View Full Version : What kind cd/DVD do you use for burning/downloading?

07-30-2010, 01:17 AM
I know nothing about computers so I need some advice. I downloaded/bought some online DVDs on amazon. Is it possible to transfer this purchase to a DVD so I can watch it on my tv? What type of disc or DVD needs to be purchased? I also bought the Olympics as a download so how do I get that on a DVD? Also YouTube videos? Sorry I just know nothing about this. Thank you

07-31-2010, 12:39 AM
I wish I could be more helpful, but I've never purchased a downloadable movie, so I'm not sure whether you are supposed to be able to burn them to a DVD playable on a television. There's a good chance that they're encrypted in such a way that you can watch them on your computer but not make a permanent copy.

If the material is not protected to prevent creation of a DVD for TV, you will need DVD-authoring software. I don't know whether there's anything free that will handle large files like full movies. Some of the free stuff out there only seems to work on very short clips. What I use is Sony proprietary stuff that came with my computer. I also have a bit of experience with a product call VideoReDo which generally does what it is supposed to do. I don't remember how much I paid for it--somewhere between $39 and $79, I think.

Depending on the format your downloaded material is in, you might also need software that will convert it to a standard .mpg format before you can feed it into your DVD-authoring program. You might find software that will do this for free. Try Googling "convert xxx to .mpg" with "xxx" replaced by the format of the file you are working with. Understand, though, that you likely won't find software that will be able to handle encrypted files.

I believe there are several free options for saving YouTube videos. Suggestions have been made in earlier threads here on FSU. I have used WMCapture recently, but it's not free and there might actually be better options in that WMCapture records what is playing on your computer rather than actually recording the digital stream, so your recording may have freezes and other problems. A bonus is that WMCapture will record the Silverlight videos on NBCOlympics.com and some other websites. Once you have recorded the video from YouTube, you can save it as a data file on a blank DVD if you only want to be able to play it on your computer. Your DVD-burner probably came with software that will perform that simple task--something like Nero Express. If you want to play a YouTube video on a TV (not counting one hooked up to your computer as a monitor), you'll need to convert the file to .mpg format (WMCapture has the option to record it that way), then you'll need to use DVD-authoring software to burn the DVD. I don't know whether all DVD-authoring software can handle that type of file; mine goes through another conversion process when I feed it WMCapture videos, but it does eventually produce a DVD.

You will need blank DVDs (not CDs) to record more than a few minutes of video. Depending on the data-density of the source material, a single-sided DVD will hold from about 87 minutes of video (about the quality of an SP/2-hour videotape) to 117 minutes (roughly the quality of an LP/4-hour videotape) or 175 minutes (EP/6-hour tape quality).

I've read that new DVD players, like computer DVD drives, can read both basic DVD formats, DVD-R and DVD+R. I use DVD-R and have had only one or two unreadable DVDs out of thousands burned. I use premium-bquality Taiyo Yuden blank DVDs. At one time the rewritable DVD-RW and DVD+RW formats were not generally playable in a DVD player, only in computer DVD drives, but I think that may no longer be the case. You'd need to check the specifications for your player. The rewritable formats are a lot more expensive than the others, though, so I don't think it makes sense to use them for videos you intend to keep.

There are also dual-layer DVDs out there, which would be useful for recording movies that run substantially longer than 2 hours, but I have had no experience with them. I'd be a bit concerned that homemade dual-layer DVDs might not play reliably in all DVD players. In addition, those dual-layer disks are expensive.

07-31-2010, 12:46 AM
Wow thank you for all this info, it really helps! Off to get some blank DVDs :)

07-31-2010, 01:23 AM
I use DVD Flick (http://www.dvdflick.net/) to author my media files to burn onto DVD. It's free and while it's authoring, you can play Tetris too. :lol: You do have to test it though, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I think for one of the files I tried to burn onto a dual layer DVD, I had to pick the time where it would switch and that was a little dodgy. The file pauses for a split second so you do have to pick that time wisely...

Any old DVD-R can work, but it depends on the size of your file. If you want to burn something more than 4.7 GB (the size of a regular DVD-R), then you'll need one that's dual-layer (DL). You can burn twice as much onto it.

Aussie Willy
07-31-2010, 09:17 AM
What you could also do is get a media player. You could save the files onto an external hard drive, then you plug it via a USB into the media player, connect it to the TV and it should play various types of file formats on your TV. However it does depend on how old your TV is whether it has the correct type of ports. And you would want to check what type of files they are that you have downloaded. You wouldn't need to burn them onto DVD then.