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View Full Version : Thinking of ripping blu-rays. A few questions




InfiniteLoopy
Apr 10, 2012, 08:19 AM
I'm looking for a bit of advice on ripping blu-rays, Apple TV and how best to setup my system:

I have a MacBook, so would therefore need to get a blu-ray drive. From what I've read, a USB powered reader drive should be enough. Is that correct?
Also, does the speed of the drive have any impact on the ripping speed? I'm assuming that it does. Can anyone recommend a drive?

I don't have Windows, so will have to do everything in Lion. I understand that the best software for this is MakeMKV. How long would it take to rip a 2hr film to 1080p? Also, how much disk space would the 1080p film take?

For actual playback, I was thinking of storing the files on my MacBook and using Plex, with its iPhone app's airplay function, to my AppleTV.
What happens though if I receive an email, message, notification or call while Airplay is running?

Otherwise, I was thinking of maybe getting a USB or ethernet hard drive (connected to my Airport Extreme) and store my rips on there. This would have the advantage of not requiring the Mac to be on, but I couldn't use Plex. What could I use, without jailbreaking the Apple TV?


Thanks,



rayward
Apr 10, 2012, 09:33 AM
Ripping BDs is dependent on the speed of the drive you use. I have a Digistor Blu Ray Burner (http://www.google.com/products/catalog?client=safari&rls=en&q=digistor+external+blu-ray+burner&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=13271347263934699474&sa=X&ei=cUOET9mKEYic8QSa1u2XCA&ved=0CHYQ8wIwBA#ps-sellers), and it runs usually at 1.5x playback speed. (If you get this unit, it's highly advisable to use the separately sold power adapter - ripping BDs requires a lot of power and USB cannot keep up causing the drive to crash taking my Mac down with it).

Encoding the movie is what takes time. My iMac (2.93MHz i7) will run through a 720p encode a a little higher than playback speed but my old 2MHz intel-powered iMac used to take +/- 4 hours. 1080p is obviously going to be slower, but I have yet to do one of those.

If you want to use an external HDD for storage, and playback on your ATV without your Macbook being on, you'll need to jailbreak the ATV. I've never done that, so others here will have to fill you in on the details. I have only ATV1s, so I have no experience of Airplay.

mike457
Apr 10, 2012, 09:56 AM
The size of the MKV file depends upon the size of the movie on the original blu-ray. If the original blu-ray is 30GB, the size of the MKV file will be about 30GB. MakeMKV essentially only copies the original file, putting it in an MKV wrapper. I have had movies as low as 12GB and as high as 38GB, depending upon how the original encoding on the blu-ray was done. Typical time for MakeMKV to run for a two hour movie would be 40 minutes to an hour. If you plan to run the MKV files without using something like Handbrake to compress them in size, I would definitely store them on an external drive rather than your Macbook.

Gizmo22
Apr 10, 2012, 10:05 AM
Subscription made! Very interested in hearing things from the Mac crowd on how to get this done.

maturola
Apr 10, 2012, 10:18 AM
Speed will depend on your Drive (Reader/Writter) and on your computer.

On my case, 1080p rips take about ~4hours (ripping and encoding).

Files goes from 15gb up to 35 ~ 40GBs.

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 10, 2012, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the replies.

If I just want to rip them to MKVs, could I still play them through Plex (on Mac) and the Plex iPhone app?

If I were to get an external network drive, could I also just play them through one of the airplay-compatible apps that plays mkv? (Any recommendations on both a network drive and app?)

Thanks

mic j
Apr 10, 2012, 11:21 AM
I have a Plexar read only usb blu ray drive. Works fine. I then use MakeMKV to rip the mkv. Size is somewhat reduced over original as I am not ripping the menu's and extras, maybe 1-5GB, depending on particular movie.

Next, I transcode to mp4 using Handbrake High Profile setting. This gives a nearly perfect (perfect to my eyes!) reproduction of the original. File size is 5-10GB, again movie dependent. I usually let these go overnight because it takes 10-15 hours to transcode. Keep in mind that that (time) is the price you pay for high quality/minimal file size. I would suspect a Macbook would be a lot slower.

I then optimize the file for wifi streaming and add metadata using Subler. Move the file to my usb HDD connected to the Time Capsule. Add the file to iTunes. Sit back and enjoy!!

danny_w
Apr 10, 2012, 11:28 AM
I have a Plexar read only usb blu ray drive. Works fine. I then use MakeMKV to rip the mkv. Size is somewhat reduced over original as I am not ripping the menu's and extras, maybe 1-5GB, depending on particular movie.

