Burning Movies - DVD

3:12 PM Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Just a few days ago I purchased my first DVD Player/Burner. It is a LG GSA-H55L. Already used it to burn some data DVDs . Then tried to burn my first movie. Actually I burned movies in the past on CD-R.

My procedure for burning a movie on a CD-R:

First of all a CD-R can only handle a 700 MB file max. So the files has to be under 700 MB in size. If the movie isn't formatted properly, you will need to convert it first to its proper format.

I use a program called WinAVI from www.winavi.com/. Its a simple and straight forward program to use. Once installed and opened, just click on the DVD, chose your movie, and where you want the output file to be saved, in the Select output format, chose DVD. Of course if you done it before there are some Advanced Options to chose from.

Then just click on OK.

Once converted, and I'll warn you in advanced, conversion can take awhile. A few hours for small files and I just recently converted an 800 MB file and it took 7 hours 40 min roughly. I have a P2-400 mhz system with 192 MB RAM, if you have a faster system it probably will finish a lot quicker.

Warning number two, make sure you have a lot of hard drive space to spare. The end file was 3.14 GB in size.

When I was just using a Cd burner, I converted a file that I couldn't burn off because it was over a Gigabyte in size. I don't know if there is are magical formula to calculate the size of a converted file in advanced.

Once the file was converted, for the CD burner, you will find a bunch of files like, VIDEO_TS.BUP, VIDEO_TS.IFO, VTS_01_0.BVP, VTS_01_0.IFO, and VTS_01_1.VOB.

Then you need to burn it. At first, as I already mentioned, I only had a CD burner. I was using Nero 7 (something). Nero will not allow you to burn a DVD directly to CD-R if you don't have a DVD burner. Even if you chose the option to burn a VCD it will not give you the option. What you have to do is to click on the option to switch from your burner to Neros Image Burner. (note: If I remember correctly, you also have to chose to create a VCD or SVCD for this to work - NOT a DVD)

This option will burn a copy of the cd or DVD to your hard drive first. Once finished you can then open this image in Nero and burn it directly to CD.

That was before. Now, I have a DVD burner. I installed the software that came with the burner which included - "Cyberlink PowerDVD, Cyberlink PowerProducer, and Nero 7 Essentials".

I decided to try the PowerProducer, but it sucked. It would shut down with no explanation why. No error message indicated. But one thing I noticed was that it indicated that the final file size would be 6 GB. I was wondering if my hard drive was set up properly.

I use to have a FAT32 formatted drive. The FAT simply refers to the File Allocation Table- basically its like a table of contents that keeps a map of the hard drive. Information is keep in small segments called clusters. They are like small fileing cabinets that hold bits and pieces of your files.

They have evolved over the years from a FAT12 used mainly on Floppy drives, FAT16, then FAT32. Now of course is the newer NTSF - New Technology File System. Basically the newer formats allow for bigger hard drives and bigger files on that hard drive.

Converting FAT32 to NTFS

I found out that the largest file size I could have on my FAT32 formated drive was 4 GB, PowerProducer was claiming my finished product would be 6 GB. Thats when I seriously thought about converting my drive from FAT32 to NTFS.

I decided to go for it. There are two ways to convert a drive.

  • To format your drive and start over from scratch.

    If you just want to check: Open My Computer, right-click on your hard drive C:, click on properties - and you should see right away the type of File System:.

  • use a built in utility from WindowsXP - Older versions of Windows don't support NTFS. If you bought a new computer recently with XP or Vista already installed, more likely it is already, NTFS.

    The other way to convert is to click on Start then Run then type in cmd hit enter. Then type:

    convert c: /fs:ntfs

    You might get some error messages saying that you cannot convert until you reboot. Click on Y for YES.

    More info:http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307881

    And for the First Time I have a NTFS formatted drive. This is where I would like to swear because PowerProducer still wouldn't work. With respect to my readers I'll do it cartoon style; @$%&*%$#@ . That felt good! :-)

    Eventually I went back to WinAVI, thats when I expected a large file and expected it to take some time. I set it up to run overnight and as already mentioned, 7 and a -half hours later the next morning (I got up about 7:10am) and it still had a few minutes before it finished.

    The following files are the end result with the size of each in brackets. I was expecting one large hunking file but instead was surprised to find 3 1 GB files.

    They where as follows:

  • VTS_01_0.BUP (73KB)
  • VTS_01_0.IFO (73KB)
  • VTS_01_1.VOB (1,048,860,672KB)
  • VTS_01_2.VOB (1,048,686,592KB)
  • VTS_01_3.VOB (1,048,709,120KB)
  • VTS_01_4.VOB (234,029KB)
  • 9 files for a total of 3,380,449,280 bytes or around 3.4 GB

    Now the Actual Burning

    The procedures that follow are for using Nero 7 Essentials that came with my burner.

    First chose your weapons. In this case, In the top left hand corner, you will see a section called Applications. In it find and click on the first option Nero Express Essn.

    When the Nero Express Essentials window opens, on the left hand menu click on Video/Pictures (looks like a film strip). On the right hand side click on DVD-Video files.

    In the new window, click on the Add button - green button, white cross- top right hand corner.

    Use the menus on the left and the right to navigate to your files. Find your converted video files. In the folder where your files are, press on Ctrl + A keys to select all files, then click on Add - (you can do one file at a time if you want). The Add files and folders box will keep popping up till your finished. So just click on close when you are finished.

    When finished you should see all files listed in the Nero Express Essentials window. Click on the Next button in the lower right hand corner.

    I was then given the option of creating a label. I just clicked on Next. Then you will get the Final Burn settings. Make sure to chose the right burner you are using, you can change the disc name if you want, and pick the number of copies. Then click Burn.

    And don't do what I just did. Remember to put a blank DVD disk that is compatible with your system into the drive. I forgot to put one in. :-).

    Before it started burning a window popped up up about formatting, just click on close, burning is now started. It started burning at 4x (5540KB/s). Maybe not the fastest but as long as its done right.

    About 12 minutes later, it finished. Nero gave me the option to use LightScribe. I could have a image or logo etched into the outer edge of the DVD. My burner is compatible. But I decided not to full around with it at this time. Movie burned successfully.

    Then its testing it out time. It wouldn't play on Mediaplayer on my computer. Decided try to watch it through CyberLink PowerDVD. It wouldn't play. CyberLink of course is History on my system. It wouldn't burn my movie and it wouldn't play it back. SUCKS to CyberLink

    Luckily, it does play in my DVD hooked up my our TV.