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Author Topic: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?  (Read 12322 times)

superboyac

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Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« on: April 30, 2009, 06:00:59 PM »
I don't want to turn this into a pirating topic, I'm just curious about the program AnyDVD.  I've never copied a commercial DVD, so I don't know how this all works.  All I know is that AnyDVD allows you to somehow bypass whatever copyright protection there is on a DVD so you can copy it, or make a backup.  My question is, I swear I know a bunch of people who copy DVD's and don't know anything about AnyDVD.  So what does it do exactly?

I've heard people using programs like DVD Shrink without AnyDVD and they are able to copy.  So i don't get it.  From what I understand, Anydvd doesn't do anything except run in the background and quietly remove any DVD restrictions.

So, can anyone clearly explain to me what the program does?


PS  The reason why I ask is because someone asked me about copying DVD's.  And being such a smartass software knowitall, I said I don't know because I've never done, but I've heard that you have to have this AnyDVD program to do it.  Someone else said they do it using just DVD Shrink.  And so forth...

f0dder

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 06:25:21 PM »
There's different levels of protection on DVDs.

Some have none at all, and those can be simply copied with whatever tool you like.

A lot use the CSS (Content Scrambling System) protection, which requires decryption in order to be copied. The CSS protection was pretty flawed, though, so there's multiple ways of breaking it. Used to take some time and specialized software, but is now built into standard stuff like DVD Shrink (iirc) and whatnot.

The evil media guys started using Klever Trikz in order to foil DeCSS programs (I assume it's the same kinds of standards-violation as with the copy protected audio CDs, that technically aren't CDs because they violate specs!), and this led to crap like ARccOS... but that was defeated as well, don't remember the history but it wouldn't surprise me if AnyDVD were some of the first to support it. The free version of DVDFab Platinum handles it as well.
- carpe noctem

mwb1100

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 06:32:10 PM »
My understanding is that DVDShrink circumvents CSS and some older additional copy protections.  However, since it has not be maintained for quite sometime, newer DVDs (with newer protections) do not work so well with DVDShrink.

AnyDVD is a drive filter, so it removes protections for any program which reads DVDs.

There are other DVD copy/backup which incorporate their own protection circumvention (such as DVDfab).  With those you would not need AnyDVD.

And there's no requirement that DVDs be copy-protected (though I think that the Blue-Ray licensing does require publihsers to encrypt BD releases - but I'm not certain about that).  I'm not sure what percentage are - I'm pretty sure that a large majority of major consumer DVD releases are protected at least with CSS.

superboyac

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 06:38:21 PM »
it sounds like AnyDVD is not completely necessary for all DVD's.  And since the people I've heard from don't know anything about AnyDVD, I assume that most DVD's can just be copied fine without AnyDVD.

4wd

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2009, 07:15:00 PM »
A free alternative to AnyDVD is DVD43 which works in the same way - not as updated as AnyDVD so any really recent copy protection scheme will probably confound it, (and basically there really is only one DVD copy protection that can be still be considered active and that's Sony's ARccOS as f0dder mentioned).

I still use RipIt4Me if I need to cop backup a DVD.

It's just a front end to DVDDecrypter but it was the first to actually scan through the structure of a DVD and modify the command structure to make the DVD jump to the first menu upon insertion into a player, (so you missed all the "forced" advertising).  It also mapped out what 'cells' weren't used, or were small and bypassed those, (eg. FBI warning, etc).

Sadly, not developed any more, (it was Australian and got stomped on by Sony IIRC), but I've yet to find something it won't backup.  The website was taken taken down but you can still find it out in the wild using a search.


Carol Haynes

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2009, 07:47:47 PM »
AnyDVD has another function too - it allows you to play other region DVDs without having to switch regions on your DVD drive.

There is a simpler (and probably cheaper) solution these day - just buy an extra DVD writer and set each to different regions!

The other thing with AnyDVD is allows you to copy DVDs at 100% quality - programs like DVDShrink and DVD43 shrink dual layer discs to single layer size by recoding the video content and so reducing the visual quality.

There are other alternatives for copying DVDs which work very easily - DVDFab is one. With DVDFab if you have two drives all you have to do is place the original in on drive and a blank in the other, click a button and go away for a cup of coffee. It also lets you shrink dual layer to single layer  and/or remove regional encoding if you like and if you buy the extra addon it will format video for your iPod or other media player.

I'm sure copying protected DVDs is illegal in most countries these days but I don't see anything morally wrong with protecting your investment by making a backup!

