Are you toying with the idea of watching your favourite DVDs on your laptop while traveling? Well, you don’t have to bring your original movies along and risk losing them. Also, you don’t have to lose sleep over leaving your DVD collection to your children and having them scratch the precious discs. In both instances, you can keep your original DVDs tucked away safely and use backup DVDs which you can easily burn with your computer.
Is that possible? Yes, although we know that the capacity of a commercial DVD 9 movie exceeds 4.7GB, the maximum capacity of a DVD 5 recordable media. How then are we going to fit a whole movie into a single recordable disc? Don’t we need two discs?
No we don’t, if we use DVD Shrink, a freeware that does what its name suggests – shrink a DVD to fit a single blank DVD.
It entails a loss of quality though, like any other compressed video. However, if you would like to minimize it, you could remove unwanted features that came with the original disc.
Movies on DVD come with multiple features like foreign language audio. For example, a movie disc may contain options for audio in Spanish, French, Portuguese and German. Since you’re pretty sure you’ll only be watching the movie in the English language and nothing else, you can remove the other audio features.
Also you can choose only one between the audio outputs. For example you would want to choose just the two channel stereo mode instead of Surround sound.
In addition, most Hollywood movies on DVD come with extensive special features which you may not fancy watching. Eliminating these features will free more space for you to get a better compression and hence better-quality video. Choose (or rather eliminate) your options and DVD Shrink does the rest for you.
You also know that DVD movies come with region codes. If you’re in USA, your DVD Player is configured for Region 1, in Europe Region 2 and East Asia, Region 3 and so on. Say during your travels in Asia you buy a DVD movie. You can’t play that on your DVD player back home (USA) because your player is configured to decode only Region 1 DVDs. DVD Shrink can easily remove the region code and turn the disc into a region-free DVD. You can now just pop the disc into your DVD player and enjoy the movie.
Using DVD Shrink is a straightforward affair. If you’ve difficulty figuring the program out, head to YouTube. There are hundreds of training videos available. Numerous text guides with screenshots are also at your disposal over the Internet.
Before you put DVD Shrink to work for you, ensure that you have at least 12GB of free hard disk space. You need this space to store your ripped DVD files and also for the compressed files that DVD Shrink will burn to your blank disc.
Finally, only use DVD Shrink to back up your personal, original DVD collection. Do not use it for commercial gain or for sharing your DVDs with others.