Blu Ray ripping - is quality as good as original?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Monkeytree, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Monkeytree macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Ive been trying like many others to archive my collection of DVD and Blu Ray onto my mac to then stream it via apple tv's to my cinema room and other TV's.

    DVD's - no problem, handbrake does a quick job and quality is fine.

    Blu Ray however, seems a little more tricky. Im using makeMKV to make a copy as an MKV and then using handbrake to compress it into a M4V to play in itunes / apple tv2. However, the quality of the m4v when played back just isn't up to the original blu ray when played directly in the cinema room.

    Am I expecting too much as I am by the nature of creating a M4V file compressing the data into a much smaller file, or are there better settings to maintain as high a quality as possible in the new file.

    Im currently using a 720p projector and apple tv 2, so limited to 720p, but would like to only have to rip the files once so can later upgrade to 1080. Im happy to create larger files than required if it helps futureproof, have a wired nertwork so can play as large a file as the apple tv can handle if required.

    Specifically im just trying the atv2 and atv3 presets in handbrake, and im finding the resulting m4v has a slight jutter when replayed (possibly a framerate issue?) and the sound isn't as clear.

    Has anyone else been able to bin their blu rays and get an equal quality of copy on their mac, or am I searching for the impossible?

  2. HobeSoundDarryl, Aug 17, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Searching for the impossible.

    1. You're re-rendering, so there is a generational loss of quality.
    2. You're going from less compression to more compression, so detail is getting thrown out
    3. You're going from lossless audio to Dolby Digital (a 1992 technology) so audio detail is being sacrificed

    Some BD are already in H.264. For those, you could simply re-wrap the video with something like Subler. That will maintain the exact same video quality (at the same (BIG) BD file size). In that scenario, the picture detail will be exactly the same.

    For audio, there's no great options. :apple:TV doesn't support the modern lossless audio formats of BD. It pretty much must be a conversion to Dolby Digital if you want stock :apple:TV compatibility.

    For future-proofing, render the best quality you can now but keep the MKV version as a master. Maybe a future :apple:TV will gain the ability to play more modern audio formats, at which point you could re-render your collection.

    All that said, the judder you describe might simply be the :apple:TV2 struggling with the downconversion of your 1080p files at the quality you've selected. 2 options: 1) upgrade that now to an :apple:TV3 2) render a file specifically for :apple:TV2 (720p, etc) and save your masters for when you get an :apple:TV3 to re-render again for it.
  3. SlyMac macrumors 6502


    Jun 16, 2008
    I have been gradually moving my disc collection to my hard drive for some time now. Could you tell me, what software you're using (like AnyDVD HD) for the initial unlock? For DVDs I use AnyDVD to unlock the disc and then handbrake to format in M4V. Quality seems to stay consistent and right at dvd quality. are your Bluray rips and formats very much better than your DVD rips?
  4. Monkeytree thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Thanks for your help HobeSoundDarryl.

    When I am ripping the BD with makeMKV and fairly standard settings, resulting in a file approx 30gig as a MKV does this preserve the full HD lossless audio? Also the picture looks pretty good but is it as close as makes no difference to the original?

    Slymac -

    for DVD im just using handbrake. I just pop the disc into my mac and handbrake scans it and I select the main track as such, ie. the one 2hours long thats the movie, set the compression I want and press go. I'm not sure if ages ago I installed a plugin that removes the copy protection, but it seems to just work ok. Having said that, i haven't tried any brand new dvd's as i tend to get these on Blu Ray.

    The quality of the BD rips is better even in only 720, but i tend to watch them on the projector where you really notice HD because of the size of the screen. Not sure how sound compares, might have to go and test out a comparison on this. The original BD sound is awesome ( ive got a Jamo 5.1 setup on the cinema room ) which is fairly cheap but a shed load better than standard kit.

  5. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    As far as HB goes ... of course reduction in file size will occur. HB will (as pointed out) transcode the source to a smaller file (presuming you are using sane settings). That is the whole point.

    The dance that is danced is trying to remove bitrate/quality that you can't see given your setup.

    Basically its a bit of a shell game. If the information you remove transcoding cannot be detected by your eye .. then you are "losing" information you can not detect with your eye. That will always vary depending on your setup and your vision.

    So ... that makes it a subjective question. Same is true of audio.

    Basically if you like the visual perception and you hear what you expect to here ... then you have "lost" ... nothing. ;)

    That said as was already said ... when HB transcodes a source of any type ... it is lossy. Some information is always lost. The main question to ask yourself is if the "loss" of information is acceptable or even perceptible to you.

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