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Need software for burning camcorder videos to DVDs for preservation

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / December 4, 2009 4:24 AM PST

Need software for burning camcorder videos to DVDs for preservation

With the arrival of my first grandchild, I bought my son and
daughter-in-law a Canon HD camcorder. The camcorder is
terrific, the bundled software--Pixela--is not. My
first priority is to burn downloaded (to a PC running Windows
Vista) videos to a DVD for preservation purposes as well as
availability to family and friends. Pixela wants me to
uninstall any software that has a DVD burning function before
Pixela can work. That?s a tall order considering how many
software packages contain that function. I am not confident
that once that?s done the Pixela software will work as
promised. So, what I?m looking for are alternative software
suggestions to meet my goal of burning videos to DVDs for
preservation and distribution. Please include title of
software, what makes it great (features), the ease of use,
any draw backs, and/or anything that you can think of that
makes your software recommendation worthwhile. Thank you for
your help.

Submitted by: Irwin S.

Here are some featured member answers to get you started, but please read all the advice and suggestions that our
members have contributed to this discussion topic.

Burning camcorder videos to DVDs --Submitted by Bob_Meyer

Nero or Windows Movie Maker.... --Submitted by darrenforster99

Extremely wide range of prices and features --Submitted by HomelessClarence

Premiere and Pinnacle --Submitted by dacarriso

Best video editing software? --Submitted by pogo943

Thank you to all who contributed!

If you have any additional recommendations or tips for Irwin, please click on the reply link and submit your answer. Please be specific in your answer and include any links or example if available. Thanks!
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Videos to DVD - Roxio DVD Creator

I have put VHS videos onto DVD formats with Roxio, and take videos from my camera and create DVD videos, or VCD (CD size disk that will play on most DVD players).


There are others, like Sony's Movie Studio, and Apple has good programs too.

To start, get Roxio, it does lots of things that are useful.

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by mrchef1 / December 18, 2009 9:38 AM PST

Honestly I think the best solution is buy a MAC and do it right. You can use a program as simple as iMovie or step up to final Cut Express ($200) or if you've got money to burn buy Final Cut (about a grand). Final Cut is a bit excessive unless you're really serious. FCE will make you look like a pro for not much money and with a MAC you've got the right machine.... Save your PC for spread sheets, and business letters.

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by Lawtimes / December 20, 2009 12:33 AM PST
In reply to: IMO

Hi there! Some people think that it?s difficult to deal with the wide variety of camcorder?s video format. The only tool that we have known it is the "Codecs" & "drivers" with the apropriate and updated software that let you manage and process all popular video formats.

You say that the right solution it is "buy a proper MAC". I don?t think so. I suggest you instead of waste your money on one new PC or MAC, either check and update your codecs & drivers, or try a new O.S. like Windows7 and enjoy the new features where you?ll edit any video format as you want. Simple and easy, without throw away your money on one MAC.

KInd Regards.


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About Roxio options
by Josepe-sv / December 18, 2009 10:19 PM PST

Some write devices includes Roxio burn software with the wonderful VideoWave. This video edition software works fine, the Roxio burn is not. 5 years ago the Adaptec Easy cd was the best. Then was incoming Nero.. Adaptec then goes to Roxio and the good performance was loosing competitive levels.

But, for your instance, the Videowave will be great.

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VCR and Camcorder encoding and burning

Try DVDSanta even the demo works quite well. With
the demo it does place a watermark upper left and
lower right on the first 30 seconds of the resultant

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DVD burning software

Ditch Pixela. There are some nice free programs to be found on CNet, and then there is always Nero. Nero is slightly expensive and takes a lot of hard drive room, but it is easly to use, generally works well, and will reside on the same computer with many other DVD/CD burning programs.

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Need software for burning camcor
by 1222256 / December 4, 2009 9:41 AM PST

You do not need to install anything for most camcorders if you have Windows Vista or 7. Microsoft has a cool program called DVD Maker that will do exactly what you want.

