My Easy Process to Convert Blu Rays for ATV2 (&iPad)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by dhy8386, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. dhy8386 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    * Note: the below requires the use of Windows so if that is not an option for you, you can save time and stop reading now :)

    There are a few threads on here about converting blu ray disks into an ATV2 compatible format but they are a little fragmented. Some dont address the subtitles issues while others dont address the ability to create a file that can play across ATV, iPad, etc. Also, I find some instructions to be more difficult than they need to be. I thought i would outline my process which has worked very very well for me on my 124 BRs and is about as easy as it gets as far as I have found.

    First a few notes.

    1) This process involves using PC-only software. For those with a PC, its easy. For Mac users, you will need to either have a VM install (which I have found most people on this forum have) or run your Mac in boot camp when you are doing this process.

    2) My method assumes you do not want subtitles unless they are forced as in Avatar, District9, etc. I have to imagine this is the case with a majority of people.

    Software Used:

    1) AnyDVD HD [PC-only] - Software for ripping the Blu Rays unprotected (that you own of course) -->$85/w trial (note, I have not used it but DVDfab Key supposedly does the same thing and its free)

    2) Another EAC3to GUI Plus [PC-only] - a EAC3 front-end that does it all -->Free --

    (a) To use Another EAC3to GUI Plus, you will also need to download and install the following (Dont worry, once installed you will never have to open them or worry about them):
    Haali Media Splitter --
    Eac3to --
    MKVtoolnix (MKVmerge) --
    BDSup2Sub --
    Java -- Latest version.

    3) Handbrake [PC or Mac] - Everyone should be very familiar. Use the lateste stable nightly build. Important. -->Free


    1) Download and install all the software above

    2) Load your Blu Ray into your drive (I have a Plextor B320SA) - AnyDVD will automatically read your disk and remove the copy protection (which i assume of course is only done to your owned/purchased content)

    3) Open Another EAC3to GUI Plus. When you set it up for the first time, it will ask for the location of “eac3to.exe”, “BDSub2Sub.jar” & “mkvmerge.exe”. Browse to the location of these applications. Also in the Options section, since I am just concerned about ATV, choose "Core Only" as this will extract the core audio track only. Also make sure to uncheck "Add non-forced captions". In the advanced options, make sure a work files location is chosen and if possible, make it a different drive than the output folder. This dramatically increases re-mux times. Once done click ok and the rest of the MKV creation process is straight forward and quick. See the guide provided in the link above for Another Eac3to GUI Plus.

    *Note: I prefer this option to Clown BD or other methods of extracting the different BR components separately or even MakeMKV because Another EAC3to GUI Plus does all the steps for you automatically to convert from BR disk to MKV and also is able to find and extract the forced subtitles automatically for burning in (discussed later) in Handbrake. It is also very quick and converting from MKV to MP4/MV4 in Handbrake also enables you to keep chapters easily.

    4) Open the latest nightly build of handbrake (important you use a nightly for DTS to AC3 conversion) and open your recently created MKV.
    5) Handbrake settings have been discussed ALOT in these threads so i will just list mine but point out the important items.
    Picture Tab: High profile preset. Container is MP4. Width set to 1280.
    Video Filters: All Off
    Video: Use deafults
    Audio: So here i create 2 audio tracks. A 5.1 track for the ATV and a stereo track for the ipad/other devices. Source should be your DTS or Dolby 5.1 track in the MKV. There will be only one. For the first track, Audio codec will either be AC3 Passthrough (for dolby 5.1 tracks that were part of Core track in TrueHD Blu Ray) or AC3 ffmpeg to convert the DTS to AC3. Mixdown should be Discrete 6.1. The samplerate and bitrates should fill in automatically but at the least bitrate should be 640. Now add another track and highlight it. This one should have the same source. Audio codec should be AAC (faac). Mixdown can be Dolby PL II. Bitrate at 320.
    Subtitles: If there was a forced track, under track you will see one subtitle track listed (ie 1 English Vobsub). If there wasn't, likely no forced subtitle track present (havent encountered a case yet where this was wrong). Now, to avoid any issues with force flags etc, i "burn in" the subs. Thus make sure to check, Default, Burned In, and Forced Only. Then click add.
    Chapters: You will see they are all there.
    Advanced: Leave on Defaults

    5) Click Start or add as many to the Queue as you want and then fire it up.

