Convert DVD to AVI

Category: Video

I want to copy a DVD video to my hard drive and edit it. But the file is HUGE. How can I convert a DVD movie to compressed AVI format?

Convert DVD to avi

How to Convert DVD Video to AVI Format

As you have probably already discovered, although you can "rip" a DVD free of its copy-protecton and copy it to your hard drive, this technique has some drawbacks. In its native uncompressed form, DVD data takes up a lot of disk space; 4 to 5 gigabytes for a typical movie. Further, DVD data is stored on disc in a complex assortment of obscurely-named files, making it difficult to make copies or transfer a DVD movie over the Internet. Finally, you can't easily edit a DVD movie in its native format. These drawbacks are overcome to a great extent by converting DVD data to AVI format.

AVI stands for Audio Video Interleave format. It stores data in a single file that you can name as something informative and memorable. It also compresses data, removing some bytes to save space at the cost of some degradation of video/audio quality. AVI is a well-established standard supported by many video players and editing programs.

DVDx is a free, open source application widely used to rip a DVD and convert it to AVI format. You can download it from, a repository of open source software. But first, you need to install the codecs that enable reading and writing of DVD and AVI data. AutoGK is a free package that installs the necessary codecs for you.

With codecs and DVDx installed, run the DVDx program. When DVDx loads and user interface windows appears, insert your DVD disk in the drive. If the native DVD files have been copied to your hard drive, you specify their location and use them instead of the disk.

Select the file VTS_01_0.IFO to load the DVD file structure data and you're reading to rip and convert.

DVDx supports MPEG and other compressed video file formats as well as AVI. You can specify the format to which you want to convert the DVD data; the compression ratio; the resolution (size) of the converted file frames; and other specifications.

Finally, select a destination folder and filename for your converted DVD and let 'er rip.

If you get the error, "DVD drive could not be locked," download the ASPI drivers from Adaptec and install them. Then select "use ASPI" in the DVDx options.

Mac users can download Mac DVD Ripper for OS X. It rips and converts DVD disks to AVI and many other file formats.

RippedWire is a graphical user interface for the HandBrake Linux DVD ripper and converter software. It makes ripping and converting DVDs easy for Linux users who are not comfortable with the command line.

While ripping and converting DVD data is legal for making personal backup copies of DVDs you have purchased, it should not be done to make multiple copies for free or profitable distribution. That would be a violation of copyright law, which can result civil and criminal penalties.

Do you have something to say about converting DVD to AVI? Post your comment or question below...

Ask Your Computer or Internet Question

  (Enter your question in the box above.)

It's Guaranteed to Make You Smarter...

AskBob Updates: Boost your Internet IQ & solve computer problems.
Get your FREE Subscription!


Check out other articles in this category:

Link to this article from your site or blog. Just copy and paste from this box:

This article was posted by on 5 May 2010

For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.

Prev Article:
Digital Signatures

The Top Twenty
Next Article:
Business Email Marketing

Most recent comments on "Convert DVD to AVI"

Posted by:

05 May 2010

Dumb question: will the above programs work to convert AVI to DVD? My (older) television and my PC haven't cross-pollinated yet, and I don't expect them to try, so any AVI files I have can only be watched on my PC. I'd love to be able to burn them and watch them in my comfy living room.


Posted by:

05 May 2010

How do you get the dvd to your hard drive to begin with? do you just do a straight copy/paste?

EDITOR'S NOTE: If using DVDx, you can access the DVD contents directly - no need to copy to hard drive.

Posted by:

Peter Huber
06 May 2010

Bob.... Whenever time permits, take a look at Format Factory. It's well done and also a freebie.



Posted by:

06 May 2010

You may try this all-in-one dvd converter, I always use it to convert DVD to MPEG and AVI video, my friends recommend it to me. It's safe and works pretty well for me, it supports copyright protected DVD, and here is a step by step guide about how to use it
Hope it helps. Contact me if you have any other question

Posted by:

06 May 2010

For Joan, I am not an expert in this area but I do know that there is a program, ConvertXtoDVD which can be used to take the AVI file and convert it and burn it to a DVD. This is basically a one step process. I have done hundreds of times. That software is really great for burning the AVI to a DVD which will play on virtually any DVD player. Hope this answers your concern.

Posted by:

08 May 2010

I thought just ripping a DVD was in itself illegal. Including making a backup copy.

Posted by:

08 May 2010

Free full featured ripper/converter to most any format from most any format including your 3G phone and iPod. "Quick Media Converter" @
Portable ver. available too.

Posted by:

11 May 2010

If I RIP a file using a particular CODEC, will the computer that plays it back also need that same CODEC? Or, once RIPped, is the CODEC no longer necessary.

If playback CODEC indeed is required, is/are there any good to choose that are widely out there?

