DVD authoring - what's required

by EngageMedia August 10, 2012



Steps involved in authoring a DVD

  • Decide what content you wish to include on the DVD – video segments may include the program itself and additional video such as a trailer or extra footage, text info about the video and the issues concerned with links to further information, production stills, logos and some audio loops for background music in the menus.

  • One of the advantages of the DVD format is that you can include sub-titles for different languages, or original language subtitles can be activated for the hearing-impaired, so prepare translations if you have the time and resources.

  • Work with a graphic designer to create images for menu backgrounds and buttons or create them yourself, using free software such as GIMP.

  • If you have the time and the inclination, prepare custom transitions that will play when a user selects a button that takes them to another menu level.

  • Import your video into your DVD authoring application – some applications will let you import the DV file you have exported from an editing program as it will be transcoded within the application itself, while others will expect you to have encoded the video as MPEG2 that conforms to DVD specifications.

  • Arrange your content within intuitively designed menus that will be easy for users to navigate.

  • Choose a bit rate to encode your video at, depending on how long the program lasts and whether or not you will be printing on single-layer, dual-layer or double-sided discs. The rule is to encode your video at the highest bit rate possible while still enabling it to fit onto the medium you have chosen.

  • Create the DVD master using your authoring application and test on a DVD player to make sure it works correctly including all menu buttons.

  • Make sure you author your DVD as region-free (known as Region 0), enabling the disc to be played on DVD players sold in different regions of the world. You will still have to choose to author the DVD as either PAL or NTSC depending on where in the world you are going to distribute the discs.

  • Copy this master using a DVD burner and a DVD burning application or take it along with graphics for the disc and jacket to a professional duplication company for bulk copies to be made.



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