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How to Losslessly Convert Personal DVDs to Best Digital Format?

Participant ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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I converted all my old family videos (SD) to DVDs over the years using Premier Elements.  I now am worried that my DVDs are going to deteriorate and want to convert back to best digital format to store in a dedicated hard drive.  I have PE 2022 and used its import media feature to import my DVD (ie *.vob files, etc).  I then exported as Mp4 H.264  SD 720x480 (as I believe that was the DVD SD original resolution.  But the quality was terrible - I'd estimate it was at best 75% of what you'd see when playing the DVD.  Can anyone suggest how I can do this better?

 

An additional question - does anyone know a way to store my converted dvds online, preferably in a free or not too expensive manner.  My idea was to create a "Family Archive" account on YouTube and share with my family.  Upload my videos as "Private".  But for some reason, when I log into that account as the account owner on my smart LG TV, it does not show my uploaded video content.  I can only access my video content on my desktop or mobile, or on my TV if I am willing to cast it to my TV?  Of course, google probably does not like its users essentially using YouTube for "Private" cloud storage?  But would love to hear a work around or alternative?

 

Thanks

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Export , Import , Tips and tricks

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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Participant ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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Thanks - I have looked at Vimeo.  Great service but VERY expensive.  Probably best for a business.

Any thoughts on how to convert my DVDs to a viewable online file format without compromising quality.  Or am I just screwed and have to accept losing quality going back from DVD to a viewable file format?

Thanks

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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Another (free) option MAY be to use imgburn to read the DVD and create an ISO file, and then copy your ISO files to a spare hard drive (see the end)

 

I always create an ISO out of PrElements and use imgburn to write to a DVD since it provides more options

 

I do NOT know if imgburn will read a DVD and create an ISO, but since the program is free it can't hurt to try

 

https://www.imgburn.com/ to write files or folders or ISO to disc for DVD or BluRay
Send the author a PayPal donation if you like his program - DO be sure to uncheck
anything included that you don't want from the "freeware" download site

 

I use a Sata docking station and SEVERAL 'bare' drives for backup of my desktop computer
There are many external drive devices, this is the one I use
https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-External-docking-station-drives/dp/B00U8KSLA8/

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Participant ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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I hear what you are saying.  Saving an ISO and using it to re-burn future DVDs of the same content as current DVDs deteriorate is an option (and I actually have saved ISOs for this purpose), except that DVD or even BluRay players are going the way of dinasaurs. 

 

I wish I could find a way to create a viewable file format to save the content and view online or on my TV - mp4 or quicktime or whatever.  My experience though is that importing the DVD content and then saving back to a viewable file format like mp4 etc. causes quality loss or at best impossibly large files ie 25gb or more...!)

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Community Expert ,
Oct 24, 2023 Oct 24, 2023

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OK... one more free option (which I have NOT done so don't know if it will work) is to use https://handbrake.fr/ open source transcoder/converter to read the DVD and output a playable file

 

There are other 'ripper' programs, but you'll have to do a search to find names

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Participant ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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Thanks - I just tried that.  At the default setting, I think it was about the same quality as when I did same in PE.  I googled how to play with all the VERY MANY settings and maybe got a slight improvement...?  In google I hear that converting DVD to a digital file is somewhat of a limited process as DVDs are 480 and any new file is bound to be slightly less clear as there will always be compression from there downward in that process.  Do I have this right?  Am I doomed to have less quality videos going from DVD back to digital?  Any handbrake setting recommendations or other ideas are still welcome?  Thanks

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Community Expert ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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quote

  Am I doomed to have less quality videos going from DVD back to digital?


By @RFMclaughlin3

 

Short answer: Yes.

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Participant ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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Haha - garbage in, garbage out.  Bummer!  Is there no way to make it at least as good as the DVD?  File size aside?

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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I did a quick search and found two programs 

 

https://www.winxdvd.com/

https://www.dvd-cloner.com/open-dvd-ripper

 

You will need to search for reviews

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Community Expert ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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If you make a disc image of the DVD using a program like Imgburn, or another disc burning app, the .iso file can be played with VLC Media Player.

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Participant ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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Ya - I know that I can make another DVD of the same quality.  But what I want is a digital file of the same quality to play on my computer or tv from the file not from another dvd.  It doesnt sond like that is possible.  

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Community Expert ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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PB said "the .iso file can be played with VLC Media Player" so since you said you already have ISO files use VLC to play them on your computer at your current DVD qualiity

 

That doesn't help with a TV (unless you have an HDMI cable from your computer to a TV input) so check out the 2 links I posted after doing a search

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Community Expert ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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An .iso file is a digital file. You can play an .iso without making a DVD.

I wasn't suggesting burning another DVD.

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Participant ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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True - unless I am totally confused, an ISO is essentially just a picture of the DVD file. I cannot play an ISO, right?  If I want to see the content I have to burn it back to a DVD? Right?

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Community Expert ,
Oct 25, 2023 Oct 25, 2023

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quote

 an ISO is essentially just a picture of the DVD file. I cannot play an ISO, right?  If I want to see the content I have to burn it back to a DVD? Right?


By @RFMclaughlin3

 

Wrong.

An iso file can be played directly on a computer by opening with VLC Media Player and some other media players.

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Participant ,
Oct 26, 2023 Oct 26, 2023

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Oh - I did not know that.  I'll give it a try.  Thanks

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Participant ,
Oct 27, 2023 Oct 27, 2023

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You are correct.  Thank you.

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Engaged ,
Oct 26, 2023 Oct 26, 2023

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I think that you need this tool: 

MakeMKV - Make MKV from Blu-ray and DVD

 

Try it. It will convert your DVD into mkv files witout changing quality/encoding. MKV format is very popular and most players can read it. You can always encode mkv file with Handbrake of Shutter Encoder if you want. 

Shutter Encoder encoding|converting video FREE PC|Mac

 

Regarding the quality of DVD and old content, NVIDIA is offering RTX Video Super Resolution for playback.

Pixel Perfect: RTX Video Super Resolution Now Available | NVIDIA Blog

I haven't tested it so can't comment on the results. 

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Participant ,
Oct 27, 2023 Oct 27, 2023

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Thank you

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