Movie's for Media Center Computer

Hi all,

I'm attempting to copy my DVD's to my Media Center computer. The packages that I've use has been DVDFab; CloneDVD Mobile; Sothink DVD Ripper; and so on. But what's bothering me is the audio is turning out in 2 channel instead of 6 channel ac3. 

I've looked at some of the divx files I've downloaded and noticed that they seem to be encoded with 6 channel audio so I know this is possible.  :doh: 

The bottom line is What am I missing? and Is there a better;cleaner more streamlined method for creating Divx from my DVD's.

My wife is already going to kill me if I can't get this thing to work! The Media Center has 1.5TB of space but I have a lot of movies and I'm hoping there's a quick clean way of doing this.

Please help :sad:

Thanks Bugs…

Hi Bugs
Not sure which DVDFab product you have But if you have the Platinum or Gold then you can use movie only mode and select the audio file that you want to use and delete the others :bigsmile:


I have no experience using the programs you mention for converting to DivX/XviD so cannot say if the programs are at fault or not.

An alternative which is aimed at inexperienced users is AutoGK which will support the 6 channel (AC3/DTS) soundtrack that you require.

You need to rip/decrypt the original DVDs to your HD, then AutoGK will be able to convert them to XviD/DivX for you with the multichannel audio track intact. You will probably need to have an output size of at least 1.4GB to keep video quality acceptable as such audio tracks are large in size.

Thanks for your suggestions both looks like they’ll do the trick. I’ve never used AutoGK before I’m running a test now. As for DVDFab I’m running the platinum version and always went with the default audio. I assumed that streaming the audio directly from the DVD would create a huge file.

I do have another important question! the media Center is attached to my HDTV and I noticed if I set the resolution to 1080p the video creates multiple large pixelated blocks. It’s looks better running 720p. But was hoping you could give me some pointers on how to get the best quality without creating too large of a file?

The smallest file will be the original reolution. You gain nothing by converting a DVD to higher resolution. Your TV should be able to handle the upconversion.


The macroblocking issue is due to too low bitrate. If you want to have a reasonable file size, I would suggest setting the output DivX file resolution to 640x* (approximately) as IMO DivX/XviD is less efficient a codec than some others you could be using.

Your GFX card will automatically upscale the video to your HDTVs native resolution if you have configured it correctly.

If space is not an issue, simple movie only decrypted VOB files is the quickest solution but uses the most space. 1.5TB would still be enough for 250 DVD at 6GB each & quality is same as original.

I’ve downloaded some movies to that were converted to xvid and divx that that used less then 802 Kbits/s with audio mp3 134 Kbits/s with afile size of less then 800mb. and this movie looks great! it has not artifacts period (at lest that I can see). Can someone tell me what their doing that I’m not? I’ve tried incoding at 900 and 1200 Kbit/s and AC3 192 Kbits with several artifacts on the screen.

Preprocessing (filters/correct output size) and optimal encoding options can help the final quality very much. Learning the art of great encoding can take a long time as there is not one simple solution to every movie/source. I am only beginning to understand some of the complexities involved in MPEG-4 encoding, MPEG-2 by comparison is simple.

Visit if you’re interested in how to obtain better results.

Handbrake (called MediaFork at the moment) will create .mp4 files with AC-3 streams intact. It even works on encrypted DVDs.

Play with the settings a bit to find a good match between quality and file size.


 When you talk about filters and size are you referring to the settings used by the encoder? 

 I was hoping there would be a quick and dirty way to do the job. I guess I'm a long way from understanding why with all the conversion software out there that one could have enough A.I. to analyze any DVD/HD-DVD and produce perfectly optimize file based on the intended viewable size. :(

Filters are software you process the source (movie) with before you encode. For example deinterlacer/denoiser/resizer/etc. These are used to improve the image quality or make the source more compressable.

Bitrate alone does not determine the output quality, you must consider the complexity of the source. Does the source have lots of noise/grain or does it have many high action sequences?. Such sources will require much higher bitrate than the same length source with minimal movement which is very clean.

If you must have a fixed size output, then you have to accept compromises in output resolution or image quality. There are too many variables for software alone to be capable of automatically selecting all the correct settings for every possible source without human help in such situations.

Thanks TLO

   I wish I had known that before I stated this project I would have taken more care in ripping my movies. I was in a hurry to go through them and didn't finish check the quality on all of them until I had finished. Like you pointed out some are poor some are good and some are great. 

 I'll remember to take more care when I do them this time around. Is there any particular section in that you'd suggest me to read to get a better grip on using these filters?

 Thanks Don.

If you want to achieve best possible results at a certain target file size, then you really have to use a more flexible encoding program. The problem is this requires much more effort to learn & use. AutoGK for instance, is a simplified variant of Gordian Knot which lacks the flexibility [I]but[/I] is much more beginner friendly. For MPEG-4 encoding, I prefer to encode with AVC/H.264 rather than XviD/DivX as I find it much easier to obtain perceptually lossless (to my eyes) results at a reasonable output size compared to DivX which gives me a headache trying to achieve the same.

The negatives of using AVC is that the files have only limited standalone support & require more powerful hardware to encode/decode. If you have a fast PC, I would suggest you may wish to experiment with AVC/H.264 encoding as it has much better general encoding effiency compared to DivX. Preprocessing of your sources is the same for encoding to both DivX or AVC.

These forums are where you are likely to find the most useful information:

Try these threads for some tips on resolution & XviD (which is generally considered to be slightly superior to DivX for quality).

A nice program which supports both XviD & x264 (AVC) is MeGUI which is very flexible and can show you how filters can affect the encoding.

Good luck with your project, learning these things may take a period of time & practical experimentation is the best guide to what will work in your situation. :slight_smile: