With the growth of streaming services like Netflix, DVD sales are dropping. It is safe to assume that they have gone the same way as VHS and audio tapes in a short time. Once this happens, the DVD players themselves won’t be far behind.
Before we reach this point, it is advisable to rip all your DVDs to your hard drive. This way you save them for posterity. You can watch them long after DVDs have been consigned to the annals of history.
Ripping your DVDs also has some immediate short-term benefits. You can throw it around your house with Plex or transfer it to your tablet to watch while traveling.
Let’s take a look at how to copy a DVD to a hard drive.
Choosing your software
Some DVD ripping software can cost as much as $50. If you run a Hollywood movie studio, it’s money well spent, but the average home user can find everything they need with free software.
There are many free DVD backup tools out there , but we like Handbrake . Not only can it rip DVDs, but it is also one of the leading tools for converting DVDs and videos to other formats and codecs.
The app is free to download and use, and is available on Windows, Mac and Linux.
As you probably know, almost all store-bought DVDs have copy protection. In theory, it is an anti-piracy measure. In practice it doesn’t seem to have really worked; pirated DVDs are available since the format VHS has shifted. (Speaking of which, we also explained how to convert VHS to DVD .)
However, copy protection is something you have to deal with when ripping DVDs. It’s a legal gray area; certain uses may be illegal under US law unless they comply with the fair use doctrine.
Since this is a legal gray area, no DVD ripping software can natively include the functionality. You will have to fix the problem yourself.
If you use Handbrake, it’s simple. Just get a copy of libdvdcss.dll . It is available from the VLC Player website and is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
Download: libdvdcss (32-bit)
Download: libdvdcss (64-bit)
After you download the file, move it to Handbrake’s installation folder. The default path is C: Programs Handbrake .
This is it. Handbrake can now read and rip any copy-protected DVD.
After you’ve set up the software, let’s take a closer look at how to use Handbrake to rip DVDs.
Step 1: Scan your DVD
Before starting the software, open the CD tray of your computer and insert your DVD. Close the tray and open the handbrake.
Once the app is loaded, you will see the Source selection box on the left side of the screen. You can’t go further into the app until you make a selection.
You can use Folder and file ignore. Instead, go directly to the DVD icon and double-click it.
Handbrake takes a few moments to scan the content. If you use libdvdcss.dll is not installed correctly, you will get an error message. Otherwise you get to the screen Settings .
Step 2: Choose your content
Handbrake lets you choose exactly what content you want to rip from the DVD. You can make all these adjustments in the Source settings make.
Most DVDs contain much more content than just movies or TV shows. You can include the director’s cuts, deleted scenes, interviews, special features, etc. Contain. You can make your selection at Title hit. The longest video is usually the movie. If you rip a TV show, unfortunately you have to save each episode separately.
DVDs are also divided into chapters and angles. Angles are traditionally used to provide different versions of the same scene, but on modern DVDs they are generally used on international copies when dubbing and/or subtitles are not sufficient (z. B. the scrolling text at the beginning of Star Wars ).
Adjust the Chapter and Angle that you want to keep in the associated drop-down boxes. You can Chapter in Frames or Seconds Change if you want to use a different dimension to cut your content.
Step 3: Choose your destination
Now you need to decide where you want Handbrake to save your file. If you use Plex or Kodi, it makes sense to add the DVD to your existing video library. However, you can save it in any place.
You can also save to external sources, ie you can add the video to an external hard drive or even a blank DVD.
Click Browse , to select your destination. Make sure you give the rip an appropriate name.
Step 4: Set the quality
On the right side of the screen you will see several Presets . They match the quality of your rip.
Handbrake offers not only several generic presets, but also device-specific presets. For example, you can rip your video in a format suitable for playback on a Chromecast with surround sound or on a Roku in 1080p definition.
Scroll through the list to see what is available. Remember, the higher the quality, the larger the final file and the longer it will take to rip the DVD.
Step 5: Choose your audio and subtitles
At the bottom of the window, you’ll see six tabs: Image , Filter , Video , Audio , Subtitle and Chapter .
Image, filter, video were determined by the gift you chose (though you can further customize the settings if you wish). However, it is worth spending a few minutes on the tab Audio and Subtitles to spend.
Why? For here you can choose which dubs and subtitles make it onto your rip. The less you include, the smaller your final file will be.
In our example, you can see that the original DVD had both English and Italian audio – but I don’t need the Italian version.
On the Subtitles tab, you can choose which subtitle files to copy and whether to burn them to the DVD itself or leave them as a standalone subtitle file.
Step 6: Rip your DVD
When you are satisfied with all your settings, click You at the top of the screen on the button Start coding .
The ripping process may take some time depending on the length of the video and the quality settings you select.
Click on Activity log , To monitor progress.
What app do you use?
In this article we showed you how to rip DVDs with Handbrake in six easy steps. Handbrake, however, is not the only way to achieve the desired result. If you’d rather stick with your DVD collection, check out this list of the best region-free players for DVD or Blu-ray discs .
And remember, if you have a huge collection of DVDs and don’t want to spend days ripping them all, you can often turn to a professional video equipment store. There you will get a bulk price quote and do all the hard work for you .