12/31/12
3:48 pm

Forum Question: How Can I Make Copies Of Commercial DVDs?

We own many cartoons DVDs that our young kid mishandles in his excitement. I would like to make exact copies to a blank DVD to play on a player and keep the original safe. What is the best method?
a. If possible I would like to get rid of annoying ads, previews, piracy warnings that are impossible to fast forward before getting to the main menu.
b. I would like the copy to run normally when inserted in the DVD player (ie. Go to the menu screen)
c. Some DVDs are copy protected. How can I override them?
d. If the episodes become files on the hard drive, how can I combine them to play concurrently when watching on the notebook? (eg. create a playlist?)
e. Which programs are best for these tasks? I hear Handbrake but it can’t do everything (override copy protection). Do I need 2 programs?
f. I own cartoons on iTunes and Amazon, can I create a DVD to play on a player?
Thanks
—–
Frank

Comments: 3 Responses to “How Can I Make Copies Of Commercial DVDs?”

    12/31/12 @ 3:56 pm

    You can do this, but you are on shaky legal ground. I’d like to think you can make a “backup” version of the DVD for your own use, but I’m not a lawyer so I can’t say for sure.
    You cannot copy a DVD easily because of the copy protections. But you can “rip” a DVD to a file with software like Handbrake (http://macmost.com/importing-dvd-video.html).
    So that takes care of A and C for you, and E. Handbrake DOES override copy protection.
    As for B, well that takes some extra work. You would have to use software like Toast to build a new DVD and then burn it. The whole process for ripping a DVD and then creating a new DVD is quite a long one. Weighing time and effort vs. money, it is probably better to let your kids break some DVDs and simply replace them with new copies (or NOT, and let them learn a lesson about caring for their things).
    As for D, I suppose you can create a playlist in iTunes of videos. Or use some other video player software that lets you queue up several videos.
    As for F, that’s a no-go with iTunes as they are copy protected and you can’t burn them to DVD. Not sure about Amazon.
    Another money and time-saving idea might be to ditch the DVDs and all this time ripping and burning and simply get an Apple TV and Netflix subscription. I noticed there are tons of cartoons on there. And as your kids get older they can watch cartoons meant for older kids without having to buy anything new. Plus, you can watch and rent iTunes cartoons too. The future is in streaming content like this, not physical optical discs anyway.

    Joe W
    1/2/13 @ 10:40 am

    What I do for my kids is rip movies with HandBrake (H.264 / MP4 files), put all the movies on one portable, self-powered hard drive that is just for the kids. We have Roku’s on each TV (Roku XS has a USB port), we play them with the Roku. You could also use a Blu-Ray player that has a USB port instead of a Roku, just be sure the format is supported.

    Frank
    1/9/13 @ 2:58 pm

    Thanks for the responses.
    I use both DVD and stream (iTunes and Amazon)for flexibility. Sometimes our service provider crawls and the cartoon pauses, causing an uproar in the house.

    I like Joe W’s suggestion of a dedicated hard drive. I’m going to try a USB stick to the Panasonic DVD player to see if it works and take it from there.

    Thanks

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