Ripping DVDs to Apple TV newbbie

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bluesrules, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. bluesrules macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    I am pretty new to all this and have been trying to make my own way so far but I have come up to a point where I need to ask a few questions.

    I want to convert my DVDs into AppleTV/iTunes format (I still don't know if this is the best format). So I was tolds to get Popcorn 3, which I did. To my surprise whe I tried to rip my first DVD (Firefly) a message saying the DVD is encrypted and that they can't do this.

    So then I downloaded MacTheRipper and Handbrake.

    The first try with MTR was unsuccesful as at the end I received an error message saying there were bad sector and Handbrake would not recognise the format. Took me a while until I tried the ARccOS extraction option and now they are ripped and with Handbrake I can convert them into Apple TV format.


    1) Shouldn't MTR automatically detect that it has to use the ARccOS conversion method? The manuel says it does. Maybe these DVDs are encrypted with something different and I need a different ripper.

    1) All episodes are ripped but how do I import them to AppleTV and keep them organised into seasons and episodes?

    2) If I try to convert with Popcorn3 it crashes? Anybody knows why?

    3) Handbrake detects more titles than it offers to convert. Is this an issue?

    4) Is AppleTV the best format? I will typically watch on my TV but what if want to watch on my MacBook Pro or iPod?

    Any help will be appreciated!
  2. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    You might be reading a manual for a newer version of MTR. The newer version is donation-ware, and from what I've seen, it does a much better job than the publicly-available free version, which is now several years old. For the record, the latest version (3.something) does pop-up a warning when it detects ARccOS.

    You need to tag them. For TV episodes, this can get laborious - use either Lostify or MetaX.

    Not sure. Popcorn is pretty slow anyway, at least when compared to VisualHub or Handbrake.

    Nope. The extra titles will be extras, trailers and things like that. It will autoselect the so-called 'main feature', though this is less reliable when ripping TV shows as it can pick the 'play all' title and you end up with one long file with three or four episodes on it.

    Apple TV will work fine on a MacBook Pro - in fact, there's nothing that won't play on that (that Handbrake would produce) - but the iPod won't. It scales upwards, so you will need to pick the iPod preset, and it will then work on anything else (iPhone, Apple TV, laptops and desktops). Handbrake has a preset called something along the lines of 'iPod (High-Res), which will look better on your TV. If you've got an HDTV, you've got a dilemma - some people don't mind this quality, others will rip the episode twice, once for the Apple TV and once for their iPods and append [Apple TV] or [iPod] on them. It's a pain, but personally I just encode TV shows on the high-res iPod setting and movies on the Apple TV setting as this matches my viewing habits.
  3. bluesrules thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    Thanks, that was very helpful.

    I am using MTR 2.6.6.

    I don't seem to find version 3. Can you point me in the right direction pls?

    Thanks again
  4. csimon2 macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Actually, just use Handbrake 0.9.2. Handbrake can save you a step in not having to rip to HDD before converting for aTV. Just put the disc in, open Handbrake, source the DVD, apply a preset, then start encoding. To convert a DVD into iPod/aTV is about 50% slower with this method than ripping to HDD first (reading from a DVD is much slower than from a HDD), but you also don't have to rip the disc first, which not only saves HDD space but can also be just as fast overall depending on the ripping sw.

    If you still insist on ripping (which may be necessary if HB can't rip direct from the DVD), then I would suggest Fairmount on the mac or AnyDVD on the PC. Both are much faster than MTR.
  5. tomd51 macrumors newbie


    Jul 15, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    As previously mentioned, you'll likely need to download the latest version of MacTheRipper (MTR) from this location to rip any dvds from the last couple of years. I would suggest reading the FAQs and other possible announcements on the RipDifferent forum as it will be very informative and will get you going in the right direction.

    Also as previously mentioned, it is donationware, meaning they require a 'donation' for a download link of the current version, same as buying it, I'm sure they call it 'donationware' for legality purposes.

    I have had little success on Mac with other rippers and would suggest MTR over anything else out there. As for ripping on a PC, the latest version of DVDFab Platinum provides lots of options and is quite reliable.
  6. BOSS10L macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2008
    Upstate NY
  7. csimon2 macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2004
    MacTheRipper is a joke. Paying for an application (that used to be free) which can just as easily be duplicated with the FREE combination of Fairmount and VLC just doesn't make much sense to me.

