WDTV Forum - WDTV Media Player

General WDTV Groups => Audio and Video Conversion => Topic started by: DoctorX on January 15, 2009, 09:39:39 PM

Title: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: DoctorX on January 15, 2009, 09:39:39 PM
I have a problem. I want to convert a bunch of my tv show collection dvds to MKV. I have already converted them to separate VOBs with DVDfab 5. The files are, of course, huge. I want to convert them for two reasons. One to save space, and the other so that WDTV can navigate them better. Problem is, every time I convert them the quality is crap. It seems there has to be some way to make a one hour tv show which is 2 gigs on a vob into a 700mb MKV. I want to do this so that there is no massive visual loss in quality. A very slight loss I can understand. Has anyone had really good luck with this? Crunch time is not an issue as I have a spare PC I can dedicate to the project. Also, what about progressive vs interlaced? Should I make the MKVs progressive?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: jayallan on January 16, 2009, 08:42:19 PM
DVDFab will also convert it to a Xvid.mkv file fairly quick in the DVD to Mobile section. The Xvid files should look good if you are going from vob files. The files will be half the original size, and in an mkv container so they play nice with the WDTV.  I use the 2 pass. You can keep the 5.1 channels of audio and just keep your sound quality. On my computer it takes about an hour to an hour and a half to process the video. 
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: eoghann on January 29, 2009, 05:02:26 PM
There are lots of different ways to approach this of course, but this is the technique I've developed over the last couple of months with satisfactory results.

I first rip the DVD into a separate video folder for each episode. That can be done either with a combination of DVD Decryptor and DVD Shrink (both free) or DVD Fab.

I then use Handbrake to convert these files. My settings are H.264 codec, crop automatic, anamorphic loose. I recommend the use of detelecine and decomb filters to address interlacing or related issues. If the original video quality is decent you shouldn't need to use de-block or de-noise. I use constant quality at 62% which gives me a good balance of compression vs. quality even played back on a 50" tv. I've had success in some case going lower (58%), but I've yet to find a good reason to go higher than that. I usually include the 5.1 soundtrack and any commentary tracks. The rest of my settings all come from the AppleTV preset in Handbrake.

On my fairly wimpy machine a 45 minute show takes about 100 -120 minutes to encode, but a quad core would do it substantially faster. File size ranges for 600MB - 1GB depending on the amount of action in the show which is probably about a third to half of the original file size.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: CapZap on April 11, 2009, 11:07:10 AM
I just tried a program called MakeMKV  (http://www.makemkv.com/) which seems to work pretty well to convert DVD's to .mkv files.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: fred_be9300 on April 15, 2009, 06:21:18 AM
FWIW, I've been converting a couple of DVD-Video rips to MKV / H.264 using Handbrake also.

I used the Film preset with some modifications: turned down the bitrate from 1800 to 1500, and increased ref frames from 3 to 5. The output is around 1.8GB per 2 hours or so. I'm very pleased with the result.

I start the encoding at night before going to bed, and let Handbrake hibernate the computer when its done. Simple :-)
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: gmanvbva on May 08, 2009, 09:49:33 AM
FWIW, I've been converting a couple of DVD-Video rips to MKV / H.264 using Handbrake also.

I used the Film preset with some modifications: turned down the bitrate from 1800 to 1500, and increased ref frames from 3 to 5. The output is around 1.8GB per 2 hours or so. I'm very pleased with the result.

I start the encoding at night before going to bed, and let Handbrake hibernate the computer when its done. Simple :-)

What is the rationale behind those changes?
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: fred_be9300 on May 08, 2009, 02:55:47 PM
I'm afraid I have to admit that the rationale was somewhat weak... ;-)

for the bitrate: I just figured that
- x264 being a much better codec than mpeg2, I should be able to cut file size by more than what's offered by 1800kbps.
- a lot of my DVDs were getting cropped vertically (often around 2x 70pixels), so needing less bits to encode a smaller image.

for the reframes: just figured, WDTV can handle it, so why not ;-) it can't harm, and it can improve quality/file size balance. Not sure why it's so low, maybe to keep compatibility with some other devices (Apple? PS3?)

