In the last 20 to 30 years, CDs and DVDs were the most economical means of storing data, so many of us probably still have them stashed away. Despite the fact that most have been copied and recycled before, you’d have hit 1,000 if you carved one CD a week. The recordable CD-R format with 702 MB was released in 1982. Approximately 10 MB of data are stored on the PC / XT’s hard disk. It wasn’t until 1998 that 4.7 GB DVD + RW discs became available, at a time when 4 GB was a reasonable size for a hard drive. It is possible (in theory) that we could have switched from DVD to Blu-ray instead, since either a single-layer or dual-layer Blu-ray can store 25 GB or 50 GB of archive data. In any case, the external hard drive won the memory wars as soon as Blu-ray burners became affordable. They became cheaper and bigger as time went on. The 8 TB drives of today are a testament to the prediction.
The use of multiple DVD drives has grown over the years, sometimes at the expense of hoppers or robot arms to pull discs into the drives. There were, however, very few that were aimed at home users, and most were targeting large corporations or service providers. There are usually two types of multi-DVD systems: those that duplicate discs or those that share data. These products allowed companies to create a large number of identical DVDs at one time. A second type of product that targeted this market was file servers that looked like giant jukeboxes. Using them, companies could share data from a large number of DVDs or BDs, or make “cold storage” backups that lasted up to fifty years. For example, Facebook created a server to hold 10,000 Blu-ray discs. In a three-minute YouTube video, the company demonstrated the system.
If you want a ripper to do what you want, you should consider MF Digital’s Ripstation 7000 Series CD/DVD/BD ripper, but it costs $4,595 with the PC. It operates by picking up discs and dropping them into a DVD tray with a robot arm. These types of products are intended for radio and television stations, publishing companies, and educational institutions. Many old discs needed to be converted to digital format – they may still need to do so. They don’t cost much in comparison to humans doing it manually.
It will be necessary to manually copy each DVD if you cannot find a cheap solution. As an alternative, you can set a goal, such as copying five to ten discs a day. You should be able to complete it in one year, even if you take a few breaks. By using two DVD drives, you can possibly speed up the process, but this is dependent on the hardware. There is a possibility a PC tower could hold two internal DVD drives, but they would likely need to be bought and installed. It is also possible to buy an external DVD drive and connect it to a USB port or a USB hub that comes with a power supply. You can load a DVD into one drive while the other drives copies the files. Not every USB port has enough power to run a DVD without a power supply. Once the disc has loaded, it would be great to have software that can automatically detect discs and copy files. As a result, you’ll be able to highlight the files you want to move directly to your hard drive without having to wait for a directory to appear. Insert the CDs / DVDs and check the box for “Automatically copy many CDs / DVDs”. Each folder is copied to a new folder on your hard drive (CDDVD1, CDDVD2, etc.) and the next DVD disc is then placed inside. Considering it is a small program (219 KB), free, and doesn’t require installation, it’s worth a try.
You must copy all DVDs to a hard drive and, of course, to a backup hard drive. It is usually the most common formats that deliver the best results over time, especially if they have been ratified as international standards. Using the H.264 codec, which is supported by most processors (Intel Quick Sync Video) and graphics cards, you could convert videos that were in less popular formats – such as wmv, mov, flv, and rm – into mp4. It’s easy to do this with programs like Wonderfox’s HD Video Converter Factory. The old VHS-C video camera I used will never look acceptable by today’s standards, but you can reprocess it to remove colour casts, sharpen it, fix aspect ratios, and “upscale” its resolution. The resolution of a DVD is 720 x 480 pixels (American NTSC) or 720 x 540 pixels (UK PAL). As we move towards 4K (3840 x 2160), we live in a 1080p world (1920 x 1080). In most cases, the same videos are available on Netflix, Prime, BritBox, YouTube, and other streaming services in much higher quality.