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DVDFab, a company well known for their home media software, has asked me to take a look at their product DVDFab Blu-ray Copy. I've been using their product DVDFab Passkey to play Blu-rays on my computer for a while now, and it's a wonderful alternative to using bloated, over designed media players. I'm more than happy to check out another product they offer. DVDFab Blu-ray Copy comes with four main features: Full Disc, Main Movie, Clone and Write Data.

Full Disc


This is one of the more simple features to use on the application. It basically decrypts the Blu-ray files and makes a rip of the entire disc, porting its contents to your hard drive in a folder. You can also choose to save the full disc to your hard drive as a .iso file. All you have to do is open a Blu-ray disc, select an output folder, then choose from a small number of options:

DVDFab Blu-ray Copy

"Remove HD Audio" will make the rip with a lossy audio mix to save memory. I made rips with this option turned on and off, and it doesn't seem to have much effect on the video quality of the rips. The option to create a protected disc is only for titles that carry Cinavia's encryption. Checking this option will allow any Blu-ray disc burned with these files to play on a PS3 (and some other Blu-ray players), assuming the firmware requirements are met. Creating a miniso file is ideal if you use DVDFab's Virtual Drive software, which allows you to mount the Blu-ray files as a virtual disc. This makes your computer see the folder of Blu-ray files as a Blu-ray drive containing the disc for whatever movie you ripped. You can then play it in any program that supports Blu-ray playback.

This system is designed to keep everything simple for those that don't know much about Blu-ray file systems and want to make a working rip in just a few clicks of your mouse. It's great for those who just want to back up Blu-ray titles to their hard drive that they can burn to a disc in the future. The ripping process took approximately fifty minutes on my old 4x BD-ROM drive, with an added fifteen minutes for removing HD audio (more processing to compress the audio). The miniso concept is convenient for those that like to keep it simple and prefer to use Blu-ray software to watch their ripped titles. If you have DVDFab Virtual Drive installed, you can just double-click the miniso file and you're good to go. Personally, I like to take the decrypted movie files and play them in Media Player Classic - Home Cinema on my computer. If you rip a full Blu-ray disc using DVDFab Blu-ray Copy and wish to access the singular movie file by itself, just open the ripped folder on your hard drive, then the BDMV folder, then the STREAM folder. The biggest .m2ts file in this folder will more than likely be the film.

DVDFab Blu-ray Copy
 

Main Movie


This feature is for those that aren't interested in backing up every bit of content on the disc and just want the main movie. It comes with more customization options to ensure that you get exactly what you want off of the Blu-ray disc and nothing more.

DVDFab Blu-ray Copy

As you can see from the screen shot, the program conveniently lists all of the features on the disc so you can select which one you want to rip. It automatically sorts the files by size, so the one at the top of the list will be the movie. I decided to test this by putting in my Gladiator Blu-ray, which branches together multiple .m2ts files (a common method of saving space when theatrical and extended cuts share a disc). The program passed, listing the extended cut as a single rippable feature with the shorter theatrical cut second on the list.

On the right side of the program window you have the option to select which audio tracks you want. You can save a lot of memory by unchecking additional languages and subtitle files that you won't use. At the bottom of the window there is a drop down menu that lets you pick between multiple file sizes. This will make your movie rip small enough to fit onto a single-layer Blu-ray, dual-layer DVD or single-layer DVD if you desire. It's super convenient, but be warned that using these compression options will slow down the ripping process dramatically, taking about 30-40 minutes longer than an uncompressed rip.

DVDFab Blu-ray Copy

I decided to rip the same movie using each option in this drop down menu to compare the video quality and see how well the compression holds up. Again, I had to really put this feature to the test, so I used the 2011 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Blu-ray. The movie file on this disc still takes up a whopping 40 GB after reducing it to one lossless audio track. Each rip was taken with the same audio settings and output resolution. Here are some screen shots for observation:

BD50/1080p Uncompressed

 Blu-ray Disc
Not much to say here. This is an uncompressed BD50 rip that looks exactly like a screen cap taken directly from the Blu-ray disc itself.

