Encoding DVDs to h.264 MKV using RipBot264.

By | January 31, 2011

EncodingI 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 (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 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.

6 thoughts on “Encoding DVDs to h.264 MKV using RipBot264.

  1. 610LoopIn

    Love Ripbot, thats what ive pretty much always used for my Blu rips. I like my rips untouched so I dont compress them, but yeah everything I have is in a mkv container.

    My method is pretty simple too but i have to use an old version of Ripbot. I have to use v15 for my method cause on version 15.1 they changed the containers for the demuxed video and audio. So i havent tried any version past 16 but i assume its still the case for my situation.

    1. Rip the DVD/Blu
    2. Demux with Ripbot
    3. Find the Temp folder with the Demuxed files
    4. Mux the audio and video with MKV Merge
    5. Add Chapters to the created mkv with Chapter Editor in MKV Merge

    I know not everybody wants to keep a 20 gig movie file but with storage so cheep, it doesnt bother me, plus i only have to wait for the 2 muxing processes to complete, instead of a lengthy encode process.
    Also to note with the method above, you wont have non forced subs. But you can hit the web, find a srt and throw that into the mkv container aswell.

    Just my 2 cents. Great write up though, very detailed…ill be keeping this guide bookmarked

  2. Sinjen

    Just an FYI. Just encoded a DVD we bought on our trip to Universal Studios and it looks like Ripbot’s options have changed a bit. Particularly when you are setting the profile for the video format. The tutorial was still very helpful. Thanks!

    1. Jon Post author

      Ripbot has changed a lot since this guide. I plan on doing a new one or updating this one since it now has distributed encoding included. I’ve used it and it works really well. Cuts encoding time down by a ton if you have several systems to use.

  3. Mark

    I found this walkthrough really helpful and the quality of my output looks much better now but I still have an issue in fast moving sequences where the image becomes really blocky until the motion slows down for a few seconds. I’d love to know if you have any thoughts about how to tackle this issue.

    1. Jon Post author

      Not sure how much you can do to prevent that. It’s either unable to encode the blocky portions due to a failure to scan, or a failure to allocate enough bitrate. You could try bumping up the bitrate or use a constant quality setting (CQ) that would allow it allocate more during that particular scene.

  4. Neil

    I can use ripbot264 to rip blu-rays with the chapters,but for the life of me i can’t rip dvd’s
    with the chapters left in.
    Could someone tip us the wink of how to do this.


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