Copy DVDs Without Losing Quality
321 Studios' DVD X Copy lets you easily record DVDs to multiple discs with no loss of quality.A single scratch can make your $20 DVD a drink coaster. DVD X Copy ($99 direct), from 321 Studios, lets you make backups of your DVD discs for personal use to protect your investment. The Motion Picture Association of America is currently fighting to ban DVD copying, fearing widespread piracy as DVD burners become more commonplace, but 321 Studios keeps its package aimed at legitimate use. The software copies video object (VOB) files, but provides no access to these files, which carry the MPEG-2 stream as well as navigation and search information packets. So you cant, for instance, step in to remove region protection, which would enable playback on any drives sold anywhere in the world. Also, 321 Studios inserts a DVD Backup warning screen on the final discs to remind those watching a copy that it was never intended for resale or distribution.
Video quality of copied discs is pristine, since theres no recompression or altering of the VOB files from the original disc. All audio and video options, such as those that provide commentary and viewing from multiple camera angles, remain. The only catch is that, with the exception of short movies (which are often comedies), most films require about 6GB, and extra features take another gigabyte or so. Blank DVDs hold only about 4.7GB of data, though, so although you can fit more than half of the content on one disc, the remainder and extras take a second disc. And Hollywood uses multilayer discs, so you dont even have to flip a prerecorded disc over to watch the second half of a moviebut theres no multilayer recordable media yet. So the software has to split the content of prerecorded discs for burning onto multiple DVDs.