Burning Video DVDs is Stupidly Hard

It’s really hard to make a Video DVD using a Mac. There, I said it.

Macs have been touted as great for content creators and creative types for years, and it’s true. Things generally just work better. However, if you want to burn an actual video to an actual DVD you can’t do it. Not through Final Cut Pro, not in Compressor. You need DVD Studio Pro or, forbid, iDVD.

What I really want is something like Adobe Premiere’s feature where you can burn a sequence (an individual video timeline within a project) directly to a disk. But it doesn’t exist in Final Cut.

There are tools like Toast by Roxio (which costs between $79-$99) and does the job to a decent standard, but it’s not what I want.

DVD Studio Pro is a good tool, but is professional grade and comes with lots of potential pitfalls. For example, to make the background 16:9 you need to use Photoshop, resize the image to 4:3 (squashed) and then import it. Either way it will look correct, but if you don’t pre-squash the image in your burned DVD it will look blocky.

A promising candidate would be “Burn” — a freeware piece of software that unfortunately seems to have last been updated a few years ago. It will take any random mpeg formatted video file and burn a disk and plain DVD menu with it. It wouldn’t take a Final Cut export MOV, but did take an mp4. It also crashed at least twice on me while testing it out. So, this is hardly a warm recommendation.

Does anyone have any suggestions on a better product? I’ve asked this question on Quora as well.