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How to put VCDs on DVD


This is very, very short guide on how to convert your VCD files into DVD-compliant format, so that you can author and burn them to DVD-R (or DVD-RW, DVD R, DVD RW). Luckily, the VCD resolution and specs are almost compliant with DVD-Video specs, as DVD-Video allows MPEG-1 video on DVD disc as well as regular MPEG-2 video. The only problem really is the audio, which uses a different sampling frequency in VCD (44.1kHz, the same as audio CD) to that of DVD-Video's(48kHz).

By following this guide, the video quality will stay exactly the same as it is on your VCD and audio quality will get only slightly worse (due the frequency conversion and re-encoding).


Requirements


First of all you need to have approximately two gigabytes of free space on your HDD in order to accomplish this task (obviously, if you're just converting short VCD-compliant clips, the amount you need is smaller). You also need some freeware or shareware tools:




Mount the image (optional)


You need to do this part only if you don't have the VCD burned on CD, and you don't have the original .mpg files, but just the .bin and .cue files on your HDD. If this is the case, Daemon Tools can create a "fake CD drive" for your system and allows you to mount your bin/cue CD image so that system thinks that it is an actual CD.

Simply install Daemon Tools and you should get a small red lightning symbol in your system tray. Right-click on it and select Mount image under Virtual CD/DVD-ROM // Device 0: No media. Locate your VCD image's .cue file and select it. Now system has mounted the image as a virtual CD drive.


Demux the video with TMPGEnc


Now, launch TMPGEnc and go to File menu and select MPEG Tools. Now you should see TMPGEnc's tools section. Select Simple De-multiplex tab. We use this part to demux the video stream into separate audio and video files.

Now, select the .mpg file you want to demux as Input -- if you are using mounted image file or ready-burned VCD disc, you actually have to change the Files of type selection to All files first -- the video file on VCD disc (or on mounted disc) is normally located at MPEGAV directory and named as AVSEQ01.DAT. Once you've found the file, select it and click OK.

Now, if you're extracting the data from CD or from CD image, you need to change the output directories first. Leave the filenames intact, but change the output directories for both, audio and video. Otherwise system will try to write to CD and obviously it is going to fail.

After you've done this, just click Run and wait for a while, TMPGEnc will now demux the video into separate audio and video files.


Convert the audio into 48kHz


Now the next step is to convert the audio into 48,000Hz frequency. We use TMPGEnc as GUI for two other tools, SSRC and tooLame. So, go back to TMPGEnc's main window and select your .mp2 file as your Audio source. Then you need to unlock the settings. You do this by clicking Load button next to Settings button. File dialog should open you directly in Templates directory (which is located inside the TMPGEnc's installation dir). You should see a dir called Extra as a subdir. Go there and select a template file called unlock and click Open.

Now the Stream type selection should be changeable. Now, change the Stream type
selection as ES (Audio only).

Now, click the Settings button and TMPGEnc will popup a new window where you can change the audio settings for this conversion. Stream type should be set as MPEG-1 Audio Layer II. The most important selection is obviously the Sampling frequency, which has to be changed into 48000. Set Channel mode to Stereo and Bitrate to 224 to achieve the best quality. Unselect all the checkboxes except the Error protection checkbox. De-emphasis flag should be set as None and AudioEdit should be unselected.

Then simply click OK to return back to the main window.

Now, go to Option menu and select Environmental settings. This opens a new window. Go to External tool tab. Select Layer-2 checkbox and click Browse to locate your tooLame.exe from your HDD.

Then select Sampling frequency convertor and click Browse to locate your SSRC.exe. After you've done this, click OK to return back to the main window.


Encoding the audio


Now, change the Output file name to something that you want, remember also to change the directory so that it doesn't try to overwrite the existing audio (might cause weird effects when it tries to overwrite the file it is reading at the moment..) and so that the dir has around 30-50megs free space, depending on your video's length.

Then simply hit the Start button and wait few moments until the audio is encoded and frequency has been changed to match the DVD specs.


Final steps


Now, some tools require that you rename the created .mp2 file to have an extension of .mpa. You can do this normally via Windows Explorer easily -- I don't bother explaining this now as the process is "you gotta know this if you use Windows" things.

Finally, you need to author the DVD using the .m1v file you got from the demuxing process and the new .mpa file you just created. Just to avoid confusion, go ahead and delete the 44.1kHz .mp2 file you created by demuxing the original video stream.

I wont explaing the authoring process in this guide as there are several different DVD authoring tools and each of them work differently. Most of the tools accept the idea to make "DVD-VCD"s, but some of them don't. Good old SpruceUp which is not sold anymore, supports VCD video on DVD. Also DVDIt should work just fine. But according to VCDHelp.com, ULead DVD MovieFactory doesn't allow this and myDVD tries to re-encode the video into MPEG-2, spoiling the whole idea behind DVD-VCD and those tools should therefore be avoided in this process.


Last words


Ok, I hope that this works for you. Your DVD player should understand these discs as they follow DVD-Video specs to the letter. But if your DVD player doesn't do the same, this obviously doesn't work. Let us know if you have problems, don't email to us. Instead write to our discussion forums.

Enjoy.


Version history


v1.0, 7th September, 2002 -- First version of the guide online. -dRD
v1.1, 7th September, 2002 -- Fine tuning. -Ketola

Written by: Petteri Pyyny
Last updated: