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Ripping my HD-DVD collection

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
So I bet on the wrong pony a few years back and managed to amass quite a few HD-DVDs. I also picked up and X-Box 360 HD-DVD drive for $25 in order to cash in on the five free movie deal.

Recently, I built a HTPC, and I was thinking that I might rip my HD-DVDs and convert them to a format and a size that would be good to store on my NAS and playback through XBMC, but I am having no luck making MP4 or MKV files.

There are dozens of guides scattered all over the Internet but none of them seem to work for me. I've successfully managed to decrypt and demux the movies, but whenever I try to remux or convert the films to MP4s, etc. -- I invariably lose audio. Since it takes hours to make each attempt, this is increasingly frustrating.

I was hoping people with more experience than I or someone else who had some HD-DVDs could help me figure out where I am going wrong.

Thanks for your help in advance.
post #2 of 41
You are likely encountering a few different issues. My wife and I purchased several HD-DVDs about a year or two ago at around 1-5 dollars a disk. Picked up the entire Harry Potter series (what was available by then) for 10 or so dollars I believe. Matrix as well.

1) Check the firmware of the drive. I have an older LG that had to be updated to even read some of the HD-DVD's that we bought. Be very cautious when you do this and read twice and click once if you follow me. You can brick the drive if install the wrong firmware. There is a great website that you can follow (google).

2) AnyDVDHD + Make MKV is about all I use so I can play the movies in XBMC.

3) Not all disks are going to work. This is what always causes people to be upset but you are working with a dead format. I have HD-DVDs that would not rip and convert so I had to breakdown and purchase the Blu-Ray disk.


If you continue to run into issues, after doing step 1 and 2, it is because of 3. Bite the bullet and pick up either the DVD or Blu-Ray used. I refuse to buy a movie new. If you are willing to wait, you can easily find what are new movies used for easily 50-75% off after a month or two.
post #3 of 41
HD-DVD's often had DD+ or TrueHD soundtracks, and the video encoding was more often than not VC-1 rather than AVC, but for the few I have, AnyDVD HD ripped them fine. I then converted the output to MKV, with the soundtrack remuxed to FLAC using eac3to. All the rips I have work perfectly.
post #4 of 41
DD+ is great. TMT so far plays them well. Clown BD converts them to BD.
post #5 of 41
Do you have the ability to just try the conversion on perhaps the first chapter of a movie, hence not wasting as much time on the rest of the film if it doesn't work. I've had to do that type of trial and error while trying to encode some BDs down that I ripped using MakeMkv. I've used handbreak in the past for encoding fwtw. Good luck
post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 
OK. I'll try AnyDVDHD. I was trying to avoid pay solutions. I felt so close. I had the discs decrypted and demuxed, I just couldn't get the audio to remux.

Ah well.

I have no idea how I would update the drive firmware. I don't have an Xbox 360. I just have the drive, and the firmware updates seem to only work via Xbox Live.

EDIT: I thought I'd posted this, but the windows was still open in Chrome.

Success! MakeMKV worked on "The Italian Job." Now using Handbrake to see if I can get a little smaller file size without completely hosing the quality.
post #7 of 41
Iam not sure howmany HDDVD you have
but AnydvdHD is 30day free trial period
if u have time u can dump all those or converting it to bd then to mkv when ur time permits
thats what i did especially the ones with HDDVD movies and not avaiable in Bluray
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
OK. I think I've figured out the source of most of my problems. I was generally keeping only the best available audio stream - DTS-HD. I don't think my PC or my HTPC can play back that format. So time after time, I was creating files with an audio format that I was unable to play. I am a genius.

Using Handbrake to downmix to Dolby Pro Logic II seems to solve my problems. And since the current goal is smaller file sizes to stock my HTPC, I think that's a reasonable compromise.

My process is MakeMKV to create a full-size MKV rip of the movie (about 20GB). Then a run through Handbrake to make an MP4 file. (6GB-7GB). I end up with full 1080p and Dolby Pro Logic II for audio.

