This is pretty self explanatory, but for anyone curious, I figured I'd summarize how I do it. You can use this for any of your own DVDs. I'm not saying that it won't work with something like Netflix, but that would be piracy, and we don't support that here.
First, pop in your DVD, and let's say it has 3 episodes on it. The first thing you'll want to do is make an image of it. I use RipIt. Stick DVD in, click Rip, and go. The benefit of this is that if you can rip the DVD immediately and then make episodes of it at your leisure.
You'll end up with a .dvdimage file. You can use this like a normal disc image, and play it with DVD player.
At this point, bring up DVD player. (OSX won't let you screenshot a running movie, but use your imagination..) Check the disc and see how many episodes are on it. On this particular one, there are three. Handbrake, however, will detect a LOT more chapters than that:
Generally (I've yet to come across a situation where this wasn't the case), it'll look like this.
- Your episode chapters
- A very long chapter with all of them
- Another batch of episode chapters the same length (these are the director commentaries)
- A bunch of random shit
The first chapters are the actual episodes. So if you have 3 episodes on a disc, you'll have 3 ~45 minute chapters, and then one that's a couple of hours. The ones you want are the first 3.
Now back over to handbrake. Pick your encoding preferences, and then select each chapter individually:
For each chapter, you want to pick it, set the encoding, give it a name and add it to the queue. So pick chapter 1, give it a filename that makes sense, and click add to queue. With a 3-episode disc, you'll end up with a queue that looks like this.
I name my ripped episodes (disc name)A, B, C, D, etc. And then I name them the actual "correct" name once I've checked them against the source DVD. So here we have files named bsg_disc_whatever_a, bsg_disc_whatever_b and bsg_disc_whatever_c added to the queue. In the screenshot ABOVE, you can see that I'm on Chapter 3, so my episode name ends in a C.
Once they're done, you'll have a handful of mp4 or m4v files (whichever you prefer), one for each episode. This might sound confusing, but the file here is the FIRST episode (A) on disc 3 of season 4 of BSG, which has episodes 5-7 on it. So it's episode 5.
The right way to name them is "Show Name S0XE0X". Where X = season and episode. So this file will be renamed to "Battlestar Galactica S04E05.m4v".
Now, before you're done, you want to check each file to make sure it's correct. This is simple. Load up the .dvdimage file in DVD player, and pick an episode. Say it's the first in a season, bring up episode 1. Now, fast forward it to somewhere in the middle, so you can see what's going on.
Say I'm using BSG, and at 15:00 in Episode 1, I see that Olmos is standing next to Tricia Helfer, on the bridge. I now use VLC, and open my "Battlestar Galactica S01E01.m4v" file, and fast forward it to 15:00 as well. They may be a few seconds off from each other, but I can scan around that general time and see if I'm looking at the same episode. If 15:00 in I'm not looking anywhere even remotely at Olmos, I know that I've got the wrong file.
Here's a picture of two "compares". DVD player (playing the DVD image) is on the left, VLC (playing the tipped m4v file) is on the right in both pics, and both are at the same time frame in the episode.
Once you've checked, and have your filenames all squared away, put 'em in a season folder like so:
Repeat the process for each DVD in the season. I don't care about the director commentary/deleted scenes after I've seen them once, so I don't want to keep them. This way, you trim out a LOT of fat from each DVD instead of keeping full images on your storage device, since all you're saving are the individual episodes.
With my setup, I run 3000kbps and each episode ends up about 1GB. The DVD image is 8GB, so I save 5GB per disc doing it this way, which leaves me more space on my NAS to put other shows, movies, etc.
And that's it!