Best way to create a cross platform compatible backup copy


For awhile I have been backing up my DVD/BR collection to my NAS and never sat down and calculated how much space it would take and now realize I won’t be able to fit a fraction of my movies on the NAS. I have been making DVD and BR copies, full size and gobbling up space like crazy.

I need a way to take all those copies I have made and convert them. I also need a procedure to work with DVDFab to create backup copies that are more compact than the full-size copies I have now.

I hate to sacrifice quality, which I am sure is universal. I have three platforms to play on. My PC, usually running VLC, my PS/3, and a Popcorn Hour C-200. I would like to create a file that is compatible with all three platforms, less disk space, and not a major hassle to do.

Thanks so much for this space ignorant fool!

No replies? What does everyone else do?

I found out about Handbrake, and it seems to find the main movie and will make a MPG out of it, but I would like it to do that for all of the DVD, not just the main movie, without having to manually do every title on the DVD. Maybe I am missing something there, and it might be great if you only want the main movie and nothing else, but there are times I like some of the extras and in some cases, more than the main movie :slight_smile:

Still seeking a suggestion for something that allows me to retain all of the components, yet is able to do some compression without a lot of loss.

Thanks again…

I have a couple of suggestions for you, for both the dvds and the Blu ray disks, but cannot mention them in this forum. This forum is for DVDFab products only.

I or one of the moderators of this subforum of MyCE could move your thread to the main section of the Movie Copy Software forum if you want to hear about alternative programs.

By the way, some of your goals are incompatible with one another.

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2568637]I or one of the moderators of this subforum of MyCE could move your thread to the main section of the Movie Copy Software forum if you want to hear about alternative programs.[/QUOTE]

Yeah I think we need to open this up a bit so I’ve moved the thread so you can add details whatever programs/methods you’d recommend. :wink:



Because my process starts with DVDFAB, I thought I had my request for help in the right area. I would like a way to convert my backup copies I already made as I have lost too much space already, but in the interim, I need to come up with a better way of backing up the rest of my collection to my NAS.

I know less space used and higher quality are oxymorons, but there must be a compromise. If others can take a whole movie and reduce it to a 600MB AVI, there must be a way to create a “great” copy that is somewhere between the 4.5GB a full disk copy takes vs. the 600MB AVI versions.

I am a photographer and so I am aware of what compression can do. Seems the first 10% compression can reduce a picture’s size by 80%. Without zooming into the pixel level, I can’t tell the difference between the 2.5MB version I downloaded from the camera compared to the 400MB version after converting to a 10% loss JPG.

As mentioned, I tried Handbrake, not realizing it was so labor intensive, processing one title after another after another to finish a single movie. I don’t want just the main title, I want the whole movie, which is why I was copying the whole movie intact to my NAS, so I could restore the whole DVD or BR as it was when I bought it.

I know in the case of Handbrake, they still suggest the DVD be copied as I have done, to the HD/NAS first, then process with Handbrake. Seems like a great program, and the price was right, but too labor intensive for doing the 3,000+ disks I have here.

Any advice on my process would be appreciated.


Also, since what I am doing should be fairly common, I am a bit surprised there isn’t some sort of FAQ for the process. Option A using programs X, Y, and Z or Option B using programs A, B, and C and what the difference is between the two methods, i.e. what size of files you end up with and what you lose in the process.

Further, I am also hoping there are others that want more than just the main movie (I don’t need previews) and have a process that gives you most or all of the disk.

Thanks again…

If you wish to retain the entire structure and maintain the highest quality you can re-encode both your dvds and blu ray movies to a smaller size. The two tools that I recommend for this are DVD Rebuilder and BD Rebuilder.

Doing a complete movie backup, you can reduce a dvd to fit a single layer dvd size with very good results using DVDRebuilder. There is a free version of this program, and a commercial version. Either should work for this. What you need to realize is that to have functional menus and extras, you have to keep the movie in dvd-video format. This means using mpeg2 as the video codec, and mpeg2 is simply not as efficient in compression as newer codecs like xvid or H264. You can also set a custom size smaller than the 4.3gb output seen for single layer disks, but the more compression you apply, the worse the results will be. Mpeg2 can only be pushed so far.

BD Rebuilder can do a similar type of re-encoding process for blu ray, but will use the H264 codec. You can keep the entire movie and compress to fit a 25gb blu ray, a double layer dvd or even take it down in size to fit a single layer dvd. This means compressing an average size movie of 35gb down to 4.3gb. The output will be a HD AVCHD compliant video that will play on many blu ray players, though not all. High definition encoding takes quite a lot of time however, unless you have a very fast, multiple core computer. Here is the guide for BD-Rebuilder:

So those are the two best choices if you wish to keep the original structure of the movies. The fly in the ointment is your PS3. It will play the output from either of these programs on disks, but streaming could be a problem.

The new version of Handbrake has batch encoding and it doesn’t output mpg but rather mp4 or mkv. There is also a frontend called Handbrake Batch Encoder, just google. As far as doing the entire contents are you using the ouput folder from Fab as input to Handbrake? Also mp4 might be your best format because the PS3 supports it but not MKV.

Kerry, Thanks for the detailed reply. I didn’t realize trying to keep the “look and feel” of the original DVD or BR would make compression so hard. It is my understanding that the VOB files are nothing more than MPG files in the first place, presumably MPG2 with what you are saying.

I am guessing most people don’t worry about anything else other than the main movie. I like the structure, I like be able to use the scene feature to locate where I left off, etc.

What if I abandon that approach if it won’t let me compress very much? I take it from what you are saying that going with either of those products will either compress less, or compress equally space wise, but without the quality other programs might be able to do if I abandon the DVD look.



According to the author’s cryptic page, he says it does this:

“convert a batch of AVI to M4V”

It sounds like he wants to in a batch manner convert a.avi, b.avi, c.abi to a.mv4, b.mv4, c.mv4, etc.

I think I am missing something here…

The first DVD I tried to test Handbrake came up as 21 titles. Without the batch encoder, I would have to start title 1, then title 2, etc. But, it sounds like with either solution, I still end up with 21 files, not one?

Unless it merges the files and creates a single file, then I don’t get it? How would I be ahead of where I am at now, i.e. it tries to figure out which one is biggest, assumes that is the movie, and it converts it, leaving the rest alone.

Seems the batch encoder would make choosing and launching quicker, but doesn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again, if you know what I mean.

Since I never needed it, it seems DVDFab gives me more output options, i.e. it’s Ripper function. I don’t know though it it excels at that, and if it produces the most desirable format?

If I was to forget what I was trying to do, that leaves me with what seems like two options.

  1. I can use Handbreak, let it automatically find the movie, and using the batch processor, select a set of folders for it to process and let it go.

  2. For my remaining DVD collection, what is the best path to go? I don’t know if there is one product that takes you form commercial DVD to MP4 directly, or if it is best to do what I am doing now and doing it in two steps?

It seems one thing is clear…if I am only going to be able to get the main movie, I might as well use DVDFab to extract just the main movie, into whatever format it works with?

Until I encountered this space issue, I thought I had done all my homework and had a solid plan.

Thanks everyone!

I used Handbrake on a couple BR movies and neither is playable. Nothing happens when I try to launch them. Will look on the Handbrake site for more info on the problem.