View Full Version : Issues with DVD Workshop

04-28-2003, 10:48 AM
I was going along being fat, dumb, and happy with SpruceUp until I got the bug to start archiving my favorite shows without commercials. I've tried both TyStudio and TyTool6r3 with GOPEditor. TyStudio still has a lot of issues that indicate it is far from being ready to use, IMO. It has to reindex a file every time you load up a ty file and crashes on me constantly. The resultantant elemental streams are way out of synch so I am unable to use them with SpruceUp.

TyTool6r3 and GOPEditor seem to be working just fine. I've been a long-time supporter of jdiner and I always seem to keep coming back to his programs. I've been able to extract and edit out commercials with no losss of audio sync and the interface is faster and easier to use than TyStudio. My real issue is with the use of DVD Workshop. I haven't tried MovieFactory yet but I may give it a shot if I can't get the DVDWS issues resolved. Here's a list of the problems I'm having with DVDWS:

1. Importing videos into DVDWS - I realize this is a function of the program and that everyone has to deal with it. It doesn't take any longer than importing an elemental stream into SpruceUP so I don't have a problem with the initial importing of the program. What I don't like is the fact that it has to relink with the mpeg files every time I open up a project that was previously saved. This can sometimes take almost as long as the initial importing process.

2. The length of the video clips doesn't always agree with the actual length of the segment. This is a problem when trying to insert chapter stops because the indicated duration is usually shorter than the actual program time. DVDWS won't allow me to add chapter stops beyond the point where it thinks the program actually ends.

3. I constantly get the error message "Some chapter entry frame numbers exceed the total frames" when trying to compile the project to a VIDEO_TS file. The program simply stops dead with no indication of where the error actually occurred. I can usually see where the problem is by looking at the VOB files in the VIDEO_TS folder. The problem is, I don't know if the error occurred as a result of the video clip that was just processed or if it choked on the next segment it was about to process. I think it's directly related to my 2nd comment above. I think that TMPGEnc isn't rewriting the headers correctly to reflect the new size of the output mpg file. It's like the old frame numbers are being retained resulting in frame numbers higher than the actual frame count for the edited segment. I'm using TMPGEnc version

Do I need a different version of TMPGEnc? If so, which one?

Is there any sort of workaround or process to avoid the frame number vs. total frames error?

4. Sometimes the program locks up and the only way to get out of it is to use task manager to terminate the program. I usually have to reimport everything when I open the project again.

So far I have only been able to author one DVD with multiple shows (Children of Dune miniseries) using DVDWS, and it took me many, many tries to get it to work. I've followed Pr. Sinister's procedure to the "T" and still have the aforementioned issues. Any insights or recommendations would be greatly appreciated. I'm starting to run out of storage space on my drives and I need to start offloading some shows to DVD ASAP.

04-28-2003, 11:39 AM
I also find a sync issue with tystudio. The index speed issue can be handled if you don't copy to the PC first.

Why don't you just use Spruce Up. It seems to work well for you and the patch means you don't have use DVD Patcher first?

I am progressing from IFOEDIT and can't really see a reason not to use Spruce Up. Am I missing something?

04-28-2003, 12:47 PM
Because of the synch issue with TyStudio, I can't use the elemental streams it produces with SpruceUp. I can still use SpruceUp if I don't want to edit the commercials but that's the whole point of this thread. I want to be able to author ty files to DVD that have been edited. TyTool6r3 doesn't produce the elemental streams that SpruceUp requires so SpruceUp is unfortunately not an option in this situation. DVD Workshop requires mpg files which TyTool does generate. Unless Olaf & Co. can get the synch issues fixed with TyStudio, I'm forced to use DVD Workshop, DVD MovieFactory, or some other authoring tool that requires mpeg files to work with. I haven't tried any of the other programs like DVDiT and I haven't played around with MovieFactory yet so I still have other options if I can't get DVDWS to work on a regular basis.

04-28-2003, 12:51 PM
I've been griping about DVD workshop for months when importing 480x480 files. Patching the header to 352 somehow moves the chapter points around. I've been bugging Ulead for a patch to turn off the re-compiling of "non-compliant files" or a way to enable the custom frame size feature to allow me to import 480 files directly without re-encoding the video. Ulead tech support just sucks.

04-28-2003, 01:01 PM
Why can't you demux the mpg file from tytools to elemental streams and then use it with Spruce Up?

Just started playing with Spruce Up and not looking to waste time if it won't work.

Originally posted by captain_video
Because of the synch issue with TyStudio, I can't use the elemental streams it produces with SpruceUp. I can still use SpruceUp if I don't want to edit the commercials but that's the whole point of this thread. I want to be able to author ty files to DVD that have been edited. TyTool6r3 doesn't produce the elemental streams that SpruceUp requires so SpruceUp is unfortunately not an option in this situation. DVD Workshop requires mpg files which TyTool does generate. Unless Olaf & Co. can get the synch issues fixed with TyStudio, I'm forced to use DVD Workshop, DVD MovieFactory, or some other authoring tool that requires mpeg files to work with. I haven't tried any of the other programs like DVDiT and I haven't played around with MovieFactory yet so I still have other options if I can't get DVDWS to work on a regular basis.

