There are some immediate benefits to save Blu-rays to hard drive. It will prevent your Blu-ray from scratching, cracking and other physical damages even lost. You can direct use your Blu-rays, e.g. edit, share, flexible playback without Blu-ray player anymore. Or you copy Blu-rays to external hard drive so as to stream on TV/laptop/PC, release more room for your house, or sort easily.
That's not the end yet. To this day, there are very few ways to watch your Blu-Ray collection on your computer without shelling out cash for the privilege, even if you already own a Blu-Ray drive and bought your movies. This also drives a surge in demand of digitizing and ripping Blu-ray to computer/external hard drive.
Whatever reasons you may have, external/computer hard drive is definitely a good option to store Blu-ray back-ups as it hold as much as ten terabytes and even more. Nevertheless, you cannot get access to the Blu-ray content by direct copying. This is why the article exists, because it's going to analyze the reasons and show you a trustworthy tool to make backup copies of your Blu-ray collection easier.
This way, you don't need to swap discs, you can play your movies in any app you want, and you can even stream them to your other devices. You can even add your old DVD collection. If you want to rip your DVDs, this process will work as well, but we'll focus on transferring Blu-ray to hard drive — our recommended process for copying DVD to hard drive is a little different.
Table of Contents:
Why Can't You Copy Blu-ray to Hard Drive Normally
For burned and homemade Blu-rays that come without any copy protection, you can directly copy the content (BDMV folder) from Blu-ray to hard drive for backup purpose. The folder storing all the movie and video data can be played on Windows Media player, VLC, etc. without any problem. For commercial Blu-rays, when you extract the BDMV folder from Blu-ray to your computer or external hard drive, you will end up with failure.
Generally, instead of "copy Blu-ray", we say rip Blu-ray to hard drive. Why? Almost all Blu-ray movies and TV shows are armed with one or more copy protection schemes. These schemes are stored in the normally inaccessible lead-in area of the disc, as a move to prevent the files from being copied directly. Here are some of commonly used Blu-ray encryption technologies, which hold you back from backup Blu-ray smoothly.
The encrypted content can only be decrypted using combination of media key (obtained from Media Key Block by one of device keys available for each reproduction devices) and the Volume ID (unique identifiers stored on each disk) of the media.
◆ The BD+ virtual machine embedded in authorized players will execute programs included in Blu-ray discs, allowing to verify the player's keys, transform the output so that content is unscrambled, and/or execute native code to patch the system against vulnerabilities. Based on concept of self-protecting digital content.
Recorders will check for watermark that cannot be duplicated by consumer-level recorders, allowing authentic media for movies, musics and games.
That's why you end midway when trying to copy the protected Blu-ray contents directly. And when you play the copied files, typically in .m2ts format, the decoder will ask for keys from the disc drive and you will get an error such as "Cannot play copy-protected files". In addition to the Blu-ray copy protection schemes, Firmware faults, mechanical failure, and overheating computer also lead to Blu-ray copying failure.
Moreover, to this day, there there are very few ways to watch your Blu-Ray collection on your computer without shelling out cash for the privilege, even if you already own a Blu-Ray drive and bought your movies. Instead, it's simpler to rip your Blu-rays to computer or external hard drive for further editing, sharing or flexible playback. As a result, Blu-ray ripper is required to copy Blu-ray to hard drive.
Is There a Time-Tested Tool to Copy Blu-ray to Hard Drive in a Trouble-Free Way
Yes, EaseFab LosslessCopy is one such tool to backup entire Blu-ray collection to hard drive quickly and easily. It is skilled in removing copy protections, and making discs region free. With it, you can extract out a Blu-ray and save it popular video format such as MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, etc which is readable by external hard drive HDD, SSD, NAS, USB, thumb drive, and the like. You can also make 1:1 Blu-ray to Blu-ray folder, M2TS or MKV losslessly and keep 100% original videos/audios/subtitles within only 5 mins.
If you need to Blu-ray to hard drive ripping with best quality-size tradeoff: we recommend "MP4 H.264 format" as the output format in EaseFab LosslessCopy. MP4 can well balance size and quality and it's compatible with almost all devices, including computers and HD/4K TVs, phones, tablets, and game consoles from Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Sony, etc. It's also accepted by media players, editors (e.g. iTunes, iDVD, iMovie) and web services (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo).