Next, I transcode to mp4 using Handbrake High Profile setting. This gives a nearly perfect (perfect to my eyes!) reproduction of the original. File size is 5-10GB, again movie dependent. I usually let these go overnight because it takes 10-15 hours to transcode. Keep in mind that that (time) is the price you pay for high quality/minimal file size. I would suspect a Macbook would be a lot slower.

I then optimize the file for wifi streaming and add metadata using Subler. Move the file to my usb HDD connected to the Time Capsule. Add the file to iTunes. Sit back and enjoy!!
So if I understand this correctly you have your iTunes movies on the TC and also have an :apple:TV3. Is everything hardwired? Do you find that streaming to the :apple:TV is smooth enough going from the TC to your computer and then to the tv? I currently have an older AEBS (have a new TC on the way) but whenever I have tried to put the movies onto the AEBS disk playback has been awful.

EDIT: I just noticed the part about "optimize the file for wifi streaming". What exactly is this and how is it done? Does it have a real effect?

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 10, 2012, 11:32 AM
I have a Plexar read only usb blu ray drive. Works fine. I then use MakeMKV to rip the mkv. Size is somewhat reduced over original as I am not ripping the menu's and extras, maybe 1-5GB, depending on particular movie.

Next, I transcode to mp4 using Handbrake High Profile setting. This gives a nearly perfect (perfect to my eyes!) reproduction of the original. File size is 5-10GB, again movie dependent. I usually let these go overnight because it takes 10-15 hours to transcode. Keep in mind that that (time) is the price you pay for high quality/minimal file size. I would suspect a Macbook would be a lot slower.

I then optimize the file for wifi streaming and add metadata using Subler. Move the file to my usb HDD connected to the Time Capsule. Add the file to iTunes. Sit back and enjoy!!

But you need your Mac to be on to watch the rips, right?

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 10, 2012, 12:20 PM
Suppose I got a second-hand Mac Mini and used it as a media server, what is the oldest model I could get to play blu-ray 1080p rips?

mic j
Apr 10, 2012, 01:39 PM
So if I understand this correctly you have your iTunes movies on the TC and also have an :apple:TV3. Is everything hardwired? Do you find that streaming to the :apple:TV is smooth enough going from the TC to your computer and then to the tv? I currently have an older AEBS (have a new TC on the way) but whenever I have tried to put the movies onto the AEBS disk playback has been awful.

EDIT: I just noticed the part about "optimize the file for wifi streaming". What exactly is this and how is it done? Does it have a real effect?
The HDD is connected to the TC and I stream wirelessly to the aTV.

The streaming "optimization" is modifying the file to move the "moov atom" to the beginning of the file. From my understanding, this provides the player with information about the file that is needed for playing. By moving it to the beginning, the player has the needed information to start playing the file very quickly vs loading it completely to start playing. This can be accomplished during transcoding using Handbrake and checking the "Web Optimized" option. I usually use Subler to optimize as it will not only move the "moov atom" but also interleaves the file tracks. HB may do that also but not sure. I think Subler optimization can be performed on un-compressed mkv files, but not 100% sure as I transcode everything to mp4.

I have had 0 problems streaming mp4's to the aTV using wireless n in the next room. Your mileage may vary.
But you need your Mac to be on to watch the rips, right?
Yes, iTunes runs off of the MBP not the TC.

maturola
Apr 10, 2012, 01:50 PM
Suppose I got a second-hand Mac Mini and used it as a media server, what is the oldest model I could get to play blu-ray 1080p rips?

I think mid 2010 mini would be the minimun.

You were looking to use Plex, to be honest you can build your own HTPC for less than you can get an second hand mini, you don't have to have your laptop on, just the media PC (they can be very low power), and it can server all the ATVs and iOS devices (or any device with a Plex client) around your home (and even over the internet using myPlex)

I build one for my GF using this Mobo (ASRock E350M1/USB3), total cost of the system was just below $300 shipped (no OS) and it play all the 1080p Rips with no problem.

PM if you are interesting on something like that, I can share the devices I used.

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 10, 2012, 02:12 PM
To be honest, I want minimum hassle. It's my annoyance with blu-rays that made me start thinking about this in the first place.

Options:
1. It seems that if I rip blu-rays to a drive, I could then connect that drive to my Airport Extreme and use an iOS app like Goodplayer to stream them to my
ATV2. Is this true?

