As most people here probably know, DVD recorder menus are rather ugly. Editing on most DVD recorders also leaves much to be desired, with imprecise cuts. So we re-author on a computer.
Usually this works fine. But certain recorders are somewhat out of the DVD spec, and less cooperative to work with their files. Panasonic is probably the worst offender.
Typically, ripping a disc, editing the footage, and then making your new menus, followed by burning a new disc, is all you have to do. Panasonic will not allow for it.
If you try the simple rip/edit/author/burn approach with a Panasonic-made disc, you'll often end up with audio/video out of sync, audio missing, video that skips forward like a bad CD, or audio that starts with an episode and then disappears after a few minutes. What a great machine!
In order to get the Panasonic files to act normal, you've got to baby every step, as well as purify the signal. And what's worse, there is not one method to fix it. There is a 3-step approach to fixing the files. Most of the time, STEP 1 fixes them. Sometimes you have to do STEP 2 too. Sometimes even have to add in a STEP 3. Nice and complex, Panasonic won't let you get away with simple work. Files that were at all edited on the Panasonic are the worst offenders, direct unaltered Panasonic recordings are generally not quite so bad.
So what are these ADDITIONAL steps?
It happens right after you rip the disc in IFO mode in DVD Decrypter
, but before you edit.
After each step, the only way to know if your DVD is going to be fine is to author a disc, and then burn on a DVD-RW or DVD+RW and try to play in a player.
. -- This is a detailed VOB demux, using the software VOB Edit, to precisely extract only the AC3 audio and M2V video streams. You must then remux them to MPG in another program like TMPGEnc, using the MPEG TOOLS from the FILE menu. This takes a bit of time, it's not fast. After this, move on to editing.
-- If you edit the newly-made MPG file in Womble MPEG-VCR, and it causes the audio and video to go out of sync, you have to convert the audio out of AC3. Panasonic AC3 is not to spec, it's full of errors. Delete the file you made with MPEG-VCR, you have to work with the file from the end of STEP 1. You must use Womble MPEG Video Wizard, edit in this backwards software, and then when you go to save the video, have it convert the audio to MP2.
-- If steps 1 and 2 still leave you with problems, then you have to get dirty. It's time to demux the stream from the end of step 2, giving you the MP2 and M2V. You the must use Restream and cleanse the M2V file, creating a new M2V file that is free of extra non-video code.
Now you can author and burn. Good luck, and don't forget the most important lesson here: PANASONIC SUCKS!
I'll update this with more detailed instructions and images in the near future.