Best Way to Get DVDs into m4v format at Full Resolution

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rayward, Aug 24, 2019.

  1. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    I have a bunch of DVDs which I'd previously ripped for playback on my Apple TVs using Handbrake, which involves some loss of picture quality (from a hobbled picture quality to start with). I've recently increased significantly my storage capacity, so I want to re-do those DVDs with the maximum quality - ideally full DVD resolution without compression.

    I have looked at remuxing with Subler, but that requires the video track to be H264; the DVD video tracks are MPEG-2. Do I have to run them through Handbrake to transcode to H264? If so, how do I punch up the picture quality to the max?

  2. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Handbrake is the way to go because aTV does not play MPEG-2 videos and needs H.264 or H.265 encoded video.
    Just use constant quality mode and increase the quality setting (lower the number).
    I dont see a reason to encode to higher bitrate than original bitrate on DVD though.
    With H.265 encode I am happy with about 10Mbps bitrate.
    I would avoid DVD as a source at all cost. This is because of SD resolution and anamorphic picture.
  3. rayward thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX

    Thanks. I was hoping to avoid having the transcode with Handbrake, but c'est la vie.

    I agree on not using DVD as the source but, in this case, it's unavoidable. The wife has a substantial collection of Hallmark movies that only come on DVD. She doesn't care about the picture quality but it drives me nuts knowing that they look so crappy.
  4. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    MakeMKV will rip DVD's in full quality without transcoding into a .mkv file which can be played on the ATV with most player apps. Infuse, Plex, etc.
  5. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    I use MDRP DVD ripper (as recommended by many on this site) and it's absolutely beautiful. So easy to understand and use. When I did a side by side comparison, there was no quality loss using the standard setting. Plus the first 5 DVD rips are free.
  6. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 603

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    This is your way to go, if you want 1:1 rips of your DVD's. That being said, Handbrake can compress your movies 40-60% without visible quality loss if you just use proper settings.
  7. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    without quality loss. stick with MakeMKV:-

    but iTunes won't support it unless you convert .. to mp4/mv4, so there will always be quality loss.

    Yes. handbrake will to it if you know which settings do you,, (but varies from content to contett) and difficult to judge sometimes.

    Its still 720[ after you covert with Handbrake or 1080p. (depending on the preset), To me, that's good enough.. I'm not picky..

    if you know what your doing, and have the time, then it can be done, but most wanna just rip'n'watch.
  8. Legjno macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2019
    Use MakeMKV to create an .mkv file without quality loss. Then use MkvToMp4 to create an .m4v file from the .mkv file without transcoding that iTunes/AppleTV can play.
  9. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    No one has mentioned this, but if you didn't want to use iTunes, you can use something else like PLEX.

    I switched to PLEX a while ago and love it. But, another benefit is that the PLEX app on tvOS will play mkv files, while iTunes will not. So, there is no need to transcode using Handbrake.

    If you have a lot of storage, and you do not want to drop quality, a service like PLEX might be what you are looking for.

    Personally, I do a mix of Handbrake encoded m4v and MakeMKV ripped mkv content. Most of my content is in m4v to save on space, and the movies that I want to keep at the highest quality, I do mkv.

    If using iTunes, I would just do Handbrake and m4v encodes.

    Using Handbrake, you can get near full quality video with the ATV settings, and it is usually 25-45% of the size of the mkv counterpart.
  10. MacBH928 macrumors 68040


    May 17, 2008
    This is an interesting question, why would any one pay for MDRP DVD when Handbrake and MakeMKV do the exact same thing for free?
  11. BODYBUILDERPAUL macrumors 65816

    Feb 9, 2009
    The first 5 DVD rips are free to rip PLUS ease of use. Give it a try. It's so simple and painless. AND it works great. Quality of the DVD rip was identical to the original etc.
    For me all of those are worth the £23 one off payment - it just works.

