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Convert multiple DVDs to AVCHD / Bluray using multiAVCHD

At the request of a visitor to this site (in addition to it being on my TODO list for guides to write) I present to you the steps necessary to convert a DVD (or several) to AVCHD or Bluray. All that is necessary are some ripped DVDs and the always wonderful program multiAVCHD!

So, let’s get started.

Rip yo discs!

Make sure that you have your disks ripped in File mode. This is necessary for multiAVCHD to read them correctly. You can rip your disks using either DVD Decrypter, AnyDVD or DVD FAB. All of these should output the disk in the format desired.

Add your Sources to the Compilation

You will need to add your DVD sources to the new disk compilation. I suggest doing this one at a time. You will see why later.

Use the AVCHD/BDMV/DVD folders button to navigate to your DVD directories one by one. After loading your first disk, move on to the next step.

The button to load a DVD as a source.

Remove Unnecessary Titles

Using the Remove button and the title info, remove all titles that are not the main movie. The main movie 99.9999999% of the time will be the title set with the longest run time.

In this case, you can see that my third title is the main movie. So, if I remove titles 1, 2, and 4, then that will leave the main movie.

The selection of the main movie from the imported DVD's titles.

And here is the result of keeping only the main movie.

The result of removing excess titles and leaving on the main movie in the compilation.

Repeat this and the previous step for all of your remaining disks.

Title Compilation

Here are the final title sets that we get after adding the remaining DVDs and removing the excess titles from our compilation.

The list of main movie titles in the compilation.

In this state, the DVD titles are not ready to be encoded onto a Bluray. MultiAVCHD is actually smart enough to convert the titles automatically when we select our output format. I, however, like greater control over my transcode settings plus the ability to add/remove audio and subtitle tracks. To do this, click on the first title and we will be presented with the title settings window.

Editing your Title Settings

The title settings window generally looks  like the one below.

The compilation settings window for DVD 1.

As you can see, I’ve edited my Title name to the name of the actual movie.

In addition, you can add and remove audio and/or subtitles using the corresponding tabs and Add/Remove buttons. In my case I left them at default, but you can do what you will (like removing the foreign audio tracks to save space).

When you are happy with your title settings, press the Transcode button to bring up the encoding settings window.

Note: Just a reminder that the Transcode process is optional. Blu-rays support MPEG2 by default, so actually converting your sources to H264 is not necessary unless you are storing a significant number of DVD’s on one Blu-ray. If you want to skip the transcode process, just jump down to the Menu and Output Format section.

Encoding Settings

In the transcode settings, set your desired quality profile and bitrate settings. Since we will be generating files for an AVCHD / Bluray, we want to make sure that our settings are Blu-ray/AVCHD compliant.

Next, select your encoding profile. I recommend using a 2-pass profile for a high quality encode. In this case I used a fast 1 pass profile, but I was just testing.

As for the resolution, I recommend that you leave that at default. You can upscale if you like, but honestly you actually lose quality bringing a low-resolution video like a DVD up to a high resolution video like a Blu-ray.

Lastly we need to choose a bitrate. I suggest that you click the Bitrate Suggestions button (yes, that is a button).

The transcode settings for DVD 1.

Bitrate Profile Selection

After clicking the Bitrate suggestions button, you will be presented with a window like the one below. Now, imagine I was converting 4 DVD’s that I wanted to store on a single layer Blu-ray (BD-25). In that case, I would select my bitrate profile for my first movie to be 1/4 of a BD-25. Get it?

Now select your bitrate profile based on your desired output disk. I leave that up to you.

When you’ve chosen your settings, click the Use button. You will return to the Transcode settings window. Make sure everything is as you desire, and then click Apply.

The bitrate profile selection window.

Repeat Ad Nauseam

After finishing the transcode settings for the first DVD, go about editing the compilation and transcode settings for the rest of the DVD titles. When all is said and done, your DVD titles in the compilation window should look similar to the one below.

Green means go!

An image showing the green compliant state of the transcoded titles.

Menu and Output Format

Now that our titles are compliant, set the menu settings and output format. Click on over to the Author tab to edit your settings. Mine are below for reference.

The menu and output format (PAL or NTSC) selection settings.

In short, I wanted a basic top level menu (XMB style) and my output TV system will be NTSC. For those of you who don’t know, NTSC is the standard in the United States. PAL is the standard in Europe.

