DVD Ripping

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Revision as of 20:57, 6 October 2009 by Comrad Kev (talk | contribs) (Moved installation instructions from Transcode Requirements to MTD.)

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Important.png Note: As of MythTV v0.21, MythDVD has been rolled into MythVideo.

MythDVD serves two roles:

  • Playback of DVDs and VCDs via the Internal player or optionally an external player.
  • "Ripping" of DVDs for storage on your Myth box. MythDVD can save the main title from a DVD as an MPEG-4 avi file and place it in your MythVideo collection. Various options are given to allow you to balance space vs quality.

DVD/VCD Playback

Playback of DVDs via the use of MythTV's Internal player or DVDs and VCDs via an external player such as Xine, Ogle or mplayer.

The Internal player supports DVD menus, subtitles and alternative audio tracks. It also integrates completely with Myth using the same OSD, remote bindings and playback options. Playback using the Internal player is the default.

MythTV has the option of outputting different video resolutions based on the resolution of the video being viewed. Unfortunately, there is no similar option for MythDVD - the GUI resolution will always be used.

In order to play/rip encrypted DVDs (most commercial DVDs), you need to install libdvdcss before installing mythDVD. If you don't have this installed and you try to play/rip an encrypted DVD, you will see this in the mythfrontend output (you may need to check the logfile, eg /var/log/mythtv/mythfrontend.log):

libdvdread: Encrypted DVD support unavailable.
libdvdnav:DVDOpenFileUDF:UDFFindFile /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.IFO failed
libdvdnav:DVDOpenFileUDF:UDFFindFile /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.BUP failed
libdvdread: Can't open file VIDEO_TS.IFO.

If you're compiling your own kernel, make sure you enable UDF filesystem support (File systems -> CD-ROM/DVD Filesystems -> UDF file system support) or mythDVD will fail with an error similar to the following:

libdvdread: Using libdvdcss version 1.2.9 for DVD access
libdvdnav:DVDOpenFileUDF:UDFFindFile /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.IFO failed
libdvdnav:DVDOpenFileUDF:UDFFindFile /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.BUP failed
libdvdread: Can't open file VIDEO_TS.IFO.

On some operating systems you need permission to access the DVD device. On Linux this is frequently implemented by limiting access to the device file (eg /dev/dvd) to 'root' and a certain group of users. The user that mythfrontend runs as needs to be in that group. An example of what you should see is shown below. The dvd device is only accessible by 'root' and the group 'cdrom'. User 'mediacentre' is in that group and so should have access to the device.

% ls -l /dev/dvd        # symbolic link
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4 2009-01-25 10:36 /dev/dvd -> scd0
% ls -l /dev/scd0       # the real device file
brw-rw----+ 1 root cdrom 11, 0 2009-01-25 21:36 /dev/scd0
% groups mediacentre    # the user mythfrontend is running as
mythtv cdrom audio video

You will also see messages like the ones shown above if you forgot to load the DVD in the drive. It pays to check that.

DVD Ripping

Ripping of DVDs to storage on your Myth box. MythDVD can save the main title from a DVD as an MPEG-4 avi file and place it in your MythVideo collection. Various options are given to allow you to balance space vs quality.

DVD Drive Setup

Generally MythDVD looks for the DVD drive as /dev/dvd. If you are using Fedora Core, openSUSE 10.2, and some other distributions, this is not created by default when a DVD drive is detected. Its normally easily created with a symbolic link to the /dev/cdrom:

ln -s /dev/cdrom /dev/dvd

Important.png Note: On systems with more than one CD drives you might need to use /dev/cdrom1, /dev/cdrom2 etc...

Once you have the /dev/dvd created you should test the DVD playback functionality. This will confirm the DVD drive is setup as required.

Important.png Note: A really, really important thing to get right is to enable DMA on your DVD drive. Without it, MythDVD (or MythVideo as it now is) stutters badly. This is irrespective of the speed of your machine.

DVD Rip Settings

When the DVD drive is working as described above, setup the MythDVD ripping settings. These are located here in the default menu structure (0.18):

MythTV → Utilities/Setup → Setup → Media Settings → DVD Settings → Rip Settings

The default settings work fine for most situations. The location for the ripped DVDs might need to be adjusted, normally you want the path to be access from MythVideo for playback.

Transcode Requirements

To transcode the DVD you need the MTD ( Myth Transcoding Daemon ) running. Transcoding provides the ability to compress the DVD further and keep near to original quality.


You are now ready to RIP the DVD, from the MythTV main menu go to the Optical Disk menu ( Optical Disks -> Import DVD ). You should see a list of available VOBs to RIP from the DVD.

You should select the VOBs you wish to transcode, generally the largest VOB is the movie and the smaller ones are extras. It's a good idea to use the View feature to ensure you're ripping the audio and video track you really mean to and not, for instance, the director/cast commentary.

You can also adjust the quality, which will automatically setup the transcoding profile. Perfect Quality saves the MPEG-2 stream intact and is (by far) the fastest option, but also consumes the most disk space. The other options create smaller files, but use more CPU and provide less quality.

When you are ready to begin transcoding use the '0' key on the remote or the keyboard to start the transcoding process.

The import consists of several automated steps:

  1. Copy the VOB video and Auido files to a temporary file (apprx 30Min). For "Perfect" it stops here.
  2. First Pass Transcode of the Video and audio files (approx 1 hour per hour of movie)
  3. Second Pass Transcode to reduce the file size even further (approx 1 hour per hour of movie)

If you have specified the quality to be "good", it will call transcode to do the .vob -> .avi with Xvid or DivX.

The transcode time will depend on the speed of your processor (numbers given using AMD XP2800).

Once Transcode has finished you should find the new compressed movie in your Videos directory, which is visible via the Myth Video manager.

Rip/Transcode Options

Select Select this Video file for transcoding. A DVD will typically include multiple video files, eg trailers, directors commentary etc.
Name The title of the DVD RIP
Quality Options available are dependant on the DVD inserted
  • Perfect : Available for all Discs. Makes an exact copy of the MPEG file
  • Excellent : 4:3 and 16:9 non-letterboxed Only. Transcode the MPEG file at a high bitrate. Resultant files size is approx 2GB
  • Good : All Other . Transcode the MPEG file at average bitrate. Resultant file size is approx 800MB
Audio Track Select which of the Audio tracks available on the DVD you want encoded with the video
AC3 Audio Encode the AC3 Dolby digital surround audio track
Subtitles Encode the Subtitiles with the video
View Preview the Movie during Transcode
      • If you want to rip to an ISO file, you will only have to select one title.

This is not clear from the ripper or the online docs, so I am adding this little tip in order to save others some time and hard drive space. ;-) --High Noonan 16:46, 22 March 2007 (UTC)