Easy DVD creation on newish Dell?
June 9, 2005 4:44 AM   Subscribe

A friend of the family has a newish Dell, purchased in the last month. They want to make DVDs from a MiniDV camcorder that is playable on home players. They spent some time using Windows Movie Maker, only to discover that what it made were .avi movies, and not actual DVDs. I work on a Mac, and have suggested the Mac/iMovie/iDVD combination, but really don't know what to suggest for their platform of choice ...

Can anyone suggest a simple combination of PC software (perhaps it even came with their Dell?) that would let them edit and master DVDs as (nearly) easily as the Mac solution? Thanks in advance...
posted by jpburns to Technology (5 answers total)
Adobe Premiere Elements is a reduced version of Premiere that does exactly this. It's only slightly more complicated than iMovie, and it makes DVDs, Quicktime for the web, etc, etc. My parents are able to use it, and they're not computer savvy.
posted by fake at 5:08 AM on June 9, 2005

I'm on the high end of things, avid, fcp - and realistically....imovie/idvd rocks

For $99 there's Ulead

Sony makes something similar - Vegas studio

But the quick google search lead me to this page about entry level DV/DVD software

Most of the software has free trials. Use your instincts about the ease. Download them, take them next door, install them, and see how they work.
posted by filmgeek at 5:10 AM on June 9, 2005

Burn a Movie Maker Project to DVD
posted by Otis at 5:12 AM on June 9, 2005

if they purchased a DVD-burner with the system, it should have come with some sort of DVD authoring software. I'm not familiar with what Dell is bundling in their PCs nowadays, but in the past, their regular DVD-ROM drives usually came bundled with a copy of Cyberlink PowerDVD, and there's an authoring companion called PowerProducer that looks decent. Perhaps that's somewhere in the stacks of CDs that was shipped with their box?

also, any commercial DVD authoring software does have the ability to convert AVI into MPEG for writing to DVD, so if they're already working with Windows Movie Maker, they could, conceivably export that work into an authoring package, which will allow them to slice the file into chapter and create menus and such.

Myself, I bought a DVD-RW a la carte to install in a custom PC and it came bundled with Ahead's Nero software. The package isn't bad as a basic authoring kit -- has some filters that can be applied to video segments, and can do basic animated menus, and such. It's like the copy of Photoshop Essentials that gets bundled in a digital camera. Fine for 75% of home users, but if you want really fancy prosumer features, you'd spring for either the Adobe Premier/Encore package, or Ulead's DVD Workshop.
posted by bl1nk at 5:18 AM on June 9, 2005

I've been using DVDLab.

I haven't used Windows Movie Maker -- check to see if you can control the output. DVDLab works best when the audio and video are demultiplexed. And it expects an MPEG2 stream for the video.
posted by Arthur Dent at 11:08 AM on June 9, 2005

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