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DVD File Format Question

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Greetings AVS forum - I'm new at this and I have a basic question. I want to rip my DVD's to stream from a media server (yet to be built) - What format is best for that? I've ripped several to .avi and they play well on the computer but I'm wondering if I should go to something else for the big screen. Thanks in advanced for any advice.
post #2 of 7
2 questions to answer:
1) How much space do you want a DVD to consume on HDD?
2) What format(s) will your device be able to handle?

If space is not a primary consideration, then a full-sized ISO or VIDEO_TS folder is the ticket. Simple and fast, and it preserves all DVD content, menus, extras, etc.

If space is an issue, then you can do several different things. The MPEG-2 (VOB files) can simply be put into an MKV container with original audio. This is a "movie only" approach and eliminates all other content on the disc. The main title can also be converted to MPEG-4 and put into a MKV container, again with original audio. This consumes a lot of time and CPU resources since the conversion is slow. Other formats are certainly possible, like MOV (Apple).

For the "big screen", the best option is one that does not degrade video quality, such as ISO or VIDEO_TS folders.
post #3 of 7
For streaming, the simplest thing to do is use the DVD native MPEG-2 as your file format. It's not necessary to use proprietary container formats like AVI; most software reads MPEG-2 just fine.

You can convert to a popular MPEG-4 format, but IME you're not going to save enough in file size without sacrificing quality. With storage prices under $100/TB it's easier to leave well enough alone with the MPEG video, and add more storage as needed.

I have a 1.4TB RAID5 array on my file server, which I could use for streaming if I had any desire to. I also have a 3GB RAID5 NAS box and a 2TB HD for video files on each workstation. Since the single drives aren't redundant, I back up to one of the RAID machines or to one or more single drives on other machines.

I'm not familiar with Matroska. It's not widely supported. If it has a container format that allows a file to be played interactively as a physical DVD, complete with menus, that's useful. But the interactive features preclude streaming. It also lacks mainstream software support.
post #4 of 7
Hi Sam,

Welcome to the forum.

I think that the first question should be: Would you like to play the DVDs with their full menus, languages and subtitles? Or would you just like a file that plays the movie alone, probably with one language and no subtitles?

Based on that answer, and a few others, you could select a media-player. Then you should rip to whatever format would work best with that player. There is a lot of information here on what works best with each player.

I'm assuming you don't have a player yet. But your TV might have some player capabilities, like uPnP or DLNA. They are very limited, but may work for you.
post #5 of 7
Let's assume the OP wants to retain 100% quality of the mpeg video on the DVD, and stream via DLNA.

Looks like a solution like ANYDVD only gets him half the way there (can rip to folder structure or ISO -- but neither is DLNA friendly).
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathan_h View Post

Let's assume the OP wants to retain 100% quality of the mpeg video on the DVD, and stream via DLNA.

Looks like a solution like ANYDVD only gets him half the way there (can rip to folder structure or ISO -- but neither is DLNA friendly).

For DVD:
Use whatever ripper you want to decrypt and rip the full disk to your HDD (DVD Decrypter still works for 90% of the DVD's out there). Use DVD Shrink to rip the main title (or desired title in the case of a multi-episode disk) to your HDD as folder structure -- setting the preferences for no compression and do not split .VOB files. Go into the VIDEO_TS folder, pull out the single title .VOB, rename it to title_name.vob and put it in a folder on your DLNA server. If your DLNA software won't stream a .VOB file, just change the extension to .mpg. If your DLNA server won't handle that, then use VOB2MPG to formally convert the .VOB to an .mpg.

Playing a .VOB file gives you no subtitles and no chapter support.
post #7 of 7
Or perhaps VOB2MPG?
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