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DVD to DivX using DVDx, all at once or assisted by SmartRipper...

DVDx gives us two basic methods of ripping DVD's. One where we rip it all using a single application (DVDx) and one where we use a more advanced DeCSS tool called SmartRipper and then convert it with DVDx. I prefer the last option, it kind-a gives me a better feeling on the decryption of the CSS.

Tip: Unfamiliar with DivX? Please do read the Intro page.

Tip: Ripping subtitles seperately would be cool too, please see the subtitle ripping page for details.

Note: This method has been tested with Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, XP and 2000. You will need to have DirectX 8.1 installed!

Note: WMA wis sometimes being used with DivX, rather use MP3!

Note: to be able to use DivX you must have an DivX-codec installed (the original 3.11 DivX ;-), XviD or the codec by DivX.com). An MP3 codec (like the one by Radium for example) is not required - but optional. Lame MP3 encoder is already included with DVDx (choose Audio="Use Lame"). If you decide to use the codec by Radium, then set Audio to "Use ACM" and choose the MP3 codec.

Read the disclaimer!

Note: We have posted enhanced methods for DVD ripping at Tweaking4All for MacOS X, Windows, and Linux (Ubuntu). You'll find a solution to the question "which title should I rip" there as well, also offering a solution to the so called "99 titles problem". There you'll also find an article on how to optimize your video encoder settings.

DVDx ...

Download DivX here...

Installing DVDx

You can download DVDx 1.8 right here. Unpack the archive using WinRar or WinZip.

After unpacking, you will find the file "DVDx20_setup.exe", double click it so the setup starts.

During the setup, click "Yes", "Next", "Next", "Next", "Install" and finally "Finish". DVDx has now been installed into the directory "C:\Program Files\DVDx".

Step 1: Play the DVD using a software DVD-player

Play a part of the movie, using a software DVD-player (for example PowerDVD)

In order to "unlock" the DVD encryption, we first play abit of the movie (ie. not the extras, not the menu, etc ... no: a real part of the movie)!

Once you have done that, you must close PowerDVD.

Step 2: Start DVDx

Double click the DVDx icon in the Windows Start menu.

Start DVDx

Step 3: Open the DVD

Now there are two way to proceed:

  • Let DVDx do all the work (usually seems to work)
  • First rip the DVD to harddisk using SmartRipper and then let DVDx convert it (this ALWAYS works)

From the "File" menu, choose the option "Open DVD root" if you're going to have DVDx to do all the work.
If you have ripped the DVD to harddisk using SmartRipper, you should choose the "File" menu, option "Open IFO".

DVDx: open de DVD root

A dialig appears where we can select the desired video-track.

DVDx: Choose the videotrack you would like to convert

Usually, the longest videotrack is the main movie. Select it and click the "Select" button.

Step 4: Video Input Settings

After selecting a video-track, we must now do some settings on the Video Input options. Below you see a screenshot of me working with a Regio 2 PAL movie, using the subtitles:

DVDx: Video input settings

For detailed info on these options, see the DVDx settings into detail - Video Input Settings.

Note: When converting to a DivX format, it's advisable to enable "Audio/Video synchronisation"!

In short: Choose the right language for audio (Audio-Track), indicate if you would like to use the subtitles (SubTitle) and set the proper frame-rate (PAL:25fps, NTSC:29.97).

Once you're done doing the settings, click "OK" to continue.

Step 5: Video Output Settings

You're now back to the basic screen of DVDx. Here we see the original movie resolution and the playback time of the movie. Both playback time and resolution will become in handy later on!

Tip: On the page "DivX rip intro" you will find more details on commonly used display formats when working with DivX.

DVDx: Resolution of the original movie

Now choose from the "Settings" menu, the option "Output settings":

DVDx: Choose "Output settings"

The video output settings window will popup:

DVDx: output settings

And again: a lot of possible settings. For in depth details, please visit the DVDx Settings into detail - Video Output Settings.

In short: copy the settings above and click the "Whole" button so all frames of the movie are included. As for the resolution: I usually choose the original resolution of the movie. Optionally you can remove the black bars above and below the movie by setting "Zoom" to "Custom". At "Export (AVI+Premiere)" you can optionally choose "YUY2" which is supposed to create a excellent quality with DivX.

Audio details:

  • If you decide to use LAME.
    Lame is included with DVDx for MP3 compression.
    Set Audio to "Use Lame" . Next click the "Audio Lame" button. Now choose the disered bitrate. I usually choose "96 Kbits" or better and "Quality" to "Q1" (= best quality). Finally click "OK".
    DVDx Lame settings

  • If you decide another MP3 codec.
    Naturally you can choose any MP3 codec, but I stick to Radium - don't forget to have this codec installed. Due to time issues - try to avoid the Faruenhof codec (Radium does not come with these problems).
    Set Audio to "Use ACM". Next click the "Audio ACM" button. Choose the codec ("MPEG Layer 3" for the Radium codec) and set the disered bitrate. I usually choose "96 Kbits" or better. Finally click "OK".
    DVDx: Settings for an external MP3 codec

Video Details

Now click the "Video Codec" button, and select your video codec.

DVDx: Select DivX - here the old 3.11 codec DVDx: Select DivX - Here the DivX.com codec
The original DivX ;-) codec and the Pro codec by DivX.com

HierThere are a lot of possible settings here. I always try the LOW-MOTION codec first which is only available with the original ;-) DivX codec. The new DivX.com codec does not have this option.

The "Configure..." button unleashes the additional compression settings window.

Leave "Keyframe every 10 seconds" the way it is. Don't change "Smoothness" either (usually set to 100 - crispness).

Since not all movies are the same in length (eg. minutes playing time), you must calculate the bitrate for your DVD-rip to fit on one single CDR/CDRW. The higher the bitrate, the better the video result. However the higher the bitrate, the bigger the resulting AVI-file. "Data Rate (Kilobits per Second)" might there for be changed. See the Bitrates page for details.

Select "OK" to return to the codec mainwindow.

Select "OK" once more so you return to the "Output Settings" window.

Click "Apply" to continue.

Step 6: Start the conversion

From the "File" menu, select the option "Select Output". Here you can enter the name of your DivX file.

DVDx: set the DivX filename

When clicking on the "Browse" you can choose the location and filename of the DivX. You don't need to add the .AVI or .DIVX extension. Click "OK" when done.

You're back again to the DVDx main window. In the upper right corner you will see a button called "Encode". This will start conversion - click it now.

Step 7: Wait ...

All we now have to do is wait,.... below you'll see some snapshots of this example conversion.

In this example, it took my PC 3 hours and 50 minutes to convert an 80 minutes movie. I use and AMD Athlon 1300 Mhz based computer and the DivX 5.0 and Radium MP3 codec.

DVDx: Converting ....
DVDx: Conversion finished ...

Tip: In case the Windows Media player is not happy with the result (ie. it plays only sound or does not play at all) then consider using a DivX player like "The Playa".

You can burn the result on a regular computer CDRom using Nero.



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