Home > Resource > DVD Ripping Tips > Best Practice to Rip DVDs for Plex

Posted by Chris Ellison - Dec. 27, 2020 | Contact Author

How to Rip DVDs for Streaming over Plex with Best Results

Thinking about ripping my DVD collection to my plex media server (so I can take my DVDs to storage and free up some space in my living room. Wondering what the best practice/software/settings are. Most info I find is from 2014 or older.

Plex is a free media software that can organize all your collected movies, TV shows, music, and photos and present them to you on devices like smart TVs, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, gaming consoles, phones, tablets, and way more. Powerful as Plex, it doesn't add support for the use of DVD files like DVD discs, DVD ISO, Video_TS folder, or other "disk image" formats. If you wish to stream and play these contents thru Plex, you'll need to convert them into Plex compatible formats. That means you may have to rip DVD to Plex supported digital formats first. After that, park the ripped DVD movies on single computer with the Plex server software installed, and then you install Plex on on all your other devices and watch them with no hassle. If you're looking for the easiest and fastest way to stream and play DVDs via Plex media server, you've come to the right place.

In this article, we will also look at what's the optimum format for Plex and how to convert DVDs to Plex supported video formats with best quality in a smaller file size. Keep on reading to find the details.

Rip DVDs for Streaming via Plex Media Server

Part 1. Best Format for Ripping DVD to Plex Media Server

Before the task, we need to make sure what formats Plex can accept. The fact is that Plex's media compatibility and video quality limitations vary by devices. The typically native supported codec of Plex and multimedia device is MP4 with the H.264 and AAC codec. You can play videos or movies directly with Plex if they reach the following specifications. If the 4K or 1080p video content doesn't conform to the following parameters, then the video will usually need to be either directly streamed or transcoded.


Container
Resolution
Video Encoding
Video Framerate
Video Bit Depth
Audio Encoding
MP4
1920×1080 or smaller
H.264 (level 4.0 or lower)
30fps
8
AAC

4K UHD videos matching the requirements below can be directly played on some 4K devices recognized by Plex app:


Container
Resolution
Video Encoding
Video Framerate
Video Bit Depth
Audio Encoding
MP4
3840×2160 or smaller
HEVC (H.265)
30fps
8
AAC

Part 2. Best Tool to Digitize & Rip DVDs for Serving on Plex

To get the DVDs to Plex for streaming, a DVD ripping software is required. There are many programs out there that allow you to do the job. You may have heard about MakeMKV and Handbrake. In fact, they are not the best program for ripping DVD to Plex. MakeMKV just extracts the video and audio from DVD, that explains why it is fast and why the output file is very large. Handbrake also outputs a large file about 6GB when ripping a feature-length DVD movie to MP4 based on the test. Worse still, it runs sluggish and often crashes in the middle of process. Plus, the commercial DVDs aren't in their domain which they can handle with.

If you're looking for a more efficient and easier way to rip DVD collections for use with Plex, I highly recommend you another top-ranked tool - DumboFab DVD Ripper, which can rip DVDs to Plex Media Server compatible MP4 format at ultra fast speed and least quality loss. The program accepts various types of DVDs, non-commercial, region-coded, 99-title, etc.

What makes DumboFab DVD Ripper the best option to rip DVD to Plex supported file format:

  • • A 100% clean and secure DVD ripper for Windows 10/8/7 and Mac
  • • Rip DVDs (including encrypted, region-locked or unplayable DVDs) to Plex Media Server compatible MP4 format at ultrafast speed
  • • Also convert DVD ISO and Video_TS folder to Plex compatible format
  • • Offer a number of handy preset profiles for smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, smart TVs and more.
  • • Freely adjust output video/audio parameters, including change resolution, codec, bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, etc. to fit different requirements.
  • • Simple edit: cut, crop, merge, rotate, flip videos; add effect, text/image watermark to videos, etc.

Part 3: How to Rip DVDs for Plex in 3 Simple Steps

Step 1. Load source DVD

Input the DVD disc to DVD-ROM. Launch DumboFab DVD Ripper and click the Load DVD button to import the original DVDs you want to put into Plex.

Load source DVD

Step 2. Choose MP4 as output file

From Fomrat drop-down list, you're recommended to choose H.264 encoded MP4 from Common Video category as the output format because MP4 is is the most popular video format for almost all devices and media players.

To get the best possible output quality and smallest file size, choose H.265 Video(*.mp4) profile. It has 50% smaller size at the same quality. Please note that Plex's HEVC playback depends on the device you are playing on. For the most part the server will stream whatever the client is requesting. Of the devices I use, the Xbox One, Plex Media Player, and Plex for Samsung all can play HEVC content and the resolution will depend on the device.

Select MP4 for ripping DVD to Plex

Tips: Flexible options are offered to further reduce the size of the ripped MP4 video. Click the Settings button beside the profile bar and enter into the Profile Settings window. A slew of other variables such the video/audio codecs, pixel dimensions, frame rate, bit rate, audio sampel rate, etc. will help convert a DVD at 7.5GB to a smaller MP4 file.

Recommended video size settings for ripping DVDs to Plex:

◈ You're not suggested to adjust the frame rate and aspect ratio, if not necessary.
◈ Lower the bitrate to a lower level. For example, adjusting the original medium quality to bitrates of around 1500-2000 is acceptable without noticeable pixellation.
◈ Lower the resolution. Typical DVD videos are 720×480 (NTSC) and 720×540 (PAL). Adjust the resolution to 640×480 won't make any quality difference.

Best Format Settings for Ripping DVD to Plex

Step 3. Get ripping started

Hit the Convert button to rip DVD for Plex at lightning speed with best quality.

How to Upload DVD Rips to Plex

Then you can download, install and sign up Plex Media Server. Run Plex and click "Add Selection" and "Movies" to add the ripped DVD (digital MP4 video) to Plex. Install Plex app on any of your devices to stream and watch the DVD movie video anytime and anywhere you want.


Final Words:

DVD-Video is a consumer video format used to store digital video on DVD discs. Discs using the DVD-Video specification require a DVD drive and an MPEG-2 decoder (e. g., a DVD player, or a computer DVD drive with a software DVD player). Ripping DVDs to Plex allows you to access media files remotely via internet without the limitation of disc and hardware.

If you use your computer as Plex Media Server, the computer must be turned on while you watch a DVD movie on other devices. Because of this, some people will install Plex Media Server on NAS. NAS was designed to run 7*24 hours uninterruptedly.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Chris Ellison

Chris Ellison, an English Copywriter of DumboFab Studio, has 6 years of writing and marketing experience. Love writing and always provide thoughtful how-to guides and tips related to video processing, physical discs ripping and backup, recent hot topics, new digital devices, hit movies, music, etc. She is a life-enthusiast who is independent, persistent, enthusiastic, energetic, and interested in music, exercise, travel, dance, painting.

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