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wrkactjob
Jun 1, 2010, 09:54 AM
I've about 600 DVD's taking up too much room in the lounge.

My hardware: iPhone, iPad, Dell laptop.

I want to convert all to mp4 and store somewhere (time casule?) then back that database up with a copy for DR purposes. Thus I can drop into my ipad or iPhone films to watch as and when I am away.

Would Time Capsule be the way to go? I also have an 80 gb iPod classic which is handy to carry movies around as it interfaces with a TV easily.

What hardware or recommendations would you make?



Hellhammer
Jun 1, 2010, 10:02 AM
I would build a cheapish but powerful PC for that purpose. You can get one for ~500$ and add several HDs to use it as "DVD server". You can have two or more DVD drives to rip more than one at the same time

wrkactjob
Jun 1, 2010, 10:17 AM
I would build a cheapish but powerful PC for that purpose. You can get one for ~500$ and add several HDs to use it as "DVD server". You can have two or more DVD drives to rip more than one at the same time

thanks but the software on my Dell converts fast and well, ideally I want something that could plug into a TV so I could browse my database of films but that would also allow for the easy transfer of files to my pad/phone/pod.

Hellhammer
Jun 1, 2010, 10:58 AM
thanks but the software on my Dell converts fast and well, ideally I want something that could plug into a TV so I could browse my database of films but that would also allow for the easy transfer of files to my pad/phone/pod.

But a quad core PC would be even faster ;) You could use it as HTPC i.e. use your TV as monitor and then watch them too. You can use it as server for all your files so your other devices can access them wirelessly.

Just my suggestion as for little more than TC costs, you can get something that is a lot more useful.

andiwm2003
Jun 1, 2010, 11:01 AM
pay a student $250 to rip all of your cd's to ATV format. he should use his own computer. Add the cost of a 2TB HD for $200.

super_kev
Jun 1, 2010, 11:29 AM
If you have access to a Mac, use Handbrake (I think they also have a Windows GUI) with the "High Profile" preset at RF=18, and two audio tracks - the default High Profile audio (stereo mixdown) and then an additional AC3 Passthrough (for 5.1/etc.) on the second track. The mixdown to stereo allows for audio in the iPad. Or, just rip all your DVDs in RF=18 and AC3 passthrough, and then re-rip the saved file and downmix the audio with Handbrake for when you want to transfer it to the iPad, which is how I do it since I don't need a stereo track for each ripped movie. The iPod/iPhone will require a separate rip at a reduced resolution, so you can convert that from a saved rip only when you want to view/transfer the file to the iPod/iPhone.

My recommendation (and what I do), which is mainly HT setup:
-Get a Mac Mini, low end is fine. HDMI and Toslink cables from Monoprice. Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

-Use Handbrake with High Profile and RF=18 with AC3 passthrough: it will give you 1.4-2GB movie sizes that look amazing, as well as surround audio. If you keep the default stereo downmix (to be compatible on the iPad), add another 200-300MB.

-Get a OWC FW400/FW800 SATA dual SATA drive enclosure from Other World Computing and two 1.5TB Samsung F2 HD154UI drives from NewEgg. You'll have a dedicated 1.5TB for media, and one drive for backup.

-Download Plex (plexapp.com) for a HT software. Setup the movie/TV scrape server options to download data.

-Launch Plex from the keyboard while on your couch. I also use OneKey, $5 shareware to assign a unused F-key to Plex (I use F5).

-Enjoy your movies.

Questions? Ask away. :)

BertyBoy
Jun 1, 2010, 11:55 AM
You're going to need lots of disk, a 2TB Time Capsule may be a start, with another 2TB disk for the main store, but it may not be enough depeding on your settings for conversion.

Longest and most arduous part will be loading, ripping and unloading the DVDs.
You may count on wearing out one or two DVD drives doing this, so like others have said, if you do it on your laptop, it's going to hurt.

Been there, done it, with 420 movies and countless TV shows (1040 episodes) from DVD. Set your self a target to rip a set number of DVDs per day, 2 or 3 will do. And in the end you'll get there. With a powerful PC / Mac you can be ripping 2 DVDs at once and still be doing your normal stuff and not notice the effort. Try ripping 1 DVD on a Dell laptop and it'll crawl / stop. It's not impossible on the laptop, just harder.
Encoding takes (relatively) no time at all - 2008 Mac Pro 8 core, 25 minutes to rip a DVD, 12 minutes to encode (done while the next DVD was ripping).

dynaflash
Jun 1, 2010, 11:58 AM
If you have access to a Mac, use Handbrake (I think they also have a Windows GUI)
um, yes HandBrake is cross platform, Mac, Windows and Linux gui's et al.No need for a mac just to run hb. :)

MowingDevil
Jun 1, 2010, 12:30 PM
-Use Handbrake with High Profile and RF=18 with AC3 passthrough: it will give you 1.4-2GB movie sizes that look amazing, as well as surround audio. If you keep the default stereo downmix (to be compatible on the iPad), add another 200-300MB.

What does "high profile's" setting do compared to "normal"? So far I've been using normal and clicking on "large file size" on most of them. Just feeling my way around HandBrake for the first time so I don't really know what all the settings mean.

To the OP: I've been doing a similar project and a 2tb TimeCapsule will be enough for you....or any other drive w/ 2tb. I've got about 90 movies on my 2tb Lacie drive so far and I still have 1.84tb left. All my rips have been 1-4gb in size. If you 600 rips @ 3gb ea that should still leave you with roughly 200gb of free space.

dagomike
Jun 1, 2010, 12:52 PM
Some thoughts...