Posted by:

11 May 2010

Just thought I would mention Handbrake and open source project (PC,MAC,LINUX) that you can download at This is an open source project that has a lot of option for encoding dvd material to more compressed formats (iPhone and portable devices). It does not use .avi as it is an ageing format but supports .m4v (aka .mp4) and .mkv.

Posted by:

11 May 2010


There are stand alone DVD players made by Toshiba and Philips (to name just two)that play avi and divx formats. You can get one for about 40 bucks with a little looking. I've had a Toshiba for about 3 years that works very well.

However, I have found that hooking an old PC to the tv is a lot easier and requires no fussing about with conversions or codecs. VLC plays everything I've thrown at it, plays it well and looks great on the 42 inch flatscreen.

Posted by:

11 May 2010

Thought I'd add my $0.02. I tried DVDx and had bad luck with it, but then I was trying to put MacGyver on an ipod at the time. I ended up liking a two program combo. First was DVD Decrypter which was declared bad and stopped, but you can still get and use. This program simply takes the raw files off a DVD stripping region codes and most protection as it goes:

The second is Handbrake which smoothly makes media files, mostly mkv or mp4 as I recall (the new H.264 format is wonderful). It also lets you adjust all sorts of things along the way, but has a simple default that works well.

I've mostly used it to convert my wife's art lessons to computer format to fit on her netbook so she can watch them while painting, but they seem to work just fine for most any movie.

A cool use I've found is taking a Japanese Region DVD and converting it to Region 1 (usa). This seems a bit spotty and depends on the physical DVD hardware, my work machine works great. DVD Decrypt will try to de-encode it to regular DVD files on your hard drive. Then you can simply use a DVD burning software (such as Nero) to make a DVD disk and viola you have a Region 1 exact copy of your DVD that you can play on your regular player.

Of course you can also then load up handbrake and turn the decoded files into mkv or mp4 files, it's all up to you. You can probably even do this process with a US disk to make an exact copy of it, but I haven't had a need where I have several Japanese Music CDs with bonus DVDs that I want to watch.

I've also used handbrake to create mkv files from recorded VHS that was processed through a USB device. I've yet to perfect the process, but that has more to do with the VCR and USB device. I'm sure I'm not the only one with hundreds of rare out of print VHS tapes that I don't want to loose.

Posted by:

12 May 2010

The last time I checked copying copy protected material of any kind was illegal because of the DMCA. That being said I recommend K9Copy in Ubuntu Linux for copying DVDs in uncompressed and compressed files that make the DVD-VIDEO compatible files small enough to fit on a 4 gigabyte DVD and burning it to a DVD-VIDEO disc in an application called K3B which can burn in any CD or DVD format I know of. I haven't tried it but you can also use K9Copy to copy a DVD and encode it to DivX, XviD or a lot of other compressed video formats if you want to store the DVD on your hard drive compressed to keep from using as much space on your hard drive. If K9Copy won't do the job WinFF will copy uncompressed DVD-VIDEO copied from the DVD using K9Copy. If none of that works you probably need to install ubuntu-restricted-extras and then open the terminal. Type into the terminal this:

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/

enter your password and perhaps answer a few yes or no questions if necessary. Then you should be able to play, rip, encode video and DVDs as well as play about any format of audio or video files that you come across with about any media player and most of your browser plugins in firefox will be ready to play media with on the web as well. Its a lot easier to install these codecs in Ubuntu and you don't have to pay a dime for DivX support or for the operating system/distro or the DVD burning software.

Posted by:

17 Jul 2010

Thanks for article. I use MediaConverter123 for DVD conversion, actually I got it to convert my audio files but found it converts VOB form DVD as well. Maybe you'll check it out.

Posted by:

12 Aug 2010

Thx for this good article, for professional dvd ripping software, I prefer 1click-soft

Posted by:

25 Aug 2010

I just want to download a movie dvd that I have purchased to create a fan video on my computer. My options are to rip it or torrent? I don't really know how to do either. I have Magix video editing software, does this enable me to copy scenes from the movie at all?
Thanks for any help!

Posted by:

19 Oct 2010

Thax. I think Tune4mac DVD Converter Pro is also a good one.

Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions

*     *     (* = Required field)

    (Your email address will not be published)
(you may use HTML tags for style)

YES... spelling, punctuation, grammar and proper use of UPPER/lower case are important! Comments of a political nature are discouraged. Please limit your remarks to 3-4 paragraphs. If you want to see your comment posted, pay attention to these items.

All comments are reviewed, and may be edited or removed at the discretion of the moderator.

NOTE: Please, post comments on this article ONLY.
If you want to ask a question click here.

Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter

Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
About Us     Privacy Policy     RSS/XML

Article information: AskBobRankin -- Convert DVD to AVI (Posted: 5 May 2010)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved