Thank you for your response.
Since I posted this, I have read and learned a lot about different codecs.
Unfortunately, most programs only encode AAC in 2 channel, as you stated in your response, so this discourages me greatly.
Also, for a PS3, it only accepts AAC5.1 and outputs it via PCM to your reciever, only if you have it connected via HDMI.
My set up has HDMI to the TV, but optical to the receiver.
This basically leaves me with only a few options in regards to codecs.
Those are the following:
I am leaning to VOB, but the space required is enormous, especially if I start backing up BR or HD-DVD discs. The container MKV seems interesting, but there isn’t much support amongst playback devices, espeically the consoles. This probably will change in 2009, but who knows. AVI.H264 is heavily frowned upon, so I have abandoned the thought of using this, and focused on MP4 or MKV. I unfortunately don’t have a good method to watch MKV, beyond converting it to VOB. VLC seems to give me jagged edged lettering in movies, so I don’t know if the VLC players renders H264 badly or if the rip with DVDFab is poor. I ultimately have to convert the MKV into a VOB to truly understand.
I am still confused on the bitrate. I know the higher you go, the better, but I also understand you increase it to a point, and then it doesn’t make a difference. Most folks on this forum say 1500. I was doing XVID at 5K but this produced a file size near the VOB, and that is the case, I would rather go with the VOB. For H264, I was ripping at 2000, but again, i don’t know if this is enough.
There might not be a clear cut answer, and this may be subjective, but what is the most common bitrate used when burning H264 or XVID for SD discs and BR discs.
Last thing you mentioned that was interesting regarding subtitles. I have requested for DVDFab to output external idx/sub for subtitles, and when I view the VOB or other codecs, I notcied the files in the main folder. Per your post, it makes me believe the only way to view subtitles is if I combine these files again into a VOB or encoded codec. Is correct. if so, then would I be able to select the subtitle as a option when viewing the movie?
Thank you all for your help and responses!