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February 27, 2004 3:55 AM   Subscribe

How do people get screencaps of copy-protected DVDs?

Okay ... I have (2) DVD players on my Windows box; a Matrox Software player and a RealMagic Hollywood player that works through a hardware card. If I ever try to grab a simple frame with either player, I'm told that it isn't allowed. Nor do the traditional (printscreen, screencapture progs) methods seem to work. Yet, I know people do this quite often. What am I missing?

Just so you know, my intentions are thoroughly benign and fall within fair use. I just want an occassional image for Fark photoshopping.
posted by RavinDave to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Response by poster: Also: I've been told elsewhere that a commercial program WinDVD 4.0 would be more accomodating. Anyone use this?
posted by RavinDave at 4:02 AM on February 27, 2004

PowerDVD lets you capture anything, and it has come free with every DVD-ROM drive I've ever bought. It should be really easy to find if you know anyone who has bought a DVD-ROM lately, or there's probably some less legal versions floating around (if they give it away free with DVD drives, I figure the ethical issue is less worrying here).
posted by wackybrit at 4:54 AM on February 27, 2004

WinDVD, two versions of which I got free with two different graphics cards has a little button to take screen captures.
posted by Blue Stone at 6:47 AM on February 27, 2004

If you're on OS X there's DVD Screen Capture.
posted by jeremias at 6:59 AM on February 27, 2004

I agree that WinDVD or PowerDVD would be the easiest way. But if you want a free way, you might be able to do regular screen captures (printscreen etc) by turning down your hardware acceleration. To do that, go to Control Panel -> Display -> Settings -> Advanced and click on the Troubleshooting tab. You'll see a slider for Hardware Acceleration. Slide that all the way to the left and hit OK and see if your screen captures work then. (You'll definitely want to put it back when you're finished capturing though.)
posted by llamateur at 9:35 AM on February 27, 2004

Play the DVD with VLC, but either change the shortcut or start VLC from the command line thusly:

vlc --nooverlay

Then Printcreen will work (as well as alt-Printscreen to capture only the current application).
posted by j.edwards at 9:44 AM on February 27, 2004

as long as you already have a mpeg2 decoder installed (which should come with any DVD sotftware you have installed), you should then be able to use any free third party video program (like bsplayer) to play your DVDs and take screenshots.
posted by Hackworth at 9:48 AM on February 27, 2004

You can't do a screengrab from a hardware decoder, just not possible. You'll just end up with a pic full of the key colour the player uses. ;-)

Using software players, though, that should make it possible in most cases.

BTW: re: PowerDVD and WinDVD: The companies are stupid about their software prices. They charge more to buy the player by itself than it costs for me to sell a DVD drive *WITH* the software. Beats the hell outta me...
posted by shepd at 9:57 AM on February 27, 2004

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