Should You Burn, Build, Format, or Build and Format?

When your project is finished, you have the option of directly burning a DVD or stepping through the process of building and formatting the project. The option you use depends on your situation.

Burning a Project

Burning is a simple one-click step that creates a DVD from your project. You simply click Burn in the toolbar or press Command-Option-B to start the process. Your system’s DVD burning drive is checked to see if suitable recordable media is present—if not, a dialog appears, prompting you to insert a blank disc. And that’s it. The process starts and there are no more decisions to make. This is a good choice if you do not require special settings, such as selecting the drive to write to.

Burning a project creates a VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder just as with the build process. It is written to the location specified in the Destinations pane in DVD Studio Pro Preferences. This makes it possible to burn additional discs (using Format) without needing to recreate the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder.

If your system has multiple drives that can burn DVDs, the burn process uses the first general type drive it finds. If none are found, it then looks for an authoring drive. You cannot use the burn process to write to a DLT or disk image.

If you want to make several DVDs of your project, you can use Burn to create the first disc, and then save time by using Format to create the additional DVDs. This avoids having DVD Studio Pro recreate the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder for each disc.

Building a Project

The build process only creates the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder; it does not burn a disc. You click Build in the toolbar or press Command-Option-C to start the process.

With the build process, you are able to choose the location where the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder is created. Using Build by itself is useful when you want to create the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder so that you can emulate the project using DVD Player, or if you want to manually copy the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder to a disc.

See Building Your Project for more information.

Formatting a Project

The format process requires you to have a VIDEO_TS and/or HVDVD_TS folder already created. You click Format in the toolbar or press Command-F to start the process. Using Format is especially useful when you want to make multiple discs from the same VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder.

You would usually use the format process after you had emulated the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder and were ready to burn a disc or DLT. You can also combine the format process and the build process (described next); however, an advantage to using the format process separate from the build process is that you can choose the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder to format. This can be useful if you are working on a new project and get a request for a DVD of an earlier project whose VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder is still available.

See Setting Disc Format Properties for more information.

Building and Formatting a Project

When combined, the build and format processes act similarly to the burn process. The difference is that you are presented with the same configuration options you get when you use the build and format processes separately, which allows you to customize the process. You click Build/Format in the toolbar or press Command-Option-F to start the process.

After you configure the build and format options, you are then not required to do anything more until the DVD or DLT has been created. An exception is dual-layer discs, because the break point cannot be verified until the VIDEO_TS or HVDVD_TS folder has been created.

See About the Build/Format Command for more information.