Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

Discuss North American DVDs and Blu-rays or other DVD and Blu-ray-related topics.
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Murdoch
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 11:59 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#1 Post by Murdoch » Thu Apr 30, 2015 1:35 pm

"The Future of Home Video" thread has piqued my interest in maintaining my collection in digital form so I've been on the hunt for a converter program. I was hoping to use this thread to provide general pointers about which available programs are the best, along with the pitfalls of engaging in the process (whatever they may be). I haven't even begun to convert anything so I'm interested in hearing what others have had success with. I see there are a variety of free programs available (an over-abundance actually) but I don't trust them unless I were to hear a good report from someone here. Also I was wondering if anyone who has converted their libraries has found any copyright protections blocking the conversion.

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Michael Kerpan
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#2 Post by Michael Kerpan » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:04 pm

I just would like to be able to get screen shots from movies on Blu-Ray...

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TMDaines
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
Location: Stretford, Manchester

Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#3 Post by TMDaines » Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:21 pm

1) Every commercial DVD and Blu-Ray has copyright protection. You'll need DVD Decrypter, AnyDVD or similar to remove it.

2) Ripping comes in roughly three flavours:

A) Use MakeMKV or similar to losslessly transcode video and audio into a highly flexible MKV container. This just essentially makes a 1:1 copy of whatever video/audio content is on the disc and thus requires the same amount space as the content does on the disc.

B) Use Handbrake (or similar) to transcode video and audio in a lossy manner with minimum input in a user friendly way. Now you start to have options and can strike a balance between quality, file size and encoding time, dependent upon the source and your needs. The results are pretty good on the whole but higher quality, more efficient results can be achieved by using more advanced tools.

C) Use MeGUI, AviSynth and a multitude of other tools to encode in a lossy manner. Here there is a steeper learning curve, but ultimately you have more precision over the encoding parameters to get the more efficient rips from the source material, even at times straddling into the realms of digital restoration.

3) As for pitfalls? There isn't many really. The biggest scare is not having a back up and having a corrupted hard drive lose everything. DVD and Blu-Ray are such shitty straight-jacketed formats that moving to digital files is a liberation. I've started using Plex and Kodi to manage all my digital files, which consist mainly of TV rips and the like, and it now feels laborious putting a disc in.

At some point I'll begin ripping discs, starting with those that would actually benefit from it, such as non-anamorphic ones, but I think the sensible thing to do is to wait a year or two for H.265 to have wider support, as that will offer big benefits over H.264 in terms of encoding efficiency.

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Murdoch
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#4 Post by Murdoch » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:11 pm

Thanks for the quick overview, Daines, it has already been most helpful. I have a fairly large supply of non-anamorphic discs lying around so I'll likely be going through them come the weekend. I'll have to test out the various available programs to see which fits my fancy, although the lossless conversion is likely since I just bought a brand new external hard drive with several terabytes of storage and thus have plenty of storage (for now).

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TMDaines
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:01 pm
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#5 Post by TMDaines » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:36 pm

To be honest, for non-anamorphic (widescreen) content (that ought to have been anamorphic), I wouldn't consider not re-encoding it. You want to get rid of that unnecessary black letter-boxing after all.

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domino harvey
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#6 Post by domino harvey » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:29 pm

I use RipIt, which in the free version lets you rip I think twenty or so titles before you have to purchase it. It just creates a DVD-R copy of the disc in question via pretty much the easiest system in the world: insert disc, hit start rip, done

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manicsounds
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#7 Post by manicsounds » Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:54 pm

DVD Audio Extractor is good for ripping audio tracks, whether commentary, isolated score, for both DVD and Blu-ray.
For ripping blu-ray audio tracks and some dvd audio tracks a program like AnyDVD is necessary to get around the copy protection.

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Koukol
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 8:31 pm

Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#8 Post by Koukol » Fri May 01, 2015 3:25 pm

Another option is DVDFab and DVDFab Passkey.
I prefer AnyDVD though.
Has anyone noticed a difference in quality between MakeMKV and Handbrake set to best quality (lossless)?

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danieltiger
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#9 Post by danieltiger » Fri May 01, 2015 4:50 pm

Is anyone ripping Blu-rays and not compressing them? I'm pondering doing that but the storage needed would be somewhat crazy.

