16:9 Menu?

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Tattoo
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16:9 Menu?

Post by Tattoo » Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:35 pm

I've been using ConvertX for over a year now and am about to buy a wide screen TV. Now I want to be able to make widescreen menus as well.

So will ConvertX2DVD ever be able to do widescreen menus or will I have to buy another program that will? Coral said that he uses DVD Workshop to do this and I'm going to try it but would like it if ConvertX2DVD would be able to do it.

This has probably been answered before but I searched and found nothing about it. Thanks...

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Post by ckhouston » Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:57 am

There are a couple of ways to make them display at 16:9 in Preventing Distortion of Menu Background Images and Videos in the Guides + Manuals forum. A link for a feature request is also given there.

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Post by Tattoo » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:45 pm

I don't see how that'll work because the menus are 4:3 but I'll see how it works. Thanks.

I think it's sad that suck a good program as CX2D doesn't support 16:9 menus yet when it'll process video at 16:9. Hmm. I don't understand why but oh well, hopefully it'll work good like the link says or I'll just have to buy a different program to do what I need to do. It seems VSO isn't worried about losing costumers because of this. I hope they change their minds because I like CX2D a lot and it's all I use at the moment...

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Post by JoeB » Sun Oct 24, 2010 4:58 pm

Tattoo wrote:I don't understand why but oh well, hopefully it'll work good like the link says or I'll just have to buy a different program to do what I need to do.
ConvertX does the best quality conversions of any consumer priced program out there. If the size of the menu is more important to you than the quality of the video output then perhaps for you it might be fine to go with a program that makes 16:9 menus even if the video output quality isn't the best. I suspect that for most of us the quality of the video output is more important, and we'll just be patient with what we have until a version comes out that also allows 16:9 menus. Most of us would also like easily configurable custom menus but aren't about to sacrifice quality output just to go with a program that lets you create your own menu.

JMHO

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by ckhouston » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:23 pm

Different things are important for everyone. I personally think of menus as tools to play the main attraction, the video, so appearance of menus is not very important. But some want their menus to be professional works of art so they are important to them, there is nothing wrong with that.

VSO is one of the few developers that welcome and act on user requests. But users must realize that they can't all be incorporated or the program would become bloated, expensive, and probably sacrifice things like quality -- like Roxio and Nero with all their bells and whistles.

Tatoo said Coral uses DVD Workshop for 16:9 menus. He can speak for himself, but I think he actually converts with CX2D for the quality and then uses that program for the greater menu capabilities because it does not re-convert already DVD compliant sources. That is a good approach for those that want both good quality and menus and is worth the trouble and expense.

For those not quite so picky, the workaround for the 4:3 menus in CX2D should be fine. They will display menus in widescreen (backgrounds will be displayed without distortion) but menu items such as text, thumbnails and buttons will be stretched sideways, usually not noticeable. The same amount of work would have to be done for preparation if CX2D had widescreen menus, the only difference being that menu items would not be distorted.

I'm not privy to inside info, but I suspect that support for widescreen menus will not be offered until a menu editor is introduced, and that may be far into the future.

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Post by Tattoo » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:45 pm

I agree with JoeB about wanting the better quality video processing over the better looking menu. That is why I said of how Coral does it. Altho I was just pricing the DVD Workshop and at around $400.00, I will not be purchacing anything at that price. They discontinued that program and have another in it's place and Coral took over Ulead.

As far as the menu buttons and text being stretched sideways as ckhouston says, the buttons can be shrunk beforehand to prevent that. I don't know what I'll do with the text yet but will figure out something. Thanks.

I do understand about CX2D being bloted and more pricy with more features and am not that picky about the menus. I just find it odd that there is no support for 16:9 menus when the program outputs a 16:9 movie or movies. I only have an old 21" tv right now so it's no big deal right now but when I buy the wide screen, I would like 16:9 menus as well.

I've also priced a few other DVD programs and for what CX2D costs compared to all the others, CX2D is very well the better program and if it processes video better as you all say, I'll say that it's the better program overall. And it's the only program I've uses since the beginning because it was so highly recommended everywhere I looked and the price was right.

Thanks guys for your replies. This was probably discussed before somewhere but I couldn't find anything about it when I searched. And I haven't done any movies for quite a while. I just started doing them again and thought I'd ask.

Regards

John

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Post by ckhouston » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:57 pm

As far as the menu buttons and text being stretched sideways as ckhouston says, the buttons can be shrunk beforehand to prevent that. I don't know what I'll do with the text yet but will figure out something.
The buttons can be shrunk sideways beforehand as you say, and so can the thumbnails -- their aspect is inconsistent amongst the different templates anyway. The only solution for text I can think if is to ignore it or choose a font like Arial that offers a narrow font that looks good after stretching.

