New User Info - Process & Best Practices Used for Movie Backups / Plex

MKV playback, recompression, remuxing, codec packs, players, howtos, etc.
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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:03 pm

New User Info - Process & Best Practices Used for Movie Backups / Plex

Post by Loominal » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:22 pm

Hello Make MKV Forum!

My Name is Loom. This thread will consist of 4 areas of Discussion for Best Practices.

1.) Getting the correct Hardware
2.) How to "backup / RIP" "DVD - Blu-Ray - 4K UHD" Movies with MAKEMKV - Beta / non beta
3.) Transcoding / Compression of Movies (using 3rd party software "Handbrake")
4.) Storage and Watching Backups via Plex or other 3rd Party tools that watch MP4 / MKV files.

I'm rather new myself to this full process but I'd love to get tips and tricks for each of the 3 areas from those of you who are experienced. Some may have issues in one of the 3 areas and I was hoping this thread could round out the process people need help in.

Why post here and not in Plex or Handbrake forums? Well because honestly this is a better community and it all "starts" with Make MKV. Seeing as how this is the starting point, I figured putting up what happens, and/or how it should happen here is going to be the best place for best practices.

Now, onto the good stuff
1.) Getting the Correct Hardware
This might seem silly to some of us, but as a new person getting into "backing up movies and or getting them ready for PLEX" I didn't understand that only a certain amount of CD / DVD Rom drives will work in a PC. There are specific Brands and firmware issues that work. Please make sure to look into this for a current up to date list of Drives that work. (there is a list on this forum here):
In General These are the Drives you'll want to look out for in order to do 4K UHD or less (blue ray / DVD). There are many more then just these 2, these are examples.
- BW-16D1HT
- LG BH16NS55
Believe it or not, I have the LG Drive flashed with the older ASUS BW firmware and it works perfect. The LG Drive reads as if it was the ASUS drive, and it still reads all 4k Content fine.
Just remember that if you purchase one of these drives BRAND new they might come with a newer version of firmware that will need to be flashed back to an older version (which isn't easy to do).

2.) How to "backup / RIP" "DVD - Blu-Ray - 4K UHD" Movies with MAKEMKV - Beta / non beta
As a first time user of Make MKV it was slightly intimidating going in and figuring it out. However it's not that hard. I'm using (at the time of writing this) version 1.14.2 x64 release
After inserting the Disc into the Drive Make MKV will run you click on the big blue drive and it will read the disc giving you something similar to this. Click the link for a picture "Image "
Then you'll click the drop down beside the Title of the movie that's largest with the most chapters. (mine being a 4k movie) has 24 chapters and is 56GB for Lion King.
Then unselect (uncheck) everything you don't want (in my case I wanted to keep surround sound ENGLISH 7.1 & 5.1 (and English stereo if the disc has it). Then unchecked the rest of the audio files. I also wanted to keep English Subtitles incase I need to read a movie someday cause I can't use audio. So now your options should look like this "see image" Image

Next just click on Make MKV icon with a green arrow. This will say, Output folder is not made, do you wish to create it? Mark yes and continue. This means the folder for the movie your making is not made, do you want MAKE MKV to create it for you. (it by default puts the MKV file into a folder labeled the same as the movie.) This can be changed on the "output folder line" if you desire.

For 4k Movies I find that it's normal for it to rip to about 40-58GIGS per 4k Movie with 7.1, 5.1 and stereo sound all activated with 1 set of English subtitles. Blu-Ray Discs are around 5-9Gigs and DVDs are around 700MB - 1.4Gigs depending on what options you choose to keep for audio and subtitles.
These mkv files that were created will work in "Plex" and other readers, but some people want to save space by compressing it or transcoding it to a different format. If your interested in doing that go to part 3.

3.) Transcoding / Compression of Movies (using 3rd party software "Handbrake")

What is Transcoding and Compression? Well to make this SUPER easy for you, Transcoding is taking a file such as the "MKV" file that MAKE MKV had made, and changing the format to MP4. - OR - you can use the Transcoding process to "compress" the video into a smaller file size. "Think of using winzip or a zip file" it reduces the video into a smaller format but still maintains the file as a whole.

How to do this? Well most users that i know of us "Handbrake" Currently at the time of writing this i'm using version "HandBrake-1.1.2-x86_64-Win_GUI" I'm not going to link other software to here so you can google that yourself. But know that it's very popular software choice for Part 3. (Please Everyone feel free to also post "part 3 options" if you guys find other software that works great too.

I won't go over how to use this here in detail unless i get a ton of requests but what i will say is remember that 4k video is 3840 x 2160 (under dimensions tab) also remember to click on audio tab and add as many "tracks" to sources of audio. in my case for lion king, I had both 7.1 and 5.1 So I would Add 1 additional Track and have 2 both with Auto Passthru. Lastly the Subtitles Tab (change to as many subtitles as you wanted).

I know that a popular question for handbrake and other software when working with subtitles is, what is forced and what is regular? Well forced is when the movie your watching is in English, but has built in subtitles because the main chars are in another country. Regular subtitles are when the whole movie needs to be read. I turn both options on when using MKV and turn both options on when using Handbrake also.

When completing the Compression for me of the MKV file to MKV file with handbrake and my options selected I get my 4K film from 50GB down to about 18-20GB. Blu-Rays go down to about 5-6GB and DVDs down to about 1.5GB Now remember this is for me who likes to keep all 3 audio sources if possible for plex. 7.1 / 5.1 / and Stereo. So that depending on which devices are listening you can change the audio quality. This is what i prefer but you could choose just 1 type of audio your home is going to use.

4.) Storage and Watching Backups via Plex or other 3rd Party tools that watch MP4 / MKV files.

Finally, when you have that movie file compressed, and saved on your Hard Drive.. what do you with it? Well Ideally for us, we like to store them on the PC with software that is easy to sift through and can pull all your movies you save to watch at a moments notice. There are actually a TON of software out there that store and display all the movies you save. To name a few
- Plex
- Kodi
- Emby
- JRIver Media Center

These platforms all have APPs to hookup to roku's / Amazon fire devices / Xbox's / PlayStation store. Giving you the ability to watch your library on ANY TV in the house. Just make sure your TV has one of these devices hooked up to your network. (best through network cable ESP 4K TV's) but wireless for 1080p or 720p would be fine.

I also can do a step by step guide on these if people are interested. I Just wanted to keep this more of a guide for newbies, then a step by step process rule book. I hope this helps everyone and have fun! It's great being able to save / backup your library and watch it easily by the press of a button anytime you want anywhere you want. Personally I like the feature of being able to watch my movies on my phone no matter where I am. It's Great!

If anyone is going to make additional points or add-ons to any of the sections above please start by stating which section your adding too. Exmaple

Section 4: Also include BLAH BLAH BLAH software... Just so new people would know what section you're referring too. Also if i have things wrong please let me know I'll be willing to change and update my post accordingly.

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