Best way to digitize film collection.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by twobelowpar, Oct 3, 2014.

  1. twobelowpar macrumors regular

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    #1
    I have about 125 DVDs and 50 Blus I would like to rip and make accessible to our ATV3 and iDevices. I understand I would need a BR drive to rip, a fairly large external harddrive (would like to get a 2TB), and a dedicated server that can be running iTunes 24/7. I am on a budget and trying to figure out the most efficient way to do this. We have an old (and I do mean old) iMac that I could hook up to the harddrive and router and leave running in the basement. It's so old it can't even hop on our wifi so I'm not sure how great an option that is. I've also read about people using Mac Minis and Apple Time Capsules. I would like to run this all through the ATV3 though so not sure how those would work. Once everything is ripped I will probably get Plex going on the ATV as well. Do I have the basic concept of what I need to do and if not, do any of you have any suggestions to make this a streamlined and budget-conscious process? I have considered slowly purchasing the DVD titles on iTunes but our library there is already starting to split between our US and Canadian accounts and I prefer to have everything in one place.
    Thanks!
     
  2. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #2
    Think long and hard before you embark on this journey. I have done it and am really not sure it was worth the effort. I did about 600 movies (combination of dvd and BR) and converted them to mp4. It takes about 600GB of storage.

    Frankly, there are probably only 10 movies or so that I ever go back and watch repeatably. But once you have the equipment and software in place, I guess the only cost is your time.

    So here is your most basic decision: keep all your rips as mkv or mp4. That will have a big impact on your storage needs. After that you will need a BR drive ($50-100) and a good router if you are doing wifi, probably won't matter if you are doing ethernet (which you should if you can). Don't spend a dime on software. There is great free software to do the ripping (and transcoding to mp4, if you decide to do that).
     
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #3
    There are several ways to accomplish what you ask.

    In your shoes, I would opt for an external drive to be attached to whatever Mac device you have that your ATV talks to with respect to dishing up movies and music etc. There really isn't a need to do a NAS of any sort. If your Mac has USB3, consider a solid USB3 enclosure and while you think a couple of terabytes is enough, consider 3 or 4 terabyte given prices these days.

    If you just want the movies and not the features, you may want to explore MakeMKV as first step then go to Handbrake. The former will generate a single MKV file and the later will convert it to MP4 or which ever other format you desire. Handbrake is free and MakeMKV has a cost.

    Perhaps checking into Handbrake forums would lend some help on conversion of files. Handbrake has some very nice options for pre-sets so you can check that out as well and perhaps tweak for maximum quality that your ATV can handle. Just remember, ATV and other iDevices don't offer the top of the line in either video or audio as compared to simply playing the discs or a non-compressed file generated from the discs (MakeMKV files are just that).
     
  4. dazed macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    I ripped my blurays with makemkv and then converted to MP4 using handbrake. I went with an external Samsung Blu Ray drive.

    My imac is 3 years old so the mkv ripping can be a bit slow so I would recommend starting with those you watch most often, as it will be very time consuming.
     
  5. arbogast777 macrumors regular

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    #5
    Another option, that I know is going to be unpopular, is to Disc to Digital them through UltraViolet...
     
  6. twobelowpar thread starter macrumors regular

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    #6
    Well our iMac (which is in storage) is probably close to a decade old so that probably wouldn't work so well. Our PC is very basic and could probably handle some DVD ripping but isn't something I would want running 24/7 as the server.
    So how would a Mac mini or Time Capsule suit my situation?

    I love the D2D concept but I really am in the Apple garden. ATV, iPad, and iPhones. Plus I'm in Canada and I don't even know if it's accessible here. Apple would get a few hundred bucks from me if they were to ever be more consumer-friendly with an option like this.
     
  7. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    Jun 19, 2013
    #7
    OP,

    here's another solution: I am certain most of those blurays and DVDs come with a digital copy. redeem those that come with iTunes digital copies and save yourself the trouble of ripping.
     
  8. JPM macrumors member

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    Feb 5, 2008
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    Ottawa, Canada
    #8
    My $.02

    I second this wherever it is an option. It's much less painful than ripping & encoding.