04-28-2003, 05:36 PM
Why can't you demux the mpg file from tytools to elemental streams and then use it with Spruce Up?

Nice idea in theory but in reality it doesn't want to work that way. SpruceUp will take the elemental streams produced by either tydemux or tysplit but it won't accept the demuxed elements from an mpeg file. I've tried importing demuxed files back into SpruceUp but I get GOP temporal reference errors right off the bat. It just doesn't like them.

SpruceUp's great if you want to create a 1st play movie similar to IFOEdit or if you want to add menus and chapters without any editing involved. If you want to just compile a few shows to a single DVD then it's a simple matter of adding chapter stops at the end of the commercial breaks. When a commercial kicks in, simply hit the chapter skip button on your remote and the DVD player will jump right past the commercial to the beginning of the next show segment.

My problem is that I have a large number of episodes of several series' that I want to archive to DVD. Due to the large number of episodes (180 for Seinfeld and 110 for Babylon 5), I can drastically cut down on the number of DVDs required to compile the sets if I eliminate the commercials. I've been making copies of the Seinfeld series for several other people and it is extremely time consuming to copy 30 DVDs at a clip. If I can add 9 or 10 episodes to a single DVD as opposed to 6 then I can reduce the number of discs by at least one-third.

04-28-2003, 06:49 PM
I only tried once and got the GOP errors, I thought i was doing something wrong.

I guess we'll have to wait for a new release from either Josh or Olaf. Someone posted a guide using mpeg2vcr. It's supposed to work well but it's not cheap.

Originally posted by captain_video
Nice idea in theory but in reality it doesn't want to work that way. SpruceUp will take the elemental streams produced by either tydemux or tysplit but it won't accept the demuxed elements from an mpeg file. I've tried importing demuxed files back into SpruceUp but I get GOP temporal reference errors right off the bat. It just doesn't like them.


04-28-2003, 08:25 PM
Someone posted a guide using mpeg2vcr. It's supposed to work well but it's not cheap.

That's because you're not looking in the right places. You can actually download it from Womble's website without paying for it. You have to pay to get the activation key. A little web searching and perseverence may reward your efforts, but you didn't hear that from me. Besides, everything I'm hearing about mpeg2vcr is that it only works with SA Tivo streams, at least as far as the GOP fixer is concerned. It's not supposed to work on DTivo tystreams.

04-28-2003, 11:04 PM
Why can't you demux the mpg file from tytools to elemental streams and then use it with Spruce Up?

I don't seem to have any of these issues with SpruceUp or dvdIT PE or DVDMaestro. Audio synch works on mine BUT i can't seem to get a good DVD burn in the right rez at all, comes out centered on tv 480X480.. Seems to be that way no matter what options i save tystudio files in.. Funny how i read of audio synch, gop, problems which i don't have and read nothing on rez problem that i do have? I guess thats why its called testing, been testing ty studio files in CCE, nice results but nothing workable yet in DVD format....Weird too, on a few files that worked, i saw something telling me that dvd would work on pc-dvd p;ayer and not stand alone, another new problem i guess...

04-29-2003, 01:23 AM
Captain Video - I'm a lurker generally... thanks for the excellent posts, hopefully I can return the favor.

Excellent writeup of the problems. I too have been a spruceup, chapters after the commercials, kind of guy and wanted to put these new tools through the paces. My source is DTivo.

I previously put Tytool/Gopeditor through the paces, but with older versions. At the time (and I don't know if it is fixed) a demux/mux step was required that caused me to abandon this. I had some experience with DVD MF (not Workshop) during this previous session.

So last weekend I put, TyStudio Beta 1 and 2, mpeg2vcr and dvdlab to the test (along with DVD MF again).

Now I've got to say, I really like SpruceUp and if these tools worked without the Gop errors, temporal reference problems then I'd be there. I found TyStudio Beta 1 actually worked with Spruceup 30% of the time. I couldn't get Beta 2 and spruce to work at all.

I need chapters and this rules out DVD MF. The chapters take FOREVER to set and they never end up where they are supposed to be.. the comments about these being calculated incorrectly because of patched headers makes sense, but doesn't solve the problem DVD MF is to me a last resort now.

I saw posts of mpeg2vcr and there are a number of replay users using this tool. There is actually a groundswell support for getting a group discount of tivo/replay users... see http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=237874

OK so mpeg2vcr's GOP fix tool provided some great progress. At first I was hoping that this could be used to get Spruceup working.. nope. But I did get DVDLab to work without sync problems.. put not on everything.. and I can predict when it will work and when it won't.

So there are problems with the GOP fix function... it truncates the output, but I figured out a work around for this too... The amount missing is related to the size of the mpg (try to gop fix a small file and only a small truncation occurs). I use TmpegEnc's Cut function and create a second mpg that is just the portion of the original that got is missing. I then run this second (tail) mpg through mpeg2vcr's gop fix on its own, merge the two gop fixed mpegs (w/ TmpegEnc) and then run gopfix one more time on the merged output (which will have only type 1 errors). You can easily make the second (tail) mpg just be the last portion of a show after the last commercial and in the merge of the two gopfixed mpgs just trim the first (head) mpg to stop before the last commercial break.