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TMDaines
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#10 Post by TMDaines » Fri May 01, 2015 6:07 pm

Koukol wrote:Has anyone noticed a difference in quality between MakeMKV and Handbrake set to best quality (lossless)?
Unless Handbrake has changed recently, the two pieces of the software do two different things. MakeMKV just remuxes the content and puts it in an MKV container. Handbrake would be uncompressing the video before re-encoding and attempting to preserve all the detail. You would end up a monumentally bloated file. Handbrake cannot pass through video. You do not want to be using Handbrake for lossless workflows.

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TMDaines
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#11 Post by TMDaines » Fri May 01, 2015 6:10 pm

danieltiger wrote:Is anyone ripping Blu-rays and not compressing them? I'm pondering doing that but the storage needed would be somewhat crazy.
People do, but they tend to ditch the Blu-Ray container nowadays and stick it in an MKV. I'd like to but hard drives aren't making the same leaps in storage sizes as they once were, so it gets expensive quick.

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Koukol
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#12 Post by Koukol » Fri May 01, 2015 7:40 pm

TMDaines wrote:
Koukol wrote:Has anyone noticed a difference in quality between MakeMKV and Handbrake set to best quality (lossless)?
Unless Handbrake has changed recently, the two pieces of the software do two different things. MakeMKV just remuxes the content and puts it in an MKV container. Handbrake would be uncompressing the video before re-encoding and attempting to preserve all the detail. You would end up a monumentally bloated file. Handbrake cannot pass through video. You do not want to be using Handbrake for lossless workflows.
Cheers!

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#13 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat May 02, 2015 2:15 pm

manicsounds wrote:DVD Audio Extractor is good for ripping audio tracks, whether commentary, isolated score, for both DVD and Blu-ray.
For ripping blu-ray audio tracks and some dvd audio tracks a program like AnyDVD is necessary to get around the copy protection.
It's really great for ripping concert DVDs to MP3 or FLAC.

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Koukol
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#14 Post by Koukol » Sat May 02, 2015 3:44 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
manicsounds wrote:DVD Audio Extractor is good for ripping audio tracks, whether commentary, isolated score, for both DVD and Blu-ray.
For ripping blu-ray audio tracks and some dvd audio tracks a program like AnyDVD is necessary to get around the copy protection.
It's really great for ripping concert DVDs to MP3 or FLAC.
Also taking movie excerpts to make into ringtones.

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Ogre Kovacs
Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 10:04 pm

Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#15 Post by Ogre Kovacs » Sun May 03, 2015 10:59 am

1) Every commercial DVD and Blu-Ray has copyright protection. You'll need DVD Decrypter, AnyDVD or similar to remove it.

2) Ripping comes in roughly three flavours:

A) Use MakeMKV or similar to losslessly transcode video and audio into a highly flexible MKV container. This just essentially makes a 1:1 copy of whatever video/audio content is on the disc and thus requires the same amount space as the content does on the disc.
Like Murdoch, backing up my collection has been on the back of my mind for a while. From what I have been reading, it seems like the MakeMKV program is able to get past copyright protection and an additional program like AnyDVD is not necessary. This is from the MakeMKV.com website:

"It converts the video clips from proprietary (and usually encrypted) disc into a set of MKV files, preserving most information but not changing it in any way." and a little later down the page, "No additional software is required for conversion or decryption."

Based on previous posts, I am guessing that TMDaines has been backing up discs with these programs for a while (I am a long time reader, but rare poster), so this may be a new function. Has someone acquired MakeMKV recently and can verify that no additional decryption is necessary or if there is a reason additional software might be necessary?

The reason I ask is 2 fold. One, AnyDVD currently has a 20% discount until May 12. A lifetime register key would then be about 100 euros. I am not sure if this is worthy investment. But more importantly for me, is using programs I can trust. I used DVDShrink about a decade ago with fine results, but when I changed computers and needed to re-download, I found the program loaded with malware and adware from the same "official" website. Lesson learned that good downloads years ago, do not translate to current good downloads.

Thanks for the information already provided (especially TMDaines) and for any further info. This is helpful for those of us looking to back up our collections (what with all of the brown blu rays and some of the Warner discs) and trying to navigate the useful software from the junk.

