PowerPoint to DVD


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This is a direct quote from Adam Crowley, who is well known on the PowerPoint newsgroup for his knowledge of and experience with PowerPoint and video:
It can be done but is far from simple and may give disappointing results.

The easiest way to get a good result, if you have the equipment, is to use a TV-out graphics card to output direct to a DVD recorder.

The next easiest way, if you have access to a Mac with either Office 2001 or X, would be to save your PowerPoint file as a Quicktime movie, convert this to a DVD compliant MPEG2 file and then author the DVD (Ulead have some cost effective, if limited, DVD solutions). www.ulead.com

Then there are several products that capture screen motion to a movie file (camtasia and hypercam to name two). Beware, you'll almost certainly find that with these products you can produce either high resolution but low frame rate movies or low resolution movies at full frame rate. Both of these outcomes will give poor results that do not take full advantage of the quality DVD can offer.

If you use one of the above methods, the DVD will not have any "cueing" or navigation. You will need to add that using your DVD authoring software.

A few guidelines to be aware of when creating graphics that will be shown on a TV/video monitor:

1) TV interlacing makes thin lines, particularly horizontal lines, shimmer like crazy. Thicken up all your lines.

2) Keep charts and detailed diagrams simple - you'll have trouble reading complex detail at TV resolution.

3) Avoid very saturated colours, especially bright red.

4) Understand that on a TV monitor you don't see the whole picture - work to a 'safe area' (i.e. leave at least 5% of the width and height at the edge of your slides).

It will help you see what works and what doesn't if you can connect a TV-output to your TV as you work.

All of these options assume that you have transitions and animations that you want to preserve. If not then the simplest and quickest solution of all is to use another product, which allows you to string together a pile of images into a self-running DVD slideshow. In particular it's worth looking at some of the products that are specifically geared towards photo slideshows on DVD (i.e. not using PowerPoint at all).

Ulead's DVD Pictureshow http://www.ulead.com/dps/runme.htm
DVD Photo Slideshow http://www.dvd-photo-slideshow.com/
Photo2VCD http://www.photo2vcd.com/

And there are probably more if you do a search for DVD Photo Slideshow. Some, if not all, of these products allow you to put a soundtrack to your show. It's much easier than what you'd have to do to get a good result using PowerPoint.

Adam also recommends Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator 6 from http://www.roxio.com/en/products/ecdc/index.jhtml