Encoding VOB files for Vizio TV and Plex

Encoding VOB files for Vizio TV and Plex

Encoding VOB files for Vizio TV and Plex media server can be difficult. There are a zillion different options to rip a DVD (and of course I am referring to a DVD you legally own) and encode it for a Plex server and then watch it on a Vizio TV. I have a Plex media server running on FreeNas. Freenas makes it very easy to install a network area storage for your home. It also makes it very easy to install lots of additional plugins, and all from an easy to use web interface. While the installation is very easy, watching the actual movies is a bit of a pain. You can easily watch them from a browser from any computer you have attached to Freenas, but I wanted to watch them from the Vizio. At first, I just used mencoder to rip the DVDs. This worked sometimes, but wasn’t consistent. I have used Handbrake on occasion, and while easy to use, it doesn’t support the codecs that Vizio can use. That is the rub as it were, getting the Vizio and the encoded movies, and Plex to all work together. It took me lots of configuration changes to finally get a movie from DVD to play on my Vizio TV. Here is what I did:

  • Looked through the DVD with lsdvd
  • Ripped the appropriate vob with vobcopy, something like:
vobcopy -l -n1
  • Encoded the file with ffmpeg with this command:
ffmpeg -hide_banner -i MYMOVIE.vob -sn -c:v mpeg4 -q:v 3 -tag:v xvid -aspect 16:9 -c:a libmp3lame -q:a 4 mymovie.avi
  • The options used are:
-hide-banner

makes the output less verbose and easier to read.

-i

is for specifying the input.

-sn

is for no subtitles.

-c:v mpeg4 -q:v 3 -tag:v xvid

uses ffmpegs builtin mpeg4 to encode and marks it as xvid. This is important as the Vizio likes xvid. This is the reason I could not use Handbrake. Handbrake doesn’t have xvid anymore and the Vizio won’t play anything that uses the Handbrake codecs. The 3 in that code snippet refers to the quality of the video. 1 is the best but it results in a large file size.

-aspect 16:9

You can change this to 4:3 to get a different scale. You can also probably leave it out.

-c:a libmp3lame -q:a 4

This is for the audio encoding. Again, this is what the Vizio likes.

  • Uploaded the avi movie to my Plex server running on FreeNas.
  • Watch it on the Vizio TV.

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