Folks: I have a handful of DVDs that are moderately important, e.g., instructional videos for how to use a household appliance. I would like to rip all of these to a hard drive so that I will no longer be responsible for keeping the original DVDs organized, accessible, and scratch-free. I’d like to be able to play these back on a PC or a TV via a PC-to-HDMI output. The total size of the collection will be fewer than 100 disks.
Question 1: What is the best software to use on a Windows Vista machine for ripping the CDs? It would be nice if the software compressed the data, but not if that will result in a noticeable quality reduction (DVDs are already compressed and look moderately crummy on an HDTV; how much more can I throw away before it looks like VHS?)
Question 2: What is a good card to buy and plug into the PC that will put out audio and video on a single HDMI connector? I have an ATI Radeon 2600 XT that purports to be able to do this (came factory-installed in a Dell XPS desktop), but (1) though I bought the special adaptor from ATI that converts DVI to HDMI, no sound is pushed out to the TV, (2) the ATI Catalyst software that I downloaded from their Web site fails to install, and (3) the Windows OS does not recognize the ATI card as an audio device, leading me to believe that there never will be sound.
Question 3: Will this make me a felon? From what I recall of the Clinton Administration’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act, doing anything with a DVD was a federal crime.
Thanks in advance for your comments and advice.