Archiving TV and Movie DVD's


I’m wanting to archive DVD’s and save them to a hard disk drive. But to save space on the HDD, I want to compress the DVD content as much as possible without loss of data.

Presently I’m using (AnyDVD, where required) plus IsoPuzzle to make copies of my DVD’s. I’m using IsoPuzzle as some DVD’s are failing/faulty and I want to retrieve as much data from the DVD’s as possible. This process results in an ISO file.

So, I now wish to compress the ISO files to much smaller files before archiving them to the HDD.

The file compression MUST be lossless! The resulting compressed file name doesn’t matter either.

I’ve tried using 7-zip, Nanozip, Razor, xz, and zcm, and tried using Precomp and Pzlib as file pre-processors to help improve compression when using one of the main file compressors. So far the best compressed result is when using Nanozip by itself, but this only results in about 10% reduction in file size, I’d like better compression (nearer 40% or more reduction in file size).

There are some extreme file compressors such as PAQ8PX, Emma, and Cmix, but these literally can take a day or more to compress large files! So these are not really convenient. Ideally compression should take no more than about an hour or so.

Can anyone suggest a suitable file compressor, and/or the use of a combination of compressors to create much smaller archives of DVD TV and movie content please?

Thank you!


Video doesn’t compress very well with the programs you’ve mentioned. You’ve already found that out, and you’re not going to be able to do this task in the manner you want.

This is the reason why others before you have turned to re-encoding DVD’s using lossy codecs. DVD’s can be reduced in size, and even retain menus and extras if you wish, but not without losing some visual quality. The best program I know for reducing the size and retaining the DVD format is DVD Rebuilder, using the built in HC encoder.

Most people abandon the DVD format and convert the main movie to MKV files these days, using something like Handbrake or Vidcoder and either the H264 or H265 codecs. I haven’t used H265 much, it takes more processing power and time, though it does offer some advantages in output size. H264 is good enough for me, and visual quality is superb, though not technically lossless.

Your approach is not a workable solution.


I was hoping not to have to re-encode to reduce the size of the videos, it is starting to complicate things.

The ideal situation would be to compress the DVD contents (using a single file compressor) and archiving the compressed files until later. The compressed files would then be decompressed and a DVD burned when required.

I have DVD Rebuilder and also have HandBrake. Using HandBrake I did a couple of test re-encodings of a VOB file using H264 and then H265 codecs to produce MP4 files. The MP4 files were massively smaller than the VOB (MPEG2) files! But the problem is you can’t apparently rebuild DVD’s using MP4 video files, the video files HAVE to be in MPEG2 format I believe.

In theory I could convert all VOB files into MP4 files and archive those converted files. But if I wanted to remake/rebuild DVD’s I would then have to re-encode those MP4 files back to MPEG2 video files again, and then rebuild DVD’s! A very time consuming process!!


As I said, most have abandoned the DVD format. If you make an MP4 or MKV file out of the main movie using Handbrake + H264, it is easy to convert that type of file to Blu Ray format using tsMuxeR, without losing any more visual quality, since tsMuxeR will not re-encode anything. The downside is that you have no menu doing this, and tsMuxeR doesn’t check to see if the input files are actually compliant to Blu ray specifications, so it might not work in a stand alone Blu ray player. They will almost certainly work in a computer player, like VLC or Media Player Classic Home Cinema.

If Blu ray is an option as a final format, you can make a Blu ray from DVD input and have a crude menu using BD Rebuilder. Output will be compliant to Blu ray specs using this program.


Thanks for the comments.

I don’t use Blu Ray as I neither have the writers/players and don’t have any Blu Ray disks.

So at this time I’m still “stuck” with using DVD.

Most of the DVD’s I’m wanting to archive are of TV series. So if “rebuilding” DVD’s from archived MP4 files, the rebuilding software has to support MP4 (or maybe convert to MPEG2 first?) and allow rebuilding of all episode/chapter selection menus.

Any suggestions on software for “converting” and rebuilding DVD’s from MP4 (or maybe from MKV) files?


I am not aware of any program that will rebuild the menus and retain chapter points and subtitles when working with MP4 files made from DVD input. Nothing like that exists, and for good reason; when you convert to MP4, you are discarding all that information and working only with the main movie, or with individual episodes from a DVD.

Given the constraints you’ve listed, I think your best bet is to continue to save your DVD’s as complete ISO’s, with no compression applied. Buy more storage drives if you are running short of space.


I know XMedia Recode can preserve chapters and subtitles when it comes to recompressing into MKV files. Since MP4 also supports chapters, you can probably do something similar. IDK if MP4 also supports subtitle streams, though.



Have you tried using the bzip2 algorithm? The 7-Zip program can use it, and it supposedly does a better job than 7z, although I have no idea how it compares to Nanozip.

PS: With most compression algorithms, you’ll get slightly better compression results if you only use one thread, although it will take significantly longer. One workaround is to simply run multiple compression processes at once, with each one compressing a separate ISO.