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Thread: .mkv to DVD Headaches.

  1. #1
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    .mkv to DVD Headaches.

    Good evening all. I've spent SEVERAL hours going crazy with forum searching, and WASTING a LOT of DVD-Rs. I have several anime movies that were provided to me in .mkv format. I've been trying to convert, then burn, with no success. I'm running U-12.04.2 LTS. With this, I have installed for conversion DeVeDe, Handbrake, Avidemux, and ConvertMe. For burning, it's k3b (which I'm very familiar with, and I love). I've made several attempts with all, with varied results. ConvertMe appears to be junk. DeVeDe appears to want to work. I set the parameters (vids are to be converted to NTSC format, as I'm in the U.S.), set to create an .ISO, create a "menu" from the menu option, the let it do it's thing. Once done, I see file size is correct for the DVD (normally 2.9 to 4.1 gig), so I burn it. Once it's in my DVD player, if I'm lucky, what I get is the menu I created, no other vid (if I didn't include the menu, might that correct the conversion?). Avidemux might do it, but I can't remember what formats I need to convert TO (I think it's MP-2 on video and acc/ac3 on audio, but I wouldn't swear to that). As to Handbrake, it looks like it definately do the job, but I'm a bit lost on it. I prefer a GUI method of addressing this (brain cancer makes it VERY difficult for me to concentrate on command line scripting). Final product should be playable on older equipment (6-7 year old Magnavox DVD player, that is used by the kiddies), NTSC format, and minimal loss, if possible. (and if this helps, I have K9copy at my disposal). Thanks much in advance, I appreciate the help.
    Oh Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system! Dr Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory.

  2. #2
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    Re: .mkv to DVD Headaches.

    I've converted a couple of Matroska files with DeVeDe, but it has been a while since I did so. Here are some things I can think of trying:

    1) First, don't burn the .iso files until you try playing them with something like mplayer or VLC. You'll cut down on the number of "coasters" you create.

    2) Are the originals in an HD format like 1280x720? Are you sure you set the scaling parameters correctly? DVDs cannot handle anything greater than 720x480, so to preserve a full-width HD original, you need to rescale it to 720x400. (Though 720/1280*480 = 405, most codecs prefer dimensions divisible by sixteen, so it's common to "lose" those extra five vertical pixels.) I don't recall if DeVeDe does this automatically or not.

    If the original is in an SD format like 640x480, you might have problems with "overscan" on regular TVs. I learned how to fix this problem when using mencoder manually from the command prompt, but I have only converted 720p content with DeVeDe.

    3) How are you handling "soft" subtitles, which are very common with anime files? Your best route is to convert to them "hard" subs and have them burned into the image. I'm pretty sure DeVeDe can do that since it uses either mencoder or ffmpeg to do the conversions both of which can create hard subs.

    4) I'd try creating an .iso without the menu to begin with. I've made discs with menus, but it's probably better to start simple and see how far you get. As I say, playing the .iso directly helps with debugging.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by SeijiSensei; March 21st, 2013 at 10:41 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Re: .mkv to DVD Headaches.

    Morning. I've just signed on, and caught your response. I'm trying DeVeDe again, but this time have shut off the menu option (the small ''in process" screen now shows 3 processes going on, as opposed to 4 when I had the menu option turned on). All of your other advice looks as if I'm on the correct track. I'll get back to you with the results, thanks much.
    Oh Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system! Dr Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory.

  4. #4
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    Re: .mkv to DVD Headaches.

    Here is the latest info on my dilemma. This morning, DeVeDe was used for conversion of mkv file. I chose "create video DVD" when program first fired up. Added the mkv package to the files section. Left disk useage at 121% (I noticed that finished ISO is always the correct size for the DVD). I turned off "create menu with titles". Set format to NTSC. Set advanced options to "create ISO" Left video format at "default". "Video options", no rotation and add black bars. "Quality" selections were MBD with best rate distortion, Trellis search, and don't deiterlace. "Audio I left as is, with no delay. And as to "misc", I left it at "use GOP of 12 frames". Shy of 3 hours later, I have an ISO that I can open in movie player and VLC, with minor hiccups (had to diddle with VLC to get the audio to english). Thought all was well, so I opened K3b, clicked "more actions" and selected "new video DVD project". I selected "burn image directly" and set the burn speed to 4X. About 20 minutes later, I'm in possession of a shiny new coaster that plays in my comp, but gives an error message on my stand alone DVD players. Is it likely that I'd have better luck if I created compliant MPEG files, or created a "disk structure" in DeVeDe, then tried the burn in K3b? Should I be burning "video DVDs in K3b, or should it be "data DVDs" that are being burned? Any help will be appreciated.
    Oh Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system! Dr Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory.

  5. #5
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    Re: .mkv to DVD Headaches.

    Another attempt at conversion leads me to VLC. I've just started a short while ago, but it seems MUCH faster than other programs. Choices seem pretty limited, but one option was shown that I think MAY work. Anyone have any luck with conversion through VLC? I tried Avidemux GTK this afternoon, but wanged it somehow. I added the mkv file, then chose "auto > optical disk >dvd". The settings on the left indicated "video > MPEG-2 (avcodec), audio > MP-2 (twolame), and Format > MPEG-PS (A+V)". After setting all of that, the only thing I saw that may have started the conversion process was the green "play" button down in the left corner, so I fired it up, and waited. Almost 2 hours later ( the length of the video) it finished, and I wound up with NOTHING! No indication that the conversion had taken place. Here's what is in the mkv file that I'm trying to convert, video is H264 and audio is mpeg-4 AAC. I know someone out there has done this type of conversion, and turned these files into burnable, playable DVDs. Any other suggestions or recommendations? Thanks in advance.
    Oh Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system! Dr Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory.

  6. #6
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    Re: .mkv to DVD Headaches.

    SUCCESS FINALLY!! It took quite a bit of trial and error, but I was FINALLY able to convert the .mkv files, and create DVDs for my kiddies. Process was, convert the .mkv files to correct type of MPEG files in Avidemux, convert the MPEG to an .ISO in DeVeDe, then burn the whole shebang in K3b. Presto, working DVDs!! Thanks to all that gave this a look, and for the help. It was most appreciated. (and I'm very sorry for not marking this "solved". I've been trying to remember how to change to "solved", but have had no luck )
    Oh Ubuntu, you are my favorite Linux-based operating system! Dr Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory.

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