We noticed you're blocking ads.

Keep supporting great journalism by turning off your ad blocker.

Questions about why you are seeing this? Contact us

Font Size

- Aa +

Mon 13 Jul 2009 04:00 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Convert your DVD movies to DivX backups

If you've got loads of DVDs and want to ensure you never lose the cinema magic stored on those discs, this is the workshop for you. WINDOWS shows you how to convert your DVD movies into DivX backups with minimal fuss.

Convert your DVD movies to DivX backups
DivX is compatible with a variety of devices.
Convert your DVD movies to DivX backups
DVD Copy 6 will help you compress menus as well as DVDs.
Convert your DVD movies to DivX backups

If you've got loads of DVDs and want to ensure you never lose the cinema magic stored on those discs, this is the workshop for you. WINDOWS shows you how to convert your DVD movies into DivX backups with minimal fuss.

What is DivX?

DivX is compression technology that allows you to view video that is the same quality as DVDs at what is often up to one tenth the size of DVD files. The DivX codec uses lossy MPEG-4 compression, which means that quality is balanced against the file size for utility. This level of compression makes it possible to put your DivX movie onto a CD.

Despite this high degree of compression, it is a high-quality video codec that is scalable from Mobile to HD, has wide adoption on PC & Mac, is licensable to 3rd party video software and is H.264-based. The DivX codec is currently one of the most popular codecs out there because of the range of DVD players that support this format.

You can even watch your DivX videos on mobile phones, set-top boxes, digital TVs, portable media players, gaming consoles such as the PlayStation 3, Blu-ray Disc Players and in-car entertainment systems. There are, in fact, over 100 million devices capable of playing DivX that have been shipped and 350 million DivX software downloads.

As of the advent of DivX 6, the scope of DivX now includes a codec and a player, which is made possible by adding a media container format. This format is referred to as the “DivX Media Format” (“DMF”) with a .divx extension that includes support for DVD-Video and VOB (video object) container like features.

You can download the latest version of DivX by visiting www.divx.com and going on to download the DivX media player to watch DivX movies on your computer. It comes with a number of components; such as a player, web player, community codec, converter and pro codec.

Make the conversion

It’s important to consider the legal issues that crop up when making DivX backups. As long as you’re just making backups for your own personal use and not selling or redistributing those copies, you should be fine in most countries from a legal perspective. However, this is open to interpretation; so, if you plan on distributing or selling your DivX backups, please be aware that you will be infringing upon copyright law.Now that the legal stuff is out of the way, you can go about converting your DVDs to DivX. There are a number of requirements you need to fulfill before setting off on your way. Firstly, it’s wise to convert DVDs to DivX with quite a fast PC. It’s also advisable to have 7-10 Gbytes of free hard drive space for this process. (Obviously, you’ll need a DVD-ROM drive as well.)

Here’s what else you will need to make the backups: DivX 7, which you can purchase at www.divx.com for US $19.99. You’ll also need an AC3 Codec which you can download for free at www.sourceforge.net, a DVD Burner and optionally Slysoft AnyDVD (www.slysoft.com) or InterVideo DVD Copy 6. Once you have what you need, here’s how you go about making the conversion and backups. STEP 1: Install the necessary software

Download and install DivX Pro from the DivX website. This package installs the Divx Pro codec, the DivX Media Player application, and Divx Converter, which lets you create DivX Media files by simply dragging and dropping files onto the Converter application. DivX Pro also includes a web player and pro codec. This converter lets you drag and drop video files for automatic batch conversion, including AVI files compressed with different codecs (as long as these codecs are already present on your system) and VOB files from DVDs. If you can already view and hear your media in Windows, you have these codecs. However, you might also need to download the AC3 audio codec used in many DVD-Videos. STEP 2: Convert the DVD

If you want to convert your DVD-Video to DivX Media you’ll need to ‘rip’ the contents to your hard drive with a DVD-ripping application. Software you can use is Slysoft’s AnyDVD that decrypts DVD-Video so the copy protection is rendered essentially invisible to you, and you can then copy the VIDEO_TS folder, where the DVD content resides, by simply dragging it to your hard drive.

Once you’ve done this, you can then simply drop the files onto DivX Converter and select an encoding profile. It’s recommend that you use the Home Theater profile, which encodes standard DVD resolution video (720x480) at a bit rate of 1250KB/s. If you drop a handful of media files onto Converter, it will allow you to encode them as individual files or create a single DivX Media file with an automatically generated menu.

It won’t do this with VOB files; instead, it will simply create one file from all the consecutive VOBs. A VOB file (Video Object) is a container format in DVD-Video media that contains the actual Video, Audio, Subtitle, and Menu contents in stream form. In order to take advantage of some of the more advanced features of DivX Media—including compression of an entire DVD with menus and all—you’ll need to use InterVideo’s DVD Copy 6.

STEP 3: Select your source files

DVD Copy 6 will not copy CSS-encrypted commercial DVDs, so we’re going to assume you’ve already copied and decrypted the VIDEO_TS folder to your hard drive using AnyDVD or a similar app. Launch DVD Copy 6 and begin the three-step conversion process with the Source menu. Click the file-browser button, navigate to the VIDEO_TS folder on your hard drive (or to your optical drive with an unencrypted DVD), and click OK to select it. STEP 4: Choose your target directory

You’ll then need to point DVD Copy 6 where to output the results. The application can write to a folder on your hard drive or burn directly to CD or DVD when it’s done with compression.

STEP 5: Choose a target format

DVD Copy 6 offers a number of good exporting options, including automatic encoding for the Sony PSP and the option to directly convert the audio track from your DVD into an iPod-friendly MP3 file. Exporting to DivX Avi will create a single AVI file of just the movie, playable with any hardware or software player that has the DivX 7 codec, but we prefer the new Divx format instead, which will give us a DivX Media file with all the menus, audio options, and subtitle choices.

Note that some codecs give you the option here to split a single, large video file into many smaller ones based on either file size or the DVD chapters. And if you chose to output directly to disc, this is where you can specify the maximum capacity of your disc, and indicate whether or not you want DVD Copy 6 to compress the contents to fit on one disc, be it a CD or DVD.

STEP 6: Property sheets for content

In this step, we’re going to strip out any content within our movie that we don’t need. By clicking Title 01 and then clicking the Property sheet button on the same line, we see that there’s only one Dolby Digital audio track (which we want to keep), and no subtitles or funny business. If you’re not sure what a video title or chapter contains, just click that title or chapter to highlight it and then click the Preview button at the bottom left of the screen.

STEP 7: Fit to one disk

There’s one more thing to check off before you begin burning your content. Click the tiny hammer icon next to the 'Fit to One Disc' checkbox to access the Optional Settings tab. And finally, check the “Preview while transcoding” box if you want to monitor the process, which is unlikely considering it will take several hours. Click OK to close this tab, and then click the burn icon at the bottom right. DVD Copy 6 does the rest for you! And voila! You have transformed you DVDs into DivX backups.

Arabian Business: why we're going behind a paywall

For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.