First you'll want to choose a codec. You want something that will play on all devices. h.264 is usually the best choice.

Then you want to do some tests with bitrates. Do some rips and see how they look. Do you plan to watch on HDTV? That can expose bad SD encoded content to be unwatchable.

Then, you'll have an idea of how much space you need.

Personally, I'd transcode as near original as possible. In fact, ISO image is ideal if your player can support it. If not, maybe look into different players. Once you do this huge task, it would really suck to have to redo it. It easy to transcode from a ripped image, but quality suffers transcoding from a transcoded file, and digging up that original and redoing it is a PITA.

I'm guessing you can add additional storage via the TC USB port, so you can do that. It would just suck having multiple volumes to deal with vs building a JBOD RAID.

super_kev
Jun 1, 2010, 01:00 PM
What does "high profile's" setting do compared to "normal"? So far I've been using normal and clicking on "large file size" on most of them. Just feeling my way around HandBrake for the first time so I don't really know what all the settings mean.

To the OP: I've been doing a similar project and a 2tb TimeCapsule will be enough for you....or any other drive w/ 2tb. I've got about 90 movies on my 2tb Lacie drive so far and I still have 1.84tb left. All my rips have been 1-4gb in size. If you 600 rips @ 3gb ea that should still leave you with roughly 200gb of free space.

I researched it at one time on the Handbrake forums, and this is from their wiki:

High Profile enables all the bells and whistles in the H.264 standard. It is then that the codec truly shines and proves it is superior to plain MPEG-4.

I know that my encodes look absolutely great and I can't the difference between DVD and the high profile rip at RF=18. I could see a very slight difference when going to RF=18 (but you had to be very picky), so that's why I drifted from the standard RF in the High Profile preset. Read more about RF here (http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=16097). No need to check large file size, as it is only needed if files are going to be larger than 4GB. I have yet to have a 2.5 hr movie w/AC3 passthrough that's over 2.5GB in size.

dynaflash
Jun 1, 2010, 01:11 PM
My hardware: iPhone, iPad, Dell laptop.
Your lowest common denominator is what you want to encode for. In this case its the iPhone ( assuming that the Dell laptop is not ten years old).

Now as far as HandBrake is concerned it will depend on which iPhone you are encoding for, if its a 3GS you can use the AppleTV preset and it will work on all three and look best on the larger screens, if its before the 3GS you will have to nerf the settings down a bit.

wrkactjob
Jun 1, 2010, 01:57 PM
Thanks for the info all you Handbrake fans lol!...the conversion software I have in place and am generally happy getting the average dvd down to a 850mb mp4 format file.

Its really just the storage hardware that interested me. Is TC any better or more reliable than any other data storage hardware?...I am toying with buying a macbook pro....so it would be a happy Apple family then.

Can TC interface with a TV to play films?....do you load itunes onto the TC?..is it just a blank disc that you need to format?

BertyBoy
Jun 1, 2010, 01:58 PM
600 rips @ 3gb ea that should still leave you with roughly 200gb of free space.

Well, a 2TB drive would format to about 1.82TB, so touch-and-go. on the upside, 3GB is quite large for an H264 mp4 file for a movie, when optimised for iPhone / iPad.

The most important thing I learnt doing all my DVDs (well, there's about another 30-40 to do, purchased since the last batch were converted), is to be conservative with your bitrates. Sure, for your favourite 100 movies don't spare the quality. But for the movies you only may watch on a whim (or more likely if you pick it by mistake), cut the rate to something suitable, ie. 1200kbps for Titanic or The Hulk, while keeping Life of Brian or 12 Angry Men or Seven Samurai at 3500kbps (or less, B&W movies can get away with a much lower video coding bitrate).
Or don't convert the films outside your top 100 at all.

super_kev
Jun 1, 2010, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the info all you Handbrake fans lol!...the conversion software I have in place and am generally happy getting the average dvd down to a 850mb mp4 format file.

Its really just the storage hardware that interested me. Is TC any better or more reliable than any other data storage hardware?...I am toying with buying a macbook pro....so it would be a happy Apple family then.

The Time Capsule is a router and hard drive all built in one. It's a good backup solution if you have a Mac, but I would not recommend it as a media drive. My favorite brands are Seagate, Samsung, and WD. Right now I'm going with Samsung due to their excellent speed and bang for the buck. All drives will fail at some time, so it's good to have a backup of the media drive (hence my recommendation of the dual-drive case). For a computer you don't "need" two backup drives... your primary is your Macbook's drive, the backup (or second drive) is the Time Capsule. Make sense?

Can TC interface with a TV to play films?....do you load itunes onto the TC?..is it just a blank disc that you need to format?

1) No. Read up on Apple's information on a Time Capsule here (http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/). As I mentioned above, it's a router and backup hard drive for Time Machine (but you can use it for "just" a hard drive, albeit an expensive one).
2) No. See above.
3) I believe it comes pre-formatted in Apple HFS/HFS+, but yes, it's a "blank" disk.

McGiord
Jun 1, 2010, 10:15 PM
Very good suggestions and comments above.

