DVD ISO image file is an archive file of an optical disc. It is a sector-by-sector copy of the source DVD by specific disk imaging software, and it contains all written contents from an optical disc and owns large file size - almost the same file size as original DVD disc. Many devices can not directly play ISO Image. Moreover, an average 90-minute DVD ISO file has a size about 5 - 7.9 Gigabytes which may take too much storage. ISO to MKV is a good idea. After conversion, you can get easier access to play and compress movie size to save much more space. Then how to convert ISO to MKV with the best results? Is it possible o keep all the video, audio, subtitle tracks, menus of an ISO image file without quality loss when do the ISO to MKV conversion? And how to extract MKV files from ISO images free with Handbrake? Take it easy. In this article, we will introduces the 3 different methods seperately.
Click the links below to jump to the part you are most interested in.
Part 1. How to Convert ISO to MKV with Good Quality-Size Tradeoff
There is a long list of ISO conversion programs and tools available. It's kinda a paradox to get the fast speed, optimal quality, and small size for the ISO to MKV conversion. However, a battle-tested DVD converter like EaseFab DVD Ripper Platinum can get the best possible results in a balanced way. It is available for for Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, etc. And it has a Mac version compatible with macOS Big Sur and lower.
Furthermore, it owns 350+ profiles for converting ISO image to MP4/AVI/MOV for playback on devices easily and is built with powerful decryption technology for (DVD region code, UOPs, CSS encryption, Disney's fake etc.) copy protected ISO images and encrypted movie DVDs, even those Disney DVD movies with X-project DRM. Follow the detailed steps below to finish the job within just several clicks.
Simple steps to convert ISO to MKV with optimal quality-size balance
To begin with, you need to download and install EaseFab DVD Ripper Windows or Mac version on your computer. The guide below takes the Windows version for an example. Mac version has the same process.
Step 1. Load ISO files
Launch EaseFab DVD Ripper on your computer. Click IFO/ISO button to load the DVD ISO image file you want to convert. Batch conversion is supported so you can add multiple ISO image files to convert at a time.
Step 2 - Convert ISO to MKV in the Best Quality
Then click 'Profile' and select HEVC MKV or MKV (H.264 codec) as the output format.
1. To get the best possible output quality and smallest file size, convert ISO to HEVC MKV. It has 50% smaller size at the same quality.
2. The default setting works well. Of course, if you want to customize video and audio encoding settings, just click the Settings button to customize these settings.
1. You're not suggested to adjust the frame rate and aspect ratio, if not necessary.
2 Use the codec H.264 or H.265 and lower the bitrate to a lower level. For example, adjusting the original 2500 to bitrates of around 1800-2000 is acceptable without noticeable pixellation.
3. Lower the resolution. Typical ISO movies are 720×480 (NTSC) and 720×540 (PAL). Adjust the resolution to 640×480 won't make any quality difference.
Please note: Adjusting these variables have some effect on the re-encoded video quality. You can go smaller, only at the cost of quality loss. Moreover, the file size and video quality is based more on bitrate than resolution which means bitrate higher results in big file size, and lower visible quality loss.
Step 3 - Select desired subtitle/audio tracks or edit the movie (optional)
You can select one of audio or subtitle tracks you prefer from the corresponding drop-down Audio or Subtitle lists. If the subtitles in the language you want is missing, you can click 'Add Subtitle' to add subtitles to your DVD movies. Click the 'Edit' button, trimming, cropping, rotating, and some other editing features are available.
Step 4 - Start the Conversion
If you do not have other advanced and personalized settings, just hit 'Convert' to beging ISO to MKV conversion. With this method, you can easily get an MKV videos from ISO image files with a good quality-size tradeoff.
Part 2. How to Convert ISO to MKV with Lossless Quality within 5 Minutes
To convert ISO to MKV with full quality, you're recommended to adopt EaseFab LosslessCopy for help. The program can easily extract the MKV videos from ISO image files with from DVD with all subtitles, menus, video, audio, chapters, etc. without re-encoding. Convert a ISO/DVD and even Blu-ray files to MKV in 5 minutes!
Apart from converting ISO to MKV losslessly, you can also rip ISO/DVD to MP4, MOV files with all audio tracks remaining. What's more, you can use the program to convert ISO to HEVC with re-encoded, but merely no quality loss and half file size compared to H.264 codec for enjoying on Android, iOS, smart TVs. The fact that LosslessCopy can be used with both protected and unprotected DVD discs is likely to appeal and in practice the app seems to cope well with all discs.
Step 1: Load DVD movies
[Guide] Convert ISO to MKV with full quality
Step 1: After you open EaseFab LosslessCopy, click Load Disc button to click 'Load IFO/ISO' to browse and add the ISO image file you want to convert.
Step 2: Click the Format bar to follow 'Multi-track Video' > 'Lossless/encoded Multi-track MKV (*.mkv)', which enables you to get the output video with multiple audio tracks and subtitles while keeping lossless video quality.
Step 3 (Optional): Click 'Settings' to switch to the 'Multi-task Settings' interface where you can change video/audio/subtitle settings. For ISO to MKV lossless conversion with all chapter, audio and subtitles, you can keep the default settings without any change.
You can also click the 'Audio' tab to check the audio channels you want and uncheck the unwanted. Click the 'Subtitle' tab to check the subtitle language you want to keep and uncheck the unwanted ones. As you see in the following screenshot, you can tick off 'Encode' option if you want to compress the audio tracks.
Step 4: Go back to the main UI and click 'Convert' to start conversion from DVD to lossless MKV with multiple audio tracks and subtitles preserved.
Part 3. How to Convert ISO to MKV Free with Handbrake
Handbrake is a free to use open-source video transcoder that allows converting videos to MP4, MKV formats with support to an array of codecs. The program works on multi-platform, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. Additional features include batch scanning and queuing of encodes, VFR and CFR support, live static and video preview, title/chapter, and selection of range, and others. Besides video files, you can also use Handbrake to free convert DVD discs and ISO files to MKV or MP4 with the following steps:
Before starting HandBrake ISO to MKV, please make sure you have installed the latest version of HandBrake. If not, please download it here: HandBrake.fr
Step 1. Run HandBrake and a Source Selection interface will pop up.
Step 2. Click File on the left (Open a single video file) to import your ISO image file or drag and drop the ISO file directly to the interface. HandBrake will scan the DVD ISO titles and load the contents.
PS: However, one thing to note is that HandBrake CANNOT circumvent copy protection of any kind, it only works with DRM-free discs and ISO files. If you encounter the 'Handbrake No valid source or titles found.' prompt when importing an ISO file, this means that the ISO file contains copy protection encryption. In this case, you'll need to download libdvdcss - a part of VideoLAN project capable of reading and decrypting ISO image files locked by region codes 1-6 and CSS. Even with libdvdcss being installed, HandBrake only decrypts and rips some certain ISO image files with CSS. To rip any copy protected ISOs freely, you need a more powerful alternative.
Step 2: Once scanned, the ISO files will be added to the interface with its information. Next, choose the title and the preset format or the device as desired. Under the Summary tab, choose an MKV preset as the output format. If needed, audio and video codecs can be customized.
Step 3: At the Save As tab, choose the output directly. Click the green marked Start Encode button to begin the process of ISO to MKV handbrake conversion.
The limitation of Using Handbrake
Handbrake works as a basic ISO to MKV conversion tool with its share of limitations and drawbacks.
• A lot of users get errors like No Valid Source found where there is a problem locating and scanning the ISO file.
• No support for batch conversion of files.
• The editing features are limited as compared to other professional tools.
• The graphical interface of the program is not an easy one to use.
• With a lot of settings and options, the program can become a challenging one for the beginners.
Above the top three choices for converting ISO image files to MKV. You can choose one method according to your demands. After the conversion, you can get smaller size and more convenient playback control on your movie files.
Compress movie size. An average 90-minute DVD ISO file has a size about 5 - 7.9 Gigabytes. While after we changed the .iso file to .mkv or .mp4 with almost the same high quality, the size is around 1.0 - 1.2 Gigabyte. So it reduces the data infomration by approximately 80% without any image loss visually.
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Get easier access to play. Besides, given our more and more mobile lifestyle, we hope we could enjoy our favorite movies anytime anywhere. While ISO image files are often large and can't be played directly on most mobile devices. By comparison, MP4, one of the most commonly used video formats, can be played on almost all mobile devices and video players. So converting ISO to MP4 with a top ISO converter is the need and the trend.
If you want to watch your DVD movies on your tablet, mobile phone, and smart TV, or free up some physical space, the best solution is to convert your DVD to MKV, one of the most popular digital video formats. It encapsulates more files than others, including multiple videos, audio tracks, multi-lingual subtitles, and metadata. And it means you can preserve almost everything on your DVD after converting it to MKV.
