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  1. Hello all,

    I'm not exactly sure where to post this, so if it needs to be moved, a moderator can feel free to move it.

    I'm intent on building a computer rig specifically for backing up my extensive collection of DVD's and Blu-Ray's, but I need some advice on what hardware to choose. I already have an LG Blu-Ray combo drive (Internal SATA, 12x BD-ROM reading speed), just bought it the other day. My question is what sort of hardware is needed (or required) for ripping these discs? If it helps, I'm hoping to output to HD 1080p MKV files. I don't really mind if the ripping process takes a few hours or more, but when it takes a whole day to rip one disc, well, I would prefer it didn't take that long. I do understand that ripping speed is always limited to your slowest piece of hardware, whether it's the Disc Drive, the Motherboard, the Hard Disk (HDD), or any of the cables connecting such hardware. But is there anything I should watch out for (or keep in mind) when selecting the parts?

    Also, I already have a pretty good idea of what software I'm going to use, and I've decided on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit for the operating system. I'm familiar with building PC's, but I'm a bit new to backing up discs of any kind. Additional advice when it comes to what software I should use is welcome, but it's not my main focus.

    Thanks ahead of time for any help you guys can give me.
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    When you say "ripping" do you mean the process of copying the optical disks content to HDD unchanged (copy protection removed on the fly) ?

    Or do you mean the conversion to another format, eg. The MKV you mentioned?

    In my mind basic disk copying and conversion to another format doesn't take a super computer, but if you're going to do real video editing in 1080p or 4k,
    using a non linear editor such as Vegas, the PC spec is more of an issue. For example, certain video cards will speed up the conversion,
    but the quality may not be quite as good as using a software encode and the CPU.

    This page has some good info and discusses various builds and a little background on HW acceleration.
    http://www.logicalincrements.com/articles/videoediting#examples
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  3. Originally Posted by Tank360 View Post
    My question is what sort of hardware is needed (or required) for ripping these discs? If it helps, I'm hoping to output to HD 1080p MKV files.
    I think you'd better first understand and then rephrase. Ripping means to put onto the hard drive an exact copy of the DVD or Blu-Ray minus any encryption. You're talking about either conversion, repackaging, or both.

    Do you want the MKV to contain the same audio and video as the source, without reencoding? Then MakeMKV is probably what you want to use. If you want to - for example - shrink the size then you'll want to reencode the entire thing. An MKV is a container and tells you nothing about what's inside it. You could put the untouched original audio and video, or you could reencode both and stick the results inside.

    You said you were new to this, so it's okay.

    Edit: davexnet beat me to it.

    Nice article to which you linked, Dave. But like some of the commentors, I agree the guy over-promotes Intel CPUs at the expense of the AMD products.
    Last edited by manono; 1st Mar 2018 at 21:46.
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    Originally Posted by Tank360 View Post
    Hello all,

    I'm not exactly sure where to post this, so if it needs to be moved, a moderator can feel free to move it.

    I'm intent on building a computer rig specifically for backing up my extensive collection of DVD's and Blu-Ray's, but I need some advice on what hardware to choose. I already have an LG Blu-Ray combo drive (Internal SATA, 12x BD-ROM reading speed), just bought it the other day. My question is what sort of hardware is needed (or required) for ripping these discs? If it helps, I'm hoping to output to HD 1080p MKV files. I don't really mind if the ripping process takes a few hours or more, but when it takes a whole day to rip one disc, well, I would prefer it didn't take that long. I do understand that ripping speed is always limited to your slowest piece of hardware, whether it's the Disc Drive, the Motherboard, the Hard Disk (HDD), or any of the cables connecting such hardware. But is there anything I should watch out for (or keep in mind) when selecting the parts?

    Also, I already have a pretty good idea of what software I'm going to use, and I've decided on Windows 7 Pro 64-bit for the operating system. I'm familiar with building PC's, but I'm a bit new to backing up discs of any kind. Additional advice when it comes to what software I should use is welcome, but it's not my main focus.

    Thanks ahead of time for any help you guys can give me.
    for best results use dvdfab - https://www.dvdfab.cn/download.htm not only the copy protection can be removed but many bluray & dvd discs have cinavia
    (which mutes the audio) dvdfab can fix that. and dvdfab can also rip the new 4K discs. dvdfab has a 30 day free trial on all their products
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    I don't think the PC specs matter much when it comes to ripping. Decryption software like MakeMKV isn't demanding and most ODD drives won't read at their maximum speed when copying/ripping Blu-ray discs and DVDs.

    I once timed how long it took to copy a couple of movies using DVDFab Passkey with an LG WH14NS40 Blu-ray writer I had installed in an old AMD Athlon II X2 250 Regor dual-core system that I use for my HTPC. It took 21 min. to copy one commercial DVD (6.53 GB) and 26 min. to copy one commercial Blu-Ray (31.4 GB). The highest read speed it reached was 6X, although the drive is capable of 12X read speeds. I've used MakeMKV and it is in the same ballpark.

