Tag Archives: dvd

Blu-ray ripping

Haven’t been posting for a while. Too lazy… >_<

Anyway, I'm going to talk about blu-ray ripping. I haven't had a DVD player (discounting the game consoles) for ages. Everytime I bought a DVD, I rip it and encode it into an H.264 video, and store it on my NAS. DVD is stored in pristine condition, and I can watch the movie anytime anywhere quickly (without having to fast forward thousands of ads and previews). Simple.

DVD ripping is very straightforward nowadays. I use a free ripper called DVDFab decrypter. It will rip any pretty much any DVD and get rid of region codes too. Then I use handbrake, a free and extremely versatile encoder to encode the DVD into either matroska and/or iOS compatible m4v video. Easy, straight forward, and simple.

Now, I’ve also starting to purchase blu-ray videos, watching them using my PS3. The HD picture is great, especially on a large screen TV, but it is quite inconvenient having to find the disc, load it on the PS3, and wait, wait, and wait for the blu-ray to load non-stop crap (BD-live, previews, ads, etc) just to watch the movie. I’ve been holding up on ripping blu-ray videos as it feels complicated and requires a lot of disk space, thus enduring the boatload of crap everytime I want to watch a blu-ray movie.

Well, not anymore. I finally decided to get an external blu-ray drive. Blu-ray drives used to be expensive, but their prices are now closer to DVD burners not too long ago. Acceptable.

As for the software, I figured out that the same software I use to rip DVDs, DVDFab decrypter, can also rip blu-ray videos. Yay! Even better, handbrake will recognize the ripped blu-ray structure. Sounds like a straight forward procedure, right? Well, it was, until I found out that handbrake doesn’t recognize the subtitle in the ripped blu-ray structure. Thus the tinkering begins.

So, what to do. First, DVDFab decrypter actually contains demo versions of other functionalities in the software, to encode things. These are demo only, and will require purchasing a license, thus I’ve been avoiding them since handbrake is free. Tried the mkv rip function as it can rip the blu-ray subtitle into idx/sub files, it seemed to work well, but everything is out of sync. Unacceptable. Exploring the net, I found a software called makeMKV. It’s also a ripper software. Long story short, the result is also out of sync. Hmmm, not good.

Delving deeper, I found out a command line utility called eac3to. It’s described as audio conversion tool, but it can actually rip subtitles from ripped blu-ray structures into a sup file. Thanks to the community, somebody made a GUI for the command line, HD-DVD/Blu-ray stream extractor. Great! But now what do I do with the sup file? Well, there’s a utility for that, called BDsup2sub. This will convert the sup file into a more usable idx/sub file. Also, it can customize the subtitle, including the color and size. A lot of times Hollywood movies put obnoxious subtitles that are too big and cover half of the movie. With this utility, I can reduce the size of the fonts, and even change the color (most commercial DVDs/blu-rays use white, which is not ideal in bright scenes. I find yellow to be the perfect color).

The final utility is mkvtoolnix. It has a utility called mkvmerge, and also a GUI for it. This utility is simply merging whatever you tell it to merge into 1 mkv file. More explanation later.

So, here are my steps in ripping my blu-ray movies:
1. Rip blu-ray using DVDFab decrypter
2. Extract the subtitle using eac3to.
3. Convert the subtitle into idx/sub using BDsup2sub
4. Encode the ripped video into an mkv file using handbrake.
5. Now this is where the mkvtoolnix comes in. I use the mkvmerge utility to merge the mkv produced by handbrake with the idx/sub subtitle file. The resulting file is an mkv file with soft sub, supported by players like VLC, and even hardware devices like WDTV Live. Sweet!

So there you go. Blu-ray ripping is not as straight forward as DVD ripping if you need subtitle. If you don’t care about subtitle, you can simply rip using DVDFab decrypter and encode using handbrake straight, just like DVDs. All in all, now I can enjoy my HD movies without having to deal with finding the disc and enduring the loading and previews crap. ^_^

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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in Uncategorized


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Ponyo, Kamen Rider W/Decade Movie War 2010 Movies Impressions

I’ll start with Ponyo.
I finally got the chance to watch Ponyo on DVD, an anime by Hayao Miyazaki. Looking at the DVD released by Disney, I see Japanese audio being available, so that’s good. Now, this is Disney, which if you realize, changes a lot of the dialogs in Miyazaki’s movies for the English dub, and even add dialogs not in the original Japanese version. Sure, some of them are subtle, but I think many of the changes make the scenes and characters have different feel and mood than the original. Same thing with Ponyo. When I first watching it, I picked Japanese audio, but the subtitle chosen was for the English dub. I immediately noticed how the subtitle said different things than the audio. I mean one example in one scene, Sousuke says how Ponyo likes ham, and Lisa, Sousuke’s mom said “Just like me” in Japanese, but the English dub said “So she thinks she’s human?” WTF? Another scene, Sousuke said “Yokatta,” but the dub said “It’s my fault.” Again, WTF? Yeah, that’s Disney changing stuff around. More proof that US localization have close to zero respect to the original sources.

