Going to^D^D with the Movies

Posted in Media, Tech at 12 pm

Of late, I’ve finally started watching more of the movies I’ve got on DVD, because I’ve ripped them to my iPhone. (Please don’t tell the MPAA, kthx)

Office Space was a wish list gift from Amy last year and I finally got around to actually watching it again. It really holds up well even though it’s from 1999. The floppies and the hybrid MacOS menus with the Windows Hourglass wait-state cursor is still a little funky but it’s a fun show.

The latest version of HandBrake is the reason for the sudden interest here. Its latest revision now has automatic presets that work really well. It was only about 5 minutes to get used to the app and look through the windows and panes and preferences before just choosing the default iPhone settings and letting it rip… literally.

Now I’ve got Episodes IV, V, and VI ripped and waiting for the next sync. I think the The Work of Directors discs are next on the list. I devoured the first box set when we got it, but I’ve been slow to getting to the second set, even though it’s got Anton Corbijn’s disc.

So now when I’ve got a free moment at lunch or sitting, waiting, I’ve got a couple of full length feature films that I can watch for great lines and cultural appreciation.

One improvement to HandBrake that I’m hoping will make it in the next version or two is support for auto-ripping and ejecting. Having a whole DVD ripping work flow that works as well as iTunes’ would sure be nice. Drop a disc in, come back later and see and ejected disc and drop the next one in. Bang bang bang.

The last piece of the puzzle after the iPhone rips will be the Tivo rips. Our Tivo has the ability to pick up videos from my Mac, once the proper steps are taken. (Step One, Step 2) but I still need to find a simple way to again rip the DVDs to the proper file format.

Handbrake creates MPEG-4 files from DVDs. But Tivo wants MPEG-2 files:

Resolution 720 x 480, 704 x 480 (D1), 544 x 480 (3/4 D1), 480 x 480 (2/3 D1), and 352 x 480 (1/2 D1). The higher the resolution, the better the video quality and the larger the resulting file, which means longer transfer time and more disk usage on your PC and DVR.
Bit Rate 1 – 8 Mbps. The higher the bit rate, the better the video quality and the larger the resulting file. 4 Mbps is recommended for high-quality video.
Frame Rate 29.97 (standard NTSC). Do not try any different frame rates.
Aspect Ratio 4:3 (recommended) or 16:9
Audio MPEG-1 Layer 2 for TiVo DVRs without DVD; AC/3 (Dolby) for TiVo DVRs with DVD.

Just read an interesting post about this sort of thing. So it looks like Mac the Ripper + Visualhub will be the two step process I’ll need to go through to get this put together.

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