OT Video Conversion

Nick get_iplayer at i.lucanops.net
Sun Oct 13 10:15:56 PDT 2019

On Sun, 13 Oct 2019 17:25:41 +0200
Dave Widgery <dave.widgery at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi
> I would like to copy some of my DVD collection onto hard disk to make
> them easier to access and I am getting very frustrated with
> downloading programs that claim to be free versions only to find out
> that in fact that it is a trial version, or in the case of a
> comprehensive program like Handbrake that is free but takes for ever
> to run on my pc.
> ffmpeg seams to be a very efficient program for converting video, is
> it possible to use it to extract video directly from the DVD video
> files, if so can anyone point me in the direction of a tutorial that
> explains how to do it.
> I realise that it is unlikely to work directly from the DVD so I am
> using DVDshrink which allows me to create a hard disk decrypted
> version of the DVD ahead of any other video processing.
> thanks in advance
> Dave

I've been through the same, except I have been a FOSSialist for years
and so really avoid proprietary-ware. The promises of free which turn
out not to be are significantly less of a problem on Linux et al.

Even so, I ended up with MakeMKV, which needed an unlock code off their
forums to allow for a few months use. Much of MakeMKV is open, but
there is a chunk of proprietary-ware. Apart from the purposeful
hobbling of their program by the developers (time spent doing that is
not time fixing bugs in actual features users want), I didn't notice
anything too bad about the proprietary lump. I cannot guarantee its the
same today.

Seeing as the size of DVDs are such a small fraction of HDD's these
days, I never re-encoded my DVDs when I copied the content to my NAS.
Handbrake, IIRC, will rip and re-encode, and there is no convincing it
to only copy video data (which is why you saw it take such a long
time). MakeMKV will do that, decrypt the data on the DVD and copy the
streams you want to a file. No mandatory re-encode.... which also
means zero quality loss. No matter how clever the selection of codec
and options in Handbrake, there will be some quality loss or artefact

When I ripped my DVDs I picked the main feature, primary 5.1 English
soundtrack and English subtitles. I now have ~4 gig mkv files
containing the decrypted MPEG2 video and AC3/DD audio. Any video player
I use can play these.... apart from something like a commercial
appliance that is meant to play from commercial video sources :) But I
avoid that kind of tat.

I don't think ffmpeg can alone get a movie off a DVD and into a video
file. The VOBs on the DVD need decrypting, but even copying them off a
DVD can be a chore as a form of copy-protection is purposefully faulty
filesystems. Errors between the content, which a DVD player might never
look at but a straight disk copy will.

DVDs can have many features on, and many streams at once. The main film
with a few languages and subtitles, trailers, makings-of, etc.. Often a
2.0 and 5.1 soundtrack on the main feature, at least. It is likely
possible to ffmpeg-out what you want, but it might require some serious
command line voodoo.

Even though it is hobbled-ware, I (swallows bile) recommend looking at


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