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  1. I know every one probably cringes when asked what's the "best way" to do anything, but I'm running into problems no matter what I try.

    My ultimate goal: To stream movies from my hard drive over the network to my Samsung smart TV and bluray player. I'm trying to think ahead of future technology and convert in a way that will be open to this (examples below).

    I want high quality HD video and audio quality (perhaps ability to change to 3-D when this this technology improves)
    Ability to search by original chapter markers (although I don't think my Samsung firmware allows it now, hopefully this will change)
    Subtitles that can be turned on and off by pressing the caption/subtitle button on the remote
    Eventually be able to put the videos into a movie organizing program that I can navigate with my TV remote.

    Ability to trim by the video by the second - not the chapter
    Crop the ouput file to get rid of the black bars, if I want to.
    Conversion that doesn't take hours and hours.
    the thumbnail picture of the movie on the output Icon.

    I bought a new dedicated PC for this and I have tried many programs... ANYDVDHD, CloneDVD, Handbrake, MakeMKV, Aiseesoft, Total video converter, AVSvideo and more. I've also tried 3 different servers - but just cannot get there.

    One more bit of information: I have used ANYDVD for years and already have the AVCHD (mt2s) file of 100's of movies on an external hard drive. I'd like to keep this process for 3 reasons 1) I've heard ripping straight from the disk for hours and hours is hard on your optical drive 2) ANYDVD has been very prompt about putting out upgrades to overcome new copy protections. 3) I have a (paid for) lifetime upgrade membership with ANYDVD
    Last edited by Illinois_Girl; 16th Oct 2011 at 11:06. Reason: fix typo
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  2. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I use RipBot and convert my BDs to about 8GB for backup to DL DVDs in case I lose a hard drive on my video servers.

    I also use Handbrake for DVD>MKV conversions.

    Some of your options are problematic.

    Trimming H.264 or any highly compressed video with frame accuracy is very difficult due the the structure of the video format.

    And using a program like RipBot does take hours and hours. I rip the BDs to my hard drive and process them there. You need lots of hard drive space.

    Having a thumbnail icon for your MKVs depends on your software. I don't have any MKV thumbnail icons, but the title is enough for me.

    Subs may be a bit of an adventure with BD>MKV format also.

    If your computer has Windows Media center and you have a Media Center remote, MC can be modified to play MKVs and it can read remote drives and somewhat organize your video files.

    Others here may have some better info.

    And welcome to our forums.
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  3. First a clarification: Ripping means decrypting/copying to hard drive, nothing more. What you're trying to do is put the video into a new container: mkv. Even the authors of DVDFab are guilty of confounding the term ripping with either re-encoding or repackaging. A niggling point perhaps, because it's clear what you want to do.

    If you can give up the requirement to edit AVC (H.264), it's easy enough to put your BDs or AVCHDs into mkv container, with chapters, and selectable audio and subtitle streams. I use HDConvertToX for this, though others have their own methods:

    1) Load the *.m2ts file. Analyze the files. All streams will be analyzed, chapter points too.

    2) Under the Crop and Resize tab, you can crop the video at this time. But be advised, that means a complete re-encode, which takes considerable time, depending on your computer and degrades the quality. I personally don't see the point, and it doesn't save much space. How many bits does it take to encode black bars, after all? I suggest using the option "no resize & crop".

    3) For video, select an output of H.264 in MKV container. If you take my advice, select "copy video". For audio, select copy audio unless you want to re-encode HD audio to save space. Re-encioding audio doesn't take nearly as long as a video re-encode.

    4) In Audio and Subs, you can include or deselect audio streams and select/enable your subtitles, and even turn one subtitle stream to default ON if you like. Select "Mux subtitles in MP4/MKV container". Hard coding the subs would, again, require a lengthy re-encode. Chapter marks will be in the same places as in the original source, automatically

    5) Generate Encode.

    Just one way to do it, there are other ways.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum.

    [EDIT] For re-encoding BDs to smaller size, I use BDRebuilder. You can output to BD 5/9 (AVCHD) or even output to MKV.
    Last edited by fritzi93; 16th Oct 2011 at 18:37.
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  4. Thank you both for the welcome and quick responses. HDConverttoX sounds promising.

    If I am to understand... cropping the black bars out during conversion causes slower conversion and lower output quality? The same is true with hard subs?
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  5. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    If you filter, or change the frame size of the video by cropping, you will have to completely re-encode it. That takes time. Re-encoding always has some quality loss. If you burn subs into the video, that also requires a complete re-encode with the same loss in quality problem.
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  6. This is a great forum. I have learned so much already.

    Since realizing the difference in output quality (and in time), I have been trying to avoid re-encoding. So basically I'm taking my m2ts files and loading them into MakeMKV. I'm selecting the subtitles and audio I want and it's done in a fraction of the time. I'm not worried about space since hard drives have gotten pretty reasonable. I also gave up the cropping, trimming, and hard subs.

    The files are great quality, but now several of them they won't play on my DLNA player (Samsung Smart TV - allshare feature). I get a video format not supported error. I even deleted those files and started over and again, same error. (Silence of the Lambs and Terminater 2).

    I checked the supported file format's on the TV itself and they seem to be compatible - for an MKV container ; video codec Divx, XVid, H.264 BP/MP/HP, MPEG4 SP/ASP ; resolution 1920 x 1080 ; frame rate 6-30 ; bit rate(mbsp) 8 for Divx,Xvid, and MPeg and 25 for H264. ; audio codec MP3/AC3/LPCM/ADPCM/DTS core. I'm not sure about the subtitles format supported by the player, because I couldn't that anywhere.

    Now it did work on a third movie - Boon Dock Saints. It will play and the audio is fine, but when I try to turn the subtitles on by pressing the [cc] on remote, I get an error on the screen. I'm not sure why the difference, because I did this movie exactly the same as the first 2.

    Can any one come up with any ideas how to make this work? Is there a setting in MKV I'm overlooking?
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  7. I have a suspicion that MakeMKV may be at fault. I haven't used it in a while, but I didn't find it to be especially reliable. In particular, it seemed that more often than not, it would bugger the subtitles, which then wouldn't display in TMT. [shrugs] But it is still beta after all, so perhaps I shouldn't be too critical.

    I'd try something else to see if the problem is indeed MakeMKV. Good luck.
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