Seeking advice on ripping movies.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by agwilson, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. agwilson macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    I currently have 200+ movies that I will be ripping and placing on my computer for an AppleTV that I plan to purchase in the next few weeks. I was curious if anyone had any advice in relation to this endeavor. Did you find anything particularly frustrating when you ripped your movies? Any settings you found helpful or produced your best results?

    I plan to use Handbrake to do this. Would it be better to just copy them to .iso files and then mount all of the .iso and queue them up? I don't have time to babysit the operation since I spend most of my time at school studying and my computer doing the ripping is at home. I was thinking of placing a dvd in the computer and starting to rip then going to school for the day and replacing the dvd when I got home at night. Is there another way to do this?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  2. DJAKO macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    I've found using HandBrake with the normal AppleTV settings to be the easiest for me. I'm just now trying to dabble with MTR and Visual Hub.
  3. mindcrash macrumors member


    Dec 18, 2007
    I'm doing this right now, having only recently purchased my :apple:TV. I have a MacBook so I have been trying to keep it busy ripping/burning/encoding constantly. I only have 80 more movies to go.

    I use MTR to rip the DVD and Handbrake to encode, using the :apple:TV preset, but adding 2 pass encoding w/turbo first pass. The quality of these settings is awesome on my 32" Sharp Aquos.

    I have used Visual Hub to stitch a two-part movie together in the past, but have now found that DVD2OneX is better for that, since it will stitch the actual VIDEO_TS directories together, which I then encode. I've done this for movies like Das Boot and it works great.

    Other than that I would just say to have patience and that it will all be over at some point. I've been doing this for 6-8 weeks now.
  4. HolyJaw macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2007
    I've had my AppleTV for maybe 5 months now, and it is absolutely the best for playing DVD backups. My advice is pertinent only if you don't mind a little hacking. If you can follow basic instructions, it's cake, but the warning is here nonetheless.

    1) Hopefully you don't have a 1.3 :apple:TV (don't think they're shipping yet, so you should be in the clear.) Following instructions widely available on or on a certain wiki, enabling SSH on your :apple:TV is as simple as opening your :apple:TV up, connecting the drive to your Mac and running a few commands.

    2) Once modded, your :apple:TV can now connect across your network and access your HD / External HD (<-- that one's the best... hello Multi-TB's of storage.) using an :apple:TV program called nitoTV. The program is easy to set up and any queries can be made in the IRC channel from AwkwardTV (website.)

    The end result is this. I come home, make sure my External HD is connected to my MBP, turn on my TV, fire up the :apple:TV, and a few menu presses later, I'm watching my movie backups with ease.

    Oh, the best part? nitoTV reads straight VIDEO_TS files... meaning no other encoding.
  5. Nimiety macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2006
    I also have around 175 movies to encode (hello Lord of the Rings trilogy with extended versions).

    I use a PC, which means anydvd to crack the encryption and handbrake to encode. My settings start with the appletv default with a few modifications: usually 2000 bps, with two pass encoding and a turbo'd first pass, 160 bps audio with selecting the audio track (english 5.1 AC3 seems the best option from what I've read), and auto-cropping, although if I have a particularly tricky movie, I will optionally try unturboing the 1st pass, or simply going to straight appletv settings.

    I started encoding with a P4 2.53 system (can you say sloooow?) at around 6 fps. After some hurried upgrades, I moved on to a C2D 2.66 with SATA and a 1333 FSB and went up to around 25 FPS (peaking at 70-100 on a turbo 1st pass). After further tweaking and overclocking, I'm usually anywhere from 35-60 FPS, peaking once at over 200 FPS on a tubo'd first pass, and often close to 150 FPS on the turbo pass.

    The strategy has been to burn a few DVDs at a time to the HD and then set up a queue with handbrake: 2-4 movies overnight, another 2-4 during the day, another 1-2 after work and before bed. It can be anywhere from a small handful to 6-8 per day (on average). Each ends up at about 1.5-2.5 gigs, and anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours per.

