Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Burn DVDs Using Windows DVD Maker

clip_image002 There are many ways to burn DVDs with a computer. When Windows 7 users begin using the operating system, they tend to overlook all the built-in features Microsoft has to offer. Microsoft tries to make it possible for you to do everything you could think of without having to find other software. If you are looking to burn DVDs, Windows DVD Maker is the quickest way to do so. Before you look at other DVD burning software, walk through Windows DVD Maker and see if it gets the job done. Keep in mind that the Windows DVD Maker is only available in the Home Premium, Enterprise, Professional and Ultimate editions of Windows 7.

How to burn a DVD with Windows DVD Maker

You want to open Windows DVD Maker by clicking on your “Start Menu” and click “All Programs.”

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Now, locate “Windows DVD Maker” and click on that to open the program.

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If this is the first time you have used it, you will be shown a little introduction window with the option of hiding it from now on when you open Windows DVD Maker. Click “Next” to continue.

Windows DVD Maker is fairly straight forward. On the main screen, you have the ability to add and manage files.

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You want to set the DVD burner drive in the top right hand corner of the screen.

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In the bottom left corner, you can see how much space you have used and what you have available once you put in a DVD disc.

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In the middle of the bottom of your screen, you can change the title of the disc to be burned.

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You can change the options by clicking on the link in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.

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The first option screen is for the DVD-Video. You can choose the playback settings of what you are burning. You have three options: Start with DVD menu, play video and end with DVD menu and play video in a continuous loop. For most DVDs you burn, you will choose the first option but you can change this from DVD if necessary.

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The second set of settings if for aspect ratio and video format. 4:3 represents full screen and 16:9 represents widescreen. Depending on what type of video files you are adding and how they were shot, you may need to designate one or the other for the entirety of the DVD. When burning a DVD, you want to try and use files with the same screen size whenever possible for the most fluid playback.

Video format can be set to NTSC or PAL playback. PAL is mainly for European DVD players whereas NTSC is the standard for North American DVD players. This will depend largely on where you are located or where you plan on playing the DVD.

You can also choose the burner speed settings. If you want to do other things while burning a DVD, setting it to a lower setting based on what you drive is capable of is recommended. If you are just burning a DVD, go with the fastest setting to get it done quickly.

If you have other DVD burning software installed on your computer, you may run into some compatibility issues when using Windows DVD Maker. The “Compatibility” tab within the “DVD Options” menu allows you to counteract that. If you see any filters in the box, you can disable them when using Windows DVD Maker. This will make running into conflicting software issues a non-issue.

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Once you have tinkered around with the settings, you can click “Ok” to exit out of the window.

The next step is to add movies file to burn. You want to click “Add File.” A pop up window will greet you. You need to navigate to the files you want to burn and add them. You can add as many movie files as you want so long as they do not take up more space than the DVD has to offer. In this case, I am burning a copy of Battlestar Galactica: The Plan to a DVD.

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When you have finished selecting files, click “Add.” Once you have added all your files, you can click “Next” to set up the menu and other features of your DVD.

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On the next menu, you will see a bar at the top with several options: Preview, Menu text, Customize menu and Slide show. On the right side of the menu you can choose a theme for your menu.

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Scroll through the options to see what set-ups you can utilize.

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Preview allows you to see how your DVD will play once burned. You can sit through the whole presentation or you can just check out parts of it.

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“Menu text” allows you to set up the main menu on the DVD. You can choose the font, what the buttons say and add notes about your DVD.

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“Customize menu” allows you to choose video clips, music and styles on the main menu.

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The “Slide show” allows you to create a compilation of the video files on your disc to show on the main screen.

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When you have finished customizing the menu and adding files, you want to click “Burn” to begin the actual burning process. If you have not added a disc, it will prompt you to do so.

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Now, sit back and relax as the DVD you created is burned to disc for you. This process can take up to several minutes depending on how much you have put on your disc as well as customizations you have done to it. If you are doing anything in the background, this will slow the process. Once the disc is done, your DVD burner will pop open with your finished disc.

Is Windows DVD Maker worth using over other software?

Windows DVD Maker is an easy way to spice up any homemade DVD. If you have not tried it out yet, use this guide to walk through burning one DVD and see how easy it is. While other programs may offer more advanced customization features, Windows DVD Maker is perfect for those who just want to burn a DVD without worrying about all the other details involved in the process.

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