    This process results in a nice, high quality Mv4 file that plays great on my ATV2 while also able to play nicely on my iPad. While the above seems like a lot of text and steps, majority of it is just first time set up.

    Again, what I like most about this setup is that even though something like MakeMKV may be easier for steps 1-3, in reality its not since once AnyDVD is installed it runs on every disk installed automatically so you are then down to MakeMKV setup vs Another EAC3to GUI Plus, and the latter is more flexible for me because of its ability to pull the forced subtitles more easily.

    My only downside personally is I am working with a 2.8 C2D so the MKV process takes 20-45 mins and then Handbrake can take 4-10 hours depending on the file. But I am slowly converting my Blu Rays and am looking to upgrade to an i7-860 in the next few days.

    I hope this helps and if people would like, Id be happy to throw in screen shots with settings if it would help.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I would put (Windows) or something like that in the title. I was slightly excited but I'm a Mac user, oddly enough. :)
  3. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    Sorry to mislead. But if you have never tried, installing windows in bootcamp as an example is not really difficult. And you can fetch yourself a copy of windows 7 for 100-120. But it adds up. Sorry. Also, you could do the same in a virtual machine like VMWare (can be found for ~50 on the web with coupons and discounts) or Virtualbox which is free. I would then do the first three steps in Windows and then run Handbrake on the Mac side. Fwiw.
  4. liquidsuns macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2009
    So I've downloaded and installed all those programs but when I try to open AnotherEAC3toGUI it just says "Access to the path 'C:\Programs(x86)\ACD\AnotherEAC3toGUI\Logs\EAC3to' is denied."
  5. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    Right click on Another EAC3 and choose run as administrator. I assume its a UAC issue?
  6. TorrentMaster macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    OP, Thank you sooo much! I have also been using a bunch of different software and frankly was having trouble finding the best solution. This worked perfectly and i love Another EAC3to GUI Plus. Never heard of it before but its a nasty little piece of software. I tried this process on 4 movies last night and it worked great. I did as you said running the first three steps in my VM and then using handbrake on my mac for the encode.

    I am lucky as I have a quad core I7 imac. The MKV process takes 15 mins and my encodes takes anywhere from 90 mins to 2 hours.

    Thanks again and I think added screenshots would be helpful. There were a few options I was unsure about.
  7. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
  8. cornbrown macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2010
    I have been using AnyDVD for more than three years now. I has never let me down!!
  9. JustTheTip macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    Interesting approach. I have been using a few different tools on the mac with good success but i find it frustrating dealing with forced subtitles and its more of a process. If Additional EAC3to GUI really is that simple (i looked at the link to the guide and it does indeed look very nice) I might consider throwing a VM on my imac in Virtualbox to do this. Funny enough, I have an Anydvd HD license from way back but went i switched to a mac i stopped using it.

    Anyone else have experience with Additional Eac3to GUI Plus? Does it work well?

    I do agree with you that there are a bunch of threads on this topic but they are all somewhat imperfect. If this really works as you say, then it will be much appreciated as this does seem quite simple.
  10. canyonblue737 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2005
    Ok, guys... "My easy process to convert Blu Rays for ATV2 (&iPad) FOR THE MAC!!!!!"

    1. Download MakeMKV for Mac OS X.
    2. Plug in USB BluRay player of any kind, including read only.
    3. Use MakeMKV to rip the main the title movie to your hard drive.
    4. Launch the latest nightly version of Handbrake 0.9.4 (make sure you have VLC installed first.)
    5. Select your .mkv file created in step 3. Use the "High Profile" Preset, select framerate to 29.97 NTSC, click the Peak Frame Rate box, click the Large file checkbox, select the RF value to anywhere 20-23 (lower is better but a bigger file), in the Audio tab add a second audio line of AC Passthrough or AC3 if you plug your ATV2 into a surround system, click the picture setting menu and set Anamorphic to NONE and set width to 1280 with the height autoscaling.
    6. Encode. Files will be 1 to 4 GB and be STUNNING in 720p.
  11. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Yup. No Windows/VM/Boot Camp needed.
  12. Microsaft macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2010
    Duesseldorf, Germany
    Thats what i did...
    But don't you think this is the wrong place to talk about this?!
  13. TorrentMaster macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2010
    Not helpful for those movies with forced subtitles which i think was the OP's point. There are plenty of threads discussing MakeMKV as it is indeed an easy rip and MKV maker for the mac but its limited. The biggest problem is that i do not know all the movies that have forced subs (and there are alot) so its not like i can just do those movies in a different way. I just dont think there is an easy, automated way on the Mac yet to do what the OP is suggesting and have the comfort that you will not be in the middle of your movie and realize there are no subs - or that you pulled the wrong subtitle track for forced.