So all these steps are a pain and I found them with trial and error but the result is imported into dvdlab, which will demux them and I can set chapter points.. There is never any patching of headers with DVDPatcher.

Now DVDlab when it imports and demuxs the merged gopfixed mpg will identify it as SVCD or 2-3 pulldown. If it identifies the mpeg as SVCD then there is NO audio sync problems, if it says 2-3 pulldown then there is. I have no way to predict when the detection will be one or the other, but I have no sync problems when SVCD is detected.

Needless to say, while I don't think I'll use this "process" to author DVD's now... I can see that DVDLab may be the better tool than Spruceup or DVD MF. Since DVDLab, Tytool and TyStudio are all actively being developed by "friendly" (as opposed to corporate) developers, I have hopes that these developers may solve the barriers to solve this.

Hope this helps...


04-29-2003, 07:58 AM
Mpeg2vcr has been used by Replay owners for quite some time (i.e. several years). The Replay units record video streams that are a perfect match for mpeg2vcr. My original Replay recorded the audio at 32kHz and had to be transcoded just like the SA Tivos. Replay upgraded their 4000 series units so that they would record audio at 48kHz and require no transcoding. I had originally planned on using my Replay units for extracting videos and editing with mpeg2vcr until I discovered the world of DTivos. Needless to say, once I switched over I never looked back. If Replay ever developed a DTV PVR then they would have had a clear winner, IMO.

I haven't had a chance to check out DVDLab yet but it certainly looks promising. Everything I've seen so far indicates that it is not yet compatible with Tivo ty streams so I'm in a "wait and see" mode with DVDLab. I went abck and tried TyStudio again to compile a 5-episode DVD of Babylon 5 episodes. I can't tell yet if there's a sync issue as I haven't had a chance to preview the shows I processed last night.

One weird thing I've found with TyStudio elemental streams when imported into SpruceUp is that sometimes there seems to be an "invisible barrier" beyond which you cannot set a chapter stop in a processed file (i.e. edited). I noticed this once before when I tried authoring a 2-hour episode of Children of Dune. If I select the clip properties in SpruceUp and then adavance the slider beyond this barrier point and hit play, I get no audio. However, if I move the slider to a point just prior to this barrier and let it play, it will play right through the barrier point and continue on with full audio. If I try to set a chapter beyond this point, the red chapter flag will snap back to the barrier point and won't let me move it to the right.

One thing I've found with SpruceUp is that it's the most versatile authoring tool available without a lot of frills. Once you import a clip, you can save the project and close the program and open the clip right back up with no wait. It's amazing what this program can do with a little imagination. I was able to set up a menu with multiple windows that displayed the title of each episode taken from captured frames in the video clips just like DVDWS. I have yet to find a program that's as easy to use when setting up chapters.

The more I use DVD Workshop, the less I like it. It's painfully slow and reminds me of something that Microsoft would have dumped on the market. There's a lot of fluff without a lot of substance. I would never use 90% of the features it has since I have no interest in capturing video from a camcorder at this point in time. I'll probably use it from time to time for longer programs that I want to archive since TyStudio seems to have synch issues more with long programs than short ones.

04-29-2003, 03:11 PM
I agree on DVD MF... waste of time, waste of money.

But you should give DVDLab a shot, I like it better than SpruceUp, it is very simple and can do things that Spruce can't (like have the end of one episode automatically go to the start of the next episode or go back to the title menu (like spruce))

The trick right now with DTivo streams and DVDLab appears to be scrubbing everything through the Gopfix function in mpeg2vcr...

There is still a sync issue in 2-3 pulldown recognized content, but the standard 480x480 (which is recognized as SVCD) content works well. (Well at least for 2 DVDs so far :-)


05-02-2003, 10:24 AM
I've spent the last week trying to author a 5-episode DVD of edited Babylon 5 episodes using both TyStudio and TyTool/GOPEditor. TyStudio was working fine, up to a point, but I discovered that every episode eventually started losing sync around the last one or two cut segments. The sync wasn't off by much but just enough to be noticeable and definitely annoying. This occurred with each and every 1-hour episode I edited using TyStudio.

I went back to DVD Workshop with TyTool and I have started making some progress. Part of my problem was that some clips would have an enormous amount of bad packets when run through TMPGEnc for re-muxing. I'm not sure what the resolution is for this other than using a different ty file which, unfortunately, isn't always an option. I also ran into a problem where DVDWS completely locked up during the compile process. As it turned out, one of the clips wasn't patched properly even though it showed up as 352X480 @ 3.5MBit in DVD Patcher. I repatched it and it worked fine after that.

I've found that I can import the clips and compile them one at a time and test them in PowerDVD while leaving DVDWS open in the background. This prevents me from having to reimport and relink the clips every time I open DVDWS back up. If I find that one of the clips isn't liked by DVDWS, I just re-edit it in GOPEditor and TYTool, remux it in TMPGEnc and then go back to the capture screen in DVDWS where I get a message indicating that the mpeg file has changed. I just re-link to the new file and continue on without having to reimport or relink any of the other files.

