Best DVD Converters
The Movavi DVD converter software for Windows and Mac
We live in a rapidly changing world, and while DVD was a brand new technology just a few years ago, it now seems more and more old-fashioned. If you have a collection of DVDs that are now gathering dust on a shelf, it’s time to bring them back to life and import them to your hard drive. But how? There’s nothing easier if you have Movavi Video Converter – powerful video conversion software for Windows or Mac that enables you to rip home video DVDs in just a few simple steps. Just download the version you need and follow the instructions below.
Step 1. Install Movavi’s DVD Converter
Download Movavi Video Converter, open the file, and install the software on your PC or Mac.
Step 2. Add the DVD you want to copy
Insert the disc into your computer’s DVD drive. Click Add Media, then Add DVD in the top left corner of the Video Converter window and choose Open DVD. Find the disc on your computer and click Select Folder.
Step 3. Choose an output format
Choose the desired format for your converted DVD video under Video. Movavi Video Converter supports over 180 formats and codecs including MP4 (MPEG-4), AVI, MPG, HD video, and more. You can also save your movie in an appropriate format for playing on the mobile device of your choice, including iPad, iPod, Android phones and tablets, and many more – just check the Devices category to see the complete list.
Once you have selected the preset that suits you best, the program will estimate the size of the output video file so you can decide if it meets your quality and other requirements, or you can choose another format.
Step 4. Copy your DVD
Click the Save to button to change the destination folder for the output file. Then click the Convert button in the bottom right corner and wait until the video is processed. Once the conversion is complete, the folder with your converted DVD videos will open automatically.
This is it! You can find more information on Movavi Video Converter in the article on TopTenReviews.
Movavi Video Converter
Top 6 free DVD converters
In addition to great commercial software, there are also some free DVD video converter programs out there that are worth a try. Free DVD converter software may be missing some features that paid software has and will often be slower or more challenging to use, but it is still a good alternative for tech-savvy users, those on a budget, or users with only basic needs. We've assembled a list of six excellent freeware DVD conversion software and have presented them below, in no particular order.
Click one of the links below to jump to the corresponding section:
Free DVD Video Converter is a part of a larger suite of free programs called Free Studio by DVD Video Soft. It is a very simple program that will be easy for anyone to use. Converting a DVD is as simple as selecting your DVD drive from a dropdown list, selecting an output location and preset, and pressing the Convert button. Even among free DVD conversion software, the program is lacking in features, however. Part of the reason the interface is so simple to understand is that you don't have many options to customize your output. For very basic needs, this program is worth a try. Users may find they outgrow it quickly, though. Other products in Free Studio include various video downloaders, uploaders, and other converters. All products are highly specialized and downloaded individually, so Free DVD Video Converter is a small download.
Small download size
No advanced customization features
Find out more about the entire suite of Free Studio products below.
Like Free DVD Video Converter, Movavi Free Video Converter is a part of a larger suite of products. This time, instead of various uploaders and downloaders, the software suite focuses on creating video and other media projects. Movavi Free Video Converter is the free version of the paid product, Movavi Video Converter. All of Movavi's products are designed to be powerful enough for experienced users but easy for beginners to pick up and use. This means that Movavi Video Converter will be easy to handle. Learning its interface will give you a helping hand should you choose to use Movavi's other video software. Both the free and paid versions of Video Converter are capable of reading DVDs and make converting them to MP4 or many other formats easy to do. You can go to the website of this DVD converter for a free download of the full version so that you can compare the differences.
Powerful customization features for adequate control over the output
Features available in some free programs, such as cropping and rotating, require the paid version of this software
Freemake is the next free DVD conversion software on our list. This software has some features that aren't in some of the other products we'll look at today. For example, the software lets you trim videos and add subtitles. It even has built-in uploaders and downloaders for YouTube and other popular video sites. Another feature of Freemake, a DVD burner, allows you to not only convert videos from DVD but convert them to DVD as well. It even allows you to create your own DVD menu, making it a good solution to burn DVDs and an excellent all-around video conversion product.
Has essential video-editing tools
Includes a DVD encoder and burner
Like in many free programs, the conversion speed is relatively slow
You can read more about the functionality of Freemake in the review below.
WinX DVD Ripper has over 70 million users and has been around for over 12 years. It’s easily one of the most popular DVD ripping programs available today. The software can convert DVD files into viewable formats on any number of devices. It features acceleration technology that helps to quickly convert DVDs with ease. You can even try it with scratched or damaged DVDs as the Platinum version has some code to help read and fill in the blanks. This is one of the best DVD converters you can buy.
Very fast conversions with acceleration tech
Has some editing options
The free version limits you to 5 minutes of conversion
To learn more about WinX DVD Ripper Platinum, see the link below.
While Handbrake has focused more on its core video conversion functionality in recent years, it was initially created for ripping DVDs and has long been the go-to choice for users looking for a quality free DVD converter. The program has plenty of presets to help you get your settings tuned in quickly, or you can take manual control over many different options. The program doesn't hold your hand while you are navigating through these settings, though, so be sure to understand the basics of how video formats work before you start trying to customize presets. Buried in the user interface, you'll find the option to apply basic video filters, such as deinterlacing and denoising, to the output. Because it was designed with DVDs in mind, you get great features like the ability to extract subtitles and chapters as well.
Filters for enhancing the video
Outdated and cluttered interface
Look below for a full review of HandBrake.
