DVD Backup

Every year Americans spend more than $10 billion on movie tickets. They spend nearly the same amount to purchase their favorite movies on DVD or in a digital format. Although DVDs are more durable than tape-based data-storage devices, they can still be damaged by heat and scratches and are vulnerable to theft or loss. Digital files are at the mercy of our electronic devices and can be easily lost or corrupted. With that much money invested in digital entertainment, it only makes sense to also invest in DVD copy software to protect your valuable collection.

The first step to successfully creating a DVD backup is to know what you expect from your backup. Do you own digital downloads and wish to burn a hard copy to archive? Is this your child s favorite movie that is played six times a day and could cause a minor crisis if anything happened to it? Do you want a copy to take with you while you travel? Know your reasons for creating or burning a DVD, and then find the DVD copy software that best suits your purpose.

Although most computers today include software that can burn copies of music CDs, it is important to understand that creating a DVD backup does not use the same method. You cannot simply drag and drop your movie files to create a DVD backup copy. DVDs contain hidden files and copy-protection systems to prevent unauthorized digital copies from being created. Software that can decode these embedded programs is necessary, or the copies you make will be useless.

Most movie studios and production companies use digital rights management (DRM) systems to protect their products. These systems confuse the information transferred for storage on a DVD so that, without the appropriate software, users cannot make a functional DVD backup. Instead, the picture may appear scrambled, light and dark patches may appear at the top of the screen, or the DVD may not work at all. DVD backup software can bypass DRM systems, including the most common: Content Scramble System (CSS), regional restrictions and Sony's Advanced Regional Copy Control Operating Solution (ARccOS).

Once past these systems, the size of the digital file is the next piece of important information you need. Recordable DVDs are available in DVD-5 format that can hold just less than two hours of video. The DVD-9 format can hold twice as much information but is not available as a recordable disc. Your DVD backup software should have the ability to compress files from DVD-9 to the DVD-5 format.

The last important piece of information you should know about creating a DVD backup is that it is perfectly legal. You are not guilty of copyright infringement as long as you only copy discs or files that you own, create these copies to keep as backups or to play them on a mobile device, and only intend to keep the copies for personal use. Owning software that can bypass the DRM systems is also legal, although the right to create the software is still under scrutiny.

Now you know the basics for creating a DVD backup of your favorite entertainment. If your collection is important to you, protecting it and your investment is a smart thing to do.

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Denise Ferreira