Twelve steps to make a DVD-Compliant mini-DVD

Garaunteed to play in 95% of Standalones.


First lets get one thing clear. This is not easy and there is no underground proggie out there that allows you to put a disk in a drive, hit go, and make a mini-DVD. It takes many steps and long time. I use the following hardware:


Pentium III 500 clocked at 566

256 MB PC100 RAM

Two 18 gig 7200 RPM UltraDMA IDE Drives

One 30 gig Onstream Tape

8X Toshiba DVD-ROM with Sigma Hollywood MPEG Decoder card

2x Richo CD-RW drive

44x CD-ROM

Diamond V770 Ultra TNT2 video card with 32 meg AGP2x


It takes me 14-16 hours to complete one 1.5 hour movie start to finish. (not including step 12)


TIPS for speed and quality:


Don't run anything else while performing steps 1-11. You WILL corrupt your video Stream.

Be patient, Ive tried skipping some steps and other methods but they didn't work well.

Use fast drives. This is more important for quality then a fast processor. Well, at least as important.


        If you need help with software and or links contact me at I will be happy to help. If you find other ways that work or are faster and provide results let me know.  Also thanx to Robshot for the inspiration, Nomad, CM of the Muscle Soft Crew, Ferrit, MoRE, and all the others writing shareware for the hard work on there proggies, we couldn't do it with out you. Thanks to everyone at the DVD Soft forum and all the other sites that support this. Hang in there!!!!

          These steps work on my system, with my hardware, and my Op system. They have worked on every movie I have tried and on every player I have tried. This is my only garauntee to you. It works for me. Good Luck :)



1. System Requirements:

                                                Pentium II or III with MMX (the faster the better)

                                                128 Mb RAM (64 might work, but not well)

                                                DVD-ROM Drive(6x or greater)

                                                CD-RW Drive ( note: cd-rw not Cd-r)

                                                At least 10 gigs HDD space

                                                Video card that does true color 32 bit

                                                Case, Motherboard, monitor, mouse etc..........


2. Operating System:

                                                In order for you to use this method you must be able to write and read files larger than 4 gigs. Fat 32 is limited by this 4 gig barrier. You must be using an NTFS file system. I recommend Windows 2000 build 2128 or higher. This was tested in that enviroment. NT 4 will probably work though. The important thing is that your disk has a large NTFS partition.


3. Software you will need:

                                                DOD Speed ripper or DeCSS (latest version)

                                                DVTOOL ver. 0.11

                                                VOB Snoopy (latest version)

                                                ReMpeg (latest Version)


                                                Streamweaver ver 5.4

                                                VOB Splitter


                                                CD Motion 6.3

                                                For DVD ver 3.4

                                                Win on CD ver (latest version)


STEP ONE:(ripping) 15-30 min.

                                                Rip the VOB files to your HDD using either DeCSS (preffered by me) or DOD Speed Ripper. The first file you see in the Video_ts folder that is 1 gig is usually the movie. This will have a file name like vts02_1.vob. For example if your movie starts with the file vts02_1.vob then all the files that start with vts02_xx.vob make up the movie. Everythig else on the disk is for menus, extra scenes and info files. FYI: .ifo files contain the information file that is used by the DVD player for navigation, frame rate, order, menus, etc...... the .bup file is an exact copy of the .ifo file used only if there is an error reading the .ifo file. After you have ripped the DVD to your hdd you can delete all the other stuff that isn't the movie (unless of course you want to copy the extra scenes) to free up some hdd space.


STEP TWO:(merge files) 5 min.  

                                                Create a folder on your NTFS partition called Merge ( call it what you want, I'm giving all these file and folders a name so that it can be easily refernced in this paper) Start up DV Tool ver 0.11. Click on the File Processor tab. Under function click on "merge files". Click on the "add element" button located under "input file:" It looks like an E. Add your .vob files in order. and select the output path as the Merge folder you just created, and name it merged.vob. This file will probably be larger than 4 gigs, hence the need for NTFS. These files must be merged and compressed as one file in order to preserve system headers, A/V sync, and GOP Header sequences. Although on the DVD disk you may have 3, 4, or even 5 seperate .vob files they are really originally authored as one file. The .ifo file tells the player where they are split and how to restart the next file. Since our software doesn't look at the .ifo we must remerge the file.

NOTE: I realize the DeCSS can also remerge these files. I had problems with this so I don't use it. This paper is about what works for me. I hope that you will try variants of this and let me know of better ways  :)


STEP THREE: (demultiplex) 15-30 min.

                                                For this process we use VOB Snoopy. Goto file>open and load your remerged file. create another folder called "demux" Click extract. In the pop up window select audio and video. It will then prompt you for paths and file names. VOB Snoopy will demux all audio streams that it finds. It should only find one video stream. Most movies have at least two audio streams. One is 5.1 surround and the other is 2 channel. Some movies have DTS and others, VOB Snoopy will not demux these (it will find PCM streams). The larger file is  5.1.


