Watch downloaded movies on DVD player?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Barbara B. writes:

" Hi Dennis,

Again, thanks for all of your hard work on your great newsletter, which is so much help for so many people. Now, my husband has a question regarding playback of downloaded DVD videos, movies, etc. He can download and burn these videos and can play them back on the computer. However, the problem is that we cannot play the movies on our DVD equipment (hooked up to your family television set). What is involved in this? Is there some kind of solution? Thanks so much for any assistance you might be able to give us. "

My response:

The short answer is that the movies are not compatible with your DVD player. However, there are a few ways you can get around this dilemma:

1) Hook your PC up to your TV and bypass the DVD player altogether. This is probably the easiest approach, but will undoubtedly require that you purchase extra hardware.

Using this method, you can go 1 of 2 ways.

Option A): Connect the TV to your computer using a video card that has a "TV out" option. Most 3D video graphics cards today have this feature; the average cost for such a card (in my area) is about $80 and up. The only foreseeable problem with this suggestion is the distance from the computer to the TV. The longer the distance, the greater loss of signal quality as it travels over the cable. You'll also need to run a separate cable for audio from your sound card to the TV.

Option B): You can purchase a wireless DVD player (and wireless router) to send the media to a wireless DVD player. This method doesn't use any cables, but is probably the most expensive. Since the media remains in digital format as it travels from the computer to the wireless DVD player, the quality of the sound and video will remain the same -- regardless of the distance from the computer to the TV (as long as it's within range). Wireless DVD players are fairly new in the market, so make sure it has all the features you need and do plenty of research. For more info on a wireless DVD player, search Google or click a related Adsense link on the side of this page:

Wireless DVD Player

2) If your DVD player supports the Video CD and Super Video CD format [most do] and you insist on playing the downloaded movies in your DVD player, you can use a conversion utility to convert the movies to VCD / SVCD format. This approach does not require any extra hardware to purchase, but requires time to convert the files so that they are playable in your home DVD system. Also, most DVD players will play VCD format, but even if that's true, not all will play SVCD. If you don't know whether or not your DVD player can play VCD / SVCD and you can't find your DVD manual, you can: A) search the Internet for more info on your DVD model number, or B) simply download an already-made VCD disc via a file sharing network, burn it, and try it on your DVD player.

As for the actual movie conversion process, I highly recommend Ashampoo Movie Shrink and Burn. It's a 3-step conversion program that requires little interaction and know-how (excellent for Newbies and even non-Newbies). See:

Movie Shrink and Burn Review

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