Since then, I've spent some more time reading Handbrake wiki & forums, and I'm now more tempted to try out their "constant quality" settings... I'm still experimenting. It makes more sense to say: look, use whatever bitrate you need, but try to reach this quality, rather than to say, this is what you get to use for bitrate, make the most of it.... (well, I don't intend to store on DVD, so I don't care if file size is non-uniform)
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: Techflaws on May 08, 2009, 10:54:54 PM
I'm using AutoGK to rip my eps to avi, 400 MB target size for 40 mins with two languages. IMO x264 is overkill for SD material.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: gmanvbva on May 11, 2009, 07:24:27 AM
I'm afraid I have to admit that the rationale was somewhat weak... ;-)

for the bitrate: I just figured that
- x264 being a much better codec than mpeg2, I should be able to cut file size by more than what's offered by 1800kbps.
- a lot of my DVDs were getting cropped vertically (often around 2x 70pixels), so needing less bits to encode a smaller image.

for the reframes: just figured, WDTV can handle it, so why not ;-) it can't harm, and it can improve quality/file size balance. Not sure why it's so low, maybe to keep compatibility with some other devices (Apple? PS3?)

Since then, I've spent some more time reading Handbrake wiki & forums, and I'm now more tempted to try out their "constant quality" settings... I'm still experimenting. It makes more sense to say: look, use whatever bitrate you need, but try to reach this quality, rather than to say, this is what you get to use for bitrate, make the most of it.... (well, I don't intend to store on DVD, so I don't care if file size is non-uniform)

Thanks for the feedback. I ran a few test runs on sat/sun using different options. One was with a constant quality setting (think I went pretty high 70) but I canceled it due to the time to encode.

I'll be happy to share my results as well. I compared a Film preset (1.8GB) to a Film preset but changed it to a 4GB target size instead of 1800 bitrate. I couldn't tell the difference in video quality of watching the same 2-3 min clip on each.

I was testing with Quantum of Solace (Blu-ray). I think I am going to rip out a ~5 min scene (maybe the car chase) and run some different settings and compare the output size/quality. I'll probably view each on my 46" LCD (Samsung LN46A650) for comparison.

I know the title is DVD to MKV but this was one of the few posts I saw where someone was experimenting with the settings. If I should take this discussion to another thread, just let me know.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: fred_be9300 on May 12, 2009, 02:16:24 PM
on handbrake forums, recommended value for CRF (constant rate factor) is between 0.59 and 0.62. Above 0.62 is said to be a waste.

I suppose (just assuming really) CRF is slower than setting a bitrate/filesize target, because it needs to constantly evaluate the quality of the encode, to determine whether it hits its quality target.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: 3dxr on May 13, 2009, 05:41:10 AM
I'm using AutoGK to rip my eps to avi, 400 MB target size for 40 mins with two languages. IMO x264 is overkill for SD material.


may be overload for CPU not for SD material h264/x264 rip have same size or much more details is smaller size

I dont like blured details in DIVX/XVID movies compared with same bitrate or quantitizer vs x264
encoding with xvid is much more faster but if is priority quality is x264 only way today ( Y2009/05 )


also another solution howto have good result without tunning many parameters is avr/fixed quantitizer 18(very good) - 22(good)-26(less then good)

quantitizer 1= is lossless encoding ( not usable )
less then 18 isnt required in most of cases. and more then 26 isnt good option.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: gmanvbva on May 13, 2009, 06:45:53 AM
Here are some file sizes for various test runs I did yesterday.

The Quantum of Solace.test.split1.m2ts was the original file. You may notice that the CQR65 test file actually has a file size larger than the original.

Viewing a few on my 22" Monitor, it was very hard to see any discernible difference in PQ.

I'm going to do a few more test runs today and then compare PQ on my 46" LCD.

Also, is there a player for mkv's that shows the video information real time (similar to PowerDVD, PS3, etc?).

I've tried VLC, WMP, etc but didn't see where this was an option for any of them.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: Scoops on May 16, 2009, 08:13:21 AM
Also, is there a player for mkv's that shows the video information real time (similar to PowerDVD, PS3, etc?).

I've tried VLC, WMP, etc but didn't see where this was an option for any of them.

Like this?

(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3357/3535601999_fd53fd322c_o.jpg)

On my PC, I use CCCP (http://cccp-project.net/)'s ffdshow and MPC-HC. ffdshow's video and audio settings allow for a customizable OSD. There are a ton more options, for pretty much every piece of info you could want to see.

