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This guide describes how to convert a DVD to DivX/XviD/x264 using StaxRip. StaxRip provides a easy but yet powerful approach on using AviSynth including AviSynth powered cutting.

Ripping a DVD means copying the DVD to the hard drive. Search the internet for DVD Decrypter using a search engine like google, it should be very easy to find it. Download and install DVD Decrypter, insert the DVD into the drive and start DVD Decrypter. In case subtitles should be kept memorize the PGC number DVD Decrypter automatically selects. In DVD Decrypter's 'Mode' menu select 'IFO'. Select a destination directory, start the ripping process and wait until it's finished. The result should be a IFO file and a bunch of VOB files which contain the audio, video and subtitle streams.

In case subtitles should be included they have to be extracted from the VOB files. Download and start VSRip. Press 'Load IFO' and select the IFO file. Press 'Save To' and attach .idx to the suggested name. Press 'Next', select the proper PGC and press 'Next' again to start the demuxing process. The result should be a IDX file and a SUB file.

Start StaxRip and load the DVD template found under 'File/Project Templates/DVD'. Open the destination directory with windows explorer. Select all VOB files in windows explorer and drag the files on StaxRip, alternatively you can open the files in StaxRip using 'Open Files'. StaxRip now launches DGIndex to process the VOB files. When DGIndex is done it should have created a D2V file and AC3 files and StaxRip should have loaded that files.

At the bottom of the main dialog the assistant gives instructions that must be followed precisely. It displays what step must be taken next and warns if incompatible settings are used.

Once DGIndex has finished the assistant instructs to open the crop dialog in order to crop borders if there are any. Open the crop dialog and check if StaxRip has detected all borders properly, correct the values if necessary and close the dialog. Click on 'Next' to see the next assistant instruction.

The assistant reminds to verify the filter setup. The default filter setup has a enabled MPEG-2 source filter, a Crop filter and a resize filter. The deinterlace filter is disabled. Most DVB sources are interlaced. In order to find out if the source is interlaced uncheck the resize filter temporarily and open the preview (View/Preview (or press F5)). In the preview double-click somewhere for fullscreen and examine if the source is interlaced. If you don't know how a interlaced image looks visit Close the preview recheck the resize filter and check the deinterlace filter in case the source is interlaced.

The next assistant reminder is cutting if necessary. This step can be skipped (click Next) unless only certain parts of the DVD should be encoded. If you want to encode only certain parts open the preview. How to cut is described in the help of the preview (press F1) and by the tooltips that appear when the mouse hovers over the buttons. Once cutting is done close the preview. In the main dialog the new length can now be seen.

The assistant reminds to make a compressibility check. The compressibility check makes only sense for multipass encodes and multipass encodes are principally done to hit a exact file size so since there is a fixed file size and a fixed movie length which result in a fixed bitrate the only left variable is the image size. The compressibility check helps to find a ideal image size for the targeted bitrate. Movies differ greatly in compressibility, a movie with a lot action like many explosions need a much higher bitrate for the same image size.

A image size around 200000 pixel (e.g. 528x384) is a good compromise. A smaller image size requires a smaller bitrate which will result in a smaller file size but a smaller image size means of course also poorer quality.

A better solution then aiming for a file size is aiming for constant quality. It can be achieved by setting up the codec to use single pass quality mode encoding at a fixed quant or a similar quality metric. StaxRip offers profiles for constant quality. Since movies have a different compressibility the file size is different.

StaxRip supports the following container formats:

  • AVI: For a single audio track it's recommended to use AVI. AVI has the best compatibility with existing software and hardware but don't support subtitles and can't display the name of a audio track. Supported audio formats are MP3 and AC3.
  • MKV: MKV is the container with the most features but unfornately it's not supported by standalone players.
  • MP4: MP4 is supported by many newer standalone players but unfornately it's not possible to use subtitles without much hassle. MP4 don't support Vorbis or AC3.
  • DIVX: DivX is supported by many newer standalone players, it's easy to use subtitles. Vorbis and AAC are not supported but MP3 and AC3 are still very viable formats.

Select a container in the main menu and in case you've demuxed subtitles open the container configuration in the encoder menu and select the subtitles. It's important to know that in StaxRip the muxer (container) is part of the encoder so loading another encoder into the project loads also another muxer so always load the muxer after you've loaded the encoder.

Once the assistant displays no more instructions or warnings you can start encoding by clicking 'Next'.

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