February 22nd, 2007

Hell's Trumpet

DVD Help!

Dear denizens of the internet. I write to you today with a plea for my sanity.

Work has become insane of late, but mostly in a good way. Part of that has been a great deal more travel, both internally at the main company site, and to remote locations. Included in this is a trip to California this Sunday. Fortunately, my loving wife got me a video iPod for Christmas!

Unfortunately, trying to transfer one's DVDs to the damn thing is an exercise in greatest frustration.

If anyone out there can steer me in a good direction for getting a movie from DVD to iPod, please help me! Listed below are what I've got so far for requirements and attempts.

Requirements
1. Output in 640x(variable) H.264 mp4 format. I want to be able to output to a hotel TV as well as watch on the tiny screen.
2. Output the actual video to 640x(variable), with intelligent cropping, rather than just letterboxing everything on both sides to 640x480.
3. As little loss as possible. I'd rather not compress the DVD with one codec getting it to disc, then another getting it to mp4.

What I've tried
1. Handbrake for Windows. Drawback is that the Baseline 3 codec version is Very Beta, and has some quality issues, as well as being unable to handle some discs.
2. DVD Shrink to vob file, then convert vob file to mp4. This works, but doesn't handle sizing/cropping at all, and I can't seem to add subtitles.

What I have
Patience, a little experience, and a decent video converter that'll get me from almost any format to mp4. I'm not looking for a free solution either, I'm looking first and foremost for one that works!

Any help out there? My hair's going gray!
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated