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  My Blu-Ray Ripper Reveiws  
 Date Written 
james jones Jul 11, 2011, 05:27am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Okay so I spent hours playing with different options for ripping blu-rays into a format that could be transferred to my Xoom and I would like to share what I have learned.

The Rippers
I started with some research and downloaded six or seven different programs designed for ripping blu-rays that were recommended some where on the web.
I almost immediately discarded all but three rippers. Two were immediately ruled out after just examining the UI and noticing the lack of customization options. Another three were ruled out based on the fact they required a separate program called AnyDVD to run at all. This didn't bother me too much but further investigation found that AnyDVD costs $60+ in itself and does not offer the most user friendly experience.
It's also worth noting I did not try out the beta of DVD Catalyst because it also requires AnyDVD or a similar program running in unison both of which would be added cost and added hassle. If your only looking to rip DVDs then DVD Catalyst for only $10 is the way to go from what I hear.
What I ended up with were three blu-ray ripping trials.
DVDFab [url=]Blu-ray Ripper[/url] - $60
Pavtube [url=]Blu-Ray Ripper[/url] - $49
Aunsoft [url=]Blu-Ray Ripper[/url] - $49

At first glance Pavtube and Aunsoft seemed almost identical in UI but they performed very different.

DVDFab was the first ripper I tried and I was very disappointed with the lack of control when ripping the blu-rays. There were nine different profiles to choose from when selecting .mp4 output format. Five of which had either 'ipad' or 'iphone' in the name and had very low max resolution outputs. In the end the only profile that was workable was the basic profile for h264 and for some reason did not support 1920x1080 resolution.
Pavtube and Aunsoft had, like I mentioned, identical UIs and actually shared identical customization options. In addition to having many more built in profiles for everything from different Android phones and IPhones to gaming consoles and even power points, it also had basic profiles for common video formats.
Where both Pavtube and Aunsoft set themselves apart from DVDFab was in the customization of these profiles. While DVDFab attempted to give me control of resolution, frame rate, bit rate, and audio, Pavtube and Aunsoft actually allowed me to change these to an assortment of options including 1920x1080 at multiple frame rates.

In order to get a good base line of these programs I popped in Avatar on blu-ray into my blu-ray rom and selected a chapter to use as testing so I didn't need to rip the entire movie every time.
From here on you will see me post settings in the form:
Codec: [codec used, file type always .mp4]
Resolution: [resolution]
Bit Rate: [bit rate]
Size: [file size generated]
Speed: [time it took to rip, in minutes]
In DVDFab I was only able to make one good base test due to the lack of customization. I set the settings to:
Codec: h264
Resolution: 1680x946
Bit Rate: 5000
Size: 130mb
Speed: 9:33
This test led me to believe that DVDFab was a possibility because the picture looked phenomenal with good 3d depth and very little artifacting around moving objects. The problem was that it was laggy. It took 10-15 seconds for what appeared to be buffering before the clip would smooth out and then I would get bullet lag quiet often.
I was confident this would be improved if I played with the settings but found that quality had to really be reduced in order for the clip to smooth out.
DVDFab was essentially ruled out.
I then put together some test batches for both Pavtube and Aunsoft. I chose to go with four different profiles for each program. h264 with HD standards, h264 base standards, MPEG 4 (xvid) with HD standards, and MPEG 4 (xvid) with base standards. These were the final settings and results:
Note: The chapter I chose was 3:34 long and my computer is using an Nvidia GTX 570 paired with an Intel E6750 2.66GHz dual core processor. You can use this information to judge the speed it took to rip these files. CUDA acceleration was on for all but the first video, CUDA is an Nvidia technology that speeds up the encoding and decoding of h264 files which is the reason the h264 files were significantly faster than the xvid files.
4 files
Codec: h264 HD
Resolution: 1920x1080
Bit Rate: 9000
Size: 230mb
Speed: 12:57 (CUDA acceleration was off)
Codec: MPEG(xvid) HD
Resolution: 1920x1080
Bit Rate: 12000
Size: 307mb
Speed: 8:40
Codec: h264
Resolution: 1920x1080
Bit Rate: 9000
Size: 232mb
Speed: 3:20
Codec: MPEG(xvid)
Resolution: 1920x1080
Bit Rate: 12000
Size: 307mb
Speed: 8:40

