Tutorial: Converting DVD to Palm Pre

With the multimedia capabilities of the Palm Pre, there is no doubt that many of our readers will want to convert their DVD’s for use on the Palm Pre. This tutorial will guide you through the entire process using the free software, Handbrake, available for both PC and Mac. In the tutorial, we took our copy of Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” and coverted the DVD for use on the Palm Pre. The processing time is dependant upon your computer’s processor and the legnth of your DVD. “A Bug’s Life” is 1 hour and 34 minutes. On a Mac Pro, the entire process took roughly 35 minutes from start to finish. Since the Palm Pre supports iTunes, we were able add the converted movie to iTunes and then sync with the Pre. Let’s make movies!

There are a number of software applications that will allow you to convert your DVD’s into a playable format on your Palm Pre. Handbrake works great, it’s free and you can download a copy for either Mac or PC. Grab a copy, install and get your DVD’s ready!

Step 1: Insert your DVD onto your computer and then launch Handbrake. On our Mac, we opened the source DVD BUGSLIFE and selected the ‘VIDEO_TS’ folder. Immediately it started to scan the DVD.

Select Video TS

Step 2: There are various presets and you can tweak settings to your preference. For our conversion, we had the following presets:

  • Video Codec: H.264 (x264)
  • Framerate (FPS): Same as source
  • Average Bitrate: 960

Click on Picture settings and set the following presets:

  • Source: 720×480
  • Keep aspect ratio: On
  • Denoise: Off
  • Output: 496×368 (this is due to the fact that we selected Keep Aspect Ration On.l
  • Source: 720×480
  • Crop: Auto
  • Deblock: Off
  • Decomb: Off
  • Detelecine: No


    DVD to Palm Pre picture settings

DVD to Palm Pre encoding

Step 3: Click on the Start icon to begin the encoding process.


DVD to Palm Pre encoding

Step 4: When the coversion is completed, Handbrake will inform you to “Put down the cocktail, your Handbrake queu is done.

Conversion complete

Step 5: If you use iTunes, simply drag the resulting file into iTunes. Select the ‘Movies’ tab and select ‘Sync movies’. I also selected the option to only bring my preferred movies and then checked BUGSLIFE. When the sync completes, eject the Palm Pre from your computer.

Copying movie to iTunes

DVD to Palm Pre

Step 6: Select the Application Launcher and open up the Videos application. Select your movie and it will start playing immediately. You’ve now successfully converted your DVD movie for use on the Palm Pre. Enjoy your movies on your Palm Pre!

Have a better method? Let us know either in the comments or in our DVD to Palm Pre forum.

EverythingPre.com does not support, nor do we endorse illegal copying of copyrighted material. The above process is intended to allow for Palm Pre users to convert DVD’s that they own for use on the Palm Pre.

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