The movie studios do not like to hear anything remotely resembling the word ripper when they talk about DVD movies. In most respects, this is about as close to copyright infringement as one can get these days. A DVD ripper is simply a product that copies a DVD from a DVD disc onto your hard drive. The process is not quite as easy as it may sound, and the end product may not be quite as pristine as you would like, but buying a good product gets rid of most of the issues.
Copying to the Right Format
Buying the right product is the really critical part of DVD ripping. Most rippers will convert to a variety of formats that most computers and DVDs use. Some, however, leave out that one particular format that you need. This is not a discovery you want to make when you are ready to rip. Ensure that you read which formats the ripper can handle before you buy it. Many rippers do not come with burning software, so you need to think about how you want to use the final product and invest in the burner software as well. Nero is usually what is suggested. Some of the formats the ripper should be able to handle are AVI, WMX, MP4 (iPod and PSP), MP3, VCD, and SVCD. It is likely that as technology changes and the movie studios do their thing, formats and software will change.
As with all technology, you will find that a better product is available in later offerings. If an earlier or less expensive product was purchased, there will likely be issues with the quality of the video and sound timing. The critical issue in this regard is the timing. In some products the sound just doesn't quite link up. Missed timing for sound may be acceptable for a Chinese kung fu movie, but Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks just don't cut it on top of the Empire State Building with their voices out of sync.
Generally speaking, most computers are capable of running ripper products. An Intel III with 1 GB of free space is really all that is needed. More will obviously help in many ways, not only with the ripper but in general.
As may be suspected, there is no shortage of DVD ripper software being offered on the Internet today. Each appears to offer just a little bit of a different package from the others. Which to choose is really up to you and your budget. There are really two things to consider as you go about looking at the offerings. How soon am I going to need an upgrade? And will the movie studios begin a trend of putting junk onto their DVDs to keep me from ripping it and then burning it to a CD? The whole process is just getting going, in a relative sense, so it's all up in the air at the moment.
There are many DVD converters, I suggest you try the Pavtube DVD Ripper which can fully meet these standards.