Digital Camcorder to DVD on FreeBSD

A while ago, my stepson started playing competitive hockey. One of the team mothers suggested that the coach was looking for someone to tape the games and provide video. I had just purchased a camera to film the birth of my son, and there was a tripod knocking around, so I started taping the games.

I used a standard definition sony DV camera, that recorded everything in DV25 format. I then tried to transfer it to FreeBSD and create DVDs. Here's the outcome of the journey.

Ideally, there'd be one program to do this all, but there's not.

To capture the video, I used fwcontrol in the base system. I had to compile in firewire in my kernel (although the module also works). I was able to grab the video by starting fwcontrol -R, then hitting play on the camcorder. This created 10GB files.

Next, I loaded kino (from multimedia/kino) to do the editing. This is a very nice program. It handles the dv files. One word of caution. For me, sometimes it played the frames out of order, which gave me the characteristic lines on the video. mplayer and ffplay also did this. Ignore it. The final DVD will be good. Once you've edited the video, use kino's exporting function to create the mpeg files. kino will create a dvdauthor file as well. Save them both for the next step.

dvdstyler is an excellent front end to dvdauthor. The multimedia/dvdstyler port automatically installs everything it depends on. Use it to create the DVD. Most of it is fairly strait forward to use. You can even use it to edit and create menus. I needed to use the gimp to create a custom background, but those are just .jpg files. dvdstyler will either burn the DVD for you, or will let you do it. Doing it by hand is possible, but chances are excellent you'll just burn up a lot of time and wind up with an inferior set of menus...

I know this is a very high level overview. I'm blogging it so that people can find it all located in one place.