If you need a 1:1 Blu-ray to hard drive copy: we recommend "Blu-ray Backup" and lossless MKV option. Either Directly Copy (Main Title Copy), Copy the entire disc or lossless backup Blu-ray to MKV is without quality loss. Typically, Copy the entire disc and lossless MKV mode enable you to have all the original subtitle tracks and audio tracks and intact menu.
How to Rip and Copy Blu-ray to Hard Drive within Clicks?
To begin with, you need to download and install EaseFab LosslessCopy Windows or Mac version on your computer. The guide below takes the Windows version for an example. Mac version has the same process. Please note that a Blu-ray drive is necessary to rip and copy Blu-ray discs. If you want to save 4K UHD Blu-rays to hard drive, you'll need to get a 4K Blu-ray drive.
Step 1. Load the source Blu-ray movie.
Run EaseFab LosslessCopy on your PC or Mac, insert the Blu-ray disc into your Blu-ray drive. Click Load Disc button to have the Blu-ray movie uploaded to the program.
Step 2. Choose Output Format for Your Hard Drive.
The Blu-ray's information, such as title, subtitle, duration, output, etc. will be shown in the file list. You can choose to copy Blu-ray to hard drive in different formats:
For computer's hard drive: Click "Format" bar and move mouse cursor to "Common Video" category, here you can choose MP4, HEVC, MKV, AVI, MPEG, WMV, etc. If you're running on macOS, you can choose MP4, MOV or M4V for further use on your Mac's hard drive.
For external hard drive: Similar to USB, you can have much more choices, ranging from "to MP4", "to MPEG", "to WMV", "to AVI", "to MOV", "to Music" etc., depending on the use of the files, or say the output devices or players that will be connected to.
Today's 8TB and larger SSD is getting cheaper. It's not worth converting files to more efficient and space-saving formats in case of backing up your movie library. This is because re-encoding Blu-ray takes time and involves loss of quality. In this situation, you can choose "Copy the entire disc" to make a full title copy or select "Directly Copy" from "Copy" category to backup the main title. Also you can choose "Lossless/encoded Multi-track MKV" from Multi-track Video category to backup Blu-ray to a lossless MKV file. This will keep the audio and image the same as original. And you can save Blu-ray library to your computer hard drive for further use.
EaseFab LosslessCopy's Blu-ray backup mode neither degrades video quality nor reduces file size (movie size stays almost the same as original 30GB or 50GB). If you have some portable hard drives that are formatted in FAT32, with restrictive 4GB file size limit, it's suggested to rip Blu-ray to MP4 H.264, for it strikes a perfect balance between file size (around 1.2-1.5GB) and output quality. See how to convert Blu-ray to MP4 with best quality-size balance >>
Step 3. Start Copying Blu-ray to Hard Drive.
Click "Folder" button in the Output bar, and select a destination folder to save your rip. Now you're ready to hit "Convert" button to begin copying Blu-ray to hard drive.
Afterwards, you can sort your movies or TV shows quickly in your computer, and even transfer and watch the DVD video on your Android, iOS gadgets. If you want to transfer your Blu-ray library backups to external HDD or SSD such as Samsung Portable SSD T5, SanDisk Extreme portable SSD, connect it with a USB cable, send your Blu-ray copies to external drive, and then you can stream them to your laptop, PC or TV as per your needs.
Why Can't We Copy Blu-rays to External Hard Drive Directly?
Generally, instead of using "copy", we say rip Blu-rays to hard drive. Why? The entertainment industry has spent an untold amount of money creating and implementing copyright protection for its content. Because copy protection prevents casual copying to other media, such as a hard drive, NAS box, or USB stick; it makes it difficult to make legal back-up copies of the digital media we purchase (not rent); and it raises the price of disc players, streaming devices, and TVs. Copy protection has also been known to create interoperability issues. And that's why you'll get an error for trying to directly copy the encrypted Blu-ray contents to external hard drive. So you need a Blu-ray to hard drive ripper that can deal with copy protection schemes, such as LosslessCopy that is built in a powerful Blu-ray decrypter.
But isn’t there a way to make digital copies of your BD movies at all or is it legal to backup and rip your Blu-ray discs for personal user? Absolutely not. We believe that the movie manufacturers have the right to keep their intellectual property, but we also believe that consumers have the right to enjoy or backup BD movies they purchase, especially when they just wanna keep Blu-ray discs from scratching, or manage their movies in a more convenient way.