making your DVDs MCE ready

Well you have a MCE and you want your entire DVD collection on it. It’s really not that hard. And I’m going to explain how I set it up on my MCE 2005 machine with over 200 DVDs.

Well the program I used is called Handbrake. I actually used a Mac Mini to convert all of my DVDs. But if you don’t have access to a Mac, Handbrake now has a Windows Port. I hear that it works well. Best of all it is a free program. The windows version is an experimental version but give it a try. You can download the windows and mac version by clicking here.

Using Handbrake:

When you first open Handbrake it will ask you to point to your DVD drive. Just specify the drive and click open. Once the DVD is open you can change a lot of different things. The only thing I change is File Format to AVI. This will create a DIVX file. You can read more about DIVX by going to Now all you need to do is click on Rip at the bottom. This will take some time but it will create a divx file called Movie.avi on your desktop. That’s all there is to it.

Well now you have a divx movie. This is just the movie not any special features and extras. I prefer this. I never watch any of that extra stuff and don’t ever plan on it. If I want I can go and get the DVD from the shelf.

All you need to do now is rename the movie and transfer it to your MCE machine. Now on your MCE machine you will not be able to play the movie. Why you might ask. The reason is by default MCE will not play DIVX. You will need to download the DIVX plug-in for Windows Media Player. After that everything will work just fine. By using DIVX you will save lots of space on your movies. A divx movie is between 750MB and 1GB. That depends on the movie size.

Well this is the setup that I use to get all my DVDs on the MCE machine. Hopefully you can follow these steps and get your entire DVD collection in digital format. It is really nice sitting down and using the MCE interface to scroll through 200 movies to see which one you want to watch.

let me know if you have questions.

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