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IMPORTANT: Newer Versions of this Process


NOTE: This guide, while still working, has not been updated since 2004. However, we do have newer, more complete and more comprehensive guides for using DVD Shrink available right now.

How to copy DVDs with DVD Shrink

This newer guide shows you how to copy a full DVD (movie/episodes, menus, extras etc.) while also taking into account that problems can occur with newer DVDs. It also shows how to trim possibly hundreds of megabytes from a motion menu.

How to copy DVDs (Movie Only) with DVD Shrink

This newer guide shows you how to copy just the main feature (i.e. movie) of a DVD and doesn't include the extras or menus. This generally leads to higher quality. It also takes into account that problems might occur with newer DVDs and shows you how to get around it.

Hopefully one of the above guides will help you to make perfect backups. If you want to learn how to do other cool things, like copying two full movies to one DVD disc with DVD Shrink, then check out our Guide Section.


The size of the DVD


After DVD Shrink has finished analyzing the disc, take a look at the green bar at the top of the screen. If it looks like the one shown to the right, i.e. a part of the bar is grey, and the size is less than 4,464 MB, you are processing a DVD-5 disc, which fits directly on a single DVD±R disc.

If at any point a part of the bar turns red, it means that even after processing the movie won't fit on a DVD±R(W) disc. This should not normally happen, if you follow this guide and don't go about adjusting compression settings manually.

At the lower left part of the screen you can see a preview window of the selected title. You can use to view the title and listen to a specific audio track. The preview window can be very helpful indeed when determining what to lose and what to keep.


Choose what to keep


To the left of the screen you can see the structure of the DVD. You can navigate it like any other tree structure in Windows, and adjust settings for each section and title separately.

First click on the Main Movie and take a look at the percentage you can see to the left. It shows the ratio of the compressed video versus the original video. You want to keep the percentage as high as possible or in other words to keep the compression as low as possible. The smaller the extra compression is the less compression artifacts will appear in the backup copy.

The only way to increase the percentage is leaving off unwanted features of the movie. The most space-consuming features are the audio tracks and the extras. Since we are backing up the whole movie, we won't be leaving out extras. The only remaining option is to strip audio and subtitle tracks.

In this case we want to leave out everything but the English AC3 5.1 audio track, and the subtitles. Dropping the English DTS and commentary track, and the Finnish audio track saves about one gigabyte (1,000 MB) of space to be used for the video. That increases the compression percentage from 43% to 63% and significantly increases the video quality.


Adjusting the extras


Repeat the same process for the extras by clicking the + sign next to the Extras item in the DVD structure tree. If some of the extras are taking up considerable amounts of space (eg. over 1,000 MB), you should consider manually adjusting the compression ratio to free up more space for the main movie.

To do this select Custom Ratio from the dropdown in the Video Compression Settings to the left. Adjust the slider to increase the compression -- the smaller the percentage, the higher the compression, and hence the smaller the space required.

In this case the extras take up only 100 MB of the disc, so the automatic compression will do just fine.

Table of Contents

  1. 1. Preparing for backup
  2. 2. Removing unwanted features
  3. 3. Encoding the movie
Written by: Jari Ketola
Last updated: