For my future reference, here’s how I converted one video on a DVD into a better format. The video was family home video shot in 1994 on a camcorder and had later been digitized and put on DVD, but I wanted to get it off that and into a more modern, compressed format. I knew ffmpeg would do it, but I find video files confusing and didn’t know how.
When the DVD is mounted as data there’s just a
VIDEO_TS directory in it
drwxr-xr-x 2 wtd wtd 4096 May 10 18:46 VIDEO_TS/
-rw-r--r-- 1 wtd wtd 12288 Dec 31 2005 VIDEO_TS.BUP -rw-r--r-- 1 wtd wtd 12288 Dec 31 2005 VIDEO_TS.IFO -rw-r--r-- 1 wtd wtd 30720 Dec 31 2005 VIDEO_TS.VOB -rw-r--r-- 1 wtd wtd 40960 Dec 31 2005 VTS_01_0.BUP -rw-r--r-- 1 wtd wtd 40960 Dec 31 2005 VTS_01_0.IFO -rw-r--r-- 1 wtd wtd 1073739776 Dec 31 2005 VTS_01_1.VOB -rw-r--r-- 1 wtd wtd 549941248 Dec 31 2005 VTS_01_2.VOB
The video is split into two files because there’s a maximum file size of 1 GB, so anything larger is divided up into multiple files. Thanks to the inevitable helpful answer on StackOverflow and some other Stack Overflow stuff, I got this going to concatenate the files and compress them with H.265 into smaller MP4 video files. (If there are more VOB files they can be added by extending the concat directive.)
ffmpeg -i "concat:VTS_01_1.VOB|VTS_01_2.VOB" -vcodec libx265 new-video-h265.mp4
This processed the video in more or less real time (about an hour), but it was on an old box. The result:
-rw-r--r-- 1 wtd wtd 304841184 May 10 19:34 new-video-h265.mp4
That’s 1.5 GB down to 290 GB, or about 80% reduction in file size. It looks just it like it did when we first watched it on the VCR.
Finally, whenever I think of old video, I always turn to The Gerry Todd Show.