BD25/1080p

 BD-25 Rip
Here is the 40 GB movie file compressed to under 25 GB. It holds up incredibly well. There's only some slight loss of detail in the more textured areas of the picture, and you really have to be looking to notice it.

BD9/1080p

 BD-9
As expected, once the file size is reduced to under 9 GB you can start to see the compression make its mark. Solid areas of color feature some blockiness that wasn't present in the other screen caps, but the overall image still looks quite good.

BD5/1080p

 BD-5
I was hoping that BD5 would more closely resemble BD9, but compression really takes a huge bite out of the image with this setting. It could be due to the 1080p resolution just being too big for a file of this size at this point. There are a lot more digital artefacts, including some weird textures on her face, and overall detail is much blurrier. The screen cap doesn't represent it, but in motion, there are a lot of stuck pixels as well. The dip in quality is expected. After all, this is roughly 1/8th of the original file size, but given how well the BD9 setting held up I expected it to be a little stronger.

Clone


This feature is pretty straight forward. All you do put in a Blu-ray disc as your source, then choose a target. Your target can either be a BD-RW (rewritable) drive that can write to a blank Blu-ray disc, or it can be a location on your hard drive where the program will save an image of the disc as a .iso file. There's no compression or layout of options for this feature; it's just a simple 1:1 copy of the movie you put in your drive. Unfortunately I don't have a BD-RW drive, so I wasn't able to test out how well it writes to a blank disc, but I tried making a .iso file with the feature. The process took about 80 minutes and went smoothly without slowing down anything else happening on my computer.

DVDFab Blu-ray Copy

It may take some time to get it done, but this feature is very simple and straightforward for those that just want make a couple clicks and get a back-up made with ease.

Write Data


Lastly we come to the Write Data feature. This is for writing Blu-ray files that are already on your computer onto a disc. You just have to select a Blu-ray folder or a .iso file that you ripped from your collection as your source, then choose a BD-RW drive to write it to. It's as simple as that. If you select a folder as your source, you also have the option of converting it to a .iso file.

DVD

Additional Notes


I decided to see how the program handles a Blu-ray from another region, so I put in my Region-B locked copy of We Need to Talk About Kevin. As usual, I was prompted to specify the disc's region code. When I did, the program opened the disc and continued with business as usual. After using the Full Disc image to make a .iso file of the Region-B disc, I mounted the .iso file with DVDFab Virtual Drive and opened it with PowerDVD (set to Region-A). To my delight, the region of the disc did not matter and it opened without any problems.

You can buy a two-year license for DVDFab Blu-ray Copy for $72.80 USD, or a lifetime key for $105.60. Initially that price seemed steep, but it isn't so unreasonable given the amount of features at hand, and the cost of most Blu-ray playback software. In my experience, DVDFab's developers do a fairly good job of keeping up with decryption for the latest Blu-ray titles, which gives it some advantage over the limited, free Blu-ray decryption programs out there.

Overall


DVDFab Blu-ray Copy is an excellent program that comes with all the tools you need to back-up your Blu-ray collection. Whether you want to strip down a Blu-ray disc to its essentials or just make a direct copy from one Blu-ray disc to another, this program will allow you do so with the utmost simplicity. Even those who are not looking to make copies of their collection can still use it as a valuable decryption tool, allowing you to playback Blu-ray video files in the player of your choice. The ripping processes take a good while, but that is expected when you're dealing with such large amounts of memory. Compression holds up extremely well in most circumstances, with the BD5 option being the only one I wouldn't recommend.

Blu-ray Copy
Step by Step Tutorials from DVDFab

* Note: The above review was written using the full version of DVDFab Blu-ray Copy. Full functionality and certain features may not work as described in trial versions.


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