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Is there any way to copy or transfer videos from these models, other than DVD's? Flash drives, hard drives, etc?
 

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No.

No dvd recorder ever allowed this: that was part of the compromise they made with Hollywood so they wouldn't be sued for making a device capable of "perfect digital copies".

You must burn DVDs, then rip the videos to your PC for conversion to more common video file formats.
 

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Depends what you want the rips to be, quality-wise and format-wise.

If you just want the original unmodified videos, without the menu and other formatting of dvd, a utility like VOB2MPG will extract each title as a MPEG2 file. MPEG2 files can be viewed on any hardware or software platform that supports dvd playback. MPEG2 files are large, the same size as the recording on your dvd. If you have just one movie taking up the whole dvd, the extracted MPEG2 will be 4.2GB. A one-hour TV episode would be approx 2GB, a sitcom 1GB (25% smaller if you already cut out the commercials before burning the dvd). The advantage of MPEG2 is its fairly easy to edit with apps like MPEG Streamclip, then the edited MPEG2 files can be quickly and losslessly converted back into dvds with menu. (This editing advantage is more valuable to owners of dvd-only or dvd-vhs recorders that lack an HDD feature.) MPEG Stream clip can also convert rips to smaller and/or lower-quality MP4 files.

Some devices and software players (Apple, etc) will balk at "pure" MPEG2 files, asking you to install additional codecs, blah blah. You can usually get around that by ripping your dvd titles with MakeMKV. This app rips to MPEG2 like VOB2MPG, but also encloses it in a MKV wrapper which may be better supported by some players. Again, the mkv files will be as large as the original videos on your dvd.

If your goal is smaller, more "portable" AVI, MP4 or MKV files you would need to do a bit more work. There are many format conversion and file size "shrink" apps available, each with different features and interfaces. One of the more popular is Handbrake, which lets you convert dvd rips directly to mp4, m4v (iPad, iPhone, AppleTV format) or mkv, in whatever size/quality tradeoff you want. Any conversion to smaller size will be fairly slow to process, however: between double and quadruple the running time of the dvd video depending on PC horsepower.

Other more specialized apps can be faster paths to a specific result. I use CloneDVDmobile to rip my dvds directly to smaller mp4 files for tablet and phone use. It is faster than Handbrake, but more limited in scope, and its "payware". Search thru some of the older "dvd conversion" threads here for more possibilities.
 
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