Saturday, December 04, 2004

dvd authoring

I've been doing something fun with my (not yet completed) PVR. I've already filled the disk with lots of video from around the world, and I need to free up some space. So I started looking into the process of authoring DVDs. It's easy enough to write a data disk but I thought that I'd explore the DVD aspect since it's nice to be able to show some of my collection to people without the lovely Mplayer. So enter dvdauthor. This is another stunning piece of open source work. There's so much functionality there that is not really expressed in the docs. There's good info on how to do some of the basic things but nothing that addressed one of my pet peeves of many DVDs.

I like to put on a DVD of a TV series and run through a couple of episodes in a row. Star Trek is my counter-example, they do the worst job of making usable menus. We're given an episode selection, then an episode submenu. When the episode is over, it jumps back to the submenu. Warner Bros has a lot more experience with DVDs and their users so Babylon 5 does this perfectly. After every episode, it rolls to the next. They also allow you to jump to a specific epidsode and have some bonus features available on the episode submenu. This is what I want my DVD's to do, but I couldn't find the info anywhere.

After thinking through the problem and trying a couple of different solutions, this is a two episode example of what I settled on:

<dvdauthor dest="DVD">
<video format="ntsc"></video>
<pgc entry="title">
<button>{ g0=0; jump title 1 ; }</button>
<button>{ g0=0; jump title 2 ; }</button>
<button>{ g0=1; jump title 1 ; }</button> <!-- play all -->
<vob file="menu_final.mpg" />
jump cell 1;

<video aspect="16:9"/>
<vob file="ep1.mpg"/>
<post>if (g0==1) {jump title 2;} else {call vmgm menu;}</post>
<vob file="ep2.mpg"/>
<post>call vmgm menu;</post>

The long and the short of it is that it works. If either of my readers have a better way, please leave me a comment.


At 1:54 PM, Blogger robert said...

I'm actually using DVDAuthor for a big project here. Remind me to tell you about it.

Robert S.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Roberto Iza said...

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