Convert VOB to DV-AVI for use in Premiere

A VOB Story

A friend had some old home videos of kids birthday and Xmas parties burned to DVD. When he tried to import them into Premiere, to cut, slice, join and enjoy. It did not work. He asked if I could help. I was running Windows at the time. Linux users look for other solutions.

Here's the process, in case anyone needs to do similar.

The conversion of DVD VOB files to DV-AVI's is no trivial matter. It took several days to find a solution that worked. Many application processes convert the file but often results in no sound when opened in Premiere. Although you may have sound available when the file is played in a media player.

The following process actually does it. This results  in a DV-AVI file you can edit in Premiere.

It's worth notiing that there are two types of AVI files. AVI media files which are a Microsoft container format. DV-AVI which are Digital Video AVI files of the type captured by digital video camcorders. Both types are compressed. The AVI media format are heavily compressed using one of the many available codecs. Compression rates can be as high as 20:1. The compression results in poor picture quality.

DV-AVI files are compressed at a ratio of about 5:1, with little quality loss.

Before you can convert VOB files to AVI, you need to download and install some software.

Required Software
  1. VirtualDubMod
  2. AC3ACM
  3. Panasonic DV Codec
You'll also need Adobe Premiere installed. 

Install the software once your downloads complete. You need to install the AC3ACM codec into the VirtualDubMod folder. If you don't, you will NOT get sound with your video.


Here's a run through the process:
  1. Start VirtualDubMod
  2. Click Video > Compression setting > Full processing mode
  3. Click Video > Compression setting > Panasonic DV Codec > OK
  4. Click File > Open video file
  5. Locate / select VOB file you want converted to DV-AVI
  6. Click the file name
  7. Click Open. ( VirtualDubMod will import the file )
  8. Click File > Save as AVI [F7]
  9. Type new file name for converted VOB file
  10. To run as a batch job, tick box in the bottom left hand corner to select "Job to run later".
  11. Click Save
  12. VirtualDubMod starts conversion
  13. VirtualDubMod displays progress status
  14. Play converted file in a media player to ensure its okay.
  15. Check sound is working
  16. Fire up Adobe Premiere
  17. Right click and import converted DV-AVI file into Premiere
  18. Play DV-AVI file in Premiere to ensure sound is produced
  19. Edit DV-AVI till your happy with the results.
  20. Contact Hollywood moguls about your latest epic release

VirtualDubMod has job control which allows you to prepare files for conversion, then leave the   conversion to run unattended.