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This DVD to DivX guide is brought to you by the creator of CinemaPremiere.com, a one of a kind online movie manager that allows you to organize, search, sort and play your movies. All types of media are supported from DVD and VHS to DivX and mpeg. Free memberships and a stand alone version are available.
What is DivX?
DivX is the most advanced video codec (compressor/decompressor) available today and is based on the new MPEG-4 compression standard for video. It allows you to create a near DVD quality video at the smallest file size possible and do it faster than any other software codec available on the market. You can maintain the highest level of visual quality at over twice the encoding speeds of other technologies.
DivX is to movie DVD as MP3 is to music CD. For years people have been copying music CDs to smaller MP3 files to play on their computers and MP3 players. Now you can copy a DVD to a smaller format to play on other devices and it prevents the original DVD from being scratched or lost. Using the DivX codec, you can reduce an entire DVD movie onto one CD retaining the DVD (MPEG2) quality, unlike that of a Video CD which is only equivalent to the quality of a VHS tape.
Why would you want to create a DivX file rather than a duplicate DVD (MPEG2)?
There are many different reasons. But first, if you are set on playing the movie on your stand alone DVD player, then making a duplicate DVD would be the only way to go (that is, until leading manufacturers of DVD players include DivX playback capabilities as in the Philips Progressive-Scan DVD Player with DivX, MPEG-4 and DVD+R/+RW Playback and the LG Progressive-Scan DVD Player with 7-in-2 Media Reader .) As an added bonus, I have included a page on how to copy and burn a DVD movie to a DVD-R/DVD+R disc in just a few simple steps.
However, if you want to play the movie on your computer, hand held, portable jukebox, or connect your computer to your TV, then DivX is the best thing around. The quality is superb and the size ranges roughly from 500MB to 1.5GB depending on the length and resolution of the movie and the quality you use to encode the movie. You can copy a DivX movie to a CD, split a larger DivX movie onto 2 or more CDs, or copy several DivX movies to a DVD. Also, many people are buying external hard drives which connect to your PC or laptop and can hold many DivX movies. This makes it possible to take your entire movie collection on a long trip and play them on your laptop. You would just plug your external hard drive into a DC/AC inverter and plug it into your cigarette lighter.
I personally chose to backup many of my DVDs to DivX and store them on the hard drive of my custom built media PC which is connected to my big screen TV and surround sound system. This way my kids can choose and play the movies they want to watch without handling our DVDs and we can store them out of sight. Try out Cinema Premiere's movie manager, to manage all your DVDs and DivX files.
What's In This Guide?
It took a while to get the process of ripping DVDs and encoding them down to an art. I first started encoding movies as CVD, also known as 1/2 DVD, with a resolution of 352x480 (instead of 720x480). This gave me a smaller file size at a fairly good visual quality and would allow me the option to later burn the movie to a DVD since it is DVD compliant. I was happy with this until I encoded a movie using the DivX codec. The file was about 1/3 of the size and the quality was much better. I couldn't justify wasting the disk space. Then I tried out many different programs to rip and encode DVDs to DivX and selected the best.
To copy the DVD to the computer, also known as ripping, I have chosen to use the Gordianknot package. It includes a very good automated ripper called Robot4rip which also converts the sound to a mp3 file which is great for high quality sound compression. I noticed when ripping DVDs there is a big loss in sound volume. To overcome this, I use a program called MP3Gain.
This guide is filled with experience. By trial and error and much research, I have found how to get the best quality for size and best sounding DivX movies with the least amount of effort. By following this easy step by step guide you will learn how to install the software, rip the DVD, enhance the sound quality, encode the DivX file, play the movie, and burn the movie to CD or DVD.