My dad wants to turn his home movies into DVDs. Might win an Oscar, you can never tell.
February 25, 2007 10:49 PM   Subscribe

What's the best Windows software package to edit video and create DVDs?

My Dad's got a bunch of tapes from his JVC GR-D72U digital video camera. He has proven to me that can transfer the data into the computer, but the bundled software he has has never been very easy to use nor has it been reliable at being able to create DVDs.

What's the favored Windows solution at the moment? He doesn't need to do anything particularly fancy, but being able to cut scenes together, add music, put little "Happy Birthday" text on the screen, and create DVD menus from templates are probably all things he would want to do.

Also, keep in mind that the fewer times my dad calls me from two time zones away with crazy questions, the better. (I would normally provide support via VNC, but I suspect that won't work well during video editing.)

And yes, I know that one answer is "Get a Mac and iMovie", but that's out of the question for now. Maybe next time.
posted by IvyMike to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Windows Movie Maker is the clone of Apple iMovie. Here are instructions on its use.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:06 PM on February 25, 2007

My father, who is technically disinclined, reviewed his options and decided to go with a professional service. I can ask him about the specifics, if you want--e-mails in the profile.
posted by crayolarabbit at 11:15 PM on February 25, 2007

A non-obvious clue: the whatever.MOD files that come off JVC digital cameras can be imported directly into Windows Movie Maker if you rename them to whatever.mpg. Go to Tools->Options->View and turn off "Hide extensions for known file types" to make this rename possible.

You will need MPEG-2 video and AC3 audio codecs installed to use WMM with these files, but if you've already got bundled DVD software installed, you will most likely already have these.
posted by flabdablet at 11:31 PM on February 25, 2007

I use Adobe Premier Elements. I find it much easier than Roxio. But I would caution you that even to do simple tasks such as cutting scenes, adding music, etc is far more time consuming than you will ever imagine. But if he has the time, the patience and the will to work at it then that may be the way to go.
If all he wants to do is convert to a dvd from his digital video camera without editing then it would be a much easier task.
Personally, I would have it done by a professional service. Because to do editing, etc just requires to much time and patience.
posted by JayRwv at 11:35 PM on February 25, 2007

Seconding Elements. Movie Maker is quite limited in format and capability. Elements can do a lot more, with more media types.
posted by disclaimer at 4:53 AM on February 26, 2007

I third Premiere Elements. Good performance and flexibility.
posted by Argyle at 7:56 AM on February 26, 2007

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