The skinny: I recieved quite a few DVDs for Christmas, and I want to create backups on my computer in regular video format. I've been hunting down various file conversion programs and trying them out.
DivX is nice, but converting to video takes ages, and the end result is a file that is...well, it's effing huge, is what it is. Nero Recode also works great, but that's only when it doesn't crash. TMPGEnc also works well...but only for as long as the mpeg-2 trial period lasts.
For all of you video junkies out there, what programs do you recommend for converting video files into formats like .mpeg, .mp4, or .avi?
And please, hurry. Peoples are already attempting to steal my DVDs.