Copy owned Blu-rays and play on Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by applemike68, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. applemike68 macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2011
    Hi all,

    I'm sure this has been asked before, I think, but here goes. I want to copy my owned blu-rays onto a HTPC, hook it to my plasma in the family room and be able to access it via apple tv 3 when we want to watch are owned movies. Also, I would like to be able to see all movies with art on the screen and choose the one we want to watch. Basically a cheaper version of Kalediscope. Can this be done? How? I can build any type of HTPC but would want something with a small form factor so it can fit next to the other equipment. I think right now I would only need about 4tb of space. If this can't be done, what would be a good alternative.

    Thanks for the suggestions....

    We currently have 4 iPhone 5s's, 2 apples tv's, 3 iPads, mac mini (wife uses this) and current gen time capsule
  2. schlotz macrumors member

    Dec 11, 2012
    Couple of things involved here:
    - ability to rip copy protected movies from DVD/Blu-Ray to the hard drive
    - convert the ripped copy into a format aTv uses ie m4p.
    - movie program to serve up and play

    rip and convert: DVD FAB does it all, or a two step process which I use. Because I still have from my windows days, anydvd, I use this to rip to the hard drive then I use HandBreak to convert.

    server - player: I use PLEX home server and a program called Plexconnect.
    I run the server on my iMac as well as Plexconnect. Using the Trailers app on the aTv, it finds the Plex server on the iMac due to Plexconnect providing the interception.

    There are a number of alternates to aTv, Roku comes to mind as well as others vs Plex. BTW: Plex & Plexconnect can be run on a windows network as well.

    I'm sure others will chime in with their solutions....

    Good Luck!
  3. lunaoso macrumors 65816


    Sep 22, 2012
    Boston, MA
    I use MakeMKV to rip from the Blu ray to a mkv file, and then handbrake to convert to m4v (mp4). Then I put it into subler and it takes all of the meta data from the iTunes Store. Copy that file to my external hard drive and put it on my Mac mini, which is always on, and then I just access it on my Apple TVs via home sharing.
  4. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Try to stick to MakeMKV and try to eliminate the ATV out of the line.
    It is blasphemy to play Blu-Ray content on ATV's. No 24p, no DTS, wasting precious time on recoding.....
    You must be doing the conversion on SOME mac. Why not put a HDMI cable from that mac to the TV? Way more elegant solution. You're wife seems to have the nice option for it. And a Mini can do 2 screens.
  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    ATV works great for what it is - a front end to iTunes store rentals and purchases. Be aware it cannot handle any HD Audio.

    HTPC on Apple - best bets are Plex and XBMC. Caveat, again with Apple's OSX, you wont be able to play HD audio (example DTS-Master). However you can playback regular Dolby and DTS.

    HTPC with Windows or Linux - Using Plex or XBMC, you can have it all. If you like Mac hardware, you can install Windows and get the benefit of XBMC and Plex (with HD audio).

    An alternative would be to get a higher end media player such as the Dune player and use the 3rd party front ends. It plays pretty much everything you throw at it. There are other makers that are similar and they use Sigma chips which do amazingly well with video and audio.

    I have done ALL of the above. Most of my files are played through my Blu Ray player (Oppo) which has a primitive "list" screen. I also have a Mac Mini with Linux and XBMC installed for that great front end that I use when I have guests over. In the past I had a Dune player which was turned into a gift for a family member. Everyone is happy.

    Set up Oppo, Mac Mini, Tivo to receiver, single HDMI to TV from receiver. It is a simple, clean and effective system. All are on Ethernet cable so I can see my stored files on NAS, my computer and of course, the internet.
  6. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Ditto, except I use IDentify instead of Subler.
  7. Borntorun macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2011
    Perth, Australia

    This is the best way to do it, by a country mile.

    But, the ATV really does not do any justice to bluray quality; in neither the audio nor the video department. For best results, stick to watching bluray directly on a good quality player.

    I only rip bluray to ATV to give me the flexibility of streaming around the house. When I sit down to watch a bluray music show or movie, it is always directly off disk.
  8. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    Agree, for watching at home just play the disk.

