Streaming may be the most convenient way to watch most movies, but it doesn’t hurt to have a physical copy of your movies or home videos as a fall back. If you want to make a backup copy of your movie collection, or just burn a playable DVD of your own videos, it’s pretty easy—and free. Here’s how to burn videos to a playable disc on Windows and macOS.
What You’ll Need
To burn your own videos to a DVD, you’ll need a few things to get started:
- A DVD burner drive: Most computers that come with any kind of optical drive anymore can probably burn DVDs, but if you don’t already have one, you’ll need to buy a DVD burner. Internal DVD burner drives can cost as little as $20, and external burners are usually only $5-10 more.
- A blank DVD: Blank DVDs are pretty cheap, and are even cheaper per disc in spindles. You’ll see two types of blank discs: DVD+R and DVD-R. These two formats are almost identical and almost every drive sold today supports both, so it probably won’t matter which one you get. However, if you have an older DVD burner, check to see whether it supports DVD+R or DVD-R. If it only supports one, but not the other, buy the DVDs that are compatible with your drive. Additionally, you can buy what’s known as dual layer discs if your movies are really big. Single layer discs can store 4.7GB, and dual-layer discs can store 8.5GB. If you can get away with single layer, we recommend it as dual layer discs can occasionally create problems during the burning process, but both should work. Once again, make sure your DVD drive supports dual layer burning before buying those discs.
- A video to burn: Whether it’s your own home movies, or a movie you ripped from your own collection, you’ll need a video file (or multiple videos) to burn to your disc. The total size of all the videos you put on the disc must be no higher than 4.7GB (for single layer discs) or 8.5GB (for dual layer discs).
- DVD Flick and ImgBurn (Windows): You’ll need two tools to burn your discs on Windows, but fortunately they’re both free. DVD Flick converts your videos to the proper format and creates playable menus, then passes the converted video to ImgBurn to burn it to disc. Go ahead and download them now before you get started.
- Burn (macOS): Burn is another free app for macOS that you can use to burn your DVDs. This can convert your videos to the proper format, create a simple menu, and burn it to disc all in one handy package. Download the app now and then scroll down to the Mac section for instructions on how to use it.
Once you have everything you need, skip to the section for your platform to start burning.
Windows: Burn Video Files to DVD With DVD Flick
The simplest option we’ve found on Windows is a free app called DVD Flick. This app can convert tons of common video files to a playable video format, and add a basic menu. You can even add multiple tracks to a single disc and pick which one you want to play with your DVD remote. It will then pass that converted video to ImgBurn to burn it to a disc. As long as you have both apps installed, you can start in DVD Flick and ImgBurn will automatically launch when it’s needed.
To get stared, open up DVD Flick and click “Add title”.
Choose the video file you want to burn to a disc. DVD Flick supports a huge number of video and audio formats and containers. You can see the full list here if you want to make sure your file is compatible.
Before DVD Flick can burn your video to disc, it will need to convert it to the VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS folder structure that DVDs use. You’ll need up to 8.5GB of space (depending on the size of your video file and the discs you’re burning to) on your hard drive to store the converted files. At the bottom right corner of the window, click Browse to choose a place to (temporarily) store the converted video files.
Next, click “Project Settings” to tweak a couple important video settings.
On the General tab, give…
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