I'm archiving my DVD collection. My goal is to be able to play them back in Windows Media Center on Windows 7 Ultimate. For feature-length DVDs, I'm using AnyDVD and CloneDVD, which is working well.
For playing back TV shows (and other episodic content), I'm using Media Browser, which doesn't support a
VIDEO_TS folder per episode. It expects the shows to be broken up into one file per episode (e.g. "Willo the Wisp - S01E12.avi").
For this, I'm attempting to use Handbrake, which, for extracting the episodes from DVD (or already-ripped VIDEO_TS folder), is working pretty well.
The problem that I have is that the default x264 encoder over-compresses the resulting video stream, which results in hideous artifacts in animated shows. The aforementioned Willo the Wisp is a particularly bad example, because the original DVD is particularly "noisy".
If I switch to using the ffmpeg encoder, the artifacts are gone in Windows Media Player, but I can't get the resulting files to play back in Windows Media Center. I see the first frame, and then there's an error message: "Windows Media Center cannot play the file. One or more codecs required to play the file cannot be found."
I've installed the CCCP codec collection, but it doesn't seem to have made any difference.
Update: Using Handbrake's "High Profile" preset with either x264 or ffmpeg fails to play in Windows Media Center. In Windows Media Player, they both play, but the x264-encoded file has horrendous artifacts. If I use the "Normal" preset, it plays in Windows Media Center, but with the same artifacts.
So: what's the best way to convert VIDEO_TS to individual episode files for playback in Windows Media Center?