Best Solution to Digitize Your DVD Collection. Step-by-step Guide!

Last updated on September 23rd, 2021

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Quite a lot of people still have large or modest-sized DVD collections. Those DVDs may hold their cherished moment with their homemade DVDs or their favorites movie discs.

You should know that those DVDs were getting older and get scratched and this may cause it to be unplayable on the normal DVD player in the long run. So, you need to find a solution to this. One of the best methods is to convert the DVD and stored it in a digital format.

Wondering how to digitize your old dvd collection? You may not know there are several methods to do it but each method is different and required special software tools. Read this article to find out more.

digitize dvd collection

Why Digitizing Your DVD Library?

Nowadays, people like to enjoy their favourite videos anywhere on any device they like! So, it will be great to digitize all your all DVD movies and move them to your network storage or Plex, so you can watch them on portable devices or smart TV without having the DVD player!

The following are the main reasons why people want to digitize their DVDs:

  • Backup your old DVD’s from scratches/bad, loss, fire, etc.
  • To stream movies directly to your smart phones, tablets, PC/Mac, gaming consoles (XBOX 360, PlayStation), or smart HDTV (from network storage drive).
  • Edit or enhance the movie quality to the HD standard for clearer picture.
  • Speed up the process of choosing a title when watching the movies and reduce the need for physical DVD copies. This will also save storage/DVD rack, but you need to have larger hard disk space.
  • Enjoys the freedom to watch movies anywhere you like as well as getting Internet access.

If you want nothing lost as your DVD, you can convert DVD to ISO image that you will keep everything on your DVDs, although you need to have larger HDD/SSD spaces.

If you just need a digital copy for watching, you can choose to convert it to MP4 format (H.264), the most common video format supported by almost all devices.

The Methods to Digitizing Your DVD Collection

Basically, there are two methods to do it. One you need to do it yourself while the other method you let other people do for you, which also will cost you higher.

Method #1: Using DVD Ripping Software

The DVD ripper is a preferred method as it’s easier and you just spend some time ripping those DVD collections. There are various blu-ray or DVD programs available on the market, some freeware while other is premium software.

If you intend to use the ripping software, you should store the original blu-ray or DVD discs somewhere safe. This is to ensure you own the original copies and have the right to repurposes them for your own convenient.

In the following section, we will recommend both the paid ripping software, WinX DVD Ripper Platinum with a step-by-step guide. If you are looking for a free tool, we recommend you use either MakeMKV for ripping and Handbrake for transcoding.

However, the free tools may not able to rip the copy-protected DVDs, the ripping process is slower and the output file also limited. So, it’s not recommended if you have large collections of DVDs to be ripped.

Alternatively, you can use the DVD copy software if you want to duplicate the entire DVD discs. 

Special note:

If you want to rip the DVDs to Plex, you just need to rip DVD into Plex Media Server supported file formats like MP4, MKC, etc. Once your files are in the Plex, you can stream it through Internet.

The following video show you how to digitize DVDs with free MakeMKV software. However, this software is not the best as it have some limitations:

Method #2: Using DVD Copying Service Near You (Mail-in Services)

With this method, you hire a company to digitize or duplicate the DVDs for you. The service also calls DVD mail-in services. However, compare to the software method above, the mail-in services are more expensive. The following are top companies that provide the service in the USA.

  • Dijifi

A New York-based company that offers digital conversion services for various old media for more than 10 years. The company handles movies, films, photos, audios, documents, books, microfilm, etc. One of the companies that are highly recommended as they can output the files in various resolutions and file formats. Click here to know more.

  • Leave a Legacy

Since 2006, this Colorado-based company was in the digitizing business. You can expect the company to digitize the DVDs to MP4 and other compatible formats to be playable on various devices including PC/Mac, gadgets, or smart TV. For more info, click here.

  • Vudu

Starting with just $2, you can use this service to convert the commercial blu-rays or DVDs to SD. They also can convert the movies to HD at a higher price. You need to go to their website and scan barcode to search to make sure the movie is in their database for digital conversion. Then, print your list and go to the nearest Walmart photo Center.

The converted files can be plays on many portable devices, or computers anywhere you like. This service does save your time but not all the movie or DVDs are supported or available by Vudu service.

Digitizing DVD Collection with DVD Ripper – Step-by-step Guide

With this solution, you can do the dvd ripping process at home. All you need is a computer with an optical drive (DVD/Blu-ray) and an external hard drive (optional). The other thing you need is a reliable dvd ripping software, and for this, we recommend the following programs:

1.) Digitize Your DVD Collection Using WinX DVD Ripper Platinum

Here are the steps to convert DVD to any other formats with WinX software for Windows. Make sure you already purchase and download the software at discounted price. Then, install the program successfully and follow the steps below.

Note: If you just use the free trial version, you only can use the software to convert 5-minute video and all the advanced features are disabled. The full version will remove all those limitations.

1. Insert the source DVD disc you wish to rip and launch the software. Load the DVD by clicking on the “DVD Disc” button.

WinX dvd ripper platinum ripping steps

2. After the DVD is imported, you will see the Output Profile window. Choose the needed output file format. Usually, you can choose a commonly-used file format under the General Profiles.

3. In the Destination Folder:, click the Browse button and choose the location where you wish to store the output file. Click “RUN” button to start digitizing.

Special tips:

  • To make the ripping process faster, you can enable the “Hardware Accelerator”and “CPU Core Use” boxes.
  • For better output quality, you can enable both the “Use High Quality Engine”and “Deinterlacing”.

Basically, this software able to rip DVD at a pretty fast speed, we tested a normal 2-hour movie disc and is able to rip it in about 10 minutes. You also can edit the converted video as you wish.

2. Digitize Your DVD Collection Using MacX DVD Ripper Pro

For Mac users, our editors rated MacX as the best ripping tool for macOS. Like other premium software, the ripping steps are pretty simple and straightforward. Assume that you already purchase and download and install the software, just follow the steps below.

1. Load the DVD by clicking on the “DVD Disc” button.

MacX DVD Ripper Pro ripping steps

2. Once it’s loaded, you can select the output file format including formats for the portable devices.

3. If needed, you can set the output destination folder. Click the “RUN” button to start the ripping process.

The time it takes to rip will depend on the disc length but generally, this is a fast-speed ripping tool.

Conclusion

You can do the DVD ripping either by yourself or hire someone to do the jobs for you. If you don’t have much budget, then you can use the cost-saving method by purchasing a reliable dvd ripping software as recommended above.

Else, if you don’t have much time to digitize your DVD collection yourself, use the DVD copying service near your city but it will cost you more. We hope that this article can help you transfer your DVDs to the digital format successfully.

Author: Powell Wong

Powell Wong is a senior editor and developer 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.