DVD Burning: Troubleshooting Tips

I'm having trouble burning DVDs in RealPlayer. What should I do?

The following troubleshooting steps can resolve a number of different DVD burning issues, including RealPlayer freezing during the burn process, not starting the burn process, and General Error messages.

After performing each step, try your burn again. If these steps don't help, at the bottom of this answer you'll find links to more troubleshooting articles for specific problems.

Before you begin a burn, you will need:

- RealPlayer Plus or a Premium/Unlimited subscription to RealTimes (DVD burning is not available in RealPlayer for Mac OSX). Make sure you have the latest version installed.
- RealPlayer's DVD Burn plugin installed on your computer (this should happen automatically the first time you burn a DVD; click here if you have problems downloading the plugin)
- At least 1 GB of RAM (on Windows Vista, you may need slightly more than 1 GB)
- A compatible DVD burner. If you encounter problems, you may want to update your burner's drivers by uninstalling it through your computer's Device Manager and then rebooting your computer. 
- A blank, single-layer DVD-R or a DVD-RW disc that is recommended by your burner's manufacturer. (If you are getting a "No Device Capable of Burning a DVD is Detected" error, make sure your burner handles DVDs and not just CDs.)
- A file or playlist that is within the limit for burning to disc with RealPlayer--up to 120 minutes per DVD, up to 60 minutes for AVCHD.

Note: DVD burning does not work on PCs running Windows 8.1.

Solution 1: Make sure you are signed in.

DVD burning is a premium feature of RealPlayer and requires you to sign in first. If you're being prompted to buy RealPlayer Plus when you have already purchased it, please try these solutions.

Also, click File at the top of RealPlayer and make sure that the Work Offline option is not checked. RealPlayer cannot burn DVDs if it's set to Work Offline mode.

Solution 2: Try playing the clip in RealPlayer.

If the clip will not play in RealPlayer, then it can't be burned to DVD using RealPlayer.

"Unsupported media type" error: this means either that the file type isn't supported by RealPlayer, or that the clip is DRM (Digital Rights Management) protected and can't be copied. Unsupported file types include .webm and .mkv -- you will first need to convert them to .mp4 files. Additionally, .mov files created with a camcorder cannot be burned at this time.

"General Error: The software that's used to decode the media is not available on this system": If you are trying to burn .avi files using Windows Vista, try downloading the "FFDSHOW" decoder (you can find sites that offer this download for free, by doing a web search). Once you have downloaded and installed it, you should be able to burn those files to DVD using RealPlayer Plus.

Solution 3: Allow enough time.

Burning a DVD is a time-consuming process, and can take 20 minutes to an hour even for short files (and as long as 4 hours for a full-length movie). The total time will vary depending on the speed of your PC. Even if it looks like nothing is happening, the burn may be proceeding normally. Before starting the burn, disable your screen saver; then, once burning has started, simply leave your computer alone for an hour or two, and then check back.

However, if you receive an error message right away, or if after 5-10 minutes there is still no visible progress, please read on for more troubleshooting tips.

Solution 4: Check your DVD discs.

The burn speed should be at or above the speed of your DVD burner (for example, if your DVD burner is 16x, an 8x disc will not work unless you lower your burn speed to 8x or lower). You can use either a DVD-R or a DVD-RW disc; if the DVD-RW has content on it already, you'll be prompted to erase it as part of the burning process.

You may get an "Insert Blank Disc" or "No Disc Detected"  error message if:
- The disc is not in the correct drive
- The disc is not blank
- The disc is not supported (RealPlayer can't burn to Dual-layer or Blu-Ray discs)

Solution 5: Lower your burn speed.

Try adjusting the burn speed of your DVD burner to half its current rate, even if the DVD disc is compatible. (Check the Help documentation for your burner if you're not sure how to do this.)

Solution 6: Configure your firewall.

It's possible that a firewall is blocking the burn from proceeding. For solutions, see Configuring RealPlayer to work with a firewall.

Solution 7: Log in to your computer as an administrator.

Try running the program as administrator (Windows Vista or higher) or from a profile with administrator privileges (Windows XP).

Solution 8: Run Disk Cleanup to free up space on your computer.

You will need to make at least 4 GB of hard drive space available to burn a DVD. For a full 80-minute DVD, you should have at least 6 GB of free hard drive space. Otherwise, there will not be enough space for the temporary files required for DVD burning.

To run Disk Cleanup:

1. Click Start, choose Programs, then Accessories, then System Tools, and then Disk Cleanup.
2. Select the hard drive you would like to clean. The Disk Cleanup dialog box appears.
3. Place a check mark in each of the boxes.
4. Click OK.
5. Click Yes when prompted to delete files.

Additional troubleshooting

You may also find these articles helpful:

Error: 'Data rate too high' when burning a DVD
'Transcode Exceeds maximum file size of volume' error when burning DVD
DVD Burning: Errors when using internal and external drives
Sound problems with DVD burned in RealPlayer
RealPlayer: IVR file issues

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