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willoneill
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#16 Post by willoneill » Sun May 03, 2015 11:36 am

I recently started using MakeMKV for ripping blus and I've found its worked quite well. Definitely didn't need any additional decryption. I'm ripping my blus to watch stuff on my iPad when I travel, so after MakeMKV I use Handbrake to compress the files to a manageable size.

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TMDaines
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#17 Post by TMDaines » Sun May 03, 2015 1:03 pm

There you go then. It looks like MakeMKV is all that is needed for 1:1 transcodes.

In answer to above, I'm not one for backing up my collection. Most of the digital stuff I have is of the variety that isn't available elsewhere. Longterm, I'd like to have everything digital, but you would need a monumentally big server to backup all your Blu-rays without doing some lossy ripping.

naersjoen
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#18 Post by naersjoen » Sun May 03, 2015 1:04 pm

willoneill wrote:[..] so after MakeMKV I use Handbrake to compress the files to a manageable size.
This is my workflow as well. Note that MakeMKV is free while in beta. If file size is a concern, it is a good idea to experiment with different HandBrake encoder presets. For me, the best compromise between file size and encoding time is the 'faster' preset.

Nitestel
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:53 pm

Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#19 Post by Nitestel » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:50 am

Handbrake and Makemkv can be a relatively great choice: https://www.digitaltrends.com/home-thea ... ray-movie/
But there's still some DVD ripping problems on Handbrake, so there are many tutorials on fixing problems you may meet when converting DVDs and videos via Handbrake: http://www.videoconverterfactory.com/ti ... orial.html
Share with you.

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MoonlitKnight
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#20 Post by MoonlitKnight » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:30 pm

Ultimately I'd love to see a device where you can store all your movies once they've been digitally converted from DVD/Blu-ray, and then you can simply plug it in to your Blu-ray player and access/play any of the titles on it from there.

calculus entrophy
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:32 am

Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#21 Post by calculus entrophy » Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:08 pm

I use Plex, and any PC, TV, Smartphone, etc. for my device.

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#22 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:48 am

MoonlitKnight wrote:Ultimately I'd love to see a device where you can store all your movies once they've been digitally converted from DVD/Blu-ray, and then you can simply plug it in to your Blu-ray player and access/play any of the titles on it from there.
You already can, it's called a hard drive :wink:

naersjoen
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 6:46 pm

Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#23 Post by naersjoen » Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:19 am

Hooking up your computer, media centre, or hard disk (in case your TV/projector has playback capabilities) shouldn't be too difficult. But don't underestimate the time it takes to rip all your discs (also, if you want to conserve hard disk space, take into account the time required to find the ideal settings for a given film – they can vary quite a bit depending on source quality/graininess etc.; there'a lot of potential for saving disk space here though). And the upkeep associated with handling that much data. At the very least you'll want to do regular backups, but it would probably be wise to invest in e.g. a NAS which would take care of data redundancy for you (and could also serve as your media centre).

Ask yourself why you are considering this: if it's just for convenience reasons (opening a digital file rather than walking to the shelf and picking the disc etc), and unless you also want the ability to stream your films over the internet, it's probably not worth the effort. After I thought those things through, and calculated how much data I would (approximately) end up with after spending weeks (at least) ripping my discs, I figured it wasn't worth it for me.

djvaso
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Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#24 Post by djvaso » Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:30 pm

MoonlitKnight wrote:Ultimately I'd love to see a device where you can store all your movies once they've been digitally converted from DVD/Blu-ray, and then you can simply plug it in to your Blu-ray player and access/play any of the titles on it from there.
Something like this:
Image

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MoonlitKnight
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Converting DVD/Blu-ray to Digital Files

#25 Post by MoonlitKnight » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:49 am

Thanks for the input. My intentions for potentially taking on his plot would mostly be for the purpose of saving space in the long term. I digitally converted my entire music library a few years back (and saved them to a hard drive extension while also syncing them to my iPod) and haven't physically bought a CD/record/etc. since. While my movie collection is at least 4 times larger than that, it now takes up the vast majority of the largest wall in my cramped apartment. I've cut down considerably on the number of DVDs/Blu-rays in the last few years, but the dam is undoubtedly going to burst eventually. :? I'll weigh my options and see where to go from there.

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