MakeMKV > Handbrake (1080 HQ Preset) > Plex > Roku 3/Roku Express (1080p devices) > 1080p TVs (2)
Side note: In that setup you'll notice I don't have 4K HDR viewing capabilities, but some of my Plex users do. Plus, I assume I'll upgrade at some point.
The other day I upgraded my MakeMKV version and happen to catch something in the release notes that said something like "For you poor souls not on LibreDrive..." That sent me on a journey to learn about LibreDrive, particularly since I noticed in MakeMKV a line that said: "LibreDrive: Possible but not enabled" or something like that. What was I missing out on?
Incidentally, a neighbor recently gave away some of their movie collection, and I got a handful of their movies, including 3 UHD movies (Forrest Gump, John Wick 1, 2). This was before I knew anything about libredrive and I tried ripping them at the time and they failed.
So with what I learned yesterday about libredrive, I decied to give it a shot. I flashed the drive, it worked, and I was able to rip the three UHD movies. (Another side note, the flash went to 100%, but then said it failed, however it behaves as if it works).
Then, with my fresh rip of Forrest Gump from MakeMKV, I discovered the color muting problem. In reading about it and UHD rips in general here and in Plex discussions, it seems like the world is not as simple as "get the highest quality copy into Plex and let it downgrade to whatever an individual player needs."
I'm continuing to study the forums, but it's hard to tell what's current information and what isn't, so I wanted to throw out some basic questions for anyone who cares to venture an answer. I realize some of these questions are not black and white and bleed across topics/products. I'm just looking for your opinions and advice as I try to piece all this together.
- What have a gained with LibreDrive? I know I can now rip UHD discs, but what about my "unrippable" stack of blurays? When I ripped my regular blurays (before libredrive) there were a few that I couldn't get to rip. Should I go back to the unrippables and try them again with LibreDrive, or is that functionality unchanged?
- What is the Handbrake step like in the UHD HDR world? Once you have a fresh 4K rip from MakeMKV, what do you do with it? How does Handbrake affect the color muting problem (if at all)? Are there presets you use/recommend for getting your rips Plex-ready?
- What is the best practice for Plex users serving a mixed user base (some with 4K HDR capabilities, others without)? Posts I've seen talk about ripping multiple versions, separate libraries, etc. But some of that seems dated. Is that still the best option? Is there not a capability today to just put the highest quality option (e.g. the 4K HDR rip) into Plex and let it down-convert as needed?
In short: I'm trying to figure out if it's worth trying to rip UHD content at this time. Any input you have will help in that effort!