Is it time to ditch my Bluray ISOs for MKVs? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 55 Old 05-21-2013, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Eleven years of ISO use. I have waited and waited for more widespread adoption of bluray/DVD ISO capability on tablets (ie Android), cheap streaming devices, and for streaming solutions out of my house. The closest I came to a solution for streaming out of my house to my cell was using Slingbox and Xlobby to sling my DVD ISOs on my HTPC to my Treo (WindowsCE) about 9 years ago. Well I can't get the HDMI out of my PC to convert to a signal my HD SlingBox (HDMI to component converter didn't work) can see. As well, I want to have my kid's DVD/Bluray iso's available to view on their android tablets at home or away. Plex doesn't appear to have a bluray iso solution coming, and it doesn't look like android will ever incorporate the ability to read the bluray file structure. The Atom tablet I have is horrible at playing bluray ISO's and even if I wanted to pay $900 for Surface Pro's for my kids, they don't like the size and weight of mine. And what happened to those reports that Windows 8 would play native ISOs?
Is Bluray ISO a deadend at this point? If so, what is the best way to batch convert over 300 ISO's?
I will cry offline while waiting for your replies.

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post #2 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 07:51 AM
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I used to use iso's for Blu-Ray playback from my server, but it was always inconsistent. Some movies would play fine while others would stutter and skip and freeze. Playback on other PCs on the network was just as inconsistent. I used both PowerDVD and TMT with mixed results. I decided to try MakeMKV and XBMC on a couple of rips and I was amazed at the results. Every movie I converted to mkv played beautifully on every single PC via XBMC with no glitches or hiccups and HD audio. I ended up converting every single Blu-Ray and DVD on my server to mkv format and nevber looked back. Now I just rip everything straight to mkv.

Keep in mind that MakeMKV rips everything on a 1-to-1 basis and does not compress anything. For tablet use you'll probably want to give Handbrake a try (or whatever else is being used for this process). Try a few movies and see if it's worth the trouble to convert them. I've never tried Handbrake personally so I don't know how long it takes to convert a typical Blu-Ray iso. Ripping and converting speed is all going to depend on the speed of your PC and how much processing power it has.

Blu-Ray iso conversion using MakeMKV probably averaged 30-40 minutes per movie on my PC. DVDs only took about 5-6 minutes apiece, IIRC, but they were in folder format and not iso's if that makes any difference. My collection totalled somewhere around 800-900 movies and it took me several weeks to complete the conversion. I'd mostly set up the Blu-Ray iso's to convert with MakeMKV and then go about my business for the next 30 minutes or so. I don't know of any batch conversion process that can do this, but I suppose anything's possible. Someone else may have come up with a batch process so try a forum search and see if there are any other posts on the topic.
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post #3 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I used to use iso's for Blu-Ray playback from my server, but it was always inconsistent. Some movies would play fine while others would stutter and skip and freeze. Playback on other PCs on the network was just as inconsistent. I used both PowerDVD and TMT with mixed results. I decided to try MakeMKV and XBMC on a couple of rips and I was amazed at the results. Every movie I converted to mkv played beautifully on every single PC via XBMC with no glitches or hiccups and HD audio. I ended up converting every single Blu-Ray and DVD on my server to mkv format and nevber looked back. Now I just rip everything straight to mkv.

Keep in mind that MakeMKV rips everything on a 1-to-1 basis and does not compress anything. For tablet use you'll probably want to give Handbrake a try (or whatever else is being used for this process). Try a few movies and see if it's worth the trouble to convert them. I've never tried Handbrake personally so I don't know how long it takes to convert a typical Blu-Ray iso. Ripping and converting speed is all going to depend on the speed of your PC and how much processing power it has.

Blu-Ray iso conversion using MakeMKV probably averaged 30-40 minutes per movie on my PC. DVDs only took about 5-6 minutes apiece, IIRC, but they were in folder format and not iso's if that makes any difference. My collection totalled somewhere around 800-900 movies and it took me several weeks to complete the conversion. I'd mostly set up the Blu-Ray iso's to convert with MakeMKV and then go about my business for the next 30 minutes or so. I don't know of any batch conversion process that can do this, but I suppose anything's possible. Someone else may have come up with a batch process so try a forum search and see if there are any other posts on the topic.

