Best program to get your downloaded movies to play on your DVD?
June 20, 2007 5:20 AM   Subscribe

Help me not spend $70 on Nero. What is a good piece of free stuff or more moderately priced program that will effectively help me convert stuff I download from the web (avi, torrent stuff) to a DVD or VCD so I can play it on my TV?

Previous searches seem to recommend DIKO -- but I can't download a version that works. Also, it seems this question has not been asked for a bit. Perhaps new alternatives have arisen? Thanks for any help!
posted by skepticallypleased to Computers & Internet (21 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
The phrase that google needs is "dvd author" or this google search brings up what look like plenty of guides.

In linux, I used DeVeDe and ToVid for this, which is of course all free.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 5:38 AM on June 20, 2007

DVD Flick will do it like a charm. And it's free!
posted by mattholomew at 5:43 AM on June 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

Dunno where you are but you could get a divx-capable player in Aus for AUD40, and make it up in discs and time and hassle.
posted by pompomtom at 5:46 AM on June 20, 2007

Many modern and some cheap DVD players can play almost any file format. Don't waste time doing file conversions and just burn the files on a regular DVD to pop in your machine.
posted by JJ86 at 5:51 AM on June 20, 2007

VSO ConvertXtoDVD does a much better job than Nero, and it's cheaper. I always found that Nero was terrible for losing synch. between sound and video.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 6:09 AM on June 20, 2007

If you're going to download pirated movies, why not just download a cracked copy of Nero and be done with it?

Obviously I'm not recommending this, but you gotta admit, the way your question is stated is a bit ironic.
posted by rkent at 6:26 AM on June 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

Why do you assume this person is downloading pirated material?
posted by arco at 6:30 AM on June 20, 2007

to: arco - probably because he said avi and torrents
posted by heartquake at 6:43 AM on June 20, 2007

xtoconvert will convert anything - and it's pretty speedy.
posted by heartquake at 6:45 AM on June 20, 2007

Also, if you were in the market to upgrade your DVD reader/writer or add one to another PC, many will come free with Nero: Froogle example search. Way less than $70, and you get Nero plus a new DVD writer.
posted by poppo at 6:45 AM on June 20, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses so far. I am trying DVD Flick so far mattholomew and it seems to be working even if slow.

As for the special DVD players, I bought a Philips recommended in a previous AskMe thread and it works perhaps 60% of the time. It plays stuff, but distorts the quality.

As for the piracy question, it's a great one. I never download English movies for this purpose. For me, some of the fun of going to the movies is getting OUT of the house, and seeing it on a big screen. I get my music from itunes and I left Napster severely underutilized when it was in its glory days. (Limewire too now). We need to pay for the art we consume.

Now, arco was kind in defense, but I will confess to some guilt here. I do the conversion for Indian movies. My wife understands a couple languages and I can't, so rather than having her drag me to the few that make it to the theater, I get them off the net.

I paid for an old version of Nero (5th edition) but changed computers. Plus, it never worked as they said it would. I got the trial for Nero7 and it was great. Still, I'd rather not upgrade if possible and avoid paying in full again.
posted by skepticallypleased at 6:47 AM on June 20, 2007

Best answer: For a bit more than that you can get an Xbox premodded from ebay to use XBMC. Search on here for more details... it will save you burning disks all the time, and, is, frankly, awesome.
posted by tomw at 6:58 AM on June 20, 2007

XBMC is the most awesome thing ever. I used a philips dvp632 (which is probably what you have, and yes, is a little inconsistent at what it can play) until last year, when I picked up an XBOX and had it modded (total cost, probably under $150 -- ymmv). XBMC can play ANYTHING, seriously, ANYTHING*-- it's like VLC. It can stream video from Windows shares, meaning if you have an always on computer, all you do is drop it in a folder, and it's basically ready to watch on your xbox.

That said, if you don't want to spend $80 on Nero, you probably don't want to spend $150 on the most awesomely cheap HTPC known to man (it's so awesome people are trying to port it to linux, so they can run it on their computers. That awesome). In that case, I would suggest heading over to and checking out their well written and (usually) fully illustrated tutorials on DVD authoring (and everything else having to do with burnt media).

*ok, not true -- it doesn't have the power to handle high def entirely, but it's played EVERYTHING i've thrown at it, including mkvs!
posted by fishfucker at 8:13 AM on June 20, 2007

a lot of people don't seem to know that if a certain file doesn't play correctly with that DVD player, you can press the 'system' button twice and it will revert to 'compatibility mode'. So that 60% could be more like 80-90.
posted by imaswinger at 10:01 AM on June 20, 2007

Seconding ConvertXtoDVD. I think it costs $20-30. It will convert files, create menus, and burn. Works like a charm -- more features and more reliable than anything else I've seen.

Also: I use Taiyo Yuden DVD+Rs.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:36 AM on June 20, 2007

Best answer: god
I hate that I am saying this.

I can feel chills.

Fucking Windows DVD Maker, available in Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate is sweeter than all get out.

Its rad, converts stuff if you have the codec installed, and makes MAD menus..

Here's a guide

Gonna go kill myself..
posted by JonnyRotten at 11:06 AM on June 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

AVI2DVD is a freeware app that might do the trick. I know several people who swear by it.
posted by The GoBotSodomizer at 12:39 PM on June 20, 2007

I'm just sayin, I mean I'm JUST SAYIN, that if you're comfortable enough w/ piracy to download the movies/tv, why not just go all the way and get what you want software wise?
posted by TomMelee at 1:25 PM on June 20, 2007

Because the worst that is likely to happen with a pirated avi is that it won't play, but pirated software runs a serious chance of being a plain and simple trojan?

(yes, data file can have trojans in them that execute through various exploits, too, but it's a lot easier to run your trojan by just having the victim click on it)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:31 PM on June 20, 2007

Eh, meh. More like "BayTSP will find your IP and sue your ass off".
posted by TomMelee at 1:34 PM on June 20, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks for the respones.....but how do you get ConvertXtoDVD? I think I was chasing it and might have got a trojan myself. Yikes. Ok, will try others.
posted by skepticallypleased at 3:08 PM on June 20, 2007

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