    Don't obsess about Cinavia. Most DVDs and Blu-rays don't have Cinavia protection, and unless you are playing the files with a hardware Blu-ray player or commercial software, such as PowerDVD, the media player/software won't react to it.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 1st Mar 2018 at 22:24.
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  6. Member hech54's Avatar
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    My little Medion netbook with a USB DVD drive attached to it can rip a DVD.....done it many times when my PC is occupied.
    .....a "rig". I freakin' hate that term.
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  7. Ok, so yes, I think I'm getting a few things mixed up here. Let me try to clarify.

    The process I thought to use involves using a piece of software (I'm using Acrok Video Converter Ultimate at the moment) to remove the copy-protection, then convert or "reencode" (not sure which is the right term) the audio and video and put it inside an MKV file, preferably as FLAC audio and h.264 video. I'm not sure about whether h.265 would be faster or slower, but it seemed slower when I tried it. I don't have to use that specific software, if there's one that's better. Also, I guess I don't have to use just one software, so if there's a better way to achieve that quality by using more than one (or different ones for different steps in the process), that's fine too.

    @davexnet and manono: I'm not trying to do any actual video editing, I'm more interested in just creating a video file I can save to a few HDD's and watch on my computer if need be. I don't really need the exact same audio and video quality as the source, no.

    @october262 and usually_quiet: As I've said above, the software I'm using currently is from Acrok, but it seems dvdfab could be a better alternative, especially if it only takes about 30 minutes to copy a disc. Although, I suppose the other steps such as video conversion could add considerable time to it. I'll check it out. Thanks for the links.

    @hech54: I know what you mean about "rig". I've gotten so I use it casually, and you're right, it definitely doesn't seem to be the right term. ~sigh~ bad habits lol
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    Originally Posted by Tank360 View Post
    The process I thought to use involves using a piece of software (I'm using Acrok Video Converter Ultimate at the moment) to remove the copy-protection, then convert or "reencode" (not sure which is the right term) the audio and video and put it inside an MKV file, preferably as FLAC audio and h.264 video. I'm not sure about whether h.265 would be faster or slower, but it seemed slower when I tried it. I don't have to use that specific software, if there's one that's better. Also, I guess I don't have to use just one software, so if there's a better way to achieve that quality by using more than one (or different ones for different steps in the process), that's fine too.
    In your place I would probably just use MakeMKV, which copies the original video and audio tracks from the main movie on DVD and Blu-ray and re-packages them in an MKV container, then test it to see if the MKV streams/plays OK.

    Currently, H.264/AVC has better support than H.265/HEVC and re-encoding to HEVC is slower than converting to AVC. Most equipment can play LPCM or Dolby Digital/AC3. Support for FLAC, MPEG 1 Layer 2 Audio/MPA and DTS isn't universal, but it isn't unusual either. I'm not sure that all of the higher-quality codecs used on Blu-ray (Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, Dolby Atmos, and DTS:X) can be successfully converted to FLAC at present.

    Acrok Video Converter Ultimate doesn't pass my smell test. I suspect that it incorporates code taken from open source projects without following the licensing requirements for said projects or perhaps code taken from MakeMKV without permission.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 2nd Mar 2018 at 12:35.
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  9. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Acrok Video Converter Ultimate doesn't pass my smell test. I suspect that it incorporates code taken from open source projects without following the licensing requirements for said projects or perhaps code taken from MakeMKV without permission.
    After I bought a licence and actually used the software, I was initially having to turn off my antivirus, which went nuts and detected a bunch of stuff in Acrok's code whenever I would run it. Now that I think about it, you may very well be right about their coding habits...

    That being said, I'm looking into purchasing dvdfab instead. Do you know if it's known for setting off antivirus software?

    Also, it seems many people here mention MakeMKV. I tried to use it, but it gave me a lot of errors with Blu-Rays and wouldn't convert them. Do I need to buy the full version instead? I'm weary of free software, I'd rather purchase something like dvdfab instead, but if there really is a free option that does a better job, that would be good too.
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    Originally Posted by Tank360 View Post
    Also, it seems many people here mention MakeMKV. I tried to use it, but it gave me a lot of errors with Blu-Rays and wouldn't convert them. Do I need to buy the full version instead? I'm weary of free software, I'd rather purchase something like dvdfab instead, but if there really is a free option that does a better job, that would be good too.
    If someone uses MakeMKV frequently, paying for it certainly is ethical and supports further development of the software, but the paid and free versions of MakeMKV are functionally the same.

    [Edit]
    Originally Posted by Tank360 View Post
    That being said, I'm looking into purchasing dvdfab instead. Do you know if it's known for setting off antivirus software?
    My antivirus and firewall software didn't flag DVDPasskey as dangerous. I have not tried DVDFab Blu-ray Ripper.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 2nd Mar 2018 at 14:05.
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    Since I prefer compacted versions of Blu-ray and DVD material,
    I use AnyDVD HD to rip the entire BD to my hard drive and
    convert to MKV H.264 with AC3 audio.

