To burn a DVD in Windows Media Center, you must have a DVD burner connected and installed on your computer. A DVD burner can be installed internally or externally on your computer, depending on the type of DVD burner. Internal DVD burners are installed in one of the computer's drive bays. External DVD burners are stand-alone drives that are connected to your computer using a USB 2.0 connection, or in some cases, using an IEEE 1394 connection.
The type of recordable DVD disc you use depends on your DVD burner. Certain DVD burners can only burn to certain types of recordable DVDs. For example, with some DVD burners, you can only record to a DVD+R or DVD+RW or to a DVD-R or DVD-RW. However, other DVD burners will let you burn to all of these recordable DVD types. To determine what types of DVDs your DVD burner can burn, consult the manual that came with your DVD burner.
As long as your DVD burner supports burning to these types of discs, you can burn a DVD in Windows Media Center by using one of the following types of recordable or re-recordable DVDs: DVD+R, DVD+RW, DVD-R, and DVD-RW.
In Windows Media Center, you can burn the following types of DVDs:
Video DVD. When you burn an video DVD, Windows Media Center converts all the selected video files to a video format that standard DVD players can recognize and play back. Also, in many cases, you can play back the video DVD on your computer as well by using Windows Media Center.
Data DVD. When you burn a data DVD in Windows Media Center, the digital media files are not converted from one format to another and are merely copied to the DVD. Data DVDs are useful if you want to back up your digital media files and a single-sided DVD disc can store approximately 4.7 gigabytes (GB) of music, pictures, or video files. For example, you might want to back up all the different digital photos that you have stored on your computer, as well as music and video files. Keep in mind, however, that some DVD players and computers may not be able to play data DVDs or some of the file types that can be burned to a data DVD.
Data CDs or data DVDs can only be accessed later on a computer, not on consumer electronics devices such as stand-alone CD players and DVD players.
Some digital media files or content may be protected and, when archived to a CD or DVD, you may not be able to play them on other computers. The media usage rights can specify how you can use the file and whether the media usage rights expires. For example, media usage rights can specify whether you can copy the file to a portable device or play it on another computer.
Some recorded TV shows or video files may be protected. You may not be able to burn the protected video files to a DVD, depending on the rights assigned to the video files by the content owner, originator, or broadcaster.
Slide Show DVD. When you burn a slide show DVD in Windows Media Center, the selected pictures are encoded into an MPEG-2 video file and any selected audio files are encoded into Dolby Digital audio. For a slide show DVD, the pictures display as the music plays. You can play a slide show DVD in a standard DVD player, as well on your computer in Windows Media Center.