So far, using any authoring software with edited ty files has proven to be a labor and time intensive task. I found that I had to patch the entire files back to 480X480 @ 15MBit instead of just the 1st VOB header. The individual clips would display a momentary glitch due to the patched header at 352X480 at the beginning of each segment. One thing I dislike in DVDWS is that it runs all of the clips together into one set of VOB files instead of compiling separate VOB files for each clip like in SpruceUp. This causes the clips to play from beginning to end in succession. I like having the DVD return to the menu after playing a selected clip instead of being forced to manually intervene and terminate playback.

05-02-2003, 07:20 PM
Originally posted by captain_video
I've found that I can import the clips and compile them one at a time and test them in PowerDVD while leaving DVDWS open in the background. This prevents me from having to reimport and relink the clips every time I open DVDWS back up. If I find that one of the clips isn't liked by DVDWS, I just re-edit it in GOPEditor and TYTool, remux it in TMPGEnc and then go back to the capture screen in DVDWS where I get a message indicating that the mpeg file has changed. I just re-link to the new file and continue on without having to reimport or relink any of the other files.

Actually my fellow peeps :) If you run it through TMPGENC,(source audio and video = mpg generated by TyStudio) I guarantee you will be happy.

I know it takes longer but something TMPG does fixes the problems you are experiencing.

Try it, what the hell , right?

05-03-2003, 11:57 AM
Actually my fellow peeps If you run it through TMPGENC,(source audio and video = mpg generated by TyStudio) I guarantee you will be happy.

If you reread the previous post you'll see that I already run it through TMPGEnc. While it may fix some of the sync issues, especially if there are cuts made in the middle of the clip (and all of mine have them), it can't fix a bad tystream that is seriously whacked. I've had some streams that indicated over 39,000 bad packets when remuxed with TMPGEnc and had audio sync off by several full seconds. I couldn't even run the ty file through TyStudio without getting a wide GOP gap error every time, even after relocating the cut points numerous times.

I've found a workaround that allowed me to burn a DVD using the aforementioned bad ty file and still maintained perfect synch throughout. I authored a DVD with 5 one-hour episodes of Babylon 5 but the one episode just wouldn't cooperate until I tried the following fix. Here's what I did:

1. I edited the four good episodes as I usually do using TyTool6r3 and GOPEditor. I remuxed them with TMPGEnc to fix any potential synch problems and then patched the 1st header to 352x480 @ 3.5MBit.

2. I edited the bad episode by cutting each unwanted segment (i.e. lead-in, lead-out, and commercials) from the ty file, leaving me with six individual mpeg files which I labeled as a thru f.

3. I imported the video files for the four good episodes as well as the six mpegs for the 5th episode.

4. I created an opening splash page with a button linked to an episode menu.

5. I created an episode menu with thumbnails of the title screen from each episode linked to the 1st chapter of each episode clip.

6. For the episode with the six mpegs, I created a submenu with chapter buttons linked to each of the individual mpegs. In the Edit screen, I scrolled to each of the six mpegs and right-clicked in the title selector window and selected the After Play option as Next Title for the first 5 mpegs. For the sixth mpeg I selected the Last Menu option. The Last Menu option is the default setting and causes the DVD to return to the episode menu following the completion of any clip playback. By selecting the Next Title option, the clip will proceed to the next mpeg in the series until it finishes the final clip, whereupon it returns to the chapter menu I created. I also added a return button on the chapter menu that is linked to the main episode menu so I can return to the episode list by selecting it.

7. I've been patching all of the VOB files in their entirety to 480x480 @ 15MBit. I have noticed minor glitches at the beginning of each clip where the 1st header had previously been patched to 352x480 @3.5MBit. Since DVDWS compiles the entire project as a continuous set of VOB files, the patched headers end up scattered all throughout the compilation when burning multiple shows on a single DVD so it just seems to make sencse to repatch the entire file to keep it consistent throughout.

The episode with the six mpegs does have a slight, but tolerable, stuttering at the beginning of one or two of the clips but quickly settles out before any dialogue begins. The clips remained in perfect synch throughout each clip and all transitioned flawlessly to the next segment as if they were one entire mpeg file.

05-04-2003, 03:55 PM
I tried authoring anothor 5-episode DVD of Babylon 5 today and everything was looking good. All of my episodes were processing with no errors and I thought I was going to finally get through one DVD without a problem. That is, until one of my episodes wouldn't import into DVDWS. I could tell it was going to be a problem when I tried to import it because the hard drive activity light on my CPU case usually comes on solid until the file has finished importing. This time it kept flickering on and off until it finally came on solid but then it shut off shortly thereafter and presented me with an error message ("File XXXXX contains no video". This was weird because I had already played the file in PowerDVD without a problem.