    Since the encoding takes a while, I convert from the BD rip on the HDD to save wear and tear on my BD drive.
    For DVDs, I convert directly from the DVD drive to MKV.
    I use VidCoder for both conversions.

    Typically, a DVD conversion of the main movie only on my PC takes about 10 minutes from my optical drive to a MKV of about 2GB in size.
    A Blu-ray rip takes about 30 or so minutes and the conversion to MKV takes about 50 minutes for a 4GB to 10GB MKV.
    All times can vary depending on the size and type of the DVD/BD.

    My PC is a 8 core AMD Ryzen running at 3.5Ghz as shown in my Computer Details. More cores and a fast CPU really seem to help with MKV encodes.
    Last edited by redwudz; 2nd Mar 2018 at 15:08. Reason: Formatting errors
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  12. If all you're doing is ripping, you don't need a PC, that is so last decade, just get a laptop.

    #ThePCisDead
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  13. A laptop is a PC.
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    Originally Posted by Tank360 View Post
    Also, it seems many people here mention MakeMKV. I tried to use it, but it gave me a lot of errors with Blu-Rays and wouldn't convert them. Do I need to buy the full version instead? I'm weary of free software, I'd rather purchase something like dvdfab instead, but if there really is a free option that does a better job, that would be good too.
    Are the Blu-Rays you're having problems with new releases? Are you using the latest version of MakeMKV?

    Disc copy protection is constantly evolving and it takes a while (usually several weeks) for MakeMKV to catch up to the latest changes. This is also true for DVDFab which requires a subscription to get the latest version (if needed). There's a free trial which lags behind the paid version in updates.
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    What are your priorities in your end product?

    - Backup
    A "true" backup of a DVD or Blu-Ray requires ripping the disc and retaining the rip (i.e. exact bit for bit copy of the video, audio and perhaps menus, less copy protection) in it's FULL ripped size.

    - File size
    Set file size or percentage of original file size? In general, Blu-Ray's can be re-encoded to a smaller percentage of the original because the video is less compressed than a DVD.

    - Encoding speed and quality
    These two go hand in hand. Quality re-encoding requires time. A high speed, multi-core CPU will speed things up, but gains are incremental, not exponential.

    - Compatibility
    What is your intended playback device(s)? Only on your PC? What about streaming? Media players? Tablets? Phones? Blu-Ray / DVD players? What looks good on your PC monitor, may not look so great on a big screen TV? As usually_quiet stated, FLAC may not be capable of supporting the various audio types available on Blu-Rays. In addition, FLAC audio may not be supported on devices other than your PC.

    -Upscaling?
    You stated you want to output to "HD 1080P MKV files". Upscaling is generally best done by the display device. Upscaling 480(I/P) or 720(I/P) when re-encoding is generally unnecessary and only increases encoding time and file size.

    As for software. ripping and encoding is best done by separate programs. I believe DVDFab can convert rip and convert on-the-fly, but there are better programs for re-encoding such as Vidcoder (as redwudz mentioned) and Handbrake. MakeMKV only rips disc to an .mkv container.
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    Originally Posted by SameSelf View Post
    If all you're doing is ripping, you don't need a PC, that is so last decade, just get a laptop.

    #ThePCisDead
    The PC is certainly not dead. Gamers keep the market alive. Also anything that it is CPU and GPU intensive will need excellent cooling. Laptops do not provide this and can overheat quickly causing throttling.

    Also if you need to rip a large quantity of discs, a laptop's built in drive is not up for the task. A full sized tower- style drive is better suited.
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    @Arnold_Layne SameSelf mostly comes here to troll. "The PC is dead" is one of his favorite bait topics. Just ignore him.
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    Originally Posted by Tank360 View Post
    Also, it seems many people here mention MakeMKV. I tried to use it, but it gave me a lot of errors with Blu-Rays and wouldn't convert them.
    I forgot to confirm that you are correct that MakeMKV doesn't convert the audio and video to other formats. For Blu-ray, you have a choice of either copying the decrypted Blu-ray files and folders to your hard drive or copying the original decrypted A/V streams to an MKV container. For DVD, MakeMKV only provides the MKV container option.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 3rd Mar 2018 at 14:36. Reason: typo
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  19. Thanks all for the suggestions and help, I really appreciate your feedback. I've decided that the PC I have is perfectly capable for what I need to do, and as some of you have said, it's really sort of unnecessary to build a computer just for that. The work that MakeMKV does is definitely good enough for me, and I've already tested it on a couple disks. Seems to work well.
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  20. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by Tank360 View Post
    Also, it seems many people here mention MakeMKV. I tried to use it, but it gave me a lot of errors with Blu-Rays and wouldn't convert them.
    I forgot to confirm that you are correct that MakeMKV doesn't convert the audio and video to other formats.
    MakMKV has been able to convert audio for quite a while.
    http://www.makemkv.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4776

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