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Old Feb 10, 2011, 01:22 AM   #1
jeffburk
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Advice re Ripping My DVD Collection to iTunes for Streaming to Apple TV

I am in the process of using Handbrake to rip a collection of about 1,000 DVDs and adding them to my iTunes library. I stream iTunes from a 2.8-GHz Quad-Core i5 iMac via Ethernet to two first-generation Apple TVs. I am using the Apple TV presets in Handbrake.

I would appreciate any advice on a couple of questions.

1) Are there any significant advantages to me replacing my first-generation Apple TVs with second-generation Apple TVs? I use the Apple TVs primarily for streaming from iTunes and very rarely purchase anything from the iTunes store, so the lower pricing for rentals does not really matter to me. Also, I have a Samsung Blu-Ray player for streaming Netflix. Would I get noticeably better picture quality using a second-generation Apple TV and the Apple TV 2 presets in Handbrake? I have read on the threads here that the second-generation Apple TVs have superior playback, but will it make much difference since all the DVDs are standard definition anyway? The picture quality of what I ripped thus far generally looks fine, but maybe I am missing something better. Also, my whole-home distribution system uses component video over Cat-5e, so I would have to buy HDMI-to-component adapters to hook up the second-generation Apple TVs. Would it be worth it?

2) The iMac's 1-TB hard drive will clearly not hold 1,000 DVDs worth of content, so I am considering buying an external 3-TB or 4-TB hard drive to hold my iTunes library. Should I try to get FireWire if possible, or will USB be fast enough? I have read on the threads here that many posters use a dedicated Mac Mini to stream iTunes content. I leave my iMac on all the time anyway, and it is very fast, but will it be fast enough to do the job pulling content from the external hard drive and streaming it to the Apple TVs? I also intend to buy a second large external drive as a back up using Time Machine. It would suck to have to re-rip all the content if the external hard drive with iTunes library crashed. Are there any other other precautions I should take?

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for your replies.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 06:47 PM   #2
tbayrgs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffburk View Post
1) Are there any significant advantages to me replacing my first-generation Apple TVs with second-generation Apple TVs? I use the Apple TVs primarily for streaming from iTunes and very rarely purchase anything from the iTunes store, so the lower pricing for rentals does not really matter to me. Also, I have a Samsung Blu-Ray player for streaming Netflix. Would I get noticeably better picture quality using a second-generation Apple TV and the Apple TV 2 presets in Handbrake? I have read on the threads here that the second-generation Apple TVs have superior playback, but will it make much difference since all the DVDs are standard definition anyway? The picture quality of what I ripped thus far generally looks fine, but maybe I am missing something better. Also, my whole-home distribution system uses component video over Cat-5e, so I would have to buy HDMI-to-component adapters to hook up the second-generation Apple TVs. Would it be worth it?
Short answer---no. For your purposes, no need/advantage to upgrading.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffburk View Post
2) The iMac's 1-TB hard drive will clearly not hold 1,000 DVDs worth of content, so I am considering buying an external 3-TB or 4-TB hard drive to hold my iTunes library. Should I try to get FireWire if possible, or will USB be fast enough? I have read on the threads here that many posters use a dedicated Mac Mini to stream iTunes content. I leave my iMac on all the time anyway, and it is very fast, but will it be fast enough to do the job pulling content from the external hard drive and streaming it to the Apple TVs? I also intend to buy a second large external drive as a back up using Time Machine. It would suck to have to re-rip all the content if the external hard drive with iTunes library crashed. Are there any other other precautions I should take?
I have a 2.0 GHz C2D Mac mini streaming to 3 TVs from a 2 bay external HDD connected via FW with no problems. If my mini can handle it, you iMac certainly can.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 07:12 PM   #3
Corruptitudes
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Definately plan on using an external drive/drives....

Im pretty much in the same situation. I have burned thus far 1.2 Tb of my tv shows, and 900 Gb of my movies. USB is fine. I actually have mine spread out over 8 network drives. I put them on the network so I didnt have to have all these drives sitting on my desk. My smallest drive is 250Gb on up to 1.5Tb. Im about to fill my 1.5 Tb drive, and am looking into really getting a NAS system going to house my movies.

Streaming works beautifully, no stutter when the movie is started. There is a slight delay on some of the older drives to get the movie buffered however. I think this is due to the smaller cache on the older drives however, rather then streaming itself.

If I were you I wouldnt waste my money. I would just keep what you got. Originally, I liked the idea of the appletv having the hard drive on it. I keep movies sync'd on it incase for whatever reason the network goes down while Im not around(my wife is a stay at home mom with 2 kids). But now Im leaning towards purchasing a second appletv for the bedroom, and streaming has worked so well that I will probably break down and do it. I cant fit my library on my 160gb ATV anyway.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 08:36 PM   #4
stompy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffburk View Post

2) The iMac's 1-TB hard drive will clearly not hold 1,000 DVDs worth of content, so I am considering buying an external 3-TB or 4-TB hard drive to hold my iTunes library. Should I try to get FireWire if possible, or will USB be fast enough? I have read on the threads here that many posters use a dedicated Mac Mini to stream iTunes content. I leave my iMac on all the time anyway, and it is very fast, but will it be fast enough to do the job pulling content from the external hard drive and streaming it to the Apple TVs? I also intend to buy a second large external drive as a back up using Time Machine. It would suck to have to re-rip all the content if the external hard drive with iTunes library crashed. Are there any other other precautions I should take?
USB is fast enough. If your iMac is on all the time, you don't need a second machine, (unless you have a separate reason to connect it directly to your tv).

I stream movies from a drobo (firewire connection). It's partitioned with a time machine partition for my iMac (1TB), the second partition holds all my media. (Original DVD rips, + encodes for ATV2). Any one drive can fail and I won't lose anything.

For those who don't like the drobo brand, substitute your preferred RAID storage.

Drobo = $300 + 2 2TB drives (to start) $70each = $440
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 09:42 PM   #5
JSMencer
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I stream movies from a drobo (firewire connection). It's partitioned with a time machine partition for my iMac (1TB), the second partition holds all my media. (Original DVD rips, + encodes for ATV2). Any one drive can fail and I won't lose anything.

For those who don't like the drobo brand, substitute your preferred RAID storage.

Drobo = $300 + 2 2TB drives (to start) $70each = $440[/QUOTE]



Can you send me a pm with a little more about this drobo, and how you like it? I really need a good external enclosure.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 11:37 PM   #6
stompy
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Originally Posted by JSMencer View Post
Can you send me a pm with a little more about this drobo, and how you like it? I really need a good external enclosure.
I have a 4 bay Drobo, it has usb and firewire connections. It was quick to set up, and has been trouble free.

Best place to get good info is drobo.com, if you don't know anything about what it does, click the "Drobo explained in 3 minutes" video link on the main page.

The 4 bay model can regularly be found for right around $300 (set up an email notification on dealmac.com for whenever it finds a drobo deal.)
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 08:41 AM   #7
Skaught
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If I were to put my movie or music library on a separate hard drive, I'd buy two drives and use one as a backup. After all that work you wouldn't want to lose the data.

I currently have my music and movies on my computer's drive, which is backed up via Time Machine to a separate drive. I'm debating putting it on a separate drive myself, which means I'd need two of them. I already ALMOST lost my entire library. I was able to recover the data on the hard drive through some luck and persistence. I don't want to risk losing everything again.

Scott
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skaught View Post
If I were to put my movie or music library on a separate hard drive, I'd buy two drives and use one as a backup. After all that work you wouldn't want to lose the data.

I currently have my music and movies on my computer's drive, which is backed up via Time Machine to a separate drive. I'm debating putting it on a separate drive myself, which means I'd need two of them. I already ALMOST lost my entire library. I was able to recover the data on the hard drive through some luck and persistence. I don't want to risk losing everything again.

Scott
I have a Mini which runs iTunes and serves up everything to my AppleTV from a USB 2.0 external hooked up to the Mini. I also have a 1.5TB external attached to the Mini as my TM backup drive.

You are correct about having 2 externals...one purely iTunes library...other for back up...no issues yet for me over the last 15 months of having it this way.

To the OP: I have 'wake-on-wireless' activated, so my Mini sleeps unless AppleTV needs a movie file. I have the old ATV, but I only stream so it's essentially like the current ATV2 so I have nothing on the internal ATV HDD.