I tried processing the entire file from scratch and even tried a different ty file of the same video clip with no luck. I thought that maybe the file was sitting on some bad clusters so I processed it from scratch in another partition with the same results. Finally, I processed the same ty file using TyStudio and output it as a generic mpeg file. This time it imported without a problem. I also noticed that it imported almost immediately instead of taking several minutes as with the other files I processed using TyTool. The file also appeared to remain in synch throughout instead of gradually drifting as with other files processed in TyStudio.

This was the first time I had processed a file in TyStudio as a generic mpeg instead of elemental streams so perhaps that has something to do with the synch problems I had been seeing in the past. This would be a great find if it works with all files since the import time into DVDWS had been taking anywhere from 10-20 minutes for 5 episodes.

05-08-2003, 08:50 PM
CV I thought you had been using TyStudio. I have had great success with it. I found to get it to look right I still had to smooth it out with TMPEG. I would be curious on your results.

Sorry about the misread on the previous post.

05-09-2003, 12:56 AM
just a sidenote.. mpeg2vcr gop fixer does indeed work with dtivo streams. i use it when i get a file that gives me that damn "mpeg stream is not compatible with this dvd engine" error in dvdmf. i usually use tmpegenc, but have to go to mpeg2vcr if i get that error.


05-09-2003, 10:05 AM
Lately I've been switching back and forth between both TyStudio and TyTool/GOPEditor. I've found that TyStudio is faster until it decides to start crashing on me repeatedly. If I reboot the PC (using Windows 2K) it seems to clear out the cobwebs and everything is copacetic once again. As long as I don't keep getting large gaps between GOPs at my cut points, TyStudio works great work on shows of 1 hour duration or less. I use TyTool for anything longer than that to ensure the audio remains in synch. However, there's always that problematic clip that has GOP gaps no matter where you place the cut points. Since I don't like cutting out parts of the actual program just to get the file to process I'll use TyTool instead. I've found that a sort of synergy seems to exist between the two programs. If one can't process a file then the other one will.

I've also made my peace with DVDWS. I've pretty much given up on using SpruceUp with any of my edited files with only a few exceptions. I guess it just took time for me to get used to the DVDWS interface and the quirks involved with importing non-standard mpeg files. I still find the import times and all of the extra processing steps for edited files extremely annoying and time consuming but I'll have to live with it if I want edited files. I haven't tried using mpeg2vcr for fixing GOP errors yet because I've been able to get around the problem by switching over to the other editing suite if I run into a problem with GOP errors.

My next little project involves reauthoring the Babylon 5 series to fit more episodes on a DVD. Instead of leaving the lead-in narrative and opening credits in every episode I'm going to try using the opening clip as a motion menu in DVDWS with a button to skip the intro and jump right to the episode menu. I figure I can trim about 150MB off each DVD by doing this, allowing me just enough space to squeeze an extra episode onto the disc. The intro is the same for every episode within the same 22-episode season but changes with every season. I've already edited the intro clips for the first two seasons and intend to insert them into compilations with the season-specific episodes.

I'm also in the process of archiving the entire 180 episodes of Seinfeld and editing out the commercials. I just installed a new 120GB drive in my PC for extracting and authoring ty files and I've only got about 5GB of free space left on it after extracting most, but not all, of my current recordings from the DTivo. This is in addition to a 60GB drive that was already in the PC and is also almost maxed out. Once I dump the original ty files off the drive I'll reclaim oodles of space but I want to check my edited mpegs first to make sure they're OK. I've also got several movies I need to transfer to DVD so that should free up a bit of space. I just about went blind last night editing about 24 B5 episodes plus four B5 2-hour movies. I've still got a ton of Seinfelds to edit. If I get a chance I may actually try burning some DVDs.

05-09-2003, 12:20 PM

As the technology and process for extracting, editing and burning DVD's seems to morph on a weekly if not daily basis, is it possible for you to outline the steps your currently implementing to obtain the edited Babylon 5 episodes you refer to. A further request would be for some finite details such as when using certain programs the settings you are having the best luck with (i.e. TyStudio you should output video to elemental and 48k audio ect) Iíve read till my eyes bleed mostly from trying to keep up with the what works and what doesn't. Ideally a weekly column sticky of the "Tricks of the Week' that has made the process workable for all to see would be amazing. Your consideration would be greatly appreciated.


05-09-2003, 01:40 PM
Well for starters, I don't really think it matters much which extraction method you use except that it seems that extracting in ty format is the most widely used method and a necessity if you plan on editing the files. The current extraction methods are:

1. TyTool6r3 and GOPEditor

2. mfsstream via Tivoweb with web module 0.98

3. mfs_ftp

4. TyStudio with tyserver and tyindexer.

All of these tools require that you install and set permissions on one or more files on the Tivo itself and are used in conjunction with a companion application at the PC end. The script on the Tivo is usually initiated manually but sometimes runs continuously in the background on the Tivo itself. The application at the PC end is then initiated and communication is established. The desired files on the Tivo are selected and then transferred to the PC. The individual methods are outlined in greater detail in threads dedicated to each of them so I won't go into any more detail about them here.