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dvd burning
by andybaber2000 / December 19, 2009 9:23 PM PST

Windows Movie Maker is very good for the editing, but Window DVD Maker is better for burning, in my humble opinion.

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I use a good program for that
by rkinkead / December 4, 2009 9:44 AM PST

I have a very good program that copies not only photos and other files but will also burn videos I have been using it for several years. It came with my first CD burner. It is called Nero, and it works great. You can go to and get all the info and price. Sorry but it is not free.

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Simple answer!!
by Grimbles / December 4, 2009 9:48 AM PST

Hey Irwin - There are plenty of freeware offerings available which fit your requirements and, no doubt, you are going to receive plenty of advice about many of them...HOWEVER, if you are running Vista Home Premium or Ultimate you already have one of the best video to DVD programs included in your operating system.

Windows DVD Maker is available via 'Start\All programs', it includes some nice options and is really easy to use. You can read more about Windows DVD Maker here:

If you are running Vista Home Basic (which you didn't actually clarify) I'm afraid this program is not available to you and you will need to look at one of the freeware alternatives.

Cheers now.....JIM

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Movie Maker
by darrenforster99 / December 7, 2009 1:25 AM PST
In reply to: Simple answer!!

In Windows Vista Basic you should still have Windows Movie Maker instead, this was also included in XP and that does a very similar job to DVD maker.

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Beware of Nero
by hcvan / December 19, 2009 12:47 AM PST
In reply to: Simple answer!!

I purchased Nero 7 and when it quit working I was told I had to pay for an upgrade. when 7 did all I wanted. There tech support is bad and I would not recommend them over the long haul. I found a free program to convert about all files. and it is free. Any Video Converter

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Free program to convert all.....
by achungu / December 28, 2009 9:28 PM PST
In reply to: Beware of Nero

Please walk me through on how to download that free programe / video converter.

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Re: convert what to what?
by Kees Bakker / December 28, 2009 9:33 PM PST

That might make a difference.

The usual way to find a program to convert X to Y is to googel CONVERT X Y and see what it finds (substitute X and Y with your formats, for example CONVERT AVI MP4).


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dvd or vcd to video/3gpp or video/mp4
by achungu / December 28, 2009 10:03 PM PST

Sorry I did not specify, I actualy want to convert dvd and vcd files to Video/3gpp or Video/mp4 and the other way round.

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Premiere and Pinnacle

I agree with you: Pixela is an annoying and silly program, and it makes you wonder what the point of including such a program is.

Anyway, if you have Vista Home Premium, you have a potential solution: Windows Movie Maker, found on the All Programs menu, is an acceptable program for basic editing. It can do titles and transition effects, and when you're done, it will hand the video over to Windows DVD Maker, which has some very professional and fancy looking menus for you to use. However, Movie Maker can be quite difficult to use, but it is a good program once you know how to use it.

If you're willing to pay some money, there are some other great alternatives. Adobe's Premiere Elements (generaly about AU$100-$150, or in a bundle with Photoshop Elements for about AU$220) is a scaled down version of their professional video editing program Premiere Pro. I've used Premiere Pro before, and it always astounded me as to how incredibly difficult it was to use it, but Premiere Elements is a different kettle of fish altogether. It is a much simpler program that is designed for the normal folks (like us) to edit video. It too can burn to DVD. Pick it up with Photoshop Elements and you've got an excellent suite of applications for video and image editing. You can buy it from Adobe or download a free trial from here:

Another option is Pinnacle Studio HD. There are three different versions of it, but the HD version would be most ideal for you as it's not aimed at a prosumer. I've not had much experience with it (the last version I used was Version 8, and they're up to Version 14 now), but it is a simple looking program, and it sells for US$49.99. You can find more info here:

I do hope my reccomendations are of some help. Happy

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Software for burning camcordeer videos
by szpetro / December 4, 2009 10:03 AM PST

Hi, I am not a serious expert, but I am using my computer for years. I have a Sony camcorder, a few years old, and it came with a program which helps me to download the videos I made on the Sony. After I downloaded the pictures to my computer, I can easily cut DVD-s for both the moving pictures and the still ones. I think, if you go in to a store where they sell camcorders, somebody should be able to give specific advice on this. My Sony is at least 5 years old, it was on the expensive side at the time I purcased it, so they might have even more upgraded programs to do this. It is a fairly easy process. I think I used a software package in the past (beside the one which came with the camcorder) called Nero or something like that, I am sure they are several programs like that. Again a store which sells these camcorders could give you more specific advice. Good luck. (It is a lot of fun!!!)

