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American Taxpayers - Portrait of a Young Man as The Artist — LiveJournal
American Taxpayers

American Taxpayers
Originally uploaded by ABMann
So, I think I've been going about tis DVD archiving thing wrong. I'm looking for high quality playback of ripped DVDs. Running any ripped DVDs seems to render my video entirely unacceptable - grainy and pixellated. Part of these issues may be me not entirely understanding HandBrake but I tried a number of different codecs and quality settings and none were good enough.

Frankly, I've got a terabyte external drive.. I don't need to worry too much about disk space so compressing movies is mostly pointless. I'm not ever going to play videos on an iPod or iPhone or other portable device either.

With more digging, though, I learned that OS X DVD Player is capable of running movies from the ripped _TS folders just not in a nice, Front Row way. A touch more digging, I found a nifty Applescript Utility that lets you load _TS files from DVD Player automatically so I can play movies from Front Row. Seems like my problem is solved. I can use MacTheRipper to extract high quality movies and TV shows, with or without special features, and play them from my couch. Not using a mouse and keyboard is key. :)

Assuming this all works, the next step is to find an Uber remote that can replace the Apple Remote, TV remote and Cable remote (and potential EyeTV remote). I could possibly control this via my Treo but I don't think it would necessarily control the non Mac devices.

Logitech's Harmony remotes seem really nifty for the single remote solution. Expensive but nifty. I do like that first one but it is entirely too powerful for what I'm doing. :)

Hopefully tonight I'll be able to watch my first high quality central media movie!
16 comments or Leave a comment
antarcticlust From: antarcticlust Date: September 27th, 2007 02:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have you tried to use Netflix's On Demand feature?
abmann From: abmann Date: September 27th, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd not considered that yet. I'm focusing on converting my current DVDs before I wrestle with the gray area of cloning rental/download DVDs.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 27th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
From their site, apparently the DVDs on Demand only works on Windows machines.

    What are the system requirements to watch movies instantly on my PC?
    You must have a computer running Windows XP with Service Pack 2 or higher, or Windows Vista; Internet Explorer version 6 or higher; Windows Media Player version 9 or higher; an active broadband connection to the Internet; 1.0 GHz processor; 512 MB RAM; 3 GB free hard disk drive space.

That's retardated.
antarcticlust From: antarcticlust Date: September 27th, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ack! That's ridiculous! First of all, Macs are known for their superior video capabilities. Secondly, the fact that it's supposed to be available for everyone, since it comes with the service package I'm PAYING for, it should be available for everyone.

I'm complaining.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 27th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
And us Mac users are far cooler too. Cool like Nikon users no less. :P
antarcticlust From: antarcticlust Date: September 27th, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
I dunno, I'm a big fan of both Canon and Fujifilm....:P

abmann From: abmann Date: September 27th, 2007 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just because your camera survived a holocaust....
monkeyfetish From: monkeyfetish Date: September 27th, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think your problem is that the ripping program you are using is downsampling the movies. Often these programs do so to fit a dual layer DVD onto a single layer 4.7GB DVR. All you really need is a program that removes the encryption without actually modifying the video stream. Of course, that leaves you with a bunch of DVD type files that may or may not play nice with whatever viewing software you use.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 27th, 2007 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
MacTheRipper shouldn't be changing the playback quality and that seems to be supported by user info I've read through. And judging by the ripped size, it ain't trying to fit onto a 4.7GB disc. O_O I've been ripping 6+ gigs consistently.

Do you have some evidence that MacTheRipper could be messing with my files?
monkeyfetish From: monkeyfetish Date: September 27th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
No evidence at all. It is just that the symptoms you describe sound like transcoding/recoding issues. Pixelation, sound sync problems, blocky frames are all results of these types of processes. Any time you convert from one format to another, you incur loss. Depending on the encoder and the settings used, this loss may be more or less prevalent.

So, the problem could be in the playback software. If that is the case, though, I would expect you to see the problem when you are playing back the DVD version.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 27th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's why I think the problem is in the second step - converting the ripped data with HandBrake. I'll have to check tonight the playback quality from some of the ripped files before confirming. In the case that MacTheRipper is doing a poor job I'll have to find a different rip utility. Unfortunately this may require actually buying some software. Gasp!
fiendishx From: fiendishx Date: September 27th, 2007 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's strange that you have such difficulty with handbrake. I watch tons of movies ripped from DVD and then converted into divx to fit onto a CD (700MB, yo!) and they still look and sound beautiful on a 42" plasma tv. Granted, the suppliers are probably not using handbrake, but the output should be roughly the same.

Alo, I'm pretty sure that if you're going to use handbrake to transcode into a compressed format you don't have to use mactheripper first.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 27th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
I tried going straight from DVD to MP4 - divx but ran into the stuck-at-100% error after 7 hours of copy/write. Ripping with MacTheRipper first and then converting, it took less than an hour to convert the ripped files. Much faster.

I suppose I haven't considered that the Mac Mini output to my TV just sucks. I'll have to check that when I get home tonight. I'm not sure how to fix that if it is the issue though. I'd expect no degradation going DVI > HDMI from computer to TV.

What settings do you use in HandBrake?
fiendishx From: fiendishx Date: September 27th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm as a starting point I'd say...

Codecs: AVC/H.264 Video / AAC Audio
Encoder: x264 (h.264 Main)
Constant quality: 70%
Grayscale encoding: OFF
2-pass encoding: ON
Audio Bitrate: 192 Kbps
Sample rate (Hz): 44100

Should result in average movie sizes of about 1.5GB and very good quality.

HDMI is just a DVI signal combined with digital audio, so there shouldn't be an issue there.
abmann From: abmann Date: September 27th, 2007 04:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is that codec an mp4 or m4v? Will it play from iTunes or DVD Player?
fiendishx From: fiendishx Date: September 27th, 2007 04:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think MP4. Probably.
16 comments or Leave a comment