So You Want To Rip Your Own Movies …

As the (rather sad) transition from physical media to digital media continues, many enthusiasts are starting to convert their own physical movie collections to self-hosted digital solutions like the amazing Plex product (see my discussion of that here).

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My collection circa 1998 … I’d be ashamed to show you my collection now …

Copy Protection

If you’re new to ripping, this is your first real consideration. All disc-based content has copy protection to more-or-less stop you from doing exactly what you’re trying to do. The legalities behind ripping your own movies for your own use varies from country to country and it is probably illegal to do so in yours. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s investigate a bit.

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Macrovision — Stopping you from copying that disc since 1997

Hardware

Obviously, you need a computer equipped with a drive capable of reading the movie discs in order to rip them. You probably have one with a DVD drive in it, but you may need to invest in a Blu Ray or UHD drive if you want to rip those types of content.

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Love (and this drive) are all you need (with apologies to Paul McCartney)

Converting/Encoding/Compressing

So at this point, you have the hardware needed to read the discs and the tools necessary to remove the copy protection. Now what?

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Disc layers … Courtesty of digistor.com
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A rather dramatic example of compression differences — Courtesy x265
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I counted FIVE video players … and there are probably more (kidding, there are hundreds) — Courtesy DealNews
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Do YOU see the difference? Courtesy YouTube

Playback

Once you’ve done the deed and converted your content, you’ll undoubtedly want to play it back.

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I love using Kodi at home — running from a PC connected to my TV
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Here in Plex, both video AND audio are being changed to support playback
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Plex goes with you wherever you go …
  • A couple of remote streams (your family is at home watching your content; you’re watching it from a hotel in Yuma, Arizona — maybe your mom is watching last night’s The Voice from Washington)
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My refurbished Plex server … pardon the mess.

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I write, blog, record and review anything that interests me — including humanity, parenting, gizmos & gadgets, video games and media.

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