Converting DVD to Streaming Video

In a hurry? OK, let’s make this short and sweet.


Your best free option is Handbrake.

Download Handbrake from their site, install

If using a Mac: By default HandBrake saves all files in the MP4 container.
Launch HandBrake . Select HandBrake > Preferences to make decisions for Output files.
For iMovie and other editing software select “Use Auto Naming (uses DVD name and title number).
Do not select .m4v file extension for MP4”. iMovie will not import .m4v files


On PC: By default HandBrake saves all files in the MP4 container,
which as of this writing (01/24/2014 is the way to go got maximum reach across screens).
So if you’re reading this from the future, I understand that the video codec landscape is rapibly developing…
Just like it did as Windows Media, Quicktime, and to a lessor extent Real Video got cycled out.
MP4 is the native file format for a number of consumer devices (iPod, PSP, Apple TV) and is supported out of the box
by QuickTime and iTunes. If you are encoding for playback in any of those situations, you should use it.


We also can easily recommend the open source software DVDx: This program is able to convert DVDs directly to Windows Media Format, as well as AVI, MPEG. and WM9. Read more about our review of DVDx encoding features.


Your business, if it wants to stream video, or if you wish to migrate video assets or archives online, at some point you will need to transition from physical to digital media.


There is a need to capture DVD media and make it available online. We are a provider of video archive services. This includes capturing and encoding your video. Until early 2000 or so, DVD video was difficult to extract and convert into streaming video files.


If you’ve ever looked inside the DVD on your computer, you would have noticed all sorts of VOB, IFO, and BUP files. This is a confusing mess of files, and it takes specialized software to convert this data into streaming video.


One way to convert the audio and video on a DVD to WMV format is to capture the content using an analog capture device. You can connect the audio and video analog outputs of a DVD player to a video capture card on your computer, and then use Wirecast, Flash Media Live Encoder, Windows Media Encoder, and others to encode the video to a streamable video. But this requires a video capture card, and a decent one starts at around $200.00.


If you want to convert digitally, you have a plethora of DVD extraction utilities for both Windows and Mac users.Here are some DVD conversion programs that should help:


Windows users:
DVDx, also available on This program is able to convert DVDs directly to Windows Media Format, as well as AVI, MPEG. and WM9.


MPEG Streamclip : Love it, have to mention it. Raw, no frills transcoder that does an excellenet job every time with mpeg4.


To configure Windows Media Encoder 9 Series to encode a file


  1. On the toolbar, click New Session. The New Session Wizard starts.
  2. On the Wizard tab, click Convert a file.
  3. On the File Selection screen, type both the file that you want to convert (the source file) and the file that you want to create (the output file).
  4. On the Content Distribution screen, click Web server (progressive download). When you click Web server (progressive download), only those encoding options that pertain to encoding files for Web servers are displayed.
  5. On the Encoding Options screen, select how you want to encode your audio and video from the lists, and then click to select the appropriate bit rate check box.
  6. On the next two screens, type display information and review your settings.
  7. After you quit the wizard, click Start Encoding.



Now the video should be ready to upload to your account!



Mac Users:


Check out this list of video software for OS X:


  1. Insert the DVD into your computer
  2. Extract the video from the disk using Cinematize. This highly recommended program extracts DVD into Quicktime DV format which can then easily be encoded into a streaming file
  3. Use one of the following to export your video:
    • For best results, use Apple’s Compressor (bundled with Final Cut Studio). Its algorithms produce high-quality, low-filesize video in Quicktime and Windows Media format
    • Quicktime Pro is a low-cost option for converting videos, but filesize is typically larger and quality isn’t as top-notch. But it does the job. From the menu bar, choose File > Export, then on the Export drop-down menu, select “Movie to Quicktime Movie”, then for the drop-down below that, (Use:) select “Streaming – Medium”.
    • Quicktime Pro for .wmv files: You will need a plug-in called Flip4Mac. Then export video using Quicktime Pro’s “Movie to Windows Media” option.
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