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May 29, 2012 4:52 PM   Subscribe

How can I rip a Region 2+4, 4:3 DVD into a format that'll play on my Apple TV?

I bought a copy of The Day Today, probably the funniest television series of all time, on DVD. I'd like to rip the episodes and play them on my Apple TV. The degree of difficulty is as follows:

-This show was never released in the United States, so the DVD region code is 2+4 according to the packaging.
-This show came out in 1994, so it's 4:3. (And it aired on BBC, so it's PAL, naturally.)
-The computer I'll be doing this on is a Mac mini, and I'll be using an external Samsung DVD drive. (I also scratched one of the discs like an absolute genius because it wasn't properly seated in the drive...but hopefully that won't be a big issue.)

I know Handbrake is a thing that works well for converting video files, though I've not done much of that myself, and I assume there's a preset for Apple TV format.

What's the best way to do this?
posted by andrewcilento to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, Handbrake has an Apple TV preset. I don't know why that wouldn't work like a charm for you. You could also try MakeMKV. It ripped a Region 2 Blu-ray disc with no problems.
posted by DakotaPaul at 4:57 PM on May 29, 2012

Response by poster: Great. Is there a way to bypass the region code without having to change the region on the drive?
posted by andrewcilento at 5:07 PM on May 29, 2012

Handbrake's normal mode of operation is to completely bypass copy protection/region coding, via libdvdcss. Apparently not all brands of drives will allow that; in particular this article suggests that Macs' internal optical drives will only work if you change the drive's region to match the disc. But stick to your external drive and hopefully that won't be necessary.
posted by teraflop at 6:06 PM on May 29, 2012

Response by poster: The external prompts me to change the region, unforunately. I can do that if all else fails, but I'd certainly prefer not to.
posted by andrewcilento at 6:10 PM on May 29, 2012

Handbrake won't have any trouble with PAL/NTSC issues so don't worry about that.

You'll only get a limited number of region switches on the external drive unless you upgrade the firmware to a verson that isn't region locked. The process is pretty easy (usually you just double-click an app and wait two minutes while it does its thing) but there may not be region-free firmware for your particular drive.

I haven't played around with this in a number of years but RPC1 used to be the place to look for firmware.
posted by bcwinters at 6:20 PM on May 29, 2012

Best answer: You can use Mac the Ripper:

MacTheRipper is a DVD ripper (extractor). It removes CSS encryption, Macrovision protection, sets the disc's region to '0' for region-free, and is capable of removing RCE region checking. It can also copy ARccOS copy-protected DVDs. This is to backup your legally-purchased DVDs onto your hard drive.

Then use Handbrake.
posted by ShooBoo at 7:55 PM on May 29, 2012

MacTheRipper sets the region to 0 on the ripped copy it makes, but it cannot work around the hardware of your drive when you first insert the disc. If your drive has region locks you will still use one up.
posted by bcwinters at 5:26 AM on May 30, 2012

Response by poster: MacTheRipper turns out to be the solution. It took a moment, but after giving it time to think, it was able to bypass the region coding. I then ripped both discs to the computer, used Handbrake to encode everything to Apple Universal, and now I've got The Day Today on my television. Fantastic.
posted by andrewcilento at 9:02 PM on June 2, 2012

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