I would like just to add the suggestion for you: to wait a little to see if the next rumored AppleTV will reveal something that could modify or improve your decision, so probably you could also stream the content, or speed up the sync with your iPad/iPhone.

wrkactjob
Jun 2, 2010, 05:11 PM
The Time Capsule is a router and hard drive all built in one. It's a good backup solution if you have a Mac, but I would not recommend it as a media drive. My favorite brands are Seagate, Samsung, and WD. Right now I'm going with Samsung due to their excellent speed and bang for the buck. All drives will fail at some time, so it's good to have a backup of the media drive (hence my recommendation of the dual-drive case). For a computer you don't "need" two backup drives... your primary is your Macbook's drive, the backup (or second drive) is the Time Capsule. Make sense?



1) No. Read up on Apple's information on a Time Capsule here (http://www.apple.com/timecapsule/). As I mentioned above, it's a router and backup hard drive for Time Machine (but you can use it for "just" a hard drive, albeit an expensive one).
2) No. See above.
3) I believe it comes pre-formatted in Apple HFS/HFS+, but yes, it's a "blank" disk.


Many thanks for this and all other replies. I think I may leave the TC idea and look at alternative data storage facilities. I have got on well with my Samsung Tv and BR player...so will see what they have to offer!

jakerules133
Jun 2, 2010, 10:59 PM
Very good suggestions and comments above.

I would like just to add the suggestion for you: to wait a little to see if the next rumored AppleTV will reveal something that could modify or improve your decision, so probably you could also stream the content, or speed up the sync with your iPad/iPhone.

Not trying to be a buzzkill or anything, but we've been talking about an upgrade to :apple:tv or something like it forever :(

RedTomato
Jun 3, 2010, 07:40 AM
I have [had] a TC, and while I loved it [a bit less now] as a router and wifi and backup device, it did very poorly as a media streamer. I never had much luck playing movies off it - maybe I set it up wrongly - and I always had to copy movies over to my laptop before playing them.

The other problem is my TC just died (probably dead power supply) Apple have agreed to replace it for free. However they will not let me open it up to copy off my movie files and other work files :(

I have another TC at work, and I've already brought a secondary USB archival drive for it so this situation won't happen again :(

So, storing files on your TC is not always a good idea.

HobeSoundDarryl
Jun 3, 2010, 08:27 AM
Not trying to be a buzzkill or anything, but we've been talking about an upgrade to :apple:tv or something like it forever :(

I'd stick "painfully" before "forever." But I think the suggestion (this time) is driven by the recent, juicier rumor of an iphone platform :apple:TV, probably driving some to hope that we might get this rolled out next week at the developer's conference.

Even though I've seen the "wait for the new one" thing too many times over the last 3+ years, if I was this OP, I'd probably wait until the conference just in case. The one issue with that though is that the new one's big feature is possibly 1080p hardware, so if the OP is converting DVDs rather than BDs, I don't see much relevancy in waiting unless the next-gen platform could play ripped video_ts folders (meaning the whole DVD, not just the movie itself), and then only if the OP was interested in having access to the whole DVD (and the much greater storage requirements associated with that).

Otherwise, I'm not sure what new :apple:TV hardware would deliver to benefit this particular purpose (DVD movie conversion). The existing platform is sufficiently loaded to play DVD quality movies back quite well- even at very high quality settings. If the OP has any BD movies, I would save those to see if there is a new :apple:TV announcement next week. Otherwise, it seems he could get the process started on regular DVDs right away.

balamw
Jun 3, 2010, 08:34 AM
I highly recommend the HP Mediasmart EX servers as a TC alternative that supports media streaming, and even some "on the fly" conversions. I still have to find a good front end that will play all it all well (I at least want VOB/DVD support, and preferably ripped Blu Ray support for future compatibility).


The other problem is my TC just died (probably dead power supply) Apple have agreed to replace it for free. However they will not let me open it up to copy off my movie files and other work files :(

Funny, with mine they offered me a $99 "data transfer service" as part of the free replacement. I don't like that because they could not tell me what would happen to the original drive and data. I also ran another scenario past them on the phone and they seemed to be OK with it. Have a third party Apple authorized service center pull and wipe the drive, then do the exchange. I need to follow back up on this.

B

JonathanU
Jun 3, 2010, 02:06 PM
Some thoughts...

First you'll want to choose a codec. You want something that will play on all devices. h.264 is usually the best choice.

Then you want to do some tests with bitrates. Do some rips and see how they look. Do you plan to watch on HDTV? That can expose bad SD encoded content to be unwatchable.

Then, you'll have an idea of how much space you need.

Personally, I'd transcode as near original as possible. In fact, ISO image is ideal if your player can support it. If not, maybe look into different players. Once you do this huge task, it would really suck to have to redo it. It easy to transcode from a ripped image, but quality suffers transcoding from a transcoded file, and digging up that original and redoing it is a PITA.

.

Hi, I downloaded Ripit and used it to rip a couple of DVDs. All very easy, and play nicely on the MBP but they take up loads of space (6gig each!) Is this standard for ISOs?

Cheers.

Hellhammer
Jun 3, 2010, 02:14 PM
I highly recommend the HP Mediasmart EX servers as a TC alternative that supports media streaming, and even some "on the fly" conversions. I still have to find a good front end that will play all it all well (I at least want VOB/DVD support, and preferably ripped Blu Ray support for future compatibility).

I find them overpriced. For the same money, you can get a PC with more features and for example, Blu-Ray support. 4 bays is a joke, for 80 you can get a case with 8 bays!

brentsg
Jun 3, 2010, 02:22 PM
I find them overpriced. For the same money, you can get a PC with more features and for example, Blu-Ray support. 4 bays is a joke, for 80 you can get a case with 8 bays!

Alright, but what you are describing is a completely different product in a completely different form factor.

