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How to upload a DVD onto my laptop

You may want to upload a DVD to your laptop for storing on its hard drive or for re-editing the video. Copying DVDs requires downloading software capable of converting its VOB (main video components) files to another format, like an MPEG or MOV, since your laptop does not come equipped with a DVD-ripping program. There are several free programs you can use to perform these conversions; however, please note that ripping a DVD may result in some loss of audio/video quality, due to compression standards.

Insert the DVD into your computer after downloading and installing a DVD-ripping program. Launch the program; if it doesn't read the DVD automatically, direct the software to the computer's disk drive that contains the DVD. Select and open your DVD's Video TS folder, or the specific VOB file(s) you want converted.

Choose an output format and select an encoding option, depending on your needs. If you are uploading video to your laptop for editing in another program, select an MOV or QuickTime format, as this is a standard editing format. If you want to upload the DVD to the Internet, try choosing an MP4 format with an H264 encoder, as this is a standard file type for sites like YouTube or Google Video. An H264 encoder will also result in a smaller file size with better quality.

Rename your file and choose an output destination to tell your computer where to save the files. Be sure you have enough space on your computer's hard drive. When finished, click the "Save" or "Start" button to begin the upload.

Tip

Consult your manual if you will eventually be uploading the video to a portable media device, like a cell phone or MP3 player. Check the device's pixel resolution so you don't export a larger picture size than your device supports.

Warning

Depending on the size of your DVD, allow several minutes to several hours for conversions to finish.

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About the Author

Andrew Schrader has been a professional writer and filmmaker since 2004. He works as a writer and director, holding a Bachelor of Arts in film and media studies from UC Santa Barbara. Schrader specializes in writing about technology and computer software.