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supafly99
Apr 11, 2009, 12:37 AM
I'm getting married in July and hope to be getting a Mac Mini in the near future, in which I will be using Plex and playing DVDs on it and was just curious about a few things.

I have a lot of music on my main computer, with Vista, and plan on ripping lots of movies into mkv format soon, and was curious if I Plex could communicate with a Vista machine on a shared network to grab all my music and movies on it?

Also, was wondering if its better to just hook an external hard drive to the Mac Mini instead of streaming over a network, which is faster?

And lastly, does it matter if i'm ripping the dvd movies on a vista machine, i'm using handbrake and encoding them into mkv format, would it make a difference if i did it on the mini instead?

Thanks for anybody's info!



bigbossbmb
Apr 11, 2009, 01:31 AM
I have a lot of music on my main computer, with Vista, and plan on ripping lots of movies into mkv format soon, and was curious if I Plex could communicate with a Vista machine on a shared network to grab all my music and movies on it?

As long as you can share the folder over the network and it's visible to the mini, you'll be alright.

Also, was wondering if its better to just hook an external hard drive to the Mac Mini instead of streaming over a network, which is faster?

If you're running gigabit, you won't have problems. Over wireless, SD movies shouldn't have a problem if there isn't much network traffic to contend with.

And lastly, does it matter if i'm ripping the dvd movies on a vista machine, i'm using handbrake and encoding them into mkv format, would it make a difference if i did it on the mini instead

no difference

DoFoT9
Apr 11, 2009, 04:50 AM
can i just ask....

WHY MKV?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Aegelward
Apr 11, 2009, 04:53 AM
I've had some issues with streaming mkv files, if theyre not indexed plex can freeze for a bit while it generates thumbnails. and you can't jump through the video very easily.

Of course it could be an issue with my somewhat limited G class wireless

DoFoT9
Apr 11, 2009, 04:53 AM
I've had some issues with streaming mkv files, if theyre not indexed plex can freeze for a bit while it generates thumbnails. and you can't jump through the video very easily.

Of course it could be an issue with my somewhat limited G class wireless

*shakes head* lol

gigabit ethernet ftw :)

janstett
Apr 11, 2009, 08:09 AM
can i just ask....

WHY MKV?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

H.264 inside... 5.1 inside.

What do you want, a QT .MOV? How 1998.

DoFoT9
Apr 11, 2009, 08:32 AM
H.264 inside... 5.1 inside.

What do you want, a QT .MOV? How 1998.

hmm thats funny, pretty sure i remember .mov files being able to do that aswell..

janstett
Apr 11, 2009, 09:19 AM
hmm thats funny, pretty sure i remember .mov files being able to do that aswell..

What's even funnier is that you forgot that Apple doesn't ship anything to decode Dolby Digital in QT. Oops.

supafly99
Apr 11, 2009, 09:25 AM
Before I start ripping everything in MKV, is one of the other formats supposed to be better???

bigbossbmb
Apr 11, 2009, 01:59 PM
an mp4 container would give you more compatibility if you ever wanted to put the movies on an ipod/:apple:TV... but mkv allows you to compress to h.264 AND keep the native AC3/DTS audio (big plus if it's just going to your TV).

The Mad Hatter
Apr 11, 2009, 02:16 PM
an mp4 container would give you more compatibility if you ever wanted to put the movies on an ipod/:apple:TV... but mkv allows you to compress to h.264 AND keep the native AC3/DTS audio (big plus if it's just going to your TV).

I'm sorry, but I thought by using handbrake 0.9.3 (and the Universal or AppleTV preset), you do retain the native AC3 audio track (albeit, not DTS though)?

...am I wrong?

Cave Man
Apr 11, 2009, 03:12 PM
What's even funnier is that you forgot that Apple doesn't ship anything to decode Dolby Digital in QT. Oops.

Why would you want to decode DD with a computer?

