No TV? How to enjoy DVDs on your PC

broken TVWith books and CDs, DVDs are the most popular presents for the holidays and always great for the family. For one, I know my brother is into gangster movies, so I’m definitely going to get him some DVDs starring Humphrey Bogart or Al Pacino. Now the best way to truly enjoy a DVD during the holidays is to be nestled in a comfy sofa and have a nice widescreen TV with HD quality and surround sound. We’re not all lucky enough to have a plasma screen and a DVD player though, but at least we can watch them on PC. Even more so, with the right programs, you can do much more with a DVD on a PC than on a TV. That’s why I decided to compile some of the best insideTonic posts on different DVD applications you might find of use for the holidays.

The first program to have is PowerDVD. This classic player for PC is easy to use and works seamlessly. I personally like how the playback control hides discreetly once your movie starts and the way you can configure it to optimize elements like sound. AVS DVD Player is also another excellent player with really good advanced sound options.If you’re taking a bus, plane or train to get back home during the holidays and have a long journey ahead, you can always take out your laptop and watch DVDs on that. However lucky owners of Pocket PCs can spare all the trouble by converting DVDs to Windows Mobile Format with CloneDVD and watching them on their mobile device.

What if you’ve loaned a DVD to a friend but really want to watch it during Christmas? You could always ring him up and ask for it back, but the best is to have made a backup copy previously, using AnyDVD. If you want to be able to watch a copy of your DVD with any player the best thing is to rip it with a tool like SmartRipper. You can then watch the ripped version in VLC, if you take the time to learn a little hack.

But maybe you don’t want to watch DVDs at all but instead want to make a nice compilation of your holiday photos and clips to send out to relatives. I’d suggest using DeepBurner to record your DVD and a good labelling tool to make your own album cover. Or simply use VSO PhotoDVD to put all those holiday snaps on DVD in seconds.

So you see, even if you only have a PC at home, DVDs are still a great present to offer. Not only can you watch them but you can also burn, rip, create photo compilations or convert them to play on other devices.

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