Hellhammer
Jun 3, 2010, 02:27 PM
Alright, but what you are describing is a completely different product in a completely different form factor.

How? You can install Windows Home Server to make it just like the HP one. There are thousands of cases available, I just provided one example and it's ATX form factor. There are even Mini-ITX cases with 6 bays which are smaller than those HP boxes. Please provide some justification for your post

MrMister111
Jun 3, 2010, 05:15 PM
Thanks for the info all you Handbrake fans lol!...the conversion software I have in place and am generally happy getting the average dvd down to a 850mb mp4 format file.

Its really just the storage hardware that interested me. Is TC any better or more reliable than any other data storage hardware?...I am toying with buying a macbook pro....so it would be a happy Apple family then.

Can TC interface with a TV to play films?....do you load itunes onto the TC?..is it just a blank disc that you need to format?

Can I ask what the conversion software you use is pleas? and what setting you use for it?

I also am in this conundrum, but also want the flles to play on my PS3, so I want a file that plays on PS3, Apple TV (maybe (3GS).

I've been using Handbrake as suggested by others, but am willing to pay for decent Mac software that will convert DVDs/Video files to.

At the moment I've also found some Windows software (run in boot camp) called DVD Catalyst, it seems really good so far.

At the moment I have my Apple Tv with ATVFlash installed on it so allows access to NAs etc, I bought a 1Tb NAS and can now stream to my Apple TV and PS3 easily, and copy to iPhone 3GS if required

cheers

MowingDevil
Jun 3, 2010, 05:20 PM
Hi, I downloaded Ripit and used it to rip a couple of DVDs. All very easy, and play nicely on the MBP but they take up loads of space (6gig each!) Is this standard for ISOs?

Cheers.

Obviously you're doing the "rip" function, Try the "compress" option and you'll get something in the 1.5gb range and won't be able to tell the difference.

brentsg
Jun 3, 2010, 07:18 PM
How? You can install Windows Home Server to make it just like the HP one. There are thousands of cases available, I just provided one example and it's ATX form factor. There are even Mini-ITX cases with 6 bays which are smaller than those HP boxes. Please provide some justification for your post

The HP EX:
-Simple and off the shelf
-A lot of really nice value-add software
-Very small, quiet, and easy to tuck away out of the way
-Expandable if needed to 8 drives, plus more if you don't mind USB (overkill for most)
-Pre-configured to work with Macs and provide proper Time Machine support

Your suggestion:
-Not simple and off the shelf (yea some may enjoy that aspect)
-None of the value add software, so you're left to cobble it together
-Not at all small, and possibly not quiet, so not easy to tuck out of the way (you were talking of 8 bays, etc.. you've now changed that)
-Possibly a challenge to configure for Time Machine support
-I have absolutely no idea why you'd want Blu-ray on it

To me the real benefit of the HP solution is size, simplicity, flexibility, and the out of the box Mac support. Sure you can get the flexibility with a home-built device but an 8 bay Blu-ray toting tower really doesn't seem to be what HP had in mind. I paid around $450 so I definitely don't view it as overpriced.

Hellhammer
Jun 4, 2010, 07:16 AM
The HP EX:
-Simple and off the shelf
-A lot of really nice value-add software
-Very small, quiet, and easy to tuck away out of the way
-Expandable if needed to 8 drives, plus more if you don't mind USB (overkill for most)
-Pre-configured to work with Macs and provide proper Time Machine support

Your suggestion:
-Not simple and off the shelf (yea some may enjoy that aspect)
-None of the value add software, so you're left to cobble it together
-Not at all small, and possibly not quiet, so not easy to tuck out of the way (you were talking of 8 bays, etc.. you've now changed that)
-Possibly a challenge to configure for Time Machine support
-I have absolutely no idea why you'd want Blu-ray on it


1. If you have your thumb in the middle of your palm, it may not be easy.

2. You call OEM software good? LOL! There are a lot better alternatives available for FREE

3. You have no idea what you are talking about... Unless you chooser bad parts and make it big and noisy, it won't be. There are thousands of options

4. Same as #1

5. Just your opinion

You get a lot more if you do it yourself. More power (for e.g. encoding), more HD space, EVERYTHING! It may take you couple of hours more to set it up but does it matter? I can do that HP one for something like 300$. It's not bad if you're handless with computers but if you know something about them, you will never buy an OEM PC again.

Of course this is just my opinion and what I would do. That HP one ain't bad but you could just get more by doing it yourself ;)

DoFoT9
Jun 4, 2010, 07:54 AM
I'm sorry brent but I agree with hell. From my experience the pre built are terrible. Cheap parts, dodgey builds, over priced, bad warranty. The list goes on..

Custom built is noisy?? Oh God. I don't know where to start!

Forgive my vague reply - am on mobile.

brentsg
Jun 4, 2010, 09:38 AM
1. If you have your thumb in the middle of your palm, it may not be easy.

2. You call OEM software good? LOL! There are a lot better alternatives available for FREE

3. You have no idea what you are talking about... Unless you chooser bad parts and make it big and noisy, it won't be. There are thousands of options

4. Same as #1

5. Just your opinion

You get a lot more if you do it yourself. More power (for e.g. encoding), more HD space, EVERYTHING! It may take you couple of hours more to set it up but does it matter? I can do that HP one for something like 300$. It's not bad if you're handless with computers but if you know something about them, you will never buy an OEM PC again.

Of course this is just my opinion and what I would do. That HP one ain't bad but you could just get more by doing it yourself ;)

1. I understand when anyone on the internet has a different opinion you're supposed to automatically assume that they are an incompetent moron but please..

