Creating a DVD from a video file

[James Dyer] : Dec 26, 2022 : 555 words
linux open-source 🏷️ vhs dvd 2022

This year I have been starting to archive anything of interest from the family VHS collection. There are certainly slim pickings and it is difficult to find anything when most of the 200+ videos contains either a western or a Dire Straits concert!

But I did find a film that my mum loves and she really doesn’t want to lose, so what better way than to burn a captured video file to DVD and what better way than to use free and open software on linux to achieve this. (I will go into how I captured the video at a later date)

I have an mp4 file of 2.5G and went straight to a program I was moderately familiar with, and that is k3b

K3b is a full-featured CD/DVD/Blu-ray burning and ripping application.

In the past I have utilised it to rip and burn CDs but never DVDs, but I am aware it has this functionality. However in this case I was really starting to struggle to figure out how to do this. In k3b I selected a Video DVD project, dragged and dropped my video file and then just burnt hoping that my DVD would be created. But nothing really happened.

It then started to dawn on me that in the past I have created DVDs using paid propriety products, namely things like Cyberlink PowerDVD and I suspect they perform some other processing on my basic video file before performing the burn.

A basic Video DVD project in k3b contained two folders that had been automatically created:

On further investigation through the k3b documentation it states the following:

Create Video DVDs

The creation of data DVDs is handled in the same manner that audio CDs is done. These types of DVDs are good for data backup. If you are wanting to create a Video DVD, the steps are a bit different. First of all you will have to have your Video files ready. K3B does well with DVD projects that have been split into the AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS directories that programs like DeVeDe can create. When you have your project files/directories created you can then create your Video DVD following these steps…

Aha!, so in fact I need to convert my mp4 file to a DVD ready format through DeVeDe! Not obvious, but ok. This software is in the official arch repositories, so I download, run up, create a Video DVD project, drag and drop the mp4 and just navigate through the next steps to generate files into an AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folder.

By default Devede creates an output movie folder in your home directory and the AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders are located in the dvd_tree subdirectory. Presumably the other folders are for a more complicated DVD setup including menu functionality, but this will be a simple present and I’m not interested in anything fancy I just want a film to be played on a DVD player.

So the final step is to go back to k3b, continue with a Video DVD project and drag and drop the AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folders generated by Devede straight in to the equivalent auto created directories and then burn to disk following the steps as instructed.

It worked!, I tested it on a couple of DVD players and the video file has now been successfully deployed, yay!