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  • Newbie Question about copying a Blu Ray

    Hello, I'm an admitted newbie looking for some help please. I've used DVDFab for DVDs for some time but now I have DVD-Fab Blu Ray copy but have never used it yet. I am soon buying an external Blu Ray writer/burner. A few questions please...
    1. Does DVDFab work about the same way for BRs as it does for DVDs. For example, will it first copy it to my HD and then burn it onto a blank BR? I will only have one BR writer/burner, so I can't insert a blank and the original at the same time.

    2. Is a blank BR of 25 gb adequate for most BR movies? Is 50 better?

    3. Is the quality of a backup/copied BR the exact same as original? Slight or noticable differences?

    thank so much.

  • #2
    Hello, CheapTom : (Please excuse the long narrative)

    1. During Clone/Burn process, you can choose to burn directly to a disc, or to write it to an ISO file on you hard drive for later burning. Neither method requires swapping back and forth and only need to swap out the source file with an empty disc just once. With all other modes you have a choice between writing the copy as a BD structure in folders, or as an ISO file suitable for burning at a later time either with DVD Fab or other 3rd party utility, such as the free Imgburn. Imgburn can also build an ISO file from a BD structure on your hard drive. Personally, I would recommend using Imgburn to burn discs as it offers a bit more flexibility. It has been around for a long time and is well trusted to successfully burn a disc.(Always choose to verify a burn, but this is no guarantee it will play properly in your player. It could be a compatibility issue with your player, or perhaps the file(s) were not created properly with Fab (the latter less likely than the former).

    2. Depending on the size of the original movie source, you can usually compress a greater than 25 GB source to 25 GB. DVDFab is a bit conservative on the actual file size it creates for a 25 GB disc but this is so the data is not written too close to the edge since the quality of a disc is not always as good near the edge and is also more susceptible to damage in this area from mishandling or long-term use. This can be set/changed under Common Settings>Drives> DVD Write or Bu-ray write. (for 25 GB disc I personally use 23098 MB size). You can also enter your own size manually if you don't want to use one of the presets.

    If you want no compression, 50 GB of course is better if the source is >25GB, but are a lot more expensive than the blank BD-R 25 GB. In my personal opinion, with any compression up to around 25% is very had to tell from the original for me. Above 25%, you may notice a drop in quality, the greater the compression needed. DVDFab will show the percentage it needs on the main title bar, but you have to allow scanning to complete (which could take several minutes) to get an accurate estimate. If it say 82%, it actually means the source will be compressed to 82% for the copy, thus resulting in 18% compression. You also have the option to remove HD audio (which will only then copy the core DTS or AC3 audio), resulting in slightly less compression. You also have the choice of converting DTS/LPCM audio to AC3 which result in once again less compression. Its a balancing act between better video quality and slightly less audio quality and is subjective to the user rather than a fine science.

    You could always simply use 50 GB BD-R for all backups where the sources is >25 GB but as I said, they cost more. Check out the prices on Amazon. BUT some players, even newer models do not all handle 50 GB (dual layered) BD-Rs well and some tend to stutter or even freeze at the layer change. Best way to avoid this is to burn the DL 50GB discs at the slowest speed your burner supports for the specific media you are using. Imgburn will display the available speeds before burning. A lot of this depends on your specific setup combination (burner/media/standalone player). Even when Imgburn burns a DL 50 GB with no errors when verifying, I still had problems with my Sony player which is only a few years old. I believe it is an incompatibility problem with my player, rather than disc quality issue. The focus of the laser is a bit more critical when burning/reading the second layer since it has to focus through the first layer properly and at the right power. ALWAYS use good quality discs and stay away from bargain discs. I recommend verbatim discs as they are one of the best in the industry and easily attainable. Since I started backing up blu-rays several years ago, I have not had even ONE coaster to this day when using verbatim 25 GB BD-Rs. ( I was hoping to have at least one nice set of coasters to be used for special occasions by now, but none, lol). One of the nice features of the verbatim discs is what they call "Hard Coat". Although a fingerprint magnet, which is easy to wipe off, it is very resistant to scratching, unlike DVD surface. I think other brands have a harder coat than DVD, but in my opinion, Verbatim seems to have the most durable. (I experimented around with brands some while back and seem to remember not all of them had as durable of a surface coating). Oh, and always use HTL ("High To Low") rather than LTH ("Low To High")discs. The latter is cheaper, but its organic rather than metal and lower quality and also may suffer compatibility with some players. If its LTH, it will be marked as such on the disc, otherwise you can assume its HTL. LTH is not as common now days)

    Even at around 35% compression which I have run into a few times, the video quality is still decent and still better than DVD. Again, this is subjective to the user.

