divx? DVD? what?
May 22, 2008 11:27 AM   Subscribe

I want to rip my TV Series DVD's and store the episodes on my computer (Windows 2003 or XP). Can someone tell me what hardware I need to do this? Just a DVD drive in the computer? I've found some software information, including this old AskMe thread, but updated recommendations would be helpful.

I'm not going to share the shows with anyone. I just want to be able to watch a whole day's worth of these shows without changing discs in a DVD player or selecting episodes from a menu.

It's technically a gift for my BF, but I'm going to enjoy it too. He mentioned something about getting a divx encoder. Is that the same as the divx software or is it an actual drive to install?

Usually I'm not this bad with technology, but ripping DVD's or even burning our home movies to a disc isn't something I've ever tried to do before.
posted by youngergirl44 to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, all you need is your DVD drive.

Theres lots of software available. I personally like DVDfab (not free), but there are free options such as HandBrake.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:38 AM on May 22, 2008

well, the simpler DVDFfab is free and will make a copy of the DVD to your Harddrive. If it's a TV series you can't get away from the menus but you can use DVDShrink to rip just the move the movie to disc without the menus. You might have to use DVDfab prior to DVDshrink on some of the new DVD's
The reason for two tools is that DVDFab is extremely easy to use and can handle everything and DVDshrink can't rip some of the new discs.
Or use what wongcorgi pointed at.
posted by Ferrari328 at 11:54 AM on May 22, 2008

Sorry for the grammar (I did preview) and in addition the link to the free DVDfab download doesn't work, their link points to the full version 30 day trial.
posted by Ferrari328 at 12:09 PM on May 22, 2008

DVD Shrink is awesome. DVD Decrypter is another helpful program to get around pesky copy protection (I've noticed on many TV season sets that only one or two of the discs are actually encrypted).

One great thing about DVD Shrink is that you can pick and choose what you want to rip. So if you don't want extra languages, subtitles, etc. they're gone. Especially useful is being able to take the audio off menus. I used to set a TV DVD to play all and fall asleep only to be awakened in the middle of the night by blaring menu music. No more.
posted by yellowbinder at 12:18 PM on May 22, 2008

I use DVD Decrypter to rip DVDs to my hard drive and AutoGK to compress to divx or xvid. Both programs are free and easy to use, and the results are pretty good.
posted by nixxon at 12:21 PM on May 22, 2008

I have tried dozens of these pieces of software and, without a doubt, Magic DVD Ripper is the best for what you want. And yes, you can keep them one episode at a time if you want to ditch the menus. They update the program fairly regularly to stay a step ahead.

My second favorite would be CloneDVD Mobile from Slysoft. With this product, you also need AnyDVD.

Good luck!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 12:22 PM on May 22, 2008

I also use DVD Decrypter and Handbrake to get my DVD's onto my iPod and get good results every time.
posted by phrayzee at 12:25 PM on May 22, 2008

I use DVD Shrink to rip the video in an uncompressed format to my hard drive. Then I use Auto Gordian Knot to compress them. Just make sure you have a good size hard drive. A 30 minute video is about 700-800 meg in size after compression to 75% quality.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2008

Pretty much all has been said. I use DVD Decrypter to copy everything (movies or tv shows). If I just want to load up a bunch of episodes on my laptop for a trip I use Handbrake to convert them to a small size. If I am backing up a movie to an actual disk I use DVDShrink.

I am not bothered by disc switching or menus (bathroom breaks), but you could use DVD Decrypter to copy all the episodes to your computer and then use Handbrake to convert them to a smaller size (AVI), burn them to a disc and then watch them all in a row on any cheapo dvd/divx machine.

I used to use a program called Diko which allowed you to create your own menus, but stopped because I found the whole process rather long and cumbersome.
posted by Razzle Bathbone at 2:42 PM on May 22, 2008

DVD shrink to extract the files.
Pocket DIVX encoder if you want to shink them a little more or for a specific device.
Most TV shows have each episode in a separate VOB file on the DVD, but you will have to rename these files to the episode title manually.
I have used this procedure to copy quite a lot of TV show DVDs to a NAS in my home.

Another useful program is VideoRedo (not free, but worth it) which allows you to quickly extract parts of an MPEG file into a new MPEG file or cut parts out. Perfect for removing commercials or separating into episodes ..

I have not used Handbrake but I have heard great things..
posted by jockc at 5:49 PM on May 22, 2008

I vote for Handbrake. It is so simple my kids use it (7 and 9 years old).
posted by bkeene12 at 8:02 PM on May 22, 2008

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