I have some DVD series that I need to rip to video files, so I can sort and play them in my Vista Media Center plugin "MediaBrowser". MediaBrowser does not like a CSI DVD, for example, with four episodes. It needs them to be video files to understand that they are in fact four episodes and not one movie.
I am a Mac user and have had a great deal of trouble finding a piece of software that works, since I need it to support a format that works with Media Center Extenders (like DMA-2100 from Linksys). After having tried alot of crappy, cheap-feling trial software from Aimersoft etc. I found out that Handbrake, which is free, did what I wanted. Now - Handbrake allows me to rip to MP4, which is supported in Vista Media Center, and can hardcode subtitles - a feature I need because english is not my native language.
I would like to rip my DVD series in lossless quality, since space and bandwith is not an issue for me. However, I don't know what exactly lossless quality is when ripping a DVD to h.264 MP4 files? I understand that h.264 in MP4 containers can support high-definition, but for now, I am talking about standard definition DVD's. I just don't want to rip to something below lossless and regret later, when I have to do it all again to get the best possible quality.
Can someone recommend which settings I need in terms of bitrate etc.?
I ripped some of the oldest Friends episodes to MPEG-2 files with the highest bitrate my Aimersoft trial software supported. The result was 2,5gb episode files in the same crappy quality as the original episodes, which were in crappy quality, because they were produced in the early 90's. I "could" set all the settings in Handbrake to the maximum, but I guess that is overkill, since the rip can never be in better quality than its source?