What Is a VOB File? (Fully Explained) 

Blu-Ray DVD

What Is a VOB File? (Fully Explained) 

Key Points

  • A VOB file is a container file format found on DVDs that stores movie data, including video, audio, menus, and subtitles.
  • VOB files are based on the MPEG program stream format and are often encrypted.
  • You can open and play VOB files using a DVD player or compatible media player like VLC Media Player.
  • VOB files can be converted to other formats like MP4 using online file converters such as HandBrake.
  • Pros of using VOB files include good quality, large file size, and wide support, while cons include large file size, inability to use online, and encrypted data.

If you’ve ever played a DVD on your computer, DVD player, or game console, you may have come across something called a VOB file. With so many different file formats, it can take a lot of work to keep track of what they are and what they mean. So, what is a VOB file? What does it contain and how do you use it? This article will explain everything about this file type. It will also go over how to open and how to convert one. Finally, this article will explore the pros and cons of VOB files. 

VOB Files Explained

VOB is short for Video Object, with a file extension that ends in .vob. A VOB is a container file format you can find on a DVD. A container format is a metafile that allows numerous streams, such as audio and video, to be embedded in a single file. A VOB file is used to store DVD movie data, including video, audio, menus, and subtitles. Essentially, it contains all of the components needed to play a movie.

The VOB files are usually located in the VIDEO_TS folder that is the foundation of the DVD. VOB files, which are often encrypted, are based on the MPEG program stream format, but with additional support for audio standards such as DTS audio and Dolby AC-3. Devices like PlayStation and Xbox that can play DVDs typically support VOB files, although the files are not always well-supported by built-in media players on PCs and Macs.

dvd vd blu-ray
A VOB file is a container format that stores DVD movie data including audio, video, navigation menus, and more.

How to Open and Play VOB Files

If you have a DVD player or another device that can read DVDs, the device will automatically play VOB files as usual. However, if you don’t have a DVD player, you may be able to extract the VOB files and play the content that way. If the DVD contains a VIDEO_TS file, you may be able to copy the entire folder to your hard drive or an external drive. If this is a DVD movie you have purchased, however, the files will be encrypted, so you will not be able to copy the VIDEO_TS file directly to your hard drive.

If the files are unencrypted, you will need to use a compatible media player to play each file and view the movie that way. If you want to play a VOB file without downloading it to a hard drive, you can use VLC Media Player. The VLC Media Player will play almost any media file, and it works on most devices from Windows to iOS to Linux. It’s also free and open-source, which means it can be modified and shared freely. 

We should also note that you may have issues if you try to play just one of the VOB files. For example, you may only be able to watch part of the movie it contains.

How to Convert VOB Files

You may find that some VOB files won’t play well, or at all, in some media players. For example, a QucikTime player cannot play them. Therefore, you may want to convert the file to see its contents. 

You can convert your VOB files using an online file converter such as HandBrake. HandBrake is a well-known converter that can change VOB files to MP4 files. Also, like VLC Media Player, HandBrake is free and open-source. 

You can convert VOB files into more than just MP4. For example, you can convert them into MOV, AVI, and WMV files. Once you’ve converted the file, you can download it and save it to your computer, external drive, or other compatible device.

The Pros and Cons of VOB Files

Like most computer files and file extensions, using a .vob comes with a set of pros and cons. These advantages and drawbacks may help you understand if you should convert and use a VOB file. Let’s explore why you would want to use a video object file first. 


Here are the three reasons you would want to use a video object file to view a movie. 

Good Quality

Most VOB files are free from conversion. Without modification, VOB files contain the highest quality sound and video available. 

Large File Size

Because of their large size, video object files can hold a lot of data. For example, a single .vob file can contain multiple audio tracks as well as video and subtitle tracks. They include everything a movie would. 

Widely Supported

Most DVD and Blu-ray players can play files that end with the .vob extension. Basically, you can play a .vob file anywhere you can pop on a DVD. Most Laptops, desktops, and game consoles can play VOB files if they have a DVD drive.

cases for HD DVD and Blue-Ray
Most DVD and Blu-ray players can read VOB files.


Now, let’s look at the three reasons why you wouldn’t want a video object file. 

Large File Size

One of the reasons to use a VOB file is the same as a reason not to use it. The files are large. Because they’re so large, they may not be the best choice for storing on your computer or online. For that reason, the best place to keep a backup of VOB files may be an external drive. 

Unable to Use Online

Unfortunately, if you want to upload a video object file to social media, you will have to convert it first. As of this article, there is no way to upload VOBs to any social media accounts. 

Contains Encrypted Data

A file that ends in .vob will likely include encrypted data. Because the data is encrypted, copying or editing the file will be difficult. That’s not to say you can’t, as there are online programs that allow you to do just that, however you should first ensure it is legal for you to do so.

Using VOB Files

Using a file with the extension .vob is relatively easy as long as you have a compatible player. You may find compatible players online or use a DVD player. If you’re having an issue playing this file type, you can try to convert it into an MP4 or other format that works with your computer. 

Overall, viewing a VOB file should be similar to watching a DVD. However, the issue lies in the lack of compatible equipment, encrypted files, or reliable software. If you have a video object file, it may be best to convert it to a more widely accepted format, such as an MP4.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I view a VOB file?

You can view a VOB file using a DVD or Blu-ray player. Otherwise, the best way to watch a VOB file is by using a VLC Media Player.

What is the purpose of a VOB?

A VOB is a container format for DVD media. It contains video, soundtracks, subtitles, and the menu available to stream.

Can I play VOB files on Windows Media Player?

In Windows 10 and above, Windows Media Player won’t play VOB files. You may need to decode the file first.

Can you convert a VOB file to MP4?

Yes, several different tools allow you to convert VOB files into MP4 using various programs. For example, you can use an online video converter.

Which is better VOB or MP4?

VOB files are acquired from DVDs, so you can’t play them on a mobile device. In contrast, an MP4 is compatible with all media players.

What video format works best?

Most people feel that MP4 and WMV are the best formats to watch videos while on the web. They have wide compatibility and are generally small in size.

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