How to Record Movies on DVD
By Darrin Meyer
DVDs are a compact, reliable, easily-transferable medium that won't deteriorate over time like VHS tapes. Recording your movies and videos to DVD is a simple process with the right equipment, whether you're recording them from a TV or camcorder, transferring them from VHS or burning them with a computer.
Recording Movies to DVD
Find a good DVD recorder, or VCR/DVD recorder combo unit if you want to transfer movies from VHS, too. They can be found at most electronics stores and retailers where DVD players are sold. Select one that will accomplish what you need it to.
Connect composite video cables (three-prongs -- red and white plugs for stereo audio, yellow for video) from the input of the DVD recorder to the output of the component you're recording from, whether it be a cable or satellite receiver, camcorder or TV, if the TV has composite outputs.
Have the movie you want to record cued up in that component. Press "Record" on the DVD recorder unit or remote control when you begin the movie's playback. Follow the progress on the TV or monitor.
To record from VHS, press "Play" on the VCR side of the combo unit and "Record" on the DVD side, or if using separate units connect the recorder's input to the VCR's output as in Step 2.
Some DVD recorders will require the disk to be finalized when recording is complete so it will play in other DVD players. Use the remote and follow the prompts when asked to do this. Eject the disk when finished.
To record a movie stored in your computer's hard drive, open the computer's DVD burner program (i.e. Windows Movie Maker). Import the movie from its stored location and click "Publish to DVD" or "Burn to DVD" depending on the program. You also can record a movie from a camcorder to DVD by importing it to Windows Movie Maker or another video editing/burning program, then burning it to DVD.
- Copied DVDs will not have HD-quality video or surround-sound audio like official movie DVDs because of the limits of the composite video connection, and they will only be as good as the source it's being recorded from. When choosing blank DVDs to record onto, note that the "minus" formats (DVD-R and DVD-RW) are slightly more compatible to standard DVD players than DVD+R and DVD+RW. Blank DVDs normally are limited to 2 hours of recorded video, though dual-layer disks can have up to twice that.
Darrin Meyer has been writing since 2009. In addition to being a frequent blogger, his articles appear on eHow, Answerbag and other Web sites. Meyer has a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.