The Best Way to Record Part of DVD

By Brent Watkins

So much video, so little time.
i lot de dvd vierges image by Cyril PAPOT from

Home videos recorded to DVD frequently include a lot of material that should be edited out. Copying the entire DVD is unnecessary if you are only interested in a specific clip. Excerpting clips from DVDs allows you to upload smaller files to video sharing websites and store only the best portions of the disc on your computer.

The DVD Format

When a DVD is recorded, the video is normally organized into individual chapters that can be accessed by a DVD player. Understanding how chapters are used to organize video clips on a DVD will help you locate and copy only the portion of video you want. When playing the DVD in a DVD player, the player will normally display the chapter number and total running time of the disc. Note the chapter number for the portion of video you want to copy. If the chapter number is not displayed, use the DVD menu's scene selection option to find the chapter number containing the scene or group of scenes you want to copy.

Rip It

The most efficient way to record selected video clips from a DVD is to use specialized software. This software is designed to extract the video data from the DVD and copy it to digital files on your computer. This process is known as "ripping" and many DVD ripping software titles allow you to select only the specific chapters from a DVD disc you want to copy. Download and install free ripping software like DVD Fab, Handbrake or MPEG Stream Clip. Now that you have the chapter numbers you want to copy, select the option in the software that allows you to designate the specific chapters you want to copy to your computer hard drive. Once transferred, you can keep the files on your hard drive, or burn the selected video clips to another DVD using your computer's DVD burner.


The files transferred will be saved in a VIDEO_TS folder used by the DVD format. Each video file copied will use the "VOB" extension. VOB files are recorded in the MPEG-2 format. You can use these files with non-DVD software by simply renaming the VOB extension to "MPEG" or "MPG."

Copyright Considerations

Do not share commercially produced movies or television programs with others. Copying video clips from commercially produced DVDs for any purpose other than personal viewing is a violation of copyright law.