The Ultimate Movie DVD Tool Collection lists all the applications that are necessary to rip, create and burn movie DVDs. This article is for you if you want to backup existing movie DVDs, rip them to a computer either as a full DVD or compressed movie or if you want to create a movie DVD from movies on your hard drive.
Those three are probably the most common uses other than playing movie DVDs on the computer which can be done with virtually any program.
The tools listed below have been tested extensively and completely free, most are Open Source. If you know of a tool that is not in the list but should be let me know and I add it after evaluating it.
Play movie DVDs on the computer:
I rarely play movie DVDs on the computer, heck I dislike watching movies on the computer and prefer to watch them on the big TV screen. My video player of choice, SMPlayer, can play movie DVDs. Another media player that you may find useful is VLC Media Player which can play DVDs and not-encrpyted Blu-Rays.
It does not offer a menu driven interface but different chapters, subtitles and titles can be selected from the menu. No need for additional specialized software in most cases.
Rip movie DVDs to the computer
Tools in this section:
Here we have to distinguish between applications that rip the movie but retain DVD quality, and those that rip the movie to a compressed format like avi or a portable format so that it can be played on a mobile phone or iPod.
DVD Smith Movie Backup can backup a DVD to the computer with little user interaction. It can deal with copy protections so that all movies can be copied without issues
An alternative to that is DVD Fab HD Decrypter which offers all the features of DVD Smith Movie Backup plus the option to make the movie region code free.
Both store the movie in a Video_TS folder on the hard drive which has approximately the same size as the DVD.
The third tool is DVD Shrink which can reduce the size of the ripped movie which comes in handy if you have a DVD-9 movie and want to burn the backup on a DVD-5. DVD Shrink handles all copy protection as well.
Rip movie DVDs in compressed format to the computer
Tools in this section:
Converting movie DVDs to a compressed format has many advantages. One is the ability to store multiple movies in the place that one full DVD rip would take on the hard drive. A general size of around 700 Megabytes for a compressed movie means that about six movies fit into the place of one full DVD backup.
Another example where it does make sense is mobile computing. If you want to store movies on your iPhone, mobile phone, netbook or UMPC you have to take size into consideration because they usually come with hard drive or flash drives that don't have an abundance of free storage.
Auto Gordian Knot converts movie DVDs to the avi format. Minimal user interaction is required for the process. The only limitation of the program is that it cannot handle copy protected movies. To overcome this users could first backup the movie to hard disk with one of the applications mentioned above and rip it from there.
Handbrake is another tool which can handle basic CSS protection and convert movies to additional formats like mkv, mp4 and ogm.
Bitripper finally handles DVD copy protection with ease and requires minimal user input to rip the DVD to the computer. The main benefit of Bitripper is its ease of use, no technical knowledge is required to rip the DVDs.
Convert Videos to DVD Format
Tools in this section:
DVD Flick supports a wide variety of formats which is its greatest strength, a total of 60 video and 45 audio codecs are supported by the application. It supports subtitles, PAL and NTSC DVDs and can burn the created DVD right after the creation has finished.
The biggest advantage of AVStoDVD is the ease of use. Just add videos to the program interface and it will automatically calculate the correct size to fit all the videos on a DVD-5 or DVD-9 depending on the users selection. Everything is created automatically and it can also burn the DVD after the DVD creation process.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.