Confused need some guidence

I have been researching the art of DVD burning for about the lat 7 days now. My head is ready to explode from all of the info i have gathered.

-One person says this…
-One person says that…

-One person says this Burner is awesome…
-Another person says that same burner is horrible…

On and on it goes.

I appreciate the suggestions to research; but my god, one can become completley polarized (as i did) in trying to determine what hardware/software solution to purchase.

In any case, i finally got sick of wading through thousands of posts trying to figure out which DVD burner is the best and decided to make a purchase.

My research led me to choose a Benq DW1620 (i hope this turns out to be a good decision).

Now that the background is out of the way, here is my question:

My friend has given me a couple of DVD +R discs containing all of the epsiodes from a particular TV show.

I now want to make copies of the discs he gave me for my own use.

Which DVD Burning software should i use?

Should i use one of those cloning programs like DVD Shrink/DVD Cloner/1 click DVD Copy/DVD X Copy or should i use the software that came with my DVD Drive (Sonic Record Now) or something like it such as Nero Burning Rom, Alcohol 120%, Easy Media Creator etc…

Beyond circumventing copyright protection (which i don’t think i need in my particular case) i am not sure what the difference is between those two types of software.

My biggest need is for a software package that will produce reliable quality copies.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!



In essence you are just going to copy an already burned DVD - so you just need to use a burning program (Nero, Roxio, etc) to do a disc copy-

The others are for making backup copies of encrypted DVD movies-


Got it.

Will i get better quality if i use Nero vs. the software that came with the burner (Sonic Record Now) or would that argument amount to “splitting hairs”, as one software package is just as good as another?

Hi and be welcome!

Actually, it’s quite easy. Pressed DVDs (like those that are used for movies) are often put on so-called DVD9 discs. This means that this disc has two layers and that it can contain about 9GB of data. As the currently used -R and +R media are just DVD5 media (they can contain 4.37 Gb of data), it is often impossible to fit a pressed DVD on a copied DVD, just because of the lack of space.
So that’s where the transcoding programs like DVD Shrink kick in. They do mainly two things: strip parts of a DVD to save space and reduce the quality of the remaning parts (if neccesary) to fit the wanted data on a single DVD5.

If your friend recorded his discs himself, it’s very very likely he used standard recordables, so you should be able to make a 1:1 copy. This can be done by any DVD copying program (like Record now) and there’s no need of transcoding the DVD as the size doesn’t need to be reduced.

When making 1:1 copies, it doesn’t matter what program you use, as the quality will remain identical. However, when transcoding is needed, the story changes. It’s hard to tell what program gives the best results. I’ve always been quite fond of DVD2ONE, but other programs like DVDShrink, Nero Recode (which is in fact a modified version of DVDShrink), CloneDVD etc are all pulling nice jobs as well. You can’t really say that or that one is the best, as they use different reduction algorithms and some work better on certain videos than others do (it depends on how the video was encoded originally).

Two more things I’d like to say:

  1. If you have to put a DVD9 on a DVD5, you may want to look into a complete reencode of the DVD, instead of transcode it. Transcoding doesn’t do anything but lower the bitrate, while a reencode does the encoding steps over once again, yielding much better image quality. Reduction up to about 30% can done quite well with transcoding programs, but after that, reencoding is something I’d prefer.
  2. DVD-DL is slightly entering the market. This format, where DL stands for dual layer, can contain almost the full 9Gb. As most discs aren’t 100% filled, I guess that most original DVDs could be copied 1:1 without much problems (except for possible copyprotections). The DL media is still very expensive though (about €/$ 7 a disc!), but it will be a nice option for the future.

I hope this helped a little. If not, maybe a visit to our Transcoding software forum and our Video editing forum would be of help. And of course, feel free to ask for more info :slight_smile:

Wow, thanks for the info Dee.

Very impressive!

Looks like for the my needs it will be ok for me to stick with the software that came with the drive (it isn’t all that bad to be honest with you).

Thanks again!!


Sonic Record now is indeed pretty much alright for most people.

No problemo :slight_smile: