I started running a plex server so that I could keep my vast array of movies sorted and make it alot easier to stream. The problem has always been getting them on my raid drive cheap enough to make it worth it. Let’s be honest I don’t want to go sorting through all my movies every time I want to watch it, but I also don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for that ease of use.
Things I needed:
- Bluray Drive that could read 4k movies
- Program to encode and rip 4K movies
- Firmware to make it work
- Get the Keys for the 4K Movies
Doing a little research I found out that older Blu-ray burners have the ability to read 4K movies. These are called 4K friendly drives. Unfortunately, they have been updated with firmware that now disallows the reading of 4K discs. Shame on you big corporations. Looks like they wanted to get a little more money from consumers for their 4K drives. One of those drives that worked was the Asus BW16-D1HT which is under $80. To put that in perspective, the cheapest 4K drive I found was twice that price.
Now I already had the software which can read and rip blu-rays and 4K movies with 4k friendly drives (assuming the right firmware on the drive). This program is called Make MKV. It is a fantastic program that works flawlessly with Plex. Basically, you just put your DVD, Blu-ray or 4K movie in the drive and open the disc within the program. Select the features and languages you want to keep and then select where you want the program to save the final movie. For example, I typically just want to main movie, so I select the main movie and the English languages such as 7.1, stereo and subtitles. The rest I just uncheck. I don’t care about the features and really don’t care about audio tracks in foreign languages. This saves me hard drive space and time when ripping. This program has a lot of great features. But don’t take my word for it, try it out. It is free for 30 days and then $50 for a license if you continue to use it.
Now I know I can get the drive and software, I still need to correct firmware for my drive. In the past, it was a very scary proposition doing this, as you could easily brick your drive if you didn’t know what you were doing. Luckily the forum members at Make MKV are lifesavers. A member named Marty Mcnuts created a program that you can download here. Just download the modified ASUS FW Flasher + Downgrade Enabled Firmware + the latest MK firmware pack. Once this is complete you run the program found in the unzipped folder. This asks you find the firmware you want to update. Don’t worry it came in a subfolder. Mine was labeled MK firmware pack. The program will run for about 30 second. Once it starts running it’ll open the drive and finally close the drive when it is finished. Your drive can now read 4K movies, however, it still can’t rip all 4k movies. That is due to the fact that it needs the Key to rip it. DOn’t worry, this is the easiest step of all of them.
On you computer go to computer – users – your computer user name – .mkv. The folder .mkv might not be there if you haven’t tried to rip a bluray yet. No worries, just put one in and try to rip it. It will then create this folder. Once you have navigated to it, download the updated key list found here. This will download a file read by Make MKV, as long as it is in the folder noted above. Once you download it, move it to your .mkv folder in your user account. You can also download these keys found here. Move these to the same spot. Keep in mind these are updated as movies come out, so you may need to go back and update this list by re-downloading the file. Once this is complete you are ready to rip your 4K movies to your Hard Drive to watch on Plex.