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I am under the assumption that between a MPEG-2 file and a h.264 file of the same quality, the h.264 file will be smaller; if this assumption is wrong please correct me.

I love extra features on DVD's and I currently rip them to my hard drive as a VIDEO_TS folder so I can use my computer as a media jukebox and also would like to preserve the extra features. However I would like to shrink the file size if possible to save space so I can have more videos.

I have seen many questions and answers talking about converting a DVD in to a h.264 format .avi file, but I have not seen any that talk about converting the DVD to a smaller format but keeping the DVD menus.

Is there any set of tools that could do this?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The menus are not actually video, they are essentially rudimentary programs: selecting items in the menus they instructs the DVD player to play the selected video which is mpeg, as you note.

Also, you are correct in stating that h.264 is a more efficient video file encoding system. The trade-off is that it takes more processing power to convert the h.264 file to a viewable video, which is why these more efficient formats have only become standardized as average computer power has grown.

Regarding converting your DVDs and keeping the menus intact, there are very limited options, some requiring more work that others.

The simplest method is to use any of the plethora of DVD ripping tools that simply create a complete 1-for-1 copy of your entire disk, often resulting in an ISO file (which is just a digital file copy of an entire disk, no compression). This results in no file size savings, the resulting file will be just as big as the entire DVD but will have all the features.

The more complex method is to convert each video from the DVD into a h.264 file and then just keep them, with descriptive names, in the same folder on your drive. This will get you the space savings but there is no way to encode the DVD "interactive features" this way. As long as you only want the videos and can skip the games, this will work and may be the best method.

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I currently decrypt and just leave the Video_TS files on my hard drive. I was worried there would be no option other than to rip and leave descriptive names. –  Scott Chamberlain Dec 23 '11 at 15:58

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