I’ve collected quite a few Blu-Rays and HD-DVDs but recently moved over to using XBMC as my media center instead of Windows 7. XBMC doesn’t play from disc (due to some form of licensing issues) so I need the films all available on the network (not to mention for convenience).

I tried a few different applications (on both my pc and mac) and ended up with the following process to keep file size “reasonable” yet maintain optimum quality.

1. Rip: MakeMKV http://www.makemkv.com/ (open source, cross platform, brilliant application) -> Simply pick the main movie title, best quality audio track and any english subtitle tracks then go!

2. Encode Video: Handbrake http://handbrake.fr/ (open source, cross platform, brilliant application) -> Change output format to MKV, pick a target size (remember your audio track is likely to add a few GB later), tick 2 pass encoding, remove any audio tracks and subtitles, then queue/start!

3. Remux: MKVMerge http://jonthn.free.fr/MKVtoolnix/ (open source, cross platform, brilliant application) -> First add your .mkv with encoded video to input files and tick only the video track and chapters, now add the original .mkv and tick the audio track and subtitles, start muxing and we’re done!

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