How to copy TV shows on a dvd

Updated March 21, 2017

According to CNET, copying TV shows onto DVD has become more popular with the advent of high-definition television (HDTV). In the past, people might have recorded TV shows directly through their VCRs. It's impossible to capture the high-quality picture format of HDTV on videocassettes, though. Recording a TV show onto your computer and burning it to DVD is nearly as easy as recording a TV show on your VCR.

Locate your TV tuner or capture card. To record TV onto your computer, your computer must have access to a TV tuner or capture. Many computers have an Internal TV capture card built in. If you do not already have an internal TV capture card on your computer, you can buy an external TV tuner that plugs into your USB port. If you do not have a TV capture card and do not want to buy a capture card, you can still record TV shows onto a DVD as long as the TV show is available for download on the Internet. Services such as Hulu Plus and the iTunes store allow users to TV shows for a fee.

Record or download the TV show. You need software on your computer to record TV shows from your TV tuner. Software programs that are capable of recording TV shows automatically include Windows Media Center for the PC and eyeTV for Mac. Windows Media Center is packaged with Windows 7, while eyeTV is packaged with all Elgato TV turners for Mac.

Copy the TV Shows to the DVD. In Windows, you can create a DVD by using Windows DVD Maker, which is prepackaged with Windows Vista and Windows 7. On a Mac, you can use iDVD to copy a TV show to DVD. This prepackaged software comes on all contemporary Mac systems. Both Windows DVD Maker and iDVD allow users to select the content they want on the DVD and instantly burn the material to a DVD. DVDs can hold a maximum of 4 gigabytes of data, which is equivalent to approximately three hours of programming. If you want to copy more than 4 gigabytes of data, you need multiple DVDs.

Play the DVD on a TV to ensure that the disc burnt properly. Before deleting your TV show files from your computer, test that the DVD properly burnt and is playable on an external DVD player.


While it is legal to copy TV shows onto a video or DVD for your own personal consumption, it is illegal to copy TV shows or any other copyrighted material with the intention of illegally distributing the TV show on DVD or through a file-sharing system.

Things You'll Need

  • TV capture card
  • Computer
  • Blank DVD
  • TV recording software
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mark Fitzpatrick began writing professionally in 2006. He has written in literary journals such as Read Herrings and provides written online guides for towns ranging from Seymour, Connecticut to Haines, Alaska. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of Massachusetts.