These days it’s quite common to find a PC without an optical drive. Indeed, it would be very unusual to find a tablet PC that was still equipped with a DVD drive. This saves weight of course, but does mean you can’t play back your old DVD collection. There is a way around this problem however, and that is to “format shift” your DVDs into video files that you can then copy to your PC, tablet or smartphone. As long as you don’t sell or give away your original copy, this is perfectly legal to do in most countries. As long as you still have a PC somewhere with an optical drive, you should be able to convert most of your DVDs into digital movie files that you can then enjoy on your portable devices.
Before you set about converting all your old movies, there are some limitations to this process that you need to be aware of.
DVD menus will not be preserved – All video content from your DVDs can be converted, including extras, trailers and other special features. The DVD menus however will not be preserved. While this isn’t a great loss for many titles, some DVDs do have fun menus with extra hidden features on them. It also means you lose the sometimes convenient chapter select menu which may allow you to skip ahead to your favourite part of the film (chapters are preserved in the converted video files, there’s just no menu for them).
The process can be time consuming for large collections – The computer cannot tell the name of a video file on a DVD, that means after conversion you will need to manually rename the files, this can be quite time consuming for larger collections.
Still want to convert those old DVDs? Then lets get started.
MakeMKV is a fantastic solution for converting your DVDs into digital video files. Files are converted without any audio or video quality loss and with subtitles and chapters in-tact.
MKV Playback in Windows
Windows can’t actually play the MKV files generated by MakeMKV without first installing some additional software. Fortunately, that’s not very difficult to do.
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