MKV is a new video format that boasts of great video quality at a very small file size. You can practically compress an entire 4.8 gigabyte DVD into a small 300 megabyte MKV file with acceptable quality. This makes the MKV format an ideal choice for backing up your DVD collection. If you are interested in converting and backing up your DVD or BlueRay collection into the MKV format, then you can use the MakeMKV beta. MakeMKV is a one-click solution to convert videos that you own into free and patents-unencumbered format that can be played everywhere.
MakeMKV is a video format converter, also known as transcoder. It is able to convert the video clips from proprietary (which may also be encrypted) disk into a set of MKV files which can be played anywhere. The MKV format can store multiple video and audio tracks with all meta information and preserve chapters. There are many players (like VideoLAN VLC Media player) that can play MKV files nearly on all platforms.
MakeMKV is available for both Windows and Mac. You can download it from its official website. The download is around 6.5 megabytes and contains both the 64-bit and 32-bit binaries. After the installation, you can run it from the Start Menu shortcut. You should place your DVD or BlueRay disk that you want to convert to MKV format inside your optical drive before you start the MakeMKV software. When MakeMKV starts, it will automatically detect your optical drive. Now you can click on the big button with picture depicting conversion of DVD into MKV.
MakeMKV will start to analyze your DVD disk and see how much data can be converted and saved. If it cannot read some portion of your DVD disk, then it would show an error message. If the scanning and analysis of your DVD disk finishes successfully, then it would show a list of titles, chapters and languages of the DVD video. You can select or unselect one or more of these titles, chapters or supported languages for the conversion. You can choose the output folder where the converted MKV files would be stored. Finally click on the Make MKV button to start the conversion.
This would start the conversion (transcoding) process. The transcoding process is very fast. I chose to convert only one title from my DVD and it took only a few seconds to finish the process. The output MKV file has a very nice quality (almost same quality level as the original DVD video). Now you can play the MKV files using your favorite video player like VideoLAN VLC media player.
In addition to the ability of saving your DVD and BlueRay movies in the MKV format, MakeMKV is also able to stream the decrypted videos directly from the DVD or BlueRay Disk to the network. In order to stream your DVD or BlueRay movie, select all the chapters you want to stream and then click on the Stream button in the toolbar. It would start a UPnP server on a server address that you specifiy and starts streaming the movie on that address. You can open this server address in your favorite operating system, device or media player and watch the decrypted movie there.
MakeMKV is a very simple and fast tool for converting DVD videos into MKV files. It can be used on both Windows and Mac. You can use both BlueRay and DVD disks as input video source in MakeMKV. MakeMKV is in beta development stage. It allows free BlueRay conversion in beta stage but in the final release this feature will not be free. But you will still be able to convert DVDs for free. You can download MakeMKV from http://www.makemkv.com/.