If you are new to smartphones and/or tablets, you might recognize (or run into) this scenario:
You are looking through the DVDs in the store, and noticed quite a few of them have “Digital Copy” mentioned on them. Looking on the back of the case, you read that a Digital Copy lets you put the movie on a tablet so you can watch it where ever you go. A great idea, be it during the daily commute, waiting for a doctors appointment, an upcoming flight, or just when your loved one is watching something crappy on TV, so you paid the premium to get the movie with the Digital Copy version.
Coming home, you copy the movie over to your Nook color, Kindle Fire, Transformer, Nexus 7 or any other Android based tablet, and the Digital Copy movie doesn't play.
The movie studios seem to believe that only Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPad are what people use to watch movies on the go, and as a result, people who use Android devices are left in the dark. The majority of Digital Copy movies use a form of activation system (DRM) that only works on Apple devices.
For Apple devices such as the Apple iPhone and the iPad, of course these Digital Copies work fine, but on a very regular basis, I get emails from people who have been using Apple for years, but decided to pick up an Android or Blackberry device, either as a switch or for their kids, and are stuck with a large collection of movies and TV shows that only work on their Apple products. This also includes the content they purchased from iTunes.
For apps and games, it is quite logical that something that is released for Apple doesn't work on an Android device, but with Digital Copies and more so with movies purchased through iTunes for near-retail pricing ($15 for a "DVD-quality" movie, $20 for a "Bluray quality" movie, it is quite sad that those files are limited to just a single device brand.
Something else to consider is that, especially with HD-movies, that the quality you get from an online purchased movie doesn't compare to a similarly priced disc-based version. To keep the loading time down, Digital Copy and Digital Purchase (iTunes/Google Play, Amazon Instant etc), are compressed to make them smaller. A true HD Bluray movie takes up about 35GB, but an HD iTunes movie around the 3GB, 1/10th of the quality, but you pay nearly the same.
On top of that, if the company that you obtain the digital download movie from loses its contract with the content creators, will you be able to access/download the movie again in case you need to?
While there is a huge convenience factor tied to Digital Copy / Digital Purchase movies and TV shows, you never own the content that you pay for. You obtain a license to watch, and this licence can be revoked at any time, and as a result, possibly taking your content along with it. Some people believe that DVDs and Blurays are going extinct because of the availability of the same content online, but I know that the movies on DVD and Bluray that I invest in now will still be mine 20 years from now. With Digital Copies and Digital Purchases, the life expectancy of your collection of movies and TV shows is a lot less uncertain.
How to create your own Digital Copy from a DVD:
This little guide explains how you can create your own Digital Copies, and as a bonus, the ones you create yourself don’t have this DRM on them, so you can use them on your future devices as well. If you use an Android tablet now, and switch to the iPad Mini, no problem. If you are using a Galaxy Nexus phone now, and switch to the iPhone 6 next year, no worries.
- DVD Catalyst 4.
DVD Catalyst 4 is the fastest, easiest and most powerful media conversion tool available, and enables you to convert your DVD and video file collection to just about any device on the market with the click of a button. It includes pre-configured profiles profiles for 1000s of devices, including Apple’s full iPad/iPod and iPhone product line, Amazon Kindle Fire (all models), Asus Transformer (original, Prime, Infinity etc), all Samsung’s Galaxy models, including the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S3, Blackberry Playbook, Sony Xperia, Toshiba Thrive, Motorola Xoom and much more. The regular price is $19.95, but for a limited time you can get it for 50% off, making it only $9.95. You can purchase by clicking here (link), or download the free trial version here (link).
(Important note: DVD Catalyst 4 can convert store-bought DVDs, as well as the majority of common video files such as AVI, MKV, MPEG, VOB, ISO, and while it creates “Digital Copy” files of your movies, it can not convert them. Digital Copy movies and TV shows that come with DVDs/Blurays, or ones purchased/rented through Apple iTunes and Amazon Instant, because of the same reason why they do not play on your Android device, the DRM).
- Your movie on DVD. For this little guide I’m using the “What to expect when you are expecting DVD.
-A (Windows) computer with a DVD drive. There is currently no Apple MAC version available of DVD Catalyst.
1. Start DVD Catalyst 4 on your computer:
2. Select the device profile you want to use. In this little guide I am using the Nexus 7 profile:
3. Insert your DVD, and DVD Catalyst 4 will automatically find it and scan it for content:
4. Tap Go to start the conversion process and wait a while for it to complete:
When the conversion is complete, DVD Catalyst will open the location of where it stored the video file. Now just transfer the video over to your Android tablet (or phone), and you can use the build-in Gallery app to play your own Digital Copy movie.
Using the default Nexus 7 profile in DVD Catalyst 4, the movie ended up slightly larger than 1GB in size:
Using a quad-core laptop, the conversion of the almost 2 hour long movie took about 15 minutes (7x faster than real-time).
About DVD Catalyst:
DVD Catalyst 4 converts your movie and TV show collection (DVD, AVI, MKV, ISO etc) to great quality video files that are perfectly optimized to play on portable devices.
It includes pre-configured profiles profiles for 1000s of devices, including Apple’s full iPad/iPod and iPhone product line (including iPhone 5 and iPad Mini), Amazon Kindle Fire (all models, including the HD and HD 8.9),the Barnes & Noble NOOK (NOOK color, tablet, HD, HD+), Asus Transformer (original, Prime, Infinity etc), all Samsung’s Galaxy models, including the Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy S3, Blackberry Playbook, Sony Xperia, Toshiba Thrive, Motorola Xoom and much more.
DVD Catalyst Features:
Regular price $19.95, for a limited time only $9.95
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