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Need to convert 300+ titles to MKV or MP4


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I have moved house about a year ago and have only just got around to unpacking my old MY Movies server. The motherboard is damaged due to water, but the hard drives are all fine and so is all the data.

Seen as it looks like I'm into a new build (quite looking forward to it) I though I would look at other options. After listening to Dave on one of the podcast talking about Plex I thought I would spin up a VM and give it a go.

WOW my wife and kids love it, on the Samsung, on the Roku, on our phones and even the Kindle Fire.


Here is where I need to ask for a push in the right direction, Is there an easy (if there is one) option to convert all my movies which My Movies and Any DVD original ripped and stored as VOB files to either MKV or MP4. I have not decided which will be the best format to go with so any advice would be greatly received.


I have licences for:-


Plex Pass (monthly)

My Movies (over 2500 point)


Windows 7 Home Prem


As mentioned before we have a couple of Samsung smart TV's and what seems like hundreds of mobile devices.


Some of the mobile devices will be used in a different contrary as I travel for work, I don't know if that will have an impact on file types.


Hope there is enough information so some one can point me in the right direction, if not just give me a shout and I will fill in the blanks.






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I'm in the same boat as you, except I have over 1500 of them to do......and they're still on discs! My solution is two Lubuntu machines (only have the first one built) that I have stripped down even further to nothing but the bare OS, HandBrake, Samba, MediaInfo, TeamViewer, and VLC (for remote checking of frames if needed). I only have ~$150 invested in each (all new parts, except used dual core AMDs from Ebay I bought for $17-25 each).


One machine will squish my BDs, and the other my DVDs. The key to using HandBrake and getting awesome results, is time and patience. Each BD disc takes about 12-20 hours, and DVDs 2-3 hours. I have done MUCH testing and experimenting, and believe me, you'll want to avoid video accelerators like CUDA and QuickSync. Yes, you can do them in a fraction of the time, but they are substantially less efficient files (bigger) to get the same results as a CPU compressed H264.


So far, I have started on my BDs, and they are phenomenal in quality. I am making MKVs with High 4.2 H264, 320 Kb Stereo Mix Audio, and whatever HD audio is available slipped in as a pass-through for digital surround receivers. This is being played on our Plex machines using Plex Rarflix app on Roku devices. Working awesome!


Note: There can be MANY answers to your question, and so the one I give is strictly one example, and of my own opinion. This is just how I've chosen to do this....as I want the best possible conversions I can make that are as efficient as I can make them. Also, I have found that HandBrake is leaps and bounds better at working on Linux than Windows.


Good Luck! B)

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Wow Diligent, 12-20 hours for each BluRay disc? You really are going to top end quality.


Interesting to hear HandBrake is better on Linux. If you don't mind, how is it so much better?

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Hi ikon.... For some reason it took much longer for the same videos to compress on Windows than on Linux. I honestly have no answer as to why, unless it was my machine that was the problem. But more importantly, the audio options and subtitle options don't work as well on the Windows version, like they do on the Linux version. For example: I could never get the 'foreign subtitle search and burn' feature to work right on the Win version, but works flawlessly on the Linux version. There were a couple more annoyances on the Win version too, but can't remember them off my head.

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I was in a similar situation as you. I had around 700 movies to convert from folder format to a better option. 


My solution was to enable MyMovies to automatically convert using the mp4 High Profile option. A typical rip

of around 4.5GB is now around 1GB. This streams well in the house and to devices external to the home. 

I even use this lesser quality when watching movies on my Panasonic 720p Plasma TV and I'm fine with it. 

Plex on my FireTV and FireTV stick look just fine in the house. 



I was using a Core i3 on my server, but did switch to an i7 as MyMovies (handbrake) absolutely flogged the i3.

It still gives the i7 a run for it's money, but at least there is a little breathing room. 

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Thanks for the input,


Awraynor:- I was looking at the automated process in MY Movies last night (a little too late to be honest) I need to take another look tonight.


I am going to fall into the same CPU issue that you had as my test system is as old AMD AM2+ running around 2.5GHz with 4 Meg of ram.


Again thanks for the help and guidance. I think when I come to my new build I will try and make  time to post the build.

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It's a bit power hungry, but it works flawlessly. Rip to folder format, automatically mp4 copy is made. Then sync mp4

folder to external drive that is synced to CrashPlan. Worse case scenario I at least have a mp4 version of all my DVDs.

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If you plan on using Plex as the "server" and transcoder, I highly recommend converting to MKV as that container natively supports multiple subtitles and audio tracks. You can keep DTS and 5.1 and even 2-channel (director's comments...) as well as the multiple forced and interesting subtitles.

Plex does a great job of transcoding the MKVs to whatever format/size the player you use can support (just not a great job with VOBs as you've obviously encountered.)


If you want NATIVE playback from web or especially iOS devices, recommend converting all to MP4 containers.


Either way, I recommend the Handbrake conversion if you want to maintain the best speed to quality conversion. I mostly agree with avoiding any GPU acceleration. I don't find the quality as good even at increased file size. There are still some increased pixelization/compression artefacts (*cough* errors *cough*) even at high bitrates. That said it is MARKEDLY - EXPONENTIALLY faster if using even the Intel on-die GPU. So if speed is of the essence and you have an encoder that supports it, it will work.


Interesting comments on handbrake with Linux vs Windows. I've also found it works better on OS X (not surprisingly as it was designed for BSD/DARWIN and ported to Windows) so it stands to reason it would port more cleanly to Linux. The forced subtitles in Handbrake are touchy in Windows. I've found it to be very BD/DVD dependant based on how they are encoded.

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  • 3 years later...

"If you want NATIVE playback from web or especially iOS devices, recommend converting all to MP4 containers."


Hmm, thanks for the tip!

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