I'm sorry, but I thought by using handbrake 0.9.3 (and the Universal or AppleTV preset), you do retain the native AC3 audio track (albeit, not DTS though)?...am I wrong?

No, you are correct when using Handbrake. HB can only do Dolby Digital AC3 (5.1) for passthrough. If you send it DTS the best you can get is Dolby Pro Logic II (5-channel analog surrond).

I'Also, was wondering if its better to just hook an external hard drive to the Mac Mini instead of streaming over a network, which is faster?

If it's USB2 or FW400, the gigabit ethernet would be faster for streaming (provided the entire chain is gigabit). IF FW800, then it's probably a wash.

And lastly, does it matter if i'm ripping the dvd movies on a vista machine, i'm using handbrake and encoding them into mkv format, would it make a difference if i did it on the mini instead?

Shouldn't matter, but why MKV?

DoFoT9
Apr 11, 2009, 04:45 PM
What's even funnier is that you forgot that Apple doesn't ship anything to decode Dolby Digital in QT. Oops.

how odd.... can plex not do that??

Why would you want to decode DD with a computer?


Shouldn't matter, but why MKV?

thats what i want to know!

Cave Man
Apr 11, 2009, 05:02 PM
how odd.... can plex not do that??

Plex, nor any Mac app, decodes AC3 (or DTS). It simply passes the digital audio to a receiver by optical that can decode AC3 (or DTS). Of course, Plex can transcode AC3 (and DTS) to analog audio, and Quicktime used to be able to passthrough, but Apple doesn't seem interested in us being able to do that.

DoFoT9
Apr 11, 2009, 05:08 PM
Plex, nor any Mac app, decodes AC3 (or DTS). It simply passes the digital audio to a receiver by optical that can decode AC3 (or DTS). Of course, Plex can transcode AC3 (and DTS) to analog audio, and Quicktime used to be able to passthrough, but Apple doesn't seem interested in us being able to do that.

ahh righto. thanks for explaining :)

jamesdmc
Apr 12, 2009, 10:54 PM
If {the external hard drive} is USB2 or FW400, the gigabit ethernet would be faster for streaming (provided the entire chain is gigabit). IF FW800, then it's probably a wash.

If we could follow that up a bit: I'm contemplating the which would be better: a firewire drive or a NAS. My latest plan (which seems to change the more I read :)) is to have my Mac Pro ripping blu rays to an external FW800 drive. The firewire drive will remain connected to the Mac Pro. The Mini is just a front end to stream the media to the TV. The Mac Pro and the Mac Mini will both be hard wired (Cat6) to an HP Procurve 1400-8G (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833316076), which will be hard wired (Cat6) to an Airport Extreme. So the path will be gigabit all the way.

Given that the transfer speeds of Firewire 800 and gigabit ethernet seem to be roughly the same, then, in theory, there shouldn't be a performance difference between a firewire-drive-connected-to-Mac-Pro vs NAS connected directly to the Procurve...should there?

Cave Man
Apr 13, 2009, 08:35 AM
The biggest speed limitation is writing, so since you're using FW800 for this (i.e., Blu-ray rips) that would be your only issue. For playback, USB2 is plenty fast enough for Blu-ray rips using Plex, so I think your proposed system will be just fine - maybe even overkill. I have a FW400 drive connected to my Mini simply because I also have Eye TV hybrid, which struggles to record to a USB2 drive since both devices are USB2. By putting a drive on the FW400 bus, the problem is obviated.

killmoms
Apr 13, 2009, 09:05 AM
No, you are correct when using Handbrake. HB can only do Dolby Digital AC3 (5.1) for passthrough. If you send it DTS the best you can get is Dolby Pro Logic II (5-channel analog surrond).

I believe you mean 5-channel "matrix" surround. AAC encoded as Dolby Pro Logic II is not analog, as it's obviously still digital audio.

Cave Man
Apr 13, 2009, 10:11 AM
Of course, you're right. To me DPL is a leftover from my VHS days, so I still think of it as 'analog'.