So I recorded some videos on my Motorola Droid Turbo. I downloaded them to my computer. They play perfect when I play them on my computer. When I burn them to DVD and try to play them in a DVD player, they play, BUT SIDEWAYS. I really need to get these videos burned to a DVD so I can send the DVD to the people who I recorded them for. They are very large files and can not be emailed.

I used NERO Burning ROM. The videos are MP4

  • Did you made a DVD-Video or just a DVD-ROM with the files inside?
    – user931000
    Aug 29, 2018 at 23:06
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    To make a dvd video the files need to be something other than mp4.
    – Duncman008
    Aug 30, 2018 at 0:28
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    Then the problem is at the DVD player. The support for different video file formats is a non-standard feature (as in extra) of some players and depends on the device's firmware. So, probably, there's nothing you can do about it.
    – user931000
    Aug 30, 2018 at 0:43
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    If you want to send them online (even though they are so large), you might consider WeTransfer.com. I use them all the time for sending large files like videos, and they are really good at what they do. Plus they are free and they have a great privacy policy. (I am not affiliated with WeTransfer, just a happy user.)
    – Moshe Katz
    Aug 30, 2018 at 1:55
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    All the suggestions about how to send the files are great but if the files are expected to play in the same or similar DVD player then the problem will be the same. I'm afraid many people are focusing too much on the package (irrelevant) and not in its contents. How the files end up in the DVD player doesn't matter.
    – user931000
    Aug 30, 2018 at 17:13

2 Answers 2


The problem you are having is that your phone sets a "flag" in the video properties that tells the player software that it was taken in a particular orientation and that is the orientation in which is should play. However, DVD players do not support that, since the DVD video specification predates video from cell phones.

You probably need to use a video editing application to actually rotate the video and save it. Note that it is likely that this will reduce the quality of the video.

The application I used to recommend for this, Windows Live Movie Maker, is no longer available. HowToGeek has instructions for doing it with VLC Media Player, but I have not tried them so I don't know whether to recommend them or not. Any video editing program (there are lots of free and paid options) should be able to help you.

  • 4
    Why would the quality change? The player still has to do the rotation of the video (except it is in real-time). Aug 30, 2018 at 6:36
  • 3
    Apparently Windows Movie Maker can still be downloaded from the WaybackMachine answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windowslive/forum/gallery-program/… And it still works with Windows 10. Too bad Microsoft pulled the original download link.
    – sbecker
    Aug 30, 2018 at 6:49
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    @NathanMerrill: To play back videos at the correct orientation on video players that don't support rotation based on metadata one needs to re-encode the video at the desired orientation. Re-encoding with a lossy video codec always involves video degradation by its nature. Lossless video codecs are mostly out of the question since the amount of data would be rather large and to my knowledge the DVD spec includes no lossless video codec. Aug 30, 2018 at 9:08
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    @NathanMerrill because the most common reason for rotation is vertical video, in which case rotating it to play on a dvd player will reduce the resolution significantly and add black bars.
    – Moshe Katz
    Aug 30, 2018 at 11:37
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    @phyrfox do you know of any currently available software which has the ability to do that? Aug 30, 2018 at 17:06

Moshe Katz's answer is right that you'll have to re-encode the video with it rotated. But actually you already are: your phone probably records H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC). DVD Video requires MPEG-2 — those are two different codecs, thus you have to re-encode.

So, if you can find a DVD creation program that understands orientation metadata (or can be told to rotate the video) you don't have to add another re-encode.

That said, there will probably be loss of quality for two reasons:

  1. Chroma subsampling
  2. Wrong resolution

Chroma subsampling. First off, video uses a bunch of tricks to get what is really a high data rate — almost 3 gigabits/second for 1080p@60 — down to a manageable data rate. One of those tricks takes advantage of the human eye being less sensitive to color differences than brightness differences by discarding a lot of the color information. One common method, called 4:2:0 subsampling, takes every 4×2 block of pixels and discards the color information from half of the pixels on the top row and all of the pixels on the bottom row. Why? Well, color is ⅔ of the data — so going from 8 color pixels down to 2 halves the data rate. This does pose a problem with rotating it, though, at least if its been scaled at all. If it hasn't been scaled, it'll hopefully line up (but it will be scaled, see #2) (DVD Video forces you to use 4:2:0, so this is unavoidable).

Wikipedia has a nice graphic in their chroma subsampling article which shows the different methods and what they do to a block, it's about ¼ down the page. Note that Y is the brightness and Cr and Cb are the color.

Wrong resolution. DVD Video requires video to be in several very specific resolutions, the largest on being 720×480 (at least for NTSC; on PAL DVDs its 720×576). If your video doesn't have that resolution then it must be scaled and letterboxed (black border added). So, for example, if your video is 720 pixels tall instead of wide, then it'll be scaled down to be 480 pixels tall, then black borders added left and right to make it a DVD resolution again (probably 704×480, the next one down.)

[There is actually a lot more complexity here; for example, if you try to compute the aspect ratio of 720×480 you'll notice that it's 3:2, which is weird — it's neither 4:3 nor 16:9. That's because DVD pixels aren't square—that same resolution produces both 4:3 and 16:9, depending on a flag on the DVD). Also, part of the 720×480 frame is supposed to be ignored/unused, because analog TV. That is often ignored, but not always.]

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