. are all built and 
contained specifically in the structure of the DVD. That structure does not 
support DivX, XVid or MPEG4. You can extract and transcode elements from a 
DVD structure, but to keep all the features you ware asking for basically 
requires you to keep the entire DVD structure for your intended purposes.

> (I assume such a solution would involve not only a rip/transcode element
> but also a special player)

If somebody has a DVD player application on Linux that supports DVD structures 
with non-compliant video streams such as MPEG4, I'd love to hear about it. 
Frankly, we don't have any fully compliant Linux players yet for the current 
DVD standard (although Xine comes close.)

> If nothing of the sort exists, do I have any other options (short of
> transcoding everything to lower-bitrate MPEG2 (and losing quality in the
> process))?

Not that I'm aware of. Although, in my experience, I can usually shrink a DVD 
about 50% without significant image degradation. My needs are different from 
yours though. I rip my DVDs to my server storage, but only the movie itself. 
If I want to use the special features, I'm willing to pop the DVD into the 
player. :)

> Thanks,
> Scott Nicholson
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