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Free Conversion of MKV to WMV to DVD March 13, 2010

Posted by Chad in Tech.
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Lots of sites charge for this, but converting MKV (Matroska format) video files to something you can make a DVD from is pretty straight forward.

Let’s get started.

  1. Download your torrent load of *.mkv files, or however you get them.  Stick them all in a subfolder somewhere.
  2. Install this set of codecs:  http://www.cccp-project.net/  Yeah, it looks like a weird website, but it works.  They’re the free codecs to view mkv files.
  3. Download and install the free version of Microsoft Encoder 3 http://www.microsoft.com/Expression/products/Encoder_Overview.aspx.  There is also a 49$ version of Encoder which talks about support h.264 format, but you don’t need that.
  4. Start Encoder after the installation completes.  It’s a weird looking interface, but don’t worry.
    image
  5. Import in the lower left corner, and import all the videos you want to convert.  Go ahead and select the whole lot of ’em if you have more than one.  You’ll have to change the filter on the Open File box to *.* as *.mkv isn’t going to show by default.  You should see the status on each one changing to Ready, and the thumbnails appear.
  6. In the top right, select System, and select a preset.  I’m going to select Best Quality, but if you have different needs, select the proper preset.  Click the Apply button.
    image
  7. Fine tune your settings.  Just because, I set most everything to CBR 2 pass and also Source as the answer to a few options.  Source means, use the same frame rate, aspect ration, etc., as the starting file.  The should give you optimal quality.  To get Audio to appear, I usually select the pull down that says Audio under Output Format near the top, and select something else, then back to WMA Professional.  I guess that’s just a weird bug in the software not to show Audio options.  Again, play with the various options to get what you like to use.  If you reduce quality the encoding goes much faster, smaller file sizes, etc.  Once you get settings you like, click the + icon next to the Apply button, and save the settings.  When the dialog pops up, make sure you select All the settings to be saved.
    image
  8. The other tabs shown like Clips, Enhance, Metadata and Output are optional.
  9. Click Encode in the lower left corner.  Now let your PC do all the work for a while.  You’ll get a bunch of WMV files created.
  10. You can now just start the free Windows DVD maker, and import the WMV files, format your DVD the way you want, and watch!

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