Backing up DVD’s and Blu-Ray's




I have been on a quest for the perfect back-up of my movies for a while now and I keep finding what I think is the best, but I always find an even better way. Now it may be a big leap in confidence to say I have finally found the best way back-up movies, but when I have “The Bourne Ultimatum” stored on my hard drive at a total of 863mb, under 1 gigabyte, it is hard to argue. The quality is the same as the DVD and I have extensively gone back and forth between the two versions and I couldn’t guess which was which. I also have backed up “Avatar” on Blu-Ray with all the extras put in and got a file 11.1 gigabytes for a full HD movie that is 3 hours long. Now here is the real kicker, the DVD back-ups you make using this method will play not only on your TV and computer, but also on that expensive cell phone you own with 8+ gigabytes of storage and a HDMI-out (No more DVD collections when traveling, just your cell phone).

In the past I made exact copies of the DVD’s or Blu-Ray’s leaving the entire disc intact, the menu’s, extra’s, and commercials all there. Now I have begun to think of all that stuff as junk, just extra weight with no gain, probably because I’m getting into Backpacking and Rock Climbing where adding weight is painful and the ultimate goal is to become even leaner. Or possibly the same reason I hate fake hood scoops on cars, I have moved onto getting just the movie, no extra’s, not the whole five course meal but just the main dish.  I feel this says a lot about me and I want it to reflect upon others who view me in there eye’s.

As always you need to have a DVD/Blu-Ray Decrypter to rip movies, and I prefer “SlySoft HD” to get the job done for me. If don’t know what a Decrypter is I’ll tell you, very basically it removes all the stuff the manufactures put into the disc so you can’t back it up and does so by interrupting the connection between your computer and Disc-Drive putting what your computer needs to read to do the job right.

Next up is the DVD/Blu-Ray conversion software “HandBrake” which converts the DVD to MP4 or the Blu-Ray to MKV using the H.264 format. The H.264 format is the A1 Steak Sauce on your steak because the DVD is already in MP4 format (Blu-Ray is in MKV too). H.264 brings everything together into a wonderful dish, it is how you get the files so small yet retain all the detail the picture, surround sound, and emotions the movie has  to offer you.

I’m not going to hold your hand and go through the install because if you need me too, chances are you really don’t have clue what I’m talking about and can’t help you with that. BUT I will give a heads up on a few options you need to select so you head off in the right path.

1.       First in the HandBrake on the first page under “Output Settings” you have the box “Container” with the option to select between MP4 and MKV, MP4 is DVD’s and MKV is Blu-Ray which you will have to manually select between the options.

2.       Second click the tab “Subtitles” located in the “Output Settings” box. In there you will find the option to select “Burned In” which you need because I doubt you can understand the all the foreign languages the movies may contain.

3.       Finally read up on this article about “Deinterlacing” located at

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