4wd

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2009, 08:24:58 PM »
programs like DVDShrink and DVD43 shrink dual layer discs to single layer size by recoding the video content and so reducing the visual quality.

DVD43 doesn't shrink anything - it's a filter, exactly the same as AnyDVD.

And you don't have to lose quality in DVD Shrink, just set the output size to DVD9 for a dual layer DVD and it will just copy the files sans encryption, (exactly the same as CloneDVD or DVDFab will do).

Quote
There are other alternatives for copying DVDs which work very easily - DVDFab is one. With DVDFab if you have two drives all you have to do is place the original in on drive and a blank in the other, click a button and go away for a cup of coffee. It also lets you shrink dual layer to single layer  and/or remove regional encoding if you like and if you buy the extra addon it will format video for your iPod or other media player.

DVDFab costs money if you want to do on-the-fly copying, IIRC.  The free version will only backup to a HDD directory.

Quote
I'm sure copying protected DVDs is illegal in most countries these days ...

Except possibly Finland where CSS was deemed 'ineffective' by the courts.

Then again, I just realised you said 'most' so ignore me  :-[
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 08:43:52 PM by 4wd »

Carol Haynes

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2009, 08:37:17 PM »
I didn't realise DVDShrink could do that (I suppose I got swept away by the title even though I used to use it) - but as others have pointed out, because of lack of development, it doesn't work with a lot of recent DVDs.

Grorgy

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2009, 09:25:44 PM »
That's one of AnyDVD's adavantages, it is in active development, there is a new release, most weeks, usually only minor changes for a specific problem but they keep churning them out.

Shades

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2009, 10:14:45 PM »
Carol is right about the shrinking process that DVDshrink uses.

There is a serious difference between encoding (the DVDshrink method) and transcoding video. A 'beefy' PC is required to get the job done in reasonable time. On my single core but hyper threading P4 3GHz 1GByte PC it takes about 15 minutes to 'shrink' a DVD9 to DVD5 while transcoding takes 2 hours easily. And don't expect to be able to do anything with it during the process!

However, degradation of the picture quality of the video is either not there or hardly noticeable, while the encoding process can show you some (not so) nice artifacts.  For more info about this and tools to work with look some time at the Afterdawn website and its forums (or is it fora...I always forget  :().

MilesAhead

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2009, 11:11:18 PM »
A good resource is VideoHelp

Most software is mirrored on their server.  They have lists of DVD players with "remote hacks" that magically turn region 1 players into region free. Forums for video programming, subtitles, conversions etc.. and each software tool has a space with a listing of guides for the tool, if available.


4wd

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2009, 01:13:26 AM »
Carol is right about the shrinking process that DVDshrink uses.

The only thing is, it's not just DVD Shrink that uses that process.

CloneDVD, DVDFab, Nero Recode and virtually every other 'all-in-one' type of DVD9 -> DVD5 shrinking program do it by just knocking the crap out of the bitrate for every frame.

I can't off-hand think of one that uses a MPEG2 encoder to do the job properly.

So why pay for software that does no better than what's available free?

MilesAhead

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2009, 01:23:22 AM »
@4wd check out DVD Rebuilder

There's a free version but if you have multiple core PC the Pro version is worth the $30.  On my quad core it opens 4 video encoders simultaneously. You can choose Rejig(a transcoder) HC Encode or QuEnc.  Also supports CCE but that encoder is not included.  This program does a nice job.  It breaks the video into pieces, reencodes each section with variable bitrate, then puts the pieces back together and muxes the audio back in.  The free version actually works but as might be expected, it's a lot slower since you can only launch one instance of the video encoder.  Plus the free version is older code and not as good at handling a VIDEO_TS folder that's been made by other tools.  Also it keeps logs. If you use the default 3 click mode, if things get interrupted you can resume the processing rather than back to square one.

The licensing is very reasonable.  It has a copy protection scheme, but the author's site tracks your email used in the install, and allows 5 simultaneous installs. After a time the installs "fall off the end of the queue" so unless you are installing on a bunch of machines you shouldn't have any problem if you need to reinstall it for whatever reason.


edit:  btw DVD Rebuilder is not a ripper.  It doesn't bypass copy protection.  You need a
VIDEO_TS folder on your HD to use it.  How you got it there the author doesn't want to know. :)

« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 01:37:54 AM by MilesAhead »

4wd

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2009, 01:40:50 AM »
@4wd check out DVD Rebuilder

You're right, I forgot that one.

