So, I know some of my readers have used my original DVD ripping and encoding guide to get setup with the right software. But some of the recommendations are stale. At the very least I wanted to recommend a product to take the place of DVD Decrypter which has been abandoned by its creators under legal threats from the MPAA and their minions.
I have been using an inexpensive tool from Slysoft to help with copying DVDs. AnyDVD is a lightweight driver that removes CSS, Macrovision, and Region Codes from DVDs making them directly accessible for conversion using any encoding utility such as Nero Recode 2, 1ClickDVDCopy, and others. For $30 it is well worth the price. The application is updated frequently to keep up with new encryption/copy protection schemes used by movie studios who want to tell you where and when you can watch a DVD you have purchased. Highly recommended.