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GNU Public License (free) solution

Most of the current commercial DVD programs have become, to my mind, bloatware; adding scads of extra "goodies" which result in their being way more difficult than they need to be.
CDBurnerXP ( ) is a free, no nonsense, CD and DVD burning program which does everything you might ever need a burning program to do.
Now; you may have a need for another program depending on your camcorder or desires....
Most newer camcorders create the DVD format which is identifiable as the media contains a VIDEO_TS and (maybe) an AUDIO_TS folder. If this is true, you can simple use the DATA function in CDBurner (or any other program) to simpy burn those folders to a DVD. It will then play when placed in a standard DVD player unless that player is very old.
If; however, you want to add titles, background sound tracks, fades, and other editing, you will need an authoring program. For that, Adobe Premiere is still the king of the heap; but, Pinnacle's Studio software also has a great following. Both give you a horizontal timeline into which you can drop audio and video tracks along with the effects or titling you want. Both can also be bought on EBay for far less than their retail prices.
P.S. I have fought with Pixela and, even if you get it working, it is lacking in authoring abilities and, especially, ease of use.

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Windows live ....

Download the free windows live software from microsoft and use the windows live movie maker software included in the package. this software integrates with vista well and gives you messenger , mail, and photo software also...

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Nero, Roxio and Sonic
by mah_bala / December 4, 2009 10:24 AM PST

In past I have used all there Nero, Roxio and Sonic CD/DVD burning s/w and have never faced any issue until today. I would recommend Nero as I have used this the most.


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DVD burning software
by flrhcarr / December 4, 2009 10:26 AM PST

There are many vendors of "camcorder to DVD" software. I haven't come across many that require you to remove other software that may be in conflict.
I have used Pinnacle for many years, but learned how to use it, using Broderbund's Total Burn.

That is to say that Broderbund's was a bit easier to use. But, it doesn't offer as much as Pinnacle's.

Why I suggest Pinnacle is that you can do so much with it. I use version 9 still (I had an install issue with version 10). I have upgraded the computer a couple times, & it works right along (going faster yet, with each upgrade).
Also with 9 (or Pinnacle on a whole), you can use a third party disc burning program after you have rendered the movie.
Pinnacle has always been there with support too! Updates, errors, returns everything.

I am thinking about version 14, as I'll be switching to a 64 bit OS soon. Also the later versions allow you to import more formats (mpg, xvid etc). But I won't give up the older versions till way late.

There are quite a few programs out there. I haven't tried them all. I'm sure there is better or worse.
Ease of use, like I said, there is a small learning curve (as with anything new), but you can get passed that in little time. You can just drag the movie & click make disc if you don't want to edit anything. Or you can touch it up, as transitions, menus & things like that.
They even provide a way to get the movie to your computer. I use Movie Box Deluxe. Which hooks up to nearly everything. I will say that you have to be careful when capturing, as sometimes frames get dropped, or portions of the shoot, won't come off just right. More than 90% of the time, the capture is flawless & you can leave it unattended.

Hope this helps on your quest. Good luck.

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Pinnacle & Windows 7??
by cajunboyz / December 18, 2009 10:04 AM PST
In reply to: DVD burning software

hey flrhcar: I also use Pinnacle Studio 9.3+ & have gotten use to it. Do you think Pinncle Studio 9.3+ will work with Windows 7???

