Converting avi to DVD

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by ionlygreat, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. ionlygreat macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    Hi guys
    I have a bunch of episodes of a TV show stored on my external hard drive. (episodes of the British car show Top Gear, if you wanna know which show)
    They're all in .avi format - DivX and xVid. I want to write these to DVDs season-by-season so that I can be more organized, and so that it would be easier for me to watch these without having to connect my computer to the TV using s-video. I want to create a DVD menu with a list of the shows etc. and I believe all of this can be done on iDVD (i'm new to the mac and haven't looked through all of this yet).
    I'd like to know what software to use in order to convert the avi files to a format that'll work on my DVD player.
    Will Handbrake/VisualHub do the job, or is there something else I should be looking at? I'm willing to get Toast if it'll work.

    Software I have/will get:
    Quicktime Pro
    Handbrake (havent' got it yet)
    Toast (if necessary)
  2. northy124 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2007
    VisualHub is what you want to convert to DVD although it will look crap.
  3. ionlygreat thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I'd like to avoid shelling out money for VisualHub, especially if I can't get good clarity. The files are mostly around 700 mb for each episode (exactly one hour long) so they look great even when I watch them on TV by connecting my laptop via s-video.
    Is there an alternative that'll preserve clarity? Otherwise, I don't see any point in doing this.
  4. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    I hate people who suggest a really expensive option but I have a lot of avi files I like to watch on TV and they do look crap when converted to DVD format.

    So I bought a cheap Philips DVD player like this one:

    It will play avi files so you could burn a data disc full of them and it would play them and they'd look at least as good as they do on the computer. Some of the Philips models even have USB so you could hook up a hard drive and play them off that.

    I bought this instead of an Apple TV because I have a lot of downloaded TV shows and this is quicker than converting them all from avi to an Apple-friendly format... and it's cheaper too.
  5. ionlygreat thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    I got an HD DVD Panasonic player last year :D but then realized later that it didn't support DivX.:( I don't think I'm in the market for a new player so soon though...
    So, even if I do decide to get VisualHub, will the video look like crap even under the Go Nuts option? Can Handbrake or Toast handle this on its own without a loss of clarity?
    If there is no option that can preserve the quality, I guess I'll just have to live with having to connect my laptop to the TV everytime I want to watch something - I have a lot of avi files, not just this show...and I was looking forward to authoring my own DVDs

    EDIT: I don't have an apple TV
  6. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    Honestly the conversions I've done from avi to DVD look terrible, and that's with similar sized files. There is no way of upscaling them and they always look worse than playing straight from the laptop- the Philips DVD I've got is the only way of getting the same quality.

    I don't know how often you're watching new avi files but I'd consider having the Philips one as well as the Panasonic. The Philips can be made region free too, and if you get one with a USB you can have something on a flash drive and be watching it on your TV within minutes of downloading it. You'd be spending half the cost of the DVD player on Visualhub anyway.
  7. ionlygreat thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    Thanks for your advice. I watch avi files on a regular basis, so I guess the DVD player is a good option. I would really prefer playing around with some applications that can do this, at least initially, to get an idea of what I'm in for. Is VisualHub the only software out there that can fulfill these needs?
  8. PaulMoore macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2007
    I think Toast itself will convert from avi to DVD. It has basic options for adding menus etc. I'm not sure but I'm guessing that using Visualhub might give you slightly better quality but as above, it's unlikely you'll get anything you'd be happy with either way.
  9. swordm macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2008
    I always burn avi movies to dvd with Total Video2Dvd, but it only work on Windows, hope it can help u. regards.
  10. ionlygreat thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    OK, this is what I did, if it would be helpful for someone else down the line.
    I got VisualHub, and converted three avi files (each about 699 mb) with the 'author as DVD' option checked. VisualHub is a great piece of software, totally recommended. I got a bunch of vob files on my computer in a folder. I then imported these into Toast so that I can create a DVD menu (there is no option for this on VisualHub). I got Toast to input these through the media manager (this was slightly complex, but once you know how to do it, it's a cinch). I then created a basic menu using Toast, and then burnt myself a DVD.
    I loaded it into my DVD player (note, I was using a 32 inch LCD HDTV, but I was using component cables, so the output from my player was only 480i/p). Compared to playing the videos from my computer through S-video, there was a noticeable, small loss of quality. I watched an entire episode of the show, and you do get used to it, but it isn't the same quality as before. I'm sure that if I'd only tried to fit two episdoes on a disc, there wouldn't have been any loss, but that would mean that I would need a whole bunch of DVDs for each season.
    Anyway, the total process took about 50 minutes on VisualHub, then perhaps 15-20 minutes at the most from Toast. So is it worth it? Depends on what you think - buying a DivX player is certainly a viable alternative, but then you can't give your DVDs to your friends to watch on their ordinary DVD players.
  11. northy124 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2007
    Yh recommend Windows software on a Mac forum.
  12. sallywon macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008

    I found the Video Converter for Mac I think it is useful software it has powerful conversion function and can convert video formats, as MOV, AVI, WMV, MPEG1/2/4, 3GP, ASF, MP4, MP2, etc. and also support Mac, iPod, Apple TV, PSP, PS3, Zune, Archos, iRiver and Creative Zen etc. I hope it would be helpful.
  13. Fabrice89 macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2008
    converting avi to dvd

    hi guys, basically im new to this stuff and when i convert my avi fils to a dvd file on my mac it gives me a folder called VISUALHUB_DVD.iso containing audio and video files.. does anyone know how to play them?

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