Larry writes, “I have a couple of DVD recorders that I have purchased, and recording TV shows is no problem. I have been using DVD Shrink to read the files off of the DVD-RW disk I record on, I edit out the commercials and save them to the hard drive.”
“This all works fine. The problem is the files are .vob files or VIDEO_TS files which, I can put one file (TV show) at a time into dvd shrink and burn a DVD-R disk with no problem. I would like to burn several episodes on one disk. I am using Roxio Easy Media Creator 7 and it says it will work with the above mentioned files, but I am not having any success doing this. Do you have any suggestions as what to do?”
The downside to using set-top DVD recorders as a way to time shift your television view is the DVD format. In order for DVD players to read the audio and video information on a DVD it must be organized in a specific folder hierarchy based on the AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS folder hierarchy and pointer files that tell the DVD player where to find the specific audio formats and individual video segments. A .vob file is essentially just an MPEG-2 video file with slightly different header information to make it compatible with your DVD player. None of these files is directly readable by your computer, which means they need to be converted to be portable for other purposes. Since you are already using DVD Shrink to extract the files from the DVD-RW, you are part of the way to your desired solution.
DVD Shrink supports two main options. The Full Disc option takes the existing directory structure from a DVD and copies it to another DVD. The second option is to Re-author a DVD. You want this second option for combining multiple DVDs onto one single DVD-R. After selecting the Re-author option, browse to the location on your hard drive where each of the show recordings are stored and add them to your DVD project. Each show should appear in the DVD Structure list in the DVD Shrink application window. Depending on how cramped for space your DVD gets, you can further squeeze more space out of the DVD-R by adjusting the start and end frames of each show, although presumably you already did this when you were editing out the commercials. Once you get everything configured, click the Backup button to create your DVD. If you want to use Roxio to burn the files, choose a location on your hard drive as the backup target, verifying the Create VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS subfolders box is checked. If you are attempting to fit more than 4.7GB of data on one DVD-R, you want to check the Perform deep analysis box on the Quality tab to make sure you get the best output possible. When you click the OK button, the process of generating your folders with the DVD data begins.
After DVD Shrink finishes creating your DVD files the next step is to burn them to disk. Using virtually any DVD burning app will work from here. Open your favorite burning software and either choose to create a DVD video disk or DVD data disk. Add both the VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folders to the project and burn.