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Old July 7th, 2014, 10:13 AM   #1
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Making a DVD with WMV Files

Is there a way to make a DVD or Blu-Ray disk, with menus, where the video files are un-transcoded WMV files? Or am I missing a way to get the same quality using a compliant video format?

I'm not too experienced at this, so apologies for my ignorance and please be gentle. :)

I have 8 hours of lectures that I'd like to put on one DVD (single or double sided). The video is mostly Powerpoint slides - fixed images - with 20% to 30% video of the lecturers, often with very little motion.

After trying many configurations in Premiere Pro, the best image quality was obtained using WMV 9 VBR with average bitrate of 1.25 Mbps and peak 2.5 Mbps. This produces nice 1080p video with file sizes around 500 Mb per hour. I tried lots of variations of H.264 and MPEG-2 parameters but the slides were always fuzzy.

So now I have 8 hours of lectures in 4 Gb, good quality 1080p WMV files.

1. Is there a way to build a disk with menus using the un-transcoded WMV files, either a DVD or a Blu-Ray format that will fit on a DVD?

2. Is there a set of parameters for a compliant video format that will produce acceptable quality 1080p in 2 Mbps or less?

Lacking either, I will make a data disk with the 8 WMV files and hope that most of the recipients (volunteer trainees for our nonprofit) can play them on their computer or home video system. Then maybe I'll generate a second disk with menus using 720p on a DVD-DL in the best quality possible, for those who can't play the first one.

Any advice will be welcome
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Old July 7th, 2014, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: Making a DVD with WMV Files

Walt,
DVD with menus don't use WMV files and most players wouldn't recognize the compression so you should try a different approach. You could use the files you have but they would be re-encoded for whichever format you chose either DVD or Blu Ray. Your Data disk idea might work but wouldn't be standard. You might be able to make a powerpoint presentation with the movies but no guarantees
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Old July 7th, 2014, 04:34 PM   #3
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Re: Making a DVD with WMV Files

Hey Walt,

My cheap Blu-Ray player, about 2 years old, plays most wmv files just fine either on a DVD-Rom, or on thumb drives or hard drives plugged into the USB port. The DVD player makes it's own "menu" of the folders, and of the files in the folders, listing the file names. The player also displays JPEG photos (but not PNG photos).

In fact, the last wedding I gave the clients a DVD Rom disk with 3 1080p mp4 files along with their standard wedding DVDs.

So, my guess is most new BD players will behave similarly to mine. No menu creation, but really not needed if you give each file a descriptive name.

To test things out, I always use a rewritable disk first. (Surprised you get good quality fitting 8 hours into 4 gb!)

Of course, DVD players will need transcoded to .vob or to a dvd iso, and no way will you fit 8 hours into 4 gb. So it looks like just newer BD players and media center devices.

Hope this helps.
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Old July 7th, 2014, 05:05 PM   #4
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Re: Making a DVD with WMV Files

Thanks, Roger.

My years-old Blu-ray player shows this DVD as a "Data Disk" which, when clicked, offers up the WMV files which it plays fine. I suspect many Blu-ray players will work the way yours and mine do.

I too am surprised at the quality of the WMV 1080p files. The lectures are maybe 3/4 still images (Powerpoint slides) and almost all the rest the lecturer, with little motion and that confined to a small area of the screen. Perhaps WMV is uniquely able to take advantage of all the redundancy to produce unusually small files.

Any recommendations for a DVD-compliant codec that might do the same?
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Old July 8th, 2014, 10:37 AM   #5
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Re: Making a DVD with WMV Files

By "DVD" you're asking for DVD-Video, the standard that DVD players should all support?

There's only one video codec compliant with the DVD-Video standard, and that's MPEG-2. The standard will allow low bitrates, of course you'll need to test to see if you can get equivalent performance to WMV.

Probably not. WMV is an outstanding codec that outperformed all challengers for many years. You may need to give more bitrate.

MPEG-2 is the ticket for widest DVD Player compability, but it's worth looking at whether a data disk can meet your distribution needs. You'd need to roll some sort of menu system, though. There are all sorts of approaches for this...
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Old July 8th, 2014, 11:22 AM   #6
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Re: Making a DVD with WMV Files

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt Bilofsky View Post
Thanks, Roger.

My years-old Blu-ray player shows this DVD as a "Data Disk" which, when clicked, offers up the WMV files which it plays fine. I suspect many Blu-ray players will work the way yours and mine do.

I too am surprised at the quality of the WMV 1080p files. The lectures are maybe 3/4 still images (Powerpoint slides) and almost all the rest the lecturer, with little motion and that confined to a small area of the screen. Perhaps WMV is uniquely able to take advantage of all the redundancy to produce unusually small files.

Any recommendations for a DVD-compliant codec that might do the same?
Hi Walt,

Glad your BD player works like mine. Most everyone else's probably does too, by now. Unfortunately, I doubt there exists a DVD codec that will do what you want. Pretty certain, in fact.
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Old July 8th, 2014, 11:26 AM   #7
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Re: Making a DVD with WMV Files

Thanks for your reply!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
By "DVD" you're asking for DVD-Video, the standard that DVD players should all support?
Well, I was hoping.
Quote:
Probably not. WMV is an outstanding codec that outperformed all challengers for many years. You may need to give more bitrate.
That's consistent with what I'm seeing.
Quote:
... it's worth looking at whether a data disk can meet your distribution needs. You'd need to roll some sort of menu system, though. There are all sorts of approaches for this...
A data disk is where I am now, though I may need to also offer a second, DVD-compliant format with lower quality.

Any pointers to one of those menu system approaches?
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Old July 8th, 2014, 03:46 PM   #8
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Re: Making a DVD with WMV Files

Pass this along fwiw, I have not tried it. The current issue of MaximumPC Magazine suggests a freeware app called DVD Flick (DVD Flick) as a DVD *BURNER* (i.e, assembler but not editor) that is simple to use -- drag and drop, although with several customizable features ---and converts 45 video formats, supports 60 video and 40 audio codecs. You can create or use provided menus and burn direct or make ISO files for other software to use. That's all I know about it, but sounds like it would handle whatever you throw at it and convert to DVD standard.....
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