'Burning' Your DVD

After all this effort?editing your video and authoring your DVD?recording a DVD is relatively simple. I'll explain the few steps you need to follow and will point out the extra options available in the SE and PE versions of DVDit!.

Task: Make a DVD Disc

If all goes smoothly, in a few minutes (or longer, depending on the extent of your project) you'll have a DVD in hand ready to play on your set-top DVD player or PC. Follow these steps:

  1. Open DVDit!, select Open an Existing Project, and select the project you want to "burn."

  2. Put a blank recordable disc (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, or DVD-RAM) in your recorder. You may also record to CD-R or CD-RW. For more on that, see step 6.

  3. As illustrated in Figure 24.4, open File, Project Settings and set the output size to match your recordable disc. Check Current Project Size to make sure your project does not exceed your disc capacity. Give your project a name and click OK.

    Figure 24.4. Adjust the project settings and give your DVD a name.


  4. Select Build, Make DVD Disc to open the Make a DVD Disc dialog box, shown in Figure 24.5.

    Figure 24.5. Set a few parameters in this interface and then start recording your DVD.



    After selecting Build in the main menu, you also can choose to make a DVD "folder." This is a hard drive folder containing all your project media. It's kind of a superfluous option. Its purpose is to make everything accessible and let you play your MPEG files to make sure they work well before actually creating your DVD.

    It's also a bit confusing, because when you later create a DVD from that folder, DVDit! calls it a DVD "volume."

  5. Choose the source. In this case the default setting, Current Project, is what you want.


    From the Make a DVD Disc Source drop-down list, you also can choose DVD Volume ("Folder") or Disc Image.

    A disc image is a file produced by higher-end authoring products such as Sonic's Scenarist. It has no directory structure and contains all the DVD project data in the exact position it'll appear on the final DVD.

  6. If you're writing to a CD-R or CD-RW, choose Include DVD Player. That will add Sonic's proprietary cDVD player to the CD so it can play your DVD project from a PC CD player. The finished CD will not play in a set-top, standalone DVD player, however.

  7. Select your DVD recorder from the drop-down list.

  8. If you want to make more than one copy, change that value.

  9. Because this is your first DVD, select Test and Create Disc. Once you see that your DVD recorder can operate smoothly, you can skip the test step on subsequent projects.

  10. Click the Advanced tab to switch to the interface shown in Figure 24.6.

    Figure 24.6. The Advanced page lets you select filename types and whether you will use a temporary directory while burning your DVD.


    You have the following two general options:

    File System? This applies more to the SE and PE versions of DVDit!, which allow for the addition of DVD-ROM files to your project. In the case of DVDit! LE, accept the default settings?Use Joliet and Use long file names?only if you're including the cDVD player on the disc. If you accept them despite not having a cDVD player, it won't create any problems other than adding some extra files to your DVD. I'll explain more about these two filenaming conventions in the DVDit! SE and PE overview following this section.

    Temporary Storage? By default, DVDit! places your media and project files in a temporary file folder before recording them to your DVD. Only if you have limited hard drive space should you deselect this option. In that case, DVDit! writes all files directly to the DVD. You can opt to save the cached files, but there is little reason to do so.

  11. Click OK. DVDit! should start recording your project to your recordable DVD.

The recording may take a while, depending on the size of your project and the recording speed of your DVD drive. When it's completed, take your DVD to a set-top standalone DVD player and check out your masterpiece.

If your DVD player is reasonably new, your DVD should work fine. If not, try your disc out on your PC. Sonic bundles Power DVD, a full-featured DVD player, and that should play your disc with no glitches.

If there are compatibility problems with your set-top DVD player, I'd suggest visiting one of several online sites that list DVD players and whether they play back DVD-Rs or other recordable DVD media. Apple has an exhaustive list at http://www.apple.com/dvd/compatibility/. At the very least, take your DVD to a local consumer electronics store and try it out in several DVD players.

    Part II: Enhancing Your Video