UHD ripping

Stereodude

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Anyone else ripping UHD discs?

I picked up a LG WH14NS40 from Amazon for about $55 and got it yesterday. Reportedly all the working Asus & LG drive models are the same hardware so there's no point to buy a more expensive model.

I used Marty McNuts modified ASUS flasher to get a "UHD friendly" firmware flashed on it. It took two different flashes to get it to the firmware I wanted (or at least that's how I did it). Flashing is very simple with the modified GUI flasher. Pick the firmware and click. The drive won't let you downgrade with the factory firmware, so you have to flash a same level (or newer) modified firmware that allows downgrading first if the firmware you want to use is a downgrade. Then you can flash the firmware you want. I have no idea why someone would buy a pre-flashed drive at a premium. It's really easy to flash the drives. I ultimately flashed it to a ASUS BW-16D1HT with version 3.10 firmware since supposedly that the fastest "UHD friendly" ripping firmware as long as you don't care about burning with the drive.

MakeMKV can use a drive that has official UHD support with libredrive, so the libredrive enabled WH16NS60 firmware is the one to use since it's capable of up to 8x ripping. AnyDVD can't use a drive with official UHD support, so you have to use "UHD friendly" firmwares. Those will rip up to 6x. The ASUS BW-16D1HT 3.10 firmware is the recommended one if you don't care about burning and the LG BH16NS55 or WH16NS40 firmwares are the recommended ones if you want to also burn with the drive.

BTW, "fast" is relative. A 100GB UHD disc rip (to .ISO) took ~63 minutes to rip with a 6x capable firmware. A 66GB disc rips in ~41.5 minutes. Also, "up to 6x" or "up to 8x" mean 6x or 8x ripping at the outside of the disc where the read rate is the highest. It will be slower on the inside edge of the disc because the disc is spinning at a constant angular velocity (RPM) and the circumference changes. A 100GB disc has 3 layers so speed will go up and down several times across the 100GB and it moves back and forth three times.
 

Handruin

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I've only lightly followed UHD ripping forum threads at a small variety of sites but haven't yet pulled the trigger to get a drive. I'm tempted to try the drive you linked given its lower cost than some of the others I've seen recommended on the UHD friendly drive list. I did end up getting an external USB 3 5.25" case for my current BR drive because the Fractal R6 only has one 5.25 bay and I frequently rip multiple discs at a time.

I'm mostly concerned about the amount of storage space this will eat through on my NAS so I've been hesitant to start ripping them. I do want the convenience of watching them through my streaming device versus using my UHD BR drive. I'm guessing it should be feasible to rip and remux the UHD content into an mkv container without transcoding/re-encoding it and just direct-play the content in my home theater. That would be my ideal goal with this.
 

Stereodude

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I'm mostly concerned about the amount of storage space this will eat through on my NAS so I've been hesitant to start ripping them. I do want the convenience of watching them through my streaming device versus using my UHD BR drive. I'm guessing it should be feasible to rip and remux the UHD content into an mkv container without transcoding/re-encoding it and just direct-play the content in my home theater. That would be my ideal goal with this.
I have that same concern. I've noodled putting everything "online". All my DVDs, blu-rays, and UHD blu-rays. I was thinking at tax time (I should get a sizable refund despite making changes to withholding last year to reduce the refund size) to get enough of the 14TB WD enterprise drives to have a 200TB RAID-6 array. I think that would hold it all from my SWAG and have some extra space. Here's largely why I haven't:

My largest concern for UHD is playing them back. A PC can't play back the Dolby Vision layer. My setup supports Dolby Vision. tsmuxer is now open source and some enterprising people have been working on it's UHD support. They currently have test builds that can remux a Dolby Vision UHD BD to a .TS file that my Sony X700 UHD player will play as Dolby Vision and play it with the lossless Atmos track (the Sony can't do that with .MKV or mp4). The same .TS files reportedly work on the Oppo players also. There's no chapters and currently some sort of bug that after the file is played the player (Sony) has to be power cycled because the colors get all messed up. Chapter support isn't going to be added since .TS files can't have them. They're working on the color bug that requires power cycling.

The only thing that can currently fully and properly play UHD blu-ray rips (as .ISO) with Dolby Vision + chapters are the OPPOs players with a hacked FW and the Chinese OPPO "clone(s)". They don't have SMB support past the deprecated 1.x version. Apparently they work better with NFS (which I don't have with a Windows 10 "server"). The network support is also a little clunky. In this route I'd be partially tempted to see if I can rig a rpi 4 to reshare my SMB shares from my Windows 10 Pro box as NFS shares as the best clunky workaround.

