A while back I started to back up my DVD collection using Linux (dvdbackup and Handbrake). For Blu-ray disks I have unfortunately not found any good solutions for Linux and only open source software. Therefore, this guide will show how you may back up your Blu-rays on the MS Windows platform, using AnyDVD HD, BDInfo, Eac3to (inkluding Eac3to and More GUI) and tsMuxer.
1. Backup disk and remove copy protection
AnyDVD HD does a good job removing the copy protection and backing up the disk to your hard drive. It is a proprietary piece of software, but I found that a lifetime license was worth the investment (about € 100).
Please note that removing copy protection may be illegal in some countries. In Norway (where I live) it is, to my best understanding, illegal to circumvent effective copy protection measures. As far as I see it, AnyDVD makes the copy protection on Blu-rays very ineffective. However, there are, to my knowledge, no court orders that defines what effective is. Removing the copy protection may therefore be in the gray area. Nevertheless, I strongly believe consumers should be able to back up their own DVDs and Blu-rays, and use software like XBMC to manage their media collection.
2. Identifying the movie streams
You may want to store the whole blu-ray with all its files and folders. I am however mainly interested in the main feature itself. To identify the stream(s) that contain(s) the movie I use BDInfo. The first and longest playlist normally contain the stream(s) that constitute the movie. The movie in the screenshot above was contained in only one stream (“00000.m2ts”). The streams are always located in the folder “[movie root]\BDMV\STREAM”.
If only one stream (.m2ts file) contains the whole movie, you may simply store this file where ever you like, and watch it with XBMC or any other viewer you’d like. If the movie is constituted of several streams you should use tsMuxer to join/append these streams in the order shown in BDInfo.
Please note that the .m2ts container does not contain subtitles and chapters. If you want this you could for instance use the mkv container. However, since I normally do not care about either, I just back up the .m2ts file.
3. Adding an AC3 sound track and removing unnecessary tracks (optional)
Some players are not able to decode DTS sound tracks. As a consequence of this I normally add an AC3 (Dolby Digital) track to my .m2ts containers. This is done by first encoding the DTS to AC3 using Eac3to.
Next, create a new .m2ts file by adding (muxing) the newly created .ac3 file to the .m2ts file from the blu-ray. This is done using tsMuxer.
While muxing the two files I normally remove tracks that I do not need. This may be languages, presentation graphics, or video tracks with lower resolution. To remove them, simply uncheck the tracks that you do not want.