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Old 08-04-2010, 12:03 AM   #1
Rob Williams
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Default Ripping Your Blu-rays the Easy and Free Way

Do you think that getting a Blu-ray movie off of its disc and onto your PC is complicated? It once was an arduous chore, but today, it's easier and more accessible than ever. We take a look at one of the simplest ways to both rip a movie onto to your PC, and then encode it into a variety of formats. Best part? It will cost you $0.00.

You can read our full how-to here and discuss it here!
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:43 PM   #2
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thanks for the article. now i feel comfortable in making backups of my bluray collection. but i have one question. i noticed the rips have black bars on top and bottom resulting in a 1920 x 1200 resolution. is there a way to keep the original crop instead of adding the black bars?
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #3
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I wasn't thinking when I took those screenshots... because they simply came out at my monitor's resolution, not the native movie resolution. All of the film's are actually 1920x1080 or close to it, bars included. I should have changed my monitor's resolution to 1080p, but didn't even clue in at the time. I'll add a note up top explaining this.

Regardless, you can crop a film if you like (it's found in the "Properties" section), but for the sake of keeping an accurate a copy as possible, I tend to leave that alone and just have a straight rip, bars and all.

Glad you liked the article :-)
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:03 PM   #4
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Default Rippin Hardware?

I would be helpful to include info about blu-ray rippers & burners, or can we use a regular
dvd burner to rip? Overall a very informative article for the un-informed. Kudos!!
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Old 08-05-2010, 04:58 AM   #5
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Thanks for the nice comments!

Yes, a Blu-ray drive (reader or writer) is required for ripping the movies. I should have mentioned that in the article but it didn't come to mind as I figured it'd be more of a common knowledge.

For ripping, any reader at all will do, but the faster the read speed, the faster the rips will be. You can also rip on Blu-ray writers, but personally I don't think I would, in order to preserve the drive's high writing performance for as long as possible. The drive I used for this article is 4x, and since each Blu-ray took about 45 minutes to rip, I'd assume that in optimal situations, the same type of Blu-rays would rip in 20 minutes or less on a 10x drive.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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Faster BD drives won't help. I cannot easily explain it but a 4X BD drive is no faster than a 1X or a 2X at ripping. The drive recognizes pressed BD media and goes at 1X from what I've been able to find out on CDFreaks. I even flashed my 2X drive with hacked firmware to try and speed it up - no joy.

For those that want to do this process a little more manually eac3to will extract the video and audio etc. from BD images. There are GUI front-ends for this tool, I use the one in meGUI but it doesn't always work. I generally use meGUI for all of my compression as I get the most control over it - RipBot rips the whole danged disk just to do ANY manipulation and when it crashes those files are left behind. HandBrake is good but it lacks options too.

You've not covered sub-titles. You will quickly find that "forced" subtitles are of interest. BDSup2Sub is a very good tool for taking the .SUB subtitles from a BD and turning them into files that MKV can store and programs like XBMC can display. It is possible to extract\save\export just the Forced subtitles if you want.

You'll want some metadata to go with your files most likely depending upon your HTPC setup. I use Ember for XBMC but there are others out there. DVDProfiler is also good for creating a WEB based listing of your collection.

Oh and Win7 includes some internal decoders that can cause issues transcoding. I cannot recall exactly how I solved this but be aware of it if you run into issues with VC-1 encoded BD.

Think that's all the tips I can recall right now :-)

Always check your soundtrack - sometimes you will accidentally grab the Director's narration which stinks if you don't find out until viewing time.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
Faster BD drives won't help. I cannot easily explain it but a 4X BD drive is no faster than a 1X or a 2X at ripping.
Ugh, a form of copy-protection, it seems. Though it's kind of an odd one, given that the movie does get ripped eventually. I have to wonder... what's the point of a faster BD-ROM then, if 1x is just fine for playback?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
For those that want to do this process a little more manually eac3to will extract the video and audio etc. from BD images.
This is one of the things I want to dealve into a bit more later, but for the sake of getting a rip done and over with in a simple manner, I just wanted to tackle the basics here. The output is also good, and I don't believe most people will feel the need to get into more exotic settings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered
RipBot rips the whole danged disk just to do ANY manipulation and when it crashes those files are left behind.
So... reading in the entire disc is NOT typical? I was left confused as to the reason for that... I'm going to have to go give eac3to and meGUI a go soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregisted
You've not covered sub-titles.
This is something I should have mentioned, I agree. I personally never use subtitles on any movie, so it didn't even come to mind, like a couple of other things I ended up leaving out

