How can I rip DVDs to a hard drive?

Episode 1036

Chuck from Camarillo, CA

Chuck has transferred all his videos to DVD. Now he wants to put them all on a hard drive for his kids, with pictures, and more. Leo says that for 30 DVDs, a 250GB hard drive would be sufficient. He could even put a DVD player on it like VLC Media Player, which is free, and would allow him to make a playlist of all the DVDs. Chuck would also have to convert all the VOB files. The easiest thing would be to have a folder for each DVD and copy it over. Put the VLC player on the top level and have it play each folder.

Why can't I get DVDs to play correctly?

Episode 998

John from Newport Richey, FL

John bought a DVD player and the DVDs just aren't playing right. So he returned it and got another but he's having issues with that one as well. Leo says that if John is playing off the analog component cable, then it's likely he's dealing with copy protection and the TV isn't supporting the analog hole. Leo says to look on the back of the TV and choose the best quality connector. Ideally, HDMI is the way to go. Component will work as well, but he just needs the right cables.

How can I digitize a bunch of VHS tapes?

Toshiba DVR620 DVD/VHS Recorder

Episode 996

Pat from Oceanside, CA

Pat has about 200 VHS tapes and 8 Tracks that she wants to digitize. Leo says that there's probably a good chance that many of the tapes will be so degraded, they'll be unwatchable. She could convert them or pay to have someone to convert them, but why bother when most of what Pat has recorded off the cable box is now available to stream from Netflix or Amazon Prime? That would require an internet connection and a Roku box though, or better yet, she could get an iPad. It also may just be cheaper to buy the movies you've recorded on DVD.

What's the best way to get DVDs onto my Galaxy Note II?

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Episode 957

Richard from Marina Del Rey, CA

Richard has a lot of DVDs and he wants to get them onto his Samsung Galaxy Note II. Leo says Richard needs to "rip" them. Slysoft has a utility, which can bypass the copy protection so he can rip them, but it isn't free. Handbrake with VLC is the best way to do it for free. Once Richard has the video on his computer, he can sync it to his phone.

How can I rip DVDs and save them on my Macbook Air?

Episode 926

Josh from Los Angeles, CA

Leo says Josh would need to get a USB SuperDrive to read the DVD. Then, use a DVD ripping program called Handbrake and VLC Media Player. Both work together to rip and encode the DVD files to a format that will work on his Macbook Air. It works great for DVDs. Blu-rays though are much harder. Of course, Leo recommends doing this only for movies he already owns.

Why are my ripped DVDs playing fine on my PC, but not playing audio when I burn another disc?

Episode 910

Shelley from Agoura Hills, CA

Shelley is ripping her DVDs using WinX DVD Ripper. It plays fine on her PC, but when she burns it in Roxio, there's no audio. Leo says that her settings in Roxio is likely the issue. Leo advises burning in the MPEG2 format instead, with AC3 for audio. It needs to be in that format for the DVD to play correctly.