Resolved Goodbye DVDs, Hello HD playback! (Almost..)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by cheekypaul, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. cheekypaul, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #1
    hi all moving picture people... (or maybe i should post to digital video?)

    i've finally had enough of boxes of dvd's and shelving and actual things to hold, i want to put my dvds onto a hard drive(s) and access them that way. i'm not a technophobe, so involved answers are fine, but i'm not looking for a complicated or involved solution.

    what i want to do is copy my bought dvds to a hard drive and plug up the drive to my computer whenever i want to watch anything. the process does not have to be apple-centric, but obviously it might be in my favour, or maybe not. what it does have to be is SIMPLE. by that i mean, in my words, copy the dvd (the fastest, easiest way) to the hard drive, and be able to watch it, with menus, another time.

    i understand you might want to recommend i compress the rip/copy in some way, this isn't my thinking as i have read many tales of woe from people taking this route. if enough of you insist it's better that way, then i'll do it that way.

    perhaps i need not look no further than here, the sticky on automating back ups?

    two more things, is there such a thing as ripping video lossless, like for audio?
    and, i have a spare mac mini lying around.

    ps. hard drive space is not a problem, i have lots.
     
  2. macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #2
    If DVDs is the goal, Handbrake is a fairly easy tool.

    If lossless is the goal, MakeMKV is your tool, but if you want to use an :apple:TV to play those videos on your TV, you'll need to convert the videos to the format :apple:TV wants (which is where Handbrake comes in).

    MakeMKV + Handbrake is probably the answer for you.

    Of course, if you want "HD playback", you're not going to get that through converting DVDs. Yes, converted DVDs will play back on an HD screen but the video will be limited to DVD quality (which is SD). Upscaling is not the same as native HD video.

    HD quality is Blu Ray territory for which the same two tools can apply. File sizes are a lot larger for these files so be sure to think big storage if you have a lot of HD video to convert- especially if you are chasing "lossless" quality levels which could come in at 20-35GB or more each on average (as opposed to DVD "lossless" which might come in at 4-8GB on average). If you can back off of the "lossless" goal (to the "I can't really see the difference" goal), Handbrake can yield about 1-3GB SD movies and 4-20GB HD movies without much visual compromise.
     
  3. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #3
    FWIW:
    I have had 6500 songs in my iTunes library for many years, and decided to add my 400 DVD/BD movies to iTunes and play them via Apple TV.

    Very happy with the outcome. No more previews - just play the movie you wish to watch...

    Handbrake is your free friend for encoding to MP4. Handbrake can process a DVD without any other steps.

    Blu-ray's on the other hand need to be turned into MKV files - MakeMKV is another free friend for you.

    My process for both DVD's and Blu-ray's is this:

    Use Make MKV - to create a large MKV file, then process the MKV file into MP4 via Handbrake. Both can be working at the same time, though Handbrake is slower...I just add the next MKV file or two to Handbrakes que.

    It's easy, and a quick search on this forum will yield you lot's of information.

    Good luck!
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    #4
    As someone who didn't want to go overboard myself I went in 2 main phases.

    My Current Setup:
    3 x ATV 3's
    iTunes 11 running on a Win 64 Machine. Entire media library is stored on a 2TB SATA drive.
    1 x external 3TB USB 3.0 external HD for backup using Vice Versa software. Note: I actually have 2 of these and every couple of months I'll move the current to my vault at a local bank as it's my off-site backup.
    Started with DVDRW drive and added external BR Burner.

    Software:
    MAKEMKV & Handbrake
    MetaX for tagging


    I started with my only burner at the time which was DVD. I left all my blurays and worked on my collections of almost 200 DVD discs. It took several month of ripping the files using MKV and ecoding using Handbrake. Note: You can queue up a ton of movies and leave for work and they will be done when you get home.

    After that I would tag all the details using MetaX. Usually would look for new cover art online.

    After the DVD discs were done I moved forward with BR by adding a external reader via USB.

    My discs are now in a folder stored in the closet with all the cases thrown away and I can watch any movie on any of my 3 TV's.

    The further simplify I've moved to just buying my movies off iTunes rather than even messing with ripping. Some would avoid this as it does tie you to Apple, but I'm ok with it. I simply buy a movie in the morning and by the time I'm home it's downloaded and in my library.

    Hope that helps.

    It's very doable with limited amount of money.
     
  5. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    #5
    If you want menus, then as far as I'm aware your only option is to use complete DVD rips. Out of all of the available approaches, this will use up the most hard drive space (which you say isn't a problem), but will yield a 'lossless' copy of the DVD and will preserve menus and extra features and the like. It's also the most straight-forward approach.

    To rip your DVDs you'll need a an application that will just copy what's on the disc and then save it to your hard drive as a kind of 'virtual' DVD. By virtual, I mean that it literally copies the contents of the DVD onto your hard disc —*nothing is altered or removed (apart from copy protection), and all that changes is that the data is on your hard disc as opposed to the DVD.

    I've used an app called RipIt with great success over the years. It needs a license which you have to pay for, but it's pretty inexpensive (I think I paid $20), and when you consider the amount of space you'll save in your living room, it probably amounts to the cheapest $/square foot of living space that you'll ever buy :p

    RipIt hasn't been updated in a while (I think the last update was 2011), but it still works well, and runs on Mountain Lion. The process for copying your DVDs is simple: you insert the disc into the drive, open RipIt and click the 'Rip' button. You'll be left with either a VIDEO_TS folder or a .dvdmedia file —*these are essentially the same thing, only that the latter will open automatically with the DVD Player app that's bundled with OS X. If you're planning to use these on a Mac Mini, then that's all you'll need to do —*no transcoding or conversion will be necessary.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #6
    I agree with EmpyreanUK. RipIt is a great solution. You can download it free and you get 10 DVD rips for free before you have to pay anything. Be advised that RipIt won't rip every available DVD. It will, however, rip the vast majority. When you find one it can't rip, download a free trial of a competing ripper and try that.