(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2305/3536432382_b8e66686c5_o.jpg)
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: cbscpe on May 31, 2009, 12:37:44 PM
My major task is to copy all my DVDs (around 500) to a media server in order to be able to view them on my WDTV(s). I have read many topics in this forum and so far have come up with my own solution I would like to share:

My major concern is to not loose any quality of the DVD Material I already have. So I went through several stages. One thing I must say in advance and I know one can debate: Space is not an issue, my server has currently 4Tbyte put aside for Movies. Also I want to keep as many language tracks as possible as we live here in a multi-lingual environment. And I'm a Mac user :-)

Stage 1:
MacTheRipper and MpegStreamclip to make one .MPEG file out of the Main Feature of some DVDs. The main benefit is that there is definitively no loss of quality and even compared with DVD Players with high quality upscalers (Thoshiba, Faroujda, ...) the WDTV performs quit good. The disadvantage was I lost the ability to define the initial language, the language name is not displayed and no chapter support

Stage 2:
Handbrake. This added support for initial language and chapter support. The disadvantage, it takes a long time. Space saving is not terrific compared to my milage and worst, I have many Movies where handbrake would die when trying to convert

Stage 3:
MacTheRipper, MpegStreamclip, dvdxchap, mkvtoolnix. First I start with creating one MPEG with all languages of the mainfeature. Then I use dvdxchap to extract the chapter information. As a last step I merge this information with mkvtoolnix into a matroska container. Advantage, no conversion -> speed is great, Multi-Language Support, Chapter Support (mkvtoolnix even has a chapter editor, so you can give names to the chapters which are then displayed on the WDTV), no loss of quality. disadvantage, many tools required. But the result plays smoothly and with all features active on the WDTV.

For very nasty copy-protections I use Prallels to run Win XP with AnyDVD and CloneDVD2 to extract the main feature instead of MacTheRipper and MpegStreamclip. Sometimes you need to consult the internet to find the quirks of copy protections (Wall-E ;-). These are the only non-free tools. But they are worth the money.






Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: elmarweber on May 31, 2009, 01:53:50 PM
My major task is to copy all my DVDs (around 500) to a media server in order to be able to view them on my WDTV(s). I have read many topics in this forum and so far have come up with my own solution I would like to share:

My major concern is to not loose any quality of the DVD Material I already have. So I went through several stages. One thing I must say in advance and I know one can debate: Space is not an issue, my server has currently 4Tbyte put aside for Movies. Also I want to keep as many language tracks as possible as we live here in a multi-lingual environment. And I'm a Mac user :-)

If I may ask: I'm curious why do you go through this much trouble instead of just making a de-CSSified / decrypted 1:1 copy of the DVD (ISO Image)? There are command line tools for Linux for that, so probably for Mac too. I'm asking because I've done this for my DVDs (~300) and cannot find any disadvantage (on the contrary, you definitely have the best quality, all features and if needed also the menu).
The whole process can also be automated by script to the point that you just have to change DVDs and close the tray each time you pass the DVD-Rom.

ciao,
elm
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: cbscpe on May 31, 2009, 02:52:15 PM
What I tried to achieve was to have only the main feature with all audio tracks/sub titles and chapter marks. Using thumbnails I can now easily navigate through all my movies and a start the movie with a single button. As far as I know the WDTV does not support the DVD Menues, so what is the advantage of a .ISO image together with the WDTV? What are you doing with the ISO images on the WDTV? In any case, I even wanted to get rid of the menues.

There are indeed several tools to create a decrypted ISO image from DVDs on a Mac. However as many copy protection schemes show, decrypting is not the only thing you have to do to get a movie that really plays well on the WDTV (e.g. Wall-E, Ratatouille, and many more)

Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: cbscpe on May 31, 2009, 11:56:42 PM
Just one more remark. Perhaps in my first post I used the word "stages" in a wrong way. It's not that I go through all 3 stages when converting a DVD to MKV. It is more that I had different ways to convert DVDs to MKVs over the past. So wenn I first started to convert DVD to MKVs I used the process which is named "Stage 1" etc. Now I'm using only the steps described in Stage 3. So a stage is rather refering to a level of my learning process. Currently I'm converting a DVD to MKV using only the steps of "Stage 3". Also regarding the use of a ripper. It does not really matter what you use. When converting DVDs to MKVs without recoding any track (Video and/or Audio), the actual copying of the DVD is the far most slowest step. The rest can be done with a simple script. On MacOSX you could even think about a folder action that starts when the ripping of a DVD has finished and automatically starts the conversion as for all further steps simple CLI tools exist (ffmpeg to correct the time-codes of VOBs concatenated using a Unix Pipe instead of MpegStreamClip, dvdxchap is already a CLI and mkvtoolnix is nothing else than a GUI to the mkvmerge CLI command) . Except for those DVDs that use additional tricks to hide the Main Feature. There you need some more fine tuning by hand.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: jayallan on June 01, 2009, 03:02:45 PM
Cbscpe,

If you don't care about file sizes and you want the best possible quality, then the answer is to use a program like DVDfab to make the main movie (and its audio and subtitle streams) into one VOB file.  That will maintain the original quality, give you all the streams, and play perfectly on your WDTV. 

