Monday, June 7, 2010

HOWTO: Make DVD Videos Using Tovid: The Video Disc Authoring Suite

3:43 PM |

So here are the steps to take if you want to have a dvd movie, that's playable in a home dvd player, and created from a video file on your computer.
Tovid should work on any architecture (x86, x86_64, PPC, etc.) and any desktop environment (Gnome, KDE, Xfce, etc.). This guide assumes that you already have a video file saved on your computer, that you own a dvd burner, and that you have a blank dvd.

Tovid will accept many different types of video formats for your initial video. In fact, whatever formats the programs mplayer and ffmpeg support, tovid supports. There are very few formats it doesn't support, but you'll probably have one of the more common ones, so there's nothing to worry.

Also, please know that for tovid to work optimally, it's recommended to have at least 20GB of free space, so that it can author and encode the video smoothly.

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To install tovid, just search for it in the Software Center, or else type this in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install tovid
If that doesn't work, install from source.

If you don't see any tovid menu entries under Applications > Sound & Video, refresh the gnome panels:
killall gnome-panel
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Using the GUI:

Go to Applications > Sound & Video > tovid. If for some reason it doesn't start up correctly, run the command in a terminal to diagnose the cause of the issue:

Using the CLI:

You have an avi file named 'foo' in your home directory, and you live in the Eastern Hemisphere (not Japan, they use NTSC), and you have a widescreen TV. You would simply type in a terminal:
tovid -wide -pal -in foo.avi -out foo_encoded
The -wide command tells tovid to make it widescreen, the -pal command tells tovid to make it PAL format, the -in file is the original, and the -out is the final product. Simple huh?

Consider the more complicated scenario: You have 3 videos, File1.mpg, File2.mpg, and File3.mpg. You want the menu to have titles Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3. You want the dvd to be called Season_One. Your command would be:
todisc -files File1.mpg File2.mpg File3.mpg \
 -titles "Episode 1" "Episode 2" "Episode 3" \
-out Season_One
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Once it is finished encoding, you could try to burn the video to a dvd using the burn tab in the GUI, but sometimes it doesn't work, so just minimize tovid (you dont want to close it, just in case if the encoding output is needed for support.) Then open a terminal and paste (this is just an example; replace the italic words accordingly):
makexml -menu Menu.mpg \foo1.mpg foo2.mpg foo3.mpg \
 -out MyDisc
That created an xml file, which in this case would be called: MyDisc.xml
Now, you have to burn to a dvd, using this command (again, replacing the italic word with your actual file name):
makedvd -burn MyDisc.xml
When it's finished, you'll have a dvd that's playable on your computer and on all (or most) dvd players!

If you wish to make more dvd's using this guide, you'll have to delete the dvd folder that was created, and move any completed files to your completed folder, or delete it if you wish. These should be moved from the encoding directory so that tovid can encode anew with a fresh place, no left-over trash, so that it doesn't run into space problems or errors.

Official tovid website (installation/info/guides): here.

Official tovid forums (bug reports and general info/help): here.

Disclaimer: I'm not responsible for anything related to this howto. Be aware of the laws in your country.

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