DVD2SVCD is the best of the Win32 one-click-to-SVCD DVD rippers. With the aid of an x86-based PC running some 32 bit flavor of Windows and posessed of a DVD-ROM, it will let you make a PAL or NTSC DVD movie into a PAL or NTSC AVI, VideoCD, or Super VideoCD. It will also turn an AVI into an SVCD.

DVD2SVCD makes heavy use of AVISynth to stream data from one application to another. It requires ASPI drivers for the DVD ripping process. Either the Cinema Craft MPEG encoder or TMPGENC is used to convert the video stream to the MPEG2 (SVCD) or MPEG1 (VCD) format. These are both commercial software packages. The Cinema Craft encoder produces essentially unparalleled output quality, but is moderately expensive and not all that easy to use, though that is not a problem in this case since CCE will be called by DVD2SVCD. TMPGENC is cheaper and easier to use, but does not have the same output quality.

The process (once started) goes something like this: DVD2SVCD will rip the DVD to unencrypted (DeCSS'd) VOB files using internal routines or the vstrip ripper. It then converts the data to the AVI format using DVD2AVI. Audio is encoded to MPEG 1, Layer 2 using BeSweet. The video is then streamed to the MPEG video encoder using AVISynth. Once encoded, the video is multiplexed together with the audio, using bbMPEG.

The video is then split into pieces and made into CD images (optional) using I-Author, VCDImager, or the default, VCDXBuild which supports chapter marks and outputs bin/cue files, intended to be burned with CDRWin 4 or something else which will read the same format faithfully. This does not include Nero as it will not handle the chapter marks. If you remove them it will burn correctly.

DVD2SVCD also has other modes, including one called AVI2SVCD which will turn an arbitrary AVI stream for which one has DirectShow filters installed into an SVCD. Using a sufficiently high-quality input stream (for example an MPEG4 system stream with DivX or XviD video of 700MB or more) will generally produce fairly watchable results. However, any time you transcode video from one type of video compression to another, in this case MPEG4 to MPEG2, you will have noticable artifacting, especially if the source resolution is lower than the target resolution.

DVD2SVCD has some neat features (besides the easy operation) including grabbing the movie information and a title picture from the IMDB, showing a preview image, and crash recovery which will let you start over at the beginning of the current step. This is sometimes less than reassuring, especially in the case of a crash in the middle of video encoding, but it can save you many hours if you run out of disk space during multiplexing.

DVD2SVCD's home is at http://dvd2svcd.doom9.net/.