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Convert physical media to digital

Convert physical media to digital

If you are like me you will want to be able to watch all your favorite shows using multiple devices (e.g. Your TV, Home Theater projector, PC, Mac, Tablet, Smart Phone etc.)

Here is what I do to rip Physical Media to Digital Media. Depending on what you are doing you will need two pieces of software with a third optional one for more advanced rips. The two main ones you will need are

  1. MakeMKV
  2. HandBrake

MakeMKV is both freeware and Shareware. You can use it on DVD’s as much as you like however for Blu-Ray you have a 30 day trial. It costs about $70 Australian to buy. It is a very cool and very simple tool to use.

Unlike other DVD ripping software like DVD Shrink it does not copy the content of the DVD or Blu-Ray to a folder instead it rips the video content straight to an MKV file. The interface is simple to use and allows you to pick and choose what part of the disk you wish to copy. You can remove for example subtitles, foreign languages and chapters to get just the raw movie.

If you wanted you could stop there. However you generally end up with an MKV file that is between 20GB, 30GB or even bigger depending on the data you have ripped. This is where I assume the second piece of software called Hand Brake. It re-encodes the digital media allowing you to do some very impressive things with it. This includes (but is not limited to) changing the viewing format to fit smart phones and tablets, change the aspect ration to get rid of boxed look older DVD’s get on wide screen TV etc.

For the purposes of this blog post I am going to show you how I use it to rip high definition video and audio so that you can’t tell the difference between it and the original Blu-Ray you ripped it from.

Once you have downloaded and installed HandBrake (link supplied above) you can get started. The first thing you need to do is select the source. You can select a file, folder or disk.  N.B HandBrake will not convert media from DRM protected disk. This is why you need MakeMKV to rip a copy from the disk first.

I did think I would write out the steps but in the end I thought a quick video would be easier to follow. I hope this helps when it comes to ripping some of your favorite Blu-ray media to digital format.

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