Converting my DVD collection to HTPC

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by robains, Dec 25, 2010.

  1. robains macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2009
    Before you jump on me with "search the forums" ... I have -- many forums (not just this one). It has been incredibly time consuming and the results have been -- can I trust anyone and/or any software?

    What I've ran into with my search is:
    1. Spammers advertising in threads
    2. Various "ripper" software actually is malware and/or virus
    3. Big debates of whether it's legal or not legal
    4. Lots of people saying XYZ is the BEST product followed by NO it sucks use LMN product
    5. XYZ is great software but it will take a few weeks to figure out how to use it and the process is a continued learning experience

    My quest is a simple one (as it would appear the same quest of many others before me) ... I want to convert my collection of about 250 DVD (SD and all legal purchases) to an HTPC I'm going to build. This is for my personal use, not for distribution to anyone else - consider it a backup if you must. The collection I'm sure has both copy-protected and non-copy protected DVDs. I want to do this because it's a LOT easier to manage (index, search, catalog, etc.) files on a large hard drive(s) via a HTPC than going thru 250 DVDs.

    I'm a Mac and PC person, prefer the Mac for most of my work, but well I have PC's also. I have FCS 2 and QuickTime Pro (paid version) and a DivX (Pro) and Flip4Mac Studio Pro HD.

    It maybe that there is no simple solution - I'm ok with that, just need to know. It maybe the solution(s) will require endless hours of my time which isn't really an option for me, the convenience just isn't worth the time investment.

    The other option is to get a 400 disc DVD/BD player (Sony make a nice one) for $599 -- supposed to have better search features but not sure -- dump the HTPC concept completely.

    Are my expectations just too high, or is there really a relatively simple solution keeping the HTPC in the equation?

    I've gone thru enough threads to spot the spammers, but hoping someone who has gone thru the process has the simple answer. :)
  2. Gator24765 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2009
    Here is what I do to get all of my dvd's to digital format. All mac software.

    First Ripit

    Fairly cheap and incredible success rate for ripping dvd's. Like 99%. Copy protected or not. Believe it or not the only dvd of mine that didnt work was Forrest Gump. This program will rip it to your computer as a .dvdmedia file. This is as far as you need to go as far as putting them and playing them on your computer. It is VERY easy to use. Put in dvd and hit a button. Simple as that.

    This will do a 1:1 rip. So if the dvd is 7.6 gb it will rip at 7.6 gb and so on. Now if you are not worried about space then this is okay. Now if you are worried about space there is a program that will remaster the dvd to a smaller size and different format. (This is also handy if you want to reburn the dvd). If you want i will post this software here too.
  3. robains thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2009
    Thanks for the link, looks like RipIt only produces output for Apple devices?

    iPod, iPhone, iPad, AppleTV?

    Read some good reviews on it, seems legit.

    Thanks again, Rob.
  4. wrow macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I use mactheripper. I've been using it for years with great success, though I'm not a fan of the latest update.

    Afterwards I use Handbrake to format the DVD if need be, but with storage as cheo as it is, spend the money for more storage and don't skimp on quality.
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    MacTheRipper then to Handbrake for my Plex HTPC. Also, you'll get better feedback if you ask a mod to move this thread to the Apple TV and Home Theater forum.
  6. robains thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 27, 2009
    Thanks for the input all.

    I went with RipIt for $25 (thanks for the suggestion). So far so good, it's converted everything I've tossed at it -- even "The Matrix". Very easy to use -- only thing I don't like is that it puts everything in a "Package". Not a big deal, just "Open package" and then copy Video_Ts to my HTPC.

    I tested the output on my HTPC (Windows 7 Professional) running Media Center. Looks good when I use Media Center, not so good when I use Media Player 12 -- which seems odd, guessing a de-interlacing issue.

    The HTPC components I used are pretty cheap/basic -->

    HTPC Case: Antec Black Aluminum / Steel Fusion Remote Black Micro ATX Media Center

    PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CMPSU-500CX 500W ATX12V v2.3 Active PFC

    Motherboard: ASUS P7H55-M PRO LGA 1156 Intel H55 HDMI Micro ATX Intel

    CPU: Intel i3-540 3.06Ghz (dual core)

    RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666)

    Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 2TB SATA

    Blu-Ray: LG-10x Internal Blu-ray Disc Double-Layer DVD±RW/CD-RW Drive-BH10LS30

    About $700 total. If I run out of space, I'll add another 2TB drive. I already had a LINKSYS WET610N 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz Dual Band (connected to the HTPC) to connect to my Linksys E3000 so I didn't include that in price. Tested wireless speed at my HTPC location (other side of house) is about 9.7Mbps down and 1.5Mbps up -- my ISP is Astound and I have the High Speed 18 service (18Mbps down / 2Mbps up - which speed test reports on average about 15 Mbps down and 1.7 Mbps up hardwired).

    So far so good. NetFlix HD 5.1 streams perfectly and all my converted DVD's look great.

    Thanks for all the help ... at least I managed to get my Mac into "Part" of this equation :)

    Cheers, Rob.
  7. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    I wouldn't of wasted the money on software that can be done fo free with handbrake. I've ripped over 400 movies. Only problem I encountered was those movies with 99 different chapters. That was fixed quickly on the forums. I did have one issue with 1 movie (can't remember which) so researched makemkv, used it and got that one ripped. If you ever get hung up with handbrake, the forum usually has the answer.

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