Building a Media Center PC - Part 8 - DVD Backups
For the foreseeable future, DVD will remain an integral part of any home theater experience. At an average price of $20, it doesn't take long to generate a huge investment in DVD media. If you have small children or pets (I've personally witnessed a DVD being dented by dog teeth), putting the original DVDs in the closet while using a backup copy makes more sense, especially considering blank DVD-R media cost less than $1/disk in consumer volume purchase quantities.
In order to perform backups of DVD media, you need software. There are tons of choices, all with minor limitations and quirks. At the moment one of my favorite solutions is
Xilisoft DVD Ripper Platinum. It's an ideal tool for ripping DVDs to your hard drive for playback via your Media Center or for simply making a backup copy of your DVDs to protect the original from scratching.
For parents looking for a way to make movies accessible to their kids, without having the original
damaged, Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate is an affordable solution. Using Xilisoft DVD Ripper, you can configure the movie file to fit on a DVD, minus special features and other things your kids may not care about. The picture quality remains great, Most small children won't recognize the
quality difference between the ripped DVD and the original. Of course you can copy menus, trailers, and special features too.
After you rip the DVDs, you can either keep the files on your computer and play them back from your hard drive, or burn them to DVD. You may need to double-check the documentation on your set-top DVD player to make sure which burned DVD formats it supports before making an
investment in blank DVDs.
You can find a trial version here: