Author Topic: Converting DVDs to MKV  (Read 44370 times)

January 15, 2009, 09:39:39 PM
Read 44370 times

DoctorX

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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!
« Last Edit: April 06, 2009, 02:13:23 PM by jayallan »

January 16, 2009, 08:42:19 PM
Reply #1

jayallan

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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. 
WDTV LIVE with current official FW > HDMI > DVDO > Sony CRT Projector 150" 16/9 screen.  Toslink audio to Yamaha DTS receiver. No Network set up yet.

January 29, 2009, 05:02:26 PM
Reply #2

eoghann

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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.

April 11, 2009, 11:07:10 AM
Reply #3

CapZap

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I just tried a program called MakeMKV  (http://www.makemkv.com/) which seems to work pretty well to convert DVD's to .mkv files.

April 15, 2009, 06:21:18 AM
Reply #4

fred_be9300

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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 :-)

May 08, 2009, 09:49:33 AM
Reply #5

gmanvbva

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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?

May 08, 2009, 02:55:47 PM
Reply #6

fred_be9300

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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)

May 08, 2009, 10:54:54 PM
Reply #7

Techflaws

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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 11, 2009, 07:24:27 AM
Reply #8

gmanvbva

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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.

May 12, 2009, 02:16:24 PM
Reply #9

fred_be9300

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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.

May 13, 2009, 05:41:10 AM
Reply #10

3dxr

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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.

May 13, 2009, 06:45:53 AM
Reply #11

gmanvbva

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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.

May 16, 2009, 08:13:21 AM
Reply #12

Scoops

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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?



On my PC, I use CCCP'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.

fw 1.02.10 | Western Digital MyBook 500GB | Transcend JetFlash V30 4GB | Composite out
Thumbnail help

May 31, 2009, 12:37:44 PM
Reply #13

cbscpe

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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.







May 31, 2009, 01:53:50 PM
Reply #14

elmarweber

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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