Editor’s Note: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) forbids circumventing copy encryptions contained on commercial discs. The DMCA makes no exceptions for circumventing these encryptions for personal use. Top Ten Reviews does not endorse piracy or any other illegal activity.
As far as DVD rippers go, Prism Video Converter by NCH Software is about as basic as they come. It foregoes many of the components found in its competition, such as the ability to bypass copy protections, an integrated video editing interface and a comprehensive list of optimization profiles. Nevertheless, it offers enough utility to make an appearance in our review of the best DVD ripper software.
The first thing you should understand about Prism Video Converter is that it will not rip commercial discs. NCH Software makes a specific and clear point that you cannot break copy protections such as CSS and region codes. This limits Prism’s usefulness to homemade and unencrypted discs. So, if your intent is to make digital copies of your DVD library of Hollywood movies, you should try a different application. If you need to rip commercial discs, consider our top pick.
The most compelling aspect of this application is how easy it is to use. Its minimalist interface leaves little room for guesswork or a learning curve. In order to rip a DVD, all you need to do is click “Add DVD,” load the disc you want to rip, select the video format you wish to convert to and click “Convert.” This process is as simple as the best DVD rippers we reviewed, and is contained in an interface that is no more than a few hundred pixels high.
This application convers the basics when it comes to available file formats. All the usual suspects like MP4, MOV, ASI and MKV are available. If you dig into the program a bit, you’ll find that you can adjust technical details like codecs, bitrate and all the rest of it. The end result of a DVD rip is as good as any other ripper we reviewed. There’s nothing to complain about here.
Prism has the ability to optimize your DVD rip for mobile devices like tablets, gaming consoles and smartphones. However, the library of preprogrammed profiles is the shortest of any program on our side-by-side comparison chart. Apple devices are the most represented, Android users will find a couple of generic profiles for that operating system and gaming system profiles favor Sony and don’t include the latest generation of consoles.
While you can adjust many of the technical aspects of a rip, Prism does not have a single place where you can fine-tune a video before you convert it. However, it does come bundled with Video Pad, which is NCH’s free video editing software. Video Pad is an adequate editor, but it is no replacement for an integrated tool that is intuitive for the average user.
Prism is a simple, utilitarian application that covers the fundamentals of DVD ripping. It’s easy to use and understand for the average user and provides just enough customization options to satisfy the technically minded. However, it lacks the ability to rip copy-protected discs, and most all of the other features we look for are limited when compared to the competition.