However, most DVD rippers on the market only support 2 output formats – MP4 and AVI. After digging around on and on, we finally found the 5 best free DVD to MKV converters. Without further ado, let's have look at how to use them to convert your DVDs to MKV files with no quality loss.
1. How to Convert DVD to MKV with VideoProc
It is hard to define VideoProc as a certain tool because it was developed with too many features. You can take it as a 4K video editor, a screen recorder, an online video downloader, or a powerful video converter supporting 470+ video and audio formats. As for our today's topic, it performs as the best tool to convert the full title of a DVD to MKV including all of the video, audio, subtitle tracks, chapters, and custom metadate without compromising the video quality.
VideoProc - Best DVD to MKV Converter [Lossless & Fast]
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- Retain the original quality and improve the quality of old and low-res DVDs.
- Lightning-fast conversion with special level-3 hardware acceleration tech.
- Support all sorts of DVDs – homemade, commercial, copy-protected, and encrypted discs.
- Beginner-friendly: automatic DVD detection, smart title selection, and profile format preset.
- 470+ output formats are available: MKV, MP4, MP3, ISO Image, VIDEO_TS Folder, etc.
- Versatile video editing tools for ripped MKV videos: cutting, merging, filtering, cropping, etc.
Step 1. Open VideoProc and load your DVD to it.
Launch VideoProc after inserting a DVD into your computer. Choose DVD on the homepage and click the disc icon on the upper sidebar to import your disc to it. VideoProc will auto-detect the disc and the file type, so just keep the default settings.
Step 2. Go to Target Format settings and convert the full title of the DVD to MKV.
Click Target Format > DVD Backup. You can see two kinds of MKV files both include the full title of the DVD. MPEG 2 is a standard for DVD compression, but it is not efficient as the newer one, H.264. So we'd recommend you to convert DVD to MKV H.264, which is real-time faster because of the hardware acceleration support.
Tips: DVD full title conversion in the Backup option does not allow you to do any edits upon the video. If you want more control over it, choose MKV in Target Format > General Profiles where you can cut, rotate, crop, add subtitles to the video, and tweak the resolution, bitrate, frame rate, etc.
Step 3. Convert the disc to MKV and open it to preview.
To get the best video quality and a faster conversion speed, tick the boxes before 'Hardware Acceleration'. Then choose a folder on your computer to save the MKV video. Now smash the RUN button to start converting the disc, and you'll get the converted video in just several minutes.
Tips: To prevent the conversion from accidental stopping and quality degrading, you can tick 'Safe Mode', 'High Quality Engine', and 'Deinterlacing' before you start the conversion. But note that they'll slow down the speed.
2. How to Convert DVD to MKV with MakeMKV
As the name suggests, MKV is the only format supported in this software. But if you prefer to convert all your Blu-ray discs and DVDs to MKV with subtitles, MakeMKV would be a good companion. Its beta version is completely free but packed with all features. Since it comes without many customizable settings, the conversion of DVD to MKV can be finished in just one click.
Step 1. Put the disc you want to convert into your computer optical disk drive. MakeMKV supports both DVDs and Blu-ray discs.
Step 2. Launch MakeMKV and select the drive in its source tab. Click on the big disc button in the center of the main UI and it will scan the disc immediately.
Step 3. MakeMKV will present all titles of the DVD after reading the disc. However, it comes without a preview feature, so you have to be well aware of which title is the right one in advance. Typically, the one in the biggest file size contains all chapters and metadata.
Step 4.Choose an output folder. Finally, click the Make MKV button and wait for the output.
MakeMKV keeps all videos, audios, subtitles, and chapter info in the converted file, which results in an extremely large file size. A two-hour movie DVD turns out to take up 5+ GB local storage (and converted Blu-ray video are even much larger, 30-40 GB), and let alone how much time it will take to complete the conversion.
Can MakeMKV rip copy-protected DVDs?
Yes. MakeMKV rips most copy-protected and region-locked DVDs, as well as Blu-ray discs protected by the latest version of BD+ and AACS.
3. How to Convert DVD to MKV with HandBrake
Developed as an open source and free video converter and transcoder, HandBrake gains a large number of loyal fans, especially among tech enthusiasts for its excellent performances and flexible customizable settings. As for DVD converting, it accepts personal or unprotected DVDs, BDs, and ISO images files, and lets you convert DVDs to MP4 and MKV in HD 720P, 480P, and 576P. Before the conversion, you can apply filters, import SRT files, and change video dimensions.
