SoThink Movie DVD Maker

Free DVD authoring software is hard to come by. Many of the free apps I’ve found are buggy. SoThink Movie DVD Maker is among the best of the free solutions available for DVD authoring. The app converts most formats, including AVI, MPEG, WMV, MP4, RMVB, MOV, and 3GP to DVD. Basic video editing features like trimming clips and combining smaller clips into a larger movie are also supported. When your video is ready for DVD you can burn straight to disk. The default video format is PAL, so if you are authoring home movies created in the US, you’ll need to change the defaults for NTSC support. This is especially useful in combination with something like Windows Movie Maker for Windows XP, which includes no DVD burning support. While the app will work with Vista, the Vista DVD Maker application has a better burning engine and far more features for authoring DVDs. [Windows 2k/XP/Vista $0.00]

HD-DVD Authoring for Home Movies

How to make an HD-DVD using standard 4.7GB DVD media or 8.5GB dual layer disks.
After shooting numerous hours of high definition video footage, I’ve been itching for a way to create some HD-DVDs. There are no HD-DVD burners on the market at the moment. And media seems to be in scarce supply. Sure, I could shell out $700 for a Blu-ray burner, but then I’d need to spend another $600 for a player that conveniently connects to my television (like a PS3, for instance). At least I can use the Xbox 360 HD-DVD player with Windows Vista or my 360, and there’s now an HP HD-DVD player in the wild as well. When I found out Pinnacle added support for HD-DVD burning to Pinnacle Studio Plus, I was thrilled. Better yet, they do it by burning to standard 4.7GB DVDs or to 8.5GB dual layer disks.

Convert PAL DVD for PC Playback

Sam asks, “How do I convert a PAL DVD made in Europe to NTSC?”
I’ve experimented with a handful of ways to convert PAL format video to NTSC, with none of them yielding perfect results. If you have a friend in Europe who sends you a DVD created in the PAL format, you might have problems playing it back if you don’t either have a DVD player with PAL support or a computer that knows how to playback PAL format content. One way around this is to convert the PAL DVD to either a digital file on your PC or converting the file to an NTSC compatible DVD.