2. Yes I like HP's OEM software for my EX495. Have you used one? It's quite well done.

3. I know exactly what I'm talking about. And I said "possibly not quiet". The larger you build and the cheaper you go, the increased potential for noise.

5. All this is just your opinion too, and most importantly a different preference. But I think the most important thing is that you are changing the debate. Initially you said that you could build an 8 bay beast with Blu-ray for that. I said that's a different animal, and I think it is. But now you're talking about going small, etc. Yes of course you could try to mimic what HP has done with the EX series but that is not the point that I disagreed with.

I understand that some people ENJOY building and maintaining PCs. Also some feel the need to in order to save money. I completely disagree regarding never buying OEM if you know what you're doing. The last OEM desktop I owned was a P133 and I only bought that because I had a PC fail while I was finishing my graduate thesis. Even today I'll build my own for a desktop, but for a storage solution like this it makes no sense for most people. If you get your rocks off building it, great. I get it.. that used to be me. But today I've got 10 other things I should be doing so it's just another chore, and my time is now worth too much. I think most people either fall into this category, or the one that just wants to plug it in and have it work.

Anyways this is all getting away from the initial point and into a bunch of other stuff.

brentsg
Jun 4, 2010, 09:41 AM
I'm sorry brent but I agree with hell. From my experience the pre built are terrible. Cheap parts, dodgey builds, over priced, bad warranty. The list goes on..

Custom built is noisy?? Oh God. I don't know where to start!

Have you used the HP EX series or are you talking about OEMs in general?

And I didn't say custom built is noisy. I said "-Not at all small, and possibly not quiet, so not easy to tuck out of the way (you were talking of 8 bays, etc.. you've now changed that)".

You will be hard pressed to build an 8 bay home server that is as quiet as my EX495 because it's simply dead quiet.

DoFoT9
Jun 4, 2010, 09:45 AM
wow brent. You have a lot of misinformation to spread there...

The bigger you go the cheaper? The noisier? Wow. I'm sorry but that is just so so wrong. a pre built machine will never beat a custom build in price and quality and Blaaa Blaa.

Also, you call hell's reply opinion, yet all you do is post opinion back? Hell's post is more factual then yours.

No offense intended.

Hellhammer
Jun 4, 2010, 09:48 AM
2. Yes I like HP's OEM software for my EX495. Have you used one? It's quite well done.

OEM crapware has never been good

3. I know exactly what I'm talking about. And I said "possibly not quiet". The larger you build and the cheaper you go, the increased potential for noise.

Wrong. Size has nothing to do with the noise, or well, the bigger it is, the quieter it is as there is more air to flow. Stock coolers are very quiet nowadays. I build them for living so please, don't flood this crap

5. All this is just your opinion too, and most importantly a different preference. But I think the most important thing is that you are changing the debate. Initially you said that you could build an 8 bay beast with Blu-ray for that. I said that's a different animal, and I think it is. But now you're talking about going small, etc. Yes of course you could try to mimic what HP has done with the EX series but that is not the point that I disagreed with.

My only point is to build your own. What's in it is up to you. You said that 8-bay would be bigger so I provided another option which would be smaller than that HP. I don't think the size even matters if it's a headless server. The thing is that by building it your on your own, you can get everything you want. As balamw said, he would like to have Blu-Ray and by building your own, he could. You are missing the whole point by arguing that it's noisy and big and if it's not exactly as that HP one, it's not in same category. As long as the price is about the same, they are in the same category

I understand that some people ENJOY building and maintaining PCs. Also some feel the need to in order to save money. I completely disagree regarding never buying OEM if you know what you're doing. The last OEM desktop I owned was a P133 and I only bought that because I had a PC fail while I was finishing my graduate thesis. Even today I'll build my own for a desktop, but for a storage solution like this it makes no sense for most people. If you get your rocks off building it, great. I get it.. that used to be me. But today I've got 10 other things I should be doing so it's just another chore, and my time is now worth too much. I think most people either fall into this category, or the one that just wants to plug it in and have it work.

Server is just a PC desktop with server software (if needed), there is no difference. That's why I really don't get your point.

Hellhammer
Jun 4, 2010, 09:51 AM
Have you used the HP EX series or are you talking about OEMs in general?

And I didn't say custom built is noisy. I said "-Not at all small, and possibly not quiet, so not easy to tuck out of the way (you were talking of 8 bays, etc.. you've now changed that)".

You will be hard pressed to build an 8 bay home server that is as quiet as my EX495 because it's simply dead quiet.

Don't make yourself a clown... I've built hundreds of computers with that 8-bay case (Fractal Design Define R2). Most of them have been with high-end components which are a lot noisier than the parts you need for server but it still doesn't make any noise. It's one of the most silent cases I've seen. You are really out of your territory now. If you can't provide any proof that all custom PCs are big and noisy, please don't spread that crap then.

The only reason to buy an OEM desktop is if you can't build your own.

TheDrift-
Jun 4, 2010, 09:57 AM
Some thoughts...

First you'll want to choose a codec. You want something that will play on all devices. h.264 is usually the best choice.

Then you want to do some tests with bitrates. Do some rips and see how they look. Do you plan to watch on HDTV? That can expose bad SD encoded content to be unwatchable.

Then, you'll have an idea of how much space you need.

Personally, I'd transcode as near original as possible. In fact, ISO image is ideal if your player can support it. If not, maybe look into different players. Once you do this huge task, it would really suck to have to redo it. It easy to transcode from a ripped image, but quality suffers transcoding from a transcoded file, and digging up that original and redoing it is a PITA.

