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2024 Easiest Way to Rip DVDs for Plex & Add Movies to Plex

How to fast rip DVD for Plex server in simple clicks? WinX DVD Ripper Platinum is the best software to choose.

Q1: I have a large DVD collection and I'm looking to rip my DVDs to add to my Plex server Synology NAS. I use MakeMKV to convert them to MKV files. But I don't think MKV is the best format to rip DVD to Plex since MKV is too large (about 5GB) and will soon make my 2TB drives full. What is the best practice for ripping DVDs for Plex? Which DVD ripper program can convert DVD to Plex at a fast speed?

Q2: Want to rip my own DVDs to Plex NAS server so I can access to watch from a Plex whenever I want to view them? What are the best method/software/settings for this? I have a Windows 10 PC...

Plex has the capability to stream content to various devices including computers, streaming players, smart TVs, and mobile devices. However, this requires you to provide your own collection of movies, TV shows, and music. Many users opt to enhance their Plex movie libraries by ripping their existing DVD collection. This brings us to the core of the matter: How can DVDs be ripped effectively for Plex, and how can DVD movies be added to Plex NAS systems like Synology, QNAP, or others? Which is the best software for ripping DVDs for Plex? What is the optimal format for ripping DVDs for Plex, and how can DVDs be copied to Plex fast with best quality in a smaller file size? Keep reading.

Part 1. What's the Best Format for Ripping DVDs to Plex?

Before we start ripping DVD movies for Plex, let's figure out which formats Plex Media Server can accept. In addition to DVDs, Plex doesn't support other disk image formats such as ISO image, Video_TS folder, BDMV, and IMG. According to Plex, almost all media files can be played on Plex via Direct Stream or after transcoded. To avoid further transcoding in Plex media server and ensure the best quality, you'd better rip DVDs to Plex Direct Play supported formats, namely ASF, AVI, MOV, MP4, MPEG, MKV, and WMV (see full list here).

Here are the best settings for ripping DVDs to Plex:

  • Container: MP4 (H.264+AAC)
  • Video Encoding: H.264 (level 4.0 or lower)
  • Audio Encoding: AAC
  • Resolution: 1920×1080 or smaller
  • Video Framerate: 30fps
  • Video Bit Depth: 8

Part 2. What's the Best Way to Free Rip DVD for Plex?

Do a Google search, you can find many tools that claim to rip DVD to Plex, such as MakeMKV and Handbrake. However, MakeMKV just extracts the video and audio from DVD. The output MKV file contain all DVD data without quality loss but it can as large as 4~8GB for a DVD movie. Handbrake is able to rip DVD to Plex MP4, but it can't rip a protected DVD to Plex. Worse still, it runs sluggish and often crashes in the middle of process. Which is the best tool to rip movie and TV shows from DVD for Plex?

Best Free DVD to Plex Ripper - WinX DVD Ripper [100% Free and Safe]

It's the best DVD ripper for Plex. It's able to easily and fast convert DVDs to Plex formats with best quality in a smaller file size:

  • It can rip DVDs to Plex supported formats such as MP4, MOV, MPEG, WMV, MKV, and 350+ presets without quality loss.
  • It can rip all encrypted DVDs to Plex, incl. DVDs with region codes, RCE, CSS, bad sectors, 99 titles, ARccOS, UOPs, APS, etc. without using 3rd-party software. You can build your own Plex movie library with DVDs bought from store or burned by yourself.
  • It rips DVDs to Plex MP4 at a 5x faster speed than others with support for Intel/NVIDIA hardware acceleration, multi-core CPU, and Hyper-threading tech.
  • It can compress DVD for Plex server by 80% smaller, adjust video/audio settings, trim, crop, merge, deinterlace, add external subtitle.
Free Download for Win 7 or later
Free Download for Mac OS X 10.6 or later

Note: The downloads above are for Windows and Mac only. If you are a mobile user, please click here.
Please DO NOT use WinX DVD Ripper to rip rental DVDs.

