A simple guide on ripping DVDs for streaming over Plex to Roku 3.
I’ve had the pleasure of using the Roku 3 thest past few months. For me, the Roku 3 was the combination of on-demand media and easy access to my own extensive media library that made Roku’s case, not to mention an attractive price tag. In fact, I mostly use the Roku 3 as a top-up box for my Plex media center. Last week I tweeted about having successfully ripped my DVD collection to stream over Plex to Roku 3, and the process was very straightforward, quite a few of folks inquired about how I did it, and what my software setup was, so I figured I would throw this quick tutorial up.
First, the most important piece of the equation is that you have DVD ripping software. Most of you are likely familiar with the excellent Handbrake for ripping standard Def DVDs, however, it cannot decrypt copy-protected commercial DVD movies, so you’ll need to add an intermediate step. There is a number of DVD Ripping software available to help you convert DVD videos if you want to play them on Roku 3 via Plex. The best program I can recommend here is called Brorsoft DVD Ripper, which is available for Windows and Mac users. It is easy to use for conversion and editing and makes great quality copies of my DVDs.
I have tried several different rippers and found the Brorsoft exports qualitified video with reasonable size. And the time it takes to convert in this software is almost half that in other. I’ve had success using the program to convert my DVD movies (Divergent, God’s Not Dead, Need for Speed, Muppets Most Wanted, A Haunted House 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, etc.) to a Plex format for streaming to Roku 3. I’ve found the quality to be excellent, and see no difference when compared to playing the discs themselves.
The software works like most other DVD rippers I’ve used. Pop in your disc, choose a Plex (H.264 MP4) output profile, and click Convert to start. Now you can follow the steps below to rip DVD to Plex for steaming to Roku 3 in a few clicks!
The Steps: How to Rip/Stream DVD over Plex to Roku 3
Step 1: Insert your DVD disc to your computer’s drive, then launch the DVD ripping software and click the “Load Disc” button to have the DVD content imported. You can also add VIDEO_TS folder, DVD ISO files are the source files for converting.
Step 2: Choose subtitles (Optional) If you want to play DVD rips with subtitles, just click the drop down menu after “Subtitles” to select your desired one. On the right windows, you can preview your files and take snapshots of your favorite movie scenes.
Step 3: Choose output format Officially, the Roku 3 only supports H.264 MKV and MP4/M4V video, meaning that’s the only media recognized over USB and Plex’ Direct Play. To stream DVD over Plex to Roku 3, click “Format” bar and choose the “H.264 video (*.mp4)” profile from the “Common” Video category.
Step 4: Advanced Settings (Optional) With the right settings you can retain the quality of the original DVD while also saving space. This is particularly helpful when streaming over your network, depending on your network quality. Simply click Settings bar and you can tweak the settings to your satisfaction and even save it as preset. Below is my best format settings for ripping DVD content to Plex, you can take it as reference:
Step 5: Start ripping Hit the “Convert” button at the bottom of the main interface to start the conversion. It will automatically convert DVD to Plex Media Server compatible video files for further streaming to play on Roku 3.
Once the conversion is finished, click “Open” to quickly find the converted movies. Then, Plex will recognize, catalog, play and stream these DVD files to Roku 3 at ease.
As mentionded above, officially, the Roku 3 only supports H.264 MKV and MP4/M4V video, meaning that’s the only media recognized over USB and Plex’ Direct Play. If you want to prepare all of your media files (VOB, MKV, AVI, MPG, DVD and Blu-ray) for playback on Roku 3, you can get Brorsoft’s Video Converter Ultimate (an all-in-one video, DVD and Blu-ray solution) to achieve your goal smoothly.