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Greeting Haunters:

I just got this information in, from a haunter in England, some basic steps for taking a chapter [assuming a visual effect] from a DVD, and use just That Chapter, to playback in a loop, using a PC/Laptop. I'm sharing this information, because over the last 5 years, numerous haunters have asked me how to do this. As a MAC guy, and as I really am the Filmmaker/DP/Visual Effects designer...yeah and MailRoom Boy too, I have not taken time to learn to do this. So this information is for anyone who might like to take a DVD...this was only tried with a Laser Burned DVD, not a PRESSED Hollywood Movie type DVD which might be different + is illegal to do anyway.

THE NEED: Let's say you bought a stock DVD from any company who makes TV or Video Projector Effects, and it's got 20 Chapters, each chapter is a unique effect. You decide you DON'T want to use the [in my opinion, vastly easier/quicker/cheaper method] of using a $40.00 DVD player and the remote control, but instead YOU want to use your $400-$1400 PC to play back the video effects for your home or haunt...what can you do.

THE SOLUTIONS: There are probably SOME DVD players for PCs or MACS which have an option to repeat the Chapter, I however am not aware of any. On my many Macs of different years, and one PC, there is either no repeating, or you can just repeat the whole DVD. Well if you want just "That One Ghost", and you won't use a DVD player, then using a file in Window Media Player is the solution I want to provide.

Windows Media Player, can repeat the entire FILE, or movie. Which is what this Haunter in England has just done. Here's the steps as taken from an email from Kevin of Northern England. [Thanks Kevin]

This is what I've done ( did it myself - I may have done it the long way and no doubt there is probably a short cut - but it works) I opened up the folder of the contents of
your Santa DVD with two Chapters.

1. Copied VTS_02_1 file from the disk to my pc

2. Used "prism video file convertor" (free off the net) to convert the file from a .vob file to a .wmv file

3. Imported the wmv file into Windows Movie Maker
Then used windows movie maker to delete the last 7 minutes of the file (the upside down part)

4. Saved the file to the pc as a .wmv file
Easy peasy - took about 25 mins total

5. Tried it out tonight - works perfectly. You use the repeat file command in Window Media Player, which is COMMAND + R, or from the drop down menu. Basically you must find the repeat command, and the file will keep playing.
Thanks very much


SO I am glad for Kevin's help, which came in a few days time from his mentioning he was going to find a way. If anyone knows of other ways, It'd be great for you to make a post in this area of the forum to help others. Me, Jon Hyers is not a computer tech. Since I use macs, and 90% of people don't, I'm not usually any help.

My personal feeling is, this kind of information, from Kevin, is going to be helpful in the future, when DVDs go away***, basically FORCING people to use PCS to playback video effects. A PC can quickly playback, and even edit different arrangements of wmv files, downloaded from the web. SO I believe at some point, the future will allow that, video clips sold like Itunes, which IS already offered a lot these days. But not all of us are willing to Spend 6 months, with a closed business, converting all our DVDs and in some cases 1000's of Chapters to the web.

As long as DVD is around, my personal feeling is that it's far easier to just use a small, cheap DVD player. It's the simplest way to project effects with a video projector. And you are free to use your PC for ALL of the other tasks it does for you.

***WHEN WILL DVDs GO AWAY???? Well, you can rest assured I've done some research into this, as it really affects how quickly I move to downloads files. What I heard in late 2011 from a major reseller and manufacturer of DVD/CD/BLUEray duplicators is. Soon DVD/CD drives will no longer be made for computers or players. Within a few years he said. Then Combo DVD/CD/BLUE Burner and Reader/Burner Drives will be the only ones around. Soon only Blueray discs will be around, and everything you do will be on Blueray, I assume including Music. That's the glimpse into the future, and all I know now. JON HYERS
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