Copying and Playing blu ray files

I am fairly new to this. Had some questions regarding copying my DVDs to an external drive and playing them via a fully wired set up. Received some very helpful info from other members of this community and now working fine. (Search topic “Stuttering Playback” if you are looking for this info.)

This new topic is something of “next level up” from that other topic. I have blu rays and want to copy the main movie onto an external drive, then play on the WD via a wired network (drive is attached to computer, accessible to the WD via fully wired network).

I am using DVDFab to copy my DVDs. This program seems to be equipped to copy blu rays as well. I’ve also read about MakeMKV. Should I use DVDFab to make an ISO file, or MakeMKV to make an MKV file? I’m not sure if that is even a proper question as it sounds like MKV is a “container” rather than a file type (though I’m not clear on exactly what that means). Again, my goal here is only to be able to watch blu rays (main movie only, preserving 1080p quality) via network shared external drive, fully wired network.

I understand that a resulting ISO file may be quite large. I am more concerned about quality than size. If there is a compression option that won’t lead to compromising the quality (to any perceivable degree) then that would be good, but my understanding is that compressing the size will inherently result in some reduction in quality.

Not to make this more complicated, but my understanding is that the audio may be a significant issue here, so to clarify my set-up, I would like to be able to play the resulting file on a tv with no amp, receiver, etc., just the regular tv speakers, BUT ALSO on a second tv (with its own second WD) that is hooked up to a 7.1 surround system.

I appreciate the guidance here and hope that these threads will eventually serve as a useful guide for other new users.


MKV is a modern, more versatile container that also needs quite less space packing the same content. So if you rip (the main movie) anyway, simply use MakeMKV and include all (HD) streams you need. The SMP will play back the DTS core so you don’t need any amplifier and using the WDTV profile ensures that (non animated) subs will work as well. Checked the advanced section of the MakeMKV forums for conversion profiles/track selection.

Thanks.  Do I lose the ability to skip by chapter if I use MKV instead of ISO?  Am I giving up something else (how can it be smaller if it’s the same thing/quality)?  My apologies if I am asking rudimetary questions here, I’m new and although I’ve spent a lot of time searching and reading there is quite a lot of imprecise and/or conflicting info flying around.  Thank you.

(Make)MKV retains chapters and you don’t lose any quality. ISO originally is a format for discs that needs to have a certain structure which is inefficient compared to MKVs. Extracting raw streams from both containers will yield identical content.

Thank you.  MakeMKV sounds like a great tool and i will try it.  I appreciate your guidance.