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How can I convert an MPEG-2 file to the DV-AVI format?
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After opening the MPEG-2 file in VDubMod, there are 2 settings to apply before rendering the new DV-AVI file.


Lately I?ve been using VDubMod v1.5.10.1 to convert MPEG-2 files to AVI. I?ve also been successfully using the Panasonic DV codec lately for many things, so I?ll use them together.



Converting to DV-AVI file means the standard of 720x480 pixels needs to be adhered to. When I tried it without resizing, the saving process stops cold with no error message... and you scratch your head.

In VDubMod, use the main menu Video > Filters > Add > resize. Enter the new size in the dialog box at the right... in this case we want the standard DV-AVI size of 720x480. For NTSC files, DV-AVI files are always that size... regular 4:3 aspect ratio or widescreen 16:9. 

Compression Codec

In VDubMod, use the main menu Video > Compression, and select the compression codec. You can pick any of them on your system, provided they show up in the picklist and will actually work.

If you don?t meet underlying criteria for the compressor, it won?t work and it won?t necessarily tell you why, as in the case of trying to save a file using the Panasonic DV-AVI codec without also resizing it to 720x480.

Why not opt for the Microsoft DV codec which Movie Maker uses? I would if it was available to VDubMod, but it?s not in the list... I have yet to figure out how to use the Panasonic DV codec when rendering from Movie Maker, or the Microsoft DV codec when using open source software such as VDubMod.

See the choice of the Windows Media Video 9 codec, listed just above the Panasonic DV codec. That choice requires having the Windows Media Video 9 VCM - Codec Installation Package installed. If your goal is simply an unedited WMV copy of the MPEG-2 file, this might be a good choice.

But my goal is editing in Movie Maker, so I?ll opt for the best quality AVI file... a DV-AVI one which preserves the starting quality.

File > Save As

From this point it?s simply saving the file as a new one... select the folder and file name, and tell it to save.

File Rendering

The rendering to the DV-AVI file was quick and easy. This snapshot shows it when about 2/3 complete. For an 11 minute video, taking an hour and 21 minutes for the rendering, which includes the resizing, is actually pretty quick (on my 2.4 GHz laptop) compared to other compression codec options.

Unlike the Windows Media Player, which displays the MPEG-2 file at standard 4:3 aspect ratio, VDubMod shows it at the real pixel size. The MPEG-2 file is being viewed at the left during the rendering, while you see the new file at the right. In WMP10 both would look the same.

Checking the New DV-AVI File

The new DV-AVI file weighed in a 2-1/2 GB file size, normal for an 11 minute video.

The picture at the right shows the new file open in GSpot.

The file imported and worked well in Movie Maker 2. I added some text overlays and rendered a 500 Kbps WMV file from it, and put a copy on my website. If you missed viewing it in the opening paragraphs, here?s another copy of the link:

Prelinger Archives - Sample Video

The sample is an intro video to the kinds of vintage files available on the site for free downloading and unrestricted use. Look closely and you?ll see the first few frames of the Civil War video go by, the video we?re using in another newsletter project.

Last update: 10:24 AM Saturday, December 9, 2006


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