Eric is travelling with his kids and wants to know if he can download movies to his tablet or laptop for them to watch. Is that legal? Leo says that it is, and many streaming services will let him download content for watching offline. Can he rip the DVDs? Leo says he can. It's pretty easy to do. To do that he will need two programs: Handbrake and VLC Media Client. They work in concert to rip the DVD and put it into a single file to upload to the device.
David wants to upload videos to Facebook, but the files are too big. How can he make them smaller? Leo says that all video is compressed, and it's just a matter of increasing the compression to make the file smaller to play back on the internet. He can use a codec to do that. He'll want to upload the best quality that Facebook will take. Here are Facebook's requirements.
Then, Leo recommends using Handbrake to do the compression.
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.
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.
Darwin wonders what the FBI used to crack open the iPhone of a terrorist. Leo says that the FBI won't say. Leo suspects they went to an Israeli firm called Celebrite, which can unlock older iPhones with four digit codes. Which is why Apple changed the code to a six digit code and patched vulnerabilities that would allow them to bypass it. If Darwin can prove that he owns his personal iPhone, Apple can open it for him. But if it's his sister's, there's no guarantee that Apple will. But if he can prove ownership or relational link, it's possible.
John has fiddling with the RG45 jack on his DVR and discovered that he could play his programs through his Roku device from it. He could also copy them to his PC and play them through Kodi. Can he convert them from there? Leo says that TTS is a "muxed" file that he can play, and it's probably MPEG 2. Almost anything that can read video files, like HandBrake, could do it. VLC definitely could play it. The DTCP.IP files, though, will need a special player.
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.
Richard has some old 8mm home movies that were transferred to DVD. They were transferred out of order and he wants to redo them, re-edit the video files, etc. Leo says that those DVDs are a treasure chest but he'll need to make sure he gets those videos off them and onto a hard drive, because sooner or later that DVD may not be playable. Is there something online that he can use? Leo says that video files are too big to upload to the cloud.
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.
Ron has a Quicktime movie file that stopped working after an Apple update. He has the original. Leo says that Handbrake can transcode it and Leo recommends MP4. He can even do it lossless. MP4 will also get played by anything and is cross-platform. EXFAT will work for the file structure, too.