    For those Mac only users who are unwilling or cant install windows, i think makemkv is the best, albeit somewhat limited option, but for those mac users with a bootcamp or VM windows install, i am reallly liking the OPs method. Have been encoding all day. :)
  14. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    Thought about it as I didnt want to waste anyones time but truth be told i have been reading hundreds of threads about encoding blu rays for ATV2 and more users than not have some sort of windows install. Its not like you need a windows machine, we are talking about running windows on a mac machine which apple provides you the ability to do natively in their OS with bootcamp (and of course which you can also do for free using Virtualbox).

    Thats why i prefaced the entire read with the note about it using windows. There are going to be a bunch of people for whom this is helpful and then there will be those who refuse to ever touch windows just because. Is what it is....
  15. pedz macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    I agree with dhy8386, this forum is 'Apple TV and Home Theater', not 'Apple TV connected to Macs'.

    Thanks for the post, this definitely looks more efficient than my flow (Clown BD...). I just have one question hoping someone can help with. I get the access issue when running the Another... GUI, but for some reason when I right click on it there is no 'Run as Administrator' option. Very strange, other apps do show the option, but not this one. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks again,
  16. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    What is your setup? Win 7, 32 or 64 bit? VM or bootcamp or windows machine?
  17. pedz macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    Sorry, should have been more specific. Windows 7 64 bit on a pc.
  18. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    Id run two tests.

    The easier one, in a way, is right click on Another EAC3to GUI and click properties. Choose the Compatibility tab and on the bottom, check the box under Privilege Level that says Run this program as an administrator. You may need to restart windows for it to take affect but try and reopen the program. If it works, thats great but you may run into issues with all the other programs in the process. Thus, id advise you to go into each one and set the Privilege level like you did for Another EAC32 GUI.

    If the above still causes issues, then go into the UAC settings and turn it off (or all the way down). Restart computer and then try to open Another EAC3to GUI. If that works, then its obviously a privilege issue and just would need to figure out why you are having it even when you manually set it to allow.

    Let me know results. Personally, I keep UAC off (lowest setting) as especially for this kind of stuff the permissions can be a nightmare. Just rely on good firewall and detection software.
  19. pedz macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    That did it, thank you.

    I ran it on iron man 2 to try it out and it went fine but eventually got an error. This is what the log looked like. Any ideas?

