You will need a subscription to Netflix or Blockbuster or friends with movies that need backed-up. You will also need a dvd burner, which they are relatively cheap and they are also getting faster. Forget about burning to dual layer because the media is very expensive and the discs cost about $10-12 dollars a piece. It would be a good idea to by a dvd burner that supports dual layer burning so that when the price drops you with have that capability in the future. Burning to DVD-R is the best idea because they are compatible with the most dvd players. Check with your dvd player manufacturer for compatibility before you decide to write to DVD-R or DVD+R.
Since most commercial DVD movies are encrypted you will need software to decrypt the copy protection. There are a few freeware solutions out there and my favorite is called DVD Decrypter. Google the name of the software and you can easily find it for download. Another program you will need is called DVD Shrink. Most commercial DVD’s are dual layer and about 9-10 gig in size. DVD-R and DVD+R only hold 4.7 gig so you need to use DVD Shrink to size it down to fit on a disc. Google DVD Shrink and you will find it available for download. If you don’t want the quality of your movies reduced by compression you can always cut out extra languages and extras, then re-author the dvd to fit on a 4.7 disc. DVD Shrink will compresses the movie and write it to an ISO image. Open the ISO with your DVD burning software and write the image to a DVD.
I like to store all of the ISO’s on my computer in case I want to make copies for my pets. By storing the ISO’s on my computer I can also watch them without a disc. I just use Dameon Tools to mount the image on a virtual drive, and I can watch them that way.
In the future I would like to build a media pc that has two 200 gig hard drives. I could store all of my movies on the hard drives and feed the signal to my TV through an ATI All in Wonder Card. I could also use the media pc for recording TV shows and playing music. There are all kinds of ideas I have but I just don’t have the money to do it right now.
Backing up can be lots of fun, so go ahead and rip off some movies. The motion picture association will love you and you will make lots of new friends.
I do not condone the illegal copying of music or movies. I do however condone making backups of everything I own. If you decide to backup movies that you rent, please do so at your own risk.