As has already been said get Gspot. This will tell you what codecs are needed for the avi in question and if you have them. This is always a good thing to do when having problems.
You can try Main Concept MPEG encoder which will convert the avi to a suitable file, or TMPGEnc which will do the same only slower, then use TMPGEnc DVD Author which then converts that file into the correct files needed for it to burn to DVD for a stand alone player, vobs etc. It allows for the adding of chapters and menus. It also comes with its' own burning programme.
High tech you mentioned an error message. What is it? This may help to solve the problem.