This is a tutorial for ripping and converting 3DBDs so they will play back seamlessly and natively on the 2016 LG OLED 3D 4K TVs via Plex app in full resolution, not half. It will work on other LG 4K 3D TVs with one different setting changed. This procedure is extremely
unlikely to work on other TVs as written, although it may do so with some setting changes.
My goal was to play full-resolution BD3D rips on my LG with no HTPC, no specialized media player boxes, and with a "family-friendly" user interface for playback, such as from media library software like Plex. It took a lot of research and testing, but I succeeded. All software used in the process is currently free. I'm sharing a writeup in case it helps others with a similar goal to get there.
As a secondary goal, I also needed a way to play back region-locked 3D imports like Terminator 2
that I would not otherwise be able to watch with my region-locked disc player.
This is very much not
the definitive way to play back 3D rips--this tutorial is for people with similar equipment and goals as I have, as stated in the title.
At a high level, once you are past the first time set up, this is basically a 2-step process:
- Use MakeMKV to rip the 3D Blu-ray to a MVC MKV file
- Use BD3D2MK3D to convert the MVC MKV file to an MKV file that Plex and the TV will play back
- I have an LG OLED65E6P and playback is seamless as it is for 2D titles. Just select the title in Plex and play. 3D mode automatically turns on and off.
- This procedure is for full-resolution playback, not the more common half resolution.
- The files you produce are extremely unlikely to work with other TVs and projectors. These are not future-proof for other hardware at all.
- As with all conversions, some quality will be lost, but I cannot tell the difference.
- You can rip all the audio tracks if you like, so for example in Plex you can select other languages or the director's commentary track if you like.
- Subtitle support is sort of there, but not great. I will elaborate below.
- All menus, commercials, FBI warnings, etc., will be lost. (Extras can be included, if you care to do so.)
- LG 3D 4K TV
- A Plex media server installed and working (live transcoding is not required, so relatively weak Plex servers are fine)
- Plex app installed and working on the TV
- Windows computer for ripping and converting
- Install the above software.
- In Plex I suggest adding a new and separate Movie Library for 3D Movies that points at a separate folder called "3D Movies". I prefer to have my 2D movies and 3D movies listed separately.
- In MakeMKV:
- I suggest going into the settings and set your preferred language(s), otherwise for every single disc you will have to manually deselect audio tracks and subtitles for all the languages that you don't care to keep.
- I suggest going into the settings and set your preferred output destination folder, otherwise you will have to manually select it for every rip.
- In BD3D2MK3D:
- Tab 1, change from disc mode to MKV mode, then open the MKV file you ripped.
- Tab 5, for Steroscopy unselect Half and set Top & Bottom. (Side-by-Side and Frame Sequential also work just fine, see Optional section below for more information.)
- Tab 5, set the CRF/Quantizer to the quality you would like. I typically leave it at the default 23 unless there is a "reference" movie that I really care about, in which case I set it to 20 (which is an arbitrary choice of mine, and honestly I cannot tell the difference anyway).
- Tab 5, set Save the final MKV file in the folder specified below.
- Tab 5, set Output (MKV) folder to your Plex 3D Library folder.
- Tab 5, enable When encoding is finished mux to MKV file, and close command prompt.
- In the Settings menu, set Full-SBS/T&B Aspect Ratio to 2:1 For Some LG TVs. (If your LG 4K 3D TV isn't a 2016 OLED, you might have to leave this at the default setting of disabled.)
- In the Settings menu, click Save tabs settings now.
- In MakeMKV, open and scan the disc.
- Select the video tracks you want to keep. At a minimum you want enable the "MVC" video track, which is needed for 3D and is disabled by default. You generally don't want the other tracks, which are usually menu backgrounds, ads, legalese, bonus features, etc.
Tips when there are multiple MVC tracks:
- If there are multiple MVC tracks, you typically want the biggest one.
- If there are two MVC tracks that tie for the biggest, pick the one with more chapters.
- If you still can't tell, you'll have to select both and check them out to see what the difference is.
- If you still can't tell even after watching both rips, pick the first one.
- Select all of the audio tracks you want, but keep in mind that the 2016 LG HDMI ARC is very limited.
- Rip. Takes about 20 minutes for me.
- In BD3D2MK3D Tab 1, open the MKV file you ripped.
- In Tab 2 you generally don't need to do anything here unless you have special considerations for subtitles. See Optional section below for more info.
- In Tab 3, enter the movie title. This is required and will be the basis for folder/file names. For best chance of an automatic and correct match in Plex, I suggest using the following format: "Movie Title (year)". Leave the rest blank because Plex provides that automatically later.
- Skip Tab 4. Plex provides all this automatically later.
- In Tab 5, click Do it!.
- Demux will start. Mark the checkbox "Exit and Encode After Successful Demux".
- Demux will occur for a minute or two. Then a command line window will open and the file conversion process will start. This will take a long time.
- When it is done converting, press any key in the command line window to close it. Delete the temporary working folder for this movie, which is located in the Project (temp) folder specified in Tab 5.
If you set the destination folder for the converted file as your 3D Plex Library and Plex is set up to detect changes, then you are done and the title should just appear in Plex automatically and you can now play it back in Plex.
- TAB (Top and Bottom) - Each frame of the file includes left and right frames, one on top of the other.
- SBS (Side by Side) - Each frame of the file includes left and right frames, side by side to each other.
- FS (Frame Sequential) - Left and right frames alternate.
2D subtitle tracks are supported in FS only. (2D subtitles can be turned on in 3D and are legible, but the depth cues are a bit odd.) So if it is important for you to be able to turn 2D subtitles on and off, choose Frame Sequential during the conversion process. 2D subtitles will trigger live transcoding on the Plex server, so a weak Plex server won't be able to handle this. FS files are larger than TAB and SBS files--in FS the left and right frames alternate, causing some efficiency loss because encoding relies on similarities between adjacent frames. In my experimenting, turning 2D subtitles on for TAB and SBS files caused all kinds of playback problems.
3D subtitle tracks are not supported in a toggleable "on and off" manner. 3D subtitles are only supported in 3D files if they are "burned" into the video during the conversion process, which makes them always on during playback, such as you might need for a foreign language film. If you have a film that you always need subtitles on for, in Tab 2
enable All subtitles are forced?
for the subtitle track that you want always on. This isn't just for foreign movies, many domestic movies also occasionally have a little bit of foreign language (or even "space alien" language) sprinkled in here and there. In these cases there are subtitles for the foreign bits but not for the native language bits, in which case you will want to "burn in" the specific subtitle track that has just those subtitles.
Both H.264 (AVC) and H.265 (HEVC) work on my LG. In BD3D2MK3D you can select either one in the Settings tab (H.264 is the default). In H.264, TAB, SBS, and FS are supported. In H.265, only TAB and SBS are supported.
Here are the pros and cons for H.265 that I've discovered:
- Takes much more time to encode.
- Has a much smaller file size (about 40% smaller).
- Will not trigger 3D mode automatically, so you have to select it manually via the remote. (H.264 3D files trigger 3D mode automatically.)
- TAB and SBS work, but FS does not.
So based on the above testing, you want your 3DBD2MK3D Codec and Stereoscopy Settings to be:
- If you want much faster conversion: H.264 (TAB, SBS, or FS)
- If you want 3D mode to activate automatically: H.264 (TAB, SBS, or FS)
- If you want 2D toggleable subtitles, H.264 (FS only)
- If you want much smaller file sizes and more efficient network use: H.265 (TAB or SBS only)