If you read my blog or if you have tried it for yourself, you will probably know already that XBMC does not fully support TV Show DVD rips in VIDEO_TS folders, due to a lack of episode mapping functionality unlike MCE and MyMovies which does support this. I discussed this limitation previously here and offered a work around of sorts.
When asking around on the XBMC user forums the general consensus was always to re-encode your TV Show DVDs and extract the episodes in to individual episode video files like .MKV or .AVI etc. So now I am going to look at how we might be able to achieve this.
This is a 5 step process:
1. Break the copy protection of the DVD disc and rip it to your computer (VIDEO_TS)
2. Extract the episodes from the DVD rip and re-encode them to individual video files (MKV)
3. Bulk rename the video files with a re-naming program (Possibly Optional)
4. Import the video files in to the XBMC TV Show library with TheTVDB.com scraper
5. Delete the temporary DVD rip folders to get your hard drive space back (Optional)
5a. Sit back and relax and watch a TV Show !
You should know how to rip a DVD to VIDEO_TS format already, but for those that are unsure we will cover this topic in Part 1. I would recommend two programs, traditionally I would use a paid for version of Slysoft AnyDVD HD, but for the purpose of this blog post we will use “free” applications, so we will be using DVDFab HD Decrypter which can be downloaded here.
Is it actually free? The DVDFab HD Decrypter product webpage states it’s free, however after installation the application launched is called DVDFab and requires registration and I was confused at first.
Click the Register button.
Eventually I figured it out maybe I was being slow, click the Register link next to the email field and enter your email address in to their website, you will then get an email from them with a link to create an account, enter your details and complete the process.
Then enter your new account details in to the dialogue shown below.
You will then see this dialogue, it states HD Decrypter is Activated. Click Start DVDFab.
You will then see this screen, click Copy.
1. Insert Disc1 of the TV Show boxset you wish to copy, into the DVD drive on your computer. Click the Add button to load the source, browse to the disc in your DVD optical drive, in my case D:\ drive.
2. In the Volume Label field it gave this particular disc I was ripping, a label called “BBCDVD1367” this isn’t very helpful to me, as I will need to know which is disc1 or disc2 once I have ripped all the discs from the TV Show boxset. So I should really change the Volume Label to be Disc1, as I am ripping disc1. If I was ripping disc2 then then the Volume Label should be called Disc2. You may find with some DVD discs you insert, the Volume Label name already specifies which disc number it is, so then you won’t need to edit this.
3. Ensure Copy DVD-Video (VIDEO_TS Folder) is selected
4. Click the folder button to browse to the output location you want to save the DVD rip to. I created a new shared directory on my Windows Home Server called “Temp DVD rips”
5. Click the Start button
Note: It still says “Trial Version” in red is it free or not ?
Also note there is an output field with two options DVD5 or DVD9 I wasn’t sure what this was so left it on the default which was DVD5
Below is from their website:
“Choose “DVD5” or “DVD9” in the lower area, choose DVD5, DVDFab will compress the entire movie to make it fit on one DVD5 disc; choose DVD9, DVDFab will make an integrated copy with no compression. The larger the original disc, the lower the “Quality” number when you copy to a DVD5 SL.”
After you pressed the Start button it will start copying the disc, now wait for it to complete.
On this screen shot of Windows Explorer you can see the path and where the DVD rip ended up.
Note: DVDFab created the sub-folder named “FullDisc” I didn’t. The Disc1 folder is the Volume Label name.
Here you can see the contents of the VIDEO_TS folder just in case you were wondering what was in there.
Repeat this process for all DVD discs in your TV Show boxset until each has been ripped to your computer.
I’m still not sure if this trial version will expire or if the HD Decrypter part of the software is indeed free to use? I have contacted DVDFab support to clarify.
But as you can see it was fairly easy to use DVDFab HD Decrypter to break the copy protection and rip the DVD disc to a VIDEO_TS folder on to the computer. This is step one of our five step plan completed. Checkout blog post Part2 soon where we will look at using a program called Handbrake to extract the episodes and convert them to individual MKV files.
Update: Here was the response from DVDFab support:
“You don’t need to register DVDFab HD Decrypter. You can directly use it.
After the 30-day free trial version expires, you will automatically turn to use the free product DVDFab HD Decrypter which is built into the program. It consists of four copy options:
DVD Copy – Full Disc (Output:DVD9)
DVD Copy – Main Movie (Output:DVD9)
Blu-ray Copy – Full Disc (Output:BD50)
Blu-ray Copy – Main Movie (Output:BD50)
Note: with this free product compression is not available. And it will be about 60-day later for it to support to decode some new movies.
Any questions in future, please feel free to contact us.”