DVDFab does have a batch conversion process that could be used for this. It was for a time problematic to use DVDFab for MKV creation from bluray as around 25% would have audio lag problems. But they have been really good about bugfixes and a steady stream of updates. It has become my primary DVD and Bluray conversion tool.
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post #4 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 08:25 AM
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Cinavia was what pushed me over the edge. I had always done folder structure, but now its all MKV for the BLu-Rays and I'm starting to work on the 300+ DVD's I have too. It doesn't take long if you have a decent PC, so I've jsut been doing one or two a night. Took me about atwo months to get through the blu-rays.
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post #5 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 08:40 AM
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What does Cinavia have to do with wether or not you convert to MKV? MKV is simply a container that's used instead of the M2TS container.
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post #6 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by vladd View Post

What does Cinavia have to do with wether or not you convert to MKV? MKV is simply a container that's used instead of the M2TS container.
Most stand alone BD players, other than PS3, on the market today only does Cinavia on disc, not on streaming (or even playback from flash drive but I'm not too sure). So, the only advantage of ISO, let you burn to a BD disc, is gone.
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post #7 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 09:06 AM
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That makes sense (I don't use media streamers so I didn't even think of that). But is there any particular reason to use MKV vs the original M2TS?

Edit: I can see using MakeMKV for multiple m2ts per movie discs for simplicity of ripping.
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post #8 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

But is there any particular reason to use MKV vs the original M2TS?

Very important reasons to use MKV over m2ts:
1. mkv let you preserve chapter points. So you can skip to next chapter easily. m2TS doesn't have this. Once you converted to m2ts, you lost all the original chapter points.
2. Store subtitles. You can have various subtiles ripped from BD and stored into mkv file. Most mkv players on PC can display those subtitles easily.
3. Store multiple audio tracks. My Sony BD player can stream DTS-HD MA audio tracks directly from DNLA server. So I typically keep the original HD audio track and create a few others like DTS 5.1 or AC3 5.1 as well as AAC 2.0 tracks all in the same mkv file so that other players that can't handle HD audio tracks can pick the ones they can support to playback.
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post #9 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 10:21 AM
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1) Ok, I see that one (no use for it personally but I easily see myself being in the extreme minority here).
2 and 3) M2TS can (and does) also store subtitles and multiple audio tracks. Do the players fail to read them when they are in an m2ts container?
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post #10 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 10:32 AM
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Sorry, my mistake about #2 and #3. The tools I use does not seem to support them. I have tried some MP4 container with subtitles and it seems no PC players support the subtitle embedded in them. Only apple players can do that.
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post #11 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 10:43 AM
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If you are using lots of devices on multiple platforms then MKV is the way to go.

For strictly HTPC usage, ISO's and MKV's both work fine.
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post #12 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 10:49 AM
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I wasn't trying to be antagonistic. I was just trying to understand why so many people recommend the MKV container vs keeping it in an M2TS container. I do understand the argument against full ISOs but didn't for the container change. The chapters issue is a good argument though.
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post #13 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:18 AM
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No problem. I prefer m2ts over mkv as well. But chapter points are important to me and mkv seems to be very flexible container to dump all kinds of junk into it. So I choose it as my archiving format. I then could pick and chose what I need to compose a desination file for playback. Not to mention usually same A/V content, m2ts file is much bigger for some reason than mkv.
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post #14 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Not to mention usually same A/V content, m2ts file is much bigger for some reason than mkv.
Interesting... that I did not know.
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post #15 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Sorry, my mistake about #2 and #3. The tools I use does not seem to support them. I have tried some MP4 container with subtitles and it seems no PC players support the subtitle embedded in them. Only apple players can do that.

Mpc-hc supports both.
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post #16 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

Not to mention usually same A/V content, m2ts file is much bigger for some reason than mkv.

This shouldn't be, at least not "much bigger". Overhead on both wrappers might differ but it would be so negligible that it wouldn't matter. Are you sure you are not ripping out certain tracks when converting to mkv?
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post #17 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

Mpc-hc supports both.
I think he was talking about subtitles in an MP4 container when he said PC players don't support them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

This shouldn't be, at least not "much bigger". Overhead on both wrappers might differ but it would be so negligible that it wouldn't matter. Are you sure you are not ripping out certain tracks when converting to mkv?
I can actually see this as being true. M2TS stores subtitles as a bitmap image with palette definitions. IIRC, MKVs store subtitles as text.
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post #18 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

This shouldn't be, at least not "much bigger". Overhead on both wrappers might differ but it would be so negligible that it wouldn't matter. Are you sure you are not ripping out certain tracks when converting to mkv?

