Regular Ghacks readers know that I'm using ConvertXToDVD for all my video DVD authoring needs. The commercial software is easy to use but offers all the advanced options I expect from a program like it.
A solid free alternative is Free Videos To DVD from Koyote Soft. The application is as easy to use as ConvertXToDVD which is its greatest strength. Users do not need to worry about different source video formats, conversions or bitrates as is it all handled by the program in the background.
A video DVD is created in six steps that are displayed in a wizard like interface. It begins with the selection of a video DVD project name, DVD format and working directory. The dvd authoring software supports PAL and NTSC DVD formats and can create DVDs that play in 4:3 or 16:9.
The DVD chapters are added in the second step. A file browser assists the user in adding videos from the local hard drive to the DVD. Free Videos To DVD displays the file name and duration of each file as well as the estimated size, duration and quality of the video DVD on the screen.
Here it is also possible to load an existing VIDEO_TS file instead, and modify the quality of the video DVD with the quality slider. A better quality results in a larger size and vice verse. It is important that the size is not passing the red limiter for single layer DVDs. If it does a dual layer DVD is required to burn the video DVD.
The video DVD menu is created in the third step of the process. It is possible to create a DVD without menu which would mean that the DVD plays as soon as it is placed in the DVD player, or a classical menu with options to customize titles, chapters and appearance.
Among the options are titles, fonts and colors for the DVD title and its chapters, the position of those elements on the screen and a background image with options to use the default image or an image on the local system.
The output parameters are defined in step 4 of the process. Video DVDs can be burned directly to a writable DVD, saved as an ISO image for mounting it or burning it later or created as IFO and VOB files only. The DVD writer and speed are selected in this step as well.
The selected videos are then converted by Free Videos To DVD. The speed of the conversion depends largely on the speed of the computer system. It is possible to enable a preview of the video in this step, but it is generally not recommended as it may slow down the conversion.
The videos are processed in the last step of the authoring process. DVDs are either burned directly to a writable DVD, saved as an ISO image or as IFO and VOB files.
Free Videos To DVD is an excellent free application for the Windows operating system. It has been designed to give users of all experience levels a video DVD authoring tool at hand. Advanced users will find out that it lacks a few features that other tools, like ConvertXToDVD, are offering. Still, if you need to quickly turn some videos on your PC into a video DVD then this tool can do that for you, quickly and without problems.
Free Videos To DVD can be downloaded at the official Koyote Soft website. The program is compatible with 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the Windows operating system.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.