Now, switching to the real subtitle for the Japanese audio, it actually is pretty good. I’m biased towards fansub a lot of times because official licensors usually “localize” the subtitle too much, but this one is very good and accurate, other than missing honorifics.

As a movie, Ponyo is the typical cutesy and the innocence of kids. There’s no good guys vs bad guys. All you feel is how cute Sousuke and Ponyo from start to finish. Some say there’s an environmental message. Sure, but it’s not really played out in a significant way (unlike Avatar). The focus remains on how cute the kids are.

So, I’m enjoying the movie. Cute movie, good subtitle, all is great, until the credits roll. Instead of the cutesy Japanese song, I’m listening to the English dub of the song. WTF? I thought I push a button that changed the audio to the English dub. But no, it’s still on the Japanese audio track. Yeah, Disney CUT the Japanese song out, replacing it with the English dub song, coupled with the horrible remix version in the end. WTF? This is a big FAIL! So legally, there’s no way for you to enjoy a complete Japanese Ponyo movie per the original. This is like Disney saying, hey, go pirate the movie instead. Finding Ponyo on bittorrent is not that hard at all, and there are HD uploads too!

Buying Disney’s Ponyo on DVD:
-Very good subtitle quality for the Japanese audio
-You’re paying for an incomplete movie, with the Japanese song cut out completely
-It costs you money
-The subtitle placement is a bit obnoxious. Too high up and the fonts take quite a bit of screen space.

Downloading Ponyo from Bittorrent:
-Cost you nothing
-You get a complete movie. Japanese song intact.
-Subtitle font and placement are ideal, just like most fansub.
-The subtitle quality may vary, but still doesn’t stray far from the original dialogue.

Yeah, there you go. You can pay for an incomplete version of the movie, or download a complete one for free. Which one would you choose? Disney, you suck. What’s wrong with the Japanese song? Are you afraid that people will find it to be superior than your lame remix? Ponyo is an awesomely cute movie, but huge FAIL on Disney.

Next is Kamen Rider W/Decade Movie War 2010.
LOL. Yeah, a stark contrast to Ponyo. I literally watched this right after Ponyo. Kamen Rider W/Decade Movie War 2010 is a double movie featuring the latest Kamen Rider W and the conclusion of Kamen Rider Douchebag… I mean Decade.

Anyway, this movie is set up to be the conclusion for Kamen Rider Decade after the cliff-hanger ending on the series, and the movie starts off with Decade kicking SkyRider, Super 1, and Kabuto’s ass. Wait, WTF? Yeah, that’s not how the series ended. In the series, it ended with Decade fighting the original universe’s (sans the original Kuuga) Riders. So, were SkyRider, Super 1, and Kabuto original or alternate versions? It doesn’t make sense, and throughout the movie, it seems that they were alternate versions as Seto Koji (original Kiva) appeared after Decade destroyed all the alternate Riders (so presumably the original Riders were not destroyed by Decade). If you’re not confused enough, none of the teased scenes shown on the last episode of the series (Tsukasa drowning, Natsumi with a machine gun, etc) were actually in the movie itself. LOL.

So, wait, what happened then between the series end and this movie? Who knows. My speculation is that when Decade was fighting with the original Riders, he was probably told again by Seto Koji that in order to revive everybody and restore all the universes, he needs to destroy all those alternate Riders (creation cannot come without destruction), with the consequences of Decade himself cease to exist once everything turned back to normal. And Tsukasa decided to take that risk, and then pretended to be the “bad” guy as the destroyer so Natsumi would hate him and finish him off.

Sounds kinda deep huh, for a franchise targeted towards kids. Alas, this is the weakness of the movie itself as there are too many holes in the plot. How did Tsukasa befriended the Yuriko/Tackle? How did Yuusuke (alternate Kuuga) regained his consciousness after being bitten by Kivala at the end of the series? Oh, and no cameos from the original Riders other than Seto Koji. Yeah, poor fanservice imo, and certainly doesn’t help the Swiss cheese plots and story.

Mid-way through the movie, they switched to W. On W, it gave us a background on the events before the first episode of Kamen Rider W, and a super cool fedora-wearing-Rider called Skull, which is actually Shotaro’s mentor himself. W’s segment in this movie is well done. It offers quite a bit of backstory to W (eg. the origin of Shotaro’s one liner “Count your sins”). I’m liking W more and more, as it doesn’t seem to leave as many holes in their plot/story as previous Kamen Rider series.

The last part of the movie, where W went to the middle of Decade’s battle and teamed up, is obviously just a last attempt for fanservice. Decade separated W into 2 individual form (Cyclone-Cyclone and Joker-Joker), and did a triple Rider kick. Not that satisfying really.

In short, just a so so attempt to finish Decade, but a great backstory for W.

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Posted by on May 31, 2010 in DVD, impression, movie, review


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