    There's no need to use Handbrake, Make MKV, MetaX, iTunes or any of that. RipIt and similar DVD ripping products make a lossless file that you can play with the built-in DVD player app on your Mac.
     
  7. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    #7
    When I moved from physical media to HDD storage I used a combination of RipIt and Handbrake.

    MY workflow involved ripping the DVDs, then queueing them into handbrake. Pretty easy, and allowed handbrake to just do its thing without too much input from me aside from adding a new rip to the batch pool once in a while.
     
  8. macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #8
    Heretical question, but are you sure you want to build your future library around watching on a computer vs watching on a TV ?

    I also have no DVD units, only a DVD drive. All my DVDs and BluRays are in a bunch of NASs (6TB total) and play though any of the 3 MediaStreamers connected to 3 TVs. 99% are encoded as .iso (the other 1% is as .mkv)
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #9
    ???

    If he hasn't already done so, all he has to do is connect his Mac to a TV or get an Apple TV or similar device.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    #10
    You could use ripit to create an exact disc image.Your Mac DVD player will play it just like the original DVD.Menus etc. intact.
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #11
    Using ATV flash with your Apple TV allows you to watch your DVD rips on your TV, no transcoding nothing. Also, the included media player will pull all the information about your DVDs from the Internet presenting you with an automated organised movie library. Easy, straight forward the best solution in my opinion. I would reconsider ripping the complete DVD. I think that one hardly watches the extras and the convenience of just hitting the play button compared to waiting for the menu to load etc, makes this an easy choice for me.
     
  12. mrmarts, Jun 17, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    Location:
    Melbourne Australia
    #12
    I'am too have slowed down on buying physical media blu rays etc, because Macs no longer offer us optical drives. That said i do not want to clutter up my desk with a external optical drive, and besides it is a great way to share the movies you love with your family. I have about 60 movies. The ones i cannot get on iTunes I dubb using using RIP IT which i highly recommend as it is decodes all regions, than i use METAZ i think thats what's it called for generating cover art and the description.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    #13
    For my own personal needs and preferences, I'm with you 100%. I've encoded all of my DVD rips to .M4V files, with audio in the languages I want and the subtitles I want. Anything else is superfluous to me, as like you, I hardly ever use the special features. In fact, the only special feature that I ever use is (very occasionally) the director's commentary, which is anyway simply an extra audio track, which I can include in my encoded file. I also prefer to convenience of simply pressing play, instead of having to sit through admonishments against piracy and the rest.

    However, the OP said he wanted to preserve the menus and special features, wanted a lossless copy and doesn't want to fuss around with encodes and the like. I'd therefore say that ripping DVDs to his hard disc as-is would be the best solution for him, as it meets all of his needs, and he has said that hard disc space is no issue. It would also mean that, if at any point in the future, he decides that he does want to encode his film collection into flat media files, he will already have the DVD rips ready and waiting.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2005
    #14
    Phew...thx all. :)

    after reading thru the responses i've become interested in losing those piracy admonishments you're forced to watch on actual DVDs, so i can either skip them or cut them out, (skipping would be fine), where does that put me?
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #15
    Some S/W allows you to remaster the DVD to just select the main title(s). I suggest you do some google-ing and just try one or two. The ones I use run in Win7, so I use them in Parallels.

    ----------

    Yes, but he has to have iTunes running somewhere or keep his Mac running.
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #16
    He doesn't have to do any such thing. All he has to do is turn the computer on, and he doesn't need iTunes. The original poster isn't interested in doing anything except playing a movie when he feels like it. All he has to do is use RipIt to rip and use the built in DVD player app on the Mac when he wants to play one of his rips.

    If his TV isn't already connected to his Mini, and he wants to watch on his TV, all he has to do is shut down, disconnect and then connect his Mini to his TV. That's less than 2 minutes.
     
  17. drsox, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #17
    Great. Now do that at multiple locations in a 3 story house.
     
  18. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    #18
    Guys, I think I can see now where the confusion is coming from —*everybody apart from drsox has been reading the standard version of the OP's post, where he simply and concisely laid out his requirements and we advised him on the basis of those requirements, without making any assumptions about his particular circumstances. Yet all this time, drsox has obviously been reading the version of the OP with the INVISIBLE WORDS explaining that he lives in a three storey house and needs to run his movie collection in multiple locations at the same time.

    And to think! We've been singing from different hymn sheets all along. Oh, the egg on our faces!
     
  19. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #19
    lol
     
  20. drsox, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #20
    Do you want to watch your stuff at more than one location where you live, (e.g. Lounge and Bedroom) ?
    And do you want to watch it on a TV as well ?
     
  21. JAT
    macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #21
    You don't have to shut down to plug in a different monitor, it's not SCSI. Probably can have both plugged in at once, depending on your setup and which Mini. The last few years of Minis have had 2 video outs.
     
  22. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #22
    You have to shut down if if you have to move the Mini to where the TV is located.
     
  23. JAT
    macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #23
    If that's the plan, you've failed. Buy a Roku or AppleTV.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #24
    Moving it is free. BTW, the original poster never even mentioned a TV. A TV was mentioned by people trying their best to overcomplicate the situation.
     
  25. JAT
    macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Mpls, MN
    #25
    Sure. Do you actually do that? I have done similar tasks, and was REALLY glad to find an inexpensive solution to end such crazyness.

    But you are certainly correct about the OP's usage, he said nothing. Perhaps he will return to clarify so we can help more efficiently. Although I think you can hardly fault a person for assuming one would watch DVDs on a TV.
     

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