Best way to copy MP4 to DVD

mr benn

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Hi all. Newbie to the site !

I want to copy some of our holiday footage to dvd, preferably including a nice Menu when it starts . The files are currently in mp4 format , and look great on my pc. But when I have tried copying them to DVD , the quality drops . I have tried Windows Movie Maker , and a couple of other freebies to no avail.
I am using Windows 7. I do have a blue ray player, but for the sake of other people watching the films, would probably rather it stay on DVD.

Any suggestions on the best way to do this please ? Id rather use free software, but would be willing to pay a small price for some software if required.

Thanks in advance.
 
DVD format is pretty low resolution for today standards, 720x480 or 720x576, so when you master a DVD, you are dropping three-quarters of your HD video.
It does not matter what software you will use - as long as yuu produce DVD playable in a player, you're limited to that resolution.

You've said you own BD player, I would invest in BD writer, and make two copies of your stuff - one archival HD quality on BD, and DVD for your friends. Most "retail" boxes of BD writers contain usable software for BD / DVD mastering
 

mr benn

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Thank you for the quick reply Alabalcho.

So the best way forward is a Blu Ray writer. Is there any that you guys would recommend. Iits only for occasional home use, so I dont need any high spec as such.
My pc is a few years old (!) , HP S5653uk , i5, 3 gig RAM , Windows 7. It currently has a DVD-RAM writer.

Thanks again


 
I can't say anything about that particular unit, but being a bare (or used) drive, there is no software coming with it, so you have to purchase an app for mastering BDs. It definitely will cost more than the drive itself.

That's why I recommended looking at "boxed" version, and checking what software package comes with it.
 

robert600

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another thought would be to use something like multiAVCHD to burn your master copy to blank DVD. - the resulting DVD would be a mini blu-ray disc and thus only be playable on a Blu-Ray player (that supports AVCHD - most do I believe).
 

mr benn

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Having looked on my BluRay player, it doesnt seem to play mp4 files ?
have tried just copying a mp4 file to a DVD and the player didnt seem to recognise it. . I have looked at my manual and it says mp3 , but doesnt mention mp4 . Its a Panasonic DMP BD75

My logic was to buy the bluray writer off ebay , and then get some free bluray burning software, that is okay - preferably free. Arent there any out there ?

Albalcho - I have looked at some boxed writers, and they are really going above my budget . I cant really justify £70 on something Im not going to use that often.

Robert - can you please just explain your method of copying the files to my current dvd player ? Will it be of a lot higher quality ? Thanks

Thanks again for the replies guys.
 

robert600

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burning software? - ImgBurn is excellent and free!

Yes - turning a blank dvd into a mini blu-ray allows for much higher quality. 1080 p is no problem. Check your player to see if it plays AVCHD - I'm amazed it won't play mp4s but then I had heard that Panasonic were amongst the pickiest in terms of accepted formats.

If it will play AVCHD - download MultiAVCHD and give it a try - it's freeware and I remember it as working very well. It allows for menu whereby the viewer can choose which movie they want to watch - assuming you have more than 1 on the same disc. I have to admit, I haven't used this software in quite some time.
 

robert600

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Just had a quick look at the specs of your BR player - it does support AVCHD format so .... you're good to go! If you have trouble with MultiAVCHD let me know and I'll try to help. Just remember that formatting a blank DVD to AVCHD doesn't change the capacity of the disc so .... if you're burning a single sided DVD the file can't exceed 4.33 GB. A dual layer blank would be about twice that.
 

mr benn

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Many thanks Robert that sounds great . I will give it a go , and report back.
I hope some of this advice may help others as well .
 

robert600

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ok ... sounds good - nice that the cost of doing it this way is zero - you prob know this stuff already but i thought i would mention:

encoding videos is one of the most cpu intensive tasks that there is so ... if you're like me and use a laptop - put it in the coolest spot you can find in your house (I use the basement for my encoding endeavors and i use a cooling pad), and ... turn off as much stuff as possible including your internet connection (i really don't want to know about Windows updates etc. when the cpu is busy running at 100%.
You've got me thinking about those old AVCHD dvd disks I made - I've only ever played them back using my standalone blu ray player which works great (my friend plays them on a PS3). Just out of curiousity I will try them in one of my laptops internal dvd burners and see if 'potplayer' can play them.
Ok ... I just did that --- it works great - so .... a blu ray player is not required for an AVCHD disk (I had no idea that would work - so cool) - a computers dvd player will work but .... i don't think a standalone dvd player would be able to do it but then, I'm out of touch with the capabilities of the dvd players they make these days - I switched to blu ray some time ago and have never looked back.
 

robert600

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ok ... fooling around with my old AVCHD discs - I'm thinking I might have mislead you a bit by saying 'potplayer' or 'mpc' can play them in my laptops dvd burner.

They do play just fine when there is only 1 movie - direct potplayer to the disk and the movie plays fine - no problem.
But but but ... when I put in an AVCHD disc with more than movie - all it does is play the 1st movie - it bypasses the menu screen (it also does this with hollywood type movies). Now .... I can get it to 'play' the menu by manually selecting that file from the disc structure but .... with the menu on the screen, none of the keyboard keys or mouse can actually activate the items on the menu screen - do you know what I mean? So that makes the menu quite useless. Now ... all the movies can still be played by manually selecting the correct file in the the disc's folders but that's not too convenient.

