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#362245 - 12/30/11 04:55 PM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: CatBrat]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1009
Loc: Whitehorse YT
last 2tb drive i bought this time last year was 99.00 . The flood's really messed things up. I run all my drives on win 7 and use a spindown program ( only spin up when a movie is called for ) with an 160gig ssd for the operating system.My compressed files are 3 to 5 gig and look great on my 60 inch plasma.
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#362247 - 12/30/11 05:57 PM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: Socketman]
CatBrat Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5660
Loc: Some random location
Sounds like that works for you. I'd like to compare the compressed vs. uncompressed. But I'm not sold on the idea that you can use the words "compressed" and "great" in the same sentence.

What about audio? I'd hate to even think about compressed audio.

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#362248 - 12/30/11 06:37 PM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: CatBrat]
Socketman Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/12/09
Posts: 1009
Loc: Whitehorse YT
i would love to have you over wink. Seriously though, im sure i could find a way to share one with you .
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DOG is GOD spelled backwards.

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#363371 - 01/11/12 11:40 AM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: CatBrat]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6624
Loc: PEI, Canada
Hi Cat,
You only need one SSD for the OS if boot time is a worry. Physical HDDs are plenty fast enough for movie playback. Also, if you build a dedicated HTPC, it means that you will not need to load 95% of the crap that usually gets placed on a typical home PC. You would be very pleasantly surprised how fast Windows 7 boots up with a HDD PC that doesn't have a ton of crap to load at boot up. I know I was.

Still, it's admittedly a luxury item that your probably don't realllllly need so I won't try to talk you into it. However, if you or others are like me and like to do stuff 'just because' then here is a bit from my experience over Christmas vacarion. I can post full parts lists later if you like.

You can build a HTPC for a very reasonable price now. Even a dual core based machine will playback video nicely but more power and memory is always going to be a bonus if it will also used to rip your content. Getting a Bluray compatible graphics card is not expensive anymore but you do have to do some research into models to ensure things like HTCP compatibility. Cabling straight from the HTPC to your AVR solves all of your streaming quirks and issues. It can require some tweaks and an understanding of formats and resolutions to get it just right but once it's configured to match your TV, Projector etc. It will stay seamless.

I'm using XBMC (free) as the media front end. There may be better choices for larger music/video/picture selections but it seems to suite me very well and I like that it is open source so there are tons of plugins to make it look the way you want it and to make it more useful than just a movie picker. This includes the obvious like Youtube, Netflix and a web interface that allows you to use you iPads, smart-phones and other tablets to control it if you wish. Lots of other plugin options to popular web interfaces and music/video sources as well. It has a large following so I expect it will stay nicely updated.

You can also get HTPC designed cases that actually look like AV gear instead of a big boxy PC and they will often have quieter cooling so it plays nice on your AV rack. I went with this one. Antec Fusion Remote Black I knew from the start that I probably would not find the display or the onboard volume control useful. In fact, I disabled the display as it was too bright. However, it was the fact that it looks like a piece of AV gear that gave it the required WAF. The inside was very well designed. Room for everything in well though out positions with adjustable bulkheads to keep the cooling flowing the the way it should.

IO Gear makes some nice, small footprint wireless keyboards with a built in trackball that won't dominate your coffee table but are still very usable. I am happy with this one. IOGear HTPC multimedia keyboard with trackball and scroll wheel.

My planned budget was for $600 and I could have made that work. However, I inherited a nicer motherboard and CPU than I might have chosen and some RAM. If I did a total of what the entire box would be worth if I had actually purchased everything, I would have just broken the 1k mark.

It was a fun project and I'm happy with the results.
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With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#363394 - 01/11/12 01:12 PM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: Murph]
CatBrat Online   content
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 5660
Loc: Some random location
Like I said originally, this is a project for the future when I've run out of other things that is more needful around the house.

I built my own PC from parts ordered mostly from Newegg a little over 2 years ago. I spent about $2k on parts then, but I wanted an affordable beefier computer at the time. I did go overkill on cooling though. It doesn't have all the add on's and boots in a reasonable amount of time.

For my living room setup, my equp rack is against the wall where the TV sits, except on the other side of the wall. Access to any computer equipment would have to work using my Harmony 1100 remote, or preferably an ipad, or similar.

