If you’ve got a sizable collection of DVD and Blu-ray discs gathering dust, you might have considered digitizing those bad boys so you can watch them on your phone or tablet anywhere, anytime. (And owning a back up means you won’t have to to worry about how to fix a scratched DVD or CD.) The process actually isn’t that complicated. Download two simple programs and, with a few clicks of your mouse, you can magically turn those videos into files, ready for viewing on the device(s) of your choosing. Here’s how to rip a DVD or Blu-ray movie.
Technically, if the work is copyright protected, it’s illegal to do so, even if you own it. To be clear, we do not condone or encourage the unlawful ripping and/or reproduction of copyrighted materials. That said, if you’ve got home videos (or, really, anything that’s not copyrighted), you’re free to do whatever you want with them, and that includes ripping from physical form to digital form. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to help you do so! Keep reading to learn how to rip DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
Note: While it may seem obvious, we’ll also mention you’ll need either a DVD or Blu-ray drive, depending on which you want to rip. Most of the best Blu-ray players are capable of reading DVDs, but not vice versa.
HOW TO RIP WITH MAKEMKV
This process is identical for both DVD and Blu-ray with the program MakeMKV. A Blu-ray will make a huge file, so we recommend you have between 30-60 GB of free hard drive space if you’re looking to rip one. The app will say “MakeMKV BETA” at the top — ignore this. It works just fine. Once the program recognizes your disc, click the big disc drive icon to begin. Theoretically, this process could also remove copyright protections from a disc, but again, that’s not something we condone or encourage.
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After you’ve selected your disc, MakeMKV will return a list of chapters and segments that you can rip. Find your video (usually the longest title or biggest file) and uncheck all the other boxes. Next, designate an Output Folder where you’d like the file to end up once it’s been ripped. When you’re all ready to go, hit the “Make MKV” button on the right. This process can take anywhere from two minutes to half an hour depending on your computer’s specs, but when it’s done you should have a nice big MKV file waiting in the folder you specified.
In some cases, you don’t even need to convert this file, as MKV files are compatible with the desktop and mobile versions of VLC, as well as Plex’s media server. If those are your primary methods for watching videos from your library, you can stop here. Still, it may be advisable to convert these files to save space; Blu-ray files in particular tend to be massive. That’s why you’ll want to employ a transcoding program to minimize file size and/or play the file on multiple devices.
Also, before transcoding, it’s a good idea to make sure your video looks OK — use VLC (if you don’t have it, get it here for free) to play the file.
HOW TO TRANSCODE WITH HANDBRAKE
After ripping, you’ll have a big file that needs to be transcoded for use on different devices. Open HandBrake (which you can get here for free), click on Source in the top left corner, and find the file you just ripped.
Now you get to decide where you want to watch your video. The app’s developers have already created presets for lots of products; there are a few different options for Apple and Android devices, as well as PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles and several streaming devices. You can also modify any of these presets and save them with new names or create custom presets from scratch. Selecting one of these presets will automatically adjust all the settings to fit whatever you choose.
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In addition to transcoding, you can use HandBrake to resize files; for instance, if you’ve got a huge MKV file, you can choose a preset under the “Matroska” subset (MKV stands for Matroska Video) and run the program to shrink that file down.
If you’re transcoding a Blu-ray disc, the process works the same way, but you’ll want to select different settings to avoid unnecessary compression and to preserve the video quality. For DVDs, there’s no reason to select a resolution above 480p; this will just increase file size without boosting quality. For Blu-ray discs, you’ll want to choose between 720p and 1080p — to save space, we recommend selecting 720p for anything that isn’t necessary in full HD. For videos with more visual substance, it’s probably worth choosing 1080p.
Generally speaking, the “High Profile” preset — located in the Legacy subset — is a good place to start, with Passthru audio codecs selected (pick an HD audio option for lossless, if that’s your bag) and a Constant Quality value of RF 18 or so; this is mostly personal preference, so you should experiment to find out what works best.
Choose a file destination, play around with the options until you’ve got everything just right, then go ahead and click Start. This part will take a while, so sit back, relax, and let HandBrake do its thing. Once the process is complete, you’ll have a shiny new file ready for playback on your chosen device. This process is repeatable, too; if you have several different devices, you can simply change presets and run the program again (as long as you’ve selected a new destination to avoid overwriting the previous result).