You will not have any issues with a USB drive versus FW. The only place you could possibly have a speed bottleneck is over your home network. USB 2.0 is more than fast enough to transfer a file to the mac (and then ATV) to view in a real-time 'streaming' situation.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 09:59 AM   #9
stompy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skaught View Post
If I were to put my movie or music library on a separate hard drive, I'd buy two drives and use one as a backup. After all that work you wouldn't want to lose the data.
That's probably a good setup for you, not sure if it will work as well for OP, since he has 1,000+ movies. If he stores only compressed rips, say 1.3-1.5 GB per movie, it could work. If he wants to keep extracted DVD + compressed rip, let's say 5GB per movie. No single drive is going to work there.

RAID setup can give you redundancy for your movies, as well as enough extra space for a time machine backup of the computer's internal drive.
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 06:22 PM   #10
jeffburk
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Thanks everyone for the very helpful replies. I'm keeping my two first-generation Apple TVs streaming iTunes from my iMac. They've worked fine for a couple of years now, so no reason to mess with success. I'm going to set up an automated ripping process, as the prospect of continuing to rip 1,000 DVDs manually makes me shudder.

I'm also looking for two large-capacity external hard-drives, one for my iTunes library and the other for Time Machine back-up of my iMac and my iTunes library. If anyone has suggestions on specific models, please let me know. Also, where is a good place to look for a reasonably priced, decent-quality external Blu-Ray drive?
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Old Feb 11, 2011, 08:40 PM   #11
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I currently use one of these. Holds 2 two TB hard drives now.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Mercury-EliteAL-Pro-RAID

This is my next upgraded external after the redesign comes out to support JBOD.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-.../RAID/Desktop/

Currently streaming from my 2010 mini.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 01:16 AM   #12
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Go with the drobo. I have about 3TB of media on it at the moment. I have 7 TB which allows about 4.5 TB of storage with redundancy.

The advantage of the ATV2 is that it can run plex. Putting a 1,000 rips into iTunes with artwork is a pain in the ass. Just put them all in plex and watch them go.

I will never use iTunes again for my Tv shows or movies. Music yes. Other stuff no.
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Old Feb 12, 2011, 09:08 PM   #13
dowser22
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Clarifying what I think I learned here..

Hi All,
I only just bought a macbook pro and just finished putting all my music onto it from the old PC. Using MediaLink to transmit to the PS3, but I also use Logitech Squeezebox to play music direct from iTunes which works sweet.
Now I am shopping for an external drive that I can use for backup and for storing videos, since these will not fit on what is left on my 500 Gb hard drive after loading the music.
I'm pretty sure after reading this excellent discussion (all this is new, forums that is) that a good solution for me would be:
- 2 Tb external drive with RAID (i.e. 2 x 1Tb drives inside the box)
- it seems the advice is also that to stream videos (even HD?) USB will do, I dont need to go to Firewire?

Can anyone give advice on a good drive? I'm thinking the WD MyBook?
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 06:48 AM   #14
EarthSouNZ
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RAID 0 vs single drive

I have just migrated to Apple (mac mini) and brought my 2TB external drive esata/USB to it (containing around 1.25 TB of itunes music) to find that I cannot use esata. I reformatted the drive to HFS+ and copied the music to the reformatted drive and am now using it (via USB) for all my itunes music. IT IS SLOW - the dreaded rainbow wheel comes on when I seek out tracks and attempt to scroll down. I am thinking I should buy another drive (firewire 800) and am trying to decide whether a single 2TB drive or a 2 x 1TB drive using RAID 0 would be faster.

Any advice?

btw the mini is the basic 2.4 Ghz 320 gb drive and 4 GB RAM.
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 05:47 PM   #15
jeffburk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bye Bye Baby View Post
Go with the drobo. I have about 3TB of media on it at the moment. I have 7 TB which allows about 4.5 TB of storage with redundancy.

The advantage of the ATV2 is that it can run plex. Putting a 1,000 rips into iTunes with artwork is a pain in the ass. Just put them all in plex and watch them go.

I will never use iTunes again for my Tv shows or movies. Music yes. Other stuff no.
I assume I still need to rip all the DVDs to put them in Plex? Would that involve ripping the whole discs? If so, that would require an awful lot of storage.
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