    Thanks for the help,

    eac3to v3.24
    command line: "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\eac3to\eac3to.exe" "E:\BDMV\STREAM\" 1) 1: "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - Chapters.txt" 2: "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile 1080p h264.mkv" 4: "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - 4 DTS Core.dts" -core 10: "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - 10 English Subtitle.sup" 11: "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - 11 English Subtitle.sup" -log="C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - Log.txt" -progressnumbers
    M2TS, 2 video tracks, 6 audio tracks, 8 subtitle tracks, 2:07:26, 24p /1.001
    1: Chapters, 17 chapters
    2: h264/AVC, 1080p24 /1.001 (16:9)
    3: h264/AVC, 480p24 /1.001 (20:11)
    4: DTS Master Audio, English, 5.1 channels, 24 bits, 48kHz
    (core: DTS, 5.1 channels, 24 bits, 1509kbps, 48kHz)
    5: AC3, French, 5.1 channels, 640kbps, 48kHz, dialnorm: -27dB
    6: AC3, Spanish, 5.1 channels, 640kbps, 48kHz, dialnorm: -27dB
    7: AC3, Portuguese, 5.1 channels, 640kbps, 48kHz, dialnorm: -27dB
    8: AC3, English, 5.1 channels, 640kbps, 48kHz, dialnorm: -27dB
    9: AC3, English, 2.0 channels, 224kbps, 48kHz, dialnorm: -27dB
    10: Subtitle (PGS), English
    11: Subtitle (PGS), English
    12: Subtitle (PGS), French
    13: Subtitle (PGS), Spanish
    14: Subtitle (PGS), Portuguese
    15: Subtitle (PGS), French
    16: Subtitle (PGS), Spanish
    17: Subtitle (PGS), Portuguese
    Creating file "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - Chapters.txt"...
    [s11] Extracting subtitle track number 11...
    [s10] Extracting subtitle track number 10...
    [v02] Extracting video track number 2...
    [a04] Extracting audio track number 4...
    [a04] Extracting DTS core...
    [v02] Muxing video to Matroska...
    [v02] Getting "Haali Matroska Muxer" instance failed. <ERROR>
    [a04] Creating file "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - 4 DTS Core.dts"...
    [s11] Creating file "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - 11 English Subtitle.sup"...
    [s10] Creating file "C:\Blu Ray Ripping Software\Blu Ray Rip\MyMKVFile - 10 English Subtitle.sup"...
    Aborted at file position 37991424000. <ERROR>
  20. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    Looks like there was a Haali error. Did you download from the link in my post or did you go to the website directly and download? Certain versions of Haali cause an error which is why i linked to a good one. Use the one in my post if you didnt.

    As an FYI, I have muxed Iron Man 2 with no problems.
  21. pedz macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    Thanks, I just forgot to install it at all. I thought I covered all the steps but missed that one, so I didn't the issue would have been a missing app. Trying again now.

  22. pedz macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    It worked this time, thank you very much, it is much more streamlined than my process.

    A couple of observations I will have to play around with. I used the same settings I use in my other process (apple tv setting, change to custom anamorphic to maximize resolution, constant quality 21, no other changes, it automatically creates two audio tracks, aac and ac3 passthrough). When I play the resulting file in vlc it has bars on top and bottom, auto cropping didn't work in handbrake, in my other workflow it does eliminate them. On the atv2 it does not play dd sound, it is prologic. The files i rip in my other workflow play as dd.

    Did you experience either of these issues using this process? Wonder if I just need to tweek some settings or if this is expected.

    Thanks again for sharing, sorry for all the basic questions,
  23. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008
    Hey Peter

    A couple of observations. In handbrake, assuming you are using a nightly build?, does the file you are trying to convert contain a DTS or TrueHD track? In your other process, you may have been (i think you said you were using ClownBD?) choosing the option to convert the audio to AC3 640 so when you feed it to handbrake, AC3 passthrough would be the correct option. This would be true of DTS or TrueHD audio tracks. However, in Another EAC3to GUI it creates an MKV with both the High Def original track and core track and does not do the AC3 conversion. Thus, when you feed this MKV into Handbrake, for DTS tracks, you must choose AC3 (ffmpeg) to mux the DTS to AC3. For TrueHD tracks, you can continue to choose AC3 passthrough. The AAC track should be fine on either.

    As for the cropping, not sure what the issue is. What movie did this happen to you on? Chances are i might have it and can test myself.
  24. pedz macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    It was iron man 2. I am using a nightly build. It is about a month old. I believe I selected the core only as you suggested for atv use. Is that the issue? I am away for the weekend. Will check the specifics of the audio when I get home tomorrow. Thanks again for taking the time to reply to my posts. I really appreciate it.

  25. dhy8386 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 13, 2008

    Choosing Core is correct but that doesnt convert the DTS to AC3. It simply pulls the 5.1 DTS track vs pulling the High Def DTS track. You still need to convert it in Handbrake. I am sure that is the issue. When you return, take the MKV you made of Iron Man 2 and open it in handbrake. Under Audio, the source will likely say 5.1 DTS. Thats fine. Now, for the first audio track, if you are using Windows, you need to choose AC3 (ffmpeg) and NOT AC3 (passthrough). If using Handbrake on a Mac, choose the options called simply AC3 (again not AC3 (passthrough). For both, make sure you also choose 6.1 discrete. The second track should still be AAC for both.

    Let me know if it solves your issue.

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