    There are two reasons why I don't like the MTR guys: a.) They promised that as soon as version 3 came out of beta, they would release it for free (like DVDdecryptor is on the PC). Well, that was years ago. The latest version I am aware of is something like 3.0r14 or such. Guess what? They are no longer sticking to their "free"ware statement. While I certainly don't have problems with paying for shareware (I have purchased many shareware programs in the past), I really don't like deceptive marketing. To me, the MTR guys are no different than the 3ivx a--holes. b.) The speed at which MTR rips is incredibly SLOW. It generally takes between 50 and 70 minutes to rip a disc with MTR. With Fairmount, we're talking less than 30 minutes. With a paid app like AnyDVD, it can be as fast 15 minutes. I just don't get it with MTR.
  8. J@ffa macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2002
    Behind you!
    I've never had a rip with MTR take that long. Most everything rips in 15-20 minutes tops, and some DVDs with sturdy copy protection and a long film, or one or the other, take 20-25 at most. The only rips I've had that last half an hour or more tend to be from slower optical drives or damaged discs.

    Another possibility is Riplock. One question I have is whether ripping is a CPU-intensive process or simply dependent on the speed of your optical drive. Anyone know?
  9. ant-macyourself macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2008
    I use Handbrake to rip my DVDs, but I have come across issues with certain discs. I'm pretty sure they've all been Sony DVDs (Rocky Balboa, Talladega Nights), which I've read has a different kind of copy protection that is difficult to crack. Has anyone else had this problem and do you know if there's a Mac app that can bypass it? I know AnyDVD on Windows handles it with ease.
  10. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    With today's multi-core chips, I think speed is more dependent on optical drive speed. Even on my old 2003 DP G4 Tower 16x DVD, MTR never hits more than 50% on one cpu, and rips around the same speed as my late 2006 blackbook with external 16x DVD.

    With Fairmount + DVD2OneX, I think CPU has more of an effect if you are shrinking while you are ripping.
  11. csimon2 macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2004
    Maybe it was Riplock that causes the slower rips that I have seen. In any case, Fairmount doesn't have this problem. Fairmount works by using VLC to open and play the DVD. Only the video is not rendered and is instead dumped to file, preserving the original structure of the DVD to your HDD. I haven't had a single problem ripping any of my discs with this program, which includes fairly recent titles.
  12. hogarth macrumors newbie

    Sep 5, 2008
  13. VS007 macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Basic question


    Just got my Apple TV on EBay and upgraded it to 2.1 version.

    Have a 1080i TV and a DVD player connected via HDMI. When I watch my DVD, I see the picture fill up on my TV. I tried following options:

    1. HandBrake
    2. Fairmount + DVD2OneX + handbrake
    3. imToo DVD Apple TV Converted ( Trial Version)

    In all the above 3 options, the converted H.264 movie plays 4:3 (two vertical blank bars on sides).

    Any suggestions of conversion so the DVD rip plays in 16:9?


    PS: Despite imToo being paid and easy to use, it had flickering lines on the side.

    Some one else reported similar issue:
  14. jeremyrader macrumors member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Most of the newer Disney DVD's have a similar issue. I haven't found a perfect solution, but then again, I own the discs I rip and am not in that much of a hurry. If you have a Windows option that works for you, there's no reason to not use it (unless you have zero access to Windows).

    My temporary solution for those is a bit tedious: I use HB to rip each of the individual chapters to a separate file; then I do a quick check of each of the chapters; the first chapter is almost always a no-go, so it just gets dumped - not usually a big deal since it's usually just beginning credits and such, no major plot points; then I use VisualHub to string the files together into a single movie. Right now I'm just doing the kids movies this way since I don't want them handling the DVDs and they don't tend to miss the 1st chapter anyways.

    VisualHub isn't free, but it's worth the money if you have more formats that you want to convert from/to for whatever reason (flash movies on the SD card for the Wii, for example) - plus the merge feature is seamless and very handy.

    For the 4:3 black bar issue, try making sure that you have the "Anamorphic" or "PAR" box checked (upper right corner) in the "picture settings" (button in the bottom right corner of the HB main window I think... I'm not at my Mac at the moment...). I remember running into this issue early on with some Baby Einstein episodes doing the same thing on my 720p/1080i LCD TV, but I don't recall having any similar issues since I started checking that box each time. You might try a test run with just one (short) chapter to be sure it's a fix for you.
  15. ripitapp macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2008
    RipIt was built exclusively for the Mac and does a fantastic job with both ARccOS and RipGuard protected titles. (Of course, we're a little biased.) ;) Both Rocky Balboa and Taladega Nights are known to work without issue -- as are 5500 other titles.

