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  1. Member
    Join Date: Feb 2014
    Location: United States
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    Hi, I'm a real newbie to this and a first time user on this forum, so I apologize if I'm making any stupid mistakes as a user here.

    I want to rip my "The Wire" DVD collection to my computer so that it would play on Windows Media Player. The series is all in the 4:3 aspect ratio, and it's in 480i SDTV format. When I tried to rip it using Handbrake, all I did was scan the DVD, choose the "Normal" preset, and started ripping it. I then tried again with "High Profile" and there was no success there either - both cases resulted in really choppy audio and the picture itself was really messed up (random blocky colors all over the place), so it wasn't watchable.

    My question is, should I be using a different preset here? Should I be messing with the picture/video settings? I primarily want it to be playable on windows media player in reasonably good quality because the show isn't even in HD, but if it's possible to make it also compatible for the iPhone that'd be nice.
    Thanks in advance.
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2000
    Location: Sweden
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    Are you converting directly from the dvd?

    Try instead rip the dvd to your hdd with another real dvd ripper like dvdfab decrypter, anydvd, dvdfab passkey, etc. Then convert the video_ts folder to mp4 with handbrake.

    If same problem then try other dvd to mp4 converters like vidcoder(based on handbrake), staxrip.
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  3. Member orsetto's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2007
    Location: NYC
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    Handbrake is beloved by the geeks, but is a total honking PITA if you are a casual user with no tech education who just wants to rip a decent file. The Handbrake interface makes no sense whatsoever to casual users: many settings do the exact opposite of what you would think from their labels or description.

    Once you have a firm grasp on how it works and what it bases its assumptions on, Handbrake is a flexible powerful tool. But if you're in a hurry I'd recommend using something else with comprehensible presets. If you have time to spare, search the Handbrake comments, threads and tutorials here on VH for suggestions. Each thread usually has references and links to others, as in this example. Note Handbrake in itself cannot properly rip commercial DVD sets: for that you also need a decrypter, as Baldrick mentioned. If these are DVDs you recorded yourself from cable, there shouldn't be any issue with decryption. Either way, ripping the DVDs to HDD before processing with Handbrake tends to work better.

    I was using Handbrake successfully for awhile until I misguidedly upgraded it and all my settings went to hell. Since 95% of my ripping is for use on an old small iPod, I use simpler dedicated software to create those MP4s & M4Vs now. Since you seem to want a single MP4 rip that is good enough for a TV but still usable on an iPhone, I'd suggest spending some time researching Handbrake and the alternatives. You may want to consult a few iPhone-specific sites for tips as well: the iPod and iPhone can be inexplicably picky about what they will and will not play, so you want to make sure to stay within their specs.
    Last edited by orsetto; 8th Feb 2014 at 12:52.
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  4. Originally Posted by hmlk09 View Post
    My question is, should I be using a different preset here? Should I be messing with the picture/video settings?
    You should be decrypting it to the hard drive first.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
    Search Comp PM
    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Handbrake is beloved by the geeks, but is a total honking PITA if you are a casual user with no tech education who just wants to rip a decent file. ...
    Well, the first thing I should point out is that you don't seem to know the difference between ripping and encoding, which disqualifies you from reviewing anything.

    Second, there are no really good encoders that are easy to use for newbies that I've ever seen. And I've looked. I would agree with the above statement with a number of encoders recommended here by video geeks, but not handbrake. It (and vidcoder, which is pretty much the same, different GUI) is the only one I know of that has some power and reasonable ease of use.

    The main thing, as manono says, handbrake is not much of a ripper. It's an encoder. It may decrypt some copy protection schemes but not many. Never tried it myself ... I've always used a real ripper first.

    DVDFab HD Decrypter is my favorite, and it's the free part. It's just about the only thing I ever use my one remaining Windows partition for. The encoding part of DVDFab, which isn't free, isn't that good either.
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  6. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2003
    Location: dFAQ.us/lordsmurf
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    Handbrake isn't a "rip" program.
    Wrong tool.

    All it does is convert video.
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  7. Member orsetto's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2007
    Location: NYC
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    Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post
    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    Handbrake is beloved by the geeks, but is a total honking PITA if you are a casual user with no tech education who just wants to rip a decent file. ...
    Well, the first thing I should point out is that you don't seem to know the difference between ripping and encoding, which disqualifies you from reviewing anything.
    FFS, I know the difference between a ripper, a decrypter and an encoder- I've been ripping with AnyDVD, CloneDVD and other software for years, and using various conversion apps to make MP4s from the rips. Baldrick and I both mentioned decrypters being needed if these were commercial DVD sources. I replied to the OP using the casual "rip" reference he used, assuming he had already somehow (poorly) ripped the DVD and was trying to convert the rip to multi-purpose episode files with Handbrake. That trick isn't always as simple as it looks, as testified by the many MANY posts to various forums from confused disappointed newbies who've downloaded Handbrake thinking it would work like a one-click idiot-proof iOS app. It doesn't, so I suggested further study of related Handbrake threads for recommended workflows, and exploring alternatives with interfaces he might find more intelligible. Handbrake isn't a picnic if you have no clue to its particular logic, perhaps something like MakeMKV would be a better fit for hlmk09 but he'd need to look into it personally.
    Last edited by orsetto; 10th Feb 2014 at 02:26.
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