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Ripping DVD's and creating DivX movies ...

There are several ways to copy a DVD.

The most compact method for home-use would be the use of the DivX;) codec. This allows you to copy a movie to 1 (or more) CDRom.

DivX from DivX.com has gone commercial, so you might want to consider getting the compatible (and sometimes even better) Open Source Xvid. You can download this codec right here.

Take a look at the formats page for details on the resolution of either choices.

So the downside is that can only be viewed on a PC or laptop! The positive thing here is that one movie fits (usually) on 1 CDRom, making it easier to take along. For example copy movies to the harddisk of your laptop so you can see a movie in an airplane or train.

Note: Read the disclaimer!

Note: WMA is sometimes used in combination with DivX, Please use MP3!

Note: DivX can only be used with a PC, (Super) VideoCD however can be played on most stand-alone DVD-players.

Download DivX

Download DivX hier ...

How does it work?

Copying a DVD is based on these steps:

Ripping a DVD - Step-by-Step

Different (mostly freeware) applications can help you with this.

There are several ways of doing this, first of all the newer tools:

  • DVDx - Nice and easy, all in one go ...
  • FlaskMPEG 6 - In two easy to do steps ...

We also have some older methods which proven to be good too;

  • Method 1; Copy DVD to harddisk and transcode video and audio seperately.
  • Method 2; Copy DVD to harddisk en her-comprimeer video and audio simultaniously.
  • Method 3; Transcode audio and video while copying DVD files to your harddisk.

DeCSS and Copying to Harddisk

Most DVD's are protected against copying and/or editing. To copy a DVD, we first need to remove the encryption (CSS - Content Scrambling System) of the so called VOB (Video on Demand) files. This process is called DeCSS - refering to the first program that could do this.

Older rippers, like PowerRipper, uses the output of a software DVD-player to rip audio and video. This technique is difficult and out-of-date (but smart though!).

There are multiple DVD-rippers out there, but I have to say that in my personal opinion SmartRipper is still the best.

This program decodes the VOB (Video On Demand) files while copying them to your computers' harddisk.

Note: CSS encoding has been changed a bit since the introduction of DeCSS - insteda of only one key per movie the DVD now requests multiple keys per movie. Not all DVD-rippers are capable of doing this - Smartripper however is able to handle this just fine!

Conversion to DivX

After copying the requiered DVD files, we must transcode (re-compress) the movie to MPEG. The standard compression for a DVD movie is MPEG2 and uses quite a lot of space (often about 5 Gbyte per movie). To get the movie to fit on a single CD we use DivX. Alternatively you could use either VideoCD or Super VideoCD but they usually need 2 or more CD's per movie.

Formats (screen resolutions) for DivX can be choosen freely. However there are a few commonly used formats:

  • DVD-Format
    For a PAL movie we usually use 720x576 and for a NTSC movie we use 720x480.

  • VideoCD-Format
    For a PAL movie we reduce the resolution to 352x288 and for a NTSC movie to 352x240.
    Note: Do NOT use the Super VideoCD format, since it's horizontal resolution is only half the screen width. Most playback software do not support doubling the with of a screen during playback! Although quality is excellent ...

  • (S)VGA-Format
    Since most DivX movies are played on a PC, some people choose the 640x480 format for both PAL and NTSC movies. Personally I NEVER use this format.

You can always choose a different resolution, but my advise to that would be to limit it to removing the black borders and nothing else ...

After transcoding (re-compressing / converting) video to DivX the audio still takes about 1,5 ... 2,0 Gbyte. Transcoding audio to MP3 makes the movie on the CD finally. Commonly used applications for this are DvDx, FlasKMPEG and VirtualDub. The result can be played with Microsoft Media Player (v7 or better), Playa or MicroDVD.

That's not all! When using a tool like MicroDVD, support for multiple languages (audio and/or subtitles!) are supported too. We need tools like SubRip and MicroDVD to help us with that: ripping and displaying subtitles. MicroDVD also support interactive menu's as seen on DVD's!

Saving the movie on a CDRom

A DivX file (we usually use the extension .AVI or .DIVX) are to be put on a CDRom just like a normal computer file. See "How do I create a computer CDRom" to see how it's done with Nero.

Note: DivX CD's cannot be played on a stand-alone DVD player!



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