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First, let me say that I am not an advocate of software piracy. Having said that, I believe its perfectly legitimate for users to rip CD's or DVD's to their home network for use by the legal owner of the home.

Therefore, I believe its acceptable to rip your DVD's and then transcode them for use on their PS3, XBOX 360, iTouch, iPhone or other portable device.

I don't think it currently violates the rules of this country (unless the conservatives recent bill passes but that's another discussion) therefore I think its perfectly acceptable to have a DVD Ripping, transcoding and Playback Discussion.

Earlier this year, I purchased an iTouch and I love the ability to watch movies on it.

This has resulted in me wanting to rip various DVD's for playback on my iTouch. Because I use my two PS3's as media extenders, I have also been transcoding a number of movies to MP4 so my kids can watch some movies on the television without the hassle of DVD.

Hence this discussion.
 

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What I would like to do:

In a perfect world, I would like to pop a DVD into the computer and have three things happen:

  • Rip the DVD
  • Create a version suitable for PS3
  • Create a version suitable for iTouch / iPhone
My Experience

To date I have experimented with a number of pieces of software including DVD Decrypter, Nero Recode, Handbrake and AnyDVD, AnyDVD Clone DVD and AnyDVD Clone Mobile.

In reviewing it all, for ripping I have used DVD decrypter but it doesn't always work and AnyDVD appears to work but I kind of balk at the price of the suite of AnyDVD software (although I would spend the money if it did everything I wanted without hassle). For transcoding, Nero Recode and AnyDVD Clone Mobile seem to work while handbrake seems to fail quite a bit.

I really dont' understand how handbrake, AndyDVD clone mobile and Nero recode are different and I am finding it very confusing in setting the various settings for transcoding.

My Questions:

  1. Ideally, I would like to know what software the experts think is the best for ripping and transcoding.
  2. In addition, I would be curious about what format and settings I should use for transcoding to iTouch and PS3
  3. Is their anyway for the PS3 to simply read the DVD files that are ripped or do I have to transcode to MP4 for playback on the PS3
 

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I don't own either products, but I can give you some (partial) answers.

1. I would say the best solution is not an all-in-one. Though these CAN be useful, you will often get the best results by having manual settings.
That being said, I personally use DVD dectrypter for my DVD's to watch on my PC. I compress them into AVI's using x264 and usually keep original audio.
This can be done in a number of programs, but I have found virtualdub-mpeg2 gives me the most control over my options (degree of compression, codec used, various filters - like deinterlacing, size, cropping, etc.)

If you are not good with tinkering with settings, there are (free) options like autoGK.
I don't have any commercial options, so I can't recommend any there.

2. (can't comment on this)

3. Once decrypted, DVD files are simple MPEG-2 files. What you can do is take the .VOB files and rename them to .MPG (if required) and then combine them to a single file using any program that can stream copy (e.g. mpeg-streamclip. The PS3 should be able to play these without any problems.
 

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Hi Hugh,

i don't know if you tried DvdFab Platinium ?

I don't have a PS3, and i don't have a iTouch... so i not sure but there is "special" option for both of them in the program...

Hope this can help you... :)
 

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I've used MediaCoder with decent success to convert files to formats suitable for my Touch and my Xbox 360. In fact, it has both extensions and special versions for various devices like the iPhone/touch, PSP etc etc.

I don't think it handles ripping from DVD/HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, but it seems to handle the format conversions from anything to anything. It's a pretty UI on top of more complex tools it seems. The defaults seem to work OK in most cases, but should you need (and understand!) the more complex settings, you can adjust them.

Having said that, I find the easiest way to get an version suitable for my Touch is to find a torrent site that specializes in iPhone/Touch video. I've waited 8 to 10 hours for an HD rip of a movie to down-convert to a format suitable for my Touch, only to find something's wrong with it, and that I need to start the process again (and again...). I realize it's a bit of a "gray" area though. I feel justified in downloading a movie I already purchased (because it saves me the hassle of converting), but others may not. [the discussion of which I don't think is suitable for this thread; I don't want to hijack here]
 

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I'm just starting into all of this and was wondering if there's an FAQ somewhere? I'm starting to look at putting all my DVDs into iTunes so they are available for Apple TV, but it alls seems quite convoluted. I've got DVDFab and Handbrake. DVDFab took about 5-6 hours to process, but now I have an .MP4 in my iTunes library. My question though are: Wy do we need both? I've read on another discussion board that you absolutely need an .m4v file for Apple TV. Is this what Handbrake does?
 