Almost Done!

When you are ready to get started (or get finished?) set the output suffix (this sets a suffix on the output folder generated by multiAVCHD.) The helps you to identify your project  in the output folder if you are doing multiple conversions.

Then click the Start button.

The fill out of the output folder suffix and encoding start button.

Output Format

Final window, I promise! Now we need to select our output disk format. multiAVCHD offers a plethora, but I’ve narrowed my screenshot down the import ones. If you want an AVCHD disk, go with the AVCHD options. Use AVCHD (strict) if you are Blu-ray player is especially finicky, otherwise use AVCHD Disk.

Now, since I wanted a Blu-ray for my output, I’m sticking with the Blu-ray Disk option. Kind of a no brainer I know.

The output format selection window. Bluray output is selected=

Finished!

Now, burn your disk! I’d recommend using IMGBurn, as it’s free and highly reliable.


  • Buddy Taylor (dont811)

    Tues. Oct 12 9:58PM EDT
    Hello Adub, I tried this w/o printing it out 1st–I failed At Least i was “smart” enough to use a BD-RE. I’ll try again & let ya know. Ciao, Buddy

  • Buddy Taylor (dont811)

    wed 10-13-10 7:47pm eDT
    Hi, has anyone tried & succeeded w/ this program yet ?? Good Luck.
    Regards, Buddy

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    I tested it using Arcsoft Total Media theater and everything worked fine. What exactly is the problem that you are having?

  • Robert Wilson

    thanks for the post

  • Patrick

    Hello Adub,
    After reading this article, I am wondering if this can be done with Blu-ray movies. I have an original Blu-ray set of the series “Rome,” and would like to burn season 1 to a single BD-R and season 2 to a second. (Each season of “Rome” is five discs with two or three episodes each.) I think they can fit if a BD-R can hold five times that of a DVD+R. Would the following work? After ripping Blu-ray movies to my hard drive using AnyDVD HD, and then BD Rebuilder to do a movie-only encode in BD-5, can I burn multiple movies/discs onto a single Blu-ray disc? And if this is possible, do you know if when viewing my burned disc I’d be able to select what episode (out of about 12 in each season) to play?
    I know this sort of defeats the purpose of Blu-ray picture quality, but I think I’d find this useful for TV series, or for regular movies when the picture quality just isn’t that good. Plus the AVCHD format is so resilient to this sort of shrinkage.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    To answer your big question, yes it is possible to do. However, the output produced by BD Rebuilder can not be combined onto a final disk without re-encoding.

    Because of this, it seems like a much smarter idea to rip the Blu-ray using AnyDVD HD, and then loading up the individual Blu-rays into multiAVCHD. That way you can select which episodes you want on the final disk, and have an intuitive menu generated for you automatically.

    And yes, this kind of defeats the purpose of Blu-ray. One thing you may consider is reducing the output resolution of each episode down to 1280×720, as that will save some serious space and help to keep the relative quality the same (bits per pixel wise).

  • Michael

    Hi,
    first of all, thank your for this guide.
    I usually use DVDshrink for ripping DVDs. Can I use these Rips without problems too ? The Rips are Full Buckups with no Compression.
    TIA,
    Michael

  • Patrick

    Hello Adub, I have two questions.
    1. I am trying what I described above, putting a full season of a TV series on one BD-R. I ripped all the Rome Blu-rays using AnyDVD HD. Then I added the BDMV folder of disc 1 to MultiAVCHD using the “AVCHD/BDMV/DVD folders” button. MultiAVCHD asked me if I wanted to switch to Blu-ray re-author mode so I said yes. It then told me the disc is BD-J authored and asked if I intend to use the output with a PS3 USB HDD and I said no (saying yes made things screwy). It then loaded up all 28 titles. Here’s where I’m stuck. I can tell that I only want to keep titles 26 and 27 (there are two episodes on disc 1). However, I cannot figure out how to remove all the others. When I click on a title, the “remove” button remains grayed out. In fact, all the buttons are grayed out except for the “properties” button.
    2. Since I was having trouble in question 1, I tried to instead put disc 1 of Rome on a BD-5, like I do with most movies. After ripping using AnyDVD HD, I tried using BD Rebuilder like usual. But using “movie-only backup,” BD Rebuilder only queued up one episode instead of both. I can’t figure out a way to get both episodes in there. I tried “full backup,” but then I can’t remove unneccesary files. This is my first time using BD Rebuilder on a TV series disc.
    Any ideas?

