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sch21c
December 24th, 2010, 07:27 PM
Hey there. Been using Boxee Box since it was released and I'm in the process of converting my DVDs to my home server. I wanted to see what people thought was the best way to do this. I'm currently using DVD Decrypter to just do a copy to the shared drive. Problem is that sometimes I get a DVD menu when I select the movie in Boxee, and sometimes I get a file listing. Not sure if it's something I'm doing wrong, or if it is normal behavior.

Also, would like to know if there's a better way to do the ripping?

Thanks in advance!

judgeschambers
December 24th, 2010, 07:51 PM
There are so many ways, formats and tools to use that I alone could not cover it.

You left out the final format you are useing, but it seems you are just ripping the Video_ts folder to the server. Which is ok.

The reason boxee sometimes pulls up different menu or other things is all these dvd's are different and boxee seems to get confused about which file to actually start things off with or it indexes them incorrectly.

I'd suggest putting that Video_ts folder into an ISO container. That seems to clear up indexing and most, if not all, will play correctly in Boxee. Or use MakeMKV to leave uncompressed as well and put into a .mkv container.

If you want to compress the files and save server space, you can use Makemkv, Handbrake, or HDcoverttoX. Depends on what you want the file to do when complete and/or the final quality.
Prospero424 put together a knock out How To for newbies here:
http://forums.boxee.tv/showthread.php?p=124467#post124467

Because these programs re-encode to a new format, you would want to rip it to a local file first and then transfer to the Windows Home Sever share folder. And this can take 5-10 hrs to encode too.

Personally---
I use AnyDVD to remove the protection and rip the video_ts files to the hard drive. Then I use AutoGK to encode them into 1gb or < Xvid .AVI files. Which takes about 2.5 hrs to encode. Or rip it directly to an ISO if I want all the menu crap.

jmilum
December 24th, 2010, 10:38 PM
Or use MakeMKV to leave uncompressed as well and put into a .mkv container.
I've been using MakeMKV to rip my DVD and blu-ray collection to MKVs for hosting on my synology NAS and streaming with boxee. It works very well.

Mavrick
December 25th, 2010, 07:01 AM
I also use AnyDVD to remove the protection. I used to use AutoGK to make XviD avi files, but have stopped doing so as I worry about future compatibility.
There is a post about h.264 files that are only 2.5 to 3yrs old having problems with the new hardware and software versions. The only way to fix it is re-encode your entire collection again.


Now I make ISO's of just the main movie with CloneDVD which is the easiest and fastest way I have found (about 10-15min per movie). The ISO's average between 4-6GB in size and because they are just the movie, I don't have to fight the DVD menu. Just select the movie in boxee and it starts playing. I feel better using ISO's because I have 0% quality loss, and i feel confident that in 5years that they will still play fine. If the day ever comes that I need to convert to a new file format. I figure it will be easier to do it from an ISO vs an avi, mkv, etc...

judgeschambers
December 25th, 2010, 07:11 AM
The avi thing I would not worry about. It's well developed and not evolving any longer. Though, there is a new "bug" with the latest bbox firmware with some Xvid avi files (very odd)....but I have hundreds and have never had issues.

The H264 thing is that it's fairly new and the first encoding methods have evolved further and not not all players can handle the older methods. Boxee devs seem to be working on a few of the older ones, but they may not nail all of 'em. I'd be confident in using anything new and main stream to make H264 encodes.

AnyDVD should also be able to make the ISO without the menu....I thought. Only drawback to the whole ISO thing is storage space. At 5-7 gig each...that can add up.

It's going to come down to your quality expectations (avi), storage space (ISO) or the time you want to take to encode an h264 file (10 hrs + great quality + small file size). Finding balance there will lead you to the choice. ;)

Mavrick
December 25th, 2010, 11:25 AM
...AnyDVD should also be able to make the ISO without the menu....I thought. Only drawback to the whole ISO thing is storage space. At 5-7 gig each...that can add up.

It's going to come down to your quality expectations (avi), storage space (ISO) or the time you want to take to encode an h264 file (10 hrs + great quality + small file size). Finding balance there will lead you to the choice. ;)


Not that I know of... When I select rip to image and AnyDVD Ripper opens, it only gives me two options: Keep Protection (Blu Ray/HD DVD) and Create additional .dvd file.

When I use CloneDVD in concert with AnyDVD, I can choose only to rip the main movie. Leaving out all the additional stuff that I donít want that would take up extra space. Stuff like, trailers, clips, additional audio tracks (2 ch stereo and other languages), directorís comments, etc... So an ISO ripped this way tend to be a little smaller than an entire disc image.