2. Otherwise, I could just use Plex server on my MacBook and stream to my ATV via their app.

3. I could also jailbreak (something I don't really want to do) and use XBMC.

Will streaming via an iOS app (Plex or Goodplayer) provide the same quality as the blu-ray in terms of av quality and compression?

How stable/secure is jailbreaking?

I just wish Apple let us attach a drive full of files to the Apple TV or Airport. :rolleyes:

maturola
Apr 10, 2012, 02:22 PM
To be honest, I want minimum hassle.

I'm not sure if "minimum hassle" can go on the same sentence as "Blue Ray rips", its a lot of work and take a lot of time, if you want "minimum hassle", stick with the Bluray player, stick the dics in > hit play > score!

anyways.... To stream to iOS devices..you need to use iTunes.. all you media need to be encoded on iTunes compatible format. (Not familiar with goodplayer so i cannot comment on that)

2. yes, you can have your media on Plex (pretty much any format) and stream to any devices that can run a Plex Client.

3. If you want to use Plex natively on the ATV, you need to jailbreak and you can install plex client, or XBMC.

The Jailbreak is as secure and stable as any unofficial hack, it all depend on how much "stuff" you install.

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 10, 2012, 02:29 PM
Also, just so I understand correctly, if I were to rip to MKV then convert with handbrake, I could just stream from iTunes on my Mac to my Apple TV without going through an iOS app? This seems to be the preferred solution, no?

----------

I know this is crazy to even think about doing, if I want minimum hassle. The discs just annoy me, as do the menus. Often, I just want to watch one of my blu-rays but am put off by the experience, which made me think about getting my films into a similar situation as my music is in iTunes.

I think I'm going to do this in stages. First get a blu-ray drive, then rip a disc, see how it goes playing it through different systems.

Why do people prefer converting with handbrake instead of just playing the MKV directly through Plex?

mic j
Apr 10, 2012, 02:56 PM
Also, just so I understand correctly, if I were to rip to MKV then convert with handbrake, I could just stream from iTunes on my Mac to my Apple TV without going through an iOS app? This seems to be the preferred solution, no?

----------

I know this is crazy to even think about doing, if I want minimum hassle. The discs just annoy me, as do the menus. Often, I just want to watch one of my blu-rays but am put off by the experience, which made me think about getting my films into a similar situation as my music is in iTunes.

I think I'm going to do this in stages. First get a blu-ray drive, then rip a disc, see how it goes playing it through different systems.

Why do people prefer converting with handbrake instead of just playing the MKV directly through Plex?

Personally...I would love to be using Plex or XMBC. I used Plex in the past and like it...a lot!! Unfortunately, the only way to use it was to either physically connect my MBP to the hdtv or use an htpc running plex hooked up directly to the hdtv. You cannot stream an mkv to the aTV using Plex. The stream needs to be converted to h.264 codec. The only codec that the aTV understands. I ended up using a Popbox media streamer to accomplish what you want. It would handle any type of file type, iso, mkv, mp4, avi and blu ray with HD audio. Unless you are really wanting the ability to download movies/tv/music from iTunes and watch YouTube, Netflix content, you might want consider the dedicated media streamer route instead of an aTV.

So, it's not that I want to use Handbrake, I don't. But transcoding to h.264 is the only option to feed local media through an aTV (unless of course you jailbreak or use mirroring).

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 10, 2012, 03:04 PM
OK, so if I understand correctly:
I can only send files to my Apple TV that have been encoded with Handbrake, except if I jailbreak, or if I use a steaming app.

I'm starting to lean towards the Handbrake option, even if it's supposedly very long.

However, is there a loss in quality if a streaming iOS app is used?

mic j
Apr 10, 2012, 03:16 PM
OK, so if I understand correctly:
I can only send files to my Apple TV that have been encoded with Handbrake, except if I jailbreak, or if I use a steaming app.

I'm starting to lean towards the Handbrake option, even if it's supposedly very long.

However, is there a loss in quality if a streaming iOS app is used?
I have read of stutters, lag, and smooth playing. I think it just depends. But with the high nitrates blu rays, your chance of success is less. Also, consider the audio. Are you wanting to do surround or just play through the tv? I might be wrong, but I don't think the streaming apps do 5.1, just stereo.

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 10, 2012, 03:21 PM
Thanks, I'm going to get a blu-ray drive and see how it goes first. I'll try different options and see what works best. :D

radicalcentrist
Apr 10, 2012, 03:33 PM
I have a Mac Mini serving as my HTPC, with an Asus Blu-Ray drive and a 3 TB Seagate external (connected via USB) for my content.

