It’s relatively easy to copy movies from a dvd onto your pc with this free program called Handbrake. Sadly, it almost never recognizes blu-ray discs.
Also very heavy copy protection can make ripping blu-ray discs a huge hassle.
So time for some hassle-free solutions for ripping blu-ray movies to your computer, external hard disc, or to play them on your iPad.
The easiest way to rip blu-ray movies is by installing DVDFab Blu-ray Ripper (for Windows and Mac).
With this tool, you can rip 2D and 3D movies, it also supports all encryption methods.
The ripped files can be stored in a MPEG, MP4, MKV, AVI, TS, … format. You can also configure the compression rate. This way, you’ll end up with a file that’s much smaller than the original 25 or 50 GB blu-ray disc.
Watch out! Ripping a blu-ray movie can take multiple hours, depending on the speed of your computer.
DVDFab Blu-ray Ripper does cost € 54, but a 30-day trial is available for free.
You can also get going for free with MakeMKV (also available in Dutch), in combination with Handbrake.
After installing MakeMKV, you click on File; open disc and you select the disc.
Tip: When you receive a message that states you’re using a 30-day trial, just confirm – MakeMKV will remain free during the beta (which is already going on for years now).
The required official key is available for free at the MakeMKV forum.
Now select the movie by clicking on Type. In case you'll find multiple files on your blu-ray disc, the biggest file will usually represent the movie (often more than 20 or 30GB).
If you’re ripping blu-ray movies with several episodes, you have to select them all.
Tip: Don’t select the little files (smaller than 500-1000 MB), they represent menus and/or advertisements.
Next, you select a map and click on Make MKV. Now the movie gets ripped onto your hard disk without being compressed in the process.
After that, you can click on the file to check it out, e.g. by opening it in the free VLC media player.
You can store your movies on your pc or on an external hard drive, the problem is that a blu-ray movie is rather big (up to 50 GB). Handbrake lets you compress a movie without significant quality loss.
First, you select a file in Handbrake. In the Presets menu, select High Profile. If you want to compress the movie significantly, change the resolution from 1080p to 720p.
Go to Picture; Size and change Width to 1280. At the bottom now you'll see Display size: 1280x720 (or 720p).Then select mkv in the output settings menu.
Go to the audio tab to select one or multiple audio files. Click on the language next to Source to select the language. With Add track, it’s possible to add multiple languages (when the blu-ray supports this). You can also transfer the subtitles by clicking on subtitles. Click on Add and choose the language of the subtitles next to Source.
To configure the compression rate, you go to the Video tab. Choose Constant Framerate and change the Constant Quality to 18.
Tip: The higher you go, the higher the compression rate.
If you want the movie on your iPad, choose iPad in the Presets menu.
This all comes in very handy, not only to back-up your blu-ray movies, but also to watch them anywhere on the go.