Please Help: DVD to File Format X


I’m looking to get a software package that can take content from DVD and put it in format X.  Where X has the following properties:

  1. Compatible with WD TV Live
  2. Full content of the DVD, no video or audio compression.
  3. If video compression is necessary then it should be near perfect picture. (50" 1080p, not iPhone)
  4. If audio compression is necessary then it should be nearly perfect. (7.1 system, not Zune)

I don’t care if I have to pay up to $100 for it, I just want one that works.  I have tried 6 different programs so far.  One “worked” but the picture was very bad. 

Another, Handbrake, may work, but I have no idea what to do with some of the settings to get what I want. 

I program computers all day, but cant get this media stuff working the way I want, any help at all would be extremely appreciated.


Frustrated User #1  :wink:

Welcome to the forums.

AnyDVD (and AnyDVD HD if you want blu-ray) will rip the DVD to your hard drive and be playable from the Live (a DVD will have menus, etc.  You can’t do it with blu-ray and never will).  It’s the gold standard of rippers (about $60 if memory serves).  No compression so it’s the same as if you had the DVD in the drive.

Handbrake with the High Profile preset will compress the main movie of the DVD to around 25% of the original with no loss of quality.  Freeware but it requires time (depends on your PC – can be anywhere from minutes to many hours) and will only do one movie or title (you can queue up multiples, but you won’t get menus, etc.)  If you use Handbrake the only thing you need do is change the output type to MKV – the High Profile preset will handle the rest (although you’ll need to pass through either AC3 or DTS audio).

Note that the Live cannot play 7.1 audio – can’t pass it through, can’t handle it in any way whatsoever.

Thanks Mike.  Much appreciated.  I will check out AnyDVD this evening.  It seems like you need another piece of software to actually create the AVI, MVK, etc?  IE their site seems to suggest that you need both AnyDVD and CloneDVD…?  Then it starts to get expensive…  $109 Euros per year?

Or do you only need the second program to put the files back onto a DVD? 

Thanks again,


AnyDVD rips the DVD to a “normal” DVD structure (or you can rip to an image file if you so wish).  Either way can be played by the Live as is, with menus, etc.

CloneDVD would be used if you need  to make a copy of a DVD – nothing to do really with what you want. 

Once you have the DVD ripped to your hard drive if you DO want to create an MKV file then Handbrake is the tool of choice.  That’s MY workfow – rip using AnyDVD, then Handbrake to a smaller size.  If disc space is no consideration AND bandwidth isn’t a problem (shouldn’t be with DVDs – can be with blu-rays) then Handbraking a file isn’t necessary at all and does actually lose some functionality (no menus, for example).

Awesome.  Thanks so much.

Initially you said no compression so the easiest way would be to use DVDfab (which is free for ripping unlike AnyDVD) to rip the main movie or complete disc to VOBs/IFOs or ISO and you’re done. If you want to save space and go with compression you could use AutoGK to encode to avi/xvid.

Techflaws wrote:

Initially you said no compression so the easiest way would be to use DVDfab (which is free for ripping unlike AnyDVD) to rip the main movie or complete disc to VOBs/IFOs or ISO and you’re done. If you want to save space and go with compression you could use AutoGK to encode to avi/xvid.

    • *> I’ll second DVDFab.  It’s worked great on the 400+ discs that I’ve thrown at it.  Related to that, allow me to recommend backing up the DVDs as .ISOs for the following reasons:> > - Cuts down on clutter.  With the .ISO, there’s one file for the entire disc.  If you just extract the files, it’s more of a pain to remember what to select for playback.> > - If you ever lose or damage a disc, everything’s already stored in a format that virtually all burning software can cope with, so recovery is a snap.  Insert blank disc, burn the .ISO to it, and you’re done.> > The downside to .ISOs is that they occupy more disk space.  There’s no way around it other than compression (converting DVD9 to DVD5, for example) or using a different method of storage (e.g., file extraction), but if 100% quality and a resultant exact duplicate is your goal, it’s a reasonable tradeoff IMHO.> > Just my opinion so take it for what it’s worth :slight_smile:

Thanks Casm.  All the info you guys have given is much appreciated.  Storage space is of no concern.  And ISO is the way I have decided to go.  Been putting my disks in bins and sending them to the back shelves in the storage room.  Love it  :) 

I had a 400 disk DVD player that was very nearly filled, but it has a problem reading disks now.  After getting rid of all the boxes I had no where to store all these disks, and I missed the convience of being able to select a movie from a menu.

This unit is working out just as I hoped it would, and for the money I would have spent just having a tech take a look at my old player, just to say it cant e fixed and to buy a new one for $800  :slight_smile:

I was *really* interested in one of those carousel type DVD players and then blu-ray came along and thus I waited another couple of years until they finally came out with them for that… and luckily in the meantime things like the Live came along and I was able to bypass it all.

My biggest issue was finding all my stuff – there’s only so much alphabetizing you can do, and when company came it was a real PITA trying to find a particular movie to play.  Now it’s fast and easy and the extra storage space is really nice (my wife is sure appreciative of the fact we don’t have bookshelves full of thousands of DVDs/blu-rays).

I was always a nay-sayer but I do think now the eventual progress will mean that all this media will be on demand, a la Netflix.  But in the meantime this is a great stopgap measure (and perhaps will last the remaining of my limited life :>)