Step 1. Open HandBrake and click the Open Source tab to add your DVD file to it. Or you can just drag and drop the file to the UI.
Step 2. You can tell from the duration that which title holds the entire movie, then choose it in the Title tab. Next, select MKV in the Format drop-down menu.
Step 3. Click Dimensions to adjust the resolution that matches the source video. Then choose a hardware-accelerated encoder (Nvidia Nvenc encoder) in the Video tab. If your system does not support it, this option will be grayed out. Alternatively, go to Presets which provides MKV videos of different codecs, resolutions, and frame rates.
Step 4. Click the Browse button on the lower side to select a new destination path and file name to save the MKV video.
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Step 5. Hit the Start Encode button. HandBrake now begins to convert your DVD to an MKV file.
Why does HandBrake only rip a part of the movie?
Because HandBrake rips one title of the DVD at a time. If the title you select is not the one that contains all chapters, you'll get only a clip of the movie. To solve this problem, you can play the DVD and figure out the right title in advance or turn to DVD to MKV converters that can rip the full title for you.
4. How Convert DVD to MKV with VLC
VLC is a cross-platform media player on Windows and Mac. It is also a free video converter helping users convert DVDs to AVI, MP4, FLAC, WebM, and other common video formats. Besides DVDs, it is able to rip Blu-ray discs, CDs, and VDCs/SVDs, of course, without copy protection. And the only drawback in VLC is that you cannot change the resolution, bitrate, frame rate, and other parameters.
Step 1. Import a DVD to your computer. Launch VLC media player and navigate to Media > Open Disc to load the file to it.
Step 2. Select a title, a chapter, an audio track, and a subtitle track from the disc file.
Step 3. Press Alt+O keys to activate the window of conversion settings. Because VLC does not preset MKV in the format profile, you have to create a new one manually. Click the Create icon, and name the file as MKV. Set the encapsulation to MKV, the video codec to H264, the audio codec to AAC, and enable subtitles. Click Create to save the changes.
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Step 4. Go back to the Convert tab, and choose MKV in the Profile option.
Step 5. Select a destination file folder to save the video and hit the Start button.
5. How to Convert DVD to MKV with Cisdem Video Converter
Cisdem Video Converter is a Mac exclusive program that can convert videos to numerous formats. Many users install it on their computers for its built-in DVD ripper which can read and convert both homemade and copy-protected commercial discs. It enables users to convert DVDs to MP3, MKV, MP4, AVI, and many other formats.
Step 1. Insert a DVD to your computer. If you are using a 13-inch MacBook Pro, congrats. It is the only one available with an optical drive today. Otherwise, you'll need an external DVD drive. And that's why we prefer to convert DVDs on Windows computers.
Step 2. Drag and drop the disc icon from the desktop to this software. Now you can see some basic info about the disc, for instance, the duration, the format, the resolution, and the file size.
Tips: It has a built-in video editing tool. If necessary, you can use it to cut, crop, and rotate, and add subtitles to the video before converting the DVD to an MKV file.
Step 3. Go to its video format settings. You'll find that it provides varied MKV videos - MKV MPEG4, MKV HEVC, and HD MKV. If you want to get the best video quality, choose MKV HD.
Step 4. Convert the DVD to MKV with subtitles in Cisdem.It saves the converted file to the desktop by default. You can customize the destination path in the output settings on the lower side of the UI. Finally, hit on the disc icon on the lower right corner.
Comparison of DVD to MKV Converters
Check the comparison table of the 5 best DVD to MKV converters on the market, and pick the one that works best for you.
|OS||Ease of Use||DVD Decryption||Hardware Acceleration||Price|
|Windows, Mac||Free Trial|
|Windows, Mac, Linux||Free|
Windows, Mac, Linux
|Windows, Mac, Linux||Free|
The best free DVD converter goes to the open source software undoubtedly. However, they are not competent to either convert copy-protected DVDs or convert files in a fast manner. Taking the most concerning factors into account, the running system, ease of use, supported DVDs, the conversion speed, and the price, VideoProc is actually the best option for you to convert DVDs to MKV and any other formats without any fuss. And don't forget it can do far more than this. Download and unlock more features in VideoProc now!
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Disclaimer: We do not advocate ripping or converting authorized or copy-protected DVD videos. Please check your local laws before you convert DVDs for personal use.