Movie Making Manual/Post-production/Importing From a DVD

This is a bit long winded and there's probably a better solution out there... but this works:

  1. Decrypt and copy the VOBs to your hard disk (e.g. using DVD Decrypter. Note that decrypting DVDs that you do not own the copywrite for is illegal!)
  2. Convert the video to an uncompressed AVI using DVD2AVI 1.9
  3. Rename the .VOB to .MPG
  4. Import both the uncompressed AVI and the .MPG into Premiere Pro
  5. Use the audio from the .MPG and the video from the AVI

For some reason, DVD2AVI doesn't export the audio properly. And, for some reason, Premiere Pro really doesn't like decoding the .MPG video! So you have to use the two together. If Premiere Pro behaved itself, it would be possible to import the .VOB directly into PPro (after renaming it to .MPG).

The core of the problem with Premiere's MPEG handling is caused by the fact that Premiere asks Windows to connect it to the MPEG decoder. (This is as opposed to how it handles DV, for which it uses the MainConcept codec exclusively.) Any given computer probably has at least 2 or 3 decoders on it, and whatever is the most recently installed will be what Windows feeds back to Premiere. The decoder in use may or may not play nicely with Premiere. In particular, the Intervideo WinDVD decoder seems to be especially unfriendly.

The solution is to change which DVD decoder has highest priority. Preferably the MainConcept decoder, which Premiere installs, will be the one. Try searching the Premiere Pro forum on the Adobe site, there have been some tools mentioned there that will change MPEG decoder priority (or you can just hack the registry if you know where to go).

Another solution that has been reccomended on the Premiere Elements forum is to install the free K-Lite codec package. It includes the MainConcept decoder (which calls into question the legality of this package), and if you select MC to be the default during the K-Lite install, all seems to be fine with at least Premiere Elements and MPEG handling. PrPro shouldn't behave differently. Basically, with this solution, you're just pasting another version of the MC codec on top of whatever's already there.



Handbrake is an all-in-one system for converting from DVD to MPEG-4 (even AVC). At the time of writing it runs well on Mac OS X and Linux and a port is available for Windows although it's currently unstable.

However, it should be noted that MPEG-4 is not a good choice of codec for video editing.