Ok, so I am starting from scratch and would like feedback or tips on how to accomplish this. My current setup is a QNAP 4-Bay NAS running Plex Media Server. I have it hardwired to my network a play the movies through my Playstation 4 on the Plex App. Unfortunately, PS4 only supports MP4, H.264, AC3 with embedded subtitles. No external subtitle files supported.
I have a lot of Blu Ray movies and would like to rip them to my storage device in that format without losing any (or minimal) quality in audio and video. I am honestly not concerned with file sizes....storage space is cheap. I just want the ability to play my movies and have them streamed in as close of quality as I can to the original Blu Ray disc without skipping or stuttering. I need them in that format, so the media server doesn't need to transcode on the fly.
I have looked up a lot of tutorials...the main one being to use MakeMKV and Handbrake to accomplish this. The issue is that I am noticing the resolution of the output file after handbrake is done with it seems to be slightly lower than the original. I am not very savvy in this area...but I am hoping that someone has a simple solution for this...even if it costs me money to buy a program that will accomplish this...it would be money well spent. I want to be able to just slip a blu ray into my computer, and press a button (saved settings) and have it rip the movie to that format. And ideally...also embed the subtitles wherever foreign audio is present...not sure how that is even accomplished, but it is frustrating streaming a movie and having to ignore the foreign parts because of a lack of subtitles. Thank you in advance for any help in this...
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By lower resolution, do you mean lower quality, or do you mean it cropped off the black bars?
Appears to be bars because if I look at the details of the file, I see things such as 1918x800 or something like that. Very strange output for something that originated as 1920x1080.
Now granted...that example is actually handbrake burning from a high quality MKV file I had. But it seems to be consistently messing with resolution numbers...
1918 IS odd. It's not even mod4. I haven't actually looked at handbrake for a while but from what I remember it didn't use mod2 by default, so I'm assuming you've already modified the settings?
You can turn cropping off if you like and set anamorphic to strict and that should keep the original resolution.
From what I've read the PS4 supports MKV as well as MP4... Blu Ray subtitles are either PGS or (rarely) TextST. PGS is graphics and therefore needs to be OCR'd using either Subtitle Edit or DVDSubExtractor to srt, Subtitle Edit is the only option for TextST. Once you convert them to SRT you'll have to figure out what the hell to do with them from there, the information I'm finding is contradictory.
If you don't want to encode the video at all, as long as the original video codec is AVC/h.264/MPEG4 Part 10 you should be able to just keep it, it's only VC-1 stream that you'll NEED to re-encode to AVC/h.264/MPEG4 Part 10.
AAC is a better audio codec than AC3. You should only use AC3 if the original audio was AC3 from it's own track or as a TrueHD core, that way you can just keep it. For DTS audio from Blu Ray it would be better to use EAC3To to convert the stream to AAC, or use EAC3To to convert it to WAV then QAAC to convert that to AAC. Then use mkvmerge or mp4box to mux it all back together.
Well according to Plex Media Server, the only thing they support is MP4. And if I go to AAC, will I still maintain the 5.1? I just want to make sure it is the best quality possible. I managed to get Handbrake to embed the SRT files, but there is still the issue with the resolution being goofy. I already have it set to "Automatic" cropping and Strict. Maybe I can do manual cropping and set everything to 0. I will try that now.
Plex is different then.
OK then. Handbrake is incapable of simply passing through video, if size really isn't an issue, h.264 at level 4.1 is a standard Blu Ray codec which a PS4 should be able to handle easily in an MP4. Unless it's VC-1 you could just try muxing the video directly into an MP4 while converting the audio to AC3 or AAC.
How are you ripping the Blu Ray, what program are you using for decryption? MP4Box won't read from MKV or M2TS files, so you'd need to rip losslessly to MP4 or rip to MKV and then extract the streams before remuxing back into an MP4.
Are you sure you want to keep the black bars? Unless you're dealing with a player that doesn't properly interpret aspect ratios there's no actual advantage to keeping them.
No I do not care about keeping the black bars. I am not sure which program to use to be honest. That is why I labelled the thread "Newbie" because I would literally like to start from scratch and just burn legitimately. Is there a program that can rip a blu ray into that format losslessly?
Anyone else have any feedback or advice in this area?
I use AnyDVD HD for decrypting Bluray, and MeGUI's HD Streams Extractor (which is a GUI for eac3to) to do the ripping. When that's done I re-encode with MeGUI, but you could use any encoder GUI. MeGUI probably has a bit of a learning curve.
If you don't want to re-encode, just use MakeMKV. Of course you can still re-encode anyway, but MakeMKV rips the original video/audio etc as a single MKV. No quality loss.
Many Bluray videos have a small amount of black down one side, or both. Often only a pixel or two wide. Handbrake's auto cropping might be removing it, hence outputting widths such as 1918 on occasion. It's probably not resizing, but cropping the black bars top and bottom, along with couple of pixels one side or the other, and you're left with resolutions such as 1918x800. You can adjust the auto-cropping if you prefer.
I'd consider ripping with something like MakeMKV and keeping that as the master (lossless) copy, at least for the moment. As long as you keep that, you can experiment with re-encoding (and learn as you go) to your heart's content.