Does that sound like a reasonable process to the experts in the room?
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hipnerd View Post

OK. I think I've figured out the source of most of my problems. I was generally keeping only the best available audio stream - DTS-HD. I don't think my PC or my HTPC can play back that format. So time after time, I was creating files with an audio format that I was unable to play. I am a genius.

Using Handbrake to downmix to Dolby Pro Logic II seems to solve my problems. And since the current goal is smaller file sizes to stock my HTPC, I think that's a reasonable compromise.

My process is MakeMKV to create a full-size MKV rip of the movie (about 20GB). Then a run through Handbrake to make an MP4 file. (6GB-7GB). I end up with full 1080p and Dolby Pro Logic II for audio.

Does that sound like a reasonable process to the experts in the room?

If it works and looks/sounds good to you then it doesn't matter what the experts in the room think.
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

If it works and looks/sounds good to you then it doesn't matter what the experts in the room think.

True to a certain extent, but if I picked a poor codec or something and I could make it a little better with minimal effort, I'd like to know before I go too far. I'm testing the playback on my regular PC before moving them over so it's hard to get a feel for how good the output actually is.

At this point, I'm just thrilled to have a working process. I know that even if I screw up, I can always do it again -- better next time.

I can already see that if HDD capacities climb and the audio capabilities of the next HTPC improve, I might go back to those completely lossless MakeMKV rips. As it is, I don't have the storage.

Thanks for the help and suggestions everyone.
post #11 of 41
Bumping this up....

What HD DVD players even existed for computers? I'd like to convert some if my HDs but can't find any external players.
post #12 of 41
To my knowledge they aren't manufactured anymore but you should be able to find a used LG GGC-H20L. It's internal but you could always get an external case for it.
post #13 of 41
Try craigslist. That's how I found mine a few months ago.
Edited by Sonyad - 6/18/13 at 1:12pm
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


If it works and looks/sounds good to you then it doesn't matter what the experts in the room think.
Wait, what? There are experts here? Who knew!
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post

Bumping this up....

What HD DVD players even existed for computers? I'd like to convert some if my HDs but can't find any external players.

There were a few different external drives but they rarely show up on ebay. Just get an XBOX 360 HD DVD drive of ebay and use it with your computer.
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by junglalien View Post

There were a few different external drives but they rarely show up on ebay. Just get an XBOX 360 HD DVD drive of ebay and use it with your computer.
I used the XBOX HD DVD drive to rip all of my HD DVDs to my NAS and it worked just fine. Now I just need to re-encode them all...
post #17 of 41
I'm no expert but I would never remove an HD Audio track from a rip. You can always select the lower quality track if your equipment cannot play it back as your PC / HTPC should be able to decode and downmix. But why can't your PC / HTPC decode it?
Edited by Sammy2 - 6/20/13 at 6:50am
post #18 of 41
I've tried ripping a few of my HD-DVDs and something isn't right. I used my old Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive connected to my desktop computer. I would load up MakeMKV on it and have English selected as the defaults (DD+ as the main audio) and English subtitles. When done with the rip, I tested it on my desktop which seemed to play fine in WMP. I would then copy it over to my HTPC, and try playing it in WMP. There it would become all stuttery, and not play right. I'd try then playing it in XMBC, where it would play fine but all I would get is Stereo output. I checked my audio settings, and did see that I did have DD+ listed there. I did rip The Goonies BR disc on my HTPC and that played fine in WMP and XBMC. Any idea what might be happening?
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I'm no expert but I would never remove an HD Audio track from a rip. You can always select the lower quality track if your equipment cannot play it back as your PC / HTPC should be able to decode and downmix. But why can't your PC / HTPC decode it?
The problem is that DD+ is a somewhat dead codec for HTPC users (that's what most HD-DVDs used). If you want to convert it to blu or MKV, I believe that you have to downmix it to vanilla DD or convert it to something else. The other guy who I think you were replying I believe (hipnerd who downmixed HD audio down to 2 channel PLII) went a little too far with cutting down the size. Have to at least keep 5.1 in there. Personally I find that DTS is perfectly fine for my needs (I honestly can't tell the difference between DTS-HD and DTS on my modest system). Now the difference between DD and DD TrueHD is extreme to me so I try to keep that stream when I can. Unfortunately Handbrake (my favorite converting program) still lacks TrueHD passthrough options.
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by yanksno1 View Post