    The big advantage of ripping the content to a library and converting is that you can put the films onto the phones/ipads and watch them anytime/place you want including streaming them to an Apple TV at a friends house for example. I also have an old-school cable from iPad/iPhone to HDMI which means I can take movies etc on holiday and plug all this into the TV there.
  9. applemike68 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2011
    Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I did learn a little as well, such as the HD audio track (DTS-HD) will not play on the Apple TV. Anyway, since I already owned a macmini i went out yesterday and bought a USB ASUS bluray player. I down loaded "IdealBlurayripper" for mac and burned a few blurays last night. Worked perfect, I moved them over so the Apple TV can see them along with the movie art and it looks just like the ones I buy from Itunes. The only issue is the audio, Even though when Idealblurayripper finds the actual movie it shows the DTS-HD version, I burn it to my HD on my mac and can play the movie and soundtrack on Apple TV. I'm assuming, the audio is coming over as Dobly, but not sure. Long story, short, I was able to burn my bluray's and play them on my Apple TV, which is what i wanted to accomplish. THanks again,
  10. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    I did this one a few months ago and I got to the handbrake part and it said it would take 12 hours to compress. I have the last Mac mini with the optical drive and I got a external blu-Ray player.
  11. Plutonius macrumors 604


    Feb 22, 2003
    New Hampshire, USA
    How much RAM do you have ?
  12. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
  13. applemike68 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 18, 2011
    With my 2012 Mac mini, bluray drive via USB and idealblray ripper it is taking just under 2 hrs to copy the movie only
  14. nezr macrumors regular


    Feb 19, 2010
    Vancouver, BC

    I add all my movies to itunes and to be able to view movies via art images I use the remote app on the iPad. I'm not a fan of the Apple TV menu, as its not visually friendly.
  15. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    While the AppleTV can not play DTS or HD variants of DTS and Dolby Digital, it can play 640kbps AC3 no problem which is more then the 448kbps that is typically seen on DVD.

    That is still a very good amount of bandwidth for audio streams.

    The speed at which the Bluray or DVD will be ripped is completely dependent on your processor. Your memory and hard drive speed have nothing to do with it. Also Hyper Threading will not help any either. If one thread is already fully utilizing a core, then introducing a second thread to that core will not help. You either need more cores (dual versus quad), faster cores (clock speed), or better designed cores (Core 2 Quad versus Haswell i7).

    If your final goal is to make M4V videos (such as through Handbrake), you do not need to rip the video to MKV or any other go between first. You can simply use Handbrake and transcode from the disc directly. Saves you disc writes and saves you copying time.
  16. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    That only applies to dvd's, as HB does not rip BR's. Ripping BR's is where MakeMKV comes into play. Transcoding speed for dvd's on almost any quality computer is not a issue. The issue arises when transcoding BR's, which as the OP mentioned, can take a very long time and is very dependent on CPU characteristics.
  17. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    Ripping the movie was under 2 hours too, it was the compressing part that was taking forever.
  18. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    Must be an OSX thing, I use Handbrake on Windows and rip both with zero problem. And its been probably going on 2 years now for bluray support.
  19. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    That is a non-issue. If you have DTS-MA MKV's, XBMC and the like just send DTS-core over optical out: a 1536kbit compressed version. You will have the MA in the file, so no harm is done to that. For now you get a great substitute with inaudible difference.
    What I like about basic MakeMKV rips is that you don't harm the BR quality: original video stream and main audio stream is often just 10-12GB. A rip takes only 30-40 minutes. Plex can recode that on the fly for lesser playback devices like an iPad. So if you can store 10-12GB/movie, try to fix the playback part, not the ripping/recoding part.
  20. mic j, Jun 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014

    mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    It's not an OSX thing as HB does not support the BR decryption libraries. I can provide links to multiple sources supporting that if you would like. Do you happen to have AnyDVDHD installed?

    Link to supporting HB documentation:
  21. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    We concur that XBMC (and PLEX) can take the core audio from an HD stream. Perhaps I should have been clearer. However, the point remains that those with medium to high home systems will benefit from true HD playback. I base this not just on "numbers on paper," but doing blind tests with friends on a medium quality system. Not all movies will have huge differences but many do. - In particular well produced action and adventure/sci fi and fantasy movies.

    If one has a less expensive home set up, again we can agree that the core audio should be just fine. Those that are trying to get a good HTPC to go with their medium to high end receiver/AVR and speakers would wish to get as much benefit out of their investment and movie experience would most likely prefer to get the full audio presentation and thus, HD audio would be preferred.

    Again - we'll most likely disagree on this one but remain advocates for XBMC and PLEX as well of course, the Mac Mini as an HTPC.

  22. MoparMike, Jun 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014

    MoparMike macrumors newbie

    May 20, 2013
  23. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    Yes I do. But I consider those to be two separate steps. There are lots of rippers that can't natively access the disc (DVD or Bluray), but work perfectly well once the encryption is broken.

    But Handbrake can rip from Blurays, provided it has access to it. I wouldn't hold it against it.
  24. utazdevl, Jun 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2014

    utazdevl macrumors regular


    Jul 18, 2008
    I just have to add my two cents here...

