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Up until now, there have basically been 2 choices available for backing up an entire DVD-9 to a DVD-/+R. You could either use a laundry list of programs, probably including some with a fairly steep learning curve and maybe some that cost thousands of dollars, or you could use a 1 Click program that doesn't give you the same quality as more complex methods, but doesn't require hundreds of hours of reading and experimentation or thousands of dollars worth of software. With DVD Rebuilder and CCE Basic (and a couple of other free programs) you can now get quality that rivals the difficult/expensive methods while keeping the simplicity of the 1 Click software.
How Good Can It Be?
One of the advantages of DVD Rebuilder is that it allows you to use Cinema Craft Encoder, generally considered the best MPEG-2 encoder available, to re-encode video. If you've done some research on the subject, you may have thought it would be nice to use CCE, except for 2 things. First of all, everybody knows CCE SP is a $2000 program, and if you consider how many DVDs you could replace for that much money, buying it doesn't make much sense. What many people don't know is that there's another version of CCE that costs less than $100 ($58 as of the writing of this guide). It doesn't have all the advanced features of CCE SP, but it uses the same encoding engine. I've done many backups with both programs, and except in cases of extreme compression (where some of CCE SP's advanced features become important), I can't tell the difference. The second barrier for a novice is complexity. You may have downloaded a trial version, looked at all the options, and decided there was too much to learn. This is where DVD Rebuilder really shines. The only thing you need to know about CCE is how to install it. Rebuilder will do everything else for you.
Things To Remember
DVD Rebuilder is currently beta software. While it already works great in most cases, there are still a few bugs that need fixed and there are some discs that it can't backup yet. As of right now, DVD Rebuilder can't handle multiple angles. In English, that means that if you have a DVD with different versions of the same movie that have the same aspect ratio but some of the scenes are different, it probably can't back it up yet. This includes many Disney DVDs. There are also a lot of advanced options that haven't been added to the program yet. Fortunately, none of this should stop you from backing up most DVDs, just be aware that it is beta software (and donation-ware) so there are no guarantees.
Software Used In This Guide
Written by: Rich "vurbal" Fiscus
Last updated: 25 May 2007
Last updated: 25 May 2007