Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Good DVD to Video Tools for Ripping DVDs

Watching DVD movies has become a very popular way of household entertainment nowadays, and DVD is the important channel to sell movies to the public. However, DVD won't satisfy the increasing needs of video entertainment on gadgets like iPod and Zune, and is quite vulnerable against physical damage such as scratches and smudges. Therefore, DVD Ripper software are summoned and developed fast. After reaching to the internet, we have garnered a handful of DVD Rippers each ranks high around websites. In this benchmark review, you will understand each DVD Ripper inside out and find the one best to your needs.

Cucusoft Ultimate DVD Converter 8.01 $45.95

Magic DVD Ripper 5.4.2 $34.97

Leawo DVD Ripper $29.95

Pavtube Video DVD Converter Ultimate $49

Wondershare DVD Converter Ultimate 5.3.0 $65.95

Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate 5.0.62 $55.95

Since there is no standard for what DVD Ripper software should look like, it
makes no sense to compare between their functions. But one thing is clear, are
they adequately fit for the task of DVD to video conversion? Concerning common
urgent needs, I will give benchmarks to each DVD Ripper on installation,
user interface, conversion flexibilities and output quality

Part One: Installation

All six DVD Ripper software companies offer trial copy download on their
websites. As for trial limitation, Magic DVD Ripper will suspend the use after
five conversion tasks, Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate allows for conversion of 5
minute length of each DVD video, and the rest DVD Rippers will put a watermark
on output videos. Here is a simple chart comparing the size of each program
before and after installation.

During installation, there were no alarms for virus or adware detection. All
DVD Rippers are all instantly functional without restarting the system.

As the smaller space the program takes, the better it is for users to get and
install. So here I give my points for the benchmark of installation.

Part Two: User Interface

  • Cucusoft Ultimate DVD Converter

The user interface is gloomy; however, the functions are in proper positions.
The Load entry, Chapters list, DVD info, Output profiles, and Convert button are
discernable. We just need to make a selection of the DVD chapters and the
desired output profile, and then simply begin the conversion without any
hassles. By the way, this DVD Ripper has an interesting function that can switch
it between player mode and converter mode, which means we can use it to enjoy
but not just to preview the DVD movie.

  • Magic DVD Ripper

Thanks to the simplistic user interface, Magic DVD Ripper is the most space
efficient when installed on our PC. Since it sacrifices user experience for
smaller setup size and faster response, we have to spend some time to figure out
the desired conversion settings before the big start. Fortunately, the settings
are not flooded with geek’s terms. But pitifully no built-in player is to help
us identify the desired chapters. It has left out this feature assuming we
should have installed some DVD player software in advance.

  • Leawo DVD Ripper

Leawo DVD Ripper looks much better, although this is its only skin. The
operation procedure is comfortable like drawing a tick: from the chapters list,
via profile and settings, all the way to the start button. In the menu bar, the
language item suggests the program is thoughtfully adapted for users of
different languages. In the player control, a camera button implies the
screenshot feature upon playing the DVD movie. Meanwhile, the program sets up
shortcuts to the folders where the screenshots and converted videos are stored
respectively. The straight forward interface also tells the program can choose
to merge all chapters into one single video file or not and provides some video
edit functions.

  • Pavtube Video DVD Converter Ultimate

Pavtube Video DVD Converter Ultimate looks almost the same with Leawo DVD
Ripper, except this program can convert AVI, MP4 videos as well.

  • Wondershare DVD Converter Ultimate

Wondershare DVD Converter Ultimate also possesses the capability to convert
AVI, MP4 videos as Pavtube does. The style of interface is not much different
from Pavtube and Leawo, but most of the interface is enhanced with animated
transitions, which contributes to greater user experience and maybe a little
inflation of setup size. Besides, this DVD Ripper is versatile as it can burn
video to DVD and transfer video to USB devices.

  • Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate

Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate gives a very professional impression on the
first glimpse. The program embraces a CPU usage monitor to keep itself from
hogging too much system resource. When loading a DVD, the DVD cover information
will be clearly displayed. In the right extension panel, it greets us with a
flock of options and controls, which is good for the professionals, but for
beginners it fails to give equal thoughts on easy navigation, as we see, the
buttons for Load DVD and Start Conversion are barely icons without straight
forward identifications.

The user interface is the most important factor for user experience, in which
in my opinion the easier to operate the better.

