Streaming is convenient, but Blu-ray provides the best quality video and audio you can get in your home theater. The only problem: getting off the couch to switch discs is so 2006.

If you’d rather store those high-quality Blu-ray movies on a PC and play them through something like Kodi (or if you just want to back them up in case of future scratches), you can “rip” them to your computer using a simple, free program called MakeMKV. Here’s how to do it.

What You Need

In order to rip those movies to your PC, you’ll need a few things:

A Blu-ray drive:
Obviously, you’ll need an optical drive in your PC that can read Blu-ray discs—a DVD drive is not enough. You can buy an external one that connects over USB, or an internal one for your desktop—either is fine.

If you want to rip 4K UHD Blu-rays, however, your choices are more limited. Due to their enhanced copy protection, 4K UHD Blu-rays can’t be ripped on most 4K Blu-ray drives. Instead, you’ll want an older, regular Blu-ray drive that is “4K friendly.” You can find a list of popular 4K friendly drives here, but keep in mind that new firmware can break this functionality—so you’ll want to avoid updating your drive, and in some cases, may even need to roll back the firmware it shipped with.

MakeMKV:
MakeMKV is a program for Windows, macOS, and Linux that can rip DVD and Blu-ray discs into the versatile MKV video format. There are other paid programs that offer more features, like DeUHD and AnyDVD, but we’ll be using MakeMKV for this tutorial, since it’s free. (Technically, it’s only free while in beta, but it’s been “in beta” for about 10 years. You’ll…

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