Free .flv to DVD conversion
Windows DVD Maker is a DVD authoring program that is included with Vista and Windows 7. It works well but is unable to convert .flv movies to DVD format. The .flv video format is used by many websites including Youtube. In addition, flv is the preferred video format exported by Flash and SWiSH Max. This tutorial explains how to author a DVD comprising of flv videos using VLC (a free download) and Windows DVD Maker.
Step 1 – Download VLC
VLC is a great program. It can be obtained free of charge from http://www.videolan.org/vlc/. The screen captures below were made from version 2.0.1. Later or earlier versions may look slightly different.
After downloading, run the installation .exe to install the program. You may see a dialog similar to the one below. Although the installer is not signed, I continue with this specific installation. For more about digital signature see this blog article.
After using VLC, please consider donating via the donation links on the VLC page. Contributions help keep great tools like this free for us all.
Step 2 – Convert flv file to avi
As Windows DVD Maker does not recognize .flv files it is necessary to convert it to a .avi file for processing.
After installing run VLC and select Media | Convert / Save…
This will open the following dialog:
Use the Add button to browse for the source .flv file
Then use the Convert / Save button to open the Convert / Save dialog.
Enter a name for the profile such as “flv2dvd”
For the Encapsulation tab use AVI.
For the Video and Audio codec tabs, use the settings shown below:
No changes are required for the Subtitles tab.
Press the Save button to save the new Profile.
Step 3 – Do the conversion.
Select the new Profile (flv2dvd) in the Convert / Save dialog.
Use the Browse button to select a destination file. Name the file so that it ends with .avi
Press the Start button to start the conversion. The VLC progress bar will show the progress.
Note that the chosen settings will normally create a file that is larger than the original. This is to keep any quality loss to a minimum before conversion to DVD. The Video and Audio formats (divx3 and mp3) have been chosen to correspond with codecs that are supported by DVD Maker.
Step 4 – Author the DVD
Insert a blank DVD into your DVD burner and run Windows DVD Maker. If you are unsure of how to start Windows DVD Maker, type DVD into the search box of the Start button. It should be shown as one of the programs.
Use the Add items button to add the .avi movies that you have converted. They can also be dragged into the window. I have not done screen captures of Windows DVD Maker as its use is quite intuitive. The following tips may however help:
- Enter a title into the DVD title: window.
- Check the settings defined in the options link. That link defines some important parameters such as Menu playback options, aspect ration, PAL / NTSC etc.
- For initial testing, use a DVD-RW disc so that you can view the final result.
- If all is OK, select a menu template and press the Burn button.
Note: Video conversion is a CPU intensive process. It can take a while on slower computers.
Since writing this article I have found that Microsoft DVD Maker may introduce aspect ratio issues if a 16:9 format is used. There are a number of forums discussing this issue and no apparent solution other than to convert the avi file to a wmf file using Microsoft Movie Maker with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and then using the .wmf file in DVD Maker.