I've tried ripping a few of my HD-DVDs and something isn't right. I used my old Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive connected to my desktop computer. I would load up MakeMKV on it and have English selected as the defaults (DD+ as the main audio) and English subtitles. When done with the rip, I tested it on my desktop which seemed to play fine in WMP. I would then copy it over to my HTPC, and try playing it in WMP. There it would become all stuttery, and not play right. I'd try then playing it in XMBC, where it would play fine but all I would get is Stereo output. I checked my audio settings, and did see that I did have DD+ listed there. I did rip The Goonies BR disc on my HTPC and that played fine in WMP and XBMC. Any idea what might be happening?
I gonna take a wild guess and say that you used MakeMKV to convert them. I believe many HD-DVDs are VC-1 which act up when put into a MKV container. Try running them through Handbrake (converts them to H.264) and I bet they'll play fine. Also, it wouldn't hurt to try out other players like VLC to see if that resolves your issues.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan L View Post

I gonna take a wild guess and say that you used MakeMKV to convert them. I believe many HD-DVDs are VC-1 which act up when put into a MKV container. Try running them through Handbrake (converts them to H.264) and I bet they'll play fine. Also, it wouldn't hurt to try out other players like VLC to see if that resolves your issues.

Thanks, running them through handbrake seemed to do the trick converting them to x264.
post #22 of 41
I am going to try and pick up a xbox 360 hddvd drive and see if I can rip mine to my NAS too. It would be nice to have them playable from XBMC like my other movies.
post #23 of 41
I have a few HD-DVDs as well that I'd like to get onto my hard drive.

What software are you using to rip the HD-DVDs to your hard-drive?

Also, what cables to you need to hook an X-Box HD-DVD player to your computer?

Thanks for any and all info....
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post


If it works and looks/sounds good to you then it doesn't matter what the experts in the room think.

Do NOT say this in the speaker or AVR forums...you will quickly find yourself the subject of hate and derision.
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cybrsage View Post

Do NOT say this in the speaker or AVR forums...you will quickly find yourself the subject of hate and derision.
I used to be of that mindset until it literally made me neurotic. Now I tell people the exact same thing that Assassin said. Don't ever let anyone tell you what sounds good to you. Tell 'em they can take their elitist BS and put it where the sun don't shine unless, of course, they want to buy you a pair of their preferred speakers.wink.gif I might make recommendations about particular models to audition if someone asks, but the bottom line is that it's their money and they're the ones that have to live with the purchase. If they want to buy a set of (cringe) Bose Lifestyle speakers then that's their business (just don't invite me over for movie night eek.gif).
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnbaby View Post

I have a few HD-DVDs as well that I'd like to get onto my hard drive.

What software are you using to rip the HD-DVDs to your hard-drive?

Also, what cables to you need to hook an X-Box HD-DVD player to your computer?

Thanks for any and all info....

MakeMKV works fine with HD-DVDs.

Just hook it up to your computer with a USB cable. All the drivers you need should be installed automatically.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NNate View Post

MakeMKV works fine with HD-DVDs.

Except for subtitles. PGS subtitles in MKV ripped with MakeMKV can't be displayable in any player.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by renethx View Post

Except for subtitles. PGS subtitles in MKV ripped with MakeMKV can't be displayable in any player.

Maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying but I haven't had any issues with PGS subtitles in any player.
post #29 of 41
politby reported the problem in this post (and subsequent conversation with me). I ripped a couple of HD DVDs and surely PGS subtitles rippled with MakeMKV were non-working with any subtitle filters I tried (MPC-HC's own, VSFitler, ffdshow).

Nobody has this problem? It's only politby and me?
post #30 of 41
I only have a few HD-DVDs as I only pick them up when they are $2 or less typically. But I haven't heard of any subtitle issues until now.
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