Recommend a simple and useful DVD movie/DVD video backup/copy program

My 3 years old son has a special interest in cartoons. <The Lion KING> is especially his favorite. I just can’t understand why kids keep on watching a same movie time and time again without feeling boring. What exactly freaked me out is that he even plays with one DVD disc when watching another. Now, many of my favorite DVD movie discs are seriously scratched. Is there something that can help me copy my newly bought DVDs to new DVD discs so that I can keep the original DVDs and just watch the copied DVD disc? If so, all my troubles and wonderings will be gone away.

I did a Google search on the internet and found several DVD backup/copy software. I tried some while and found ImTOO DVD Copy Express is the easy-to-use, simple, useful copy DVD software for your DVD to DVD copy. Here, I would like to share the program with my friends.

1.Introduction to DVD movie/DVD video disc protection schemes

1.1 DVD Region Codes

The DVD world is divided into six major geographical regions, with two additional regions reserved for specialized use. To keep it simple, this means that DVD players and DVDs are labeled for operation on within a specific geographical region in the world. For example, the U.S. is in region 1. This means that all DVD players sold in the U.S. are made to region 1 specifications.
Movies are released in theaters in different parts of the world at different times throughout the year. That summer blockbuster in the U.S. may end up being the Christmas blockbuster overseas. If that occurs, the DVD version of the movie may be out in the U.S. while it is still showing in theaters overseas. In order to preserve the financial integrity of the theatrical distribution of a particular film, so comes the DVD region coding.
The geographical regions are as follows:
REGION 1 – USA, Canada
REGION 2 – Japan, Europe, South Africa, Middle East, Greenland
REGION 3 – S.Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Parts of South East Asia
REGION 4 – Australia, New Zealand, Latin America (including Mexico)
REGION 5 – Eastern Europe, Russia, India, Africa
REGION 6 – China
REGION 7 – Reserved for Unspecified Special Use
REGION 8 – Reserved for Cruise Ships, Airlines, etc…
REGION 0 or REGION ALL – Discs are uncoded and can be played Worldwide, however, PAL discs must be played in a PAL-compatible unit and NTSC discs must be played in an NTSC-compatible unit.

1.2 CSS Protection

The CSS (Content Scrambling System) is the encryption method used in commercial DVD production to prevent DVD data from being copied. The sole purpose of the CSS is to protect copyrights by preventing the pirating of DVDs. Insert an original DVD to the DVD drive, we can only see the menus and records of the DVD from the file browser, but have no way to copy them to the local disc, especially the video files *.vob. The reason is that the authorized receiver of the video file stream is not hard disc but MPEG decryption engine. To copy DVD movie to hard disc is indeed very difficult. Even you can copy DVD movie to hard disc, it cannot be played as it is scrambled. Therefore, due to CSS protection, home DVD players or PC DVD players must have ability of encrypting in the process of playing in order to play the CSS protected DVDs.

  1. Introduction to ImTOO DVD Copy Express – powerful copy DVD software

2.1 Download, install and run ImTOO DVD Copy Express.

Very simple steps, I am sure you can make it. Or, if you are in my situation, I am afraid that you need to buy several copies of DVD one time.
Comments: Super solid and metallic interface! Popular entertainment software style! Few Controls! The whole installing process only needs three steps to finish! Very applicable to most users!

2.2 Insert the movie DVD disc; set parameter.
Insert the DVD. The program will detect DVD automatically. In the display area of the main interface, it shows three kinds of info:

*Copy mode
Copy full disc mode: Copy the Full DVD, including all titles.
Copy main movie: Copy the longest size movie.
!!To raise added value from a DVD, the movie makers add some extra titles to DVDs, for example: film clips, Multilanguage audio track, multiple language subtitles, different angles effect, multiple ends, and backstage sidelight and so on.
!! We can either choose copy full disc or copy main movie.
Show the source DVD info, including the location of the DVD, duration and capacity. If the program is under Main Movie Copy mode, it will show duration and capacity of the longest movie.
Display the location of the target DVD and the copy mode (Support ISO, DVD folder, DVD burning drive).
If your computer is not equipped with any DVD burning drive, you can choose target as ISO or DVD folder. Use an outside DVD burner to copy them. Or, you can first back the ISO of DVD folder to a movable hard disk for future copying without inserting a source DVD again.

