So the long and the short of it turns out to be Rip it with SmartRipper (http://www.mpegx.com/video.asp?dcat=VideoRipper&detail=323)
to a vob file. Then use
a utility called Flask-it (http://www.flaskmpeg.net) to convert it to an AVI file, and wa-la... you have an AVI file you can work with. YOu can do this with an internal CD/DVD Rom and you don't have to have a video capture card/ DVD Player....etc.
I've used SmartRipper and other DVD rippers to successfully extract films. From that point, you can either watch the movie using WMP (just point it to the VOB file), or you can compress it for easier storage using FlaskMPEG and Divx.
I find Divx can give you fairly high quality video at full DVD resolution plus 128k stereo mp3 soundtrack for around 70-80 min on a 700MB CD. But I stress this, the quality difference vs DVD and AC3 sound is noticable. And it takes a LONG time...it takes my Celeron2 @ 825 over 3 hours to produce one hour of video.
Word of warning: DO NOT USE OPEN DIVX ( Divx 4.x ), its terribly CPU-intensive for a tiny benefit, and the last time I tried the encoder it was unstable. The LAST thing you want is the encoder to crash right in the middle of the movie. Use the LAST version before OpenDivx, I believe it was 3.22.
There are a few Divx sites with plenty of information, but since I'm not at my home computer I can't dig any of them up for you. But you can pop "Divx" into any search engine and you'll find everything you need.
This signature space FOR SALE
[This message has been edited by MadCat (edited 07-17-2001).]