Digitizing DVDs using Handbrake


If you need to rip home-DVDs or non-copyrighted material from disc media, the easiest way to do so is using the software Handbrake. Handbrake is a free open source software available for download, but we already have it installed on our computers in the DPL if you prefer to use our facilities. 


In order to rip your DVD in the Post Production facilities, you will want to reserve the following items:

  • Any lab station or suite
  • Blu-Ray Burner
  • USB A-microB 3.0 cable

Ripping your DVD

Plug the Blu-Ray burner into the computer using a USB cable.

Insert your disc. The disc may automatically begin playing using the application DVD Player. You can close this.

Open "Handbrake" from the applications folder.

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Handbrake should prompt you to locate the media you wish to work with through a finder window. If not, click "Open Source"

Select the DVD. If it is recognized by the computer, you should see it on the left of the finder window under "locations"

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Click "open"

Handbrake will always warn that Copyright material is not supported, even if your disc has no copyright protections.

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Handbrake will scan the disc. This may take a minute.

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If your disc has multiple chapters, you need to select which chapter you would like to rip to a digital file. Next to "title," open the drop down to see and select your options. Choose one. If you would like to rip all the chapters on the disc, you will need to repeat the process for each chapter.

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Now we need to define your settings for the digital file. The resolution of your file will be displayed at the top next to "Source"

Near the top of the HandBrake window, choose the "Preset" that best matches your file. The "General" options will work for most case. Match the resolution to the one listed under your file summary (example: General / HQ 720p30 will be the best setting for a file summarized as 720x480, 30 fps).

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At the bottom of the Handbrake window, you will see a prompt to "Save As" - set the file name as desired. Next to that, you will see "To" followed by a folder. Click "Browse" to select the folder you want to save your ripped digital file.

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Click "Start" to begin ripping your DVD.

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The ripping process will take some time depending on the length of the chapter you selected and the source settings. When it finishes, you will find the new file in the location you selected. 

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