I had a request the other day at the church-house to get a short digital video file onto a DVD for a class so they could play it on an old-school DVD player. By that I mean it needed to be a playable DVD format and not a digital video file burned onto a DVD data-disk like some “modern” DVD/BluRay players can handle.
For whatever crazy reason, Microsoft’s DVD Maker application kept choking during the DVD creation process and I really didn’t have the time or energy late that night after work to troubleshoot the problem.
After some searching I found good comments for the Open Source program DVD Flick. I couldn’t find a portable version of it (see this interesting comment thread and this one too) so ended up installing it.
Unfortunately, what I should have done was to RTFM. In my choices I opted to burn the project to DVD rather than making an ISO of the DVD.
For whatever reason, it choked during the DVD writing process. Subsequent attempts to repeat the process or switch to the ISO method left me with a hung application launch of DVD Flick. Even after system reboots. I was tired and running out of time before the lights got turned off on me. So I uninstalled it. Then, my other ISO burning tools seemed to have problems detecting my R/W DVD drive as a writeable drive. It picked up the hardware and drive letter but they just seemed to stare blankly at the device being available for drive writing.
Eventually--despite no effort on my part other than trying time after time to get the system to see it as a writeable drive, another failed attempt at Microsoft DVD Maker ended up with it recognizing the drive as writeable source. Then the others fell in line and agreed they would recognize it again too.
Anyway, I punted and used DVDStyler Portable over at PortableApps.com. I made a simple menu, copied the video file to the queue and ensured I selected the NTSC option for the video format and not the default PAL format. I left the remaining options as is.
Having learned my lesson I wrote out the resulting DVD as an ISO format, then used another app to burn the ISO to the DVD.
I tested the DVD in several different DVD players (the PC itself with VLC player), a DVD player connected to our projection system, and a bargain basement DVD player connected to a flat-panel display with S-video cable. It worked fine in all of them.
I want to spend some more time with DVD Flick as the comments seem so positive and my issues may have been as much due to my tiredness and lack of patience rather than the software/system.
I also later found this Free Video to DVD Converter software over at DVDVideoSoft. I don’t know much about the company or the product but it looked positive and simple. To the developer’s credit, they do clearly note on the product page they do third-party bundles with their software but that you can opt-out of those products. That always makes me wary but to they seem to clearly let you know what to expect so props for that. If I do try it I’ll do an update to this post.
Do you have any other recommendations for free/open-source solutions to quickly get one (or more) video file formats ported over to a DVD for standard DVD player playback? I’m open to suggestions!