I never really thought about backing up my DVDs until i scrached a few of them. At 20 bucks per movie, worse case scenario, you might think about backing up your DVDs. Its real easy, all you need is a bit of hard drive space, a DVD burner, and some free software.
As I said before, it's pretty easy to scratch a disc, or worse yet break them. Those disc buffing systems work well, I'm not going to lie, but nothing can beat an original copy of the movie. The techniques used here can be applied to many other applications such as DVD authoring, or just plain DVD burning.
There are a few things you need to know right off the bat: YOU MUST OWN THE DVD YOU ARE BACKING UP. IT IS AGAINST COPYRIGHT LAWS TO COPY A DVD THAT DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU. THIS SITE DOES NOT SUPPORT ILLEGAL ACTIONS OF THIS NATURE. That being said I'll gladly show you how easy it is to back up a DVD....which you own.
What you'll need
There are three things you are going to need: A computer with DVD burner, Blank DVDs, and free software.
DVD burner: Most computers come are being marketed with burners these days. The first thing to look for is the writing format (DVD+R, DVD-R, DVD duel layer of +R or -R). Needless to say there are a bunch. Most, if not all, burners will support most, if not all, formats today, but if you have an old burner you really only need DVD-R. Rewritable DVDs are nice too but I don't see the need for a back-up copy, the whole point is for it to be secure, not rewritable. Write speed is also important. A 2x write speed will take around 30 minutes to burn, maybe more. 4x around 20 min, 8x around 12min....those are just estimates, it all depends on software and your system. Personaly I would recommend at least 4x.
Blank DVDs: I know you're wondering, what makes a blank DVD special, there shouldn't be much to it right? In most cases there's not, you need to make sure you match up your DVD-R, +R, RW type and write speed you can handle. I have some recommendations of what are good discs but basicaly you can't go to wrong. Here are some good sites to get DVDs from that I like. You have to make sure that your DVD burner is compatible with certain types of blank media by either going to the OEM's web site or checking a master list for the DVDs (I got screwed by not checking before I bought).
Software: DVDShrink 3.2 can backup a DVD-9 Disc into DVD-5, it can even burn the files if you have Nero 6 installed. You can also write the files into a ISO Image File and burn it with DVD Decrypter. It performs deep analysis so you don't lose quality. To download DVDShrink 3.2 visit www.dvdshrink.org.