The optical disc format known as DVD comes in various physical dimensions and storage capacities. These differences are designated by numbers, from DVD 1 to 5, 9, 10, 14 and 18. DVD 1 to 4 are 8 centimeters in diameter. From DVD 5 onward, more standard and familiar 12 centimeter diameter was maintained. Both DVD 5 and 9 and single-sided, meaning only one face of the disc contains readable data. DVD 9 however has two data layers and can contain a total of 8.54 gigabytes of information. DVD 5 on the other hand has a much smaller storage capacity of only 4.70 gigabytes because it only has one data layer. Despite this difference, it's still possible to fit data stored in DVD 9 to DVD 5 using data compression methods.
- Utilize the DVD Shrink application. DVD Shrink is a free software application intended to run on Windows operating systems. This software works by re-copying any movie stored in the enhanced dual layer DVD9 format onto the less storage-heavy DVD5 format. This essentially means that other features such as foreign language subtitles and soundtracks are removed so as to fit into a DVD5 disc. Make sure that you download DVD Shrink from a respectable Web site. It would also be a good idea to subject the program to a virus scan before you proceed on installing it in your personal computer. Just follow the walk-through instructions for installation of DVD Shrink.
- Insert the disc. Put the DVD9 disc you want to shrink into the computer's optical drive.
- Launch DVD Shrink after successful installation. You can now start to shrink your collection of DVD9 movies to the DVD5 formats. Choose Open Disc on the main interface. You will be prompted to choose the DVD you want to shrink so do so at this time. Afterwards, you just need to click on OK.
- Compress. Compression is necessary to maintain the best quality of the movie. Do this by selecting Extras and then Menus. Once in the section for modification of the video compression settings, choose 9-10 for the level of compression. Another option is to select Still Pictures so as to really maximize the main movie's quality.
- Trim down other features. Navigate to the Main Movie menu. In here, you can shrink the main movie's size by deselecting certain features. Remove any unwanted or unnecessary tracks such as foreign language soundtracks under the Audio section. Just remember though to leave at least an AC3 track when performing this step. Furthermore, you can get rid of foreign language subtitles under the Subpicture section.
- Start the process of format conversion. Now that you are done selecting only the features you want, the conversion from DVD9 to DVD5 can now begin. But before you proceed, make sure that your personal computer has sufficient hard disk space. Once certain, you can now click on Backup! You will be prompted to select the location where you want the newly-converted DVD saved so do so at this point. After that, check the Region Free button and type in the Provider ID into the corresponding text field. Lastly, just click on OK for the conversion process to begin.
Data compression and conversion almost always results in a decrease in quality when it comes to multimedia. But this loss can be minimized with careful execution of the technique.