Streaming Vs DVD Ripping: Which is Right For You?

Last updated on April 21st, 2024

This site is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.

streaming vs dvd

In the rapidly evolving landscape of home entertainment, the choice between DVD ripping and streaming services is a crucial decision for movie and TV show enthusiasts.

Both options offer unique advantages and disadvantages, catering to different needs and preferences.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of streaming services and DVD ripping, helping you make an informed decision about which option best suits your needs.

The Convenience of Streaming Services

Video streaming services and digital download via the Internet are popular methods to access high-quality video content these days, but their do have some pros and cons compared to having the traditional DVD discs. 


  1. Instant Access: Streaming services provide an extensive library of content at your fingertips. With a stable internet connection, you can start watching your favorite shows and movies immediately.
  2. Variety: These platforms offer a wide range of titles, including the latest releases, classics, and exclusive content, ensuring there’s something for everyone.
  3. Device Compatibility: Streaming services are accessible on various devices, from smartphones and tablets to smart TVs and gaming consoles, making it easy to switch between screens.
  4. No Storage Worries: With video streaming, you don’t need to worry about physical storage space or organizing a collection of DVDs. Your content is stored in the cloud.


  1. Subscription Costs: While many streaming services offer affordable plans, the cost can add up if you subscribe to multiple platforms to access specific content.
  2. Content Rotations: Titles on streaming services can come and go, making it frustrating when a favorite show or movie is suddenly removed from the platform.
  3. Quality Variability: Streaming quality depends on your internet connection. Slow speeds can result in lower resolution and buffering issues. Some other problems and troubleshooting steps can be found here.

About the Video Resolution:

  • Standard Definition (SD) – refer to 480p has a resolution of 720×480, that’s 720 pixels horizontal and 480 pixels vertical.
  • Standard High Definition (HD) – It has a resolution of 1280 pixels horizontally and 480 vertically.
  • Full High Definition (HD) – It has a resolution of 1920 pixels horizontally and 1080 vertically.
  • Ultra High Definition (UHD) and 4K – It has a resolution of 3840 pixels horizontally and 2160 vertically.

For Netflix basic subscription, you only can watch the movies in 480p (not HD). You’ll need to pay more to watch the HD and 4K titles every month. But not every movie is available in HD/4K.  

The standard for DVD video resolution is 720 horizontal pixels and 480 vertical pixels. On the other hand, Blu-ray is made for HD, with 1080 HD capability.

To play the Blu-ray discs, you need a Blu-ray player, which are under $100 now and you can even find 4K/Ultra HD DVD players for around $200.

Other than Netflix, there are some other streaming services like Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, etc. that you can use for your entertainment needs.

The Benefits of DVD Ripping

Some people think that DVDs are obsolete and the future of DVDs is rather dim. Let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages of having DVDs and the process of ripping a DVD.

DVD ripping pros and cons


  1. Ownership: When you rip a DVD, you own a digital copy of the content, ensuring it’s always accessible, regardless of streaming service availability or changes in licensing agreements.
  2. Quality Control: DVD ripping allows you to control the quality of your output copies, ensuring you get the best video and audio possible.
  3. No Subscription Costs: Once you have reliable DVD ripping software, there are no ongoing subscription fees.
  4. Customization: You can customize the digital files, add subtitles, choose specific audio tracks, and even edit content to suit your preferences.


  1. Initial Investment: DVD ripping requires an initial investment in software and hardware, including a DVD drive if your computer doesn’t have one.
  2. Time Consuming: Ripping DVDs can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have a large DVD collection to digitize.
  3. Legal Considerations: It’s essential to be aware of copyright laws in your region and ensure that your DVD ripping is done for personal use only.
  4. Prone to Damage: The discs will get scratched or damaged over time. Here are the steps to fix it.

The Steps to Digitize the DVDs

To rip a DVD, you will need a good DVD ripper. Usually, the free dvd rippers are unable to deal with the copy-protected discs. Hence, you can go for paid alternatives like WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, Wonderfox DVD Ripper Pro, etc.

Here are the steps to rip a DVD using WinX DVD Ripper Platinum. As usual, you need to download and install the software before you can use it, then follow the steps below closely.

1. Choose the DVD Source

  • Insert the DVD disc to rip to your computer DVD drive.
  • Launch the WinX DVD Ripper Platinum and you will see the screen below:
WinX dvd ripper platinum started screen
  • Click on the “DVD Disc” option to rip the DVD to digital format. A new window will ask you to “select the source DVD drive”. Choose the correct DVD drive and click on the “OK” button.

2. Choose an Output Format

  • From the “Output Profile” window, you can choose the intended output file format. Here you can choose the popular “MP4 Video” as the output format (under General Profiles).
WinX dvd ripper platinum output profile
  • Click on the “OK” button.
  • If needed, you can customize the output settings.

3. Start the Video Conversion

  • When ready, just click on the “RUN” button to start the DVD ripping process.
  • After some time, you can play the ripped files on a computer or portable device.

Statistics Speak for Themselves

Well, the statistics cannot be wrong! The following chart shows the home entertainment spending in the US in 2018. 

The streaming services dominate US home entertainment spending?

Streaming vs dvd blurays spending in US 2018

In the US, streaming subscriptions increased by 30% while spending on DVDs/Blu-rays dropped about 15%. This proved that more consumers are moving towards streaming services for their entertainment needs.

How about the global trend?

The following chart shows the people who watched videos on DVD/Blu-ray in the past 12 months in some countries. As you can see, all the countries show a drop trend compared to the year 2019.

The data, it’s clearly show that the DVD and Blu-ray are no longer the priority and definitely it’s because of the availability of the streaming services.

Making Your Choice

The decision between DVD ripping and streaming services ultimately comes down to your individual needs and preferences. Here are some scenarios to consider:

1. Choose DVD Ripping If:

  • You want to build a permanent collection of your favorite movies and shows.
  • You value customization options for video and audio.
  • You have a large existing DVD collection you want to digitize.

Note: Previously, Netflix also had a DVD rental service that delivers DVDs to your home, but they just stopped the service on 29 September 2023 as announced earlier this year.

2. Choose Streaming Services If:

  • You prefer the convenience of instant access and don’t want to invest in hardware or software.
  • No budget constraint, you enjoy exploring a wide range of content and don’t mind rotating libraries.
  • You want to avoid legal and ethical concerns related to DVD ripping.


Both DVD ripping and streaming services have their merits, and the choice depends on your priorities. Some individuals may find a hybrid approach that combines the best of both worlds to suit their needs.

Ultimately, whether you opt for the tangible ownership of ripped DVDs or the convenience of streaming, the goal is to enhance your entertainment experience in a way that aligns with your preferences and lifestyle.

Author: 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 years of experience in the field, mainly writes about multimedia software, and edits almost all the articles before publishing on this site.