I rarely re-encode MPEG2 to MPEG2, (in fact I can't remember the last time), mostly I go MPEG2 -> MPEG4.

However, both HC Enc and QuEnc don't seem to be updated that often.
I prefer to use ffmpeg, mencoder (which is ffmpeg based anyway) or Avidemux's LAVC encoder, all of which are multi-threaded so that kind of nullifies any advantage of DVD Rebuilder's method.

f0dder

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2009, 08:06:22 AM »
Shades: any program that converts from one compression format to another is doing transcoding. The important parameters are whether you're transcoding from a lossy source (you are, in the case of DVDs, MP3s, etc) and the quality level of the transcoder... DVDShrink was made for fast transcodes, and suffers a big quality hit compared to something like CCE (the expensive CinemaCraft Encoder).

But sure, DvdShrink can operate in "leave the compressed stream alone" mode, only doing decryption - and, optionally, removing alternate audio and video streams (who needs german audio and behind-the-scenes + fbi warnings?) without requiring transcoding :)
- carpe noctem

MilesAhead

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2009, 12:25:47 PM »
@4wd check out DVD Rebuilder

You're right, I forgot that one.

I rarely re-encode MPEG2 to MPEG2, (in fact I can't remember the last time), mostly I go MPEG2 -> MPEG4.

However, both HC Enc and QuEnc don't seem to be updated that often.
I prefer to use ffmpeg, mencoder (which is ffmpeg based anyway) or Avidemux's LAVC encoder, all of which are multi-threaded so that kind of nullifies any advantage of DVD Rebuilder's method.

I think you'll find there's a big difference in video frames processed per second via multiprocessing vs multithreading.  If you are curious try FAVC avi=>dvd conversion on a quadcore then run say DVD Flick on the same machine.

In any event DVD Rebuilder is for rebuilding DVDs.  For quick and dirty I like AutoGK going the other way.  Of course it depends what you need.  If you are blowing it up to show on a 50" HDTV then you probably are finicky about quality and artifacts.  I have 27" CRT tube type color TV with 1080i.  An .avi file made from an good looking HD source, as example, coded one pass at around 1800 kbps bitrate looks fine upconverted to 1080i.  On the DVDRB conversions I can now set HC to best quality mode since it doesn't take all day to run 2 passes.  FAVC has its quirks.  Sometimes it coughs on bitrate spikes.  But for doing it quick it kicks ass.

Here's another good resource:
http://forum.digital-digest.com/

Only thing is I think they were threatened with legal action so be sure to read the rules. If you say "I have a problem with DVD Shrink" then you will be told to see Rule 19 and that will be the end of it.  But there's lots of good info to be had there.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 12:27:50 PM by MilesAhead »

cyberdiva

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2009, 01:19:38 PM »
it sounds like AnyDVD is not completely necessary for all DVD's.  And since the people I've heard from don't know anything about AnyDVD, I assume that most DVD's can just be copied fine without AnyDVD.
At times I've backed up DVDs I own, and normally I use DVDShrink coupled with CopyToDVD.  DVDShrink will even remove some protections.  Most of the time, these two programs are all I need, but at times, DVDShrink will examine the disk and report, "Sorry, this disk is copy protected, I can't deal with it."  After that happened several times, I bought AnyDVD, and it has always managed to remove whatever was preventing DVDShrink from moving ahead.  AnyDVD works very quickly, after which I turn things over to DVDShrink, which makes an ISO file and then calls on CopyToDVD to do the burning.

I might note that if you're interested in removing protections from HD and BlueRay disks, you need a special (i.e., more expensive) version of AnyDVD, not the plain vanilla one I have.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2009, 01:51:06 PM »
There is a version of DVDSkrink which is integrated with ImgBurn - so you can reduce that to one step and forget CopyToDVD.

See http://forums.afterd...read_view.cfm/521885

cyberdiva

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2009, 03:30:43 PM »
There is a version of DVDSkrink which is integrated with ImgBurn - so you can reduce that to one step and forget CopyToDVD.
The integration seems the same as the integration I already have with DVDShrink and CopyToDVD.  When I use DVDShrink, it automatically sets things up so that it will use CopyToDVD to do the burning.  I also think I prefer CopyToDVD.  I used ImgBurn a few days ago with a problematic DVD that CopyToDVD wouldn't burn.  ImgBurn burned the DVD, but it turned out to be unreadable.  ImgBurn had simply made me a coaster for the beer I needed after this experience!  :(   Had I just stayed with CopyToDVD, I'd have been spared an hour's burning time and one coaster.

40hz

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2009, 05:00:26 PM »
I have...um... a friend who uses a freebie called DVDSmith Movie Backup. My ...um...friend been very satisfied with the results obtained.

This is strictly for copying a movie to your media center for...um...backup purposes.

You can't burn the copy to another disk with this particular product. But you wouldn't really be wanting to do that would you?

Link: http://www.dvdsmith.com/

 8)
« Last Edit: May 01, 2009, 05:02:24 PM by 40hz »

4wd

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #20 on: May 02, 2009, 03:03:51 AM »
And while we're speaking of doing naughty things with copyrighted material, I see Give Away Of The Day has a DVD copying program up for grabs  today :P

Innuendo

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #21 on: May 03, 2009, 04:08:50 PM »
There is a simpler (and probably cheaper) solution these day - just buy an extra DVD writer and set each to different regions!

In case anyone doesn't know, nobody needs to do this in most cases. For most DVD readers and DVD writers it is possible to replace the factory hard-coded region firmware (known as RPC2) with region-free firmware (known as RPC1).

A good source for RPC1 firmwares is http://www.rpc1.org. Personally, I never buy a drive unless an RPC1 firmware is available for it.

EDIT: And to answer the original poster, you absolutely do not need AnyDVD to copy commercial DVDs, but it makes one's life so much easier to use it instead of competing solutions. However, I am really not a fan of their new pricing structures.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 04:10:24 PM by Innuendo »

Midnight Rambler

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2009, 01:51:39 PM »
AnyDVD, like DVD Shrink, cracks DVD encryption.  DVD Shrink goes one step further in that it also "shrinks" DVD files down (from around 8.5GB to around 4.5GB) so one can burn the resultant .iso file onto one DVD with burner software like CopyToDVD or ImgBurn.

AnyDVD files ripped are usually around 8.5GB so are too large for one DVD. 

DVD Shrink has not been updated since 8/04 and fails to backup most recent titles. You can load AnyDVD and DVD Shrink will work again. Also try DVD43.

I use DVD Shrink along with CopyToDVD often.  On the very few newer DVDs that DVD Shrink can't decrypt, I use AnyDVD to decrypt DVD content, and then use DVD Shrink to "shrink" the file into a 4.5GB .iso file and then burn that .iso onto a DVD+R disk via CopyToDVD.

All three programs are well-written so coasters are rare.
Compaq Presario 5716 (98), Dell Dimension 4700 (XP), Lenovo ThinkPad T530 (Win 7).
« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 01:54:35 PM by Midnight Rambler »

Josh

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #23 on: May 06, 2009, 02:23:25 PM »
Personally, while I do use DVD Shrink, I no longer attribute any bugs encountered when using it to a possible bug in a newer application. Reason being, it has been 5 years since DVD Shrink has been updated. Plus, from my experience, I do notice a big quality loss when ripping dvd's using DVD Shrink. On my 46 inch samsung TV, the quality of the picture is degraded into a very blocky format. This is not the case for all movies, but a good majority which are designed on a DVD9 Disc (Dual Layer) will have this issue despite what I choose for the compression ratio.

DVD Shrink was good in it's day and I do wish someone would make a new version or application similar to it, but I no longer blame other applications for bugs which appear when using DVD Shrink.

MilesAhead

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Re: Is AnyDVD actually necessary for copying DVD's?
« Reply #24 on: May 06, 2009, 05:21:23 PM »
DVD Rebuilder also has ReJig, which is pretty fast.  I haven't done any test comparisons but just going by eye it feels to me like if your main move can be shrunk with shirnk and the compression is given as 85% or higher, it may look ok when played.  With ReJig I think you can go a bit lower.. maybe 70% or so, and get about the same quality.  DVD RB still goes through the same procedure of breaking the movie down into small sections, and putting them back together after the video is processed, even with ReJig as the encoder.

Of course if you have a film that's not watch once throw away then it may be worth using HC on best quality profile.  Most of what I've seen comes out looking very good.  If the disparity between the original size and the output is too high, you can notice a bit of a washed out look.  Like a photo that's been over air brushed.  But if the compression % is reasonable I've had DVDs that were tough to tell which was the shrinked or the shrinkee with Rebuilder.  I'm told you can get some really nice results if you mess around with the lumen settings in HC.  I'm not into it that heavy so I use the boilerplate "best" profile 2 pass.

« Last Edit: May 06, 2009, 05:23:39 PM by MilesAhead »