Rip your DVD, HD-DVD or Blu-Ray to an .MKV file

With the growing popularity of Netflix and Amazon streaming media services many people are looking to convert their DVD’s, Blu-Ray’s and HD-DVD’s to a digital format that can be streamed locally with services like DLNA.  Most SmartTV’s, Blu-ray player and streaming media boxes support DLNA content.

This easy step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of ripping your movies to the .MKV format. I prefer the MKV format because it is an open source container file that allows for quick and easy rips of movies without loss of video or audio quality, chapter, subtitles and many other DVD features. The fact that you keep all the quality and features also means that files will range from 4GB for DVD’s to 17+GB for HD-DVD’s and Blu-Rays.  With a single hard drive now pushing 4TB in capacity a file of this size is quickly becoming relatively smaller.

DVD, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Ripping Instructions

  1.  Download and install the latest version of MakeMKV for Window’s, MacOS X or Linux at:
  2. Once MakeMKV is installed place your Disc in the appropriate DVD, Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive on your computer.  If multiple optical drives exists select the proper drive from the drop down menu. Make MKV will recognize the disc automatically and give you the specs or the disc.  Click the Open Disc button with the green arrow to start the scanning process.
  3. Once the scan has completed you can now select the specific video tracks you would like to rip. There will typically be several tracks available, but the largest track is the only track you should select, unless you want to save the special features.
  4. Next you will click the small white arrow next to the track you are ripping to see the Audio and Subtitle tracks available.  Un-check any audio tracks or subtitles you do not want.


    Tip: If multiple tracks in the same language exist, select both or the first track in the list. The second track is typically the directors commentary track.
    Note: DD 3/2+1 means that track is in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound and DD 2/0 mean the track is stereo. Choose whichever suits your needs. If your not sure select the DD3/2+1 track.

  5. In the output folder section select the location you would like to save you DVD/Blu-Ray rip to. and click the “Make MKV” button.
  6. If all goes well you can play your MKV file with your favorite media player, but we recommend VLC, which can be downloaded for free here:

Equipment You May Need

  • HD-DVD Drive – If you are going to rip a file from an HD-DVD then you will need a compatible drive. The discontinued XBox 360 HD-DVD drive will do the trick.
  • Blu-Ray Drive – If you PC doesn’t already have a Blu-Ray drive an external model can be purchase for less then $50.