I'm guessing you can add additional storage via the TC USB port, so you can do that. It would just suck having multiple volumes to deal with vs building a JBOD RAID.

This was my soultion rip as an ISO I used a crappy 10 year old PC (didnt mind if the drive died etc) It would rip a DVD to ISO in 8-10 mins.

I just re-named the .ISO to .AVI and exported to my NAS and then streamed to my PS3 and Xboxs works fine.

The only slight down side is that the files can be quite large 3/5gb for a movie, but my NAS is a decent size (and I can always daisy chain extra storage to it, or increase the HDD's)

CWallace
Jun 4, 2010, 12:13 PM
I've been ripping my DVD collection using Handbrake's pre-defined AppleTV setting.

I'm at 1.21TB of finished product at the moment, composed of about 3000 items (almost all TV series episodes, the majority <30 minutes).

In AppleTV format, The Secret of Nimh is 1.22GB and in iPhone format it's 425MB.

psingh01
Jun 4, 2010, 01:15 PM
Get a 2tb drive. I'd use Mac the ripper to rip about 50 discs. Then handbrake to queue up the encoding. When you're done delete the Ripped DVD folders and repeat with the next 50. Get a DVD rom that can read very fast or the ripping part will take too long. In the encoding phase just knave it on over night or if you have a spare pc then just let it go until it's done. It doesn't have to be a fast computer.

rshillshooter81
Jun 4, 2010, 01:27 PM
I've currently converted 576 dvds of which 152 of them are blu-ray.

On the Mac i've had the easiest time converting my regular dvd's /w subtitles using Handbrake. I use an automater script to add all of the info for the dvd ( actors ect ) and the correct dvd (poster) image then load it into my itunes for all movies regardless of which pc I use to convert/encode them.

Blu-ray obviously has to be done on a PC because lack of hardware support for a blu-ray drive with a Mac compared to a PC (Sata/EIDE bluray for a pc vs USB/Firewire+ external + drive for mac).

For this I use either MakeMKV or DVDfab7. I found it best to make them into MKV's then reconvert them with Handbrake where DVDfab7 has the ability to take a bluray to appletv the quality isn't very good.

I setup my itunes on my 27" imac and it's library is pointed to a 8TB nas device which is a far far better solution than some of the others here have mentioned and the cost is better if not the same.

One downfall to doing this is it takes forever to scroll through the movies on my AppleTV's.

brentsg
Jun 4, 2010, 01:34 PM
Also, you call hell's reply opinion, yet all you do is post opinion back? Hell's post is more factual then yours.

No offense intended.

Dude I said we were both offering opinions. But the one that you guys are running with is flawed in that YOU HAVE NO FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRODUCT THAT YOU ARE COMPARING TO.

How can his post, or yours be "factual" when you are providing a critique when you have never used the product?

Hellhammer
Jun 4, 2010, 01:38 PM
Dude I said we were both offering opinions. But the one that you guys are running with is flawed in that YOU HAVE NO FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRODUCT THAT YOU ARE COMPARING TO.

How can his post, or yours be "factual" when you are providing a critique when you have never used the product?

It's nothing more than a normal PC with server software and some fancy looking OEM crapware. It's a computer built from same components you can get from any shop. It does exactly the same thing as custom PC would do, nothing more.

rshillshooter81
Jun 4, 2010, 01:42 PM
I've been ripping my DVD collection using Handbrake's pre-defined AppleTV setting.

I'm at 1.21TB of finished product at the moment, composed of about 3000 items (almost all TV series episodes, the majority <30 minutes).

In AppleTV format, The Secret of Nimh is 1.22GB and in iPhone format it's 425MB.

This is what I use also, however, do you notice in general when you rip things and play then through your AppleTV the volume is very quite unless it is music playing which is very loud. The setting you would use in handbrake to adjust this doesn't have much change on it.

I find that quite annoying.

brentsg
Jun 4, 2010, 01:46 PM
OEM crapware has never been good


There is no OEM crapware on the HP EX series. My friend just bought an HP desktop. Yes, it's full of crapware. The EX is a completely different case. I am not sure why you feel the need to comment on this when it's nothing but an assumption. The packaged software works perfectly and there's no need to piece it together.

And on everything else, geez... If you guys cannot see that a tiny pre-packaged server that's ready to roll out of the box is a product with a different target audience than an 8 bay home built server then the discussion is pointless. Yes they serve the same function, but it's a different animal.

But anyways if you build PCs for a living then you are never going to agree that for some, something like an HP is simply the right call. You have way too much invested in the alternative model.

Anyways this is all off topic so I won't comment any further. Peace.

Hellhammer
Jun 4, 2010, 01:57 PM
There is no OEM crapware on the HP EX series. My friend just bought an HP desktop. Yes, it's full of crapware. The EX is a completely different case. I am not sure why you feel the need to comment on this when it's nothing but an assumption.

And on everything else, geez... If you guys cannot see that a tiny pre-packaged server that's ready to roll out of the box is a product with a different target audience than an 8 bay home built server then the discussion is pointless. Yes they serve the same function, but it's a different animal.

But anyways if you build PCs for a living then you are never going to agree that for some, something like an HP is simply the right call. You have way too much invested in the alternative model.

What does the crapware include then? I've never faced OEM software that wasn't crap. Yes, they can be used and the UI might look pretty but often Windows has the same features, let alone 3rd party apps with unlimited customization. Tell me what the software does. Maybe it has been improved, you never know.

