Since I haven’t written anything in a while and I have been experimenting with the awesome program, RipBot. I thought I would go ahead and write up how to use this awesome program to convert your Blu-ray rips to something more manageable like a console (Xbox 360, PS3) compatible MP4.
Okay, let’s get started then, shall we!
Make sure that you have ripped your disk to your hard drive using something like AnyDVD HD or DVD Fab. If you need a tutorial, or your not exactly sure on how to rip the disk, see the one that I wrote here.
Open up RipBot. If you are missing any of the necessary programs it should warn you and give you a download link to a compatible version. It takes the usual suspects (Avisynth, FFDShow, Haali’s Media Splitter, etc…)
When you are sure that all of your dependencies have been satisfied, click the Add button.
The main configuration dialog window should open (below). Next to the Video field, select the “…” button to select your video source.
You will be presented with a file selection dialog box. Navigate to the directory that you ripped your Blu-ray in and navigate down until you hit the Stream folder (like you see below). The main movie is (usually) the largest .m2ts file, so we are going to go ahead and select it as our source. Press Open.
Note: Be sure that you are selecting the right file. Preview the file before hand using something like Media Player Classic or your own Home Theater software.
RipBot will proceed to analyze your input video (this can take a few minutes) and then present a stream selection window like the one below. It’s usually safe to leave it at defaults, but you can edit your stream selections if you desire. Just know before hand what you are getting into. When you are done, press Ok.
After you have selected your stream settings, RipBot will go about demuxing the necessary files from your source. This can take a little while (sometimes an hour or more depending on your system) so be prepared to wait. Go make some coffee…
Note: Demuxing the necessary files can take up some serious space, so make sure that you have plenty of free space on your hard drive before even ripping your Blu-ray. HD material is HUGE and you don’t want to get stuck half way through.
Once your streams have been properly demuxed, you can about editing your encode settings.
Okay, now here is where the interesting part begins. I’m going to assume that you want to create an MP4 that is compatible with your Xbox 360 or PS3. If so, you can leave part 1. alone. Otherwise, take a look at the drop-down options and chose one that fits your needs. Or create a custom profile by pressing on the little “…” button. It’s your choice.
Next, choose your audio settings in section 2. Since this MP4 is aiming to be compatible with an Xbox 360, I am encoding my audio using the Stereo, AAC-LC at 128 kbps. I am doing this because the Xbox 360 does not support 5.1 audio using the (high quality) AAC compressor. The PS3 on the other hand does support 5.1 AAC (when used with the PS3′s PCM 5.1 output over HDMI to a capable receiver), so use it if you want. Again, if your target is not going to be a console, I leave the settings up to you. Leave a comment if you are curious about a specific setting.
Choose your encoding mode in section 3. Since I wanted to shoot for a specific file size, I went with a 2-pass encode at 1024 kbps. You can see the size estimate in to bottom right hand corner (“1264 MB”). You can use the default CQ mode, however you risk over shooting the consoles’ supported bitrate if you choose to low of a number (18 or below).
Last but not least, select your output directory. Make sure .mp4 is selected as your output format.
Before we are done, lets shoot back to section 3. and the Properties button.
The area below is what you will see after clicking the Properties button on the previous window. Since most Blu-rays these days come with black bars in the source, I have developed a habit of cropping them off, as they don’t really do me any good. However, if we are going to resize later, or need the video to be a certain size, then keeping the black bars is a good idea. As we will see later when resizing, RipBot will automatically add in black bars for padding to attain a specific aspect ratio.
Now, of my final encode, I want a resolution of 720p (or 1280 x 720 pixels). You don’t have to do this step if you don’t want to. It’s perfectly reasonable to leave it at the original size (plus or minus the cropping that you choose to do). I am resizing here to show you what is possible, so take it or leave it at your will. As you can see there are a plethora of built-in resizing profiles, ranging from HD-full to a tiny little iPod. You can also choose your own output size using the custom options!
Now on to subtitles. Since I don’t want to include any subtitles in my final output (as I speak English and the movie was produced in English) I am going to go ahead and say “Do not use subtitles“. On the other hand, if you do want subtitles burned into your final video, you can use the drop down menu to select your source subtitles that will be burned in to your final encode.
Note: Burning in subtitles means that they cannot be deselected on playback. So only use this option if you want to have the subtitles on all the time.
Additionally, if you understand Avisynth scripting a little bit, you can view the final output script by clicking on the Show Script button that I have highlighted. Again, not necessary but a nice “advanced” feature.
It is a good idea to preview your output using the Preview Script button before hand, however it’s not mandatory. If you trust your settings, go ahead and click OK or continue on to step 11 for details on denoising. When you return to the main window, check your final settings and then press Done. This will add your video to the queue and you can continue on to step 12.
Some people may want to denoise their input video before encoding, and this is the place to do it. Again this is optional. Simply use the small arrows at the bottom of the window to arrow over to the right until you get to the page displayed below. Select your preset from the drop down box, or use the Show Script button that I talked about earlier to fine tune the settings your self. Remember, the latter option is for advanced users.
When you are finished, you can preview your script using the Preview Script button, or click OK.
At this point, I assume that you have all ready entered your desired settings for everything and have clicked Done on the New Job window. The window you see below is the queue detail. You can use it to see which video encodes you have queued up, or add a few more. When you add additional videos to the queue, most of the settings from the previous video encode will transfer over (with some exceptions in the Avisynth settings), so it never hurts to double check your settings on a new job.
When everything is said and done, go ahead and press the Start button and then sit back, relax, and let RipBot do all of the hard work for you!
RipBot is a truly fantastic program and it takes a lot of the guesswork out of high quality video conversion. I hope that this tutorial helped you to be come more familiar with this wonderful program. Good luck in your encoding!
Note: I am not the developer of this program. This gets confused a lot, so I’m just saying it here to clear up any misunderstandings.