I have several DVDs with short documentaries on it. Since the notebook I'm using (a Dell Latitude E6400) has only one DVD drive, and I might play back those short movies very often, I thought of copying them to the HDD and playing them back from there. However, I've run into a problem, namely stuttering audio.
When I play back these movies directly from DVD (with Windows Media Player 11 under Windows Vista), everything works fine. Smooth video, no significant audio problems (only the occasional click).
But as soon as I copy any of these DVDs to the HDD and try to play them back from there (e.g. using the
wmpdvd://drive/title/chapter?contentdir=path protocol, I get stuttering audio — audio playback sounds like a machine gun for a third of a second or so, approx. every 8 seconds.
I have tried converting the VOB files from the DVD to another format (ie. ripping), but that resulted in a noticeable downgrade of picture quality. Therefore I thought it best to keep the files in their original format, if possible. Still, I suspect that the stuttering audio is due to some (de-)muxing problem, and that changing the file format might help. (After all, video playback is fine; therefore I don't think that the hardware is too slow for playback.) Only thing is, I don't know how to convert the VOB files to another Windows Media Player-compatible format without quality loss.
I hope someone can help me, or give me further pointers on things I could try out to get HDD playback to work without the problem described.
Some things I've tried so far, without any success:
VOB2MPG, in order to convert the
.vobfile to a
.mpgfile. But that changes only the A/V container, not the content. No re-encoding takes place at all.
Re-encoding with MPlayer/MEncoder. Lots of quality loss there, and I frankly haven't got the time to test all possible settings combinations available.
Disabling all plug-ins, equalizers, etc. in Windows Media Player.
Disabling all hardware acceleration on the audio playback device.
Further info on the VOB files I'm trying to playback:
The video format is MPEG ES, PAL 720x576 pixels @ 24/25 frames per second.
The sound stream is uncompressed PCM, 16-bit stereo @ 48kHz. (Might it help if I somehow re-encoded the sound stream at a lower resolution, or as an MP3? If so, how would I do this without changing the video stream?)
P.S.: I am limited to using Windows Media Player (11). (I previously tried MPlayer btw., but the video playback quality was surprisingly bad.)