How to Finalize a DVD From a DVD Recorder

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If you use your DVD recorder to store TV shows and movies, it might surprise you to learn that your DVDs won't play in other DVD players unless you finalize them. This process is sometimes automatic, but on many DVD recorders you have to start it yourself—a more difficult task than you might expect for so necessary a feature. Fortunately, the only difficult part is finding the function in the DVD recorder's menus.

  • Record your DVD. When you have everything on the DVD that you want, or when the disc is full, press "Stop."

  • Press the "System Menu" button on your remote control. (Note: these instructions are based on the Sony RDR-GX257 DVD recorder. Other DVD recorders that don't automatically finalize your DVDs will follow a similar procedure, but consult your User's Guide for any quirks your recorder may have.)

  • Select "Setup" and press the "Enter" button on your remote control.

  • Select the "Disc" icon (a circle with a hole in the center) and press "Enter."

  • Select "Finalize" and press "Enter."

Tips & Warnings

  • Many newer DVD recorders automatically finalize certain disc formats when you press the "Eject" button. Check your User's Guide to see if this applies to your device.
  • Finalizing a DVD-R or DVD+R will make it impossible to record any further information on the disc, so make sure you have everything on the disc that you want before you finalize it.
  • Even after it is finalized, your DVD may not play in some DVD players. This is because no recordable DVD format is universally compatible with every DVD player. The most widely-compatible formats are write-once formats like DVD-R and DVD+R.

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  • Photo Credit Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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