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The Simple Blu-Ray Ripping Guide

Quick and easy guide to turning Blu-Rays into Full HD movie files

I like Blu-Rays. They give an excellent viewing experience for typically quite a small outlay when compared to DVDs.

The problem is that I only have a couple of devices that will playback Blu-Ray disks, namely my PS3 and my main PC.

That leaves a whole bunch of HD capable displays in my home that can’t make use of the awesome quality of Blu-Ray.

So, I’ve decided to make file based copies of all of my Blu-Rays, and here’s how I’m doing it.

You will need.

– A Windows PC with a Blu-Ray Drive

– MakeMKV (Free 30 day trial)

– Handbrake

– About 40GB of hard disk space per Blu-Ray.

Step 1 – Rip your Blu-Ray

The first thing you’re going to need to do is copy the video files off of the Blu-Ray disk on to your hard disk. This will give you a large (30GB+) file that will playback on your PC. Don’t worry, in the next step we’ll shrink it down to a more usable size.

Once you’ve downloaded and installed MakeMKV, run it and it should pick up a Blu-Ray in your Blu-Ray drive. When it does, click on the “Open Disk” button.

rip1

This will trawl through the files on the disk and index them into a format that’s easier to understand. In the window above you can see an index list of files in the left hand pane. Your Blu-Ray may have more or less streams showing, depending on how many additional features are on your disk. To the right of each name you’ll see the file size, and the feature film will typically be the longest, so deselect all of the streams except that one.

Then, on the right hand side, specify an output folder for the program to copy the HD files into.

Then, click “MakeMKV”

The application will change to a new window and you’ll get a status update of how the rip is going:

rip2

Once this process completes, you’ll have a large, uncompressed MKV copy of your BluRay in the folder specified.

Step 2 – Compressing the video file

So, you’ve got a rip of your Blu-Ray on your hard disk, but it’s huge!

It might not bother you too much if you’ve got enough space on your hard disk, but if you’re considering streaming this movie to other devices on your network then you seriously should consider making the files a little smaller.

Thankfully, that’s what Handbrake is for!

If you’re not in the know, Handbrake is an “open source” tool for converting pretty much any video file type in to pretty much any other video file type.

I’m going to assume that you want to keep the full 1080p nature of your Blu-Rays, but you can also use Handbrake to convert to lower resolutions, should you want to make smaller files.

handbrake 1

Open Handbrake and select the “Source” drop down box, then select “Video File”.

Now navigate to the MKV file that you created in step 1 and select it.

Handbrake will scan the file, and then you can select a profile from the right hand pane to select the type of file that you want to create. For a straight full HD copy it’s best to select “High Profile” but you can also select one of the other profiles if you’ve got aspirations of playing the file on other devices.

You can also choose from two different containers: MKV and MP4. MKV’s are reported to provide results nearer to the original, whereas MP4 seems to have better product support, so it’s up to you which option you select.

Once you’ve selected your options, just hit “Start” and then go and find something else to do for a few hours while Handbrake converts the video!

Author

Matt

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