I just noticed that on PP.tv they have 9/11 chronicles available in DIVX format and suggest burning it as a regular data DVD that will play in a DIVX player, the problem is - hardly anyone has a DIVX player. With just a little bit more work..and quite a bit more waiting time...you can burn any .avi, .wmv, or .mpg to a regular DVD that will play in just about any DVD player.
I've been messing around with converting video since back before DVD burners were affordable. Back then, you had to shrink things down enough to fit on a regular CD, thus making a "VCD" that would play in most DVD players...well, the older models anyway.
In my opinion video converting is one of the most frustrating things one can delve into with a computer. There always seem to be some sort of issues that pop up, usually involving a/v sync. People that watch a lot of youtube videos will know what I'm talking about.
Now that DVD burners are standard issue in most off-the-shelf PC's, and only run about $20-50 separately, it is much easier to get a video downloaded from the internet onto a DVD in a format that will play in most DVD players, however there are still some common problems that occur. I figured it would be a good idea to share what I know about burning videos to DVD so that more people can get more important movies circulating.
The problem most people have is size. Movies are meant for dual-layer discs which are too expensive for most of us to buy in a large quantity. This leads most people to try to down-sample the video which leads to the a/v being out of sync and other issues. You have to really know what you're doing to get it right, fortunately - I've figured out a way around it.
Here's what I do..this may not work for everyone, but it should work for most.
First just let me say, just in case you end up skipping the end or something, DO NOT BURN AT SPEEDS HIGHER THAN 4X!!! This is very important. If your burned DVDs always skip, this is why. You might even want to burn at 2x just to be safe...but I get impatient. Going up to 6x causes skipping on PS2s and some DVD players. Remember this.
Also...you're going to need a lot of free space for this stuff...I'd recommend at least 15 gigs.
Before you even download any videos, you need to make sure you have the latest video codecs installed. If you have problems playing videos...no video, just sound...stuff like that - then you need to update your codecs. This can also cause problems with burning videos to DVD. You can get the latest codecs here: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_Lite_Codec_Pack.htm
Now find the software that came with your DVD burner. Mine came with Nero. Hopefully yours did too, because I can't give any specific help with other programs although you should be able to do the same things I'm describing here with most DVD-video burning programs.
If you're using Nero, you will want to run the program "Nero Vision Express". If you're not using Nero, just make sure that the program you are using knows that you are wanting to make a DVD-Video disc and not just a data DVD with an .avi file on it. That will not play in most DVD players. Once have made it to the point in the program where you can add files go ahead and select the file that your wanting to burn to disc and add it. This is where most people run into problems.
At this point a message usually pops up that says the video exceeds the capacity of a regular DVD, but will fit on a DVD-9 (dual layer) disc. It will ask you if (in Nero anyway) if you want to compress the video to fit onto a regular DVD, select "NO"
. The compression never works anyway..well it works about 1% of the time. Also - if it ends up saying that the size is very small, say 600-800mb...then you are most likely getting ready to burn a data disc and not a DVD-video disc. If you are burning a 700mb-ish video to DVD-video it's going to be somewhere in the range of 5-7GB. If the file size in MBs not GBs, then you need to back out and figure out how to start a DVD-video project. However, occasionally you will find a video that will fit onto a regular DVD, the total size that will be burned to disc will still be displayed in GB (around 4GB) and NOT MB. If this is the case you can just go ahead and finish up the menus and burn it to DVD.
Now, if you've had no problems (other than it saying that the file is too large) you can go ahead and set up your menus and controls and whatnot.
Once you are done with that and you are at the final screen that comes up before you start burning, it should still be telling you somewhere that the project exceeds the capacity of a normal DVD, this is fine. We are not burning the DVD...yet. If you're in Nero Vision, there should be an option that says "write to hard disk folder". Select this and pick a folder to write the file to. Do not forget what folder you select because you will have to find the file that is going to be created later through a different program. Once you have it set to burn to the hard drive just go ahead and click burn and go do something else for the next 2-12 hours. The amount of time depends on how powerful your computer is. There is now way to make it go faster without messing up the video. Do not do anything else with your computer while the burning program is making the "image file". That's what it's called, by the way...a DVD image file. Anyway, don't mess with the computer while this is going on or it could mess up the video.
If you are using a DVD burning program other than Nero you should still be able to write to an image file instead of a DVD. But the place to select this option is going to be in different places. Just look around and you will find it. Sometimes it's at the beginning of the process, sometimes near the end like with Nero.
Just look for something about "write to hard drive" or "write to image file". Also - very important
- make sure you are burning a DVD-video image and NOT a data DVD disc.
Once the image file has been made you need to download a freeware program called DVD Shrink. It can be found here: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/dvd_shrink.htm
Install and run DVD Shrink. In DVD Shrink go to "File" and then "Open Disc Image". Navigate to the folder that you told your Burning program (Nero) to save the previous project to and select the image file that was created. Once DVD Shrink loads the file up just click "backup" and you should be all ready to go.
Remember: Do not write (burn) at speeds higher than 4x if you want your discs to be skip-free.
I'm writing most of this from memory so I don't know if it's all 100% accurate. Also - if anyone can provide specific details on how to setup other burning programs to write to an image file instead of disc you should let us know!
Also - feel free to ask questions. We need to have more people burning DVDs, so I will be glad to help!