How to Rip DVD to Plex in Clicks with WinX DVD Ripper?

Free download and install the free DVD to Plex ripper on your desktop, then follow the step-by-step instruction below:

Step 1. Load the source DVD you want to import to Plex.

Insert the DVD disc to the DVD-ROM and launch the DVD movie to Plex ripper. Click on the DVD Disc button to import the DVD. It helps back up all your DVDs to the Plex media server. Namely, if the DVD is protected, it will detect the encryption, remove it, and automatically find the correct title of the DVD. Then a window will pop up to let you customize the DVD to Plex ripping settings.

Note: You can also load ISO image and Video_TS folder and convert them to Plex compatible formats.

Free Rip DVD to Plex media server

Step 2. Choose to Rip DVD to Plex MP4

To rip DVD movies to Plex, go to General Profiles and select MP4 Video (h264+aac) at the profile library. Videos in MP4 container with H. 264 video encoding and AAC audio is the best DVD to Plex ripping setting. Then click OK.

If your Plex server doesn't have large free space or if you need to transfer tons of DVD collections to Plex, you can also choose to rip DVDs to HEVC MP4. It will save half the space and it's supported by Plex.

Free Rip DVD to Plex media server

Step 3 (optional). Adjust the DVD to Plex ripping settings.

Back on the main interface, click the setting icon next to the selected profile, you can adjust video audio parameters. But if you don't know parameters very well, just keep them as default which are the best settings for ripping DVDs to Plex.

You can also click on the selected title to choose the preferred audio track and subtitle you'd like to store in Plex.

Best Settings for Ripping DVDs to Plex:

  • Leave the frame rate, aspect ratio, and bitrate as default unless you know exactly what they mean.
  • Choose a resolution of 480P or 576P SD based on a 720×480 (NTSC) or 720×540 (PAL) DVD. Upscaling the DVD to a higher resolution may not make the output quality better.
  • Choose video codec H.264 to avoid possible compabibility issues on Plex.
Best settings for ripping DVD to Plex

Step 4. Start ripping DVD to Plex

Next, click on the Destination Folder to set an output folder for the converted DVD movie. Then click the RUN button to rip DVD for Plex at lightning speed with best quality. Minutes later, the DVD video will be saved in the destination folder in an format of Plex. Then you can add the ripped DVD video to Plex media server.

If you have a large DVD collection that need to rip for your Plex NAS server, you'd better rip DVD to Plex MP4 H.264 and enable the Hardware Accelerator on the right lower part of the interface. Then the DVD to Plex ripper will use GPU acceleration when possible to speed up the ripping process.

Disclaimer: Digiarty Software shares steps to build Plex movie library with users' own DVDs and strongly discourages ripping copy-protected DVDs for any commercial purpose. Please refer to the DVD copyright laws in your countries before doing so.

Video Tutorial: How to Rip and Add DVD Movies to Plex Library for Easier Playback

Option 2. How to use MakeMKV to copy DVDs to Plex?

On forums like Reddit, many users recommend MakeMKV for ripping DVDs to Plex Media Server. MakeMKV is a great option if you want to back up your DVDs on Plex with 100% original quality. MakeMKV rips to .Mkv files and removes encryption from both DVDs and Blu-ray discs. It only outputs MKV files, so you can't adjust any DVD ripping settings specific to Plex. It's also a popular choice for ripping Blu-ray movies for Plex.

Keep in mind that a single MKV file from a DVD rip can be anywhere between 4 and 8GB, depending on the content. If you have a small number of DVDs to put onto Plex or unlimited server space, you can copy everything of your DVD to Plex in MKv. If you only have a few terabytes and a large DVD collection, you can't afford to store all DVDs on Plex media server in the original MKVs. Therefore, you can also transcode the output file using Handbrake to H.265/HEVC into a .mkv file. It's able to shrink a MKV video from 10GB to 2GB for Plex.

Steps to rip DVs to Plex with MakeMKV:

Step 1. Insert the source DVD into the DVD drive and download MakeMKV on Windows/Mac.