There are basically two different types of DVD authoring programs that can use extracted ty files. One type uses the elemental audio and video (i.e. m2a and m2v) streams that are split out from the raw ty file. This includes SpruceUp, DVD Maestro, and IFOEdit. IFOEdit is the most basic no-frills program used for authoring DVDs. SpruceUp is a step above and provides the capability of adding menus and chapters for a more finished product. Maestro is a full-blown professional DVD authoring program but it requires that you create your menu backgrounds and buttons in PhotoShop and import them separately. Elemental streams are produced using tysplit mode or the Parse Files feature in TyTool or olaf's tydemux utility (either the standalone version or as part of TyStudio).

The 2nd group of authoring programs use multiplexed mpeg files. These are produced by both TyStudio and TyTool6r3 with GOP Editor. The files can either be edited first or processed without editing to get a muxed file as an output. TyStudio will output the file with an *.mpg extension whereas TyTool6r3 will generate two files that may appear to be elemental streams (i.e. m2a and m2v files) when in reality the m2a file is empty and the m2v file is actually an mpeg file. You can simply rename the m2v file with an mpg extension. Note that TyStudio still has some serious audio synch issues when used on large files.

Files that have been edited using GOPEditor should be remuxed using TMPGEnc if there were any cuts made in the middle of the file to ensure audio remains in synch. If you only make cuts at the beginning and the end to trim off unwanted footage then remuxing should not be necessary. You can check the file using WinDVD or Power DVD or any compatible codec to check for any synch problems during playback prior to authoring to DVD.

Elemental steam authoring:

Prior to importing elemental streams, the first header of each m2v file needs to be patched to 720X480 first (bitrate setting is unimportant for this option). You need to import the patched m2v files into either SpruceUp or Maestro and let it build a set of preview files. The m2a files are imported automatically following the m2v files. After the preview files have been generated, patch the 1st header back to 480X480 @15MBit. If you're using IFOEdit, you only have to patch the 1st header to 720x480 when you import it and never have to repatch it. Just select the DVD Author option from one of the pulldown menus and import the files. Compile the files to a VIDEO_TS folder and then burn it to DVD with Nero using UDF/ISO format. There are links for tutorials on using SpruceUp and Maestro in the How Tos Only sticky so look there for more info on using these programs.

MPEG file authoring:

There's a great tutorial contained in this (http://dealdatabase.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21728) thread on using MPEG files from either TyStudio or TyTool with DVD Movie Factory and DVD Workshop so I won't go into any more detail. There are some unanswered questions after viewing the tutorial but it should be enough to get you started. It skirts over creating menus and chapters which, IMO, is the meat and potatoes of using DVDWS or DVDMF. I actually broke down and bought a book on using them. You can actually get the best parts out of the book by viewing the excerpt on the Amazon.com website here (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0789728354/qid%3D1052503783/sr%3D11-1/ref%3Dsr%5F11%5F1/102-9387710-1321708#product-details) . You should be able to use most other off-the-shelf authoring programs with the mpeg files but these two programs have been thoroughly tested with muxed ty files and work just fine with them. The tutorial really only addresses using the output from TyTool6r3 but the generic mpeg files produced by TyStudio also work.

05-09-2003, 02:02 PM
I posted recently with what works for me... I've learned some more since then, here's what I've been doing on my DTivo:

I use MFS-FTP to extract the .ty file.
I double-click it, which launched TyStudio b3rc3, and convert the whole damn thing to a single .mpg file - I have tried both "generic mpg" and "dvd" settings, and I don't really see a difference and I don't remember anyone explaining exactly what is different. (I'd love to know if I should be using one or the other.) Audio I leave at no transcoding. This step is one of the most time-confusing, especially since TyStudio usually grabs 99% of my CPU, leaving the computer almost unusable until it's done.
Next, I load that into mpeg2vcr and chop it down into the individual segments, which lets me cut out commercials perfectly. I'm left with several numbered mpgs. While I'm doing this, I write down the length of each segment, to use for inserting chapters later.
I use TMPGEnc's "merge & cut" to merge all those into a single mpg file, then use DVDPatcher to patch it to 720x480, 3.5mbit.
I load that into MovieFactory2 (which should work about the same as Workshop (which I haven't tried yet), only less fancy) and enter chapters based on my what I wrote down earlier.
I author, and then DVDPatcher to patch the ENTIRE mpg to 480x480. (Otherwise, only the first mpg will play properly on my Apex AD-600a.)
burn with Nero, using the DVD-Video setting (the UDF 1.02 mode did NOT work on my Apex, but DVD-Video mode did.)

This leaves me with a DVD that looks great and plays great, with perfect sync. It should be noted that MovieFactory2 never actually seems to read the mpeg itself successfully, it just shows black boxes for all the previews. I assume this is normal with DTivo mpgs?

However, all is not rosy... I've found that, when trying to work with full-length movies, this process falls apart - specifically, TyStudio creates a perfectly good mpg file which is in sync all the way through, but cutting off the ends with MPEG2VCR invariably makes the whole thing out of sync, and trying to use it in MovieFactory and use "auto chapters" (every 10 minutes) gives me the "chapter frame out of bounds" (or whatever) error that someone mentioned earlier. In one case, I used TyStudio to cut it approximately, and just used that mpg - that seemed fine. The others, I had already deleted the .tys, so was stuck with a lot of fluff on either side, so I just deleted then and will re-record later.

