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Photo to Movie 3.5: How should I burn my movie to DVD on Windows XP?

THIS FAQ APPLIES TO PHOTO TO MOVIE 3.5 (WINDOWS).

If you're using Photo to Movie 3.5 (Windows XP), you have several options for burning your movies to DVD. Each will have tradeoffs in the ease of use, movie quality, and customization.

All movies on a DVD are encoding in MPEG-2 video format and one of several audio formats. So each of the solutions presented here ultimately produce MPEG-2 video and appropriate audio and burn those files to DVD in a special format specified by the DVD specification. Making the MPEG-2 and associated audio is called encoding.

Photo to Movie can do encoding and it can even produce a computer file representing an entire DVD. But it will not burn the DVD itself to a physical disk. You will need a 3rd party application such as Nero to burn to disk.

3rd Party Solution

The first solution is to produce the movie in Photo to Movie and render it to a AVI or QuickTime .dv file. Then take the .dv file and use a 3rd party application to encode it to MPEG-2 and audio and burn it to DVD.

The 3rd party DVD burning applications vary widely in the quality of video that they produce, however. So while Photo to Movie almost always produces top-notch video, the 3rd party application may encode it in such a way that makes it look bad.

If you're going to use a 3rd party application to produce the video, use a high quality application such as SONY Vegas Movie Studio + DVD (typically available for less than $100).

The advantage of this solution is that it is easy. Most 3rd party DVD burning applications can burn any movie file to a DVD.

The disadvantage of this solution is that if you don't pay careful attention to the burning process, you can end up with low quality video output on the DVD.

DVD ISO from Photo to Movie

Photo to Movie can produce a file that represents an entire DVD called an ISO file. An ISO is the file the represents an entire DVD.

This is a nice easy solution that gives you high quality video. You will still need a 3rd party application to burn the ISO to a physical DVD. However, almost all DVD burners come with software to accomplish this. Since the encoding is done in Photo to Movie, it is always produced at the highest quality possible.

The advantage of this solution is that it produces high quality video with minimum effort.

The disadvantage of this solution is that you will not have control over the menus and layout of your DVD. The DVD ISO files that Photo to Movie produces play automatically when inserted into your DVD player and do not have a menu system.

MPEG-2 from Photo to Movie

If you need Photo to Movie to produce the highest quality video but you want to put that video on a DVD with menus and other features, you can use Photo to Movie to produce the MPEG-2 and audio file. You can then take the resulting MPEG-2 file and use it in your favorite NLE (Non-Linear Movie Editor).

The advantage of this solution is that you get the high quality MPEG-2 encoding from Photo to Movie. In addition, you can add the resulting MPEG-2 to a DVD with your own custom menus and other features.

The disadvantage of this solution is that it is more time consuming and complex than the other solutions.



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