    I have been encoding Blu-rays for about 2 years now. I have a mid-2011 iMac 21.5 inch with the 2.5 Ghz Intel Core i5 processor and 10GB of RAM. I open the disc in MakeMKV, select the movie itself and turn off all subtitles and audio that are not English. I then rip the film into a folder on an external 2TB drive. It typically takes about 1 hour to make this MKV.

    From there, I drop the MKV files into Handbrake and select a custom preset I call "HD Encodes". It is basically the same setting as "AppleTV 3" but the FPS has been set to "Same as Source" instead of "30". I select for my file to encode into the same folder as the MKV, and name my file "<title> (HD).m4v" and add it to my queue. Then, I use the same MKV and create an encode using a custom preset I call "SD Encodes" which is the same as "HD Encodes" but resized to 640 x Whatever (typically 352, but whatever the height would be that allows for 640 on the width) and an average bit rate of 1200. It also has the "iPod 5G Support" box checked. I name the file "<title>.m4v" and also save it to the same folder and add it to my queue. If I have multiple BD's to rip and encode, I repeat the process and add to the Handbrake Queue. Once I am all done, I hit Start and let things run.

    My HD encodes typically take 4-5 hours and my SD take about 1. My SD encodes used to take about 15 minutes, but at some point I upgraded my Handbrake to one of the nightly builds and everything has been slower for SD ever since for some reason. My SD encodes typically end up around 1GB for every 2 hours of movie but my HD encodes wildly vary in size from around 4GB up to 17GB. I find that the digital animation titles (like Toy Story 3) are smaller where the films that have varying levels of grain (like Moneyball, which has some scenes with lots of grain and some scenes with none) go larger in files size.

    Once the files are complete, I drop both in Subler and make sure they have matching metadata and artwork selections. I add a tag for "contentID" to both files and make it "12345678" in both files and save. I then highlight both files and drop them in iTunes at the same time. This gives me the SD and HD versions of the film in iTunes with a single icon. When I sync an iPad, iPhone or iPod, I have the "prefer standard definition videos" checkbox checked. This ensures I take up the least space on my portables but can watch the highest quality file on my AppleTVs.

    I have a 4TB USB drive for my Films and a 3TB USB drive for my TV shows (I have far less contest in HD on the TV side) hooked up to my iMac that I store the iTunes content on. In addition, I have a second Mac (a pre-intel G5 tower) that has 2 2TB drives internally installed. I have about 75% of my encodes backed up onto those drives. I also have a 4TB and a 3TB drive that are exact copies of the online Film and TV Shows drives that I plug in periodically to update, but leave offline and unplugged for the most part. Lastly, I have a 4TB drive with all my home videos and pictures that I keep offline at at my parents house, in case something happens at my house. I believe in lots of redundancy (clearly) when you live digitally.

    Now, I will admit, I am not an audiophile. In fact, I watch my movies using the built in speakers on my HDTV, and they are awful. I am thinking about getting a sound platform (think sound bar, but your TV sits on top of it, instead of the bar being in front and under the TV screen) but as far as sound goes, I just want to be able to hear the characters talking and action. I have 2 kids and no desire to wake then nor scare my neighbors when I watch a film.

    As far as visuals, my picture is pretty amazing. It is better than when I watch an HD feed on HBO. It is possible it isn't quite as perfect as playing the BD disc on my PS3, but to be honest, I almost never do that, so I wouldn't know the difference. Meanwhile, everything I own (about 900 movies, 200 of which are BDs, 100 TV shows making about 2500 episodes, plus 400 home videos of family) is literally a couple of clicks away on the AppleTV and ready to watch. I never "can't find a disc" or worry that my kids will damage a disc and make it unplayable. I touch any disc I buy 1 time and then put it on a shelf. Everything I have digitally can be watched on any of my TV's at any time, as well as put on my various portable device and even shared with family members who I have done the same set up for. With such a library of titles, I rarely watch Special Features, but if I wanted to watch them, I suppose I could always pop a disc in.

    My favorite things to do are adding to my encode collection and show it off to friends and family when they come over. I have yet to meet someone who isn't impressed by how large yet detailed and easy to use my set up is. My close friends refer to me as "Zaxflix" (my name is Zack) and I love it. My kids don't understand why places like hotels and other houses don't have every movies they could want to see just a couple remote clicks away from playing. My set up might have some flaws for other people, but I love it.

    So that is what I do, how I do it and a bit of the why. Just thought I might share.
  25. kstab macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2012
    Excellent reply.

    I would like to ask:

    Can I do the above procedure with a 4k video?

    Do I need another encoder?

    I have read about the H.265 but i cannot understand much....

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