The Proper Format to Burn a DVD for a Set Top DVD Player

by Stephen Lilley

There are many computer users out there who have hours of video files stored on their hard drives that they would love to be able to watch on their televisions, but they aren't sure how to do it. In reality, the process is fairly straightforward. Burning a video file onto a DVD involves converting the file from whatever format it is currently in to the proper format for playing on a set-top DVD player.


The proper format for burning a DVD for a set-top DVD player is the MPEG video format. All professionally made DVDs contain videos encoded in this format. It is the standard format that DVD players can read and display. While some DVD players may include playback for files such as .AVI and .WMV (the standard Windows Media Player format), they are not the standard. All DVD players can play videos in the MPEG format. So when burning video files, you need to make sure your files are in that format.


Any software that has the capabilities to burn video files into a Video DVD will convert the files to the proper format for you. You do not have to worry about doing the conversion yourself and then burning the files to disc. As long as your software program can understand the file format of the source file (it helps if your source file is already in a format such as .AVI), it will be able to convert it to an MPEG for you automatically during the burning process. Software programs that burn video DVDs include AVS Video Encoder and Nero Burning ROM.


Because the encoding process is the part of burning a DVD that takes the longest (a half hour of video can take up to an hour to encode depending on the speed of your computer), it helps if your files are already in the MPEG format before you burn a DVD. If you are capturing video from a video camera, make sure the settings in your video capture software are set to "MPEG" as opposed to something such as "AVI". The MPEG file will take up more space on your hard drive than an .AVI but will ultimately save you a lot of time later.

About the Author

Stephen Lilley is a freelance writer who hopes to one day make a career writing for film and television. His articles have appeared on a variety of websites. Lilley holds a Bachelor of Arts in film and video production from the University of Toledo in Ohio.