Watching a movie at home on your TV or home theater PC is a simple affair: Insert the disc or open the file, and you’re ready to go. If you’re a new tablet or smartphone owner, however, taking your movie collection with you isn’t quite so easy. After all, you don’t have an optical drive handy for your tablet, and mobile devices often don’t play nicely with video files unless you use the appropriate file format and resolution. But we’ve prepared this collection of how-tos that will walk you through some of the more complicated steps involved in getting movies from your DVDs to your portable gadgets.
First, we’ll show you how to rip your DVD and Blu-ray movies to your PC using HandBrake and MakeMKV, respectively, so you can leave your optical drives behind. Both applications are free, and will make your movies look every bit as good on your PC as they do on the big screen.
Next, we’ll outline how to use HandBrake to convert movie files (either downloads or your own rips) into a format and resolution that your tablet or smartphone can play.
Finally, if you’ve recently been switching around from one PC to another, you might have problems syncing your iTunes Library purchases. And if that’s the case, you’ll probably need to authorize your new PC to access your iTunes account–and deauthorize your old machine–before you can sync all your iTunes stuff.
Of course, advanced PC users who know the ins and outs of every gadget they own won’t need these how-tos, but if your family and friends have been picking up Android smartphones or iPads lately, you might want to file this package away for future reference so that you don’t need to guide them through each procedure step-by-step.