    I have a 7 year old (mid-2007 model) iMac which I use to serve up some iTunes content and it manages just fine. It can also rip & encode, albeit a bit slowly, but if the computer is in storage now you're obviously not using it so you should be able to queue up a bunch of encodes and just let it run and it will finish whenever it finishes.
     
  9. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Same. There is so much content to watch and only so much time in the day. I rarely re-watch anything these days.
     
  10. arbogast777 macrumors regular

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    Sep 4, 2010
    #10
    The funny thing is I am, too. I made the choice though that if I were to purchase a movie it was going to be through the studio's "official" way to do so with UV. It felt safer, and it also protected me in the future if I chose to leave the Apple ecosystem.

    Apple TV is what I use 90% of the time. Whenever I obtain a digital movie I add it to my Wish List so I can see what I have, then when I want to watch a purchased movie I simply switch channels on my TV to access Vudu. I also have the Vudu app on my iPad and iPhone, so it's still very doable from inside the Apple garden. Disney movies of course I can buy on my Apple TV since they will be registered through Disney Movies Anywhere.
     
  11. twobelowpar thread starter macrumors regular

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  12. sodapop1 Suspended

    sodapop1

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    #12
    The good thing about DMA is that if you link your iTunes account to your DMA account, whenever you redeem or purchase a movie on DMA, an iTunes copy of the movie will also be added to your iTunes library.

    http://www.disneymoviesanywhere.com/


    If only the movie studios would establish this sort of arrangement for UV with Apple, you would be able to access all your movies in the ecosystem of your choice regardless of where you originally purchased them.
     
  13. arbogast777 macrumors regular

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    #13
    The studios would love it if Apple allowed them too, and maybe Apple allowing DMA is a sign they eventually will. In the meantime there has been rumblings that Vudu will be joining with DMA soon, allowing it to be the first service to have UV and DMA in the same place, on any device. There's a lot to be said for that.

    As an admitted Apple fanboy, buying movies is the one place I break from the crowd on. Music is fine because it can be moved to other services. TV shows are fine because they are a watch once kind of thing for me. But movies remain a different beast.
     
  14. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #14
    A Time Capsule is only a router and HDD combo. It will not act as a server to run iTunes. You will need an actual computer for that. I would give your iMac a shot and only spend more if it won't work. All it has to do is run iTunes which is not going to be demanding. It's worth a shot.

    I have a 2005 MacBook acting as my iTunes server and it works just fine. So if your iMac will not work, you might want to even consider going on eBay and buying something old and cheap to act as an iTunes server.
     
  15. sodapop1 Suspended

    sodapop1

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    #15
    Well, seeing how the movie studios are gradually phasing out the iTunes digital copies included on Blu-ray purchases, that seems to suggest that the movies studios are the ones not willing to play ball with Apple but who really knows where the blame lies.
     
  16. orestes1984, Oct 4, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #16
    The value in going digital is not so much the library, but that it inststantises the process and gives you access to something that you can sit down and watch whenever and wherever you like.

    It's like bringing a video store into your house. The alternative is Netflix, or iTunes rentals, but there no guarantee about the permanency of your access to these libraries.

    Once you rip you've got it digitally stored for good and if anything it's more protected even when you leave the Apple eccosystem as MP4s will play on anything.

    You can come at it at the 2K vs 4K argument, but from an average viewing distance 2K will be always more than enough. It's not like VHS vs 2K. VHS was terrible, I doubt most of us now can even remember the difference between 2K and 4K cinema.

    I'm not going to say 2K is all you'll ever need, but it's pretty darn close and there's a pretty big rate of diminishing returns from even DVD to 4K. If you're ripping at around 4GB 1080p files you should never really have something that is unacceptable to watch.
     
  17. priitv8 macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Don't want to be picky, but it really sounds weird to say "going digital" to a process of ripping DVD/BD disks. They already are digital! You just need to transfer the content and probably change the encoding of a stream and container format to suit Apple ecosystem.
    You would be going digital, if you were scanning a celluloid film :D
     
  18. mjschabow macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Just upload it to Dropbox and AirPlay to ATV.
     
