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What is VOB?

Nicole Madison
Updated May 17, 2024
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A VOB, which stands for video object, is a type of file that is used in storing DVD content. Often referred to as DVD video object files, these files contain video and audio content as well as the menu and subtitle contents of a DVD video. Essentially, they contain the data that is used together to deliver a pleasing video-viewing experience. This type of file can be played using just about any type of video player.

In order to have DVD video files play in DVD players, the files must be stored correctly. VOB files are the correct file format for DVD video files. When video data, subtitles, titles, menu information, and additional features are created, they are stored using the VOB extension. This is a necessary step for creating DVD videos, and VOB is the primary file used in burning DVD video files.

Interestingly, DVD data discs do not use VOB files. Game and music DVD files don’t require this extension either. It is only needed for video. For example, if a person wants to create his own movie DVD or record and burn a DVD of his favorite television show, this type of file is used. These files store the video and audio that makes up the sight and sound elements of a DVD video as well as subtitles. In fact, they can be used to store subtitles in more than one language.

When a person begins to play a DVD video, he isn’t confronted with a bunch of VOB file names. The menu of a DVD video doesn’t usually allow the viewer to see the VOB files. Instead, a person usually sees a DVD menu that has shortcuts that access the video’s files. The files are streamed together to provide a nice viewing and listening experience. As such, many people never even think about the files that are used to create the video.

VOB and a video-audio format called motion picture experts group 2 (MPEG-2) are similar to each other. Video object files contain the same components as MPEG-2 files in addition to a couple of additional files. As such, players capable of playing video object files can usually play MPEG-2 files as well. This doesn’t work both ways, however, as MPEG-2 players cannot play video object files. It is, however, easy to convert video object files for use with MPEG-2 players using software designed for this purpose.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.

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Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison

Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGEEK writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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