Lastly, ripping the discs is labor intensive and requires manual intervention. I couldn't find an automatic solution. I didn't test with UHD BD, but with standard BD neither MakeMKV, eac3to, or MKVtoolnix can fully handle turning discs into a correct rip for all discs. Going to .ISO is easy (ignoring no proper PC playback solution), but an "automatic" movie only .MKV with only the necessary or required/desired English video, audio, and subtitle tracks doesn't happen. For many movies MakeMKV or MKVtoolnix can effectively handle it, but for many movies it can't. They don't find/enable the special subtitle tracks found in some movies.

For example, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier there is an English subtitle track that contains 28 English subtitles that are English translations of on screen spoken foreign language phrases. The track contains no forced subtitles. It is automatically activated by a Java VM command from the disc menu when played in a real blu-ray player. MakeMKV does not set that small English subtitle track to be enabled by default in the output MKV no matter how you set the options in the program. MKVtoolnix has no automatic selections (only manual). Similarly, there's no easy way look at the disc structure and determine that one of the extra subtitle tracks should be set as enabled by default. Neither seems to be able to determine which audio tracks are commentary tracks or special features audio tracks vs. lower quality duplicate audio tracks of the main lossless track.

So you end up having to take all the English tracks, play the resulting files, and then modify the flags of the mkv file (which leave extra tracks in the MKV wasting disk space). Or, after fixing the flagging, mux the MKV again excluding the tracks that have been manually identified as unnecessary. Alternatively you can demux the disc to the elementary streams, manually examine the streams and then only mux the right streams back in. Either way, you have to mess with and check every rip because you don't know which movies have this type of issue.

When you have hundreds and hundreds of movies this is not a prospect you look forward to. It will take a bunch of time. There's a similar and potentially worse issue with TV shows on blu-ray. Good luck figuring out which episodes are which MKV or some discs will end up with more than 4 MKVs despite only having 4 episodes on them because the odd way they're structured with playlists.


So having said all that I got the setup for ripping UHD blu-ray mostly to mess around with or rip the occasional disc. I'm currently not planning to dump everything to a NAS because there are too many gotchas.
 

snowhiker

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Sounds like it would be a nightmare to get a nice, working, digital copy. I think that's a better copy-protection than encryption. Free/possible to copy but such a PITA nobody will do it.
 

sedrosken

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I have the same drive and was wondering what the best firmware is for drives that still need to be able to burn discs? I read the thread you linked and mostly just still feel lost -- this is my first experience with potentially flashing (and cross-flashing at that) optical drive firmware and I'd rather not brick my drive. And do these modified firmwares affect CD and DVD burning? I know it's archaic, but I still get way too much use out of those to abandon them completely, arguably moreso than I get out of the bluray part.
 

Stereodude

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I have the same drive and was wondering what the best firmware is for drives that still need to be able to burn discs? I read the thread you linked and mostly just still feel lost -- this is my first experience with potentially flashing (and cross-flashing at that) optical drive firmware and I'd rather not brick my drive. And do these modified firmwares affect CD and DVD burning? I know it's archaic, but I still get way too much use out of those to abandon them completely, arguably moreso than I get out of the bluray part.
Unless you want to rip UHD blu-ray discs just leave the drive alone. If you're planning to rip UHD blu-ray discs what software are you planning to use?

Edit: Also, you need to make sure the drive is really a NS50, not a NS40. I know the model number is WH14NS40, but there will be a SVC level marked on the label that says NS50.
 
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Stereodude

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Sounds like it would be a nightmare to get a nice, working, digital copy. I think that's a better copy-protection than encryption. Free/possible to copy but such a PITA nobody will do it.
I wouldn't exactly say it's a nightmare, but there's no fire and forget easy way to do it if you want everything right and are trying to optimize disc space. If you don't mind spending a few minutes per disc it's not that bad. It's also easier if you don't care about special feature audio tracks and only want the highest quality audio track, the main video track, and any "forced" subtitles.

There is a potential cheat to sort out the subtitles. After you have your MKV with all the English subtitle tracks you can open the MKV with MediaInfo and look at the size of the subtitle tracks. Very small (in file size) subtitles tracks probably contain subtitles that should be forced.