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If you are willing to learn MeGUI (graphical front end to x264), these presets
will be all you'll need to create PS3/Xbox/iPhone versions of already ripped DVDs.
http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=139765
The presets can be used to encode hidef footage as well (what they were in fact designed for).

Keep in mind the resulting video will be neither MPEG-2 nor DivX/XviD and
will not be playable on "DivX" DVD players. But given some care, will be the
best quality video for the encoded size...
 

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I recommend AnyDVD and Ripbot. Ripbot has a PS3 Profile. It has a very easy to use interface that simply runs all of the more complicated programs behind the scenes and it's freeware.

Just google Ripbot and Doom9.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll look at RipBot. I find Handbrake and CloneDVD Mobile to have problems.
 

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I've been encoding my seasons of Futurama for my Ipod Touch with handbrake. I only have the 8GB model so I'm limiting each 22 minute episode to 50MB. The resolution is 480x368 and although some scenes seem blocky the majority of the video is quite watchable.

I tried limiting the output to 25MB per episode but found the resulting video was unwatchable.
 

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I find Handbrake and CloneDVD Mobile to have problems.
Hugh, what kind of problems do you have with Handbrake? Are the problems specific to a certain video format or player (PS3, iPod Touch)?
 

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I have a long history with this subject... I've used just about every good tool that's freely available and a few that cost money. MeGUI is my current favourite tool. It's my transcoder of choice for converting MPEG-2 TS files from the Motorola PVR to h.264.

I'm now exploring some less user-friendly (but powerful) tools that make use of Nvidia GPUs for some processing. The developer indicates a MeGUI solution is underdevelopment which is quite interesting.

The only h.264 conversions I've done are 720p HD files and to date I've had no need to do conversion for mobile devices. I've got a 32GB iPod Touch on order (thank you AirMiles!) and when it arrives I'll start experimenting and report back.
 

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Hugh, what kind of problems do you have with Handbrake? Are the problems specific to a certain video format or player (PS3, iPod Touch)?
It just stops working. Recently when trying to convert to PS3 (haven't tried ipod touch in awhile)

It will get stuck at a certain perecentage and then fail. It seems especially problematic when trying to name chapters.

I have all the looney tunes collections on DVD and wanted to rip them to the network so my kids could select a cartoon to watch. I would write down all the chapters and then set the encoding to begin but it would fail.

I also had problems in using the Queue where I would get a stack dump.
 

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I would also highly recommend DVD Decrypter (it's free too) for ripping DVDs onto the HD. For converting to whatever codec after (PS3 or iTouch), I am sure VirtualDub would be a decent solution (free also), it even supports scripting so you could also make a script to auto-convert to the desired formats.

I will definitely try MeGUI though, looks like a fine tool !
 

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Are you encoding it 1:1 to match your itouch's screen resolution?
I don't believe so, here's a screenshot of the settings I'm using. I do however use 2-pass encoding (with turbo 1st pass).

 

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DVD Decrypter here too (plus others)...

Hi,

I've been using DVD Decrypter for a few years now for the first stage of ripping.

I then use Auto Gordian Knot to convert to Xvid/Divx.

Finally, I use Videora to convert down to MP4 for my iPods.

The chain is reliable... I haven't ran into anything I haven't been able to rip/convert.

George
 

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I have been using a progam called Super. It converts to most formats. I use that to convert all my tv shows to the iPod Touch. It is a free program.
 

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DVD Shrink should work well for ripping. For my Ipod, I've always used 3GP Converter. Works like a charm.

For converting to a PS3 format, particularly if you're ripping into mkv h264 container, use mkv2vob.

You can stream many of these files to your ps3 through Tversity.

All of the above are freeware.

Hope some of that helps.
 
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