Since you won't be transcoding anything it will be super fast process as well.  Probably 15 minutes per movie.  Quality will remain at 100%
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: cbscpe on June 03, 2009, 11:26:32 AM
Yes that is true, however MacTheRipper does the same, it can convert a title to a single VOB. But as far as I know the VOB does not have the language name (if you select a different audio track the WDTV shows "Audio Track 1", "Audio Track 2", etc., with Matroska you can select the language and then WDTV displays "English", "Spanish", "German", "French", so you know what language you have selected) and also you don't have any chapters, with Matroska you can have chapter marks and you can give names to them. For this a VOB needs to be acompanied by an IFO, helas the WDTV does not support them. More the IFO does not even contain a chapter name, just the marks.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: Banana Phone on June 05, 2009, 05:26:13 PM
Well, I just got my WDTV yesterday (and I was quite impressed!)

Started to convert some of my DVD's by order of importance... so obviously my Looney Tunes box sets are first :) (what!?  I can't live without my daily dose of Rabbit of Seville!)

Thanks to this board I was up and running in no time flat...

I ripped the individual episodes (chapters) with DVDfab, and then encoded them with Handbrake (gui version) with the "animation" MKV preset.  I have to admit that even without any tweaking or messing around I was very impressed with the results!  Thanks to the enqueue function in the handbrake I went to bed with a bunch of files in queue and woke up to nice converted videos.

Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: bodri on July 14, 2009, 06:36:53 AM
I tried a lot of converting program on win and linux, but the best is http://ogmrip.sourceforge.net/en/index.html (http://ogmrip.sourceforge.net/en/index.html).

Easy to use and make mkv with h264 (xvid, divx too) multiple audio channel (ac3 copy, mp3, aac, ogg) and multiple subtitle handling.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: jayallan on July 14, 2009, 10:54:37 AM
I tried a lot of converting program on win and linux, but the best is http://ogmrip.sourceforge.net/en/index.html (http://ogmrip.sourceforge.net/en/index.html).

Easy to use and make mkv with h264 (xvid, divx too) multiple audio channel (ac3 copy, mp3, aac, ogg) and multiple subtitle handling.

Is that for Win or for Linux? 
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: Scoops on July 14, 2009, 11:43:40 AM
I tried a lot of converting program on win and linux, but the best is http://ogmrip.sourceforge.net/en/index.html (http://ogmrip.sourceforge.net/en/index.html).

Easy to use and make mkv with h264 (xvid, divx too) multiple audio channel (ac3 copy, mp3, aac, ogg) and multiple subtitle handling.

Is that for Win or for Linux? 

Linux (and BSD).
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: argho on August 24, 2009, 09:36:05 AM
Cbscpe,

If you don't care about file sizes and you want the best possible quality, then the answer is to use a program like DVDfab to make the main movie (and its audio and subtitle streams) into one VOB file.  That will maintain the original quality, give you all the streams, and play perfectly on your WDTV. 

Since you won't be transcoding anything it will be super fast process as well.  Probably 15 minutes per movie.  Quality will remain at 100%

Just tried MakeMV and it works fine. Very quick.
Is there any advantage in using DVDfab ? Is the VOB file smaller than the mkv file created by MakeMV ?
DVDfab is not freeware. So want to be very sure before paying $50 for it.

Tks for yr help.

Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: juantxorena on August 24, 2009, 10:13:05 AM
Just tried MakeMV and it works fine. Very quick.
Is there any advantage in using DVDfab ? Is the VOB file smaller than the mkv file created by MakeMV ?
DVDfab is not freeware. So want to be very sure before paying $50 for it.

I don't know that MakeMV program (I don't know DVDfab neither). If is a dvd ripper, then is like any other dvd ripper out there. They take the VOB files in the DVD file system, put them together and make a single big VOB file. No losses, it's like the original DVD. It may not be the best solution for WDTV, because there will be some things useless to WDTV, like menu information and the like.

