How to Convert DVD to Digital Format on PC or Mac?

Last updated on September 1st, 2022

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convert dvd to digital

KEY TAKEAWAYS
1. Use paid dvd rippers to rip copy-protected DVDs instead of using the free rippers. This applied for both Windows and Mac OS X.
2. If you use the free tool to rip encrypted DVDs, the best program can use is HandBrake (provided you need to install extra tool, libdvdcss).
3. To convert/rip DVDs, better to use dvd ripper and not dvd copy software or video converter.

There are many reasons why people want to convert DVD to digital format. Some people, for example, want to watch DVD movies on portable devices such as iPhones or Android phones. If you want to share DVD content with your friends over the Internet, you will also need to turn the DVD into digital files.

Converting DVDs to digital files is not as easy as you thought. It won’t work if you just copy content from DVD discs to a PC. It isn’t that simple. We will show you how to convert DVDs to digital format for different purposes in this tutorial.

First, you must decide the digital format you choose to convert your DVD to. If you want to play a DVD movie on a PC, you must rip DVD files to MP4, AVI, MKV, or a suitable format. When it comes to iPhone, iPad, or Mac systems, it’s better to convert DVD video files to MP4 or MOV.

Android phones support MP4, 3GP, MKV, and WebM formats. If you want to back up your DVDs, you must turn the DVD disc into an ISO image. So, let’s now see how to convert DVDs to the digital format below.

I.) How to Rip Copy Protected DVD to Digital Format On Windows?

Many DVD ripping software or video recorders have gained favor to play DVD movies on other devices that don’t support DVD.

Thus, DVD distributors consistently employ stubborn plans to encrypt DVDs (particularly DVD movies) from reproduction for copyright reasons. Hence, you would better select a more effective program that is capable of decrypting the copy-protected DVDs.

And for this, our top recommendation is the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum software. It’s a specialist to back an extensive content of DVDs, from scratched discs to recently released movies, with the removal of protections such as:

With built-in 350+ video and/or audio codecs, WinX DVD Ripper Platinum can rip DVDs to MP4, MOV, AVI, FLV, 3GP, and other mainstream formats with ease.

The software offers a lot of presets adopting virtually all famous devices, including iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Samsung, Surface Book/Pro, Huawei, PS3/PS4, Xbox, etc., specifically calculated parameters completely working with video playback specifications of various smartphones.

This DVD ripper even focuses a lot on the speed and quality of the converted files. De-interlacing and High-Quality Engines can significantly optimize the quality of the resulting file to offer hi-fi audio and vivid graphics.

Moreover, using this software you will not experience the problem of video audio sync. Taking full benefit of Hardware Encoders (Nvidia NVENC/Intel QSV), Hyper-threading tech, plus Super Encode Engine, it offers an incredibly fast speed to rip DVDs.

Read our editor review on this dvd software here.

Pros:

  • WinX DVD Ripper Platinum supports almost all of homemade & commercial DVDs.
  • It offers speedy ripping speeds.
  • Ripped files can be seen on most mobile devices or gadgets.
  • This is easy to use the program with built-in presets, and intuitive interface.
  • Keeps output file quality intact/lossless.

Cons:

  • Its free version has 5-minute conversion limit.

Steps to Rip Copy-protected DVDs with WinX DVD Ripper Platinum

For full instructions on how to download, install and use the WinX DVD ripper, click here.

To rip videos or audio from DVDs using WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, just follow the following simple steps. The software will auto-remove various kinds of DVD protections and extract the contents.

Step 1:  Download and Install

Make sure you download the installer from the official site and install the software. Then, insert a DVD disc to rip to your computer DVD/optical drive.

Step 2: Load the Source

Launch the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum program and then click the “DVD Disc” option on the menu. You will be prompt to choose the DVD drive option for conversion and then click on the “OK” button. The software shall pop up in the “Output Profile” window.

WinX dvd ripper platinum ripping steps

Step 3: Choose Output Format

You can browse through the various category of output formats available and click the target format i.e. MP4 or any other prefer format. Most common formats are available under “General Profiles”.

Step 4: Select Destination Folder (Optional)

Next, in the bottom of the screen, in the “Destination Folder:” location, click the “Browse” button to select the folder you wish to store the ripped contents. If you didn’t choose, it will save to the default location.

Step 5: Start the Ripping

Hit the “RUN” button to start ripping the DVD disc. It will take some time to complete depending on the length of the movie file.

II.) How to Convert DVD to Digital Format on Mac OS X?

There are many programs for copying and converting DVDs. Each competes with the other, as it becomes more and more difficult to read discs over time. That’s why you need to digitize them right now with the right software.

If you have a large number of discs in your home, you can digitize them using MacX DVD Ripper Pro, and then put them in the pantry or throw them away.

MacX DVD Ripper Pro is one of the best applications for Mac OS X, if not the best when it comes to converting DVDs to digital format at maximum speed with lossless quality output, and it is also able to rip the latest released encrypted DVDs.

Movies, audio, photos, and other files copied to your computer hard drive can be converted to any supported format and create your own multimedia library. The converted files are playable on commonly used computers and portable devices like smartphones, and gadgets.

And you don’t need to go to a local dvd digitizing service to have your disk digitized for money. It’s simple with the help of the MacX DVD Ripper Pro.

Pros:

  • This program is easy-to-use and consistent (seldom crashes)
  • Rips videos quickly without losing their quality (lossless output)
  • Regular program updates assure you can rip the latest DVD encryptions.
  • It can rip DVD digital copy format to the most prevalent video formats.

