Ripping DVDs

How can I watch PAL DVDs on my TV?

Episode 1519

Paul from Los Angeles, CA

Paul would like to rip DVDs and then put it on a 128GB thumbdrive so that his kids don't trash his DVDs. Leo says that's a great idea and you can use both Handbrake and VLC Media Client to do it. But how does he convert a DVD that's PAL? Leo says that the DVD is probably region coded to prevent you from watching a DVD from another country here in the US. The first time you play the DVD, it sets the Region code. But there are DVD players that don't do it. There's also a few back doors that respond to a certain number of remote button presses to unlock them.

How can I make a copy of my DVDs onto my computer?

Episode 1517

Rolland from Hutchinson, KS

Rolland wants to make hard drive copies of his DVDs. Leo says you need two programs ... Handbrake (which does the re-encoding) and VLC Media Client (which does the playback to bypass the copy protection). If you want the full thing. Image Burn is very popular for Windows. If you're on Mac, then Disco. The chatroom says DVDFab.CN is another option. But Leo says that's probably illegal, technically.

How can I rip all my DVDs and play them on a network?

Synology DiskStation

Episode 1483

James from Las Vegas, NV

James has 300 DVDs that he'd like to put on a media server and watch using Amazon Alexa to launch them. Rich says that the first thing James would need to do is "rip" them to a hard drive. He can use a combination of HandBrake and VLC Media Client to get them into digital files. Then he can put them on a network attached storage device.

How can I rip a DVD?

DVD

Episode 1462

Dan from New Jersey

Dan wants to rip some old DVDs so he can stream them on the Apple TV using Plex, but he's having trouble with Handbrake. Leo says that he can rip it and then keep it on his computer, or use a network attached storage device running the Plex server. Leo says that Handbrake should have an Apple TV profile. He also needs to be sure he's using VLC to break the DRM.

Can I rip Blu-rays legally?

Blu-ray

Episode 1400

Bob from Pasadena, CA

Bob has Apple TV and wonders if there's any reason to get Chromecast. Leo says if he already has one, he doesn't need the other. He can get just about everything on the Apple TV now that Amazon Prime is coming to it. The one downside, though, is that Apple TV is only 1080p, but Leo suspects an upgraded next gen Apple TV will have it.