Ripping DVD Movies & Playing Through ATV2


I’m looking for a little advice from other users on their experiences of best formats to use for ripping DVD movies for playback on Apple TV 2. 

I’ve experimented a little recently with ripping the whole DVD as an ISO and also just the main movie track in AVI format - I’ve used DVDFab for both and had pretty good results either way.

I’m interested though in trying to understand other users’ experiences and the best formats balancing file size and quality/playback experience. For info I’m not worried about storing the full DVD on my NAS (Synology Diskstation) - am very happy just to have the main movie and additionally don’t need the subtitles tracks etc.

Thanks for all your advice,



I tend to rip into VOB folders so as no quality is lost, the downside of this is the size, upto 5MB. However, to do that i use DVD Shrink as my number 1 tool, if that cant rip it I then use DVD Magic, again to VOB. If those tools cant rip the DVD, I then use a tool I cant remember the name of (!) but rip to MV4. I’m happy to take a little quality loss and the + is that the file sizes are a lot smaller (1.5mb for example.) AS an example of ratio I have 300 ish VOB films and 10 ish MV4 films.

I too just take accross the main movie, not interested in extra, menus or subtitles etc.

I have a plethora of tools (Mac)

For example - a basic DVD I’ll use iVI Pro to rip. It can inject meta data during the ripping process so that saves me an extra step (the meta data search seems damn good - I don’t think I’ve come across a DVD it couldn’t find). Keeps subtitles (either VOB burn or “soft” CC text). If CC isn’t on the original disk - I do a quick download of an SRT and viola - it does it all in one go. The times where I see afterwards that the SRT doesn’t match up right, there are a few tools I use for editing it after the fact. Unfortunately those SRT editors don’t encode them back into the MP4 so I have to reprocess it - oh well. I use “SubTitles theEditor” and/or “SubtitlereSync” - both avail on Mac App store.

For Blue Rays I usually use MakeMKV. Then I’ll either process that file through handbrake or iVI Pro. I tend to favor iVI pro now since with handbrake I have to run it through a second process to encode meta data (using MetaZ). When I use iVI I downgrade BR to 720, with handbrake I’d keep it as is since it does such a good job at shrinking.

If I want to rip an entire DVD - I’ve used RipIT. Those files seem to work fine on the ATV. But honestly - sometimes that’s a pain - you have all those opening trailers etc to navigate through - so unless there are some bonus features that I really really want - I tend not to do this (plus the file sizes are typically 6.5g for a reg DVD as opposed to 1-3 ripped movie only). If a disc has just VOB subtitles - I’m not sure how that’s handled by RipIT and if it can be used on the ATV… I’ll have to check that out.

Most bluray movies are MPG videos - but occassionally you’ll get a VC1 encoded video (mostly from BBC Video DVDs I find). On the mac - nothing seems to be able to handle those. Yeah I’ve heard about QuickTime7 Pro being able to - but I’ve never been able to get it to export. For those I go to Pavtube Bluray Ripper. Now I bought the Mac version specifically to handle these tougher blurays. I was wrong. Mac version did not do it either. (BTW - even if you you use MakeMKV - you won’t be able to convert it to M4V). Turns out only the PC version of Pavtube Bluray Ripper can do VC1 files (VC1 is some type of windows encoding). Tech support gave me a key for the Windows version so now I have both PC and Mac for the price of one. The PC version worked - although I understand there may be free options out there - I got tired of trying stuff in vain.


I’m a DVDFab guy. I rip DVDs to ISO images then break those down into avi divx files all using DVDfab. I’m sure alot of people will argue against avi files, but the quality is good enough for me and I had other devices that I needed the files to be compatible with.

There does seem to be a lot of variety in choices people makes on tools and file formats.

terryd, have you found a benefit in using dvdfab to go from DVD-iso-avi rather than ripping the track straight to avi?