Burning AVI to DVD - AVI not viewable

posted in DVD Burning

I regularly burn AVI files direct to DVD as data files - our DVD player will read these and play the AVI quite happily. It allows me to get lots more video onto a DVD than if I changed the AVIs into DVD format first.

But I’ve recently got a few AVIs that play fine on my laptop or my desktop - but when I burn them to DVD, they don’t play properly on my DVD player. The sound works fine, but the video doesn’t - It will show a frame (while the audio is going fine in the background) for 5-10 seconds, then leap to another frame, then show that one for a while, then a new frame, and so on. So I basically get one frame every 5-15 seconds of video. It’s not a bad DVD (because other AVIs on the same DVD play fine), and it’s not a bad burn (because I’ve re-burned the files a couple of times, and they’re always the same).

Anyone got any idea why this is? And what I can do to fix it so the AVIs play happily after being burned to DVD as data files?

Thanks for any help. reply

Hi Budfudder,

Technically AVI files can contain any number of video “streams” and audio “streams”. Each of these video/audio streams might be in different compressed formats (codecs) such mp3, mpeg4, divx etc. These different codecs require a corresponding decoding capeability of the player that you use to playback the AVI files. Also many codecs comes in different versions having only limited backward compability. Thus the files that you are having problems with might contain video encoded with a codec that is not fully supported by your DVD player, or it might be in a resolution or bitrate (higher bitrate = higher quality but also higher CPU/processing demanding).

There exists numerous applications that will help you inspect your AVI file to find out which codecs/resolutions/bitrate etc. that they have been encoded with. These are some of them (free):


With the applications above you should be able to determine which codecs/bitrate combinations that your DVD player is having trouble playing back - and which codecs that your DVD player can playback fine. Armed with this knowledge you will also know which formats that you should convert (technically it’s called “transcode” when you convert video from one compressed format to another compressed format) your problematic AVI files into. There is a number of encoding/transcoding applications here (both free and commercial applications). reply


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