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What Video Format is Needed For A Playable DVD?

Video Format for DVDs

Use the MPEG-2 Video Format

There’s so many video formats out there now that it’s hard to know which one to use. Especially when burning media to a DVD, it’s hard to pick the right format for a DVD player. This guide aims to explain 1) When to consider making digital files into DVDs and 2) Which video format makes the most sense for it. The trick to getting video into a playable DVD format is to first encode the video into MPEG-2 format. DVDs that you buy store their data in the MPEG-2 format. For that reason, a homemade DVD formatted as MPEG-2 will be compatible with a DVD player or a Blu-Ray player. As such, TV stations, TV receivers, DVD players, and other equipment are often designed to this standard. You’ll get the best results adhering to it.


Do You Still Need to Worry About DVDs?

Although DVDs are usually second-best to digital files on your computer, they’re still very useful sometimes. Maybe you’ve recently had an old family VHS tape transferred to a DVD or digital file and you want to give out copies as a gift. Something you can hold certainly makes a nicer gift than a digital file! Or maybe you’ve got some old movies as digital files and you want to view them with the best possible picture. Burn them to Blu-Ray! 1080p on Blu-Ray is much better than digital 4k.

Why is Blu-Ray Better than Digital 4k?

The short answer is that the bitrate is much higher. In this example, bitrate is the amount of data that’s contained in any given frame of video. Blu-Ray’s bitrate is meaningfully higher than Digital 4k’s bitrate. That translates to sharper images, deeper color, better shadows, and less “crushed blacks” – less loss of detail in darker areas of the frame. If you want your digital content – whether it’s home videos, a film you’ve professionally produced, or anything else – to look its best, burn it to a Blu-Ray DVD.


How do I Transfer Video Formats?

Okay, you’ve (hopefully) decided to transfer your file to MPEG-2 for burning to a DVD. So, in order to transfer your video file to an MPEG-2, you need to pick an online video converter. Try to look for one that doesn’t shower you with ads. Programs you need to download are okay, just make sure you’re downloading the actual program and not any malware. Here’s the one I like to use most of the time, for video files I don’t want all that much control over.

dvd logo

Video File Compression

However, if you’d like more say into how you compress your video, I recommend a program called Super C. This is a handy little video conversion tool that will convert all sorts of video into anything you want. The website does look a little bit dated and the program is something you have to download, but the tool works and is pretty good. You’ve got control over lots of things about how your video converts. In addition to MPEG-2 conversions, you can convert to WMV, AVI, MP4 and many more. There’s different uses for all those different kinds of digital formats, so here’s a good guide on what those files are all best for.


How Should I Burn my DVD?

As far as DVD burning software goes, there’s free and there’s paid. The paid software does tend to work better than the free (it’s faster, the capture quality is better, etc), but if you want something you can use to quickly burn a DVD, I recommend CDBurnerXP. Despite the name, yes, you can burn to DVD, and yes, you can use it on a modern operating system. The best paid option for casual use is Toast DVD.

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