DVD to MKV: 5 Free Methods to Convert DVD to MKV without Quality Loss

By Cecilia Hwung | Last Update:

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]

  • 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.

Import DVD to VideoProc
Load DVD to VideoProc

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.

Select Output Format MKV in VideoProc
Select Output Format MKV in VideoProc

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.

Export MKV Video
Start to Convert a DVD to MKV in VideoProc

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.

Select Disc Source - MakeMKV
Select Disc Source - MakeMKV

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.

Convert DVD to MKV - MakeMKV
Convert DVD to MKV - MakeMKV

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.

Load DVD to HandBrake
Load a DVD to HandBrake

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.

Convert a DVD to MKV file - HandBrake
Convert a DVD to MKV file - HandBrake

Step 4. Click the Browse button on the lower side to select a new destination path and file name to save the MKV video.

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.

Open Disc in VLC
Open the Disc in VLC

Step 2. Select a title, a chapter, an audio track, and a subtitle track from the disc file.

Select DVD Chapter in VLC
Select DVD Chapter in VLC

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.

Create MKV Format in VLC
Create MKV Format in VLC

Step 4. Go back to the Convert tab, and choose MKV in the Profile option.

Convert DVD to MKV in VLC
Convert DVD to MKV in VLC

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.

Load a DVD to Cisdem
Load a DVD to Cisdem Video Converter

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.

Convert a DVD to MKV in Cisdem
Convert a DVD to MKV in Cisdem

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

VideoProc

Windows, Mac

Free Trial

MakeMKV

Windows, Mac, Linux

Free

HandBrake

Windows, Mac, Linux

Free

VLC

Windows, Mac, Linux

Free

Cisdem

Mac

$49.99

Conclusion

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!

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.

About The Author

Cecilia Hwung is the marketing manager of Digiarty Software and the editor-in-chief of VideoProc team. She pursues common progress with her team and expects to share more creative content and useful information to readers. She has strong interest in copywriting and rich experience in video editing tips.

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