VHS to DVD, what default format is this? Only plays in converter.

I had some problems a year ago with DVDs made from old VHS tapes, now I have them again.

It seems that the two people whom are doing this for me are using a default format on their converter that will not play on my computer or in the PS2.

I had to borrow the actual converter the last time, to watch the DVD.

What format should be used? Can I download a CODEC or something (free) that will allow me to play them as/is?

Who is the Einstien who thought this shit up, and why ain’t he in f-in’ jail?

Thanks.
SupK-Z

Assuming the VHS tapes to be what you recorded (and not VHS tapes of a commercial nature where you do not hold the copyright), and assuming you are in the USA, the DVDs should be recorded for all Regions or for Region 1.

Unless, of course, you are requesting something else, but your post is a bit vague.

Do the discs play in a regular DVD player (attached to a TV, not part of a PC)? If not, then you should complain that the people who made them didn’t produce DVD videos, but some other type of video file on a DVD-ROM.

If the videos do play on a standalone player, then you may need to install DVD player software on the PC (if it doesn’t have any) or update it (if it does).

I’d only suggest that as a last resort. Codec installs are among the most troublesome things on Windows, often because they come with either a) a “kitchen sink” collection of codecs, most of which you don’t need, and/or b) a video player (like Media Player Classic, DivX Player or VLC) which will “steal” video file type associations and mess up whatever player software you already have.

If you put the DVD in the PC’s drive and list the files on it, and post the type(s) here, we may be able to point you at a specific codec or utility for those files.

the burner they are using may be out of alignment and producing disc only it can read easlily

Actually, “blank” discs have a prerecorded path that the burner follows. That’s the reason there are 74 and 80 minute blank CDs. Don’t confuse this with “overburning”, which records further along the prerecorded path than the blank media specifies. That length and other info, like the flag that controls whether a blank will work in a consumer audio (not PC) recorder is found in the ATIP area.

If there were indeed some sort of incompatibility between discs written on the burner and the OP’s PC, he’d be getting a physical-level read error (Abort, Retry, Faiil?" instead of the disc loading but not being recognized.

Sounds like they forgot to finalize the discs.

Could be that; could be the DVD-VR video file format.

DVD-VR was intended for DVD recorders that would produce video streams of unplanned length, and included all the track-search info into video streams as they were created. Regular DVD files have all the track search/length info and chapter points put in at the end; this is part of what finalizing does.

Could also be recording on rewritable DVD media. These don’t produce media errors in my experience; players just act as if the DVD is blank.

What really would be helpful would be telling us what brand and model the converter is. We could maybe try to find out some troubleshooting tips for that particular converter.

Download and install K-Lite Codec Pack (FULL), I’ve found almost all codecs you need are in it.

I’ve never had trouble with conflicts. K-Lite Mega Pack may cause conflicts 'cause there are so many with it, but the K-Lite Full never caused conflicts for me. In any case you can see if it works and uninstall it if need by

You can also try downloading Media Info. Media Info just simply produces a text (or other formats if you want like CSV) file that displays the information on how the Video and Audio portions were encoded. That should tell you what you need to play it.

If those things are good then work your way backwards and check for things like finalizing the discs etc

Yeah, MediaInfo is good. I also used the K-Lite Codec Pack back in my PC video-editing days. The Mega Pack did cause some conflicts, as Markxxx mentioned. (Hey, if Full is good, Mega must be better, right?)

(a) can be a problem, but (b) should not be.

I use Media Player Classic, and it plays basically everything straight out of the box. It doesn’t “steal” file associations; in fact, i had to explicitly tell my Win7 computer to change my video file associations from Windows Media Player to Media Player Classic. Similarly, VLC has never given me any file association problems.

Also, to tell the truth, if you’re a Windows user who doesn’t know by now how to change file associations on your computer, you’ve got bigger problems than which codec or media player to use.

What’s your OS? If it’s anything modern (Vista, Windows 7) then DVD’s should play fine. For XP you’ll need a mpgII codec.

This is of course, assuming something else isn’t wrong with the media itself.

The problem may have been with a particular installer that bundled Media Player Classic with some codecs.

Now, this is surprising. I just re-ran the latest VLC setup (vlc-1.0.5-win32.exe) and it defaults to associating every file type it supports - 20 audio types, 29 video types, and 8 other types.

It isn’t that people don’t know how, it is the issue that the change is being done without people consenting to it. The installer options to not do this are often hidden a couple layers deep and in non-obvious places in setup menus. Real Player and Quicktime are particularly annoying this way. Once this has happened, you have to go through a laundry list of file type associations and try to remember what application you wanted to use to open that particular file type.

I singled out VLC because its installer doesn’t remember the settings used last time when you upgrade, so you have to be constantly vigilant to keep it from stealing file type associations.

You’re probably right, but another of my standard operating procedures with Windows is NEVER to simply allow the “typical” or “full” installation option when installing a program. I always select “custom” installation so i can see what’s going to be installed, choose where (and whether) to place start menu items, shortcuts, etc., etc.

It could be that the disks aren’t finalized like someone else suggested.

Another thing could be that I have an older standalone burner that creates disks that a lot of other DVD players won’t read. I found if I ripped them with DvdShrink 3.2 and burned the resulting ISO image, then the new image played fine.

If you’re on Windows 7, http://shark007.net/ is the new king of codecs.

Also, try http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html to convert the video from any format to any format.