Part Three: Conversion Flexibilities

In many occasions, the demands for DVD to video conversion vary by
objectives. For example, getting DVD movie to play on iPod or PSP or insert to a
presentation file requires the modulation of encoding parameters such as the
choice of video codec and the size of video frames. It is necessary the DVD
Ripper software is flexible to provide pertinent options and controls. Profiles
or presets are indispensible part of DVD Ripper software; they are convenient
for repetitive use or novice use.

Here is the table where each DVD Ripper counts their profiles.

Compared to its counterparts, Magic DVD Ripper is certainly embarrassed by
its sparse profiles, of which Pavtube is about ten times and the rest DVD
Rippers are around five times. However, profiles are not always the more the
better. Pavtube is thoughtful to set up that many profiles, but it also kills
the user’s patience in looking for desired profiles. In my opinion, the golden
number of profiles is in the proximity to 100.

In addition to profiles, it is also necessary for the DVD Ripper software to
provide advanced settings to refine or even build custom profiles. Without
surprise, these competing DVD Rippers are also varying in the advanced settings

  • Cucusoft Ultimate DVD Converter

Cucusoft Ultimate DVD Converter’s advanced settings panel looks dilapidated,
but it manages to put essential parameters like Video Bit Rate, Frame Rate,
Video Size, Audio Bit Rate and Sample Rate in the front and keep those minor
ones in Advanced Video Options.

  • Magic DVD Ripper

Magic DVD Ripper provides nothing fewer than we have expected, but also
nothing more.

  • Leawo DVD Ripper

Leawo DVD Ripper clearly offers only these essential settings. It has drop
down box for each parameter for us to choose a value from and also allows us to
type value to our own desire.

  • Pavtube Video DVD Converter Ultimate

Pavtube Video DVD Converter Ultimate resembles Leawo DVD Ripper, except the
values are restricted from the dropdown boxes.

  • Wondershare DVD Converter Ultimate

Wondershare DVD Converter Ultimate also restricts the parameters except
Resolution and Frame Rate. But I can’t see why it doesn’t set Video Bit Rate
free likewise.

  • Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate

Once again, Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate amazed us by its overwhelming
Advanced Profile Settings. It is more like an extended version of that of
Cucusoft Ultimate DVD Converter. In my humble opinion, we have complete control
over the video conversion as long as we know how to make from all those

In this part, I have reviewed the core of DVD Ripper software: profiles and
settings, which can suggest the professional level as well as the flexibilities
of each DVD Ripper program. Xilisoft is no doubt in the best taste of
professionals, and the rest DVD Rippers provide essential parameters to meet
sufficient demands.

Part Four: Output Quality

All DVD Ripper software should strive to provide output quality as good as
possible and make this an easy target for users to reach. To compare the
performance, I specify a DVD to video conversion task below to each DVD

By monitoring the process of each conversion, I have garnered information on
CPU Usage, Memory Usage and Total Spent Time. Here is the chart.

The lower means the better, because it tells how much the program occupies
your system resource and your time. As for output quality, let’s make a straight
forward judgment from the screenshots below.

  • Original DVD Screenshot

  • Cucusoft Ultimate DVD Converter Screenshot

Compared to the original screenshot, it is obvious that the left man’s beard,
left collar of his suit, and the right man’s neck get blurred and lose

  • Magic DVD Ripper Screenshot

The quality gets worse as more details in the left man’s hair and both men’s
faces are gone.

  • Leawo DVD Ripper Screenshot

The details are actually increasing in this video picture as we can see the
layer of the left man’s hair is more distinguishable than the original. Some
video enhancing technology must have made the video picture look sharper.

  • Pavtube Video DVD Converter Ultimate Screenshot

The picture quality is almost the same as that comes out from Leawo DVD
Ripper, except there is no way to keep the original aspect ratio in this DVD

  • Wondershare DVD Converter Ultimate Screenshot

Details in shadows and faces are given away. The video picture looks blur and

  • Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate Screenshot

The video picture quality is enhanced likewise, evening with Leawo and

The output video size and the playback smoothness are revealed below:

Based on the picture quality, output file size and playback smoothness, this
is the benchmark for this part.


Let me wrap up with benchmarks from four parts: installation, user
interface, conversion flexibilities and output quality.

From the chart, we can tell Leawo DVD Ripper, Pavtube
Video DVD Converter Ultimate and Wondershare DVD Converter Ultimate are well
qualified for the task of DVD to video conversion. Should you pursuit picture
quality, Leawo DVD Ripper is your choice; should you go after better user
experience, Wondershare DVD Converter Ultimate surely satisfies you; should you
look for an integrated solution for both DVD and video conversion, Pavtube Video
DVD Converter Ultimate suits the job.

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