DVD burning question
I know this is probably simple, but not sure how to do it.
My parents are not very computer literate (to say the least.) I've tried to send them a movie file, such as an AVI or MPEG2, and a program to write it to a DVD so that they can watch the DVD in their standard DVD player. They seem to struggle with that for some reason.
So - is there a format I can save a movie in that they can simply write to a DVD, the way you'd write WAV files to a music CD, and the DVD then play like a standard movie DVD? I use MEP 11 for movie editing and just use the burn DVD options without ever looking to see what the files are converted to (I assume some type of VOB plus other files.)
How about you send them a $35 DVD player that can play xvid and divx .avi files straight off CD-Rs and DVD-Rs?
Otherwise, you're stuck with .ISO images which are about 4.7GB for a full DVD.
One option would be to put it on YouTube and send a link, but the video would look like crap.
Otherwise, snail mail them a DVD. Burning a movie DVD is too complicated and/or time consuming for most people.
Edit: removed "it's easy on a Mac" comment... Mac's need extra software to deal with AVI format.
Most DVDs are very particular about the file/directory layout. They expect to find the VOB/IFO/etc files in a directory called VIDEO_TS. It is best to have an AUDIO_TS directory there just in case, as well, even though it is almost always empty. Look at the format of a real DVD and make sure what you send them looks like that (it doesn't have to have the same number of VOB, etc files in VIDEO_TS, but it should generally have the same layout), and send them the files in the exact directory hierarchy you see on the disk -- you should probably zip up the DVD root directory as-is and make sure it looks just like the regular DVD layout you see on real DVDs (with the AUDIO_TS and VIDEO_TS directories) and send that with instructions on how to unzip and drag the files to a blank DVD in Windows for burning.
The key points being 1) send them exactly the right file/directory layout and 2) try burning a DVD copy of it on your local system and generate a simple set of rules they can use to extract the zip and drag the files to a blank DVD and burn using just the Windows DVD burning stuff or whatever burner software they use. And then try viewing that DVD on a regular burner or as a DVD through Windows Media Player. If you can't get it to work locally, there's no way they'll get it to work remotely.
If all else fails, Roger's suggestion to get a divx-playing DVD player is a good one. There's a chance your parent's DVD player already does divx, they can look for the logo to be sure or give you the model number and you can look it up.
An alternative to zip is to just send an ISO. They will be big for full DVDs as Roger mentioned, but if the DVD clip is small it might be workable, and in any case it won't be bigger than zipping the VOB files. You can use DVD Shrink ( http://www.mrbass.org/dvdshrink/ ) to convert the DVD file hierarchy to an ISO (if your video editing software doesn't already support writing to an ISO) and your parents can use software like Nero to burn the ISO to a DVD. Easier than dealing with ZIP files, probably. And if your parents have Vista they can use ISO Recorder ( http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm ) to burn the DVD (instead of Nero or whatever), which is really easy to use. Sadly ISO Recorder won't burn DVDs, just CDs, in earlier versions of Windows.
The sad truth is Gordon is right, this stuff is a pain to deal with even if you're very video/computer literate, so it is no wonder your parents are having trouble.
I assume you're going to email / im / ftp the files over internet instead of physically mailing a video DVD. "Kong" 's solution is best in long-run. The superior compression means you don't need to take 2 days to upload a 4 gigabyte iso.
dvd's ~ 1000 mb ~ 30 minutes of video
divx ~ 200-350 mb ~ 30 minutes of video