Best free DVD burning program for PC video files?
November 19, 2011 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Best free (or fair cost - some commercial programs are ridiculously over the $100 range) DVD burning program that takes PC video files (mp4, avi, mpg, flv, etc...) and burns them to DVD for watching on TV.

Hello! My latest hobby is taking video game Let's Play videos (where people record themselves playing a game and add color commentary on YouTube) and burning them to a DVD so I can watch them on my nice 42" TV rather than my tiny computer monitor.

Here is an example of a Let's Play:

I am currently using DVD Flick which is ALMOST perfect but while it claims to make chapter points at every new video (and I have read the tutorial and know I'm doing the right things) when I am watching the dvd on my PS3 and push the "forward chapter" button on my remote the tv says something like "this action isn't available right now". So while there very well may be chapter points, I can't move around them, so what's the point? The DVD Flick website forum isn't operational, and the author doesn't put an email address anywhere I can find it.

So I've decided to jump ship for another program. It should have the basic functionality of DVD Flick (burns nearly every video type to a watchable DVD) plus the ability the have each video you add to a project have it's own chapter point that you can move to using the remote forward and back keys. I've been making a lot of these and my DVD's are usually almost two hours so the ability to navigate the chapters is a big deal for me.

posted by Stryke11 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've used ConvertXtoDVD in the past and it works well.

Just a side note: some newish LCD tvs have a USB port that you can plug a thumb drive or USB hard drive into and watch directly from AVI/MOV/MKV/WMV. My friend's 46" Samsung that he bought 2 years ago has it, and my 32" bottom-rung LG has it too.
posted by JauntyFedora at 1:33 PM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have been using Avi2Dvd for making DVD's in the past. It seems to be able to make chapters although you may have to define them manually.
It's free.
posted by Thug at 1:45 PM on November 19, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks! I have downloaded both recommended programs and will give them a try.

Also, Fedora, I am in the market for a new 50" LCD so I'm definitely make the USB player a priority. You only need to plug it in and then you can pick your videos from a menu on the screen or does it just play the videos right off the bat in file order?
posted by Stryke11 at 3:31 PM on November 19, 2011

I've had good experiences with DVD Flick in the past.
posted by JHarris at 6:52 PM on November 19, 2011

A bit tangential, but maybe useful: I suspect why you're not getting chapter points at the start of each is because the videos aren't being joined as such, just chained to play one after the other. So what's on the disc is not
Video 0 = (video1 + video2 + video3 + …); Play video0
Play video1 -> play video2 -> play video3 -> …
In fact, there are chapter points at the start of each video (it's a mandatory part of the DVD-video spec) - but you can't jump to them because they're outside the scope of the forward chapter jump instruction (the currently playing video). Players handle this in different ways - some will do nothing, some will jump back to chapter 0 (the start of the current video), and some will jump to the end of the current video (& then step on to the next in the chain).

In essence, it comes down to individual player behaviour. The only way to be 100% sure is to use something that actually joins videos rather than chaining them, and also inserts chapter marks at each join. I don't think any of the suggested apps do it like that, but it's been a while since I've used them.

As for playing off the USB - yeah, on my 2010 C-series Samsung you choose a video from the menu. If you've got multiple videos in a folder & choose one, it'll play all the subsequent videos in that folder automatically. I think you can also select multiple videos for playback in order of selection (like a playlist), but don't quote me - I'm not near it at the moment.
posted by Pinback at 7:22 PM on November 19, 2011

Many DVD players also have a USB port and can play these files. It's a lot less work than transcoding and making a DVD.
posted by w0mbat at 9:38 AM on November 20, 2011

Stryke11, on both the TVs I've seen you can select it from a menu. On my LG the usb drive shows up as another input like HDMI or antenna, and then you select the videos from there.
posted by JauntyFedora at 10:41 AM on November 21, 2011

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