How to fit a 2 hr. HD show on a DVD

lynnalexandraMay 10, 2009

This is more computer related than my title seemed. I have recorded lots of shows on Tivo and transferred them to my computer. Now my computer hard drive is getting full and I'd like to burn them on DVD. My DVD-R disc says it's 4.7 GB (2 hours in SP mode). But when I try to burn the 2 hour episode of American Idol, it says it won't fit on the disk. Now perhaps it was recorded in HD - could that be why it won't fit? Is there a way I can convert it to a format that would fit on one DVD? Or is there another kind of DVD I could buy that could fit an entire 2 hour episode.

I don't think I need it in HD format - I happened to watch it in that format and record it. But my recollection is that unless I have a blu-ray player (which I don't), my regular DVD player won't play it in HD anyway. So I'm okay converting these - but to what format? I have Tivo desktop plus which, I believe, gives me several formats to choose. But my windows xp may offer a program - or perhaps there are better, free programs?

There are so many shows I'd like to burn on DVD. Even some slightly longer movies. Any ideas?



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What are you using to burn the DVDs? Some programs have a "fit to DVD" setting that uses a lower quality to burn video so it will fit.

If your DVD burner supports them, you could try a dual layer DVD.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 9:47PM
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Good questions. This is so new to me, I barely know if I can answer them. When I click on the file and select copy, it offers me the choices of using windows media player (which is what I used), Itunes (can't imagine why I'd want to use that unless I wanted it in ipod format - which I don't for now) and gave me the option to "add file" using Roxio creator.

I chose Windows Media player and it said there was a problem. This time it didn't say what the problem was, but I noticed that the program is actually 10 GB and the DVD capacity is 4.7. I don't think I noticed a fit to DVD option - but perhaps I didn't know where to look.

How could I determine if my DVD player supports dual layer DVD.

I also wonder if I shouldn't get a program to remove commercials first. It would be nice not to record commercials for posterity. Also - it would allow many of these shows to fit more easily. I see that VideoRedo is an option - but I just started googling that. I'm not sure if there are others - or better ones - or if my Tivo Desktop Plus already does that. I also have the Firefox addon of Media Converter. Someone must have recommended that to me, but I haven't looked at it until a few minutes ago. I'm not sure it's quite what I need for this task.

So I guess 2 options are to use a dual layer DVD (if my computer supports it. If my computer will support it, will it automatically be playable in any DVD player I have (which are larger samsung and Panasonic players hooked up to our tv's - and portable players like Initial). The other option is to convert it? To what format? With what program?


PS - a little off topic - but is there a way to get tv programs from - and either burn a DVD or send it to my Tivo? I don't like watching shows on the computer - but love the offerings that hulu has.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 10:57PM
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did you transfer them to your computer using the Tivo desktop or Tivo's web server? If so, I assume they're in .tivo format, right?

When I right click and select copy, it just copies the file and then I'd use paste to paste it somewhere else. I see Windows Media player if I choose open with, but not if I select copy. a 10 gig file won't fit on a dual layer DVD, either (they hold about 8.5 gig).

If you want to play the DVDs in a player (on TV etc) you'll need to use something to burn it as a video DVD, not just copy the file to the DVD. Roxio is able to do that, although I think that functionality is limited to the full version, not the version that comes bundled with DVD burners. If you have Roxio, you can start it, then choose to create a video project, then add the Tivo file (Add Files or Get Recorded TV Shows). I'm pretty sure that some programs from premium channels like HBO can't be burned using Roxio

If the Tivo shows aren't there, you'll need to upgrade your Roxio or use a different program. There's a free program available that can do this, but I forget what it is. I'll see if I can find it and post a link here.

The free program may be able to remove the ads. The only way to do it with the version of Roxio I have is to manually edit the video, which would be time consuming.

You should also realize that the resulting DVD will not be in HD.

You'll get better quality on a dual layer DVD, but it will still probably be lower quality than the HD you've got now. Some older DVD players might not be able to read the DL DVDs, but I think those players are pretty rare any more.

If the DVD burner supports DL, it should say either DL or Dual Layer on the face plate. If you can't find it, you can right click the DVD player in explorer and look at properties. That will show you the maker, model, etc and you should be able to find out more about it that way.

If you want to keep the HD versions of the programs, you'll probably need to keep them on an external hard drive.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 12:29AM
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The free program I was thinking of was TVHarmony, but it looks like it hasn't been updated in a few years. I don't know if it will work with the HD tivo files.

VideoRedo is a commercial product that looks like it will do everything you want.

I haven't used either of these, so I'm just going by their descriptions.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 1:24AM
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BLESS my buying and owning my standalone Pio DVR when I did.
Am in my glory with it.
I record onto the hard drive at a speed slightly above SP so after I remove the commercials, it = 4.4G which fits on the DVD 4.7 disks.
The so called 8.5 dual layer disks hold only 8.0G.

I do all my TV recording, editing, and burning on my DVR.
Then I create a label on my computer to print on the TY printable watershield disk coating. Marvelous.
You can use a scene from the disk or create your own for the label.
Like I say, I grin from ear to ear using it. Best invention along side the computer.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 7:10AM
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I would be lost with out this program it's got so many good uses it's out of this world ..

Here is a link that might be useful: DVD Fab ..

    Bookmark   May 11, 2009 at 8:26PM
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For the price of drives, i would not give up quality just to get them on DVD's. most my downloads are around 1gb per hour. I like stuff clear! Just go buy a 1TB external drive.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 12:02AM
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Filehippo offers a free application called DVD Shrink which is targeted for copying DVDs along with your preferred burning application. I have never used it, but have had others report their satisfaction in using it. It might be something to look at in an alternative manner as yours as I would think copying and compressing are the same regardless of the source; from another DVD or already on-board the system.