Anyway, you obviously think the HP MediaSmart is unbeatable because of its ultimate crapware. OEM software just isn't revolutionary. They do their job, no doubt on that but alternatives around the net have so many things they don't. It's not bad, but for the same money, you could just get more. HP is the right call if you aren't handy with computers, but if you are and have built PCs before, you shouldn't even consider that HP

I'm sure your happy with yours but it just wouldn't be my choice.

HobeSoundDarryl
Jun 4, 2010, 03:57 PM
I've currently converted 576 dvds of which 152 of them are blu-ray.
- - -
One downfall to doing this is it takes forever to scroll through the movies on my AppleTV's.

If the "forever" is because of the NAS, this won't help much. However, if you have a list of 576 movies in your :apple:TV movie folder, you might consider grouping them by putting the same tag in a "show" field. For example, if you have the 6 Star Wars movies, if you'll put "Star Wars" in the "show" field, you'll create a "Star Wars" folder as a single line in your :apple:TV movie list, with the 6 movies inside of it.

Do the same with all of your other series/franchise movies (Indiana Jones, LOTR, Star Trek, etc) and long lists get pretty manageable.

With a child, we had lots of animations in our list, so we tagged them all as "animation" in the "show" field and that really cut our long list down.

Maybe this will help you?

DoFoT9
Jun 4, 2010, 07:22 PM
Dude I said we were both offering opinions. But the one that you guys are running with is flawed in that YOU HAVE NO FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE OR KNOWLEDGE OF THE PRODUCT THAT YOU ARE COMPARING TO.

How can his post, or yours be "factual" when you are providing a critique when you have never used the product?

dude. both hellhammer and i deal with repairing computers, custom built and pre-built. dont just assume that you know me, because you dont.

my experience with HP is a TERRIBLE one! a dead motherboard, with a computer still in warranty, "oh no sorry the warranty doesnt cover that part of the failure".

i have ATTEMPTED to use HPs recovery partition on no fewer then 10 machines, all failed. after this point i simply gave up and now i just completely reinstall the OS from scratch.

build quality, longevity, price (a big one), individual parts quality (which is completely different from build quality mind you, and an entire other subject), warranties/customer support and the bundled HP software that comes with every HP has turned me off for life.

i can think of NO instance where a HP computer will be better then any pre-built computer, unless ur an old lady and can be influenced by the crap that the retail stores give you :rolleyes: haha

to the OP: using MacThe Ripper to import everything onto a HDD is the best idea. then use hand brake to batch convert everything :) its the way i do it! so good.

CubusX
Jun 4, 2010, 09:29 PM
Can anyone point me useful information on how to use this pogram to back up my DVD's?

I have no idea how to use it.

Thanks.

McGiord
Jun 4, 2010, 09:32 PM
Can anyone point me useful information on how to use this pogram to back up my DVD's?

I have no idea how to use it.

Thanks.
What program?

DoFoT9
Jun 4, 2010, 09:32 PM
Can anyone point me useful information on how to use this pogram to back up my DVD's?

I have no idea how to use it.

Thanks.

what program?........

if its MacThe Ripper - put your DVD in, and press Go. very easy.

CWallace
Jun 4, 2010, 09:37 PM
This is what I use also, however, do you notice in general when you rip things and play then through your AppleTV the volume is very quite unless it is music playing which is very loud. The setting you would use in handbrake to adjust this doesn't have much change on it.

I find that quite annoying.

I have yet to get an AppleTV (and now I'm waiting with the rumors), but yes, just comparing the sound of the converted file from the original DVD, the converted file does seem a good bit quieter on my iMac 27".

CubusX
Jun 4, 2010, 09:38 PM
It's Handbrake.

It's asking to scan and I need VLC files.

Thank you.

DoFoT9
Jun 4, 2010, 09:40 PM
It's Handbrake.

It's asking to scan and I need VLC files.

Thank you.

im sorry but you need to be more specific. VLC files? what format are they? what is their extension? .m4v? .mp4? .avi?

are they DVD rips?

generally, you scan a movie file that you wish to convert - it shouldnt hvae any problems :)

OddyOh
Jun 5, 2010, 03:58 AM
I think Handbrake needs VLC installed to rip DVDs, since the encryption stuff isn't included in HB anymore. Try installing VLC, then it should work.

DoFoT9
Jun 5, 2010, 04:08 AM
Ahh spot on oddy. Nice find!

OddyOh
Jun 5, 2010, 05:39 AM
No prob, I'm pretty sure I read it in this very forum.

Personally I've ripped all my DVDs to VIDEO_TS folders, preserving all the uncompressed goodness...Drobo is good for this. :)

DoFoT9
Jun 5, 2010, 08:35 AM
No prob, I'm pretty sure I read it in this very forum.

Personally I've ripped all my DVDs to VIDEO_TS folders, preserving all the uncompressed goodness...Drobo is good for this. :)

yea man i do the same. then stream to my PS3 :D

AppleNewton
Jun 6, 2010, 01:16 PM
Earlier someone made mention of encoding using the high profile settings, well does that setting allow it to be potted over to why of the apple devices?
(Ivebeen using apple universal settings and the video quality is perfect, just the audio on some films sounds lighter...even on ATV setting.)

BertyBoy
Jun 6, 2010, 04:31 PM
you might consider grouping them by putting the same tag in a "show" field. For example, if you have the 6 Star Wars movies, if you'll put "Star Wars" in the "show" field, you'll create a "Star Wars" folder as a single line in your :apple:TV movie list, with the 6 movies inside of it.