Also, occasionally a file will give me the "mpeg stream is not compatable", I haven't been able to beat that yet. I tried using mpeg2vcr's gop fixed, but was left with a big mess - in retrospect, it's possible that the mpg was still patched to the wrong information. I'll have to double-check that, as I have a few large mpgs that I'd love to burn that I can't at the moment.

So, I guess my questions at this point are, has anyone seen this problem I mentioned with cutting a movie with mpeg2vcr? Any solutions? Should I be able to use mpeg2vcr's gopfixer to fix an mpeg (DTivo, remember) that MovieFactory won't accept, and still have a good file with correct a/v sync?

05-12-2003, 07:54 AM
I tend to use TyTool6r3 as my primary method of extraction. I believe I posted earlier that I didn't find any incompatibility issues with ty files extracted with TyTool when used with TyStudio. Well, I finally got around to checking the edited mpegs generated with TyStudio and I couldn't have been more wrong. All of my clips were being cut off prematurely, none of the edits were smooth, the video was choppy and erratic, and the audio was drastically out of sync. Needless to say I was a bit purturbed by this, especially in light of the fact that some 40 plus episodes of Seinfeld that I had just edited had to be trashed and done from scratch again.

This time I used TyTool6r3 with GOPEditor for the entire process and every one of them has been perfect, with the minor exception that the GOP headers weren't always where I'd have liked them to be for my edits, resulting in some minor spillover into a commercial break at some edit points. I consider this a minor inconvenience since everything else seemed to be working just fine. TyStudio couldn't have worked any better since they're both only GOP-accurate editors anyway.

One of the features I like about TyTool6r3 is the ability to process files in batches for creating key files, editing key files, and muxing the files. I still have to run each one through TMPGEnc manually to remux them but that's relatively minor when you consider that each file has to be indexed and processed separately in TyStudio. TyTool also doesn't care if you have too wide a gap between GOPs during the muxing/processing stage whereas TyStudio will always balk at it and requires that you set a cut point where you may not want one. Sometimes, TyStudio isn't even happy if you relocate cut points so you're screwed in either case.

Based on the instability and lack of "user friendliness" on the part of TyStudio, I'm giving TyTool6r3/GOPEditor my hands-down support as being the editing tool to use. Keep in mind that this is mostly based on the fact that I prefer TyTool for extraction which tends to limit which editing tool I can use. I have used ty files extracted with mfsstream/Tivoweb and tyserver with TyStudio for editing but I still run into the same program quirks. The output mpegs don't exhibit the same artifacts as when I use TyTool ty files with TyStudio but the other problems persist with any ty files.

Using aftermarket editing programs with ty files is a crapshoot at best since most of them don't generally handle VBR mpeg files very well. If you can get a program to work with them then more power to you. I don't know if I've heard any reports where mpeg2vcr or any other editor will work 100% of the time. I believe that TyTool will give you a 100% success rate. I'd prefer to use the right tool for the job and right now that program is TyTool. I get almost (due to GOP header limitation) perfect edits with absolutely no loss of synch throught any clip I've edited with it so far.

05-12-2003, 11:26 AM
Originally posted by Damfino
I author, and then DVDPatcher to patch the ENTIRE mpg to 480x480. (Otherwise, only the first mpg will play properly on my Apex AD-600a.)

Damfino, when you patch the entire mpg back to 480x480, do you leave the bitrate at 3.5?

05-12-2003, 04:38 PM
Caption Video,

Your explanation on the differences between Elemental stream authoring and MPEG file authoring was a great learning experience. I feel as if it sent me off in the right direction but to some extent itís the equivalent of stumbling down a dark path without a flashlight.

Iíve reviewed and tested the process in the thread you recommended from Pr. Sinister ďDVD Movie Factory/DVD Workshop Takes TyTool6x Output!!Ē however as you can see below Iíve had several issues along the way

So far I am utilizing;
TyTool for extraction
-Generate Key Files Ė sometimes it says DiffTime = 2 seconds to 1.602 Minutes
Gopeditor for commercial edits
Tytool to multiplex file
TMPGENEC Simple Multiplex (What Type works best/???)
DVD Patcher to patch file header only
DVD Workshop to create menus
This is as far as I get before the DVD Workshop tells me the created DVD file is corrupted or that a 400meg file has now ballooned 5.5g when I try and process the file.

I think I speak for several people reading this forum that you are one of the leaders out testing this process and were all looking to an experienced person such as yourself to help us new TIVO/DVD users succeed. I see you reposted today with a recommendation to only use tytool and GOPEditor because of the sync issues with TyStudio. On that note can you fully outline your start to finish RECOMENDED process complete with RECOMENDED settings to generate a usable DVD.


05-12-2003, 06:17 PM
Let me espond by saying that from what I've seen using DVDWorkshop, getting the file from ty format to a finished product can sometimes be a harrowing and nervewracking experience. There are no guarantees that any of the methods developed for editing ty files will give you a useable file for compiling to DVD, even if you get through the entire process seemingly unscathed. Here's a list of the steps that will cause you the most grief.

1. Getting the file edited. This requires that you extract with a compatible utility for the editor you are using. TyStudio should be compatible with any extraction method except TyTool. TyTool/GOPEditor should (theoretically) work with any extraction method.

2. Getting the edited file to process. TyTool doesn't usually complain about the ty files you feed it and it's rare that you get one that will cause it to choke, but it can happen. TyStudio is extremely finnicky if you have any gaps between GOPs that are wider than it likes and may halt processing any time it sees one. TyStudio will also crash with no warning and requires that you reindex the ty file every time you have to restart the program. TyTool requires that you create the key files only one time.

3. Getting the file to import in DVDWS. Sometimes you'll get errors when importing the mpeg file in DVDWS but usually errors won't crop up until later on. Sometimes a file will be displayed with the correct time length while other files won't. This may or may not be a problem when trying to insert chapter stops. As long as you don't try to insert a chapter stop beyond the specified time even though you know the file is of longer duration, there shouldn't be a problem. Sometimes you'll run into other problems that I've described in some of my earlier posts in this thread.

4. Getting the files to compile to a set of VOB files. Sometimes, DVDWS will simply lock up if it doesn't like one of the mpeg files and it's not always obvious what the cause is. You may have to start the process all over again from scratch using a different editing tool or ty file or a different set of edit points

As you can see, there are lots of pitfalls involved with the ty file editing process. I just got through re-editing 80 1/2-hour Seinfeld episodes (that's right, I said eighty) because they were out of synch or had various other problems. I'm still working on two of the clips that don't want to cooperate but I'm sure I'll figure something out. The frustrating part is, I still don't know if any of them will actually work in DVDWS yet because I haven't had the time to try authoring any DVDs with them yet. They could import fine but choke when I try to edit them. They may edit fine but cause DVDWS to lockup or be rejected due to some incompatibility issue during the compiling phase.

It looks like TyStudio is in limbo for a while due to a prolonged upcoming absence by olaf. There's not much going on in either camp right now, at least from a user's standpoint. I'm sure josh is hard at work getting TyTool and GOPEditor polished up but we probably won't be seeing anything new until he's happy with the results.

05-12-2003, 06:39 PM
Pr.Sinister's steps for TyTool work 99.7% of the time for me with DVDWS. In the two or three cases where it didn't work, I'm pretty sure the ty file had problems before I even started to GOP edit it. Yes, it's a pain to have to patch the files twice. But so far it's still the least problematic path I've found to get menu'd DVDs.

I tried a version of TyStudio a while ago, and just never got the results I had hoped for. The UI doesn't like a non-MS mouse, and since I don't want the load of indexing running on my Tivo it takes about the same time. So I've put it on the back burner until it matures some more. With OLaf MIA, that might be a while. :(

05-12-2003, 10:28 PM
Kkmike, I usually do 3.5, I think I left one DVD at 15 and it seemed to make no difference. I've stuck with 3.5 as that is more in line with what a DVD player will expect, though being VBR, the actual bitrate is different... probably makes no real difference.

I definitely with Cap Video about the potential problems - it's definitely a bit of a minefield, but so far, I've managed to get around MOST of the problems... Just burnt my second DVD of the old Adam West Batman TV show, so far they've all been fine, I think one may have had the sound a tiny bit off, but the vast majority play perfectly. However, the timecodes in DVD WS were way off, so I couldn't do accurate commercial stops... but I can live with that for now. So far I've done a total of 5 DVDs of stuff pulled off the Tivo. (Just wished I had this back when Battlebots was on the air!)

My big problem currently is dealing with the ones that MovieFactory and Workshop give an "mpeg not compatible" error message with. Haven't beaten those yet. There's got to be some way...

05-13-2003, 08:22 AM
My big problem currently is dealing with the ones that MovieFactory and Workshop give an "mpeg not compatible" error message with.

When you get this error you may have to re-process the mpeg file from scratch. Try some different cut points and anything else you can think of. Your only recourse may be to use a different ty file. If you used TyTool for processing the file, try using TyStudio instead or vice versa. Make sure you use the appropriate extraction tool to ensure compatibility with the editing program. I've found that sometimes you have to mix and match mpegs to get a complete compilation to work in DVDWS.

05-13-2003, 03:35 PM
Ok looks like the method outlined by JJBlis is by far the easiest and errorless way to get Directivo to DVD with Menus. The full thread on TMPGENC DVD Author by JJBlis outlines the process. Here it is again and it works great Captain Video check it out its a winner.

OK, Try this:

Use TyTool or some method of getting a .ty file.

Use TyStudio to process it into elemental streams with no audio transcoding.

Patch the resulting .m2v file with DVDPatcher to 720x480 (First header only)

Import the resulting .m2v file and the resulting .m2a file into TMPGENC DVD Author. Edit out what ever you want as its pretty frame accurate and it automatically generates chapters. Create menus and output file.

Repatch with DVDPatcher to 480x480 check that it functions in PowerDVD and burn away.

You shouldn't have a problem.

Please try it and spread the word