Step 2. Open MakeMKV and click the big optical drive button. MakeMKV will read the DVD and then display the DVD info.

Step 3. You can click on the disclosure triangle icon next to the disc to select the title and tracks you'd like to store in Plex.

Step 4. There is no further setting for Plex that you can adjust. Simply click on the MakeMKV button to start ripping the DVD for Plex.

how to rip DVDs to Plex free

Option 3. How to use HandBrake to rip DVD for Plex?

sHandbrake is a great tool for converting DVDs to Plex, but it does have some limitations when it comes to handling protected DVDs. If you have any commercial discs and want to store them in plex server, you need to download and install libdvdcss for Handbrake first. Libdvdcss is a library that allows Handbrake to bypass the copy protection on commercial discs, making it possible to store them on your Plex server. By installing libdvdcss, you'll have the necessary tool to handle any protected DVDs and enjoy them on Plex.

Steps to rip DVs to Plex with Handbrake:

Step 1. Insert the source DVD into DVD drive and download Handbrake.

Step 2. Open HandBrake and select your DVD. Then, HandBrake will take a while to scan it.

Step 3. Select the title and chapters you want to save.

Step 4. Choose a preset and format that Plex can accept.

Step 5. Specify output file name and save path.

Step 6. Click Start Encode and then HandBrake will begin ripping DVD for Plex.

Best free dvd ripper for ripping DVD to Plex

Part 3. How to Add DVD Movies to Plex Media Server?

After the DVD has been ripped into Plex format, you can proceed to add the local DVD movies to your Plex NAS server, such as Synology NAS, QNAP, or other storage devices. Here are 3 ways to do it.

If you've ripped a large amount of DVDs for Plex, and now want to add the ripped DVD movies to Plex server, you need to make sure that your server has enough free space. For example, a full quality SD DVD will take up being 4-8 gigs per movie while a Blu-ray disc will end up being 25-40 gigs per movie. You may need another server for Plex based on the size of your DVD collection.

Option 1: How to build Plex movie library for the first time?

Step 1. Download and install Plex Media Server. When the installation is finished or when the server is run for the first time, a browser will pop up and ask you to either sign in or sign up.

Step 2. Set Plex to search specific folder for media. Here you can set Plex to search the folder where your DVD rip files are stored, such as C:\Users\GIGABYTE\Videos\WinXVideos\. Once done, your DVD movies will be displayed in the media list. So, that's how to add DVD movies to Plex when installing Plex.

Option 2: How to add DVD movies to Plex with Plex already installed?

It's easy. Just store the movies into the folder you specified for movies when setting up Plex. Plex will automatically scan the folder for changes and update your media list. Alternatively, you can force Plex to scan your folder: go to the Library in Plex and click Update Library.

Store DVD movies in Plex media server

Option 3: How to create a movie library in Plex?

  1. Click the setting button to open the settings menu.
  2. Ensure that the correct Plex Media Server is selected within the settings menu.
  3. Under the Manage section of the settings menu, select Libraries.
  4. Click Add Library.
  5. Select your library type: Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos, or Other Videos.
  6. Name your movie library and choose language.
  7. Click BROWSE FOR MEDIA FOLDER to add the folders with the ripped DVD movies.  
  8. Choose the folder to add then click ADD .
  9. Once you've added all the source folders for this library, click ADD LIBRARY.

After you have added the DVD movies to Plex media server, install Plex app on any of your devices. Then you can stream and watch the DVD movie videos from Plex anytime and anywhere you want.


In conclusion, optimizing your DVD-to-Plex experience is essential for enjoying your favorite movies and TV shows seamlessly. In this step-by-step guide, we've explored various aspects of the process, from finding the best settings for ripping DVDs to Plex, to discovering the top free software options for the task. We've also shown you a quick and efficient way to rip DVDs to Plex with just a few clicks and explained how to effortlessly add your DVD movie collection to your Plex Media Server. So, go ahead, enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows on Plex, and transform your entertainment experience today.

