What Does DVD Shrink Do?

Written by   (author of Obvious Conclusions)

Many people have read about DVD Shrink and wonder just what does DVD Shrink do? 

Well, as I wrote about in the article how to copy a DVD there is a great misunderstanding about DVD shrink does.  Many people think it is the end all solution for copying DVDs.  And, while it is truly an awesome program and does great at what it does, DVD Shrink is not an all-encompassing program.

When we investigate copying DVDs, we need to be familiar with the overall process and then we will see where DVD shrink fits into the equation. 

When we copy a DVD, we need to accomplish three things. 

First, data must be decrypted if the information on the DVD that you want to copy has encryption.  To do this, you will want to choose one of two packages:  DVD43 (which is free) or a program called AnyDVD which you have to pay for might be just a little bit better.

DVD Shrink does not perform the decryption function like the other programs do because DVD Shrink is no longer being developed, which I will get into later.  Thus, DVD shrink is not keeping up with the latest in decryption technologies.

The second part of copying a DVD to another DVD is taking the data from the DVD and placing it on the hard drive.  Most people do not do a DVD to DVD copy directly because they do not have two DVDs.

The third part of the process is actually burning the DVD.  This means that you take the data from the hard drive and “burn” it–place it on–the DVD.

DVD Shrink excels at the second part of this formula.  It can work in conjunction with an imaging program like Nero or Image Burner to “burn” the DVD but it is not performing this process itself.

So, what’s the big deal if DVD Shrink is just copying the data from the original DVD to your hard drive?

Well, here is why DVD Shrink is so cool!  It is a master at doing this and it is one of the few programs that does this and it does it all for free!

You see…most DVDs that you will rent now-a-days are not the same size as the ones that you are copying your data too.  They are dual layer discs which will hold 9.4GB of data while the DVD that you are copying to is in all likelihood a single layer disc and can only contain 4.7GB.

So, what will happen if you try to copy 9.4gb of data to a DVD that can only contain 4.7GB of data? 

Exactly, it won’t fit!

And this is where DVD Shrink is the master!!!  In fact, this is where its name comes from–it is shrinking the data so that it will fit on your DVD.

Any time that you need to shrink data, you are going to lose something in the process.  With DVD shrink, you can choose not  to put on the extra features of a DVD for example and, in doing so, the movie that you are copying will be very close to the original in quality.

But, let’s suppose that you want to copy the DVD as is so that when you pop it into your DVD, it will be exactly like the original.  Well, like the movie says, something has got to give!  And, in this case, the giving is the picture and sound quality.

Is the difference in quality massive?

No, it is not.  However, if you are an audio or videophile, it will probably annoy you because you want your copy to be exactly like the original. 

If you are one of these people and do not want to make any compromises, then you have to go with dual layer copying.  This will produce a virtually 1 to 1 copy of the original DVD. 

You need two things to do this:  a DVD burner capable of burning dual layer and dual layer DVDs to burn to.  All of this is more expensive but if you are a perfectionist, this is what you got! 

So, in summary, DVD Shrink copies data to your hard drive and “shrinks” it so that you can burn it to a DVD.  To learn how to do this, simply read the article how to copy a DVD and you may also be interested in copying DVD to hard drive so you can have your movies on the go and also have great backups!

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Richard Cummings

Richard Cummings is writer, traveler, and web content developer.

Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.
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