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Post by Tattoo » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:02 pm

ckhouston wrote:choose a font like Arial that offers a narrow font that looks good after stretching.
Thanks for the idea ckhouston. I can also edit the font in Fontographer to make it look before but I'll have to wait til I get the widescreen before I'll know how it'll all work. I might go and get it this week and I'll report how it goes.

Thanks again

EDIT: The menu doesn't get stretched when I play it on my computer with my widescreen monitor. I use JetAudio to play movies right now. I'm going to try others to see how it'll look using my computers widesreen.

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Post by JoeB » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:39 pm

Tattoo wrote:I agree with JoeB about wanting the better quality video processing over the better looking menu. That is why I said of how Coral does it. Altho I was just pricing the DVD Workshop and at around $400.00, I will not be purchacing anything at that price. They discontinued that program and have another in it's place and Coral took over Ulead.
You must have been looking at something completely different, Tattoo, if you found a price of $400.00. As you say, DVD Workshop is not available, but Corel (which now owns Ulead) has a product called Corel DVD MovieFactory Pro 7 which, unless I've missed something, is their replacement for Workshop. While normally priced at $79.99 it is on sale at this time for only $29.99 (but only until October 31). There is a trial version available.

They also have a product called VideoStudio Pro X3 which includes MovieFactory and another program as bonuses, and it is normally priced at $99.99 but is on sale until October 31 at $69.99.

I do not know if those products do what DVD Workshop did (i.e., whether you can import merged VOB files like Coral does, create the menu and then export/author specifically without re-encoding the VOB files created originally in ConvertX). Maybe Coral can answer that. In fact, I'm not sure how Coral knows that his DVD Workshop isn't re-encoding his projects.

And no, I'm not promoting Corel, and in fact am not impressed with them since they took over Jasc Software's Paint Shop Pro graphic editing software and made it worse than the last version put out by Jasc (I have stuck with Jasc's v. 9 as a result). But perhaps their MovieFactory will do what Coral does with the original DVD Workshop, and I thought that you may find $29.99 a more acceptable price (assuming it will author the merged VOB files you first create in ConverX without re-encoding and just add the new menu you create).

EDIT: I don't know if you already have this, but I have Womble Mpeg Video Wizard DVD, a video editor and DVD authoring program. It only re-encodes VOB/mpeg files where they have been edited, even when authoring. And it's authoring tools allow you to create customized menus. While I've never done it (never thought of it actually until just reading Coral's method) it is possible that its menus are as customizable as those in DVD Workshop. So if you have that or a similar program already you might not have to consider anything else.

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by ckhouston » Sun Oct 24, 2010 10:20 pm

Tattoo wrote:EDIT: The menu doesn't get stretched when I play it on my computer with my widescreen monitor. I use JetAudio to play movies right now. I'm going to try others to see how it'll look using my computers widesreen.
Probably because your player is playing it at 4:3. Right click on the screen and force 16:9 and it will stretch so you can see what it will look like on your TV.

You can also use Tyrone Shulace's method (also presented in the guide) to change the aspect in the IFO file to 16:9. Then your software player will automatically display at 16:9. Won't make any difference when played on your TV though as long as you have player and TV set as described in the guide -- normal setting BTW.

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Post by ckhouston » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:21 am

JoeB wrote:In fact, I'm not sure how Coral knows that his DVD Workshop isn't re-encoding his projects.
I may have mis-spoke, I think I remember him saying he used CX2D because of its quality and used DVD Workshop for the menu authoring, so I assumed that program didn't re-encode. Maybe he will clarify.

BTW, Nero Vision has good menu customization and will not re-encode DVD compliant files (Smart Encoding option) that have the same aspect ratio as that chosen to convert to.

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Post by JoeB » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:33 am

ckhouston wrote:
JoeB wrote:In fact, I'm not sure how Coral knows that his DVD Workshop isn't re-encoding his projects.
I may have mis-spoke, I think I remember him saying he used CX2D because of its quality and used DVD Workshop for the menu authoring, so I assumed that program didn't re-encode. Maybe he will clarify.
No, you didn't mis-speak. Coral said in this thread that his merged VOB files wouldn't be "transcoded" because they were already DVD compliant. His post is in this thread:

http://forums.vso-software.fr/convertxt ... 0-140.html
ckhouston wrote:BTW, Nero Vision has good menu customization and will not re-encode DVD compliant files (Smart Encoding option) that have the same aspect ratio as that chosen to convert to.
I'm always leery about installing Nero stuff, but as I may have mentioned before it turns out that it was already installed on my computer when I received it as a Christmas gift. It would appear to be the 2005 version of Nero Vision, and I have never used any of that Nero stuff 'cause I hadn't realized that I had it!

That said, I'm assuming that you mean that my VOB files (as converted by ConvertX for best quality and then joined into one VOB file) can be imported into Nero Vision. And then that I can create a custom menu. And then I can export or "convert" to DVD to get properly segmented DVD standard VOB files, and the output video will not be re-encoded and therefore not lose the quality it had before being input to Nero.

If that's correct, I'm not quite sure what you mean by this stuff I've bolded in the following quote from your reply:

"Nero Vision has good menu customization and will not re-encode DVD compliant files (Smart Encoding option) that have the same aspect ratio as that chosen to convert to.

My confusion is because I let ConvertX automatically select the aspect ratio to convert the video (with my settings for NTSC, Letterbox, and I view on a 4:3 TV but others view the same disc on widescreen).

Then I'll be joining the VOB files and importing them into Nero Vision.

Then I'll be creating custom menus.

Then I'll have to export/convert (?) this to get it back to DVD compliant files, which you indicate will not re-encode the video.

But how do I know that the menus I create in Nero are the same aspect ratio as my input video, or if I have to take that info from ConvertX first then exactly which part of the log should I take it from, and - finally - if I knew that how do I tell that to the menu editor in Nero?

As I've mentioned before, I'm one of those older people who does best with a step-by-step, and am not often able to leap intuitively from one concept to another one. Sorry 'bout that.

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by ckhouston » Mon Oct 25, 2010 12:53 pm

1. I don't know what your old version of Nero Vision is capable of. 2005 was about the time Nero got into DVD authoring so it's probably not very sophisticated. What I say below is for Nero 9 (includes Nero Vision v6.xxx) which I picked up in a promotion.

2. Nero Vision will convert all files to the same aspect ratio. So mixing files with different aspect ratios will cause some of them to be re-encoded -- not really a problem since mixing aspects isn't a good idea anyway.

3. You access Video Options by clicking the More button at the bottom of the screen. You can choose aspect ratio there.

4. Nero Vision 6 makes the menu aspect the same as that the files are converted to. Thumbnails, etc., are appropriate for that aspect.

5. I bought Nero 9 because the price was reasonable and I like several of its programs, but it probably isn't the best bet for those only interested in DVD authoring unless it came bundled with a burner. MovieFactory may be better than Nero Vision since it is a specialized program. I may check it out for that price.

6. Maybe Coral will give his opinion.

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Post by Coral » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:14 pm

DVD Workshop 2 doesn't do 19:9 menus. It only allows 4:3. This product had been discontinued ages ago but I still use it regularly because it takes user defined menus with a drag and drop system. Chapter menus can be coustom made in a separate application which uses the *.ufo file type, that has object layers.

However I use CX2D to do the conversions since there is no messing about with resolutions. The quality is remarkable at reasonably fast conversion speed (depending on the hardware). DVD Workshop will pick the resolution from the movie header and author's it accordingly.

DVD Workshop also takes subs, but don't ask me how to get them in sync. because I have never succeeded. It is true that with CX2D there is not much of a chalange in produceing attractive menus, but for those that prefare a warry-free conversion and authoring at good quality, CX2D does a very good job.

Bottom line: How often do we use menus ? But then it's nice to have them.

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Post by JoeB » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:16 pm

ckhouston wrote:5. I bought Nero 9 because the price was reasonable and I like several of its programs, but it probably isn't the best bet for those only interested in DVD authoring unless it came bundled with a burner. MovieFactory may be better than Nero Vision since it is a specialized program. I may check it out for that price.
I also may try Movie Maker at that price. But if you haven't installed any Corel products lately, a "heads up". Corel uses a 3 party installer, not the normal Windows one, and it's painfully slow! It also searches for needed components (e.g., .NET Framework) and downloads and installs them if not present. And it uses the Protexis licensing system process. I once installed the trial of their Paint Shop Pro Photo X3 to see if it was better than their other iterations of Jasc's product (it wasn't) and it took about 40 minutes to install. And as I recall it took a long time to uninstall also. It didn't do anything bad to my system, just my patience! :-)

However, MovieFactory Pro gets top marks out of 10 different authoring software packages reviewed by TopTen Reviews, which you might want to check out:

http://dvd-authoring-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by JoeB » Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:23 pm

Coral wrote:Bottom line: How often do we use menus ? But then it's nice to have them.
Thanks for the feedback. And I agree with you that menus are not really that big a deal in the whole scheme of things. That's particularly true for me because I usually only put one full length movie on one DVD-5, and use chapters just for fast skipping through the movie, not to find particular scenes, etc. But with Movie Factory being priced at about $30.00 I think I'll give it a trial, because there may come a time when I decide to do something fancy, or perhaps even get a widescreen. :-)

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by Tattoo » Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:03 pm

JoeB wrote:You must have been looking at something completely different, Tattoo, if you found a price of $400.00. As you say, DVD Workshop is not available, but Corel (which now owns Ulead) has a product called Corel DVD MovieFactory Pro 7 which, unless I've missed something, is their replacement for Workshop. While normally priced at $79.99 it is on sale at this time for only $29.99 (but only until October 31). There is a trial version available.
When I searched Google for DVD Workshop one of the links said it ran for $429.00. I don't know how old the link was but since it's been discontinued I guess it really doesn't matter. I found a protable version but don't like messing with hacked stuff. I just don't trust it and I haven't found a good working full version.

I did try DVD Menu Studio, I think that's the Coral one, but didn't like it. It's been a while and I don't remember why. As far as Nero, I remember people used to say how good it was for CD writing but don't know how it is for DVDs. I've never used it myself.

To be able to see how the menu looked stretched as ckhouston said, I reinstalled PowerDVD and it does it and it looks terrible. It doesn't get stretched evenly. Just the end buttons and chapters are stretched. The middle buttons and chapters aren't stretched so that's going to be a problem. Hopefully I can find a copy of DVD Workshop and do as Coral did. Even tho the menu isn't a real huge deal, I still want it to look proper on a widescreen. I just won't be happy with a garbage looking stretched menu like it is now. I atleast want it to look correct because I share all the movies I write with my familyand friends and they critic the stuff I do. I'm the geek of the family so I have to get it looking good or I'll never hear the end of it. And now we all want widescreens so it's important to me now to have it looking good. And I also put only one movie per disk. Mostly DVD5 but some are double densities but not many. I try to get only 720p movies because of the smaller size but have to get 1080p sometimes.

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Post by toaddub » Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Tattoo,

Corel Ulead DVD Workshop 2 (discontinued) is on sale for $14.95 plus shipping: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/3 ... hop_2.html

It goes down from $24.95 last time I mentioned in this post: http://forums.vso-software.fr/post59386.html#p59386

You can also try the freeware GUI For DVDAuthor (GFD) or DVD Styler for 16:9 menu creation.

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Post by JoeB » Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:51 pm

toaddub wrote:Tattoo,

Corel Ulead DVD Workshop 2 (discontinued) is on sale for $14.95 plus shipping: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/3 ... hop_2.html

It goes down from $24.95 last time I mentioned in this post: http://forums.vso-software.fr/post59386.html#p59386

You can also try the freeware GUI For DVDAuthor (GFD) or DVD Styler for 16:9 menu creation.
These may all be worth looking at for menu creation, but the problem I have had when trying to research this stuff for the past few days is that it is hard to get confirmation that you can make the menus in these various programs, add your joined VOB files from your ConvertX conversion (because we all want the best conversion and that's with ConvertX) and then have one of these menu programs output the DVD compliant files without re-encoding the movie itself, which will change the quality. And so far the only info on that that I've seen in this thread is ckhouston's confirmation that Nero 9 will output without re-encoding the movie. Womble Mpeg Video Wizard DVD doesn't re-encode mpeg2 either, but if the DVD part is basically their standalone EasyDVD program then the Top Ten Review (putting it in 4th place) indicates it may not be flexible enough for really imaginative menu creation (for example, no animated thumbnails).

As mentioned before, there is no use in using any program to create fancy menus if it will mean losing the quality from the ConvertX VOB files. The whole idea (as sparked by Coral's post in a previous thread) is to be able to convert with ConvertX, then bring that converted movie into a program that has flexible menu creation - including widescreen menus - and then output to DVD compliant format without re-encoding the movie itself.

Regards,

JoeB

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Post by ckhouston » Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:35 am

Tattoo wrote:To be able to see how the menu looked stretched as ckhouston said, I reinstalled PowerDVD and it does it and it looks terrible. It doesn't get stretched evenly. Just the end buttons and chapters are stretched. The middle buttons and chapters aren't stretched so that's going to be a problem.
There is something wrong then. All items are stretched evenly for me in VLC player and on my TV.

Remember the primary purpose of the workaround is to provide backgrounds that are not distorted when displayed in 16:9. The amount of stretching is 33%. I don't think even people with video experience but not familiar with a CX2D template would even notice that amount of stretching of buttons and text. The most objectionable is the thumbnails which can be fixed if one wants to go to the trouble.
Hopefully I can find a copy of DVD Workshop and do as Coral did.
Read the user reviews in the link toaddub gave. One says it won't create 16:9 menus (Coral also mentioned that above) and another says it doesn't work in Vista or Win 7. It is an old program.

I'm going to stick with my copy of Nero, it does a good job as far as I'm concerned, and VSO might want to consider doing something similar in any menu editor they implement.

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