How to Burn HD Movies to a DVD

Written by rianne hill soriano Google
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How to Burn HD Movies to a DVD
One hour of full HD footage requires about 50GB of disk space. (box with movie film image by Oleg Verbitsky from

High-definition (HD) footage requires a large disk storage device. For a one-hour full HD video, you need about 50GB of hard disk space. Even a single HD frame (full HD) requires 13.9MB of disk space (every second of an HD video generally requires 24 frames). While there are smaller file sizes for non-full HD videos coming from consumer HD cameras, they still require about 8 to 13GB of disk space per one hour of footage.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Computer with at least 2GB RAM and 2GHz processor
  • Video editing software
  • External hard drive (optional)
  • HD camera
  • Camera cable
  • HD tape deck (for tape-based HD cameras only)
  • HD tape deck cable (for tape-based HD cameras only)
  • HD footage storage device
  • Optical drive
  • DVD burning software
  • Blank DVD disc

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  1. 1

    Confirm the technical specifications of your computer and install a video editing program that can edit HD footage (if you don't have yet).

    To edit HD files efficiently, your computer needs at least 2GB RAM and 2GHz processor. It is still possible to create an editing project using low-end hardware specifications; however, you won't be able to properly edit HD footage with it. You may encounter any of the following primary playback problems: the monitor only shows a frozen video clip; the video playback intermittently stops every few seconds; or the monitor only shows a black screen.

  2. 2

    Transfer the HD footage to your hard drive. Given the large file size of HD videos, using an external hard drive for video storage is highly recommended. If using professional HD cameras that use tapes for recording, you first need to digitise (digitally capture) the footage using a video editing software. You also need an HD tape deck connected to the computer via USB or FireWire.

    If using a file-based HD camera, you can readily transfer the files to the hard drive. To transfer the files, the camera must be connected to the computer's USB or FireWire port using the camera cable. Simply copy the files according to the instruction of the video editing software. The process usually requires simple drag-and-drop or copy-pasting.

  3. 3

    Import the HD footage into the video editing software and start editing. Once the final cut is ready, render the video, then export it to any format compatible with your DVD burning program. Popular video file formats that DVD burning programs can readily use include .MOV, .AVI, .WMV and .MP4.

  4. 4

    Open then newly exported HD video to your DVD burning software. Select the "DVD-Video" option to burn a disc copy playable in any standard DVD player. Configure the burn settings including your preferred name for the DVD, the number of discs for burning and the preferred writing speed.

  5. 5

    Insert the blank DVD disc, then press the "Record" or "Burn" button.

Tips and warnings

  • Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid are examples of video editing programs that can edit in HD format.
  • Toast Titanium and Nero are two popular programs used to burn movie files whether in standard definition (SD) or HD format.
  • When burning a copy of an HD footage to DVD, you don't get the same video quality like the original HD file. This is because the DVD format uses MPEG-2 format, which is an SD format. The primary thing you can preserve from the HD copy when burning a DVD version is the movie's widescreen format. Unlike the file size of a one-hour HD footage, which can be anywhere from 8GB to 50GB, a regular DVD disc with a capacity of about 4.7GB can accommodate up to two hours of video. Considering this, the quality of the DVD movie is really much lower than the original HD movie.

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