Itunes/ATV - Ripping DVD/Avi Question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by DeadPenguin, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. DeadPenguin macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2007
    I have a couple questions related to my migration from Win to Mac.

    I am looking at buying an iMac to be my main computer. I will be replacing my HTPC windows machines attached to my LCD TV's with :apple:TV's.

    I am comfortable with OSX. I have not used iTunes on a regular basis.
    My questions are:

    1. How involved is ripping a DVD for use with Itunes/AppleTV?
    *I would like to rip my small DVD collections to the iMAC to have it Accessible for both Atv's.
    2. How involved in converting DIVX and XVID avi's for use with iTunes/Atv?
    * I have a lot of tv shows in that format that I would like to be able to watch via Atv's.
    I don't want to have to hack or mod the AppleTV's. I know there are work arounds to watch ISO's and Avi's. If I am going to go through with this I am willing to put in the time to do it right.


    [edit]I was in a rush writing this and didn't come out the way I wanted.....
    What I basically want to know is with 100 or so DVD's and 1000+ episodes in avi format am I beyond it making sense to transcode everything to mp4?

    I know PS3 and the 360 would be a viable alternative for me, but I like the ATV gui. The ATV GUI would increase the WAF and make getting rid of cable some day soon a reality.
  2. omni macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    There is nothing complicated about what you are wanting to do. The big variable is time.

    Ripping a DVD via Handbrake in AppleTV format? Around 2 hours if you are buying a newer Mac which I'm assuming you will be.

    If you are comfortable with that answer then that's all it basically boils down to.

    There are A LOT of 1 button click options for converting to AppleTV (Handbrake for DVD's and Visual Hub for converting anything else such as .avi or .mkv). After that then it's just adding the tags (sort of like how MP3's have ID3 tags) to make sure the movies / tv shows have descriptions, artwork, etc.

    To give you a real word example I'm going through right now and converting all of my tv shows. I'm in the middle of converting Buffy The Vampire Slayer. A season is 6 discs and 22 episodes usually. To rip then encode then tag then copy over to my nas drive takes about a day total if I'm on top of it (changing discs when they need to be changed).

    For a .mkv - I downloaded the 1st ep of BSG which was a little over 1gb. Took 88 minutes or so to convert to AppleTV format. Then I just tagged it and copied it over, no problems.

    Hope this helps - I know it seems like a big deal but once you cross over it's really simple and I'm sure the wife will really love having access to everything.
  3. DeadPenguin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2007
    Thank you very much. That is very helpful. :D

    Handbrake won't do CSS if I remember correctly. I was never really impressed with MactheRipper. Is there a better alternative?

    Visual Hub sounds good. Thx.

    I have a lot of episodic DVD's (ex. Looney Tunes Vol 1-5) Is there a way to separate all of the cartoons or should I just convert the whole DVD?

  4. omni macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    So far I've been using MacTheRipper without any problems (I'm fully aware it has problems - I just haven't run into any so far). When it does run into a problem the first software I'll probably check out is AnyDVD on Windows. I totally agree that MTR isn't great but it's been a great 1 button solution so I can't hate on it too much. I hear there is some private beta of MTR 3.0 but I haven't tried to track it down. I also haven't heard of a better alternative for OS X.

    One caveat about Visual Hub - I believe their solution for appleTV 2.0 is still an either or solution. You either encode it for 5.1 or you encode it for 2 ch stereo, you can't do both in the same file. Handbrake you get the best of both worlds. Just as a heads up in case you want the AppleTV going to a stereo and to the TV at the same time.

    For episodic stuff like Looney Tunes - it would depend on how the dvd was authored originally. For example with Lost I encode the 4 separate episodes as 4 separate files instead of one giant file. If it was created with sensible chapters (which I'm sure it was) you should be fine.

    Hope this helps.
  5. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    VisualHub won't do anything with encrypted DVDs. Atleast Handbrake has a chance of encoding directly from the disc, although I find it much easier to just rip them first with a third party utility.
  6. DeadPenguin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2007
    Thanks again Omni.

    I will have one :apple:TV (sound) hooked up to a Onkyo 7.1 via optical. The other :apple:TV will be through the TV speaker via HDMI. If I convert/encode the avi's at 5.1 will I have problems with the HDMI connected :apple:TV?

  7. omni macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    I have mine ran as component / optical so I can't answer with 100% confidence that you will have a problem with HDMI but I would be super shocked if you do. I haven't seen anything on this board really talking about that specific problem with HDMI.

