I have been encoding my DVDs for as long as I can remember, well, ever since I started buying DVDs, I suppose. I have never stored an ISO or direct DVD folder structure for as long as I have been using an HTPC. I often get asked for help on how I do my encodings, so I thought I would write this guide. I have changed software several times throughout the years, but I have been using RipBot264 the longest now. I find it has the most ‘middle ground’ covered when taking available options and simplicity into account.
I will start off by saying there are probably several ways to tackle encoding video using the tools that I implement. There is no right way to encode DVDs, but there are many wrong ways. The method I use is not the easiest, nor is the hardest…I’ve simply found it to be to my liking. I have control what goes in and what comes out and that’s the way I like it. I don’t like things to be too granular, but I also don’t like being forced to wait several hours after hitting a button with no idea of what the outcome is going to look like.
This guide will assume the following:
- You have a DVD drive and DVD you want to encode.
- You want to encode to h.264 video and provide a Matroska (MKV) container.
- Your system is fairly modern (encoding is extremely taxing to a system).
- You have a decent amount of disk space to handle the encoding process (disc rip, temp files and result file can go over 10GB easily).
- The example source video used in this guide is NTSC interlaced film material. Many portions of this guide will not apply to you if you use PAL media. If you would like further explanations on how to apply this guide to PAL media, please use the Q&A Forum. I will be happy to assist you.
- You only need to retain one audio stream in your output video (you can mux another track in later if you want, but this guide won’t show you how).
OK, so now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on. Here is what you are going to need first:
- Latest copy of RipBot264.
- Latest version of ffdshow. I prefer the generic clsid builds, and yes, it should be 32-bit.
- AviSynth 126.96.36.199 (or later, if available). You will need to Google this and download it. There are too many locations to settle on a single one. Technically, any from 2.56 and on should be fine, but 188.8.131.52 is what I have installed. It also has multi-threading support, although I don’t know if RipBot264 supports it.
- DVDDecrypter. Yes it’s old, but I rarely come across a title it doesn’t have a key for. You can use whatever else you’re accustomed to using though (AnyDVD, DVDFab, etc.). Just don’t expect me to tell you how to load it into RipBot264 if your rip fails :)
Now that you’ve grabbed everything and got it installed (you didn’t think I was going to show you how to do that, did you?) it’s time to get started.