    3. I think I pretty well addressed that in #2 above.

    Sorry about getting long-winded, but sometimes a short answer results in more questions. I hope you found this helpful.
    Last edited by LaciBacsi; 10-28-2018, 03:24 AM.

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    • #3
      Laci, thank you very much. You covered everything I needed, and it was so helpful.

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      • #4
        One more thing please, and again sorry but I am brand new... If I just burn a BD onto my PC, what software do I need to watch them? I understand that VLC might or might not work? Just looking for something basic. thanks !
        Last edited by CheapTom; 10-28-2018, 06:02 PM.

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        • #5
          There are several free players out there and some have limited capabilities. You already mentioned VLC. Another on is MPC-HC x64. It has not been updated in over a year but I have tried it in the past and it seems to work ok. DVDFab also offers a player (not free) but have not used it personally and you may want to check out the posts about that for any current issues.The one I use is the well known Power DVD. Its not free but it works as good as a standalone player with the same restrictions (will detect Cinavia and also wont play protected copied discs such as a protected Clone from DVDFab). I like the fact that it has those restrictions because for me it is a good test to check if Cinavia has been truly removed and other authoring issues, before actually committing to a burn. If it plays ok on my PC I know there is a good chance it will play correctly in my standalone (barring some other issues with the media itself). It is very customizable and will also display information in real time, such as the audio and video bitrate, encoding/container, along with the usual current chapter, etc. You can sometimes purchase a slightly older version (current version I believe is Power DVD 18 I have 17) at a discount from other sources. You will need to check around. Hopefully other users can chime in about other players not mentioned here that they may have had experience with.

          Since you are new to this, I want to mention another issue, besides Cinavia, which is a protection introduced around 2012 that has an audio watermark that all Blu-ray players from 2012 on can detect in a copy. It is what is known as Screenpass where there are many false playlists. Once DVDFab developers are made aware, they usually have a fix within a very short time. This is presently used mainly by titles produced and/or released by Lionsgate. The title will appear to copy correctly, but when you play the backup, the chapters will be out of sequence or in proper sequence but only play the first second or two of each chapter. You can of course check this with a software player prior to burning your backup. If you inspect the original through Windows explorer, you can see if the main movie is multiple segments or one large single stream. If it is the latter, chances are Sreenpass protection is not present. As I said, if its IS there, DVDFab will have a fix for it once they have been made aware and have the proper files they need for a fix. On ANY multi-segmented main move stream, I always play the original and will chapter through and make a quick written notation of the beginning of each chapter (such as 'boy running', or 'sunset', or 'plane taking off', etc,). Then after I have made a backup, I check each chapter of that to see if it matches the original per my notations and also that it plays each chapter for more than a second or two. There may be tools out there to check this in a more graceful or technical way, but this brute force method is quick and easy for me and always works.

          One more issue which I became aware of some time ago. When using Blu-ray Main Movie copy, DVDFab will NOT detect and correctly set forced subtitles. This is usually a subtitle track that is turned on by the player by default, and usually contains a translation track when a foreign language is spoken in the movie. Some of these type of subtitles are imbedded in the video track itself, but other times they are a separate track. I understand that a fix is in the works, but has not been fixed as of this writing in the latest version (11.0.0.1). The best way to check this is to actually play the main movie from the original disc, and check to see if any subtitle tracks are turned on by default by the payer. Not all foreign phrases are translated (usually they are if its critical to the storyline). Then, when you make your backup, you can set the specific subtitle track to be on by default. You do this by left clicking directly next to the specific subtitle just to the left of the checkbox (make sure its selected with the check mark) and a right arrow will appear (See screenshot below). This subtitle track will now play when needed for translation by default. Sometimes it can be only one phrase in the entire movie. For now, until a fix becomes available, I ALWAYS check. If multiple English tracks are shown, it does not always mean one of them is a translation track. Often, regular subtitles are there but in different formats. Also, if there is only one English track then it is likely just a normal subtitle track and not a forced track. Best to check the original.

          I hope this wasn't TMI, but just trying to share all my experiences to help along.


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