  19. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Actually despite the contents of the disc, the medium is an analogue format that relies upon a physical disc for access. Going fully digital means that the physical disc and the necessary drive to play it is made redundant as is the process of sorting, and filing. Where did you put that disc folder?

    Anyone who has ever had to carry a physical record crate, or stock/face library shelves knows how much of a pain in the bum it is particularly when you've collected a library of 150 odd films over the years through legal sources.

    Then there is the matter of physical media getting scratched, once its in your NAS you never have to worry about that again.
     
  20. sodapop1 Suspended

    sodapop1

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    #20
    Correct, unfortunately few people grasp that concept and now that the movie studios and retailers have adopted the term "digital movies" only adds to the confusion. But good luck trying to explain to people the differences between a digital format, digital storage and digital access.
     
  21. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #21
    It's all confusing, optical discs are digital, but kinda old hat, digital media is the contents within an optical disc or hard disk. While the disc is antiquated enough for me to consider it if not analogue then at least legacy, and borderline redundant.

    With the way physical media is dying out, it's only really technophobes by now that haven't transitioned to some sort of digital media player, even my second cousins who are as old as the hills have transitioned to fully digital media.

    perhaps if not analogue, because it's not really related to analogue wave signals, then at least I'd consider that physical discs are legacy items these days denoting to software and hardware that has largely been superseded but is difficult to replace because of its wide spread use.

    I really honestly haven't seen the wide spread adoption of blu-ray in the way of DVDs and if anything I've seen the opposite in a shift to a pure digital media delivery system, whether that be iTunes, Netflix, or other. Pretty much everyone including those that are as old as the hills now knows they can get their movies on computer somehow.
     
  22. twobelowpar thread starter macrumors regular

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    #22
    Yeah I realize "going digita" it's exactly the correct way to describe it but it was just the simplest way to word it and I figured everyone would know what I'm saying.
    The key word someone said was "instantaneous". To have all our films on a slick Plex menu (once I get that going) would be wonderful. I'm sure there are certain titles I would want to grab the actual disc for (LOTR, Star Wars, etc) but for a lot of them, just a point and click ala Netflix would be so nice. And now that I have bought a few from iTunes (two different accounts too), my collection is even more scattered. I could simply download those with the rest once I get going. So I guess my first step is finding a BR ripper and seeing how the old iMac is doing. Then I'll just need a drive with 2-3 TB to get me started, right? It'll take a while but it can just be something I work on when I have some time to kill. I know I largely want to keep buying Blurays (quality and price is still better) but I want them accessible as I choose as well. That's how the whole digital copy format should have been all this time anyhow.
     
  23. orestes1984, Oct 5, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    #23
    The biggest thing is the time consuming nature of having to run each disc through Handbrake or something similar, on a moderately powerful computer for 100 movies that could take about a month to digitize everything and that's the issue being raised here.

    I've done it, and it's great, but then there's the drawback, which is well, it's nice to poke around and kinda impressive to click and go, but... Well, all that time, only so much time in one life, how often are you going to watch all that content.

    Is it worth spending 6 to 8 hours per disc ripping everything nicely. There comes the question... My Apple TV is impressive, but, then I have some content on there I may not get around to watching... On the other hand, my DVD collection now remains in the crate I have for all my DVDs never to be scratched and saved for posterity value. There is that to it... It keeps your DVD collection for the intrinsic and sentimental nostalgic value of "I remember when..."

    I guess if nothing else to it that's something impressive I can hand down to my kids at some point in the future.
     
  24. mic j macrumors 68030

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    #24
    I second your ideas. I had a bunch of physical discs collected over time and no longer wanted to store them. So I transcoded them. Now that I've done that, I have no need to continue to do it. Must say, I really like having people over and going through that list of movie cover art on the aTV. Looks impressive :cool:
     
  25. 2010mini macrumors 68040

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    Jun 19, 2013
    #25
    Studios..... The blame is always theirs.

    They do stupid things like buy up rights to films/TV series and sit on them JUST so Netflix/HULU/Amazon..etc can't get them. Even those companies make them tonnes of money by buying entire catalogues of TV series unlike what cable companies do.

    Stupid studios.....
     

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