Before you start to understand how to burn DVDs, you’ll need to have the right paraphernalia. Make sure you have the following equipment first.
- DVD disc
- DVD drive
- DVD burning software
- Check the Software System Requirements: There are plenty of burning software available online and in stores. Before you buy one, check its system requirements. These vary but in general you need at least 128 MB of RAM, a fast CPU (at least Pentium 4) and 100 MB of free space. Make sure that its operating system is compatible with yours.
- Download and Install the Software: To learn how to burn DVDs, install the software. Insert the CD or double click the .exe file. Follow the prompts and install it. After installation, open the program. Note: the rest of this guide is applicable to most, but not all, programs.
- Create the Title and Chapters: From the File menu, choose New Project or Movie. Start by choosing the movie format (WMV, MPG etc). Next, create the chapters’ intervals. In the section called “make chapters every” add in the time. You can add the title as well. Click next.
- Add the Audio Tracks and Subtitles: This is usually the next step. Most software now make it easier to learn how to burn DVDs by simplifying these options. Choose the proper format and add the audio tracks to your project.
- Modify Other Settings: Most applications have other options you can change. These options are usually in the General, Video or Preferences section. Among the settings you can change here are the Target Size and Format. For the latter, pick the disc size you’re using.
The format depends on your location. If you’re in the US it is NTSC. In Asia it is PAL. Some of the other settings here can be left at default.
Another option you can change is the encoding profile. Options are usually normal, fast or best quality. The rule of thumb is the higher the setting, the better looking the film will be. Burning will be slower at the higher settings though.
If you want to know how to burn DVDs, understanding these options is critical. You probably won’t use all of them, but knowing how they work is a plus.
Tips and Warnings
- Check your DVD disc and drive before using it. If either one is dirty, the encoding process won’t work.
- If you’re making a large movie, you’ll need a lot more RAM and disk space than what’s stated. Most of what the software says are its minimum requirements. If you want to make fast and high quality projects, you need more than what is listed as the minimum specs.
- Read the user guide or help file. This guide is a general one. The actual software you use may do things in a slightly different way.
- The software today has removed a lot of the complications of making videos. If you’ve always wanted to know how to burn DVDs, you just need to follow the steps suggested.