Here’s a short lesson on how to copy and burn with DVDFab6.
Usually I write about freeware, and this program is not free, but there is a fully functional 30 day trial which I recommend you check out. I’m sure you will, as I did, buy the program.
DVDFab6 is the modern equivalent of the old DVD Shrink and DVD Decrypter. Although those were excellent programs, and best of all free, they cant keep up with the times. I was finding successful correct burns to be pretty hit and miss with DVD Shrink, and often it was doing strange things like getting audio and video out of sync, or even rearranging chapters. This could be a Windows7 problem, or the encryption process has improved, or both, I don’t know, but DVD Shrink just wasn’t cutting the mustard any more.
I’ve tested DVDFab6 in XP, Vista and Windows7, and found it installed and worked perfectly in all 3 modern versions of Windows. I’ll just state here that although DVDFab6 can copy just about any DVD, including rented ones, I use it to make copies of DVDs which I have purchased. I keep the originals well stored, and let the kids destroy the copies. Copying rented DVDs is obviously illegal.
The DVD Fab opening screen
Note that it has opened on ‘Main Movie’. Since that is what I opened it on previously, its remembered that and opens on it again, or in my case every time since that’s the only feature I use.. As you can see by the other options displayed, there are many other things you can do with this software. Note that on the top it says DVD to DVD – Main Movie. That’s what I want it to do, copy the Main Movie only from one DVD to the other. Its asking for a DVD to copy in the source panel, and its nominated my DVD burner as the target.
How to copy and burn a Movie to DVD disc using DVDfab6
As soon as I insert a DVD the program begins analyzing it. This takes about 20 seconds or so most of the time. See the screenshot below.
The program tells you which part of the source DVD it suggests you keep as the main movie, by ticking the boxes. It highlights in the dark blue which parts it considers to be absolutely necessary.
I’ve no interest in the directors comments in the panel on the top right, and I don’t particularly want captions either. I’ve unticked those boxes as taking unnecessary space. Like DVD Shrink, this program will adjust the quality to suit the available space. Note that on the previous page, the screenshot shows the video quality being reduced to 87% of the original in order to fit it on the disc.
This is because commercial discs are Dual Layer DVD9 discs with a capacity of 8.5G, and they often wont fit on a normal single layer DVD5 disc without shrinking.. taking away the extras and reducing the quality if necessary. Once I’ve removed the directors comments and the captions as seen on the screenshot on this page, notice that the quality is now at 94% of the original. This was achieved by taking away features I didn’t want or need.. now I’ll click Next.
We move on to the next screen
Here you will see that the source file is the DVD currently in the DVD drive, and that the target is also the DVD drive (E). This means that first the program will copy, decrypt and convert the video for saving on your computer. Once its done that, it will then prompt you for a blank DVD on which to burn the video. You can see that it is meant to create a DVD, and that it plans, as well as removing the stuff I chose to remove, to reduce the quality to 94% of the original. Its done this to reduce the file size from 4571MB to 4300MB. Most single layer DVD media claim to have a capacity of 4500MB, but if you get to close to the limit you are asking for trouble. DVDFab6 tries to create files of 4300MB or less if possible. I always leave the settings on this page untouched, and click Start.
The copy process begins. It starts slowly at first, building the burner speed up in increments until its happy with the ability of the burner. Although it shows the task time left as 24.37 minutes, it actually completed the task in 16.33 minutes as you will see by the next screen shot. It does it all at once, removing all the parts I chose to remove, decrypting the copyright protection, and shrinking the file size (unfortunately losing a small amount of quality) to fit on a normal single layer DVD5 disc. Want to spend a little extra? Buy a blank dual layer DVD9 disc and use that instead. Then the quality wont need reducing, and you can even leave all the extras in if you choose to. There is still a large price difference between single layer and dual layer discs though, from less than 50c for a normal DVD to at least $3 for a dual layer disc.
The copy process has finished, and the burner has ejected the original disc. There is a really annoying chiming noise once per second coming from my speakers. Remove the original disc and replace it with a blank single layer DVD5 disc. These can be found anywhere, and can be called DVD-R and DVD+R. These are just formats, in the old days it used to matter as some players would read -R but not +R and vice versa. These days, its not relevant, either kind is fine. If the discs you have are DVD-RW or DVD+RW, this means they are single layer rewritable discs. They can be erased and recorded on again many times, just like an old VHS cassette tape, but like VHS, the quality deteriorates till they eventually become unusable. This kind of disc is useful for transferring files between computers or locations, but has been largely superceded now by USB flash drives. They cost more, and I wouldn’t waste one on a DVD movie. If you have a dual layer DVD9 disc, you can use this disc too, though it will cost more. You’ll get better quality, though in this example not very much better.
After inserting a blank DVD, the program found it and immediately went into burn mode.
A single chime sounds when the process is complete. When I click on OK, the new copy of the DVD movie, without the extras and shrunk to fit a normal DVD, is ejected. Click on finish, and all resets ready for another movie to be inserted for copying, or X yourself out of there! This DVD then played perfectly in the household DVD player.