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    @Michael
    Yes, you shouldn’t have any problems with those rips.

    @Patrick
    Don’t use re-author mode if you want to strip out all of the extra content, including the menus. Re-author mode is for blanking specific audio tracks and maybe select video tracks. This is used when your target is a BD-25 for example.

    Simply load the BD Folder and click NO for re-author mode. You should be able to remove any extraneous titlesets now.

    As for the BD Rebuilder “Movie Only” backup, you will only get 1 episode anyways. The reason is that Movie Only mode is looking for one specific title set, and since you have two titles (episode 1 and episode 2), BD Rebuilder will not let you have both. Plus, since their is no menu generated in Movie Only mode, you wouldn’t be able to select your second episode.

  • Patrick

    Thanks, Adub. Done.
    In MultiAVCHD, I’m trying to figure out a way to fit all the selected titles onto a BD-25 with minimal wasted space. Is there a better way than the “bitrate suggestions”? I found that changing the bitrate changed the “estimated output,” but the actual output was far larger, making it necessary to try again. Also, the “fit all” button doesn’t seem to do a thing. And even more confusing, changing from 1920×1080 to 1280×720 in the transcoding screen doesn’t seem to change the “estimated output.” Could you please tell me what am I missing?

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Patrick, I’m going to have to refer you over to the program author’s support forum over on Doom9. He should be able to help you out: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=143744

  • Eric Hutchins

    Abud,

    I am a complete “Know-Nothing” who wondered in off the street with a narrow, simple agenda: I thought it would be clever to enhance the image quality of my standard definition DVD collection (550 films) as I archived them onto a 3TB external hard drive. I was planning to use AnyDVD to upload and CloneDVD to download when I wanted to burn a new disc.

    From this article, I surmise that upconverting or upscaling each movie file as I archive it or as I burn it back to disc is a waste of time/hopeless pipe dream. Q1: Is that it? Q2: Any advice, suggestions, or advice that might help me on my way? Thanks for your assitance in advance. Eric

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    @Eric,
    Yes, essentially. The simple act of increasing the resolution does not increase quality. In fact, mathematically and somewhat visually it can actually reduce quality. However, there ARE things that you can do to improve relative quality.

    Good examples of this are denoising or sharpening your DVDs using Avisynth. For more info on that, I suggest you head on over to Doom9′s forums.

  • Stan

    Very nice guide. My Blu-Ray burner comes in this weekend, so i am looking forward to trying to make a compilation disc. My question: If I make a disc with all the episodes from SG-1 season 1, is there a way to play all the episodes so that when episode 1 finishes, episod 2 starts and so on?

    Thank.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    @Stan
    This actually happens by default. You can double check this setting under the “Author” tab, in the “Playback Sequence” area. Make sure that “Play All (sequential playback)” is checked.

  • kev

    hi. i would like to put more than 1 movie on to a blu ray 25gig disk. could you advise me or point me to info that will allow me to put, say, 3 blu ray ‘movie only’ rips (done to BD9), each about 8gig (done separately with dvdfab) on to a single 25gig blu ray disk, please? will avchd do what i want? do i have to re-rip the blu rays in batch mode? will a menu be included/needed?
    hope you can advise

    TIA

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    You can follow some of the very same steps above, only using the Bluray import option. Simply click “BDMV” import button, import all of your desired Blurays, narrow down your titles to just the main movie playlists for each, and you should be good to go.

    This is all very similar to the above guide, only I did it with DVD’s in the guide.

  • kev

    many tnx for the info, Adub. will give it a go and let you know. as i have used dvdfab to rip the main movie only for the required files, i assume i will still need to install Avisynth and haali splitter to be able to use BD Rebuilder. do you know of any conflicts between the programs? the reason i ask is, having unsuccessfully tried different progs before, then removing each when no good to me, i found my drives disappeared from windows. had to image puter back! would rather not do that again.

    TIA

  • kev

    as had no reply, i assume there should be no conflicts with what i have on puter atm. i meant no disrespect with my previous questions. just trying to cover my back, as it were.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Kev, I didn’t reply because your last comment was only 12 hours ago, and I was asleep for about 8 of them.