A better but more complex solution would be demuxing the streams (video, audio, subtitles, chapter info) and mux them in a container like mkv. No losses, a bit smaller. The tools for doing this are more complex, and definitely not user friendly (they requiere some understanding of the DVD internals and the audio/video terminology). The main tools are DVD decrypter, mmg (for mkv creation), DGindex (for demuxing some things), SubRip or similar (for subtitles), ChapterXtractor (for chapters) and maybe IfoEdit, VobEdit and PgcEdit (pretty advanced DVD tools). All of them are free.

If MakeMV and/or DVDfab convert the video to some other format, then I wouldn't use them. There are only 2 formats that are worth using for modern multimedia players IMHO:

1.- H.264/MPEG4-AVC, using x264 as the encoder, which is the best encoder by far, and is free. 2 passes when targeting a video size, single pass in CRF mode when targeting quality. You can use avisynth to filter the video and get better results (degraining, stabilization, denoising, color equalization, deblocking, etc), but this is something for videophiles and experts only. Tuning the multiple options of x264 can be hard.
2.- In some rare cases, xvid beats x264. Maybe some anime movies or shows have better quality with xvid, or very dark and quiet movies (x264 has a problem with blocking that can be annoying in dark and quiet scenes, for example cities at night with open sky). I never use it, though.

My suggestion is to rip the DVD without converting to anything or spend a couple of weeks understanding the video conversion world, reading manuals and guides and experimenting with short clips. If you convert a movie in a quick and dirty way, you may tolerate the quality loss now, but as you get used to it, the artifacts will be more obvious, and you will need something better. I have ripped and reencoded some DVDs more than 4 times, and my first attempts, when I didn't care about quality too much and I just wanted to have the movie in that moment, and their quality sucks badly. I refuse to watch those badly encoded videos again.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: jayallan on August 24, 2009, 12:33:22 PM
Cbscpe,

If you don't care about file sizes and you want the best possible quality, then the answer is to use a program like DVDfab to make the main movie (and its audio and subtitle streams) into one VOB file.  That will maintain the original quality, give you all the streams, and play perfectly on your WDTV. 

Since you won't be transcoding anything it will be super fast process as well.  Probably 15 minutes per movie.  Quality will remain at 100%

Just tried MakeMV and it works fine. Very quick.
Is there any advantage in using DVDfab ? Is the VOB file smaller than the mkv file created by MakeMV ?
DVDfab is not freeware. So want to be very sure before paying $50 for it.

Tks for yr help.




MakeMKV is fine unless you want to compress the video. 
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: argho on August 24, 2009, 06:31:04 PM
Tks guys.

1 more question - will MakeMV work with copy prtected DVDs ?

I see that DVDfab claims to break DVD protection.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: ronaldo9_r9 on August 28, 2009, 01:00:47 PM
please follow this guide for making dvd to mkv and upscalling at same time.

http://www.bwtorrents.com/showthread.php?s=594a95a47f52c88659ac2045ba3c9b1e&t=218648
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: argho on October 11, 2009, 01:27:56 AM
Cbscpe,

If you don't care about file sizes and you want the best possible quality, then the answer is to use a program like DVDfab to make the main movie (and its audio and subtitle streams) into one VOB file.  That will maintain the original quality, give you all the streams, and play perfectly on your WDTV.  

Since you won't be transcoding anything it will be super fast process as well.  Probably 15 minutes per movie.  Quality will remain at 100%

Have been using MakeMKV for ripping DVDs, but have been frustrated by some of the copy protected ones.

So I downloaded and installed DVDFab6.
Chose the VOB passthrough option in DVD to mobile.

Worked fine for some of the DVDs that MakeMKV was not able to handle.
However, there are some DVDs that DVDFab6 also does not seem to be able to handle. Examples :
 - Dark Knight
 - Alvin and The Chipmunks

Is it that the encryption is too strong ?
What can I do to rip it ?

Please help.

Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: stoney on November 11, 2009, 03:26:00 AM
Yes that is true, however MacTheRipper does the same, it can convert a title to a single VOB. But as far as I know the VOB does not have the language name (if you select a different audio track the WDTV shows "Audio Track 1", "Audio Track 2", etc., with Matroska you can select the language and then WDTV displays "English", "Spanish", "German", "French", so you know what language you have selected) and also you don't have any chapters, with Matroska you can have chapter marks and you can give names to them. For this a VOB needs to be acompanied by an IFO, helas the WDTV does not support them.

