Slysoft AnyDVD HD full review
Slysoft AnyDVD HD is one of those programs which doesn't appear to do very much, but which is essential in certain circumstances. It disables copy protection and region coding, so you can play just about any DVD – see what Slysoft did with the name, there? – on a PC and run a copying program to make a backup. See also: Best Blu-ray player deals
What AnyDVD HD doesn't do is copy the DVD – for that you'll need a separate DVD copy application, like Nero or Slysoft's own CloneDVD. AnyDVD HD sits in the background and enables you to run whatever playback or backup software you want, just as if it's an unprotected DVD.
The usual caveat applies to this software, that copying a commercial movie DVD infringes the movie producer's intellectual property and may well be an offence. There are a few legitimate reasons why you might want to make a copy of a DVD, though.
The first is for backup, as it's not that difficult to scratch a DVD and make it unplayable. Backing up a legitimately purchased DVD for your own security is a grey area, but as long as you don't sell on the original or the copy, it's unlikely you'll have FAST at your door.
You could also have been living abroad and have built up a collection of DVD movies from a different coding region. Assuming you can't continue to use the playback equipment you used when you were abroad, it seems reasonable to want to make copies of your movies with the new region code, when you return home.
Slysoft AnyDVD HD: convert US discs to the UK
You may also have bought a DVD as an import which isn't available in the UK. Again, you've paid for it and should surely be allowed to view it. If it uses the NTSC video format rather than PAL, though, you'll still need an NTSC-compatible player. Most recent DVD devices can run both formats.
AnyDVD HD can help with both these problems. When you first run it, it scans the DVD drives connected to your PC and presents their essential characteristics in its small, simple control panel.
The program works pretty transparently. When you load a DVD into any drive, the program scans it and logs its specs, including its CSS protection status, its region coding, any autorun abilities and its bad sector protection status. It'll display these on demand.
You need to set the default code region to 2 in the settings panel, for Europe, and the disc will then appear like a native disc. There are plenty of other settings that can be tweaked, too, but most can be left on their defaults.
What we've written about the program so far is true for AnyDVD (€49), but the HD version of this program handles Blu-ray and HD DVD discs (remember those) as well. It removes DRM restrictions and region coding and can also play them from a graphics card and on a display that isn't HDCP-compliant.
After installation, AnyDVD HD auto-starts with Windows, so any time you load a DVD in any drive, the software does its stuff to make the content readable.
Slysoft AnyDVD HD: Specs
- Windows XP SP2/Vista/7/8, 32/64-bit, 2GHz processor, 512MB RAM, DVD drive
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