So .... long story short, since you are making a menu to access more than one video file - after you burn your AVCHD disc - test it with your blu ray player not your computer - your player's remote will be able to control the menu screen just as it can the menu of a commercial disc.
 

robert600

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I do actually have 2 'commercial' software blu-ray players. One 'Aiseesoft' or something like that - accesses the menu screen but it changes it somehow and makes it difficult (hard to explain all that) There may be a way to change this in the settings but ... I can't be arsed lol.
The other 'Cyberlink PowerDVD' works perfectly. The proper menu comes right up and the arrow keys navigate the movie titles and enter selects whichever one you choose to play. I'm saying this for your imterest only - I'm not for a minute suggesting you buy this software - I have no idea how i ended up with it lol.
Anyway .... let me know how your disc burning goes.
 

mr benn

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Thanks Robert, I have installed MultiAVCHD , and read a good tutorial on it.

But, when I try and make a disk, it keeps coming up a message "avs4x264.exe has stopped working".

It has written some files onto the disk using Imgburn , creating 2 folders :bdmv hdavctn. But nothing plays when i insert the disk .
 

robert600

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ok ... I am a bit confused by your message. I remember this as being a 2-step process. Stage 1 being to use MultiAVCHD to create menu and encode movies and create disc file structure - writing this to a folder on the hard drive. Closing MultiAVCHD and then ...

Stage 2 being, burning that file structure to a dvd blank - using image burn.
From your message - are you combining this into 1 step and writing straight to your burner from MultiAVCHD through ImgBurn somehow?

Assuming you are doing 2 step process: when do you get message - when MultiAVCD is running or when ImgBurn is running?

Ok ... if you have those folders on hard drive (if not - use folders on burnt disc) can you navigate to bdmv and open the stream subfolder .... in there should be your encoded videos and menu etc.... if there are files there - try playing 00000.m2ts file (you need something better than windows media player (use potplayer or mpc or something similar). This should be the 1st of the movies you've told MultiAVCHD to encode. If it plays .... how does it look?

oh ... and when you ran ImgBurn (again assuming you ran it separately) did you set it to UDF 2.50? I believe this is only file system stand alone players can read (i may be wrong about this). In the options tab:
DATA TYPE: Mode1/2048
FILE SYSTEM: UDF
REVISION: 2.50
 

mr benn

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I was originally trying to just do a one-step, and write the dvd in one go, (using imgburn). So I clicke don start, then selected 'avchd for optical media' - avchd strict (as my blu ray is Panasonic). It then starts , but quickly comes up woth the message about avs4x264.exe stopped working. I have tried clicking cancel or close that pop up window, and it does seem to carry on. (tho i noticed in the window on the right hand side it said 'transcoding failed' ) . It still continued to write to the DVD.
Now, the strange bit . When i first looked on my DVD there were files in the Stream folder, and it played the 0000 file okay.
But when I have just tried it again , the Stream folder is empty. (so not sure what I did before ?! )

Thanks for your help , and Im trying to hang in there and crack this - as long as this software is also good for editing the original mp4 files as i go along ?


 

robert600

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ok .... I have never (that i recall) done the 'avchd for optical media' or the avchd strict so we're in uncharted waters here lol. Transcoding failed sure doesn't sound good though.

'it played the 0000 file ok' .... ok covers a lot of territory. Do you mean it played it and it looked just ok or .... do you mean ok, it played it and it looked great (1080p).

As for the Stream Folder appearing empty - this is very weird - I mean if the file was there at one point, I don't see how it could disappear - it's like burned to the disc and can't be erased - ummm you aren't using rewritable discs are you?

"as long as this software" statement - oh oh - I'm not sure what you mean by this? Do you mean you want to edit the movie clips after you have converted them to AVCHD??? Please explain what is meant here.

I'm wondering if the best next step forward would be to use AVCHD to transcode only a single video clip (maybe the shortest one you're using) not bothering with a menu and .... have it write the output to your hard drive (saves burning a bunch of experimental dvds). Then see if it will play using potplayer or whatever player you like to use on the computer. Does that sound like a good plan? I'm optimistic we can figure this out.

 

mr benn

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Yes I am using a dvd rw disk , to save wasting any disks whilst i try this method.

By editing files , what i mean is that if i have 6 x mp4 files from my holiday, and i want to trim off bits off each of them. Do i do this using multiAVCHD. Or do i first use , say, Windows Movie Maker, to edit the file, then save it to mp4.

So this is what i have tried today , with as many settings that I have changed .

Step 1 Selected 1 mp4 file, click on 'fits all' , 1 pass insane (just for speed of testing),
Authour : creat top menu , changed to PAL (as im in the UK)
Menu: if click on preview menu , it shows it ok on screen.
Settings : ticked 64 , as Im running windows 7 64 bit.
Destination : folder on my pc
Clicked start - wasnt sure what you use, so i tried under 'solid media' , 1080p 60fps
The message about " avs4x264.exe stopped working" keeps popping up, so i cancel the message
Finished : This has written a file in the stream folder, that played as nearly as good quality as my mp4 file. (good start then ! ? )

Step2 I then tried the same method above, but at the start I added another file. When i clicked in 'fit all' both turn green colour in the bottom box .
It has now written 2 files into tthe stream folder. 00000.mts and 00001.mts Both which play almost as good quality as my mp4 files,

Step 3
I then tried to burn to the DVD all in one go from Multiavchd , y selecting AVCHD under the optical header menu , and it did write to the disk , but there was nothing in the Stream folder.

So step2 shows i have outputted 2 files, but i dont know if its made a menu to go with them ? If it has, then how do i copy all those onto a dvd , using imgburn ?
I have kept a copy of all the script that came out when doing step 2, but didnt want to swamp this thread with it, and cant see any attachment link on here.

Cheers.






 

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