The names of the languages are shown if you rip your DVDs to an ISO-Container. Chapter-marks don't work there though, I have ripped my 300+ DVDs to ISOs - mostly just the main movie - and await WD for making chapter-jumps possible.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: onneeye on November 11, 2009, 06:12:26 AM
I been using dvdfab since july when I got my wdhdtv box. The problem I have with dvdfab is audio going out of sync on older movies. Newer movies converts to mkh264 acc with no problems. ID4, godzilla, planet of the apes, the crow, tremors 2, etc. are the problem child. I heard they are working on a fix.

DVD Catalyst 3 is another good program for converting but it does not do mkv. All movie converts fine using the wdhdtv profile setting. It converts it to avi divx 5. No sync problems at all. Right now you can get the program for $10 and support is really good. I email the author couple question and responded within the hour.

here is the link
http://www.tools4movies.com/ (http://www.tools4movies.com/)
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: matthewjheaney on March 08, 2010, 12:43:26 PM
My major concern is to not loose any quality of the DVD Material I already have. So I went through several stages. One thing I must say in advance and I know one can debate: Space is not an issue, my server has currently 4Tbyte put aside for Movies. Also I want to keep as many language tracks as possible as we live here in a multi-lingual environment. And I'm a Mac user :-)

I wrote VOB2MKV for expressly the purpose of storing the TITLE1 track of my DVDs in an MKV file instead of as a set of VOBs, but without having to transcode the data.  (I want to preserve the original MPEG-2 and AC-3 source data, exactly as it exists on the DVD.) 

VOB2MKV is a set of DirectShow filters, so this will only be useful on Windows. 

My usual procedure is:

(1) rip the DVD
(2) extract TITLE1 (I use CloneDVD2 for this, from SlySoft/Elaborate Bytes)
(3) convert the VOB files from TITLE1 to MKV, using VOB2MKV
(4) use robocopy to copy the MKV file onto my portable hard drive
(5) play the MKV file using the WD HD TV Media Player

The VOB2MKV project is hosted here:

http://vob2mkv.codeplex.com/ (http://vob2mkv.codeplex.com/)

This is an open-source project, and so all of the sources for the DirectShow filters are available.  If you have any feature requests, create a new discussion (or use the issue tracker) at the VOB2MKV home page, and I'll fold it into the next release.

Regards,
Matt
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: mufc on March 12, 2010, 05:53:01 AM
Matt why would you go to the trouble of making them in to mkv when the wdtv can play iso files of the dvd. Not trying to be confrontational , just trying to better understand. Are there benefits to mkv
as opposed to iso when only using wdtv ? When making my iso I only save the movie.
Regards
Simon
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: matthewjheaney on March 12, 2010, 06:40:30 AM
Matt why would you go to the trouble of making them in to mkv when the wdtv can play iso files of the dvd.

I had been using the VOBs directly, or using VOBs converted to TS files, but the seeking performance on the player was horrible, so I went looking for a better container, and MKV seems to be better.

My assumption at the time was that MKV would be better (than either direct VOBs or an ISO containing VOBs), because it has a proper index.  (A VOB file is just a raw byte stream.)  Actually, the MKV file has at least two indexes: one for the clusters (the SeekHead) and another for just the keyframes (the Cues element).  However, I'm not sure that the WDTV player is actually using those indexes -- my hunch is that it's just navigating the clusters directly.

(I do wish someone from the WDTV engineering team would contact me to explain how the WDTV player likes its MKV files cooked -- my desire would be to format them in whatever way is optimal for seeking or simple playback.  For example, I did try using SimpleBlock elements [A3] for the frames, instead of Block elements [A1], but the player crashed and needed to be unplugged in order to reset it.)

I haven't actually tried playing ISO files on the WDTV player.  By ISO do you mean an image of a proper DVD (with VIDEO_TS folder, containing IFO and VOB files, etc)?  What tool are you using to make this?  (I could use either ImgBurn or CloneDVD2, assuming my understanding of what you mean by ISO is correct.)

If the IFO file has a chapters index, maybe the WDTV player can use that, so that would be one benefit of an ISO.  But I haven't tried it.  Maybe this weekend I can make some ISO vs. MKV comparisons, wrt seeking behavior.