Here's how the process works:
MKVToolNix GUI can sort out blu-ray disc structure largely automatically, so you open MKVToolNix GUI and drag any one of the playlist files (.mpls) from the BDMV\PLAYLIST folder on the decrypted blu-ray into the input tab of the multiplexer section. It will prompt you that there's a bunch of other playlists and ask if you just want to add the one you dragged over, or if it should scan the remaining ones.

1583592235695.png

You tell it to scan the remaining ones and it will show you what's on the disc (from a playlist perspective).

1583592250663.png

Pick the playlist that corresponds to the movie. In this case it's either 800 and 801. When clicking on them for this movie you can see they're both the same m2ts so it doesn't matter which. Then it adds that as the source and you can pick your streams to include.

1583592262825.png

Change the output path and your stream options. I chose only the highest quality English audio track, the main video track, and all the English subtitle tracks (because I don't know which one I need).

1583592409330.png

Mux it and then open the file with MediaInfo

1583592840319.png

In the full text output
Code:
General
Unique ID                                : 59479196608025161725565578606305066634 (0x2CBF46CE0C64381CE534C693BB33BE8A)
Complete name                            : F:\Temp\MARVEL'S CAPTAIN AMERICA THE WINTER SOLDIER - BLU-RAY™.mkv
Format                                   : Matroska
Format version                           : Version 4
File size                                : 31.7 GiB
Duration                                 : 2 h 15 min
Overall bit rate mode                    : Variable
Overall bit rate                         : 33.4 Mb/s
Movie name                               : MARVEL'S CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER - BLU-RAY™
Encoded date                             : UTC 2020-03-07 14:47:14
Writing application                      : mkvmerge v43.0.0 ('The Quartermaster') 64-bit
Writing library                          : libebml v1.3.10 + libmatroska v1.5.2
Cover                                    : Yes
Attachments                              : cover.jpg

Video
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : High@L4.1
Format settings                          : CABAC / 4 Ref Frames
Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
Format settings, Reference frames        : 4 frames
Codec ID                                 : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                                 : 2 h 15 min
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 28.6 Mb/s
Maximum bit rate                         : 32.7 Mb/s
Width                                    : 1 920 pixels
Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 23.976 (24000/1001) FPS
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.575
Stream size                              : 27.1 GiB (86%)
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No

Audio
ID                                       : 2
Format                                   : DTS XLL
Format/Info                              : Digital Theater Systems
Commercial name                          : DTS-HD Master Audio
Codec ID                                 : A_DTS
Duration                                 : 2 h 15 min
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 4 767 kb/s
Channel(s)                               : 8 channels
Channel layout                           : C L R LFE Lb Rb Lss Rss
Sampling rate                            : 48.0 kHz
Frame rate                               : 93.750 FPS (512 SPF)
Bit depth                                : 24 bits
Compression mode                         : Lossless
Stream size                              : 4.52 GiB (14%)
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No

Text #1
ID                                       : 3
Format                                   : PGS
Muxing mode                              : zlib
Codec ID                                 : S_HDMV/PGS
Codec ID/Info                            : Picture based subtitle format used on BDs/HD-DVDs
Duration                                 : 2 h 8 min
Bit rate                                 : 34.4 kb/s
Count of elements                        : 3300
Stream size                              : 31.7 MiB (0%)
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : Yes
Forced                                   : No

Text #2
ID                                       : 4
Format                                   : PGS
Muxing mode                              : zlib
Codec ID                                 : S_HDMV/PGS
Codec ID/Info                            : Picture based subtitle format used on BDs/HD-DVDs
Duration                                 : 2 h 15 min
Bit rate                                 : 81.0 kb/s
Count of elements                        : 5439
Stream size                              : 78.6 MiB (0%)
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : No
Forced                                   : No

Text #3
ID                                       : 5
Format                                   : PGS
Muxing mode                              : zlib
Codec ID                                 : S_HDMV/PGS
Codec ID/Info                            : Picture based subtitle format used on BDs/HD-DVDs
Duration                                 : 1 h 12 min
Bit rate                                 : 628 b/s
Count of elements                        : 56
Stream size                              : 333 KiB (0%)
Language                                 : English
Default                                  : No
Forced                                   : No

Menu
00:00:00.000                             : en:Chapter 01
00:03:28.666                             : en:Chapter 02
00:13:31.727                             : en:Chapter 03
00:17:57.868                             : en:Chapter 04
00:22:25.302                             : en:Chapter 05
00:33:20.415                             : en:Chapter 06
00:41:27.276                             : en:Chapter 07
00:51:37.302                             : en:Chapter 08
00:58:23.958                             : en:Chapter 09
01:07:40.347                             : en:Chapter 10
01:16:22.202                             : en:Chapter 11
01:24:43.078                             : en:Chapter 12
01:32:17.698                             : en:Chapter 13
01:37:06.612                             : en:Chapter 14
01:49:13.088                             : en:Chapter 15
01:55:03.730                             : en:Chapter 16
02:01:11.055                             : en:Chapter 17
02:06:22.241                             : en:Chapter 18
We can see a stream size for each of the English subtitles. Here are our 3 tracks.