    When I look at the MAKEMKV website, it looked like something from the Windows 95 era!!! It is horrible. Coming from Apple with beautiful UI and UX, this was not the direction that I wanted for the very few discs that I needed to rip.

    PLUS after Handbrake carrying MALWARE 2 years ago, I decided against that route. That was really nasty at the time! (Although I used Handbrake a year before that AND found that MDRP makes a better job of ripping. Too often, Handbrake with its separate downloaded copyright protection remover did not perform well with nasty artefacts on moving objects.)

    For me, when something is 'free' I tend to be very cautious. I'm a guy that believes in paying for a service, experience or product.
  12. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    Don't waste your time and money on MDRP. It won't do Blurays or UHDs.
  13. Halifax126 macrumors newbie


    Nov 15, 2015
    You can try MakeMKV to make an MKV file for the Blu-ray rip and then use Handbrake to compress the video & audio but this will have some minor quality loss depending on your compression settings. By keeping the file in MKV format/container so you can keep the PGS subtitles. Then you can use Subler to add metadata to the rip and convert the MKV container to an MP4 container. The beauty of this method is that the resulting MP4 file will have subtitles that are switchable and not burned in. You can also now put these MP4 files in iTunes for serving to your AppleTV.

    Remember, if you want to keep the full resolution you can skip the step with Handbrake and use the MKV file generated by MakeMKV directly in Subler to transfer the rip into an MP4 container. This may not be possible for an uncompressed file from DVDs because they use MPEG2 and not AVC for encoding (this is speculation on my part as I have not tried this on DVDs) - you may have to use Handbrake to convert to AVC.
  14. Donfor39 macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2012
    Lanarkshire Scotland
    Make mkv -decent dvd rips-Nil Cost.
    Tipard Blue Ray Converter -Decent Blue Ray copy's -a few pounds for App.
    Infuse Pro -Apple4k t.v. -Media Player
  15. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Remux is the most efficient for a 1:1 copy. Ffmpeg and be done with it.....HOWEVER...

    You can get indistinguishable quality straight from a DVD using Handbrake to a MP4 container with other benefits Handbrake offers. You'll need to use other programs like MakeMKV for BD.

    Videophiles will hate me for this but I would experiment with Handbrake before assuming a lossless DVD copy is the "best" copy for YOUR viewing pleasure.

    Handbrake has some nice features that can "enhance" the DVD experience (or old movie on DB or better) if you plan on watching these and not just storing a copy longevity from natural disaster and disc rot.

    For my viewing library what I would do is pick out a few favorite scenes in a movie and try to critique the quality. For example the BD version of Mary Poppins was VERY noisy however Handbrake offers NLMeans and HQDN3D options for denoising (not a word) the image that can made a huge difference. Not only did it produce a cleaner image the transcode was 10gb smaller since noise doesn't compress well.

    Sharpening the image can also be beneficial at times with DVD on modern high resolution TVs especially with close viewing distances.

    These features and functions just need to be used in moderation. Back to Mary Poppin's, if you go heavy on the de-noise it just don't look quite right.

    Obviously those are not techniques for the purist, however keep in mind the original might not be the most visually appealing for you or others that you my show these movies too. There is a reason we've come from 480p narrow color gamut to 4k with higher color gamut.

    I have a 4k 65' HDR10 Samsung LCD in my living room and while this is subjective I can make a transcode of a DVD more visually appealing then DVD playing to it directly. Considering DVD is a 20th century media playing on a 21st century display this shouldn't be overly surprising.

    People often overlook there TV's post processing. Someone might claim a bit for bit copy of the original looks the best but if they are displaying it on movie mode on there 5000 dollar LG OLED they aren't looking at the original. They are looking at what the TV is cable of doing with that image. So using a computer with a calibrated monitor is where everything should be done or at the very least try turning all those settings off when comparing.

    Just food for thought! Good luck!

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14 August 24, 2019