I’m going to Florida in January with my daughter, and am trying to plan ahead so she doesn’t get bored. I don’t have a notebook with a DVD player in it, or a portable DVD player, so I thought about converting some of our DVDs to SVCD. This format can be burned to a CD, and played back on a computer with the right software (and a number of DVD players will play it too. Did some searching and found this very useful web page. Provides guides to convert movies into VCD, SVCD and DIVx format. Decided against DIVx as it requires a lot of computing power to play, which my notebook doesn’t have, and which also will kill the battery very fast.
DVD Ripping Guides by KalEl
Just worked my way through it and it went fine.
The SmartRipper installer dialog is in German, but the program dialogs are in English. Just change the directory to where you want SmartRipper put, and push the right most button to extract. It doesn’t have an installer per se, so whatever directory you put it in is where it will be run from.
SmartRipper took about 15 minutes to rip a 1:40 movie. Not bad time.
DVD2AVI again isn’t intuitive (Thank goodness for this guide), but it worked quickly. About 5 minutes to create its index. The one thing I forgot to do the first time was set Audio to Encode to Wav format.
For TMPEng, some of the interface has changed since the guide was written. No show stoppers, as the functions are the same, just some of the text has changed. I did run into a problem taking a widescreen movie and outputting it to SVCD. The result ended up being a full screen movie, and I couldn’t quite tell if it was stretched or cropped.
To overcome this, I modified the settings on the Advanced tab so that the Video Arrange Method was Center (Custom Size) and set the size to 480×320. This seemed to fix it up so the movie filled the output width and was the correct height (or at least close enough).
This portion takes a looong time to do, even on a quick machine! It took almost 5 hours (I took the 2-pass VBR option) for this movie.
For my purposes, I didn’t burn it to CD. I just copied it from the harddrive of my machine to the notebook (via my local LAN). Much easier to carry the notebook than to have 3 CDs per movie, and the notebook had enough space on the HD for this (although 30GB doesn’t go very far anymore)