Convert DVB to DVD

Q I've got my DVB-T stick working but my wife still won't look at a computer screen; is there some way I can convert files saved from the stream into something that can be played on our DVD player through the television?

A DVB and DVDs use two variants of the video codec, MPEG2. DVB uses MPEG2-TS while DVDs use MPEG2-PS; Transport Stream and Program Stream respectively. The main difference being that Transport Stream is designed for use over an unreliable connection, like radio transmission, so it has more redundancy and error correction, resulting in files that are around 30% larger. Transcoding from MPEG2-TS to MPEG2-PS is simple and fast because it only involves the error correction data, the video itself doesn't need to be re-encoded.

There are a number of programs you can use to turn a DVB MPEG into a DVD. One of the simplest, albeit rather slow, is tovid (http://tovid.wikia.com), the todisc command in this package takes a list of video files in almost any format and converts them to a DVD ISO image. If you want a GUI for this, a couple of programs that you may find useful are dvdstyler (www.dvdstyler.de) and qdvdauthor (http://qdvdauthor.sourceforge.net). However, if you only want to create a DVD from a single MPEG2 file, these are overkill, when a shell script will do the job more quickly:

#!/bin/sh
mplayer -dumpfile title.audio -dumpaudio $1
mplayer -dumpfile title.video -dumpvideo $1
mplex -f 8 -o title.mpg title.{audio,video}
dvdauthor -x title.xml
mkisofs -dvd-video -o title.iso dvd

Where title.xml contains:

<dvdauthor dest="dvd">

<vmgm /><titleset><titles>

<pgc><vob file="title.mpg" /></pgc>

</titles></titleset>

</dvdauthor>

This separates the audio and video stream, then recombines them with the data necessary for DVD authoring, but without the DVB extras, before creating a DVD file structure and writing that to an ISO image. Before writing the ISO image to a DVD, you can test it with:

mplayer -dvd-device title.iso dvd://1

You will need mplayer, mjpegtools and dvdauthor installed to do this, all of which will be in your distro's repositories, most are probably already installed. Alternatively, if you use MythTV to record and watch the programs, install the mytharchive plugin which does DVD exports. This application can combine several programmes onto a single disc - re-encoding if necessary to fit more on one disc (but though that takes a lot longer, it's worth it if you are going to do this regularly and don't want to become overwhelmed with lots of discs) and offers a choice of menu styles and layouts. This is what I use most of the time.

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