I run Plex to manage content, and I use the Plex App on my Samsung Blu-Ray player in the bedroom to stream that content. Downloaded content (legal, of course) plays like a champ, but MakeMKV rips letterbox on all four sides on the bedroom TV. I'm going to convert a ripped .mkv file using Handbrake tonight and see if that resolves the letterboxing issue.

The Mini is physically connected to a circa-2009 AEBS, and the Samsung BDP is wireless-G. I have no problems streaming even upwards of 2GB 720p files or playing even 20-30GB .mkvs on the Mini.

kokako
Apr 10, 2012, 04:31 PM
I use a 2011 11" MBA with a LaCie blu d2, makemkv 1:1 rips takes maybe an hour and 20mins, I usually put on before going to sleep, no problems with USB at all.
I use airvideo app on my (ipad3 or iphone4s)and air video server on mba to stream those 20gb-30gb mkvs to the ATV3, it's a dream, pure bliss.

mic j
Apr 10, 2012, 04:43 PM
I use a 2011 11" MBA with a LaCie blu d2, makemkv 1:1 rips takes maybe an hour and 20mins, I usually put on before going to sleep, no problems with USB at all.
I use airvideo app on my (ipad3 or iphone4s)and air video server on mba to stream those 20gb-30gb mkvs to the ATV3, it's a dream, pure bliss.

Does it stream Dolby 5.1?

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 20, 2012, 09:48 AM
I'm now ripping my blu-rays with MakeMKV. I tried to convert them with Handbrake but waiting over 20 hours per film for 1080P (with fans on throughout) is not worth it. So my solution is to convert the MKV to M4V with Subler, which only takes about an hour, but has huge files.

I watched last night a film streamed with Plex iOS app to my Apple TV. Annoyingly, each time I paused the film, Plex struggled to restart it from the paused time.

So I'm considering my options. A Mac Mini sitting directly under the TV would solve both the streaming problem and would allow me to use Plex for Mac with PGS subtitles straight from MakeMKV's file.
I've seen a few used ones for sale (2009 and 2010 models) for decent prices.

Now, a few questions:

Both 2009 and 2010 Minis can play 1080P high bitrate MKVs (ripped with MakeMKV) without a problem, can't they? What about if the MKVs were stored on a USB2 drive?
Essentially, I'm looking for playback quality equivalent to what the Blu-Ray disc will give me.

Now, looking to futureproof, Blu-rays have DTS-HD or TrueHD and it seems that no Mac Mini can currently play them due to OSX not supporting the format. Could the 2010 Mini technically play them back or is there a hardware limitation? If I were to ever install Windows :( on the hypothetical Mini, could it playback these formats through HDMI?
Also, it seems that the Mini can play PCM. Is there an easy way to convert DTS-HD and TrueHD to PCM?

Alternatively, how much would a reasonably silent HTPC cost to build? Essentially, just something with a hard drive and HDMI output.


Thanks,

maturola
Apr 20, 2012, 09:56 AM
Alternatively, how much would a reasonably silent HTPC cost to build? Essentially, just something with a hard drive and HDMI output.


Thanks,

As far as the USB, well it "should" be ok, you got 480Mbit/s of bandwidth. I'll leave the Mini question to someone who had one as HTPC, I don't believe it should have any hardware limitation to do what you want, but again, I am not using one as HTPC.

As far as the custom HTPC, as I said earlier, I recently builded one for $300 (no OS). play all my 1080p rips with no issues. (send me a PM and I can send you the hardware list if interested)

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 20, 2012, 01:22 PM
Thanks to maturola's help, I've looked at what is required to build a HTPC.
While I could build one for about the price of a second hand Mini (though with better specs), it seems that the reason I'd favour one over a Mini (HD Audio) is not as straight-forward as it seems due to the fact that neither Plex nor XBMC support HD audio...

Is there another media centre software package that would support HD audio, preferably running on Linux instead of Windows?

maturola
Apr 20, 2012, 01:28 PM
Thanks to maturola's help, I've looked at what is required to build a HTPC.
While I could build one for about the price of a second hand Mini (though with better specs), it seems that the reason I'd favour one over a Mini (HD Audio) is not as straight-forward as it seems due to the fact that neither Plex nor XBMC support HD audio...

Is there another media centre software package that would support HD audio, preferably running on Linux instead of Windows?

What exactly are you looking when you say HD audio?

XBMC Support:
Dolby Digital Plus up to 7.1 48kHz 16bit
Dolby TrueHD up to 7.1 48kHz 24bit, also with interleaved AC3
DTS-HD up to 7.1 96kHz 24bit, also with DTS-96/24 core up to 6.1
Meridian Lossless Packing up to 5.1 176.4kHz 24bit

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/59102680/xbmc/screenshot000.jpg

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 20, 2012, 01:40 PM
That's interesting. I got the impression in reading the XBMC forum that it didn't.
What version are you running, on which OS?

maturola
Apr 20, 2012, 01:49 PM
That's interesting. I got the impression in reading the XBMC forum that it didn't.
What version are you running, on which OS?

Eden 11, Windows

I actually use Plex, (since it works great on my ATVs and also over the internet with myPlex)

You can use a XBMC addon call PleXBMC so you can access your plex library.

quick video here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2G2p5C_vbQ

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 20, 2012, 01:53 PM
Is there an advantage to have Windows instead of Linux? Would the same audio options be available on Linux or are they only available to Windows users?

maturola
Apr 20, 2012, 02:01 PM
Is there an advantage to have Windows instead of Linux? Would the same audio options be available on Linux or are they only available to Windows users?

The HD patch is currently available for Win

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=121877

InfiniteLoopy
Apr 20, 2012, 02:14 PM
The HD patch is currently available for Win

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=121877

Thanks for your help. I'll be interested to see if this can also work on a HTPC running Linux or a Mini.

Madmic23
Apr 20, 2012, 03:09 PM
I would like to see someone make an HTPC out of a Raspberry Pi. They say it is capable of running 1080P H.264 video.

Itís low powered, small, customizable, and cheap.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/

maturola
Apr 20, 2012, 04:03 PM
I would like to see someone make an HTPC out of a Raspberry Pi. They say it is capable of running 1080P H.264 video.

Itís low powered, small, customizable, and cheap.

http://www.raspberrypi.org/

Few people already tried
http://hackaday.com/2012/01/24/raspberry-pi-runs-xbmc-reliably-decodes-1080p/

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/low-cost_raspberry_pi_board_runs_xbmc_and_airplay_doubles_35_1080p_htpc

bellymeng
Jul 16, 2012, 10:26 PM
I'm looking for a bit of advice on ripping blu-rays, Apple TV and how best to setup my system:

I have a MacBook, so would therefore need to get a blu-ray drive. From what I've read, a USB powered reader drive should be enough. Is that correct?
Also, does the speed of the drive have any impact on the ripping speed? I'm assuming that it does. Can anyone recommend a drive?

I don't have Windows, so will have to do everything in Lion. I understand that the best software for this is MakeMKV. How long would it take to rip a 2hr film to 1080p? Also, how much disk space would the 1080p film take?

For actual playback, I was thinking of storing the files on my MacBook and using Plex, with its iPhone app's airplay function, to my AppleTV.
What happens though if I receive an email, message, notification or call while Airplay is running?

Otherwise, I was thinking of maybe getting a USB or ethernet hard drive (connected to my Airport Extreme) and store my rips on there. This would have the advantage of not requiring the Mac to be on, but I couldn't use Plex. What could I use, without jailbreaking the Apple TV?


Thanks,

from my personal experience, the speed of the drive is also an essential part. Only through USB can not finished. Here you can put the converted video to your airplay after the ripping procedure is finished.

You can use this blu-ray ripper to rip your blu-ray and it will not waste you too much time and still the converted video will be with high quality.

http://www.bluray-rippers.com/blu-ray-ripper.html

iOrbit
Jul 17, 2012, 06:30 AM
does anyone know exactly how itunes rips their blu-rays, what method or options?

i know MKV is basically losless, but i'd rather save space and lose a little quality the same way itunes store does.

mic j
Jul 17, 2012, 08:19 AM
does anyone know exactly how itunes rips their blu-rays, what method or options?

i know MKV is basically losless, but i'd rather save space and lose a little quality the same way itunes store does.

iTunes does not rip blu-rays.

iOrbit
Jul 17, 2012, 09:15 AM
iTunes does not rip blu-rays.

hahaha :D

how do they compress i wonder?

mic j
Jul 17, 2012, 10:30 AM
hahaha :D

how do they compress i wonder?

I don't think anyone knows exactly how "Apple" transcodes the movies that have been provided to them. I think, most people will agree that they start with "original" uncompressed movies/tv shows, often 4k sources. After that, it's anybodies guess but I would be very very surprised if they used any of the commercial software available to us.