I am setting up a media center using xbox 360 and I need to know how to copy my dvd's onto hard drive so I can watch them using my xbox 360 using vista ultimate on my pc.
I need to know what file format will work, what software to use etc...
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I have only used Windows XP Media Center Editon 2005. I connect to it with an XBox 360. I also have a laptop running Vista Premium, but I have not connected to it with the XBox 360. That being said, I believe that any files that can be played by Windows Media Player, and that are located in your "Videos" folder in Vista can be viewed by your XBox 360. I haven't played around with Vista and Xbox360 enough to be able to say whether you can use files located elsewhere, but I believe that any file you have played with Media Center on Vista should be discoverable by your XBox 360. You could do that with files other than those located in "My Videos" on XP, so I am sure that Vista is no less versatile.
Try checking http://thegreenbutton.com for help with this.
true enough, but I can't figure out how to get my dvds converted to play from hard drive. I am totally new at video stuff so any help is appreciated
Windows Media Player will play the individual VOBs if you copy them to your hard drive with most DVD copy software. However, you probably don't want to have to play each VOB separately. You probably want them all concatenated into one big WMV or AVI or MPG (or whatever) file.
Check out the tools list on this site. Search for "DVD to MPG" or "DVD to AVI" or "DVD to WMV". One tool that I am aware of is Pocket DVD Wizard. It will convert a DVD to a single file for playing on a Pocket PC or Smartphone. You can set it for copying onto different size memory cards, so pick the largest size for your PC hard drive. I don't know how good the video quality will be for watching on your TV via XBox 360. This tool costs about $25. If you find this tool useful, you might want to invest in something like AnyDVD, which will probably do a better job of removing copy protection, before Pocket DVD Wizard even sees the disk.
Also, DVD Fab Decrypter may do this as well. It's free.
You can use a program like DVD Fab Decrypter or RipIt4Me to decrypt most DVDs to your computer hard drive. The DVD file will be from 5 - 8GB, depending on the DVD. If you want to keep the menus and make it smaller, try DVD Shrink.
If you want to convert just the main movie to a large MPEG-2, you can use VOB2MPG. But you will not have menus, etc.
To reduce the size more, you could use Xvid or Divx formats. The smaller the size, the lower the quality. It depends on what you want or need. This will also take a fair amount of time, depending on your computer speed. Programs you can use to convert from a decrypted DVD are AutoGK, FairUse Wizard, avi.NET, DVD2VI, StaxRip and a few others.
Those programs above are all freeware except for the Divx codec. The first two DVD converter programs are both fairly easy to use. FairUse Wizard does have a freeware version listed on it's tool page.
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