How to Transfer DVD Video to Computer

By Ray Dallas

Transferring DVD video to the computer for editing or simply for back-up storage or playback involves converting from the original file format into one that is easily recognized by common computer media players. There is plenty of software available in order to accomplish that, and most software available allows a free trial download. No complicated equipment is required to accomplish this task as most computers are equipped with all of the necessary capabilities. It may not be possible to transfer video from certain write-protected DVDs as there is special encoding.

Things You'll Need

  • DVD
  • Computer
  • DVD-Readable drive
  • Video conversion software

Step 1

Download video conversion software. There are plenty of companies offering software that will convert the .vob files (Video Object) on the DVD which contain the video source. .vob files are simply complex versions of .mpeg files that can contain video, but also titles and menu screens. One such program is Easy Video Convert which allows the conversion of .vob files into .mov (Quicktime) files. (See Resources) This is useful because .mov files are accepted by most video editing programs, such as Final Cut or MovieMaker, and they also can play on Quicktime Player.

Step 2

Put the DVD in the computer's DVD drive. If the DVD automatically pulls up a video player, exit from the video player. Find the source folder for the DVD. Sometimes this will be on the Start menu, and it can always be found on the My Computer menu. Open the DVD drive manually by double-clicking to view the contents of the DVD.

Step 3

Create a folder on the desktop. Once the DVD menu is open, there should be at least two folders: one that says VIDEO_TS, and another that says AUDIO_TS. Open the VIDEO_TS folder. Inside will be a number of .BUP and .IFO files as well as the .vob files that you need. Highlight all of the .vob files and drag them to a folder on the desktop where you can find them easily.

Step 4

Open the video conversion software and pull down the "File" menu to import those files from the folder you created. Convert the files to a playable format (i.e., .mov, .mpeg) on the computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most often, VTS_01_1.VOB is the file with the majority of the video content, but sometimes the other .vob files have relevant content as well, which is why it is best to convert all of the files and then delete the ones you don't need.
  • When using the video conversion software, be sure you know which directory the program saves the new files to so that you may easily find them.