For all of the other things you mentioned, thanks for pointing them out. In future content, I'll be sure to tackle those a little bit more in-depth. This article was meant to be more of a primer, since I basically learned how to use these applications a day or two before writing the article. Was excited enough and just jumped on it ;-)

Thanks for the great input and information!
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:20 PM   #8
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I honestly do not know why BD drives come in "faster" speeds if they do not rip faster. I have an older first generation drive and one of the newer drives which is supposed to be multiples faster than the original - both take 30mins to rip a movie if not more. I don't get it either but these days that's a significant time sink in the process.

As for RipBot, yeah just looking at the disk to see what's on there will cause it to rip the darned thing. nothing more frustrating than accidentally closing the dialog and having to wait through THAT again. meGUI will examine the structure using eac3to and from there you can decide what streams to rip. In the end yeah this is faster for me but perhaps not for everyone. I will point out I have now ripped a few hundred BD though :-)

As for subs, the ones I really care about are the forced ones. For awhile I didn't care but try watching something like District 13 without them! VERY frustrating!

I am now also looking into using soundtracks other than AC3. I can rip DTS and the others but these often end up being nearly as big as the movie itself. AC3 sounds fine and is maybe 500megs, DTS can be as big as 5gig! I am looking for good ways to compress this that players will play fine - chances are slim an XBOX is going to like FLAC for instance. I usually use XBMC but who knows what the future may hold so I try to bear that in mind. This is also why I choose to use my own settings and they are often much higher than settings out of the box in many programs. Why? Because in the future I may be projecting this on a 10foot tall screen in a basement somewhere instead of a 50inch LCD. When that day comes I don't want it to feel like the day I realized ripping my CDs to just 128K was a bad idea to save space. MP3 rip fast, BD take awhile and the compression often takes hours even with the beast I've built to do it. It's scary when a 6core Extreme is pondered simply because you know it will save you 20-40% encoding time! :-)

Anyway, yeah I know this was geared as a starter article for many who don't realize it's doable. Probably the subtitle are the issue that will be the most helpful to people. BDSup2Sub is awesome once you figure out the few clicks needed to get it done.

P.S. You might want to also point out to folks that they won't get menus or "extras" when using MKV. Nothing so far rips like DVDs do sadly. MKV can do menus supposedly and can do alternate sound tracks too - I've just never seen them done even by XBMC but I'm always looking for tools to try to do it with...
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:24 PM   #9
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Bah, I went ahead and registered - that's me above
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Old 08-06-2010, 04:30 AM   #10
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm clueless also to the reason that there exist faster Blu-ray drives, but I'm tempted to purchase a new drive soon (I need a second), and will likely make it an 8x or 10x since the premium is minimal and then do some hands-on testing. What I'm wondering is... if you have a data Blu-ray... as in, you took a Blu-ray and burned your files to it, would it also suffer the limited read speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKMGK
As for RipBot, yeah just looking at the disk to see what's on there will cause it to rip the darned thing. nothing more frustrating than accidentally closing the dialog and having to wait through THAT again.
I've encoded about 20 or 25 films (some were doubles, to test different things) and had some similar issues like that, but I blame more the fact that I was doing all of this on a benchmarking PC that has limited storage (just an 80GB SSD and 250GB 2.5" that I used temporarily). One thing that bugged me was that on two occasions, I outputted the file straight to my NAS box, but neither time the file actually wound up there - or anywhere. The process still took five hours, and was "Successful", but no file. Very aggravating.

