Section 10.12. Ripping DVDs

10.12. Ripping DVDs

It's easy to rip CDs onto your hard drive, making it simple to convert the files to other formats and play them on any device you want. It's not hard to duplicate CDs, either. But get ready to enter another world when you want to start ripping DVDs. You can't make an exact copy of a DVD for several reasons.

  • Size . Most PC's DVD burners can burn 4.7 GB of video to a blank DVD, but movie studios stuff about 7 GB of video onto a DVD. Sheer size alone rules out making an exact duplicate for most DVD burners, although the new, dual-layer DVD burners can hold 8 GB. Some third-party programs like the DivX Create Bundle ( take a DVD's content, compress the video with the DivX codec, and burn it to a DVD, a CD in VCD format (Section 10.6), or formats for portable video players. The compression removes some of the quality, but that may not matter when you're eager to watch The Simpsons on your cell phone.

  • Copy protection . Movie studios encrypt their DVD's video with a Content Scrambling System, and the U.S. government has ruled it illegal to decrypt it even to make a backup copy.

As you search the Internet, you'll find some programs that can duplicate copy-protected DVDs. These programs are usually stored on Web sites run in countries that don't observe United States copyright laws. The legality of these programs depends on the soil your PC sits on when using them. For more information about copying DVDs, drop by (

PCs: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596100930
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 206
Authors: Andy Rathbone

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