Step Four: (recompress) 12-20 hours


                                                Open ReMPEG. In the "main" tab click the open button and load your .m2v file that Step three created. It will take a few minutes to map all the GOP sequences. While that is loading open the demux folder and view the properties of the .m2v file. Note the file size. Now you must decide wether you want the movie on 2 or three disks. 3 disks gives you better quality of course. If you decide that you want two disks, then the total filesize of your .m2v + your .ac3 file must be as close to, but not greater than 1.28 gigs . Each disk will contain .ifo, .bup, and .vob files. Creating the files as 640 megs instead of 650 give you room to resize (discussed later),and  add the control files. For three disks target filesize must be as close to, but not greater than 1.92 gigs . Now you must calculate the percentage bitrate to use in the options tab of ReMpeg. To do this ubtract the size of your audio file form the target filesize. Take the difference and divide this by the file size of your .m2v. You should get a number like 0.3207852474963214. In this case your bitrate percentage woud be 32 %. ALWAYS round the second digit down. If you came up with a percentage lower than 30%, consider using more disks. Bitrates below 1.6 generally produce crappy results. After ReMpeg has loaded your .m2v file goto the options tab and enter your calculated percentage. Bitrate high enough? Good, let's move on. Go back to the main tab and click the encode button. Enter into the popup window a path and file name. ReMpeg should now start to work. This part takes a loooooong time, so go to bed or something.

NOTE: This step is the reason I suggest so much RAM. Although ReMpeg starts out using 15,808 k, by the time it is complete it is usually using an additional 10,000-20,000 k, depending on the .m2v filesize. If it runs out of memory it will crash.


Step Five: (resize) 2 min.

                                                Place the file into your path. Before going further I will explian the reason for this. In the final step of this process you will burning your newly created mini-dvd. DVD players look for a file system that has been packetized in blocks of 2048 bytes. It won't read anything else. Streamweaver is very DVD aware. It knows that each .vob file must be divisible by 2048 bytes in order to be read by a player. If you don't give it files that sumation is divisible by 2048 SW will give you an error. So will CD motion. So with that being said lets see if our file is the correct size. Add together the filesize in kbytes of your ReMPEG .m2v and your AC3 file and divide by 2048. If you came out with a whole number like 154879 not 154879.215896 then skip this step. If you didn't come up with an even number then we need to resize. Take the last whole number, in this case 9 and add 1. Multiply this number by 2048. Subtract this number from the sum of you audio and video files. The difference is the number of bytes you need to increase by.


Audio file is 300379200 bytes.

Video file is 1607518791bytes

Added together 1,907,897,991(.vob size)

divide by 2048= 931590.815917

round up =931591

multiply by 2048=1,907,898,368

subtract .vob size 1,907,898,368-1,907,897,991=337

Filesize needs to be increased by 337 bytes


Goto a dos Prompt. change to the directory that the Rempeg .m2v is stored. Type the following:


Resize + 337 videofile.m2v


Step Six: (multiplex) 15 min.

                                                Open Streamweaver. Load the Audiofile and videofile. It is imortant that the video file uses a .m2v extension and the audio uses AC3. Select the output path. The output path should be a directory with nothing in it. Click on "resolve tc", which means resolve time codes. This step is to resync the audio and the video. When it has completed your file should now have an in and out entry. In is always 0:0:0:6 and out is something like 1:35:23:17. This means 1 hour, 35 mins, 23 seconds and 17 frames. Double click on the video line and goto edit time codes. Usually the audio file has a longer out code. Use the longest time and enter it in the popup time codes window of the other. Check protected. If you don't check protected SW ignores your entries and creates its own. Goto the audiofile and check protected also. Now both files should have the same time codes in the main window. Click make. You WILL get some errors like " possibly corupted video stream" Just click yes. We fix this later. Also it will also say that there is data after the end of the video stream and will only use bla bla bla . Just click yes. After this is done test the vob file in a software decoder like Power DVD. Don't skip around in the movie, let it play normally. If you skip around in file mode it is not using the .ifo file and may become "un-synced" when the file is really "in-sync" It should be in sync though.


Step Seven: (split the files ) 10 min

                                                Use a DVD Aware program like vobsplitter or mpegutil or DV Tool to splt your new vob into 2 or 3 files, depending on the number of disks you wanted. Each file should be no larger than 642 megs. Depending on what you use to split them you may need to do some remerging to get to the desired file sizes. These files must be split at a cell ID so that they each maintain a legal system header. This is what I mean by DVD aware splitter. This can actually be done by using a hex editor but it's too much for this paper. Make sure that each file is still divisible by 2048. Refer to step five for this. If it's not then resize.


Step Eight (recreate DVD files) 30-40 min.


