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Discussion Starter #1
A couple years back I ripped all my DVD's. That was a 2 step process that required the rip and then the transcode into a MKV.

I tried out the MKV software today and it was extremely simple and it does both, strips away the protection and outputs to a MKV. Haven't done a full comparison yet but the output file is pretty much the same size. Kick-Ass was a 22GB file. Only took 25 minutes which was surprising as it took longer when I was doing my DVD's.

Anyone else have experience with this software? I'm sure it's not for everyone but it does seem to get the job done with a minimal of fuss. I just need to decide if I want to shrink the file size a bit. Using a HP media server with 4 discs. 2X2TB discs are mirrored for my DVD's/Music/Pictures which leaves a max 2 discs for BR. I may be tight on space leaving each MKV at 20GB+. I had used Handbrake for my DVD's and my average movie size was 1GBish which included 5.1/DTS tracks and the quality held up extremely well. I was kinda hoping to keep the HD MKV's under 10GB.
 

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dezzpayne, have you tried ClownBD? It essentially does the same thing but you can output smaller files.

I'm curious, if you're creating 22GB MKV files, why not just rip the entire Blu-ray then you have lossless sound and all the benefits of Blu-ray?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well 22GB movies was not my intent. That said I didn't convert my DVD's because I needed the space. I just prefer the .mkv files. Preference more than anything, just seems easier to work with and strip out the unwanted stuff over leaving the folder directories.

With BR's yes space is an issue. At 20GB per movie HDD disappears in a hurry. I'll try ClownBD and run some comparisons at various levels of compression.

Thanks for the suggestion!
 

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I wasn't trying to be difficult, really just trying to understand what you are trying to accomplish. I would be interested in what you think of ClownBD vs. this software.
 

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The creator of MakeMKV has stated that he was not trying to create a "Swiss Army Knife" - just a tool that does one thing extremely well.

Depending on my requirements I use either MakeMKV (works beautifully), ffmpeg, mencoder, Handbrake, DeVeDe, kino, and/or mkvtoolnix apps on Linux to handle most video situations.
 

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hugh,

I thought about weighing in on the FreeMake thread but since you specifically asked in this one, thought I'd add my comments here. ClownBD is a GUI that integrates eac3to, tsMuxer, and ImgBurn into one interface. Those three programs have outstanding reputations and I use each one independently. In terms of flexibility and quality, you'd be hard pressed to find better solutions than eac3to, tsMuxer, or ImgBurn for what they specifically are intended to do.

IMO, the only question about ClownDVD is whether you find the interface convenient and understandable.
 

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JohnnyCanuck said:
ClownBD is a GUI that integrates eac3to, tsMuxer, and ImgBurn into one interface
Are they all threaded apps (able to use more than one processor at a time)? That is a huge performance concern.
 

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Dezzpayne it sounds to me like you were not re-encoding just repackaging into an MKV container. That would explain the speed. If your DVDs were 1GB then you were re-encoding them.

Can MakeMKV shrink? If not I would think that 2:1 or 3:1 compression would be quite reasonable considering what your DVDs were.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You're right and I realized that after I said it....that and the fact that when I went to use Handbrake to shrink the 22GB MKV it took 5 hours :p

Still messing around between using Handbrake to shrink the MakeMKV output, using Any DVD to remove the encryption and then use Handbrake or use ClownBD.
 

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I just love the size of most .mkv, 350mb for a typical without loss of quality, doesn't get any better than that when you can load them onto a decent size usb key for travelling
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Been playing around and what I have found so far to be the best combo is:

Use ClownBD to output to a .ts
Use Handbrake to shrink

(as far as I can tell ClownBD can't shrink)

I originally used MakeMKV to output and Handbrake to shrink. That took pretty much the same time but using this combo I ended up with a 3GB file with stuttering audio. Using ClownBD+Handbrake I got a 4GB file and it looks and sounds great. Takes Handbrake about 8 hours for 1 movie which is pretty painful but atleast it has a batch utility so I can load it and forget about it.

Turns out I don't really have a choice in terms of leaving the .TS folders or the 20GB MKV's. I added Wireless N adapters to all my SageTV boxes last year and they work great (flawless actually, you would never know it was wireless) and they are choking on the 20GB+ files. Not sure if perhaps they would read them better in a ts format but I don't care enough to mess around. I just think 20GB/Hr or 333MB/Min (assuming my napkin math is right) is too much for a wireless connection.
 

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Great info Dezzpayne, thanks for posting.
 

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As far as I can tell ClownBD only works on the Windows operating system, so that's a showstopper for me (Linux and Mac OS X machines). MakeMKV runs great on all three.

dezzpayne, have you been able to verify on another PC whether the MakeMKV output file also has audio stutter during playback? I'm just trying to be thorough about whether the local machine might be having the problem.

Handbrake users have been trying to set up the perfect MakeMKV preset configuration for quite some time and I'm occasionally checking to see if it has been done yet. I think people have come really close if not succeeded, but it sure would be nice if Handbrake came with such a preset by default. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes I can confirm it stutters on both my PC which is pretty beefy and my Sage box.

I didn't do any extensive testing with Handbrake settings for MakeMKV as there was little difference as far as time to rip goes between MakeMKV and ClownBD. Seeing as ClownBD worked and is completely free I didn't have much incentive to go back and fuss any further with MakeMKV.

Still though 100+ BR discs at 8-9 hours each is a daunting task. I guess I should just try and torrent a few and see if the quality is there. Would be kinda funny to get a cease and desist letter for downloading movies I own.
 

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Dezzpayne, what kind of hardware are you using? I'm just curious if that 8-9 hours could be speeded up by much with more graphics/cpu hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's a E8400 dual core proc, 8GB of ram and a brand spanking new AMD 6950. I haven't looked into the AMD transcode software, Avivo I think? I should and see if it helps.
 

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Do any of the encoding software packages mentioned support the QuickSync feature of Intel's latest SandyBridge CPUs. That is the feature where the on-board GPU can help to do the video encoding.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No, I looked into it today. Oddly I can't really find any good reviews for Quick Sync and specifically I was looking at Badaboom 2.0 but yeah...nothing.

Considering upgrading my PC. This system has served me well and I was going to give it another year or 2 as it has been rock solid but I can upgrade to a X68 board, i7-2600 and 16GB ram for around $700. Already have an AMD 6950 and a Vertex 3 so I wouldn't really need any other components......very tempting.
 

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It is strange that most of the discussions of QuickSync are about 6 months old or so - there seem to be very few reviews since the Sandy Bridge chips started to ship in volume.
 

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Option: second dedicated PC for MakeMKV and other tools

dezzpayne if you are considering upgrading your PC and you can afford it my suggestion is that you keep the one you've got as your desktop video editor frontend machine and buy/build a second PC with Blu-ray drive that is your backend machine dedicated to doing the media conversion stuff you want, such as MakeMKV and similar tools already mentioned in this thread.

I'm sure all the tools to do this are available on Windows but unfortunately for power users not all the extraneous OS stuff can be shut off so CPU cycles are often wasted on non-essential tasks, not to mention that the best of the Windows OS versions for this sort of task (Windows Server) are not cheap for consumers. Depending on your personal comfort level with it, I recommend Linux since you can easily build a stripped-down, hot rodded, lean, mean, video-processing machine that does not even require you to have a GUI if you want to really make things fly. We can help anyone set that up, but there are tons of great HOWTOs on the web. I have not tried using Mac OS X in this sort of "backend" role so hopefully someone knows if it might be suitable.

I'm not bringing this up as any sort of Windows vs. Linux vs OS X topic, everyone, so don't even go there! :D
 
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