That’s it! You’ve successfully ripped and transcoded a DVD or Blu-ray disc.
Update: Revised to include up-to-date screenshots and instructions for the latest iterations of MakeMKV and Handbrake.
Reasons why we digitize Blu-ray library?
- To stream movies directly to your tablets, computer, Blu-ray player, gaming consoles (XBOX, PlayStation, etc), even to your smart TV
- Organize Blu-ray easily- Honestly speaking, finding all kinds of places (bench, bed, shelves, etc) to store Blu-rays is much more complex than digitizing Blu-ray library
- Store Blu-ray and Protect your Blu-ray's from fire, scratches, loss since Blu-ray is fragile, easy to scrap
- Watch your movies anywhere – at a friend's house, while traveling, anywhere you can get Internet access
Choose a Right Software to Rip Blu-ray to Digital files
For whatever reason that you want your Blu-ray collection in digital files, you need a related Blu-ray copy software to backup Blu-ray to digital files. You may find lots of backup software over the search engine, but you will still feel confused about which one is good. The great solution that I recommended is Dimo Video Converter Ultimate that helps you digitize your Blu-ray library as well your DVD collections. With the listed features, it can meet all your demands for video quality, speed and more powerful functions. Mac version is here.
1. Quality output video effect. It can ensure the nice original Blu-ray video effect. You don't need worry about the impact of scratch and damage to Blu-rays.
2. Fast speed and safe conversion process, which can make you backup Blu-ray to hard drive fast without any viruses or spywares.
3. Easy-to-use handling process. This factor can save you much time to handle the Blu-ray backup software easily.
4. Various output formats for PC and video devices. This feature can make you get more choices as for the desirable situations.
5. Extra functions. The trimming, cropping and special effect can make you enjoy the pleasure of video editing randomly.
After this, we need know how to digitize Blu-ray collection on PC/Mac with this great Blu-ray copying software.
How to Digitize a Blu-ray with Dimo Video Converter Ultimate
First, you should download and install this software then insert Blu-ray to Blu-ray drive before operation.
Step one: Double click to open this converter and press "Add Blu-ray".
Step two: Choose compatible format for your devices from "Select Format" you need. You can customize your output videos by pressing "Settings". Or click "Edit" button to add watermark, flip, create 3D videos for VR headsets or trim the video to rip a part of the Blu-ray movie.
Step three: Click "Start" to start Blu-ray digitization. Set output folder if you like.
After these three steps, you can copy Blu-ray to digital files easily. Watch latest Blu-ray movies on laptop anytime anywhere once you finish backup.
If you'd like backup Blu-ray in a lossless way, choose "looseless MKV" from "MultiTrack".
With "fast mode" option checked, users can easily get a decent digital copy of Blu-ray movie with highest quality at 30X conversion speed.
If you want to keep the original quality and copy Blu-ray to ISO only, please click "Make ISO", it will automatically implement the task similarly.
Things You Should Know Before Digitizing Blu-ray Library
Is it legal to backup Blu-ray collection for personal use?
Different places have different copyright laws in the worldwide. Before ripping & copying Blu-ray collection with Blu-rayD copy software, you should make a detailed research of current copyright laws to ensure it is legal to copy Blu-rays for personal use.
What size hard drive do you need?
Some users worry about the lack of hard drive capacity to store the digital Blu-ray content. Actually, you can calculate your needed space like this: (number of DVDs X 4.3) + (number of blu-rays X 27) = total amount of GB of hard drive space you'll need. This formula is suitable for 1:1 copying Blu-ray without any quality loss, but accordingly, the size of video files will be pretty big. And if you want to digitize Blu-ray collection to smaller size video files, you can choose a compressed video format (MP4, AVI, FLV, etc.) as output file format in order to save more storage space and time. Certainly, there is some loss in quality.
Is there any recommended video playing software to play digital video files?
A majority of people will choose computer hard drive to save the converted Blu-ray file during the process of digitizing Blu-ray library. For successfully streaming those files, you are suggested to install propervideo playeron your computer like VLC, KMPlayer and more.
Warm note: although VLC media player is free and widely used, the situation of VLC stuttering such as VLC not playing MP4 will occur constantly when playing some uncompressed Blu-ray. Never mind, find KMPlayer, Dimo built-in player or other popular video players as alternative.
Still have trouble about digitizing Blu-ray on PC/Mac? Please feel free to Email Us >>