While Blu-ray is becoming the new high quality movie format of choice, you probably have a lot of DVDs in your collection that you’d like to rip and backup. Here we look at how to rip your DVDs and convert them to the quality MKV format and store them on your computer, external drive, or Windows Home Server.
1. First we need to rip the DVD with the tried and trusted program DVDFab. DVDFab is a commercial program, but you can always use the HD Decrypter feature for free if you don’t want to purchase it. Pop the DVD in your drive and launch DVDFab so it can analyze the disc.
2. After it’s been analyzed, expand DVD Copy and select Main Movie…this way you won’t have to worry about getting all of the previews and extra’s that might be included on it.
3. So you should have Main Movie selected, then choose a target for the copied DVD files, and under DVD Copy-Main Menu make sure to click the one with the most amount of play time. You can also select the type of quality between DVD 5 or DVD9. When you have everything selected click Next.
4. Now at the bottom of the screen type in a name for the DVD where in this instance it’s Inception, then click Start.
5. After you start the process you’ll get a message letting you know the DVD Copy option is expired but you can still use the HD Decrypter…check the box not to show the message again and click OK.
6. Now wait while the copy process completes. You can monitor the progress at the bottom the the DVDFab UI while it completes.
7. After the process has completed, you’ll receive the following success message and your DVD drive will open to take the disc out. Notice in this example it only took about 12 minutes. Click OK then Finish and close out of DVDFab.
8. Now download and install HandBrake if you don’t have it already…installation is easy following the wizard and accepting the defaults. After you launch HandBrake, click on Source and from the dropdown menu click on Folder.
9. Then browse to the location of the VIDEO_TS folder of the ripped DVD files from DVDFab and click OK.
10. Under Output Settings change the Container from MP4 to MKV File.
11. For the settings you can select one of the Presets from the menu on the right column for the device you want to watch the movie on…
12. Or go through the settings and adjust them manually. For more on customizing the settings check out the HandBrake User Guide.
13. After you have the settings how you like them, click on Start to begin the encoding process.
14. Now wait while the encoding process completes. You can monitor the progress at the lower left corner of HandBrake.
15. After the encoding has completed, a balloon message will pop up in the Notification Area in the Taskbar.
16. Open HandBrake and take note of the location where the output file was placed.
17. Browse to that location and you’ll find the completed MKV file.
18. Right-click on the MKV file and select Properties. Here you can see with the custom settings we selected, the file size is about 1.5 GB, which is much smaller than an ISO image which would be over 4 GB for a full movie.
19. Now you can watch the converted DVD on your favorite media player that supports viewing MKV files. For more on MKV files – Check out our article on How to Play MKV Files in Windows.
If you want to rip and backup your DVD collection, using DVDFab and HandBrake is a great way to convert them to MKV format for storing and viewing later. Now you can sell those old DVDs on Amazon or Ebay.