    No, there should be no conflicts. BD Rebuilder and MultiAVCHD use Haali and Avisynth. DVD Fab uses neither.

  • kev

    my apologies. didn’t mean to sound rude. forgot about the time difference. will give things a try and post back if any problems. appreciate the help.

  • kev

    back again, Adub. a question about the bitrate settings, if you dont mind. after adding the 3 rips into AVCHD and doing the settings you have suggested, i reduced the bitrate of each of the 3 movie files down to around 8gig, so they would fit on a 25gig disk. is that correct?
    as i haven’t got enough space on my main HDD, i used a external usb HDD to save the blu ray rips on. i then created a ‘temp’ folder and a ‘end project’ folder on that same external HDD. i did all as you say in the tutorial above pointing the program to those folders, rather than burn them straight to blank disk, but my puter crashed after transcoding around 8gig. maybe because AVCHD is on my ‘C’ drive and it is working from and to the external drive? what do you think?

  • kev

    hi Adub. discovered that if i allowed AVCHD to use all 4 cores of my CPU, that would cause the computer crash. dont know why. 3 cores and all is fine.
    anyway, have done all as you suggest and found that, even though the original ripped blu ray files were 7.8gig each, when i put all together to go on 1 25gig disk, the resulting file is 33gig. any ideas as to why, please?

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    It sounds like you have an unstable system if you use all 4 cores and it crashes. You may want to check that out.

    As for your sizing issues, it sounds like you are setting the reencoding bitrates to high. You can use the bitrate calculator and reduce each section.

    Or, if you do not want any transcoding, make sure that transcoding is disabled/turned off and you are just getting a clean demux-remux process. Your output files shouldn’t be too much bigger. The one issue may be the menu, but I doubt it would add more than a few 100 Megabytes or so, if that.

    Also, make sure that you are exporting to Blu-ray, and not AVCHD. I can’t be sure if you are doing so or not.

  • kev

    tnx for further reply, Adub. getting real confused now. where is the option to disable the transcoding in AVCHD, please? cant see it, sorry. anyway, will try to explain what i did within AVCHD.
    first, i added a movie file and clicked on the ‘transcode’ button. when the new window opened, it told me the bitrate. clicking on ‘suggested bitrates, doesn’t give an option for 3 movies. does for 1, 2, and 4. i reduced the bitrate on the left side of screen using the +/- buttons to get movie down to 7.8gig ish above the preview(?) screen, changed the name to what i wanted and clicked ok. repeated for the other 2 movies. i then clicked on ‘authot’ tab, made my selections for the menu and on right side of window changed the media size i wanted to use to 23400 meg. wondered if i should put that size to around 7800 meg instead, then tell ImgBurn to put end result from AVCHD on to a 25gig disk? did select ‘blu ray’ as disk option, not AVCHD. could i post screen dumps (how do i do that?) here or email to you so you can see better what i have tried?

    appreciate your time. tnx again

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Wait, if you already have compliant files, why are you transcoding? You should only transcode if necessary (eg. your source files are too large).

    As for the “Author” tab, only set the desired output size to the size of your target disk. In this case, you were doing it right already, as you wanted a 25GB Bluray.

    MultiAVCHD is smart enough that if it already detects an input file to be compliant, and you haven’t clicked on the Transcode button or edited the desired bitrate, it should pass through the original files automatically. I don’t have the program in front of me to be sure, but I believe that is correct.

  • kev

    update for you, Adub. didn’t get mail before i started playing again. although i need help, not adverse to giving things ago anyway. did as you suggested and did no transcoding with AVCHD but set the output for each file as 7800meg approx. all went ok but ImgBurn kept telling me the file was too big by around 178meg. redid all again (a couple of times), reducing bitrate but file still 178meg too big. made no difference how much i reduced the bitrate for each file. anyway, just as a trial (no disrespect intended) put the resulting file through BD REbuilder (didn’t change anything except for removing the work files. should i have changed the audio setting to 448Kbs for AC3 encoding?) and it reduced the size to approx 13gig, even though i selected the BD 25 as target size. gonna try the BD25 option in AVCHD this time and see what happens. if file is still too big, will put it through BD REbuilder again and select custom size of 23500meg. would choosing a higher quality setting in BD Rebuilder result in a larger finished size? know it will slow things down but would like to use more of disk.
    another thing was when i played the disk (13gig) in ps3, couldn’t see any menu to select which movie to play out of the three. they just kept playing the whole disk. dont know if that is right or not.