Well you learn something new every day. Are you sating to set the "Show" tag for Movies ?
Rather than the "Genre" tag, that I've been using so far - and AppleTV has a sort by genre option.

McGiord
Jun 6, 2010, 04:40 PM
Just in case you still don't have it, you can get VLC here:

http://www.videolan.org/

GermanSuplex
Jun 6, 2010, 04:43 PM
I just converted about 250+ DVD's to mp4. I'm pretty happy with the results, I've got them all tagged in MetaX properly with info, retained all the audio commentaries, 5.1 AC3 surround, etc. Quality to file size ratio is excellent with Handbrake. I use the Universal setting, I find the Apple TV setting to be overkill. For my Blu-Ray converts, I use the universal setting as well, movies look flawless on my HDTV considering I don't have to change discs and the file size is low.

I didn't build a fancy PC or anything, just ripped the discs to my drive whenever I had a chance and queued them all up in Handbrake to convert when I was asleep, at work, etc.

I also converted several music videos and TV Seasons from DVD as well. TV shows are the most laborious to make sure you have date, episode descriptions, etc. correct. I use MetaX along with Wikipedia and TV.com for that.

I still have some non-standard DVD's that I haven't converted yet. Things like sports discs with bonus material where I would need an iTunes-extras like setup to include the extra features in. I don't want to pull all these boxes off the shelf, convert the main feature and then pull them all off again when a new feature is added that lets me add these bonuses without cluttering my library. For movie features, I'm not too bothered, I don't think I've ever watched any bonus features for non-documentary films.

mikeheenan
Jul 2, 2010, 02:27 AM
How long does it usually take to convert a DVD in Handbrake? I'm using a homemade dvd, 4.3gb, and using the h.264 codec, creating a MKV at constant quality 60% RF 20, it says it will take 2 and half hours to finish. I have the latest MBP 17" i5.

DoFoT9
Jul 2, 2010, 02:31 AM
How long does it usually take to convert a DVD in Handbrake? I'm using a homemade dvd, 4.3gb, and using the h.264 codec, creating a MKV at constant quality 60% RF 20, it says it will take 2 and half hours to finish. I have the latest MBP 17" i5.

why are you creating a mkv? that sounds about right though. what sort of FPS are you getting?

Tronic
Jul 6, 2010, 12:35 PM
My response to all media storage related questions is to invest in an UnRaid server. You can build a very inexpensive PC for ~400 and then the only thing you need to add is hard drives as you start to run out of space. Currently I am running a 10TB UnRaid server with a random assortment of 1TB, 1.5TB and 2TB drives holding thousands of DVDs and a few hundred BRs. I would seriously recommend spending some time at all of the following forums before you try to undertake this project. Good Luck!

Lime Tech - Creators of UnRaid
http://www.lime-technology.com/

AVS Forum - Great forum in general, but their HTPC sub-forum has lots of useful info regarding apps to playback all your newly ripped content.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26

Slysoft and Elaborate Bytes Forum - Creators of AnyDVD, AnyDVD HD, Clone DVD and Virtual Clone Drive. My programs of choice for removing security, ripping, encoding and burning on my PCs.
http://forum.slysoft.com/

mikeheenan
Jul 9, 2010, 06:05 PM
why are you creating a mkv? that sounds about right though. what sort of FPS are you getting?

I thought that would be the best format to convert to, but then I decided to convert to m4v instead. Now the files are a bit smaller. I'm getting about 20fps on the encoding (high profile, h264, constant quality at rf 20). I don't mind how long it takes since I can just queue them all up, but are there any settings I can change to save sometime but not at the expense of quality? I know it's garbage in, garbage out, but I don't want the quality to get much worse.

toolbox
Jul 10, 2010, 03:37 AM
If you have access to a Mac, use Handbrake (I think they also have a Windows GUI) with the "High Profile" preset at RF=18, and two audio tracks - the default High Profile audio (stereo mixdown) and then an additional AC3 Passthrough (for 5.1/etc.) on the second track. The mixdown to stereo allows for audio in the iPad. Or, just rip all your DVDs in RF=18 and AC3 passthrough, and then re-rip the saved file and downmix the audio with Handbrake for when you want to transfer it to the iPad, which is how I do it since I don't need a stereo track for each ripped movie. The iPod/iPhone will require a separate rip at a reduced resolution, so you can convert that from a saved rip only when you want to view/transfer the file to the iPod/iPhone.

My recommendation (and what I do), which is mainly HT setup:
-Get a Mac Mini, low end is fine. HDMI and Toslink cables from Monoprice. Bluetooth mouse and keyboard.

-Use Handbrake with High Profile and RF=18 with AC3 passthrough: it will give you 1.4-2GB movie sizes that look amazing, as well as surround audio. If you keep the default stereo downmix (to be compatible on the iPad), add another 200-300MB.

-Get a OWC FW400/FW800 SATA dual SATA drive enclosure from Other World Computing and two 1.5TB Samsung F2 HD154UI drives from NewEgg. You'll have a dedicated 1.5TB for media, and one drive for backup.

-Download Plex (plexapp.com) for a HT software. Setup the movie/TV scrape server options to download data.

-Launch Plex from the keyboard while on your couch. I also use OneKey, $5 shareware to assign a unused F-key to Plex (I use F5).

-Enjoy your movies.

Questions? Ask away. :)

That sounds like a bloody good idea!!