Here is a link that might be useful: Filehippo

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 8:09AM
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Lots of great help here.

I used Tivo Desktop plus to transfer my recordings from the Tivo to the computer. Yes - I know the price of drives is getting low. In fact - I just bought a 500 GB hard drive to swap out in my series 2 Tivo. (Until I know I can do it right, I don't want to mess with my Series 3 and possibly screw it up and definitely void the warranty. Not all my shows are HD, so storing some of the series 2 is fine).

My computer had nearly 400 GB of free space when I started transferring shows - and its' almost full now. So with my habits, even a 1TB external drive will get filled up. I may use one to store HD movies and things where the HD matters more. But recording sitcoms, American Idol and my daughter's kid shows doesn't require HD. So I need to get some of these shows off all hard drives since they'll be filling up and get some to DVD-RW disks (I'm assuming that in a couple of years my daughter won't want her Hannah Montana shows, etc).

I looked at the computer's dvd player and it didn't say DL or dual layer. I have to figure out how to get to windows explorer and I'll doublecheck about writing dual density. I got the computer in Jan. 2008.

I think I will need something like VideoReDo. Not sure if I'd still need DVD Shrink in that case or not. I'll check it out.

Urlee - does your DVR also have a Tivo? I really like the Tivo. perhaps I should get a Tivo DVR with builtin DVD burner. That would simplify this whole process - but I think it would cost a lot for the unit and then again for Tivo Service.

If I don't have a DL DVD burner in my computer, I wonder if it's worth getting one? Sure could help to get movies and 2 hours shows burned in one dVD.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:12AM
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If you bought the PC that recently, it should have a DL DVD burner. The cost difference for DL has been pretty small for several years.

To run windows explorer, you can go to Start/Run then type in explorer and hit enter. You can also right click "My Computer" on the desktop and choose explore.

If you need to buy one, they are really inexpensive right now. I just replaced one in a desktop and it was less than $25. I think I bought it at Newegg.

I'm not sure whether a dvd player for a TV will play DVD-RWs. They might, but I've always used either DVD-R or DVD+R.

If you're putting things like sitcoms, American IDOL, etc on the DVDs, a single layer should be plenty. If I remember correctly, a single layer DVD should hold a 2 hour show in normal DVD quality.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:27AM
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Urlee - does your DVR also have a Tivo? I really like the Tivo. perhaps I should get a Tivo DVR with builtin DVD burner. That would simplify this whole process - but I think it would cost a lot for the unit and then again for Tivo Service.
No. It has nothing to do with the dish etc.
I am on cable TV which still broadcasts in analog and I still record as before. It is something like the VCR's only uses disks instead of tapes and being it has a hard drive, I record to the drive to watch and if I want to save that program, then I will delete the commercials. Then burn to a disk. Otherwise I just delete the show off my hard drive.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 10:34AM
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BP green - I think I was able to find information about my hard drive. Explorer turned up TSST corp DVd +- RW TS-H653B. A google search turned up a thread which suggested it was this samsung drive below. Then I searched for information about it and this suggests to me that it does write dl dvd's. Since I'm over my head here, am I interpreting this information correctly?

Urlee - I do actually have a DVD recorder - but haven't learned how to edit on it - or used it much except to burn dvd's from camcorder (just figured that out last week). I don't have the DVD recorder hooked up to a TIVO.

Boy - this technology is supposed to simplify - or expand options. It sure is complicated. I just wandered into a 22 page thread on someone's own software design (free) to do all these functions with Tivo programming. People seem to like it - but it seems like so many steps - and requires some real tech - software programing know-how. I'll probably go the VideoReDo mode.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 11:04AM
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It looks like it is a DL drive. For shows that run over 2 hours, you might want to use DL DVDs. If you burn to a DVD to ay in a DVD player, it won't do you any good to burn in a higher format than the DVD can use. For the ones you want in HD, I think you're going to need to save to an external drive until or unless you get a blueray burner (they're really expensive so far).

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 12:49PM
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My Tivo desktop plus has a convertor that will take the Tivo files and convert for ipods, H.264 devices or mpeg-4. I know I don't want ipod format for burning dvd's that I will later play on a DVD player - but I don't know if H.264 or mpeg-4 is the right format.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 4:41PM
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In case anyone is searching this topic, I thought I'd update my experience. I did get VideoRedo TV Suite ($75). I got the 2 week trial first - and liked it. It does what I need it to do. It removes commercials with just one-click. It automatically burns to DVD at the highest resolution (bit rate I believe) that will fit all the content (for single or dual layer DVD).

Now that I know how, it's pretty simple. but it took a lot of trial and error. I don't think the instruction pdf's are the best at explaining the difference in the different functions. They have a help forum - and the senior members responded quickly to my questions. Some don't break it down enough for newbies - but a few very helpful, well-written responses have gotten me up and running quickly.

I got everything off my Tivo 2 and burned to DVD. I'm in the process of trying to swap the hard drive out. I love the quickness of being able to remove commercials. It also looks like it will be fairly straightforward to edit in anyway I want. So I will want to load and edit home movies - and talk shows where I want to save one particular interview but not the entire show.

Hope that helps other newbies.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:14PM
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There are a lot of websites with instructions on how to upgrade to a larger drive for a Tivo. I know, because I bought a low end Tivo and upgraded to enough space that I could record in higher quality and save something like 10 times as many shows.

Making these kinds of modifications will void your warranty, but they're not that tough to do and hard drives are cheap.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 2:19AM
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