Part 4. FAQs about Ripping DVD to Plex

1. Can Plex rip DVD and ISO images?

No. Plex doesn't support DVDs, ISO images, IMG, and disk image formats, such as Video_TS folders, and BDMV. So you need to convert DVDs to more common and compatible media formats for Plex.

2. How to convert DVDs for Plex?

As Plex can't rip DVDs itself, you need a third-party software for it. You can either remux DVD movies for Plex with the original quality using MakeMKV. But this will produce quite large output files (an MKV file from a DVD will take about 4~8GB). You can also rip DVDs for Plex in much smaller files such as MP4 using WinX DVD Ripper or Handbrake. But this will take longer time and there will be some quality loss.

3. How to convert DVD to Plex on Mac?

WinX DVD Ripper for Mac can help rip DVD to Plex format on macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, catalina and earlier.

Step 1. Insert DVD into DVD drive and click DVD Disc button to load it into WinX DVD Ripper for Mac.

Step 2. Choose an output format that Plex can read. MP4 is recommended.

Step 3. Hit RUN to start ripping DVD for Plex on Mac computer.

4. How to rip Blu-ray for Plex streaming?

If you want to upload your Blu-ray collections to Plex server, you will need a Blu-ray DVD ripper to transcode it first. MakeMKV is a free tool that can remux Blu-ray discs for Plex streaming. It also supports Blu-ray discs with DRM protections. You can follow the steps above to rip Blu-ray for Plex streaming. However, an MKV output from a Blu-ray movie can take as much as 20-30GB in size. Meanwhile, MKV files are prone to A/V sync issues. You'd better transcode the MKV files to smaller MP4 using Handbrake.

5. Why your DVD rip file in Plex has black bars at the top/bottom and sides?

This is a problem with aspect ratio. Old DVDs usually use 4:3, while wide screen TVs use 16:9. If your TV doesn't upscale the video to fill the screen, you will see black bars when playing Plex movies.

Tips: When you rip DVDs for Plex, you should keep the aspect ratio same as the original DVD. WinX DVD Ripper has a option named keep origin.

6. Can I preserve subtitles and multiple audio tracks when ripping DVDs for Plex?

Yes, you can. When ripping DVDs, whether you can preserve subtitles and multiple audio tracks depends on the software you use and the settings you choose. WinX DVD Ripper allows you to select the audio tracks and subtitles you want to include in the ripped file. When using ripping software, ensure you select the option to include subtitles and multiple audio tracks during the ripping process. Plex will recognize and allow you to choose these options when playing the media.

7. Can I access my Plex library remotely with DVD rips?

Yes, Plex offers remote access. Make sure your Plex server is set up for remote access, and you can stream your DVD rips via Plex remote access from anywhere with an internet connection.

8. Do I need a Plex Pass to stream DVD rips on mobile devices?

While a Plex Pass offers some additional features, you can stream your DVD rips on mobile devices without it. Simply install the Plex app on your mobile device and sign in with your Plex account.

9. Is it legal to rip my DVDs for use in Plex?

The legality of ripping DVDs varies from country to country and may also depend on the specific circumstances and purposes of the ripping. In some countries, it may be legal to make a personal backup copy of a DVD you own for personal use, while in others, it may be strictly prohibited.

In the United States, for example, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) generally makes it illegal to circumvent copy protection measures on DVDs, which are often present to prevent unauthorized copying or ripping. However, there are exceptions, such as the "fair use" doctrine, which can allow limited copying for purposes like backup, research, criticism, or education. As the process of ripping DVDs for Plex occurs without internet connection, it's safe to rip DVDs for playback on your own Plex server.


author - Donna Peng

Donna Peng twitter icon

Donna Peng's fascination with multimedia began at an early age - shortly after she licked the physical disc and then she's been obsessed ever since. Her decade-long career at Digiarty after the graduation has seen her unmatched expertise in the field of DVD, digital video, software and anything related to home theatre. She is currently fascinated with photography.

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