                                                Create 2 or three new folders and name them diskone disktwo disk three..... open VOB Snoopy and demux (extract) your audio and video files from each file, placing each set (.m2v and .AC3) file into a seperate directory. Open Streamweaver and remux each vob again( see step six) The only difference this time is that your second and thrid file sets will probably not sync unless you change the in time of the video. Example: Changing 0:0:0:6 to 0:0:0:21(in time) will start the video 11 frames after the audio. Usually the streams are less than a second off so you only need to change it by a few frames. If it is more than 29 frames then change the seconds. Remember to check protected in the time codes window. Also note that the streams start at 0:0:0:6 so if you change one to 0:0:0:7 your not starting it 7 frames after the other but 1 frame. You may need to run ac3fix on the audio files in this step. If your asking yourself why we have to demux them and remux them again it's so we can give each file an .ifo and .ini. Each one should have it's own directory.

NOTE: A patch was just released to make Streamweaver split at 650 megs and not gig. This will not leave enough room for .ifo and .bup files. If the author of the patch reads this then please can you change your patch to split at 645 or so :)


Step nine: (authoring)10 min.

                                                Open up CD Motions authoring tool. Goto file>new. Name it whatever. Another window pops up asking for a chapter name, call it whatever it doesn't matter. It will ask you what TV format you want. Say yes to NTSC. Now click the button in the toolbar that says dvd. Click image. As long as it is a bitmap it doesn't matter what picture you use.( I don't know what this actually does, but I use one of the bitmaps in the CDMotion directory.)Click on the next required field, stream. Enter in the path to your >VOB file not the .ifo. Change chapter type to exclusive. Click OK. In the grey part(empty) of the window right click and goto compile(make) for recording. It will say the "the project has been modified" click yes. In the compiler output window select a drive path. It will go to the root  and create a video_ts folder. Click yes twice After it's done compiling click OK and exit the program. Repeat this step for each of the disks you want to make. Remember to rename the video_ts directory after each one so that CD Motion won't overite your previous compile.


Step Ten: (create image) 5 min

                                                Create a folder on the root of one of your drives called AUDIO_TS. Upper case and make sure it is in the root directory. Some DVD Players require this folder but require that it is empty also. This is for the future DVD-Audio standards. Open ForDVD. Change the name of the folder that CD motion created for your .vobs back to VIDEO_TS. Uppercase and on the root directory. Do this one at a time obviously. First grag that directory into the ForDVD window. Then drag AUDIO_TS. Click Bld to disk. After it is done making the image you should have two files. Control.img and Layer1.img. Delete Control.img. You don't need this file(unless you intend to send this out to a processing plant and they need this crc info.). Change layer1.img to disk1.img Do this for each of your .vob/ifo directories. Note: All CD motion programs look to a file called CDmotion.ini for the directories such as image, temp, template. These directories can be whatever you want but they need to really exist or the operation will fail. It will not create these directories for you. ie. imagedir=d:\temp is where image files that ForDVD creates are stored.


Step Eleven: (Burn your CD) 1 to 2 hours depending on your hardware.


                                                Now we have some more choices. If you want this disk to be played in a standalone DVD Player then you MUST use CD-RW disks. Some will play CD-R but not many. If this is just for your PC then use CD-R disks they're cheaper. The following is one of the reasons why some other papers written on the subject fail and why disks don't work in standalones. If you don't care then skip it.


The problem is that CD-Rs (Orange Book Part II) are "invisible" to DVD laser wavelength because the dye used in CD-Rs doesn't reflect the beam. Some first-generation DVD-ROM drives and many DVD players can't read CD-Rs. The common solution is to use two lasers at different wavelengths: one for reading DVDs and the other for reading CDs and CD-Rs. Variations on the theme include Sony's "dual discrete optical pickup" with switchable pickup assemblies with separate optics, Sony's dual-wavelength laser (to be initially deployed on Playstation 2), Samsung's "annular masked objective lens" with a shared optical path, Toshiba's similar shared optical path using an objective lens masked with a coating that's transparent only to 650-nm light, Hitachi's switchable objective lens assembly, and Matsushita's holographic dual-focus lens. Look for drives with the MultiRead label, which guarantees compatibility with CD-R and CD-RW media.

CD-Rewritable (Orange Book Part III) has a lower reflectivity difference, requiring new automatic-gain-control (AGC) circuitry. CD-RW discs can't be read by most existing CD-ROM drives and CD players. The new "MultiRead" standard addresses this, and some DVD manufacturers have suggested they will support it. The optical circuitry in even first-generation DVD-ROM drives and DVD players is usually able to read CD-RW discs, since CD-RW does not have the "invisibility" problem of CD-R

            For either medium use the same steps. Open Win on CD (CeQuadrat VideoPack). Choose disk image. Input he path to your disk image files and use mode 1, 2048(important). Make the CD


Step Twelve

                                                Goto the store and purchase one six pack of your favorite beer. You've earned it. Place movie in your DVD player or PC and push play and contemplate wether this is really worth it. Personally I only do it so I can play them in my laptop(no DVD-rom) while on airplanes.