There is a litter brown arrow on the right panel of the main interface. At first glance, I have no idea of its use. Click it, a setting widow slipped out like a drawer. One can set languages, skins, temporal file folder and DVD info here.
Support Chinese Simplified, Chinese traditional, English, Japanese and German.
Two skin styles supported. You can change it by editing General Setting.
*Temporal file folder
It is where temporal files are posted to in the process of copying. When copy is finished, the temporal files folder will be automatically deleted. However, it is recommended to choose a big capability disc to post the temporal files to avoid any error in the copying process.
It is the volume of the source DVD which you are going to copy. It is read only. Just ignore it.
*Audio, Subtitle
You can select Audio track and subtitles in the process of copying.
!! In the specification of the DVD designation, at most 32 kinds of subtitles and 8 language audio tracks are allowed to put in. When playing the DVD, one can select different subtitles to their like. Subtitles normally include Simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and English and so on. If you are copying a foreign movie which belongs to Region 6, you can select Chinese audio track. It’s very convenient for you.
*Include menu
To copy DVD menu or not is up to you. If you check “Include menu” and “Slip menu, play main movie”, the burned DVD will include DVD menu and play directly the main movie instead of sticking at the main menu. Press the menu on the remote control, it will stop play and directly skip to main menu.

Comments: Most people are not familiar with DVD knowledge, and have some difficulties in setting the parameters. In this case, it is enough to just keep the setting as default. The copy DVD software is very simple and thoughtful. I think that is why the developer calls the software “express”. I am not professional. The software just suits me best.

2.3 Start to burn.
Parameter is set. Then Click start button to accomplish your DVD to DVD copy. Only to have a cup of coffee on your comfortable sofa, the program will automatically copy for you.
Do you notice that fire is on the start button? I finally realize why people also call cloning DVD as burning DVD.

  1. Copy Experience

3.1 Configuration of my computer
IBM Thinkpad T143
Hard disc: 80G
Memory: 1G
DVD driver: SAMSung outside DVD burner

See all my equipment below:

3.2 CSS protection decryption test
Based on the DVD protection scheme knowledge we got to learn in my first part, in my opinion, whether a DVD movie copy/backup program is super or not, the first and foremost standard is that it can decrypt various protected schemes.

Note!!The copied DVD from a protected DVD shall only be used by yourself or I am afraid the law will not let you pass.

The following is my test:
My DVD drive is Region 1
DVD Movie:
REGION 1: <The Lion KING>
<The Lion KING>is also REGION 1. So, there is no region code decryption. However, to make sure, it is better to have a check.
Region 2: <Wind Strawberries>
Region 3: <Breakfast at Tiffany’s>
Region 6: <Infernal Affairs>

Sorry for that I do not have DVD movies from Region 4 and Region 5. If any friend has one, and he/she is interested in the testing, please do share the results with me. Thank you very much in advance!

All DVD movies can be copied successfully. It is really nice copy process!

*Decrypt the CSS
Check the mentioned original DVDs with AnyDVD, one can see they are all with CSS.
All DVD movies can be copied successfully. It is said that a new protected type has come out. It is yet to be check whether ImTOO DVD Copy Express can decrypt or not.

3.3 D9, D5 video disc copy test

Source DVD:
Region 1: <The Lion KING>
Duration: 4 hours 17 minutes 17 seconds
Size: 6.89GB
Copy Mode: Full Disc Mode
Target: D9( DVD-R DL) one time burning
Parameters: Default
Result: The copied DVD can play smoothly. It has the same play effect with the source DVD.

Source DVD:
Region 1: <The Lion KING>
Duration: 4 hours 17 minutes 17 seconds
Size: 6.89GB
Copy Mode: Full Disc Mode
Target: D9( DVD-R DL) one time burning
Parameters: Default
Result: The video is under kind of compression when copying from D9 DVD to D5 DVD. The play effect is little bit inferior to the source DVD. When images are change dramatically, there is small mosaic effect occurred, say some kind of like small raining. But it does not affect the whole watching.

Source DVD: <Life is beautiful>
Region 1
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes 40 seconds
Size: 3.31GB
Copy Mode: Full Disc Mode
Target: D9( DVD-R DL) one time burning
Parameters: Default
Result: Exactly the same with the source DVD. There must be problem with your computer if the copied DVD and the source DVD are in different play effect. Check your computer.
3.4 Other DVD disc types testing
Burning DVD types:
All are supported!

3.4 Full DVD movie copy time test

Source DVD: <Life is beautiful>
Region 1
Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes 40 seconds.
Size: 3.31GB
Copy Mode: Full Disc Mode
Target: D9( DVD-R DL) one time burning
Parameters: Default
Time: Detect source DVD: 15 minutes, 28 seconds.
Copied to target DVD: 20 minutes, 30 seconds

3.5 Play effect comparison between burned DVD and source DVD

D9->D9 and D5->D5 are copying directly from source DVD, there is no compression process. Of course, the play effect is not affected.

D9->D5: Compression process a little bit affect the burned DVD video. In <The Lion KING>, there is little mosaic effect occurred in the scene when the little lion is fast running.