Apple TV hack for watching VOBs?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Pumpkin King, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Pumpkin King macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    #1
    I have my collection of about 400 DVDs ripped in VOB form and stored on a Windows Home Server. Right now I'm using a PC running Media Center to grab the VOBs from the server and play them on my TV. I use MyMovies which is a great community supported program although PC only. :(

    In my opinion this is not an elegant solution at all. I have a big noisy PC running most of the day just incase I want to watch a movie.

    I want to move to Apple TV but I'd like to keep my movie collection on the server and in VOB format to preserve the menus, etc. The movie collection is a couple terabytes so it needs to remain on the server.

    I know I'll need to hack the Apple TV. But can anyone tell me if this is possible to stream VOB from a server (either directly or through a mac) and if so, point me to a walk-through on what I need to do/install/purchase/etc?

    I'm also open to other suggestions. I'm just trying to trim the fat off my home theater.

    Thanks!!!

    Btw incase it matters I have:
    Windows Home Server
    Fall 2010 15" MBP
    Fall 2010 MBA
    ... and a PC that I want to get rid of.
     
  2. k12g3 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    #2
    Handbrake allows you to directly select .vob's and compress to MP4. I have done this on several movies. Not sure if it's PC compatible though :confused:
     
  3. Shoesy macrumors 6502a

    Shoesy

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Colchester, UK.
    #3
    Xbmc will play them if they are stored locally.
     
  4. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Location:
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    #4
    If you can swing it I would get a mac mini. Hook that to the tv and the Server. You can then run pled or Xbmc.
    The ATV is great we love ours and they have completely replaced cable in our house, but if you want to maintain the menu structure of the DVD then it may not be the best option for u.
     
  5. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #5
    Yes, and although HandBrake is a truly nifty app (and has both OS X and Windows versions), it won't help the OP. Pumpkin King specified the need to keep the DVD menus and other features, which HandBrake removes.

    There are a select few people that want to sit through all the FBI warnings and MPAA ratings and multiple movie previews before starting the movie. I have a hard time understanding why, but to each his own...
     
  6. Pumpkin King thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    #6
    Thank you for all the responses and not judging me for liking menus! haha Well I have handbrake on my macs and do use it. I'm sure there is some batch processing feature I could use to convert my VOBs to mp4s (it can take a month as long as I don't need to constantly admin it). If I were to do that (accepting the fact I'd lose my menus) could I then stream mp4s direct from the server to Apple TV? And at that point would I even need to jailbreak?

    One last question has Dolby Digital/DTS been added to mp4s? I remember years ago when I was deciding how I wanted to go about all this my other problem with mp4 was that it didn't support dolby digital.

    I've thought about a mac mini and it's an option but the whole goal of this is to cut the size and power consumption of everything going on. I don't like the fact that I need a server and a PC running to play a movie. I'd love to get down to a server and an apple tv.
     
  7. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Location:
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    #7

    The ATV2 is not a standalone solution, you still need a PC running that is running iTunes.
     
  8. Shoesy macrumors 6502a

    Shoesy

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Colchester, UK.
    #8
    Check out this sticky for info on batch processing / tagging / everything you need: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=805573
     
  9. djrobsd, Mar 11, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011

    djrobsd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    #9
    Are you sure about that? Maybe on the original Apple TV, but definitely not on the AppleTV 2.

    They are working on it, it's one of the many things on a long list that do not work yet on AppleTV 2.

    http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?t=91581

    EDIT: I stand corrected, it will play them, but you have to remove the menus, and it's kinda buggy at the moment.
     

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