Cons:

  • Cannot rip the Blu-ray discs.

Steps to Convert Encrypted DVD to Digital Files Using MacX DVD Ripper Pro

MacX DVD Ripper Pro comes with built-in presets to make things easy for you to transfer DVD discs into digital video formats for your PC, Apple, and Android devices. So, here is the step-by-step guide to backup DVD discs or converting DVDs to digital files.

Step 1: Download and Install

First, download the MacX installer from their official site. The software support Mac OS X 10.6 and above. Then, install the software successfully. You can use the trial version for testing purposes.  

Step 2: Load the DVD Source

Insert the DVD disc and launch this MacX DVD Ripper Pro software. Click on the “DVD Disc” button and select the DVD drive from the pop-up. This will load the DVD and pop up an “Output Profile” window.

MacX DVD Ripper Pro ripping steps

Step 3: Choose Output Format

Now select your preferred output format like MP4 Video, or iPhone/iPad based on your gadget. Once finished, click on the “Done” button.

Step 4: Choose Destination Folder [Optional]

After that, select the “Destination Folder:” where you want to save/store the converted DVD video or audio file, using the “Browse” button, and choose the intended location on your hard drive.

Step 5: Start Ripping

Finally, click on the “RUN” button to start the ripping process. It will not take some time to finish the conversion depending on the length of your DVD disc. Once finished, you can play the files or copy them to the mobile devices for playbacks.

Note: With this software, any kind of copyright protection on DVD can be encrypted and converted successfully as the function is built-in with the software.

III.) How to Convert DVD to Digital Format using Free Tool?

Among many free dvd rippers in the market, there are several popular tools including HandBrake, VLC Player, MakeMKV, etc. that can be used to rip homemade DVDs.

HandBrake is one more suggested free and open source tool to convert DVDs to digital format. It is a popular DVD ripping software to transform DVDs and Blu-ray that can run on either PC, Mac, or Linux.

Certainly, you must install an extra library file called libdvdcss to transform the encrypted or commercial DVDs. However, you may not get the desired file or device presets directly from the program.

It can convert media files to your preferred extension using the best encoder (codec) available for this purpose. However, there are lots of settings that may confuse the newbie as it’s more difficult to use compared to the paid ripping tools that generated only needs 3 steps to get the DVDs converted.

Pros:

  • HandBrake is free and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms.
  • It’s not just a dvd and blu-ray ripper, you can use it to convert any video and do simple video editing.
  • It supports both H.264 and H.265 codecs for preparing MP4 and MKV containers.
  • Rip DVD from HQ video up to iPad, iPhone, or 1080P, and other presets.

Cons:

  • Required to install an additional library file to convert DVDs with DRM protection.
  • Only can convert the DVD to either MKV or MP4 format.
  • Difficult to set up and master the best settings for beginners.
  • It doesn’t always select the correct chapter to encode.

Steps To Convert DVD to Digital Files Using HandBrake for Windows

Although we show you the ripping steps on Windows, HandBrake is compatible with running on Windows, Mac, and Linux, and the process to rip DVDs is very similar on every platform. For more details on how to download, install and use the software, click here.  

Step 1: Download and Install

Download and install Handbrake on your computer. For safety, you are advised to download this program from the official website only or click the link below to download it.

  • For Windows: 32-bit | 64-bit [right-click – Save Link As]
  • For Mac: pkg [right-click – Save Link As]

After downloading the installer, just double-click on it to start the installation. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Step 2: Load the Source

Insert a DVD disc to your DVD/optical drive, and then launch the HandBrake software. Click on the “F:\ (DVD)” on the left panel to load the DVD contents.

HandBrake source selection

Step 3: Change Settings

In the “Preset:” menu, choose a suitable preset that you want the video to be play on the intended device, i.e. smartphone.  If not, just leave it as Fast 1080p30. The “Fast” & “Very Fast” preset will increase the speed of the procedure, but drop some quality in the output.

You also can change the video quality by clicking on the “Video” tab. Drag the control bar left or right to change the output quality.

HandBrake change video quality

From our test, setting the RF (constant quality) to 19 or 19.5 is the best setting that can produce the highest output with Standard Definition (SD) quality.

Optional: Click on the “Summary” tab, adjust other settings like Web Optimized, and look at the output video information. Then go to Filters, Audio, Video, Subtitles, and also other tabs to get further custom choices.

Step 4: Preview and Save

Below the menu bar, there is a preview button to let you preview the video before ripping it. In the “Save As:” column, you can click the “Browse” button to change the location to save the converted files.

Step 5: Start Converting

Ultimately, click on the “Start Encode” button to start ripping the DVD with HandBrake.

How About Ripping Encrypted DVDs with Handbrake?

Please note that the above steps are good to rip homemade DVDs and not commercial DVDs. If you want to rip encrypted DVDs, you should have “libdvdcss” installed. For more detailed steps, follow the guide here.

Final Words

This tutorial showed you how to transform DVDs into digital files. Certainly, you can try free software like Handbrake and VLC Media Player. But they have shortcomings and can’t complete the job on their own, or speed is slower and output quality is uncertain.

You can choose a proficient DVD to digital converter that can meet your needs and restore DVDs to a variety of video & audio formats. For PC, we recommend WinX DVD ripper Platinum and you can use MacX DVD Ripper Pro if you are a Mac user.

Author: Powell Wong

Powell Wong is a chief editor and writer at SmartPoint Inc., the company that manages this website. He graduated from university in computer science, has over 20-year experience in the field, and mainly writes about multimedia software for this site.