I'm still very glad I discovered the program though, because it's still without question simple to use, and will suffice for a lot of people. Once I find a better solution (as in, test your solutions and others) and become used to those, I'm likely to make a switch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKMGK
As for subs, the ones I really care about are the forced ones. For awhile I didn't care but try watching something like District 13 without them! VERY frustrating!
There are forced subtitles in that film? I unfortunately haven't seen it yet. That's absolutely true though... I honestly never watch movies with subs so I didn't even think of it. I'll definitely be playing around with those on my personal collection to get used to handling them. Who would have thought something so simple would be so finicky?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BLKMGK
I am now also looking into using soundtracks other than AC3.
This is something I've been curious about also. With RipBot, if I rip a movie with Dolby HD, I don't have an option to retain lossless audio with MKV, but rather only with AVCHD (I admit I am not even familiar with that format). If the movie supports DTS, then I can retain lossless audio, in the form of 1,500Kbit/s, or thereabouts. I wish I knew how to retain lossless audio with MKV for movies that don't have DTS support.

5GB for audio though? That sounds extreme. I ripped the DTS track from The Devil's Rejects (lossless) and it came out to be 1,510 Kbit/s and 1.17GB total, for a 1h 50m track.

I do suppose that some ultra-high-def films could use 24/192 audio, which could result in a 5GB file, but I'm not sure I've seen that yet (I admit I haven't looked).

Thanks a lot for all the information, I appreciate it a lot. I have a lot to be testing over the next couple of weeks, so I hope I can clear off my plate a bit and dedicate more time to it soon. The biggest problem with testing all this is that each encode takes so long to complete. So tedious!
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:26 AM   #11
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If you take a look at the support thread for eac3to on Doom9 you'll find lots of good information - it's a tome though so beware

I gleaned the info on ripping speeds from CDFreaks when I was looking for ways to speed up my new BD drive. I used hacked firmware and still couldn't detect a speed increase I too am puzzled as to why drives are advertised in faster speeds if they aren't capable of pulling video more quickly. Since BD is used for data also I think that this is what the faster speeds refer to. If you test and find a faster drive I'm ALL ears though!

I too think RipBot is a good program, it's quirks though annoyed me enough that I don't use it. I like that I can setup jobs in meGUI and walk away knowing they will get done. RipBot should be able to do this too but I've had more issues and trust it less.

Most any film that has foreign dialog will have forced subtitles. Now I'm not a big foreign film watcher but one of the Star Wars, some of the Star Trek, District 13, Final Fantasy VII, and lots of other films have subtitles for this dialog. Yup, I found this out the hard way! District 13 was the one that forced me to figure out how to handle it though as following what was going on without it wasn't going to happen! BDsup2Sub was the answer BTW many disks have multiple sub tracks for the same language. Some are tracks for the truly deaf while others may be for those who don't speak the language or don't want the sound on - the ones for the deaf are MUCH more verbose and describe background sounds - you likely do not want these but can pull forced subs from them as well. I rip them all and examine the eac3to log to see if there are forced subs to worry about before digging into them.

Soundtracks are a touchy one for me. I have a 5.1 system and my receiver can do 7.1 but I see no point. Until recently I didn't think Linux\XBMC could output the advanced CODECs but now find that it's possible and I've even done it in some tests. But the size difference! AC3 is compressed and small, DTS is huge! i most recently ripped "In the Name of the King". Video ripped at 29gig, compressed to 22gig. AC3 was 760megs, DTS was 5.4gig! Owwie! Star Trek VI ripped at 19gig, compressed to 7.4gig. AC3 was 515megs and THD sound was 3.9gigs! That's HALF of the compressed movie size Now I know the advanced CODEC are loss-less and should sound great but I'm not sure they sound THAT much better. I'd liek to compress them with FLAC or something at least but then playback could be an issue depending on the playback target. RipBot may not even be showing you these advanced CODECs when you rip or it may be compressing them - I'm not sure. but if you examine disks with eac3to you will see ALL of the tracks - and probably a ton more subtitle tracks than you knew were there too. When I do rip advanced CODEC I also rip the AC3 and place BOTH of them in the movie with the AC3 as the default flagged track. XBMC can switch to the alternate track if I desire but it's a hassle - I wish it would alert me to alternate tracks and make the switch easier. This way I could also begin storing the Director's narrative on films that have that. MKV menus would be nice one day too... MKV can supposedly also do branching like BD can but good luck finding a tool to create this much less play it back or select a path

