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Ripping DVD's and creating (Super) VideoCD's ...

There are several ways to copy a DVD.

The most compatible method for home-use would be the use of the (Super) VideoCD format. This allows you to copy a movie to 2 (or more) VideoCD's or Super VideoCD's. We do need an MPEG (1 of 2) encoder for this. Take a look at the formats page for details on the resolution of either choices.

So the downside is that one movie can take up 2 or more CD's. On the otherside: the huge advantage is that you playback these movies on a stand-alone DVD player - so you won't need a PC for playback!

Note: Read the disclaimer!

Note: DivX is a very good alternative if you decide to play the movies on PC's only.

MPEG - VideoCD/Super VideoCD

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:

  • DVDx - Nice and easy, all in one go ...
  • FlaskMPEG 6 - Easy too, and also in 1 go

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 This technique is difficult and out-of-date (but smart though!).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 MPEG1 or MPEG2

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). The difference with MPEG2 for Super VideoCD is that SVCD uses only half the width per image and SVCD uses a lower bitrate.

Conversion to MPEG1 or MPEG2 is pretty easy. Very common tools for this are DvDx and FlasKMPEG 6. The result can be played with a standalone DVD/VCD-player, Microsoft Media Player (v7 or newer) or for example with PowerDVD.

Note: Windows Media Player cannot playback MPEG2 movies. You will need a DVD-playback-program which installs a codec. MPEG1 will work just fine.

Putting it on a CDRom

A MPEG file (we use the extension .MPG for these files) can be put on CD using applications like Nero that offer templates for both VideoCD and Super VideoCD.



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