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Apart from the software

I am certain you will receive lots and lots of suggestions with regard to software. My only addition to those is that you should only consider packages that will let you try them out for a limited time period, and do exactly that. Second, the DVD is giving way to Blu-Ray, and Blu-Ray burners have been on the market for a couple of years now. I would recommend buying one - they're not terribly expensive any more, and considering you have an HD camcorder, wouldn't it be nice if you could store and view your video in HD? Because DVD is not capable of handling the resolution your camcorder provides, so if you store your videos on DVD, you will lose that lovely HD quality forever. This means that whatever package you end up getting, has to be able to master Blu-Ray. I believe there are currently only three or four mastering suites that do that. As an aside, the Blu-Ray burner will let you write 25 or 50 GB data disks, nice for backup.

On the same score, you may want to consider updating your Vista to Windows 7, which is very stable, and has HD compatibilities that work much better than those in Vista. You're going to Windows 7 anyway, eventually, so perhaps this is a good time to do that.

I have one comment on your mention of "preserving on DVD". It is brief: DON'T. DVDs are an unreliable storage method, they are easy to damage, there are compatibility issues between different brands of drives, in short - great for distribution, not great for storage. I recommend getting a multimedia server with gobs of disk space, if you have the wherewithall you can set up a simple cheap desktop with a large RAID drive, like a 2 terabyte Fantom, and make that accessible from your network, and use it to store all your "stuff" on. Periodically, as technology advances, you will have to move your files to larger disk arrays, in my case, every two years or so, when I begin to run out of space, but your "preserving" will last way beyond the life of a DVD. And in the future, you and your children can still copy your videos to whatever the playback technology of the age is.

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BluRay & DVD
by hschyma / December 4, 2009 2:41 PM PST

I have one comment towards the comment that the DVD cannot handle the resolution of HD video.
It actually can!!!! - The AVCHD format that the new camcorders are using for HD video can be stored on standard DVDs --- AND MOST BLURAY players WILL play them (before you buy make sure that they can).

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by maartsen-21256034408641822641631293821089 / December 18, 2009 11:20 AM PST
In reply to: BluRay & DVD

I know, hschyma - but I was trying to make it simpler for him, not more complicated. I see no advantage in storing HD on DVD, which, as a format, will disappear over time.

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HD on DVD ..
by EscapePod / December 5, 2009 4:20 AM PST

What hschyma says is extremely important. Be sure to use software that supports saving in the HD modes to DVD. Even if you don't have a Blue-Ray player now, you may get one in the future (as prices continue downward). And, what is the use of taking your videos on the Canon HD camcorder you have, if you are not going to view them in HiDef?

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Video cam to dvd
by shadowlock9 / December 17, 2009 4:55 AM PST

depending on the video format it comes out as you might be able to use this program i like it a lot it might be helpfull
it cover just mkv but will make other with a small watermark unless you get the paid for version

paid for version covers for sure these formats

HD-DV, MKV, Blu-ray TS, TP, M2TS, AVCHD, WMV-HD, Youtube Flv, RM, RMVB, 3gp, h264, Xvid, MOV, VOB, Mpeg, Mpeg4, WMV, ASF, DV, Nsv, Ogm, AVI
Mp3, Mp2, Wav, Wma, Ogg, Amr, Ac3, Au

but to get a better idea check out the site

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Video to DVD
by mcarm / December 4, 2009 10:32 AM PST

Forget the computer, buy a good DVD recorder and connect cables directly to it and record away.

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by haf canadian / December 6, 2009 5:58 AM PST
In reply to: Video to DVD

And how is this going to get the video edited?

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Burning your camcorder film to D.V.D

Hi there ,I have just changed all my old v.h.s to d.v.d by downloading the old films to my computer which it sounds like you have already done and after trying loads of free download programs with little success I used CONVERT X TO DVD by however you can find this download and read reviews on C NET ,it is NOT free but can be downloaded and tried with a watermark ,but having purchased it I can honestly say its been fabulous ,very easy to use with simple drag and drop feature if you wish ,I am no computer genius but soon learned how it all worked .Another great feature is that if you use mobile phone videos on it as I do with a Nokia ,you can simply drag these videos on it as well and it converts virtually ANY form of video onto a d.v.d to be played on any player to your t.v without having to use your mobile phones p.c suite to play the phones video ,hope this helps ,Barry

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