  8. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    I have the Looney Tunes DVDs and did the following:
    1. MacTheRipper for each disk. This created the VIDEO_TS files on my hard drive.
    2. Loaded each toon into Handbrake, setting up a queue of 15 toons and the extras, yielding around 20 files.
    3. When done, I then set up a "TV Show" preset in MetaX. (go to metax's website and watch the video. The software is free and almost as insanely great as Handbrake.)
    4. Titled each toon, and let MetaX do its thing.
    5. Moved all toons into a single folder, each dvd having its own. Then drag and dropped the folder onto the iTunes library. (Make sure that you want iTunes to copy the toons to your local library. If you're keeping your media on an external drive, there's a checkbox in the advanced prefs tab in iTunes to tell it not to copy.)
    6. Enjoy toonage.
  9. DeadPenguin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2007
    GREAT!!! :)
    I think I got almost everything I need to get started.

    I just stopped by the local Apple store to make sure I was making the right choices.
    I came home and ordered a refurb 20" iMac and two refurb 40GB ATV's from the Apple store.

    I have one last question:
    I went with the refurb imac w/ 250gb drive. I know I can fill that without even trying.
    Is there a reasonably priced storage solution that would work for my needs?
    ( 100 DVD's - 20GB photos - 100+GB Shows - 60GB music.)

    I am looking at the 500GB Time Capsule, but it is getting mixed reviews and I really don't need to replace my wireless router since its working fine.

    Thanks for all the Help. :D
  10. eddyg macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2003
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    You'll be fine with your AVIs, but don't use VisualHub for the DVDs, use HandBrake, so that you can keep the Dolby Digital (AC3) and the Dolby Pro Logic (AAC-LC) which will enable you to get the best audio on both ATVs.

    HandBrake does include deCSS for DVDs in versions up to and including 0.9.2. After that it will use deCSS from VLC if present.

    Cheers, Ed.
  11. cobraper macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2008
    Problems watching AVIs

    Hi, I am pretty new to the Mac-scene. I have a couple of questions. I have bought a :apple:TV but i can't figure out how to convert my downloaded AVI's to the format so that i can import the movies to my itunes library and watch them from :apple:TV. I tried Handbrake, but it did not work since the AVI had been converted by another product.

    Does any of you have any tip on how to watch my downlaoded AVIs on my :apple:TV
  12. teep macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2008
    one conversion solution

    Iva had some success with Wondershare DVD ripper and file converter. I find it takes about 2 hours to convert one hour of highrez DVD or XVID AVI to HD ATV MP4. Lots of MP4s do not actually play on the ATV even tho most play in i-tunes on the computer. It seems to be it has to be a special ATV MP4 format to play OK. (for example, lots ocf u-torrent things now come in MP4s, but I havent found one that actually plays on the ATV without conversion) That being said - its pretty good resolution compared to normal TV.

    Wondershare is about 30 bucks: you get a free 30-day tiral that plasters a big watermark across the picture. I have tried the much expensive NERO, but it wasnt as good for ATV.
  13. omni macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
  14. apramanik macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    San Francisco, CA. USA
    Converting Regular DVD for Apple TV

    I have very successfully used Handbrake to convert.

    For CSS protected DVDs I regularly ripped using MactheRipper successfully all the time. You can use the ripped copy as an input to Handbrake and convert it for Apple TV. The conversion by Handbrake takes time, so I set it up for overnight.

    Good Luck

  15. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    To be clear, HandBrake for Mac (not windows), through 0.9.2 (the current public release) has no problem with css. Using MTR is to get around some more advanced protection schemes (though arguably with varying success depending on the title and how it was mastered ) .

    Future versions of HandBrake (including the currently available development snapshots) require a copy of vlc media player to be in your /Applications directory as HB uses vlc's libdvdcss.dylib to read past the css.

    Also, note that the dev snapshots as well as the next public release handles "questionable" mastering of dvd's much better than 0.9.2 . Actually on par with and on some titles better than mtr.
  16. BlackMax macrumors 6502a


    Jan 14, 2007
    North Carolina
    I checked Handbrake's site and couldn't figure out where to download the dev snapshots. Can you provide a link to these? I'd like to give them a try.
  17. bluesrules macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    Popcorn 3

    Has anyone tried Popcorn 3 for ripping DVDs to iTunes format?

    Any suggestions?
  18. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    its in an announcement posted at the top of all HB forums.

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