Originally Posted by SEARCH1990
I have been using mymovies for years, and have had a trouble free experience ripping my dvd collection to video_ts folders with dvdfab, and viewing them (thru mymovies) in windows media center. I have about 120 blu rays that I want to do the same with. I would like to do a 1:1 conversion, and be able to view them in wmc as well. I know that powerdvd and total media theater are the popular recommendations so, 3 questions:
1) How does the process between dvd playback and blu-ray playback differ (blu ray needs to be "mounted" in a virtual drive)?
3) Which is the easier software to use:powerdvd or total media theater?
4)do either powerdvd or tmt integrate with wmc?
Thanks so much in advance. Any help is greatly appreciated...
All optical media, whether CDs, DVDs, BDs or HD-DVDs, have their own file/folder structure for the files on the disc.
For DVDs it is VIDEO_TS & AUDIO_TS.
For BDs it is BDMV & CERTIFICATE.
This is known as the native folder format for that media type.
When these are transferred to a hard drive, you have the option to keep the folder structure intact.
For DVDs, mostly all software media players available today can play the native folder format from the hard drive (called as playing from folders).
Windows Media Center has had built-in support for DVD playback since XP MCE and has gotten progressively better.
For BDs and the now-defunct HD-DVD format, the commercial software players disabled folder playback from the hard drive.
So as a workaround, the folders on the hard drive can be wrapped in an ISO container. This ISO container can then be mounted in a virtual optical drive (free program) so the OS is tricked into recognizing the mounted ISO file as an actual optical disc (when it isn't). Once the OS sees this ISO as a disc, the software players would play the file.The ISO format is used as a workaround for players that won't play BDs from the hard drive.
There are three major commercial programs to play BDs, PowerDVD (PDVD), Total Media Theater (TMT), & WinDVD (WDVD).
PDVD and TMT are the most advanced (& popular) ones since they had a head start on others.
In addition, Nero used to have a BD/HD-DVD plugin for their Nero 8 software player but they dropped support in later versions.
TMT is the only commercial player which supports playback of folders from the hard drive. If you wish to use PDVD or WinDVD you will need to go the ISO route.
There is a free player called MPC-HC (Media Player Classic - Home Cinema) based on the classic media player (in older Win OSs).
The free player plays only the main movie title, whether its a disc or ripped folders on the hard drive. It doesn't support menus so you can't play any extras or access special features with MPC-HC.To get full menu support, a commercial player is necessary.
To backup BDs to the hard drive while keeping the folders intact you have to use AnyDVD or DVDFab. AnyDVD runs in the background and neutralizes the protection on the discs. In addition it also incorporates a ripper to back up the disc to the hard drive in folder format or in ISO format.
DVDFab is a full featured program that is an active ripping program with many features. It can rip both DVDs and BDs in BDMV folder format, ISO as well as MKV. In addition, it allows you to choose a single/or more movie title/s with just one (or more) audio track/s & subtitle/s. It also allows you to compress the disc to a single layer DVD/BD as well as convert the disc to other file formats including portable media formats.
You can rip the main movie from a disc without the menus & special features in any of the three formats
In addition you can apply compression and reduce the size of the file, no matter which format you choose.It is possible to have a Compressed or Uncompressed Main Movie video track in BDMV or ISO or MKV format.
One reason to keep the folder format or ISO is to keep multiple audio tracks, subtitles etc. It works flawlessly since you are not changing any information from the original file. MKV can do multiple audio tracks and subtitles too but sometimes users have encountered problems with subtitles.It is also possible to have a Compressed or Uncompressed version of the entire disc, as is, in BDMV or ISO format.
However, if you do decide to rip any disc intact in its entirety, your only choice is BDMV or ISO.
The easiest route to take is ripping with DVDFab in folder format and playing with TMT in Windows 7. TMT has a built-in plugin for Media Center so using Media Browser/My Movies (free media organizing plugins for MC) you can organize your movie collection as well as launch TMT using your remote control for a seamless experience.
However, both programs are commercial, not free and have to be purchased.
For a free route, MKV file format is very popular and supposedly very easy. I have never gone that route so have no idea, however there is an excellent guide and many threads about MKV ripping and playback from BDs.
There are some limitations with MKV namely menus, extras and subtitle support but you will have to read up about those.