Using VLC to convert a DVD to a video clip for online streaming delivery

This tutorial will provide information on converting a DVD to a video clip for online streaming delivery using VLC.

There are pedagogical, technical, and copyright implications when distributing films in your Canvas course site. This resource provides some guidance about copyright and best practices for online video. Please review this article which discusses fair use and copyright considerations for video in online and blended courses


If your video clip is less than 20 minutes, you can use VLC to digitize the clips using the steps below. However, if you plan to deliver the entire film you should use free software called, Handbreak. This tutorial provides instructions for using Handbreak to convert a video on DVD for online streaming delivery.

Before you begin:

  • You must have access to a DVD/CD drive (either built-in to your computer, or as an external drive). If you don’t have access to DVD/CD drive, you’ll need to purchase or borrow one to convert your DVD to an online format. We frequently recommend LG brand DVD drives with USB connection (available from Amazon).
  • If your video clip is less than 20 minutes, you can use VLC to digitize the clips. This tutorial provides instructions for using VLC to convert a DVD to a video clip for online streaming delivery.
  • Copy Protection is built into most commercial DVDs in order to prevent the reproduction of copyrighted material. This includes film and TV shows and any other video material that has been distributed widely on DVD. If a DVD is copyright protected, you will not be able to digitize the film using VLC. The video image will appear distorted, with a block or random dot pixel pattern. Copyright protected video is usually labeled as such on the packaging material. If you have a DVD that was created by a video camera or on a computer, it is likely that this material is not copy protected. If the DVD is copyright protected, you may be able to install an additional tool for VLC called libdvdcss. See this article for more information.

 For video clips that are less than 20 minutes, you can use VLC to digitize the clips:

    1. Download and install VLC. If you have a University-owned computer, you can install VLC through Self Service (on a Mac)  or Software Center (for PC). For non-University-owned computers, you can download VLC from this website: https://www.videolan.org/vlc/
    2. After installation, open VLC.
    3. Open the DVD file by clicking Media and then Convert/Save.
    4. Check the DVD box, and make sure that the “Disc Device” field points to your DVD drive. Click the Convert/Save button to rip the DVD.
    5. Once you click Convert, in most cases, you can keep the default, H.264 video codec, MP3 audio format, in an MP4 file type. 
    6. Pick where you want to output your video file, then give it a name. At the end, be sure to include the file extension (in this case, .mp4). If you don’t include this, VLC won’t rip the movie properly. When you’re done, click Save.
    7. Back on the Convert screen, click Start to begin ripping the movie.
    8. Once it begins, you can see a progress bar along the bottom. This process is in real-time, so for a 10 minute clip, it will take 10 minutes to digitize. 
    9. Once the movie is done, click the Stop button.
    10. Locate the .mp4 file where you saved it on your computer.
    Once digitized, you can upload the video file to your Canvas course site using the My Media tool. My Media will display video (or audio files) in the browser with controls. Students do not need special hardware or software to view the videos. Here are the instructions for uploading a video file to a Canvas Page using My Media.




        Keywords:DVD video online streaming delivery   Doc ID:99058
        Owner:Amy M.Group:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
        Created:2020-03-18 13:11 CDTUpdated:2022-08-09 12:36 CDT
        Sites:UW-Milwaukee Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
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