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I'm looking for a no-cost (or very low cost) DVD authoring tool for Windows.

I've already got video that I shot and edited myself with another piece of software, and I've encoded it correctly for DVD. I'm looking for a tool that will allow me to import videos, as well as some still photos, and create a menu screen that will allow me to choose to between videos or slideshows to play. I'd like to be able to create submenus, so that a menu choice will go to a screen with more choices.

This tool doesn't need to actually burn the DVD, but I'd like it to output a VIDEO_TS folder that I can use with another tool (such as CDBurnerXP) to actually burn the disc.

I've used Sony DVD Architect in the past to do this, which does everything I need it to do, except that this time I am looking for a much less expensive solution. Windows DVD Maker, included with Windows, is too limiting: I am unable to create nested submenu screens, and I am unable to customize slideshows enough for my liking.

Features needed:

  • Create custom menu screens, with custom still backgrounds
  • Create submenu screens
  • Include multiple videos on one disc
  • Create customizable slideshows from a collection of still photos
  • No watermarking or ads added to the output

I mentioned that I've used Sony DVD Architect in the past; that was DVD Architect Pro that is bundled with the Sony Vegas Pro video editor and lists for $600 USD. I see now that Sony offers a consumer product called Sony DVD Architect Studio for $40, and from what I can tell, this will do what I need it to do, although it is not the free solution I was hoping for. I would still like to learn about recommendations for less expensive options.

4

This appears to have everything you're looking for. I've used it many times and it works well.

DVDStyler is a cross-platform free DVD authoring application for the creation of professional-looking DVDs. It allows not only burning of video files on DVD that can be played on standalone DVD player, but also creation of individually designed DVD menus

http://www.dvdstyler.org/en/

  • Welcome to Software Recommendations! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference. – danijelc Mar 11 '14 at 0:46
  • @glenn Thank you. That looks quite powerful, although perhaps harder to use than DVD Architect. Still, that is exactly what I was looking for. – Ben Miller - Reinstate Monica Mar 11 '14 at 14:06
  • Welcome to Software Recommendations. We want answers that explain how the recommended product matches the requirements and fits the purpose of the question. What you've written here is just a generic description of the product. Could you expand it to demonstrate how this product fits? See this meta post for tips on writing an answer. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Mar 13 '14 at 20:51
  • 2
    This is no good. I tried to add a mp4 file and it got stuck at 88/136 minutes. – Chloe Feb 28 '15 at 1:25
5

ConvertXtoDVD

Free trial (can't recall if it has watermark during the trial), however it is not horribly expensive (well as software goes - ~$50).

It does not have a photo slideshow feature - the same company has a different product that does that.

Menu and submenus can be created with custom backgrounds. beyond background and text styling the amount of customization is a little bit limited but hopefully enough for your needs.

Other than those three caveats it matches your requirements very well.

I've found it very effective and quite fast at least on Windows vista/7/8 laptops with ~2-4gb of RAM. If you set it to maximum speed it will take a lot of the system's resources but that's what you'd expect.

1

Use DVDFlick. It's freeware, has menus and submenus where you specify which videos to use.

Output goes to a VIDEO_TS as an intermediate step before burning. I don't remember if you can stop before the burn step, it's been too long since I last used it.

I'm not sure about the still photos either, you'll have to check.

It relies on the powerful ffmpeg for the video/audio encoding, here is the features list.

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I myself use ConvertXtoDVD and it is really an amazing software. It can do the menus and the customization thing. It will also burn to DVD all your videos at the end.

  • Your answer is very unclear. Are there two different products called ConvertXtoDVD? – Jan Doggen Jan 5 '15 at 11:13
  • Besides, what answer do you refer to by "above" (there is no "above" and "below", as that very much depends on how you sort the answers)? Also, what about the other requirements (no watermarks, submenus, multiple videos on one disc)? – Izzy Jan 5 '15 at 12:00

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