- VirtualDub - This is the MPEG2 build by fccHandler. If you need to make AVIs (with any codec on your system) VirtualDub is the way to do it. It has a huge library of pluggins for manipulating pictures and sounds.
- Video ReDo allows you to edit the GOP without re-compressing the whole transport stream. If you do make a non-Iframe edit it only re-encodes between Iframes. It is superbly quick for cutting down TV programmes and even has a commercial break remover that works! I use it almost every day for getting the DV-MRS files out of my media PC (running MediaPortal) onto to video-DVD. Best $50 you'll spend
- MediaPortal is an open-source alternative to Windows Media Centre. I've been using it for about a year and am very impressed - I've written loads about it in the past so just use the search box (right) to find previous articles. Haven't used my VHS since!
- GSpot is the business if you can't figure out why a codec won't work properly or a file isn't decompressing as you expected.
- TMPGenc is just the best for transcoding to MPEG variants.
- Smart Ripper is my weapon of choice for extracting the VOBs from a DVD and decrypting them ready for....
- RipItAll which does the best job of re-encoding DVD VOBs into any AVI codec of your choice with all the re-sizing (for square pixels) and cropping (for removing black bands). This is how I make DivX files from DVDs.
- VSO DivXtoDVD does a very good job of making VOBs from any playable movie format. It puts chapter markers at near five minute intervals as it detects scene changes and is a fine way of making playable DVDs from any movie you might have downloaded. It has very few options (frame-rate, aspect ratio etc) but does a clean job of de-compressing / re-compressing (two pass) and even pulls up 23.976fps to 29.97 on the fly. Very fast.