123 Copy DVD- movie backups made easy
Review: 123 Copy DVD
With the recent explosion of affordable DVD±RW drives on the market there are more and more people becoming interested in DVD burning. Although a DVD±RW drive is a great method for data backup many people also want to use their drive to backup their home DVD movie collection. To do this you will need DVD backup software.
One recent addition to the DVD backup scene is 123 Copy DVD. They promise to be the easiest DVD backup program yet. Today we are going to take an in-depth look and see how well the software lives up to this claim.
In 123 Copy DVD’s own words:
The most powerful yet, easy to use DVD backup program available ever.
Burn, baby burn! With 123 Copy DVD’s easy to use interface even the newest computer users can make backup copies of their DVD collection in 3 simple clicks of the mouse.
With 123 Copy DVD’s simple to use 3 click interface no prior knowledge or skill is required! You’ll be backing up your personal collection of DVD’s in no time.
Back up your entire DVD collection
Copy entire DVD or only features you want to one blank DVD
Burn DVD movies to both -R and +R formats
Copy full multi-channel audio
Specify which special features you wish to keep or remove
Copy episodic movies such as The Sopranos or Sex in the City
FREE online updates and patches
FREE 24-hour technical support
Almost every commercial DVD that you purchase has CSS copy-protection. This is one of the reasons you cannot use a standard DVD burning application (such as Nero) on its own to back them up. You need some type of method to decrypt this protection to be able to copy the movie files and make a backup.
123 Copy DVD by itself cannot decrypt CSS out of the box; in fact it is now illegal to do so. A recent lawsuit (pending appeal) against 321 Studio’s DVDXCopy ruled against allowing software manufacturers to include any type of CSS decryption within the software itself. But because 123 Copy DVD does not include the CSS decryption with the product it has (for now anyway) found a way around this ruling.
What 123 Copy DVD does is allow a free 3rd party update that can be installed via a simple click of a button (via a ‘product update’). This patch includes a CSS decryption file that makes backing up a commercial DVD possible. While the legal ramifications of this are not entirely clear at this time, for now the sale and use of the software is legitimate.
Compression & Re-authoring:
CSS copy-protection is not the only hurdle you will encounter when trying to backup a commercial DVD. Many commercial DVD’s are dual layer (greater than 4.38GB) which cannot fit on the single layer (4.38GB max) media that is the norm today. This is where compression (a.k.a. transcoding) and re-authoring software (such as 123 Copy DVD) come into play.
There are different methods to backup a dual layer commercial DVD; one method is to re-author the movie by stripping out the extra features, menus, or any extra sound tracks that you do not need (for example French or Spanish). Depending on the length of the movie this will either keep the original quality level of the DVD or dramatically reduce the compression needed. The other method is to back-up the entire DVD. Although this will require a higher level of compression and a larger loss of quality, there are some people that do not mind the quality loss in favour of keeping the entire DVD with all of its features intact.
123 Copy DVDallows you to choose whichever method best suits your needs.
For this review we will be using a computer with the following configuration.
⋅ Optical drive 1: LiteOn LDW-811S DVD±RW, firmware HS0E, secondary master
⋅ Optical drive 2: LiteOn SOHW-812S DVD±RW, firmware US0N, secondary slave
⋅ Hard drive 1: 60GB Maxtor 7200RPM, w/2MB cache
⋅ Hard drive 2: 200GB Seagate Baracuda 7200RPM, w/8MB cache
⋅ Motherboard: ASUS A7V8X with VIA KM400 chipset
⋅ Processor: AMD Athlon XP 2700+
⋅ GFX: ASUS GeForce 4 Ti4200 128MB 8x
⋅ Sound: VIA AC’97 onboard
⋅ Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 1 and all recent critical updates
⋅ Primary & Secondary IDE Drivers ‘“ Microsoft XP default drivers (5.1.2600.0)
⋅ IDE Controller drivers ‘“ VIA bus master by Microsoft (5.1.3597.0)
⋅ Adaptec ASPI 4.60
Next we’ll take a look at the install proccess…