So this started off as a question I asked when I decided to see if I could run my entire system off of just the main repository...which so far is working (one side note....it seems if you tell the installer to use a network mirror, the security updates entry has main and contrib...have not been able to figure out why, but I removed contrib).
Anyways, taking downloaded video files and converting them so I could make a DVD out of them is one of the main tasks I do on my machine. Before my "quest" I always used DeVeDe out of the Debian-Multimedia Repo. Since this was a no-no now, I decided to learn how to do it from the command line.
I found the following commands, run in this order, do the job for me.
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ffmpeg -i film.avi -aspect 4:3 -target pal-dvd dvd.mpg (or ntsc-dvd)
dvdauthor -o dvd/ -t dvd.mpg
dvdauthor -o dvd/ -T
genisoimage -o MOVIE_TITLE.iso -dvd-video MOVIE_TITLE/
Now, the genisoimage command can be replaced by a growisofs command, but since i like to burn dvd's to a rewritable to save money, I just keep the iso. I'll dig up the growisofs command for anyone who wants to burn directly to a DVD.