How to Decrypt and Rip your Blu-ray Movies
In looking over the guides we have on this site, it came to my attention that sometimes we take for granted the technical pieces we know and overlook some critical items which would benefit readers of MissingRemote.com. I happened to already have written an article on this, so it seemed to make sense to update and post here for your benefits.
As more and more Movie Manager software applications are developed it increases the necessity to have your movies stored on your system/server. Sure there's the option on MyMovies to have "offline" discs in your collection, but it's a pretty big inconvenience to find the movie you want to watch, only to be told you have to get up and go find the disc and put it in your system. Indeed, most users who utilize these movie managers will tell you that having the movies stored on a hard drive is the optimal configuration for a number of reasons. You have instant access to any movie from any HTPC or Extender connected to your network, and you can configure your own backup strategy to never have to replace a movie (read: No more scratched discs!).
With all that being said, let me preface this article by saying that the legality of this varies based on who you ask and where you are located, so proceed at your own risk. MissingRemote is not liable for anything you may do as a result of this guide...we merely want to help those that are capable of doing so. With that in mind, click Read More to continue reading...
Decryption Explained&heading=Decryption Explained
Ever since the creation of video cassette recorders (VCR) movie studios have been utilizing various encryption methods for protecting their content. Encryption means there is a layer of technology on the content media which is intended to thwart copying of the movie. With content as valuable as the Blu-ray format, studios have continued to try to make it very difficult to copy discs for personal use, layering Blu-ray discs with an ever changing encryption scheme attempting to prevent you from creating a copy of a movie you rightfully purchased.
Decrypt means reading the disc and removing the copy protection. This allows you to copy the movie to an alternative storage location such as another disc, a hard drive, or a flash drive. Once the movie is decrypted, it is unprotected and you can do with it what you wish. With the decrypted movie on your hard drive, you can then put it on your laptop or server, and play it anywhere you wish by using compatible Blu-ray software. Arcsoft Total Media Theater, for example, allows you to play a Blu-ray movie stored on your hard drive.
In addition to the commonly known reason for decrypting to copy to a hard drive there are other benefits such as being able to play on a non-HDCP-supported display. If you have an older display or television that is not HDCP-compliant, then the Blu-ray player software will prevent you from being able to watch. Being able to decrypt the movie allows you to watch it anywhere, and on any device.
Unfortunately, there is presently no sponsored software provided by the movie studios which allows you to decrypt a movie for your own personal use. Fortunately, a small company by the name of Slysoft offers a program called AnyDVD HD which allows the decryption of a blu-ray disc (or DVD for that matter) for playback as well as for copying to your hard drive. The program will decrypt movies on the fly in the background, or can be used to copy the movie to a hard drive. As I mentioned, the movie studios do continue to update their copy-protection scheme, so Slysoft does their best (and they are quite fast) at releasing updates to AnyDVD to allow for decrypting of the latest movies.
The actual process of copying a movie is quite simple, but it’s the additional options you can choose which really can make your watching of the copied movie that much more pleasant. For starters, you will need to obtain a copy of Slysoft’s AnyDVD HD from their website. If you’re nervous or unsure, they offer a fully unlimited two week trial for evaluation. Otherwise, the cost is 63 Euros (which converts to approximately $86 US), and this includes unlimited upgrades for a period of one year.
Installation and Config&heading=Installation and Config
Installation is a breeze, but it will require a reboot after it has completed. Upon restart, you will notice the AnyDVD fox icon appear in your taskbar. In addition to being easily accessible, this also serves to decrypt movies on the fly, in case your display configuration does not meet HDCP approval requirements.
There are two methods for copying Blu-ray movies. One is an image-based rip and the other is a folder based rip. The image-based rip allows the copying of the movie to a single file (with a *.ISO extension) and even allows the user to maintain the copy protection. The majority of consumers will utilize the standard folder copying method which decrypts the disc and copies the identical movie folders to the hard drive. This creates a lot more files, but this method is very common for most movie collection software.
Before you get started copying, you will want to configure the settings within AnyDVD HD to make sure the movies are copied with the exact settings you desire. Right click on the Slysoft fox icon in the tray and select “Settings.” From there, click on “Video Blu-ray.” Here is where all your tweaks can be made. You obviously want “Enable Blu-ray support” checked as it is by default. For users who hate waiting for the warning screens, which the movie will prevent you from skipping past, you can check the box for “Prohibited User Operations.”
“Remove annoying adverts and trailers” will help get you to the movie instantly, so I would enable that as well. The “Disable BD-Live” box will disable this feature of Blu-ray movies and the components required. Since for the most part BD-Live has not been very useful, I would enable this as well. If a movie is released with some interesting BD-Live features, you can always uncheck it.
The final setting is the Disc Region setting. This is a valuable option if you find yourself needing to copy international or foreign movies on a regular basis, for simpler playback. Note, that the majority of these settings, in addition to making your movie the way you want it, will also take up less storage space. This is very important when a Blu-ray movie can be upwards of 40 GIGABYTES! Combine that with making a more efficient version of the movie (no annoying previews!) and you can see why this settings stage is so important.
Rip Movie to Hard Drive&heading=Rip Movie to Hard Drive
Copying the movie is actually the simplest task. To begin, Right click on the fox icon, and select “Rip Video DVD to Hard Disk.” This will bring up a small dialog window with just a few options. First, is selecting your “Source Directory,” which is the drive which contains the Blu-ray disc. (Often the default should be correct.) The second is “Destination Directory” which is where the movie will be stored. As I mentioned, Blu-rays can range anywhere from 20GB to as high as 50GB for a single movie, so make sure that your hard drive has sufficient storage space. AnyDVD supports ripping to a local, external, and even network drive, so your options for expansion are plentiful.
The final step is to press the “Copy DVD” button. The progress bar will begin and you will be shown “Time remaining” informing you how long it should take. Feel free to continue utilizing the computer as you normally would, but you will be unable to play the disc until it has finished copying. It might run a bit slower than normal, but for most tasks you should not notice. And that’s it, once complete you will now have a fully playable movie in the folder you previously selected!