Researching software for ripping Blu-rays is making my head spin. I could easily spend a week trying to figure out which software I should use and what resulting format I should save my file to.
The easiest approach would seem to be to rip my movie using AnyDVD as an .iso file, removing protection in the process. I could then mount the .iso using Virtual CloneDrive and play it with MPC-HC. This approach would keep all soundtracks, subtitles, etc., so we're talking about really big filesizes. But since the movie would be in an .iso format, I could always later use Virtual CloneDrive to mount it and then use some other app to further reduce the size when time permits.
DVDFab just officially released a version of their product that can rip, and even compress, Blu-rays, but BD+ support isn't there yet (they're working on it). I'm a long-time DVDFab user (for standard-def DVD's), and so I'm used to the interface of that app. Usability is very good. But I'm not certain if I would need to rip a BD+ movie first with AnyDVD, and then use DVDFab to mux out the unwanted soundtracks, or if I could do it all in one step with DVDFab so long as AnyDVD was running in the background. Anyone know?
Then there are other file formats, like .m2ts, .ts, and .mkv. I could use Clown_BD, tsMuxeR, or toNMT to take my Blu-ray file structure (ripped by AnyDVD) and convert to a single .ts or .m2ts file. There's another app, whose name I forget, that will convert to mkv. Assuming I was sold on the idea of using my Revo as my streamer (which can support mounted .iso files), would there be any reason why I would be better off converting to .ts, .m2ts, or .mkv instead of the single .iso file?
I'm also still confused about audio formats. Currently, I have an A/V Receiver w/HDMI, but it's not 1.3 (I think it's 1.1 or 1.2). I don't know if I can rip just a TrueHD track, for example, and have MPC-HC convert this on-the-fly to multi-stream audio that can be passed to my receiver. Do I *need* to convert this audio track to a lower-quality format during ripping? Keep in mind, also, that only one of my rooms has this A/V Receiver. The other two rooms would be connected directly to an LCD or plasma, so I would also need stereo support. Again, I think the big question here is whether MPC-HC can decode/convert Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD on-the-fly to: a) Stereo, and b) a 5.1 format that can be sent over HDMI 1.1/1.2 to my A/V receiver. And, if/when I got an HDMI 1.3 receiver later, will MPC-HC also be able to transmit the full-quality audio from that Dolby TrueHD/DTS-HD soundtrack?
Trying to answer some of my own questions here...
So I hooked my Revo up to my LCD TV, and have MPC-HC configured to downmix the audio to stereo. I play an .m2ts file that contains a Dolby TrueHD soundtrack and that's the audio track that's playing by default. It seems to play just fine in stereo.
Then I move the Revo up to the home theater and connect it via HDMI to my A/V Receiver which is not Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD capable. I have the downmix options disabled in MPC-HC. Again, everything seems to play fine with the Dolby TrueHD track selected, and I'm getting 5.1 audio with my receiver reporting PCM (or something like that). Am I missing anything? Perhaps DTS-HD will be more problematic but, for now, it looks like I should be able to rip just the Dolby TrueHD track (when offered) and I'll be able to play it back fine whether in my bedroom (in stereo) or my home theater (in 5.1).