Convert a DVD to a RatDVD

Install RatDVD and launch RatDVD from the Start Menu (or wherever else) and open the DVD files.

DVD movie content selection

Content Selection

Generally I suggest to keep the full featured DVD. However, with RatDVD you can remove single titles, audio tracks and subtitles without loosing the navigation. RatDVD automatically adjusts the navigation as follows when a nonexistent item is selected.

You can do the following:

  • Removed title: Will directly jump the the end of the title and perform normal navigation
  • Removed subtitle: Instead of the removed subtitle the first available subtitle at the present location will be selected
  • Remove audio track: Instead of the removed audio track the first available subtitle at the present location will be selected

Removing titles and menus is done by deleting the corresponding checkbox in the tree-view. To remove audio tracks or subtitles you can set the radio buttons in the list view to "remove". For audio tracks (LPCM or AC-3 5.1) you have the additional option to convert it to AC-3 VS (recommended).

NOTE: By default RatDVD will transcode LPCM and Dolby AC-3 5.1 tracks to Dolby AC-3 Virtual Surround to save space without really noticeable loss of quality.

NOTE: CSS encrypted DVDs are not directly supported .


When you are not sure which titles to keep and which to remove you can always preview a selected title by pressing the play button.

You can even do full screen preview with full featured playback and navigation (right mouse button menu).

Audio transcoding

Audio transcoding reduces the size of a typical 1GB Stereo LPCM audio track (93 min) or a typical 262 MB AC-3 5.1 audio track to about 131 MB AC3-VS by encoding the multi channel audio signal into a 2 channel matrixed virtual surround system with multiple virtual channels on AC-3 basis.

By keeping it in AC-3 the loss of quality is reduced to a minimum - try it yourself!

NOTE: My recommendation is always to use this setting since the quality is virtually not compromised but it makes a big difference in size.


With tagging you can embed information about the DVD like title, actors, director, plot, DVD cover etc. inside the RatDVD file. You should always include tagging information when you create a RatDVD.

Click here for details on how to do this.

Constant Quality or Constant Average Bitrate

You can select between "Constant Quality" or "Constant Average Bitrate" modes. This is a short summary what each mode means:

  • In "Constant Average Bitrate" mode the size of the compressed video is predictable because the video bitrate is controlled to meet the average bitrate you specify. In order to estimate the size of the resulting ratDVD also the other streams on the DVD need to be known and so ratDVD does an analyze of the DVD or gets the analyze data from the ratDVD server once you switch to "Constant Average Bitrate" mode
  • In "Constant Quality" the size can't be predicted and so no analyze step is required.

In general I recommend to use "Constant Quality" because it gives a slightly higher quality. However, in case you have to meet a given size, you may want to select "Constant Average Bitrate".


You can also manually start an analyze process from the "Connversion" menu if you are just interested in the data.


Depending on which mode you choose you can select the Quality in as value between 50 and 120 or the video bitrate in a rage from 500 KBit/s to 1200 KBit/s. In general the higer the value is, the better the quality and the bigger the file of the resulting ratDVD.


Instead of doing the above mentioned settings manually you can define Profiles which keep your preferences about encoding mode, quality and bitrate settings and stream preferences regarding formats and languages. Simply selected the Profile you plan to use from the profiles menu.


Starting the conversion

Basically you only have to select the target and click OK to start the process.

If you want to use some of the advanced features, read below about the details.

Target Settings:

  • Select the target folder you want to store the RatDVD in

  • Select "Run conversion in low priority" if you plan to use the computer for something besides the transcoding. Has little impact on speed.
  • Select "Show preview pictures" if you are interested to preview while converting. Has little impact on speed.
  • Select "Shutdown computer when finished if you want your computer to shutdown after the conversion is done. E.g. if you run it over night.
  • Select "Content based naming" to activate the RatDVD naming scheme . Highly recommended!
  • Set custom sounds you want to play when conversion is done (successfull or failed).
  • Specify a command that is automatically executed after a successful conversion. The path/name of the created RatDVD is passed as parameter.

Codec Settings:

These settings are only for experienced users who understand the interaction between the different settings and the exact consequences of every change for each setting.

Don't play with these settings. If you do, make sure to restore to normal after you are done!

Please note that settings having a positive impact on one movie do not necessarily need to be good for other movie.

Processing time may vary significantly based on these settings - into both directions.

Have fun using it! If you have more questions, check the FAQ ...