Stream size : 31.7 MiB (0%)
Stream size : 78.6 MiB (0%)
Stream size : 333 KiB (0%)

There aren't very many reason why you'd have a very small subtitle track so it likely contains forced subtitles and should be made the default enabled subtitle track in the mux. You can do that with MKVToolNix GUI's Header editor section.

1583593213508.png

Set the Default track flag to yes and make sure the other subtitle tracks are set to no for Default track. Then save it from the menu at the top.

You can then open the file in your favorite player and make sure the correct subtitle track is selected. While there you can also check the other tracks to see what they are by enabling them and see what pops up on screen. In this case I find out that the first one is the normal subtitles and the second track are subtitles to a director's commentary. I can disable the second subtitle track if I want so it is hidden when playing it by setting the Track enabled flag to no in the Header editor and saving it.

So there's about 78.6MB of wasted space which if you really wanted to you could remove my adding the file to MKVToolNix GUI as an input and unchecking it and mux it. If I didn't care about the regular subs I could remove them here also, or if I took all the English audio tracks I could remove some of them if I determined they were redundant, not special features, etc...

1583594035812.png

Not a horrible process, but not a put a disc in a drive, click a button and walk away, come back and change the disc, and repeat process either.
 

sedrosken

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Unless you want to rip UHD blu-ray discs just leave the drive alone. If you're planning to rip UHD blu-ray discs what software are you planning to use?

Edit: Also, you need to make sure the drive is really a NS50, not a NS40. I know the model number is WH14NS40, but there will be a SVC level marked on the label that says NS50.
Fair enough -- I don't actually have any UHD blu-rays I'd like to rip in the first place, I just figured the capability would be nice. I use MakeMKV. When I have the case open I'll check to see if it's an NS50 -- but I think it's just a plain NS40 anyway. If it is an NS50, I might go through with it, but obviously if it's an NS40 I need not apply. Thanks for the pointer.
 

Stereodude

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Fair enough -- I don't actually have any UHD blu-rays I'd like to rip in the first place, I just figured the capability would be nice. I use MakeMKV. When I have the case open I'll check to see if it's an NS50 -- but I think it's just a plain NS40 anyway. If it is an NS50, I might go through with it, but obviously if it's an NS40 I need not apply. Thanks for the pointer.
If you bought it in the last few years it should be a NS50 but you don't want to put any of the firmwares for the MT1959 platform if it's the older MT1939 platform. For UHD ripping with MakeMKV + burning the optimal firmware is the patched 1.02 WH16NS60 firmware.
 

sedrosken

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If you bought it in the last few years it should be a NS50 but you don't want to put any of the firmwares for the MT1959 platform if it's the older MT1939 platform. For UHD ripping with MakeMKV + burning the optimal firmware is the patched 1.02 WH16NS60 firmware.
I did buy it within the last couple years -- I think it was early-mid 2018? I can't remember, but I know I didn't have it before then. Like I said I'll have to check it out when I have it open next, until then I don't see much of a point in bothering. I really should do some kind of Windows ToGo installation for this sort of thing. Very often I find myself needing a Windows install for some tool or another without actually wanting to have it day-to-day.
 

Stereodude

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It took two different flashes to get it to the firmware I wanted (or at least that's how I did it). Flashing is very simple with the modified GUI flasher. Pick the firmware and click. The drive won't let you downgrade with the factory firmware, so you have to flash a same level (or newer) modified firmware that allows downgrading first if the firmware you want to use is a downgrade. Then you can flash the firmware you want.
Just as a point of clarification to my opening post. I bought a second LG WH14NS40 from Amazon and got it today. I can confirm that it can be flashed from the stock 1.04 WH14NS40 firmware to the MK version of the ASUS BW-16D1HT 3.10 firmware directly in one step with the modified ASUS flasher. At least for this change an interim step is not necessary.
 
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