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ScreenPlay Pro HD

Backup DVDs

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The ScreenPlay Pro HD excels in playing backed up DVDs. With 500 GB to 1 TB of storage, the ScreenPlay is capable of storing from 125 to 500 DVDs depending upon size and quality. If that is not enough, you can always plug in multiple external drives. The screenplay becomes a great way to protect your DVD collection from damage.

Step 1: Find Ripping software Edit

Although some DVDs are not copy protected, most use one or more forms of copy protection. The legality of making a backup for personal use differs in each country. Some countries allow backups, others prohibit possessing software that breaks copy protection, and still others prohibit the distribution of that software. It is up to you to know the laws of your own country and to reconcile them with your moral beliefs.

There are many software packages capable of copying DVDs to a hard drive. Some of the tools are out of date, and sometimes you will need to rip from different tools to get around disk errors or newer copy protection schemes. There are several DVD types of protections that you may want to remove. UOP (User Operations Prohobited) are what stop you from pressing the Chapter Forward or Menu buttons during certain chapters. RC/RCE (Region Coding/Region Coding Enhancement) prevents DVDs from playing with players not in the same region. Most DVD ripping programs allow you to remove these from the copied product. You can find many tools on the videohelp website. Some are highlighted below.

DVD Shrink (freeware) Edit

Although discontinued in 2005, this continues to be a great way to rip many DVDs. You can choose to rip the DVD and reduce the overall size based on quality or on final disc size. It can rip to a folder format, or straight to a single .ISO file format. It can preserve the original DVD, or you can drop the menu, individual subtitles, or replace segments of the DVD with a picture to reduce overall size. If you retain full quality, this will generally take about 10 minutes to rip a DVD on a high speed DVD drive. Decreasing the quality to shrink the size can take hours to process. Being an older program, some of the newer copy protection schemes stop this tool from being able to copy a disc. Scratches on the disc also cause grief, but that is generally true with most DVD ripping programs.


DVDFab HD (freeware/shareware) Edit

DVDFab has several options, a freeware solution called DVDFab HD, and shareware solutions. As of version 6, all are in the same download and the shareware ones show up as trials when launching DVDFab. DVD Fab is much better at getting around disc errors because it can skip more sectors at a time allowing it to find the end of the disc error sectors faster. It also claims to do BluRay DVDs, bypassing many new protection schemes. However, the BluRay DVDs will likely require conversion to another format before they can be played on the ScreenPlay. Like DVD Shrink, if you retain the full quality then the ripping process will take around 10 minutes on a high speed DVD drive. Many of the same options found in DVD Shrink are also found here. This is a good choice for DVDs that prove difficult to copy otherwise.

vobcopy (opensoure - Linux and MacOSX)Edit

If you work on Linux, a nice tool is vobcopy (command line only). Just type in commandline: "vobcopy -i /dev/sr0 -o /mnt/screenplay/Films -m". The -i parameter holds /dev/sr0, which is the path to the DVD drive. The -o parameter points to the output directory, which can be directly the Screenplay drive. The -m tells vobcopy to clone ('mirror') the complete content of the disk to the Screenplay.

Step 2: Clean the DVD Edit

Not only will it make it faster to copy, you'll end up with a better copy in the end. Many sites will tell you to use a microfiber cloth and use a radial motion (from the center straight out to the edge) to clean rather than using a circular pattern. This is because if there is an abrasive particle on the disc and you end up scratching the disc while cleaning it, the data lost will be in adjacent tracks rather than adjacent sectors. If the unreadable data is in adjacent sectors, then multiple frames in sequence are destroyed and that is much more noticable while watching the movie than to have one frame unreadable every few minutes.

Clean the side opposite of the label thoroughly. Scratches on the disc that are causing disc errors can sometimes be buffed out. There are kits available for repairing DVDs. Some stores that sell used DVDs and video games have equipment that can make the disc look like new. They may charge a small fee to do it for you. Scratches on the label side of the disc cannot be fixed. The data was on the opposite side of the reflective foil that is now missing.

Grease or residue on the label side can sometimes cause the the disc to not read as well. This can be removed with a mild, nonabrasive hand soap. Don't let it soak, just clean it off quickly and gently. After rinsing the disc clean, dry it with a soft towel.

Step 3: Rip the DVD Edit

At this point, you should decide what format you want the final DVD to be in. The ScreenPlay can play a disc with the VOBs and IFOs stored in a folder. It can also play DVDs stored in a single file ISO format. You can also rip the main movie out of the DVD and store it in raw MPEG-2 format, or convert it to another format that takes less space, such as XVid or MP4.

If you store it in folder format with VOBs and IFOs, then the screenplay will automatically start up the movie when you switch to that folder. Menus, subtitles, alternate video and audio streams, and all other DVD effects will be played if they are retained during the ripping process.. The files are all generally smaller files and can stream across the network fairly well. If you do not retain the menu, the screenplay will stop playing the movie when it is finished and display the directory with the movie contents. This is a good format for storing on a FAT32 formatted drive, or for storing on a network drive.

If you store it in ISO format, the screenplay can preview the movie when you highlight it, and will start it. Like the folder format, menus and other DVD effects left intact during the ripping process will be played. The ISO will be one large file, and access over the network is a bit slower. If you do not retain the menu, then the screenplay will advance to the next movie in the directory after finishing the one contained in the ISO. This is a good format for storing directly on the drive if using NTFS or EXT3 format.

MPEG2, XVid, and other formats do not retain menus, subtitles, or alternate audio/video streams. The files are much smaller and will generally play well over the network. When the screenplay finishes playing the individual file, it will advance to the next file in the directory. Since the ScreenPlay supports external subtitle files, you can put your own subtitles on the movie as needed. This is a good format if you are trying to squeeze the maximum number of movies in a limited amount of space. It is also a good format if you use playlists.

Use the software you selected to rip the DVD to your ScreenPlay. There are many guides available on the internet for using the different ripping programs, so that information is not repeated here.

If you need to convert it to another format, there are multiple programs to handle that. SuperC works well for making high quality MP4 videos. AutoGK can make MKV XVid with support for multiple audio streams. The format you choose will be based on your own desires.

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