Try it out yourself. I use TsMuxr to mux a m2ts out of a mkv file. Difference is very noticeable. I don't do other way around (m2ts to mkv). Only mkv->m2ts.
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post #19 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

What does Cinavia have to do with wether or not you convert to MKV? MKV is simply a container that's used instead of the M2TS container.

Because to play a Blu-ray disc (ISO or folder format), I need a player, like TMT, which has Cinavia detection in it. Once converted to MKV, I can play that directly in WMC or any number of open source players that do NOT have Cinavia protection in them.
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post #20 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

I can actually see this as being true. M2TS stores subtitles as a bitmap image with palette definitions. IIRC, MKVs store subtitles as text.

No, no subtitles involved. As you see I don't even know m2ts can support subtitle before smile.gif
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post #21 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DotJun View Post

This shouldn't be, at least not "much bigger". Overhead on both wrappers might differ but it would be so negligible that it wouldn't matter. Are you sure you are not ripping out certain tracks when converting to mkv?

On thing that has confused me is that I recently converted Star Wars Episode 2 to MKV. I generally ditch all the subtitles unless they are forced. So I stripped it down and had three sets of subtitles left. I used VLC player to check each one and determined which one was the appropriate to keep. I then fired up makeMKV again, opened the MKV and deselected the other two subtitles. Somehow, the resulting MKV was actually nearly 2GB LARGER than the one that had all three.
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post #22 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

Because to play a Blu-ray disc (ISO or folder format), I need a player, like TMT, which has Cinavia detection in it. Once converted to MKV, I can play that directly in WMC or any number of open source players that do NOT have Cinavia protection in them.
I meant mkv vs playing an m2ts file directly, discarding the ISO or folder structure. (assuming title spread across multiple m2ts are muxed into a single m2ts file). I would find it strange if a player detected Cinavia in m2ts file playback (without the full BD structure) but not in mkv file playback.

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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post

No, no subtitles involved. As you see I don't even know m2ts can support subtitle before smile.gif
Hmm, then I agree with DotJun that the overhead should not have that big an impact. I'll have to look into that.
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post #23 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 12:05 PM
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I just did a conversion using the TsMuxer:

source file: mkv with 1080p H,264 and AC3 5.1 audio, size 9,797,493 KB.
destination file: m2ts with the same audio and video track, size 10, 300, 926 KB.

As you can see, there is over 500MB size difference. Hardly unnoticeable.
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post #24 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 12:11 PM
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About a 5% reduction. More than I expected (which was about 2%) but fairly unnoticable to me since my entire bluray collection fits on a 2TB drive in ISO format. I can see where it would matter to much larger collections though.
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post #25 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncarty97 View Post

Because to play a Blu-ray disc (ISO or folder format), I need a player, like TMT, which has Cinavia detection in it. Once converted to MKV, I can play that directly in WMC or any number of open source players that do NOT have Cinavia protection in them.

Not true at all. I use BD ISO/Folder structure outside of non commercial players all the time. XBMC/JRiver/MPC etc all play BD structures fine with no Cinavia detection. MKV has no movie playback advantages on a HTPC.

MKV has other advantages like compatibility with other devices/software, size and can be created with free software.
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post #26 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 12:37 PM
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Actually m2ts has better device/software compatibility than mkv.
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post #27 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acejh1987 View Post

Not true at all. I use BD ISO/Folder structure outside of non commercial players all the time. XBMC/JRiver/MPC etc all play BD structures fine with no Cinavia detection. MKV has no movie playback advantages on a HTPC.
I need to quit trying to work at the same time as browsing the forums; I completely missed that part. Yeah, all my BDs are stored in ISO format but I haven't used a commercial player in years (and I own multiple versions of the major three). Commercial software is only needed for the menus.
Quote:
Originally Posted by acejh1987 View Post

MKV has other advantages like compatibility with other devices/software, size and can be created with free software.
M2TS can also be created with free software... TSMuxer for one.
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post #28 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by acejh1987 View Post



MKV has other advantages like compatibility with other devices/software, size and can be created with free software.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

M2TS can also be created with free software... TSMuxer for one.

Agreed, the advantages I stated for MKV were only compared to BD structure.
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post #29 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 03:32 PM
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Ah, gotcha.
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post #30 of 55 Old 05-22-2013, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

I meant mkv vs playing an m2ts file directly, discarding the ISO or folder structure. (assuming title spread across multiple m2ts are muxed into a single m2ts file). I would find it strange if a player detected Cinavia in m2ts file playback (without the full BD structure) but not in mkv file playback.

I wouldn't be opposed to m2ts, but from everything I looked at, it seemed like MKV was the best solution.
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