>I was wondering if any of you have any suggestions as to hardware or
>software that will enable me to copy these short clips (usually less
>than a minute) for testiing purposes.
Copying clips from a DVD to another DVD via computer is fairly
comlicated -- assuming we're talking about commercial DVD sources,
which are copy-protected. You need about 3 or four different pieces
The simplest method is to copy the clips you want from the DVDs to
VHS, or alternatively to a standalone DVD recorder. In either case,
you need one special thing - something to defeat the copy protection
on the player.
There are two forms of copy protection on DVDs a) macrovision, which
screws up the luminence of the signal, 2) cgms/a which flags digital
devices so they won't go into record mode (even if the signal path is
Some inexpensive DVD players made in Taiawan we easily hackable to
defeat copyprotection -- older models of Apex, Sampo and Cyberhome
especially. However, the production of low cost DVD players has
shifted to China, and hackable players are now scarce. You can find
them on eBay labeled as 'DVD recorder friendly'.
Alternatively, you can get a 'black box' to plug between the two
units that will strip the copy protection. Try
http://www.facetvideo.com or look for a Sima CT-2 (available at
Amazon and many other online vendors).
BTW, the movie industry is pushing for ever more restrictive
copyright laws -- attempting to end fair use and criminalize any form
of copying. Any teachers interested in being able to continue to do
such simple things as assemble a reel of clips for use in class need
to read up on copyright politics and support the EFF and other
organizations trying to oppose the DCMA and other repressive
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu