As DVD-R and DVD+R recorders get more and more popular, tons of people are looking at converting their old DivX and XviD movie backups to DVDR format (more specifically to DVD-Video format which can played with stand-alone DVD players). Luckily there are several freeware and/or cheap shareware tools that allow doing this rather easily.
IMPORTANT: Newer / Easier guides
NOTE: This guide, while still working, is very outdated and uses an older and complicated method to achieve an otherwise easy task. Luckily, AfterDawn has many other guides that use free or commercial software to achieve this task and in 2008, it has never been easier before. Here are your options...
You "can" technically continue this guide but it will take a long time and it is an outdated method, therefore one of the above is highly suggested. You may also want to learn how to join two AVI files, if your video is in two or more parts. You can find that and many other great articles in our Guide section.
What this guide does?
This guide tries to take you through the process of converting your AVI format movies to DVD-Video and also instructs how to convert your old text-format subtitles to DVD subtitles. Guide itself is actually not just for DivX or XviD videos, but should work as it is for virtually all of the AVI formats there are, provided that you have the correct decoding video codecs installed. For audio part, we guide you through the two most common audio formats in AVI videos, MP3 and AC3 (which is also known as "the surround sound" or "5.1 audio" or "Dolby Digital", which all are rather vague terms, but usually mean DD5.1/AC3 audio anyway) -- but any other audio format should follow the same basic procedures anyway.
Hardware & other requirements
Obviously you need to have the original AVI video source, bundled with the audio track in it. For subtitle conversion, you need to have your subtitles in SRT format, which is commonly used by SubRip. Additionally, you need to have a DVD recorder if you plan to burn these movies to DVDR and -- as usual with video editing -- you need to have more than 5GB of free space on your HDD.
You should understand that all of the most common video formats, including MPEG-2 (used with DVD-Video discs, digital TV and SVCDs) and MPEG-4 (used by DivX and XviD) are so-called lossy formats.
What does this mean then? It means that once you convert your original video to any lossy format, the resulting video file has lost some amount of data/details compared to the original video and that data can't be reversed by decoding it. Ever. So, think it like a compression program that takes a full book and compresses it down to a 4-page abbreviation -- the main data is still there, but using only the 4-page abbreviation, it is impossible to end up with the original book.
So, in this case it means that even when your DivX/XviD movie has been originally taken from the DVD-Video source, it wont be the same quality when converted again to a DVD-Video source. Actually, the resulting DVD-Video made from the DivX/XviD will have slightly worse picture quality than the DivX/XviD itself.
Now, once you understand this, your expectations should be on correct level and we can proceed.
In order to follow this guide, you need these tools:
- SRT2SUP (required only for the subtitles)
- AVIcodec (to determine what audio and video codecs you need)
- FFDSHOW (required only if you don't have existing codecs to play DivX or XviD files -- depending on your source video format)
- TMPGEnc (required! for encoding the video -- note that the trial version works for only 30days!)
- IFOEdit (required! for authoring the DVD-Video disc)
Written by: Petteri "dRD" Pyyny
Last updated: 22 March 2008
Last updated: 22 March 2008