For my future HT room downstairs the equip rack would be behind the seating position. I would want to be able to access the same movie files from both systems, and at the same time.

So, my particular needs may be more of a challenge, I don't know. I'm just not up to speed on everything. Thanks for your input. If you have the time, an equip list would be helpful, but not necessary.

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#363396 - 01/11/12 01:50 PM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: CatBrat]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6624
Loc: PEI, Canada
I think your challenges are reasonable.
The IO Gear keyboard I'm using is 2.4 GHz RF so it has no problem functioning in the adjoining projector HT room while the PC sits in the TV room. I haven't tested it's distance limitations yet as I've had no need to. However, I've set up the web interface on my wife's iPad just for fun and it works great. That gives me control as far as my wifi flies. Useful if you have a multi-zone music system or additional TVs hooked to it.

Ideally, if your 2nd location is within 25 - 30' cabling distance and it can be done, a physical HDMI connection to the second location would be preferred for the least amount of HD hassles.

However, you could also purchase a small dedicated streaming device that can access the main library of the HTPC while also providing Internet based content as well. There are lots of solutions out there for under $200.

For a small footprint computer around 600 that is still useful for other things than TV, consider a Mac Mini. About $600 when I looked at them.

An AppleTV streams content pretty nicely for about $150 although you may or may not have to jailbreak it to get it to run something that will access the main library on the main HTPC in the other floor. There are a lot of AppleTVs selling right now as the cheapest solution to run ICEFilms plugins, granting you simple & instant but (illegal depending on where you live) access to virtually every reasonably well known TV show/movie ever made in the last 30 or more years.

Just some initial thoughts but I've run out of the section of this conference call that I'm not deeply involved in. I have to actually pay attention now.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#363518 - 01/12/12 11:02 AM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: Murph]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6624
Loc: PEI, Canada
I just recalled another multi-room solution. Most houses have lots of Cat5 or CAT6 wiring these days. You can purchase HDMI splitters/extenders that run over CAT5 or 6. It used to be that you needed two CAT5/6 runs but when I went looking for a link for you, I discovered that there are now models that require only 1.

I can't speak to this particular model, I link it only as an example. HDMI via Cat5

I will actually be experimenting with some type of these soon as Sharon is looking to get a TV for a room upstairs where there is coax but I'd like to also have it hooked to my central receiver in the basement. That way, It can be used with HD from any of my sources as opposed to just SD from the Satellite dish.

Man, I'm so glad I put in two separate power circuits to my AV shelf area. I'm soon going to need to invent cold fusion to cut back on my electric bill from this damn hobby.

_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#363536 - 01/12/12 02:12 PM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: CatBrat]
Boltron Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 166
Loc: Toronto
I have a HTPC and rip all my Blurays to MKVs which in turn get stored on a pretty cool NAS I have built that is really ideal for media streaming.

My HTPC is Windows and I use XBMC and my media manager however I invoke an external player for playback.

I strive for the best quality playback for video and sound. I rip my blurays as is without any compression for both video and audio. For example Xmen First class ends up as a 28GB MKV and Avatar EE is about 33GB.

Finally, I use a specific player, splitter, video/audio decoders and renderer to achieve the best possible playback. XBMC is an awesome media manager but playback is nowhere near up to par, for example, it can't bitstream audio such as TrueHD and DTS MA.

I can share how I have done it if any of you are interested.
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--For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

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#363636 - 01/13/12 08:42 AM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: Boltron]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6624
Loc: PEI, Canada
Yes, please do if you have free time to do so.
.
I've had better/more convenient BR playback via XMBC on my to-do list for a week or so now but all my spare research time was recently swallowed up by the release of the latest MMO I'm playing, Star Wars the Old Republic.
_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#363641 - 01/13/12 09:33 AM Re: Ripping Blu-rays and DVDs [Re: Murph]
Boltron Offline
veteran

Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 166
Loc: Toronto
Ah, I can relate to that. I played WoW for just about 4 years with the last three doing full time raiding. Before that about 2 years with DAOC. I know how you can get sucked into it. Don't get me wrong though I loved it.

I'll assemble some notes on playback with XBMC soon and post them.
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