The judge is right. It all comes down to how you want to do it. How much time and/or money you have to convert or not. For me, I can rip the ISO in a fraction of the time that it takes to convert them. Plus drives are cheap and prices will continue to go down while capacity goes up. You can get 2TB drives for $100 on sale and 1.5TB drives at that price every day. I buy two at a time. I use an external eSATA dock for the 2nd drive to make a backup of my AVI's and ISO's. So when the internal drive dies, I'll grab the backup from the filing cabinet and plug it in. I'll be back up and running in 5min or less. I would love to have a Drobo FS, but I canít justify the cost at this point.


There are so many ways to do the same thing. Almost too many really. Picking one can be tuff.

Good Luck!

ingoldsby
December 26th, 2010, 01:32 AM
Hey there. Been using Boxee Box since it was released and I'm in the process of converting my DVDs to my home server. I wanted to see what people thought was the best way to do this. I'm currently using DVD Decrypter to just do a copy to the shared drive. Problem is that sometimes I get a DVD menu when I select the movie in Boxee, and sometimes I get a file listing. Not sure if it's something I'm doing wrong, or if it is normal behavior.

Also, would like to know if there's a better way to do the ripping?

Thanks in advance!

My personal preference is MakeMKV. It let's you choose the video stream you want, the audio stream you want and the subtitles you want and them packages them into a nice single file that is easily read by the BB.

kardain
December 26th, 2010, 05:34 AM
I use DVDFab HD Decrypter - http://www.dvdfab.com/hd-decrypter.htm - to extract the main movie only (I don't really care for the extra bits), then convert to MP4 (h.264 vid + AC3 audio) via ImgBurn (http://www.imgburn.com/) (to convert to ISO) then Handbrake (to convert from ISO to MP4).

It seems like a complicated process, but after I manually extract whatever from the DVD, a batch script done up in AutoIT takes care of the rest via ImgBurn and Handbrake's command line interfaces. It makes it really handy for TV shows since I don't really want to sit at my computer for several hours just to rip. Just click a "start" short cut before I go to bed and the MP4's are ready to move in the morning.

The end result is a 2gb DVD rip for movies and between 500MB - 1.2GB for TV shows (a bit high on the file size, but vid compression is kept at a minimum to prevent a lot of loss).

The MP4 format was my preference since before I got a Boxee HTPC up and running, I watched movies on my PS3 from my home server. Since that can't decode MKV with no foreseeable enabling...... a bit of a tangent, but I'm all for cross device compatibility when dealing with DVD rips and gives a good platform if I need to further downscale for iPod viewing.

One movie start to finish takes a little under 35 minutes to fully encode (rip time included).

judgeschambers
December 26th, 2010, 07:53 AM
Anydvd can make an ISO with no trailers and go directly to the movie. Though, it does give a warning that it may not work with all dvd's. ;) I've used it on occasion and had no issues. This would eliminate a step for some users going with two different programs.

But I still feel an ISO is way too big even on my 6TB server. So, I rarely do ISO's unless it's some movie I really like. I typically do the higher 1.2 gb rip to Xvid AVI and I"m plenty happy with those results.

Now, if you need subs, then yeah an MKV is the way to go.

judgeschambers
December 26th, 2010, 07:58 AM
I use DVDFab HD Decrypter - http://www.dvdfab.com/hd-decrypter.htm - to extract the main movie only (I don't really care for the extra bits), then convert to MP4 (h.264 vid + AC3 audio) via ImgBurn (http://www.imgburn.com/) (to convert to ISO) then Handbrake (to convert from ISO to MP4).

One movie start to finish takes a little under 35 minutes to fully encode (rip time included).

I'm curious::confused:

Why convert from mp4 to ISO and back to MP4?

How can you rip/encode a DVD to MP4 in 35 minutes. That should take 5-10 hrs....even on a quad core machine.

Am I missing something on both fronts?

sch21c
December 26th, 2010, 11:14 AM
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I'm going to check out what you've mentioned and I'll let you know which way I go.

Thanks again!

--Sam

Mavrick
December 26th, 2010, 06:24 PM
Anydvd can make an ISO with no trailers and go directly to the movie. Though, it does give a warning that it may not work with all dvd's. ;) I've used it on occasion and had no issues. This would eliminate a step for some users going with two different programs.

But I still feel an ISO is way too big even on my 6TB server. So, I rarely do ISO's unless it's some movie I really like. I typically do the higher 1.2 gb rip to Xvid AVI and I"m plenty happy with those results.

Now, if you need subs, then yeah an MKV is the way to go.

I will have to try that out. Thanks for the tip!

I have been struggling with the same problem of trying to figure out how to store my movies. I'm back to converting the normal movies with AutoGK 2pass encoding with a file size of 2GB. Most of the time AutoGK will give a warning saying the file will likely be undersized. Which means most don't turn out to be 2GB. (This process is taking about 30-40min per movie on my Quad Core AMD system) The movies that call for it (really good) still get stored as ISO's.

