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Steve W 12-04-2010 04:26 AM

Converting VOB to XVID (using ffmpeg)?
I have some VOB files taken from a DVD and I want to convert them to XVID or DIVX files. There is an existing thread on LinuxQuestions asking this question, but I have tried its suggestion and manage to convert a very poor quality copy:

I have tried the thread's suggestions on bitrate options, but still no change. Could anyone suggest a suitable command line to use with ffmpeg that would give comparable quality results to the original VOB file? I know I am inviting a rebuke of "RTFM", but the man pages of ffmpeg are rather complex to a beginner! Especially when you're only looking for one particular thing.

If anyone has any experience in video format conversion (perhaps ffmpeg is not the best utility for this purpose?), and could give advice on a suitable conversion command with higher quality than the default, I would be grateful.

I also cannot specify xvid codec as it appears not available. This site explains that this may be for legal reasons, and advocates building ffmpeg from source. Is there an easier way to enable/download the appropriate codec, once ffmpeg is installed?

Thank you for any advice you can give.


H_TeXMeX_H 12-04-2010 05:08 AM

I have written a guide on how to do it and preserve quality:

Does it have to play on a Divx DVD player ?

I recently wrote a script to do this automatically, but it's a bit experimental ATM, if you want I can post it.

I have uploaded the script to the site, it is on the page linked above.

Steve W 12-04-2010 12:05 PM

Ah, thank you. That looks very comprehensive; I shall give it a go and post back if I have any queries or difficulties. And yes, it will be playing back on a DIVX/XVID DVD player: a Philips model with a USB port on the front, so I can play stuff back direct from a flash drive and not have to write to DVD/CD first.

H_TeXMeX_H 12-04-2010 12:55 PM

Ok, I would check the manual and see if it says up to what bitrate it supports. In theory, if it is certified, the average bitrate can be up to 4000 kbps with peak of 10000. In reality, none of my players can handle that. Mine can handle maybe up to 1500 or 1600. Also see maximum resolution, because there are often restrictions. Really since you have a USB interface you can test things much more easily than I can.

Steve W 12-10-2010 05:09 AM

After having a bit of a fiddle and having trouble accessing the right libraries like libxvid and libmp3lame, I have installed an application called Avidemux, which provides a graphic interface and can convert lots of different formats from one thing to another. DivX/Xvid is one of the formats it can cope with, so with any luck, problem solved. Having run up and down the various settings available, the only thing I need to do now is pick a suitable resolution, as some of the videos I have converted so far do not play on the USB DVD player because that particular resolution is not supported.

Avidemux appears to do lots of different things with regard to editing and stuff, so hopefully I can treat it as a complete video package for future use.

Thank you for your assistance; I shall keep the link to your guide for future use.


H_TeXMeX_H 12-10-2010 10:54 AM

I recommend scaling to 640x???, this seems to work best and keeps the bitrate in bounds. I also recommend VBR, because it decreases the size of the video. However, I'm not sure if avidemux has this option.

With my script run:


xenc input.vob 5 640
and it should produce good output. In fact, I recommend comparing this to constant bitrate from avidemux.

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