If there is a best Free DVD Ripper, it must be HandBrake. In fact Handbrake stands up against any other commercial DVD Ripper applications. There’s a good chance you’ve used Handbrake before, so I’ll make the introduction as short as possible- Handbrake is a free and open source program that converts DVD (now Blu-ray as well) movie from real disc, VIDEO_TS folder, and DVD ISO image to MP4, M4V and MKV format for iPad, Apple TV, iPhone, with customized settings, and allows users to config their own settings for the Xbox 360, PS3, and other popular media players not included. (Read more about video encoding with Handbrake at Maximum PC)
Blu-ray Ripping with HandBrake
Blu-ray ripping feature was added in the update release of HandBrake 0.9.5 on Jan 3, 2011. However, that doesn’t mean you can use HandBrake as a full Blu-ray Disc ripper, because it doesn’t handle commercial copy-protected Blu-ray Discs. In the release highlights you can find that “BluRay disc structure support. (No decryption support)”
HandBrake also makes it clear in its supported sources list- “Any DVD or Bluray-like source: VIDEO_TS folder, DVD image, real DVD or bluray (unencrypted — removal of copy protection is not supported), and some .VOB, .TS and M2TS files.
That mean HandBrake converts neither encrypted physical Blu-ray Disc nor decrypted commercial Blu-ray movies in BDMV file structure.
But how to convert/rip Blu-ray with HandBrake?
1) Convert home-made Blu-ray Disc movie/AVCHD shootings.
This is straight-forward. Place Blu-ray Disc into a BD drive that is connected with your PC/Mac, select the disc from the drop-down list of “Source” to load Blu-ray Disc, or select “Folder” to load STREAM folder under BDAV structure.
2) Rip commercial Blu-ray Disc movie with Handbrake.
After that you can load Blu-ray video streams (.m2ts files) to Handbrake. To load Blu-ray .m2ts video, select “Video” from the drop-down list of “Source” and browse to the stream you’d like to convert.
Some drawbacks of HandBrake as a Blu-ray Ripper:
1. HandBrake loads and converts slow. For faster converting speed, a Blu-ray ripper shareware is better choice. If your computer has an Nvidia CUDA graphics card, a CUDA-compliant Blu-ray Ripper could save a lot of time for you.
2. HandBrake exports .mp4, .m4v and .mkv format only. If you’d like to rip Blu-ray to .mp4, .avi, .wmv format, choose a Blu-ray movie transcoder instead.
3. You get a set of video streams instead of a full-length movie in one file only. This has something to do with Blu-ray file system. To get a full backup of Blu-ray movie with everything in ONE file, try ByteCopy.