How Does DVD Burning Work

So you’ve got a DVD burner and some software like Nero or Toast and you want to transfer some video you’ve shot to DVD. Ever wondered how your PC and that software accomplish this task? Well here’s the answer.

Hitting the Burn button will start the burning life cycle, which is essentially a four-step process. The first step is the process of converting the existing video file into a format that can be read from the DVD. This is known as transcoding and will take a proportionate amount of time depending on the file size. The next part in the process is building, which is the construction of the disc. This is where menus, links and navigation are put together to make sure they work on the disc.

The next stage is the big one where the information is written to the disc. This involves the physical process of transferring the data from the hard drive and placing it onto the disc. How long this part of the operation takes depends on a number of factors, including the DVD writer’s burn speed capabilities. Then there’s the lead out, which marks the end of the burning process. This ensures a player or program does not get confused and tries to read any further into the disc.

DVD BurningBurning your own video content to a recordable DVD disc doesn’t hold any legal issues, the content is yours. However, commercial DVD movies do have copyright issues. It is illegal to make even a single copy of a DVD and most DVD-burning software does not allow the copying of protected material. There is commercially available software that will remove copy protection, allowing users to make backups of their favourite movies.

Any DVD ( is a program that removes copy protection on a DVD movie as soon as it’s inserted into the drive. This then allows users to back up the movie using a DVD-burning tool. Theoretically, individuals could face up to two years in jail, an unlimited fine and possible civil action from the copyright holders.

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