    The biggest issue is not decrypting a movie properly and wasting that whole encoding time. I bought USB HDs to store all the movies and sync iTunes directly to that content (with a 2nd that serves as a backup to the 1st).

    The quality ranges from good to great (for some reason, a few Hugh Grant flicks seem hazy under those settings, yet LOTR and Star Wars seem fantastic - must be because he's British). :) Seems to be a good compromise between filesize and quality - I watch them on a 42" plasma, and frankly, if I wanted absolutely perfect, I would have gone blueray, right?

    The convenience is fantastic - the kids can jump from one movie to another without me worrying that they'll scratch a disc, I can change my mind on what to watch without getting up off the couch, but I think you're already sold on that. :)

    Overall, about 3 weeks invested and close to 150 movies done so far - should be finished by the weekend.

    Good luck!
  6. agwilson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    What is MTR?

    So you guys recommend that I rip the dvd to the HD and then setup a queue to re-encode? That sounds like a really good idea since it should be faster to just get the dvd's onto my computer and then I can just let the computer run for a couple days re-encoding.

    Thank you for the great advice it is much appreciated.
  7. Nimiety macrumors regular

    Sep 6, 2006
    MTR = Mac The Ripper - it is the MAC OSX equivelent to AnyDVD on Windows. They are the most commonly used applications to break the encryption on DVDs/CDs for copying to your harddrive or for direct encoding using apps like Handbrake.
  8. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I can't really add much that hasn't been said already, but I'll second (third, fourth?) the recommendation to use a ripper to line up several DVDs on your drive and then queue them up in Handbrake (Apple TV preset) and let them run overnight. I did this with about 150 DVDs on my iMac G5, which encoded at about 5-6 fps. I didn't choose 2-pass because my machine is so slow, but the results still look great.

    Once done, use MetaX to tag your movies.

    It takes a long time to get your library up and running, but once it is done the results are fantastic.

    By the way, you may want to wait a bit to see how the Take 2 revision handles 5.1 sound. The Handbrake folks will likely release an update in the near future to allow for 5.1 passthrough. I'm holding off on films such as the LOTR extended version trilogy and the Matrix trilogy until I know the best way to encode the sound. Just my dos pesos.
  9. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    Maybe, as long as it isn't simply a MOV container, since Handbrake does not have support for MOV at this time (and such functionality would have be built from scratch).
  10. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Yeah, there has been some talk about this on the Handbrake forums. A few have predicted that it will be handled via a .mov container. If so, I'll just go the DPLII route for now and worry about it later. I can always pop in the DVD if I really need that crystal-clear 5.1 sound.
  11. GroundLoop macrumors 68000


    Mar 21, 2003
    This is excellent advice at this point in the game. With Take 2 on the horizon I am just waiting to figure out the best way to encode the movies for the new software.

    In the meantime, I am ripping a large number of DVDs to my hard drive to be ready when the Handbrake update comes.

  12. agwilson thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    I was thinking of waiting to purchase my AppleTV until Take 2 was released. Your right that it is a good idea to wait and see how Handbrake will handle the 5.1 sound issue. I might spend my time ripping the dvd onto the hard drive until then and that way I can run Handbrake on a large group using the up to date encoding. I would like to have 5.1 sound since it does add to movies.

    Someone recommended MetaX, I was curious how long does it take to add tags to each file? I watched the tutorial on their website and it looks to be extremely easy to use and it will add to the usefulness of my endeavor.

    Anyone know a MTR or AnyDVD equivalent for linux? I have a linux box that has 500GB of hard drive space and doesn't do much most days so having it to ripping and then the encoding would impact my life less than if I had to use my laptop. I love my laptop but the dvd drive is rather loud when it spins up and can be distracting when in the library studying.

    Thank you all for your great advice so far.
  13. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    It takes a few minutes per file on my machine, with my movie files on a 500 gig external firewire drive. The nice thing about MetaX is that you can queue up files to tag and then let it run while you go do something else. It is super easy and intuitive to use. In the past, some have complained that their files were corrupted after MetaX wrote the tags to them, but I've had no problems so far.

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