As far as subs goes... AutoGK does have an option for only using forced subs. I always check that so I get my subtitles when the movie needs it. Like when people start speaking other languages.

kardain
December 26th, 2010, 11:07 PM
I'm curious::confused:

Why convert from mp4 to ISO and back to MP4?

How can you rip/encode a DVD to MP4 in 35 minutes. That should take 5-10 hrs....even on a quad core machine.

Am I missing something on both fronts?

Think I might have mistyped, happens when I'm up that late(early) in the morning. The DVD is first ripped to HDD in its raw form (video_ts + audio_ts folders), those are then converted to ISO, lastly converted to MP4. This adds a layer of redundancy in case there is a hiccup in the encode process, which is usually Handbrake freaking out over something especially with some of the newer Pixar movies (ala Toy Story 3)

Not really sure how it manages the process in that short of time, luck I suppose. Either that or since it is not doing the encoding on the fly, worrying about buffer under run from the optical drive is non-existent.

My desktop specs: Q9550 @ 3.2 GHz, NVidia GTX9800+ (DVDFab has CUDA support so this helps some), 6 GB DDR2 RAM, Samsung SH-203B DVD drive (with SB04 firmware for region free goodness), OS is Vista x64. Bumping the processor up from 2.83 to 3.2 basically gives it the same performance as an off the shelf i7 920.

I can post the code blobs for ImgBurn and Handbrake if its ok.

Since my Handbrake setup is encoding an ISO to an MP4 of fixed size (~2GB) rather than a fixed bitrate, the encoding time can vary depending on the starting size of the ISO. Avatar (which was ~7.3GB just for the movie portion) took significantly longer, 1hr 12 minutes for the ISO > MP4 portion, than say SWAT which was just a tad over 3GB, 22 minutes for ISO > MP4.

judgeschambers
December 27th, 2010, 07:11 AM
I will have to try that out. Thanks for the tip!

I have been struggling with the same problem of trying to figure out how to store my movies. I'm back to converting the normal movies with AutoGK 2pass encoding with a file size of 2GB. Most of the time AutoGK will give a warning saying the file will likely be undersized. Which means most don't turn out to be 2GB. (This process is taking about 30-40min per movie on my Quad Core AMD system) The movies that call for it (really good) still get stored as ISO's.

As far as subs goes... AutoGK does have an option for only using forced subs. I always check that so I get my subtitles when the movie needs it. Like when people start speaking other languages.

Glad I could help out.

Yeah, I use AutoGK and go with 1.2 gb file size, 2pass xvid avi for a 1:20 min movie. Gives the best picture quality vs. file size for me. On my old AMD 3600+ machine it's 2.5+ hrs to encode. I really should do it on my Revo's with the dual core...probably cut it in half. I too go with ISO for the "good" movies.

Subs, well, I won't watch a movie in subs, period. So, I have zero experience in how to rip with 'em. :o

judgeschambers
December 27th, 2010, 07:20 AM
Think I might have mistyped, happens when I'm up that late(early) in the morning. The DVD is first ripped to HDD in its raw form (video_ts + audio_ts folders), those are then converted to ISO, lastly converted to MP4. This adds a layer of redundancy in case there is a hiccup in the encode process, which is usually Handbrake freaking out over something especially with some of the newer Pixar movies (ala Toy Story 3)

Not really sure how it manages the process in that short of time, luck I suppose. Either that or since it is not doing the encoding on the fly, worrying about buffer under run from the optical drive is non-existent.

My desktop specs: Q9550 @ 3.2 GHz, NVidia GTX9800+ (DVDFab has CUDA support so this helps some), 6 GB DDR2 RAM, Samsung SH-203B DVD drive (with SB04 firmware for region free goodness), OS is Vista x64. Bumping the processor up from 2.83 to 3.2 basically gives it the same performance as an off the shelf i7 920.

I can post the code blobs for ImgBurn and Handbrake if its ok.

Since my Handbrake setup is encoding an ISO to an MP4 of fixed size (~2GB) rather than a fixed bitrate, the encoding time can vary depending on the starting size of the ISO. Avatar (which was ~7.3GB just for the movie portion) took significantly longer, 1hr 12 minutes for the ISO > MP4 portion, than say SWAT which was just a tad over 3GB, 22 minutes for ISO > MP4.

LOL..I was wondering.

I'm curious about the double container thing. Going to ISO and then to MP4. Also, how the heck it's taking so little time to do the mp4. I'm going to ask Prospero424 to chime in on this one to clarify things for me (us)..;)

Prospero424
December 27th, 2010, 09:50 PM
I think he's just going from Video_ts folder to .iso for the sake of compatibility with encoding software. Probably a good idea. Then he converts the .iso to a .mp4 with Handbrake.