Some tools to look into - MKVToolnix has a suite which includes MKVMerge for creating\muxing MKV files from audio and video files. Handles chapters (you rip those right?), subs, multiple video and audio tracks. This also has MKVInfo for figuring out what exactly is IN a MKV container. DirectShow Filter Graph Editor - I use this to work with .AVS files for use with meGUI. This tells the computer how to decode\display files. Hard to explain quickly and meGUI didn't used to need .GRF files but it seems to now. I can explain this further if and when you get to using meGUI I've written some poor tutorials on doing all of this before, might be time to write a better one now that I've figured more out

Yeah, I've learned WAY too much about all of this Hope it's helpful!
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Old 11-14-2010, 08:31 AM   #12
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Default what to do with DVDfab when no single two hour .m2ts file?

Hi Rob, great article, but I have a question.

From the screen-shots you show the output from DVDfab when using the whole-disk option has one easily identifiable main-movie file, i.e. the one that is 2.01 hours long.

However, when i tried the whole-disk option as per your screenshots i got a million .m2ts files, none of which were longer than 13 minutes..............

What do you do in this situation?

I am currently having another crack with the main-movie option, which brings up another dialogue box before ripping begins, asking which of the files i would like to select.

On a movie that is advertised on the box as 118 minutes i had four 'obvious' options at the top of the list which included:
2.01:43
1.57:03
1.54:55
1.54:55

I picked the 1.57:03 as it is the closest to 118 minutes, but again, how does one determine which is the correct sequence to grab?
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Hi Rob, great article, but I have a question.

From the screen-shots you show the output from DVDfab when using the whole-disk option has one easily identifiable main-movie file, i.e. the one that is 2.01 hours long.

However, when i tried the whole-disk option as per your screenshots i got a million .m2ts files, none of which were longer than 13 minutes..............

What do you do in this situation?

I am currently having another crack with the main-movie option, which brings up another dialogue box before ripping begins, asking which of the files i would like to select.

On a movie that is advertised on the box as 118 minutes i had four 'obvious' options at the top of the list which included:
2.01:43
1.57:03
1.54:55
1.54:55

I picked the 1.57:03 as it is the closest to 118 minutes, but again, how does one determine which is the correct sequence to grab?
ahhhh good ol' RipGuard. It's a copy protection that scrambles all the .m2ts files so rippers can't read them correctly, and makes it appear that there are a TON of files when there are only a few. I had this happen with quite a few dvds, even when DVDFab was completely up to date. If DVDFab can't crack the RipGuard, you won't ever get the right rip. the movie will be mixed up when you rip it. Meaning, when I tried to rip one that had this CP by picking the one closest to the movie length, the parts of the movie were out of order...it mixes the scenes up like crazy.
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Old 11-14-2010, 09:40 AM   #14
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cheers, the version i am using is dated 30/10/2010, for the 8.3 version, but there was an 8.4 recommended upgrade, do you think this might solve it?

p.s. any reason why ripping the movie-only option happens at a mere 1.6MB/sec, whereas the whole-disk option is ten times faster?

cheers
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:19 AM   #15
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Default well, this is all rather disappointing

well, i have now tried version 8.0.4 and got the same result; lots of little m2ts files now more than 3GB in size and 15 minutes in length.

i had bought terminator salvation as a test for HD viewing on my shiny new PS3, but am reluctant to invest a lot in blu-rays if i cannot back them up and run them from my HTPC.

having tried the most up to date version of DVDfab and immediately run head first into the brick wall that is Ripguard, on the first blu-ray that i have tried, where do i go from here?

is DVDfab useless, or is terminator salvation known to be a particularly difficult movie to back up?

cheers
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