Kudos to Bittorrent, raspberries to all DVD burning software

OK we missed the most recent episode of Desparate Housewives while we were in Hawaii. I hadn’t kept up to date on bittorrent in the last couple months so time to try again.

Went to download Azureus. Oops, needed the SUN JRE first. Installed the JRE, then Azureus. Both pretty painless tho the Sun website has way too much info on it.

Then off to http://www.torrents.co.uk which is a great source of TV torrents. Found the Desparate Housewives episode which aired on 12/20, and started up the download. Very painless, full HDTV quality, no commercials.

And once done, it played perfectly in the Divx player that I already had installed, so I didn’t have to hunt around for one of these, tho there seem to be a number of alternatives out there.

OK so now I could play this great looking show in my office, but I really wanted it down in the family room, and i don’t have a media center pc yet. So I thought gee, I’ll just burn it onto a DVD and go!

This is where everything turned to crap. First off, i tried a bunch of different DVD burning tools that I had on my machines — most of them bundleware with DVD burners. Ulead, sonic mydvd were a couple of them. None of them could parse the downloaded show. So I googled around and downloaded a few more — HT Burn, DVD Lab Pro. Nope they couldn’t import the show either.

Figuring I had some strange codec problem i downloaded Videoinspector, this was pretty helpful. Analyzed the show, and claimed I didn’t have the necessary xvid codec (tho how did the divx player play the show then???) and took me right to a download site. Ok so i installed but I still had trouble getting any DVD authoring software to consume the file. tmpgenc seemed to be able to crack the file thought to what end I am not sure. DVD lab pro hung hard.

After the hard hang i updated my sony dvd burner firmware and checked my bios and scsi/sata firmware, all ok. Still I could never coerce anything into burning a dvd, ht burn got the furthest and actually burnt the video but no audio.

So I gave up. We all watched the show in my office.

What have I learned? The last time I tried to burn DVDs in earnest was about 6 months ago. The software sucked then. It still sucks now. And the other learning is — get a media center PC.