    tnx again

  • kev

    bit more info, Adub. doesn’t seem to make any difference what i do in AVCHD, i cant get the resulting file size down so it will fit on a BD25 disk. i have tried the custom size option as well, set to 23000meg, but it still comes out at 177meg too big. the files i am working with, after ripping to BD9 with DVDFab, are 7.84gig, 7.82gig and 7.84gig respectively. if the rips are the problem, i dont know how to reduce their size. maybe different audio option? the only one i can use in the rips is the master audio (using english only). the other one available is the ‘directors commentary’). BD Rebuilder takes them down to the 4.3gig mark using the BD9 option, which is too small. the other thing i found with the disk i actually burnt (13gig file size) was no menu showing on ps3, so obviously have missed something there too.
    i hope you dont mind trying to correct the issues i am having and that others reading the posts are benefiting as well.

  • kev

    yet another update, Adub.the reason BD Rebuilder was making the BD9 size so small was my fault. i was using the ripped ‘movie only’ file to be ripped again! what a berk!! ha ha. anyway, have used anydvd andBD Rebuilder again, properly this time, i hope. will post back on resulting file size. still dont know why the menu didn’t show on the ps3, so still would like a suggestion as to what i am doing wrong there, if you have an idea for me to try, please.

  • kev

    yet another update, Adub. seems that dvdfab is producing too large files, or AVCHD is not reducing that size. after using BD Rebuilder, got the 3 movies to one disk. plays fine in ps3 but still cant see any menu. get a quick flash of name of compilation on screen, then get music that keeps repeating until i click ‘enter’ button on ps3 remote. as it seems like this is the last thing needed to be successful, would welcome your suggestions, please.

    TIA

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Let’s carry this conversation on via email.

    I’ve sent you one.

  • tg

    just a couple of questions
    - you showed that you can create a title menu (a menu that will have a link to each of your movies), can you also create menus for each of the movies so you can go directly to a given chapter, or do you have to skip through to the chapter you want after selecting a movie?

    -if so, can those be custom menus where you add your own graphic assets for background, buttons etc

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Yes, chapter menus are available.

    And yes, custom menus are possible (I know that there is one particularly active poster on the Doom9 forums who adds custom menus). You will have to tweak the menu settings under the menu tab to achieve your desired look, but it is possible.

  • tg

    great, I think this is just what I’m looking for then. Have a ton of old tv shows on dvd that i’d like to consolidate onto blu-ray. Was hoping to retain the original menu/chapter structure, but it seems that isn’t possible since the dvd and blu-ray file structures are totally different. I would have to re-build them myself, but this seems like the next best thing.

  • Michael

    Hi,

    I dont understand how do burn the files onto a DVD disc in AVCHD format. I have done all the steps in multiavchd but then what? COuld you please describe how I burnthe files from multiavchd on to the DVD. If I use imgburn, where do I find the files that I have prepared in multiavchd?

    Kind regards
    Michael

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Thankfully, I wrote a guide for this very purpose here: http://adubvideo.net/how-to/burn-avchds-blurays-imgburn

  • davijones

    How many DVD films can I fit on a single 50gb Blu ray disc that will play on any Blu ray player without losing any quality of the films. This is without the special features, just the movies themselves.
    I know its impossible to tell but if you had to estimate how many would I be able to fit?

    Thanks in advance !!

  • Jimmy Hoffa

    Thanks for the info, very useful. I converted a .mkv 720 bluray file to bdmv using this software. When I went to play back on my ps3, I had audio, but no video. Any way you can assist me with this?

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    For conversion issues, I suggest you hit up Doom9′s forums dedicated to this software: http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=143744

  • Bido

    I would like to put my ripped dvd collection on my PC to stream to my Panasonic 42p30 TV. Would this be the software to use? My TV requires AVCH Standard files. Any info would be helpfull.

    Thanks in advance Bido

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    If you would like to stream the files to your TV, you will need a program like TVersity, Serviio, or PS3MediaServer to perform the stream capabilities.

    If you simply want to convert your DVD’s to AVCHD, then yes, multiAVCHD or AVCHDCoder will do what you want. RipBot can do the same thing if you don’t want any menu’s.

  • Bido

    Thanks for the reply.

    Bido