In the console of choice:
1. Type mplayer dvd://1 -alang en -vf cropdetect
Use the appropriate chapter of your DVD. Let the DVD play for a bit, then quit.
You should see lines resembling this: crop area: X: 6..719 Y: 0..477 (-vf crop=704:464:12:8) 0.7% 35 0
The (-vf crop …) is the important part. Remember this for later.
2. There are three stages to the rip, with lots of configurable options. Here’s a sample.
First, rip the audio: mencoder dvd://1 -alang en -ovc frameno -o frameno.avi -oac mp3lame -lameopts abr:br=96:vol=5
Next, the first pass for the video: mencoder dvd://1 -nosound -oac copy -o /dev/null -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=1000:vhq:vpass=1 -aspect 16:9 -vf crop=704:464:12:8,scale -zoom -xy 640
Lastly, bring it all together: mencoder dvd://1 -oac copy -o file.avi -ovc lavc -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=1000:vhq:vpass=2 -aspect 16:9 -vf crop=704:464:12:8,scale -zoom -xy 640
The difference between stages 2 and 3 were the -o option and the vpass attribute. The -vf crop should be replaced with your -vf crop from the beginning. There are tons of options which one can play with to vary filesize and quality, but I’ll leave those to the reader to discover. Do set aside a healty chunk of time, as this process can take 3-5 hours for a full DVD.