Monday, November 1, 2004
How To Watch DVD on the Go
Posted by Sponsor in "SPONSORED ARTICLES" @ 11:00 AM
When I first saw Portable video players (PVPs) in an airport duty free shop about a year ago, I thought of how cool it would be if my Pocket PC could do something similar. After all, it is small and portable (I bought it originally to play games), and there is a decent media player built in. But alas, how could it fit? How would the formats be compatible? Have I got time to look into this? Nah! Good idea but it is waaaay too time consuming and difficult...! Case closed... Turn forward the clock to the present day, and that cool thought is now a commercial reality ...
Top 3 DVD to Pocket PC Products
The following 3 applications allow anybody to watch DVDs on their Pocket PCs ... (note - no ranking implied by way of ordering)
Makayama's DVD to Pocket PC
Coding Workshop's Pocket DVD Wizard
... and last (but by no means least) PQDVD's Pocket DVD Studio
The Ole' Days
In order to appreciate exactly how cool these products are, one has to look back on how this technically complex feat was achieved in the days before these software applications were made available. There were a few solutions made public on the internet, which involved using a number of freely available programs, in some sequence which ultimately resulted in the data stored on the DVD magically converted to WMV/DIVX format - capable of being played on the Pocket PC.
I personally have not experienced this, but I remember observing a friend spending a whole day assembling all these programs together and squeezing a movie onto his 128 MB SD card. I remember being totally freaked out when I saw the movie running on his IPAQ 3970 at the time. Very cool indeed! However, I found out later - that day of experience was a result of a few more days before hand of getting it wrong! I was quickly convinced that the task was not suited for a computer layman like myself :)
DVD - As Easy as 1,2,3...
Then, in come the forementioned products. Quite literally, these products let you do what took hours or days of aggravation into a one or two click process. Choose your favourite DVD, put it in your computer DVD drive, turn on the program, click a few buttons, and wait for the goods! The only drag is this depends on how fast your computer is - you might have to wait a few hours (I personally put the DVD in before I go to bed, and it would be done when I wake up in the morning :-) ) Once completed, your movie is converted into a file that fits on a 128MB or 256MB memory card. Not bad for about 25 to 30 sheets worth of software. I am also pleased to say that (for a limited time) www.clickapps.com has managed to get exclusive discounts for the products courtesy of Makayama (20% discount), the Coding Workshop (25% discount) and PQDVD (25% discount).
Is it lawful?
There are some legal questions surrounding the use of these products - centered around copyright laws. As a result, there is a disclaimer that comes with the purchase of these products, along the lines of "You can only use this software to convert personally owned DVDs". However, this disclaimer is still not sufficient for some countries, where it is a violation of copyright law for the software to physically decrypt the content scrambling system and macrovision protection on DVDs. However, I am aware that new versions of the above mentioned software will no longer decrypt DVD content as a result of the The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which legally allows authorized equipment and software to unlock this DVD encryption. In the case of the windows environment, the Windows Media Player has the job of unlocking the disc's encryption, and the conversion software simply extracts the unlocked content and compresses it into a file that you can use on your Pocket PC.
As an avid Pocket PC user, and frequent traveller, I think that these are killer apps for my Pocket PC. I can now watch my favourite DVDs when I am out and about - how cool is that?
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The above article is a paid advertisement for Clickapps.com and does not necessarily represent the views of Pocket PC Thoughts.