How to copy your DVD and Blu-Ray Discs

Whether you have racks of DVD’s taking over your living room and want to get some space back or just want to copy a few DVD’s to take on holiday many people have wanted to get rid of those old fashioned disks at some point.

Software

1. MakeMKV – Free or £46.82
MakeMKV is currently free if your happy to enter a new serial key each month which you can find here. However in the interest of supporting software developers I always suggest purchasing software if you find it helpful, this can be done from here. MakeMKV will copy the contents of your disc onto your computer into an MKV format, it will also remove any encryption on the disc at the same time.

2. Handbrake – Free
Handbrake is quite simply the best free encoding software out there, it has plenty of options for advanced users but is also as simple as pressing the GO button for beginners. Handbrake will take the MKV file created above and convert it into a standard video file, I personally suggest the MP4 format. You can get the latest version of handbrake from here.

 

Backup Process

1. Insert DVD into PC and open the MakeMKV software, go to File/Open Disc, it will now start to scan the disc and figure out any encryption methods.

2. MakeMKV will now return all video files available, this may include separate adverts or videos used within the title menus. You will most likely want to just tick the first option if you are copying a standard film but you can double check by selecting the video and checking the video length in the right hand box, if you do not need them you can also remove all subtitle files. Now just use the box on the left hand side to choose where to save the file and hit the ‘Make MKV’ button.

DVDSelection

3. Once the MakeMKV software has completed, open up the second piece of software called Handbrake and click on Source/Open File, browse to the file created in the last step and press open. Now select the relevant profile down the right hand side, I use the normal profile for all my media. Now hit the the Add to Queue and Start button and grab a cup of coffee.

 

Finished!

Now that you have copied your DVD you can what you please with it, copy it your tablet/laptop for going away or even drop it into Plex to stream around the world.
Obviously I do not endorse illegally copying DVDs so this post is suggesting a method to backup media that you own for personal use only.
Running this process on more powerful computers will also be faster and the time it takes will differ between different DVD’s but I as a very general rule I expect the handbrake process to take around 30 minutes for a 2 hour film.

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