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XP / Vista: How to Rip DVDs to Apple TV for Free

Using free software, ripping your movies or TV episodes to your Apple TV is simple. These directions and screenshots will help you get your collection on your Apple TV in no time.

I have been challenged by the best way to get my large DVD collection transferred over to my Apple TV. Using these freeware tools, I have been able to rip most of my collection.

1. First download and install DVD Decypter and HandBrake

Note: Vista users probably will want to run these software packages in Administrative mode to reduce some vista-related problems. HandBrake can be a little flakey in Vista but works well for me. The queue sometimes gives issues, for example.

2. Run DVD Decypter and insert the DVD in your drive

3. If the DVD is region set, you may need to select your appropriate region for the DVD. If you do not see this screen, do not worry.

4. Using the default settings, burn the DVD onto your hard drive.

5. After the burning is completed, open HandBrake. (In admin mode again, if running vista.)

6. Select the Apple TV Preset

6. As Source select the directory on your hard drive that contains your burned DVD files.

7. At Destination select where you want your file created. Handbrake will look like it wants you to name it with a .mp4 extension and then may change it to an .mv4 extension. As long as it writes the file as either extension, it is fine.

8. If you are ripping a movie, you should leave the Title set to automatic and the Chapters set to auto

9. If you are ripping a season full of TV episodes, change the Title to select the episode you want. You should be able to tell which are episodes by the time length of the file. The chapters will select automatically.

Note: If you are ripping a high resolution movie, you may want to tweak your video settings. Enabling 2-pass encoding with turbo first pass will give improved video quality but will take much longer to convert. I typically 2-pass my movies but use the quicker default settings on standard definition TV-shows and such.

10. At this point, you can either Encode or Add to Queue. By changing the chapter selections and the destination file name, you can rip multiple episodes at once.

11. After the file (or files) are converted, drag them into the movie section of iTunes. If the files are TV shows, you will need to follow this quick tutorial to update this in iTunes.

Good luck.

David Kirk
David Kirk
David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.


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