Plex, Handbrake, and DVD Ripping

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MrMacMini, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. MrMacMini macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal....
    Well I just found Plex today and totally fell in love with it! Needless to say I will be purchasing a Mini and use it as my HTCP in the near future.

    I want to begin Ripping my DVD collection (200+) but I dont want to lose too much quality. Can anyone suggest the best Handbrake settings to keep most of the DVD quality when Ripping?

    I just Ripped Toy Story, although it looks ok I know it can be better.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. toneloco2881 macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2005
    I actually just spent the better part of the last month ripping my DVD collection to H.264 files (~400).

    For my settings I used the Apple TV preset as a baseline and bumped up the constant quality setting to 62%. I then saved it as a preset and went to work. To my eyes, and everyone I've had do side-by-side visual test; the results are indistinguishable from the existing DVD. My average file size for the movies came out to be right around ~1.6GB. I have a 1TB external disk connected to the back of my time capsule, and can now stream movies all over the house.

    Everyone that comes over now is amazed that I can have over 400 movies on demand, and no need to insert a DVD into the player. I have an old(er) MBP acting as the HTPC on my largest tv for the time being, but plan on purchasing a mini very soon.

    Best of luck.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    With the price of hard drives being so low, why compress your DVDs? Plex can play "vob" files and last time I tried, can play DVD ISO files (DVD copied in its entirety with menus and extras).

    If you plan on the Mac Mini, Add an external drive or better yet a NAS (network attached storage).

    For Handbrake, there are some presets that are not bad or you can elect to use or adjust them for better quality. Handbrake is a great tool but for me, I find zero reason to convert DVDs to other formats. I am sure both the Plex forums and Handbrake forums will offer ideas of settings and btw, you will find MANY opinions and answers, not just one ideal setting.

    I happen to have Windows XP running in VMWare Fusion. My tools of choice for getting the DVD over to hard drive and merging the vob (or creating a DVD ISO on drive) are AnyDVD HD and DVDshrink. There are other tools of course out there and Mac has some counterparts such as Mac the Ripper.

    - Phrehdd
  4. phairphan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Reject Beach
    I second the suggestion to leave movies in their original format. I compress TV shows, but movies are left alone.

    I also second the use of the AnyDVD and DVDshrink combo. I've used Mac-based programs (FairMount and DVD2oneX mainly), but nothing I have found really compares to AnyDVD and DVDshrink.
  5. gan6660 macrumors 65816


    Aug 18, 2008
    I use the universal setting and I do not loose any quality.
  6. MrMacMini thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal....
    Ok, now I have another issue.

    I tried using the Universal setting in Handbrake and increased the constant quality to 80%, but when Handbrake is done, I cant transfer the .m4v file to my external HDD. I get an error message and I cant play the movie.

    Anyone have any ideas on what I could be doing wrong? :confused:
  7. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    What format is your external HDD? If it's Fat32 you'll have a 4gb file size limitation. Use Disk Utility to check.
  8. skunkworker macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2007
    I wouldn't use the "Constant quality" setting on Handbrake, it doesnt work like you think it does.
    I would say do some test rips at different bitrates, personally I use about 1500-1800kbits with a 192kbps audio track leaving about a 1.5GB file. And past that you really can't tell its ripped.
  9. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    80% is insane for a dvd source. no doubt the movie would have come out > 4GB and if you did not have "Large File size" checked it would not mux even. about 61 % is pretty much visually transparent for a dvd source.
  10. MrMacMini thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 4, 2009
    So Cal....
    It is a Fat32 format.

    But from the other posts here it Looks like I just dont know how to use Handbrake..LOL...Im gonna have to play with it and find the best setting.

    Im new to Mac and Ripping DVD's. I always used a PC and AnyDVD to make back ups, never ripped.

    Thanks everyone for the help. If I get into anymore problems Ill bother all of you again. ;)

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