The reasons it's taking so little time compared to the encoding examples in my guides are:

1. He's (I assume) using the Handbrake default advanced settings, which are optimized for encoding speed more than they are for quality (although the quality's not bad). If he used my presets, I'm confident the encoding time would increase significantly.

2. SD encodes are usually quite speedy compared to even 720p HD encodes. They're 1/3 the resolution of 720p, so the encoder only has to do 1/3 of the work per frame.

3. An overclocked Q9550 at 3.2Ghz is a very fast processor, and there are a lot of optimizations in the x264 code for the SSE4.1 instruction set (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSE4) used in this series of Intel processors and later. SSE4.1 really does help a lot with media encoding.

Hope this helps!

kardain
December 27th, 2010, 11:10 PM
@Prospero, yes that's it exactly. Handbrake's CLI chokes when trying to go straight from Video_TS to MP4. The extra step of using ISO is to prevent that. You put it more eloquently than I could.

As far as quality, animated movies have no discernible video quality loss when viewed on a 37" 1080p LCD. Very rarely I will see some interlace tearing, but its only for a few frames. Nothing major. For live action movies, there is some artifacting depending on the starting size of the ISO.

Your assumption is correct. I'm using the advanced settings to optimize for speed.

Here's what I use for Handbrake, it's run from a .bat file which first checks if a file already exists, if not the code runs to batch convert all ISO's to MP4.

PATH=%PATH%;"C:\Program Files (x86)\Handbrake"

FOR %%I IN ("E:\iso\*.ISO") DO if NOT exist "d:\mp4\%%~nI.mp4" HandBrakeCLI -i "%%~fI" -o "d:\mp4\%%~nI.mp4" -f mp4 --strict-anamorphic --subtitle scan --subtitle-forced=scan --subtitle-burn=scan --markers="C:\Users\[redacted]\AppData\Local\Temp\%%~nI-1-chapters.csv" -e x264 -S 2000 -a 1 -E ac3 -R 48 -B 160 -D 0.0 -x ref=3:mixed-refs=1:bframes=0:b-adapt=0:direct=none:weightb=0:me=dia:subq=6:analys e=none:cabac=0:psy-rd=1.0,0.0:no-fast-pskip=1:no-dct-decimate=1:deblock=0,0:mbtree=1:8x8dct=0:vbv-maxrate=12000:vbv-bufsize=2500:weightp=0 -v 1
exit

Part of the code blob (everything including and after ref=3:mixed) came from this thread (http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=13485) from Handbrake's forum.

Prospero424
December 27th, 2010, 11:37 PM
Nice!

Yeah, you get a LOT more leeway when encoding (most) animated movies compared to live action. They're just more compressible. Also, because animated features almost always have more limited color gradation and generally have fewer differences between sequential frames, they encode faster in general than live action movies do.

Counter-intuitively, black and white movies with a lot of film grain are actually the most difficult to encode. There are only so many shades of grey, banding artifacts are really, really easy to see on overly compressed B&W encodes, and pronounced film grain renders the video stream less compressible.

Oscarknnthy
January 19th, 2011, 07:47 PM
Thank you for the info, many great ways!

mrfatboy
January 20th, 2011, 08:37 PM
I'm curious::confused:

Why convert from mp4 to ISO and back to MP4?

How can you rip/encode a DVD to MP4 in 35 minutes. That should take 5-10 hrs....even on a quad core machine.

Am I missing something on both fronts?



I use DVDFab to rip to ISO (DVD5). Then I use it again to convert to Iphone (mp4) using 1gig as the total file size. Looks great on iphone and not bad from iphone to TV (when travelling).

The initial ISO rip takes about 12-15 minutes. Converting that ISO to MP4 takes another 15 minutes. I 'm not sure why you are getting 5-10 hrs.

I do have Q9550 overclocked to 3.4ghz with a Nvidia gtx260 with CUDA enabled. :D

kardain
January 21st, 2011, 01:46 AM
I use DVDFab to rip to ISO (DVD5). Then I use it again to convert to Iphone (mp4) using 1gig as the total file size. Looks great on iphone and not bad from iphone to TV (when travelling).

The initial ISO rip takes about 12-15 minutes. Converting that ISO to MP4 takes another 15 minutes. I 'm not sure why you are getting 5-10 hrs.

I do have Q9550 overclocked to 3.4ghz with a Nvidia gtx260 with CUDA enabled. :D

5hrs was probably referring to BD. My 9550 takes that long with a BD reencode, but, like yours,flies through DVDs. :)