Quickest Way To Take Blu-ray Screenshots?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Makosuke, May 6, 2009.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #1
    Pretty simple: I want to take a handful of screenshots of some Blu-ray discs to do side-by-side comparisons with DVD caps from the same films.

    I have a PS3 to actually watch the movies, I just want some quick uncompressed screencaps, so I don't need to transcode, I don't need smooth playback, I don't even care about sound. (Heck, I'm pretty sure it's even 100% legal under the "review" clause of copyright law.)

    Based on suggestions in the "Blu-ray to AppleTV" thread I can get it working by using a Windows app to extract an unprotected m2ts file from the BD, then use VLC to take some caps of that, but this seems like massive overkill for a couple of screenshots, and has the additional problem that VLC seems to break up on sections of video with a very high bitrate.

    So... is there an easier way to do this? I don't mind using Windows (at this point, I realize I don't have a choice), and I'm even willing to pay for software, though obviously the cheaper the better.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #2
    im afraid the only easier (slightly) solution is to get some software that can play BR movies under windows - then get a program that allows you to take snapshots of the screen (print screen probably wont be good enough quality and mightnt even let you work when playing movies.)
     
  3. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

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    #3
    I had a feeling that would be the answer, though it leads to the second question:

    What is the cheapest (or, alternately, best) pair of tools with which to do this?

    There are at least a couple of Blu-ray players available on Windows, plus the grey-area apps that do decrypting but not (I think) playback, and I'm sure there are hundreds of screencap tools, not all of which, I presume, can override whatever preventative measures said DVD players use to prevent caps.
     
  4. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #4
    never come across any free ones.. there is Cyberlink PowerDVD which costs, probably the cheapest way to get out of it would be to download the trial version of AnyDVD HD (15 day trial i think) and rip it. VLC can then play it... its pretty stupid at the moment because of royalties and all that, you also need a computer/GPU that is capable of decoding the data..

    what GPU/CPU do you have on your PC?

    if you could convert it to a m2ts file you could use Mac version of VLC and take near uncompressed screen shots (by taking a screenshot - there are ways to change the default image type, invaluable).
     
  5. MacStew macrumors member

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    Dec 17, 2008
    #5
    I got Cyberlink PowerDVD v7.3 free with my LG external blu-ray player. The software has a snapshot button that would do the trick. You wouldn't even need to rip the disk, just play it, pause at the right frame and click snapshot. Here's an example...
     

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  6. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    A quick question MacStew, I`ve also got a LG Blu-ray drive with the LG version 7.3 of PowerDVD and whenever I play a Blu-ray disk the Capture frame button is replaced with a Popup Menu button and I carn`t grab frames. Works fine with DVD`s but the button is gone when I play a Blu-ray, so how did you get it to work?

    Rob
     
  7. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

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    #7
    It's a 2009 mini, so GF 9400M + 2.0 C2D. Should be barely sufficient for playback and I believe (though not positive) HDCP-compatible.

    Yeah, I've already gotten this working, and it's my backup plan, but there are two caveats; one, it's rather tedious to extract several gigs of video just for a handful of screenshots; two, VLC seems to choke badly on 1080p video whenever the bitrate gets high, so it's not working particularly well. (Due to its decoding idiom, VLC doesn't have a QT-esque "play every frame" option, meaning it skips like crazy and chews up the video when it has trouble keeping up with the stream.)

    Which is why I'm looking for a more "direct" option, such as Cyberlink etc. (None of which did my bare, dirt-cheap Blu-ray drive come with.)

    Also, I ran into a few forum postings mentioning PowerDVD's ability to do screencaps or not; apparently there was some version floating around that could, but it's supposed to disable that on Blu-ray discs now and for most people does. There may or may not be a way to override this setting, but I didn't find one.
     
  8. janstett macrumors 65816

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    #8
    The "Big Three" BD/HD-DVD/DVD players on Windows are:

    - Cyberlink PowerDVD
    - Corel WinDVD
    - ArcSoft TotalTheatre

    IMO I like Cyberlink the best. I think all 3 can take screen shots, and at least one of them has a limited demo version you can d/l for free.
     
  9. MacStew macrumors member

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    #9
    Hi Rob,

    I didn't explicitly set this up, it just works. Maybe it's because I have AnyDVD HD running which removes the protection?

    - Stew
     
  10. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

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    #10
    Come to think of it, I'll bet this is why; AnyDVD, since it runs as a driver, will definitely let other apps read files straight off a Blu-ray Disc, and PowerDVD probably disables its screencap only when there's protection on the disc (just as it would refuse to play the same protected disc if there was a non-HDCP device in the chain).
     
  11. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    No, I`ve also got AnyDVD HD running for the simple reason that my VGA monitor dosen`t support HDCP. So my version of PowerDVD must be different to yours in some way. Oh well.
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #12
    ah, well that will be fine for playing it back. a MacMini 2.0GHz with the older GMA950s can play back uncompressed BD rips when combined with Plex, i think you will be fine.

    if the AnyDVD/Power DVD combo doesn't work (and VLC is crap so its out of the equation) - play it with Plex. it wont skip frames at all so you SHOULD be able to get to the same frames, no sure how to step individual frames though.
     
  13. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

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    #13
    So with the lean being toward PowerDVD, anybody have experience with a Windows app that will take a screencap of what it's playing?

    In terms of smoothness I actually like the AnyDVD-Plex combo better, since Plex won't frameskip (just slows down), but AnyDVD is significantly more expensive than PowerDVD and this still requires me to capture the whole thing (or at least several gigs of it) to disk before doing any caps.

    If I do go that route there's also the matter of finding a Plex skin that doesn't display anything when the video is paused (since it doesn't have built-in screenshotting I'm left doing a command-shift-4 while paused, and the default skin pops up ancillary info when paused).
     
  14. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    The problem with screencap programmes is they only capture at the resolution your monitor is displaying it at, so unless you can view the Blu-ray on a monitor with a desktop resolution of 1920x1080 you wont get a full resolution capture. One possible hack is to create a new custom resolution of 1920x1080 and set it to scale to your monitor resolution.
     
  15. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

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    #15
    Actual-resolution screen capture is not a problem (I was assuming it, in fact, to bypass the app's lack of a built-in feature for such); my mini is hooked to a 1080p TV. Taking that into account, any good (preferably free) apps for taking a grab of the entire screen, regardless of what's on it? I'm assuming the old print screen button won't grab a shot to the clipboard if there's a protected app running...
     
  16. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I use this one:- http://www.traction-software.co.uk/screengrabpro/
     

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