Are there benefits to mkv as opposed to iso when only using wdtv ? When making my iso I only save the movie.

What do you mean "only save the movie"?  Do you extract title1 first, then create an ISO image file from that?  (That's exactly what CloneDVD2 does -- but instead of creating an ISO, I create an MKV from those VOBs files that make up title1.)  What tool(s) are you using?

Regards,
Matt

--
http://vob2mkv.codeplex.com/ (http://vob2mkv.codeplex.com/)
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: Mr Lazy on March 12, 2010, 07:09:46 AM
Can VOB2MKV only do TITLE #1 or can you choose which title?
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: mufc on March 12, 2010, 07:15:30 AM
When ripping the dvd to hd I use DVD Shrink. If that does not work I use DVD Fab. With DVD Shrink I rip straight to ISO keeping only the main movie with DD or DTS sound track. If I have to use DVD Fab I rip the main movie to HD Folders and then use DVD Shrink to delete extra sound tracks etc. then converting to ISO.
Yes ISO is an image of a dvd. In my case it is stripped to main movie only. I could burn the resulting ISO to dvd and play on a dvd player but why bother when WDTV is such a fantastic product.
One thing I will point out though is there is no chapter search as there is with mkv but if you just want to watch the movie then chapter search is not needed.
Even though I use DVD Shrink let me make clear that at no time do I actually shrink the quality of the main movie. If it is bigger than 4.7gb I use the 8.5 option.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: onneeye on March 12, 2010, 07:25:10 AM
Another program I would recommend is the new version of Handbrake .094. Solved all of the audio sync problems. But you need a fast processors ,dou core or better. I been using this for about 3 months and no problems. Converted about 100 movies so far with no issues. I used to be a dvdfab fan but no more.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: matthewjheaney on March 12, 2010, 08:32:07 AM
Can VOB2MKV only do TITLE #1 or can you choose which title?

As it stands today, the selection of title is done outside of VOB2MKV.  I use CloneDVD2 (from SlySoft/Elaborate Bytes) for this purpose, to select which track (this creates a DVD image folder containing VOB fles with just that title), and then use VOB2MKV to convert that selection to MKV.

In order for VOB2KV to do track selection itself, a DirectShow splitter of some kind would be required, that allows you to select a specific title from among the IFO/VOB fles in the DVD image folder.  If such a filter already exists, then yes, it would be possble to use the MKVMUX filter (it's part of VOB2MKV) to create the MKV file.  If the filter doesn't exist, I woud have to write it.

(I haven't looked very hard to see if such a filter already exists, but if you find one let me know and I can include an application that uses it in the next release.)

Regards,
Matt

--
http://vob2mkv.codeplex.com/ (http://vob2mkv.codeplex.com/)
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: jimmy8765 on March 14, 2010, 06:43:29 PM
MakeMKV (freeware)

Key features:

  - Ignore region restrictions and remove copy protections to read DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

  - Preserve all video, audio tracks and chapters  information.

  - No additional software is required for conversion or  decryption.

  - Fast conversion speed.

  - Convert DVDs and Blu-rays to the format of MKV.

Limitations:

  - Read Blu-ray discs selectively only, some are, and some are not.

  - Output MKV files only.

  - Sometimes there are audio and video out of sync issues.

  - Without preview window.

  - Unable to resize.
Title: Re: Converting DVDs to MKV
Post by: niceemily on April 10, 2011, 07:04:45 PM
I have a problem. I want to convert a bunch of my tv show collection dvds to MKV. I have already converted them to separate VOBs with DVDfab 5. The files are, of course, huge. I want to convert them for two reasons. One to save space, and the other so that WDTV can navigate them better. Problem is, every time I convert them the quality is crap. It seems there has to be some way to make a one hour tv show which is 2 gigs on a vob into a 700mb MKV. I want to do this so that there is no massive visual loss in quality. A very slight loss I can understand. Has anyone had really good luck with this? Crunch time is not an issue as I have a spare PC I can dedicate to the project. Also, what about progressive vs interlaced? Should I make the MKVs progressive?

Thanks!

i recommend bigasoft dvd ripper, it can easily rip dvd to MKV, AVI, DivX, Xvid, MP4, H.264, WMV, MOV, FLV,  MPEG-1, MPEG-2, 3GP, 3GPP, VOB, RM, WMA, MP3 with fast speed and great quality.

and you can also set video resolution, bitrate and more with "setting..." function

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