Another free DVD converter and burner is ImgBurn. This software is primarily meant as a DVD and Blu-ray maker that you can use to burn disks. Unlike Freemake, the focus of ImgBurn isn't the conversion between different video files and DVDs. But it does serve a useful purpose for someone who wants to backup a DVD onto their computer. The software allows you to read a DVD and copy an ISO version of that disk to your computer. ISO files “fake” physical carriers and can be mounted as DVD images. You can watch ISO images in programs like VLC with all the same functionality that the original DVD had.
Lightweight download size
Can only convert the DVD to ISO
If you are looking for a DVD/Blu-Ray burner, you can read more about ImgBurn below.
Conclusion: How to choose a DVD video converter
Whether a DVD converter is free or paid, you want to make sure you are getting something that will do the job well. To properly compare DVD converter software, you need to understand what makes a good DVD file converter. There are three primary things to look for when you are comparing software to rip DVD files. They are:
Presets. Getting the most out of a DVD video converter means having an in-depth understanding of how video formats work. As a user, you don't want to study the technical specifications of the various video formats just to copy a DVD to your PC. This is why the best DVD conversion software has plenty of presets that automatically set those specifications for you depending on your goal.
Customization. While presets are great, you don't want your DVD format converter to rely on them alone. Sometimes, you will have exact specifications that you'd like to meet that do not fit any given presets. Good software will have the presets available to you and allow you to take fine-tuned control over the conversion process.
Conversion capabilities. DVDs aren't as simple as most video files. They can have alternative audio tracks, bonus video content, and subtitles built into them. A basic DVD format converter will handle the main video, but you want one that will give you the power to grab all the extras and special features as well.
Because the programs we've mentioned are free, it is easy to download each of them and try them out. It can help to consider which features you are looking for and narrow down the list a little to spend more time testing the programs that come closest to your needs. As we've covered the types of features you'll likely want in a DVD file converter, you might already have an idea of what to be looking for. Once you have tried out a few of the programs, you'll have a better idea of how each suits your needs, how fast it is, how quickly you can create your final output file, and be better equipped to compare them.
Movavi Video Converter might be one of the most appropriate options. Meeting all the above-mentioned requirements, this software makes for the full-featured customized DVD conversion. But of course, ultimately, the best free DVD converter will be the one that suits your personal needs the best.
What is DVD?: The VOB format explained
A DVD is an optical disc acting as a physical carrier of digital information. A DVD can store media content of all sorts. You are most likely to find .vob and .ifo files on your disc. Below we explain what .vob items are for.
Because DVDs come on disks, most people don't think too much about the actual files contained on the disk. If you happen to open a DVD on your computer and browse around the file directory, though, you'll see plenty of different files. It may seem as though several of them have video within them. The VOB files are the only ones that contain video, however. IFO files, which can also be opened by many programs that can play DVDs, are indexes that tell the program which VOB files contain which information. As a media container format, VOBs can include video, but they can also have subtitles, audio tracks, and images. When you open an IFO file, the player is actually just reading the file to find the appropriate VOB file to open and play.
Video encoding format
Audio encoding formats
PCM, DTS, MP2, or AC-3
Device and OS compatibility
Windows-based devices, Mac OS X, Linux, game consoles like Xbox and Playstation.
Frequently asked questions
Can I convert a DVD to a digital copy?
We've already discussed how to copy a DVD into a digital copy, but can you do so legally? This is undoubtedly an area of concern for most law-abiding people. The warning screens that pop up on DVDs before they start playing list severe punishments for illegally copying the contents. Of course, if you have burned the DVD from home videos, then you are free to do whatever you want. But what about copyrighted material? How serious are those warning screens? The reality is that copying a DVD to a digital format is technically illegal. However, if you are doing it for personal use, you are unlikely to get into trouble. Still, we recommend anyone concerned about the issue consult with local laws in their area before using a DVD converter or burner.
Can I legally backup my DVDs?
You may have just read the previous answer and be a little confused. Many people claim that it is perfectly legal to copy a DVD as long as you are using it as a personal backup and do not plan on redistributing it in any way. They argue that as the rightful owner of the DVD, you are entitled to a backup. Are they correct? No. At least not under US law. DVDs are protected by DRM (Digital Rights Management). Under Title I of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it is illegal to circumvent DRM. Because you must circumvent the DRM to make a copy, doing so is automatically unlawful. Things may change in the future, so again, always be sure to check current local laws before you copy a DVD to a PC.
Can VLC rip DVDs?
Yes. VLC is a powerful media player that is popular because it can open many files that other players can't. It can easily open DVD files from their VIDEO_TS folders as well as the specific VOB video files that are stored on the DVD. Many people don't realize this, but VLC can also export any opened video to any supported format. This means that you'll be able to open your DVD in VLC and then rip it to MP4, AVI, FLV, MKV, MOV, or nearly any other format you can think of. This makes VLC a capable DVD player and converter. However, this conversion only comes as a side effect of the ability to export video. As a result, you won't find many editing features or advanced options for controlling the conversion of your DVD to other formats.
Does ripping a DVD ruin it?
The term “ripping” sounds scary to people who are unfamiliar with it. With most uses of the word, ripping something destroys it. This causes people to be a little apprehensive about ripping their DVDs. But there is no need to worry. The term “ripping” is used in a different context when it comes to copying physical media to digital backup files. Although ripping a DVD does involve circumventing the copy protection built into the disk, this is done precisely the same way that any DVD player would do in order to playback the DVD. So, ripping a DVD is almost identical to merely playing it. This means that unless there is some error with your DVD drive that would damage the disk while playing it, ripping it will not cause any harm. It is perfectly safe to rip a DVD to a PC.
Sign up for news and special offers