4 files
Codec: h264 HD
Resolution: 1920x1080
Bit Rate: 9000
Size: 232mb
Speed: 3:19
Codec: MPEG(xvid) HD
Resolution: 1920x1080
Bit Rate: 12000
Size: 307mb
Speed: 8:40
Codec: h264
Resolution: 1920x1080
Bit Rate: 9000
Size: 232mb
Speed: 3:20
Codec: MPEG(xvid)
Resolution: 1920x1080
Bit Rate: 12000
Size: 307mb
Speed: 8:47
As you can see the file sizes and speeds were almost identical between Aunsoft and Pavtube. Except of course for the first one where I forgot to turn CUDA acceleration on for the ripping.

Now here is where it got difficult. I know right off the bat people would ask me why I even tried the xvid codecs and instead just accepted that h264 would be the better codec. But I actually found the quality of the xvid looked better than the h264. After watching these clips over and over again both on the Xoom and hooked up to my HD TV, I settled on either the h264 with the HD standard and the xvid with the base line standards. Don't ask me why these two because I couldn't tell ya.
I like to think I have a pretty good eye for video quality, I currently sell HD TVs and can see the difference between 100k contrast and 120k contrast if that gives me any sort of justificaton.
I eventually agreed (with my girlfriend who was helping me judge) that the MPEG 4 with the xvid codec ripped by Pavtube was the best quality of the bunch. The colors were much more vibrant on my 42 inch plasma while the edges of moving objects were not blurred at all.

What was important to me:
Quality of the Video
Compatibility with the Xoom
Usability of the program
What was not important to me:
Time to rip (I'm happy doing one movie overnight every night if need be)
Size - to an extent (quality is more important)
After reviewing every aspect of these programs that was important to me I can honestly say that Pavtube gave the best quality and also the best user experience. The reason it beat out Aunsoft is the fact that Aunsoft would convert some of my videos (the ones with the HD standards) to a 4:3 aspect ratio and also four tests made by Aunsoft failed to load on the Xoom while only one Pavtube test failed to load.
So I will now begin ripping my entire blu-ray collection into MPEG 4 formats at 12000 bit rate. But note at these settings your probably looking at 10GBs per movie so these settings are for people who share what is and isn't important for me. Even if this is not what your looking for I would still recommend Pavtube as the ripper of choice but instead of the xvid codec at 12000 bit rate I would go with the h264 codec at 9000 bit rate because you won't sacrifice clarity, just color.

If you are looking to test video quality for yourself look for a chapter when under Title Mode (on the Pavtube UI) that is rather short but has a good display of colorful moving objects and rip that chapter into different formats and settings.
When ripping the full movie switch the UI to File Mode and rip only the main file. The reason I recommend switching to File Mode is because if you rip both the title and all the chapters under Title Mode it will actually rip the movie twice. If you read my previous edits you will have seen how this doubled my file size.
Manually set the frame rate to what your looking for, I recommend matching the source. But do not use original frame rate when ripping the full movie, for me it got it wrong and played my movie in what appeared to be fast forward.

I need to note that I'm in no way affiliated with any of the above programs and did this testing because I couldn't find any reviews that were not sponsored by the programs themselves.
I'm entirely new to compression and ripping so this was a learning experience for me and hope that my terminology and assumptions of how the process works is accurate.
As a CS major I'm looking to get familiar with technical writing and I hope this review was readable, informative, and to the point.
Everything above is simply my opinions based on the time I spent with these programs

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Meats_Of_Evil Jul 11, 2011, 06:08pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: My Blu-Ray Ripper Reveiws
Hmm to me you're talking about transcoding which is used for compressing the video source file. At least that's how I've always seen it. Whereas ripping is just copying the movie itself to a hard drive which is what AnyDVD will easily do :_)

Either way thanks for the review, I still haven't transcoded anything blu-ray since I don't think the burners are yet worth it but it was very interesting to see the comparison between the programs. Some pics would have been nice though.

Everything I write is Sarcasm.

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