    RipIt produces ".dvdmedia" -- .dvdmedia "files" are really just special folders defined by Apple's DVD player that contain the normal, messy, "VIDEO_TS" stuff and allow you to treat the collection of folders and files that make up the movie as a single, coherent "thing." Many programs (Handbrake, Toast, etc.) know how to use these directly, but some programs don't. For those that don't, you can select the movie, "Apple-I" and remove the ".dvdmedia" from the "Name & Extension" box. You'll be left with a normal folder that should work like a charm. :)

    Our trial version, available here, is fully functional for seven days from the date of download and can be used during that time to rip an unlimited number of discs. We're strong believers in feedback-directed development... so any thoughts, feature suggestions and what-not can be made on our feedback page for community discussion. Any problems, issues, questions, etc. can be directed to In either case, you can expect a prompt reply.

    Have fun. :)
  16. tomd51 macrumors newbie


    Jul 15, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    First off, what is the title you're trying to rip and convert? Some titles have multiple tracks which may include a 4:3 version as well as a 16:9 version. Handbrake will analyze all the tracks on the disc, then select the one it believes to be the title track (usually the longest track). If the 4:3 track is first in the list, it will likely select this one.

    There's a drop-down in Handbrake after all the tracks are recognized in which you can select a different one than the default that is selected. After doing so, you can view the 'picture settings' to see what the 'output' is, should be somewhere in the vicinity of '720 x 400' (these will likely be a bit smaller, but should be close to this value) if it is the 16:9 track.

    If you can let us know what movie you're trying this with, we may be able to see what you're getting when attempting this process...
  17. VS007 macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    I am trying to convert Baby Einsteins DVD (Bach Baby and Mozart).

    As per the docs, setting Anamorphic to loose should have helped.
    I tried with strict and loose Anamorphic and that did not help.
    I got the desired results when I set Anamorphic off and the output to 720x400.

    I find that handbrake often crashes when I point the dir to VIDEO_TS mounted from Fairmount.
    I ran Fairmount->DTOX-> Handbrake and it said it converted within a min. Later I found the dir output of DTOX only had title video even though I had selected all the cells in DTOX.

    This whole thing need not be rocket science. I wish there was a single reliable one stop conversion software.
  18. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I use HandBrake to rip my DVD's. Pop it in, select a bit rate (I use a bit rate of 1500 Kbps, Two-Pass with Turbo First Pass), then once it is finished, I load up MetaX, which automatically finds the tags (via Amazon or IDChimp) and I edit the sypnosis slightly if it has other stuff in it. Done.

    It isn't as complicated as some people are making it out to be. Especially with HandBrake.

    Now, if you want it to work on your iPod as well, this is what I do (because I like the best available quality for the Apple TV) I take the ripped file, put it into VisualHub and convert it under the iPod preset. Then retag, and pop that into iTunes.

    I keep all my movies and TV shows stored on an external hard drive, with my Apple TV movies in one folder, and iPod movies in the other.

    I rarely watch TV shows and movies on my iPod though, and if I do, it takes 20 minutes to reconvert it for the iPod.
  19. VS007 macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    I tried ripping only with handbrake initially, till I found handbrake crashes when its almost 95% done or even in midway.
    I have the latest version downloaded running on Leopard Mac Air.
  20. tomd51 macrumors newbie


    Jul 15, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    In using the latest version of (MacTheRipper) coupled with latest version of Handbrake, converting my DVDs to an AppleTV compatible format is very easy. While there are certain settings you may need or want to change for certain titles, the majority I've converted (close to 200) are easily ripped by MTR, then the defaults I've set for Handbrake are good for 90% of the titles.

    From a reliability standpoint, the combination of the two aforementioned give me what I want about 99% of the time, but as with anything, there'll always be some exceptions. Sure some applications are better than others, but typically it comes with a price in one way or another (ease of use, reliability, time, cost, etc.). As for the process itself, it can be as easy or as complicated as you'd like, it really all depends on what you want to get out of said process...
  21. VS007 macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Alright I figured out why handbrake was crashing.
    The ripped DVD (Fairmount + DTOX) creates a file of about 1GB under VIDEO_TS dir, but the content is only the opening screen.

    Looks like the DVD manufacturers put something to fool the ripping software. This happens to only few Baby Einstein's DVDs:
    Baby Bach and Mozart.

    The others all convert fine and now I use HandBrake command line Client version. The main option is 720x400 to fix the letter box 4:3 black bars.

    HandBrakeCLI -i VIDEO_TS -o movie.m4v -b 2500 -e x264 -v -2 -T -w 720 -l 400 -E aac+ac3 --vfr --detelecine
  22. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    Chapter Tags?

    Do the Ripped MP4 Files retain the Chapter Tags? During playback can you skip forward and back to the next/previous Chapters.

    I have a DVD that came with a "Digital Copy". When you play back the "Digital Copy (after adding to iTunes)" you can skip to the next chapter like you can with the original DVD.

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