How do I copy my home video/film/photos to DVD?
FAQs for DVD Recorder and DVD Player
For more details of DVD FAQs, please refer to the FAQs for DVD Recorder and DVD Player.
For a simple video-to-DVD transfer you can buy a DVD video recorder ($500 to $3,000) and connect it to your VCR or camcorder. It works just like a VCR but it records onto a disc instead of tape.
For transferring photos or music, or for making a customized DVD with menus and chapters and other fun stuff, you'll need the following:
- A computer
- A DVD recordable drive ($30-$100, or it might come with the computer)
- DVD authoring software (usually comes with the drive or computer, or you can buy it alone). The reason why you must use authoring software is that you can't just copy MPEG or AVI or JPEG files onto a disc and expect it to play in DVD players.
You need to take the following steps to copy your home video/film/photos to DVD:
- If the video and pictures are not already in digital form (AVI, WMV, DivX, QuickTime, JPEG, and so on), you need to transfer them to your computer. For analog video, such as VHS and Hi8, you need a video capture device or a computer with built-in analog video input; for digital video such as DV or D8 you need a 1394/FireWire input on the computer. For film, first have it transferred to tape or digital video at a camera shop or video company. For slides or photos, use a scanner to get the digital copy of your photos.
- Import the video and audio clips into the DVD-Video authoring program. Many DVD authoring programs will convert and encode the video and audio for you. If not, you have to encode the video into MPEG-2 (make sure the display frame rate is set to 29.97 for NTSC or 25 for PAL).
- Encode the audio into Dolby Digital (or, if your video is short enough that you have room on the disc, format the audio as 48kHz PCM). You can also use MPEG Level 2 audio, but it won't work on all players.
- Create some chapter points in your video tracks or let the DVD recording software do it for you.
- To put photos on the disc, use the slideshow feature in the authoring software or make each picture a menu. Most DVD authoring software will directly read TIFF, JPEG, BMP, and PhotoShop files. Some software products can make slideshows easily from your photo collection and burn them into normal CD-R/CD-RW disc which can be played on DVD player. eg. DVD Photo Slideshow only supports CD burner. But you may try to burn the normal CD on your DVD burner if your DVD burner is compatible with CD burner. Actually, DVD Photo Slideshow can make high-resolution photo album video CD from your photo collection using a CD burner. DVD Photo Slideshow optimizes your digital photos and use the High Resolution Still Picture format which is supported by DVD/SVCD. This technique makes photos look great on TV. The resolution of the image shown on TV can be as high as 704x576. You may refer to How To Make Your Photo Slideshow With DVD Photo Slideshow for more details.
- Create menus that link to your video clips and slideshows.
- Write your finished gem out to a recordable DVD.