[mythtv-users] OT: Editing a MythTV File and Creating a DVD

Douglas Wagner douglasw0 at gmail.com
Fri Sep 15 23:00:30 UTC 2006

Ok, I must display my complete NOOBness on this topic.

I'm a tech head and a computer geek.  Ask me to setup a new system and i'm
good to go, ask me to install, maintain and configure MythTV, connect the
wireing and all the rest, and I can do it blindfolded.

Get me inside a video file with the various codecs, programs, transcoding
and all this jazz and I am HOPELESSLY and I mean wow hopelessly lost.

So I have 250g of recorded video on my PVR at this point, mostly kids
shows.  I'd LOVE to take some of the older episodes off the PVR and get them
on DVD that would be playable on any standard/general DVD player...an added
bonus would be getting rid of the commercials, entry music, exit credits,
etc.  So in general, the kids shows come in at about 600 meg / 30 minute
show (Digital, don't know if this is HD, i'm guessing it's still SD
programming due to it's size) So I can fit about 6 - 8 of these (at the
standard size without any codec conversions) on one DVD.

I'd like to be able to take the files, do whatever it is I need to do to
them, cut off some of the fronts and backs of the shows, string them
together and print the whole thing out to DVD for play on a standard DVD

I don't know how much i'm asking here, but I can tell you that everything I
run into makes this simple task seem impossible.  Before I start asking
questions, I guess I should ask: Is there an idiots howto out there walking
simpletons like myself through this stuff?  I'm at the point where I simply
don't know what I don't know.

Ok, questions i've come up with that might or might not apply...

First, I'm looking for some SIMPLE software to edit video files.  I'm not
looking for anything spectacular, I don't really need to author my own
movies from clips or whatnot, I simply need to take the .mpg files that my
MythTV installation is producing, string them together, cut off the extra
opening and closing segments from a few of the files and get them "together"
in some way.  The problem I find is that pretty much everything I have tried
to use (and again, I don't even know where to start looking) is so
impossible to figure out or so impossible to use that it makes this entire
thing impossible or painful at least.  The second requirement however has
got to be cheap.  I'd really prefer not to spend 400$ on a software package
that would allow me to re-produce Star Wars in full HD video/audio from
pictures of comic books, when all I need to do is 2 minute edits to a few
files and get them out to DVD.  Translating between codecs would be nice but
again, if it "simply works" that's ok for me too.  I have run across Virtual
Dub, but it won't seem to open/manage any of the .mpg files from MythTV that
I throw at it.

Secondly, codecs.  Here again i'm lost.  I'm somewhat sure that the MythTV
files are in some sort of Mpeg format as they are recorded for me (i.e. the
output is in, I believe, Mpeg 2 format).  What I don't understand is what
the native "dvd" format is...is it mpeg?  Does it matter?  Is codec only
about size?  Again, i'm somewhat lost here.

Next: I've run across a post talking about getting MythTV to automatically
transcode, strip commersials, etc and can follow that fairly well to get
some transcoding setup, but is it necessary?  If I do end up transcoding to
MPEG-4 (40% decrease in file size from what I understand) would that still
be playable on a reguilar DVD player?  Or through MythTV's "Watch
Recordings" menu? (I assume I could transcode and move to my stored videos
directory to play through the watch video section, but then i'd loose things
like playlists and such)  I assume something like DIVX would require a DIVX
capable player and it would play the files as DIVX files (akin to playing
various video clips on a computer) and not one cohesive movie/show?  Also,
if I did do some transcoding on the files, and change the whole set to say
Mpeg-4, could I do that "in place" in such a way that I would still have
access to all the files through MythTV?

I'm going to quit here, as you all can probably tell, i'm simply lost..and
at this point probably babbling.  Any assistance anyone can provide me would
be most appreciated (particularly in the what software package department).
BTW, Linux, Windows, etc. doesn't bother me...i'm happy to work with apps in
any of the environments (my burn application - Nero - Is Windows and would
be my prefference for how to get the final mastered "video" onto the DVD but
if needed I can be flexable on that too.)

--Douglas Wagner
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