DVD Authoring Service:

What is DVD Authoring?

To create a Video DVD that plays in a regular DVD player, you need some software that converts your raw video clips into titles, chapters, and menus, using a specific file structure that a DVD player can understand.

When Would I Need Authoring?

If you want your video clips to play in a DVD player, you need authoring software as opposed to just burning raw video files (.mov, .avi, .mp4) to a data DVD (which will only play in a computer or modern device).

dvd authoring service

TrepStar DVD Authoring Service

If you have your finished video clips (e.g. .mov, .avi, .mp4), we can take them and author the DVD for you. See a Recent Example

TrepStar does not offer blu-ray authoring or duplication services.

$150.00 Basic DVD Authoring Package

  1. Your DVD may have any of the following 3 types of menu choices: [See Examples]
    1. No menu. The DVD will be set to auto-play so it starts to play when inserted.
    2. Basic menu with just a play choice.
    3. Two part menu with Play All, and Scene Selection menu (or it can be called chapters or chapter selection).
  2. Choose whether the DVD will auto-play or not.
  3. Up to 9 chapters if you choose a two part menu. We can split your video clips (e.g. .mov, .avi, .mp4) into several chapters, or combine short clips into a single chapters.
  4. We can take any artwork you have for the background or menu system.
  5. If you don't have specific artwork already made for the menu system, we can take a screen grab from your video (which is most common).
  6. We can adjust the font and color of the menu.
  7. Total play time up to two hours (120 minutes or so). We author single layer DVD-5 4.7GB DVDs. Basically, this means it's usually no more than 120 minutes long for all content included on the disc. Menus and artwork take away from total play time because they are stored on the DVD as well so the total playtime can change based on that.
  8. We will author the DVD, give you a link to an ISO file that you download to make sure it's what you want. Your computer can play an .iso file. We'll show you how.
  9. We will make a few adjustments (iterations) if you see any problems or issues with the authored DVD ISO proof. If we have to keep going back and forth with changes, that really adds a lot of time, but usually, we get it right after the first or second try. If you want to keep going back and forth in the design phase, that's OK, but we charge $25.00 per hour for that extra work (we'll let you know before we bill you).
  10. Once it's done, you'll have a free TrepStar DVD project in case you want us to manufacture and ship DVDs to you or your customers. You don't have to use TrepStar to publish your DVD. We just offer manufacturing and fulfillment service if you want it.
  11. Of course you also get the final DVD .ISO file that you can use to create your own DVDs.
  12. If you're interested, send us an email with some of the details.

More on DVD Authoring

Once you have your video content created and edited, if you want to make it playable in a DVD player, you must convert it to DVD Video format using DVD authoring software.

As you know, a DVD often has menus, and sub-menus with buttons such as play movie, scene selection, deleted scenes and so forth. Creating these menus, background art, buttons, and other artwork are part of the DVD authoring process.

Even if you just want your clips to play with no menu, you still must author the DVD. The process of DVD authoring combines your video clips with artwork, menus, chapter points, text, and possibly animation, music, and more. DVD authoring is the final step after you've created your videos. Once complete, it may be viewed on a DVD player, bluray player, game system or streaming device.

A video/movie DVD playable in a standard DVD player has a specific file structure and screen resolution.

DVD players are NTSC (mostly North America) or PAL (mostly Europe and Asia). The main differences are frames per second and scan lines and the country where the DVD player is located. You set this value within the authoring software. Computers can read both NTSC and PAL DVDs, but not many standalone DVD players can read both. You might consider authoring both an NTSC and PAL version of your DVD and let the customer choose. TVs in North America have different resolution than TVs in Europe which is the main reason there are two types ways to author the DVD (NTSC vs. PAL).

If you just need your video clips to play on a computer, you may just burn them as files. This is considered a data DVD. Doing this is not considered DVD authoring. You are simply burning files to a DVD (or USB).

Some DVD authoring software can remove the region coding. See more on Region Code Information.

NTSC Format:
  1. Video resolution: 720x480 (480p)
  2. Frame rate: 29.97fps (roughly 30 frames per second)
  3. Open your .iso or VIDEO_TS folder with VLC media player and check under Tools-Codec and find this information.
  4. The following example is from an NTSC coded DVD.

PAL Format:
  1. Video resolution: 576i or 625 lines.
  2. Frame rate: 25 frames per second (fps)
  3. Open your .iso or VIDEO_TS folder with VLC media player and check under Tools-Codec and find this information.

DVD Authoring Basics and History

DVD authoring describes the process of creating a DVD video that can be played on a DVD player. DVD authoring software must conform to the specifications set by the DVD Forum group in 1995. The specifications are complicated due to the number of companies that were involved in creating them.

Strictly speaking, DVD authoring is a separate process from MPEG encoding, but most modern DVD authoring software have a built-in encoder (though separate encoders are still used when better quality or finer control over compression settings is required).

In addition, if your source video is HD - 1080p (1920x1090 pixels) or 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels), it is at higher resolution than a standard NTSC DVD which is (720x480). If you have very high resolution source material, you may not want to downgrade it to a DVD format. You may be looking for bluray authoring which is beyond the scope of this document.

Early on, there were/are many DVD authoring applications available to help create digital video discs. Many high-end authoring applications are written in-house by companies such as Matsushita, Philips, Sony, and Toshiba. These are strictly not for sale outside each company and are used internally by the company DVD laboratories or their movie studio partners to produce DVDs for customers. These were private and expensive

Then a trend began where some companies started to make the software available to the public. We could go into detail here, but it will suffice to know an evolution occurred where things got easier and less expensive.

Now, the question is what's easy and inexpensive and where do I get it?

Although it depends on how sophisticated you want to get, if you're new to DVD authoring, it's probably safe to say you want something basic that will produce a DVD that looks professional, but it is easy to use and not too expensive.