Buying one, a few questions...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wvuwhat, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. wvuwhat macrumors 65816


    Sep 26, 2007
    I want to buy an Apple TV. I really really want to, talk me into it.

    I live in an apartment complex where Comcast basic cable and HBO are provided. I have formed my own account in order to get the sports packages and HD-DVR. I want to drop this, I think I may dislike Comcast more than Microsoft...but that's another story.

    In my room I have a cable jack and a actually have a box, which I never want to do. I'm looking at getting an eyeTV hybrid to hook up directly out of the wall jack (this will work correct).

    Then, I'm looking to just stream from my Macbook over to the Apple TV in the living area.

    My questions arise when I question if all of this will work flawlessly with my cable jack in my room and the Apple TV in the living room (I have a Linksys 54g router).

    My next question is I want to rid myself of all of my DVD's. I have about 50 left of my original 200 that I watch pretty regularly. How would I get them to look the best on my Apple TV WITH THE ABILITY TO COPY THE DVD LATER? I've been starting with the most watched ones and doing them at the Apple TV preset, but this won't look good will it, with the Apple TV preset.

    I'm at a loss here. I know I need an external drive, any suggestions, because I only have a 120GB drive in my new MacBook. Help me out with any suggestions as to what I should do to accomplish this. As always, I appreciate all of the help I have found on this website.
  2. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    Well, you can capture the video through eyeTV and have it saved to the Macbook's hard drive, but someone sometime somehow has to add it to iTunes to get :apple:TV to see it. Whether this is something eyeTV's software can do I don't know as I have zero experience with it.

    The rule is, "If it isn't in iTunes, Apple TV can't see it" with the following exceptions:
    1. You can sync content from iTunes. :apple:TV can see it when you turn off your computer.
    2. In Take 2, you can download directly from ITMS.

    Okay, well, you're going to need two (free) programs: MacTheRipper; and Handbrake. MacTheRipper will copy your DVD to your hard drive. It will remove the copy protection in the process. Then, you need to change the video format of the DVD files into h.264 so that iTunes and :Apple:TV can read them. That's what Handbrake does.

    If you save off the "ripped" DVD -- the pre-encoded files -- you can burn these later as DVDs. The encoded file, prepared by Handbrake, is what you'll add to iTunes.

    Look for at least a 250GB hard drive as an external. With a Macbook, be prepared to spend many hours encoded (converting) you DVD.

    In essence, you need to rip, encode, and save the original rip. That way you can burn it later if you need to.
  3. bentup macrumors member

    Sep 8, 2007
    San Francisco
    Please save your DVDs. Copying will always degrade your quality, and MacTheRipper is extremely unreliable unless you pay the man and always have the newest of the new. If you keep em, you dont have to re-burn them!

    But Mikie is correct with the Ripper -> Hanbrake. I think the Apple TV preset looks lovely!

    As far as storage goes, I am experimenting with ehternet storage that can act as an iTunes server. I'm using a Lacie Ethernet Big Disk... doesn't work too well, as I am ever waiting for a firmware update.. hehe. Its 1 TB which is super nice, and really not that expensive. Lots of companies make media servers, and I hear they work pretty well! But also considering backing up! Because when that hard-drive fails (and it will!) you are going to want to have your entire media collection somewhere other than just on the busted disk!

    Bottom of the line. Get the :apple: TV. Get LOTS of storage. Get MacTheRipper and Handbrake, and get ready for many many nights of encoding :D
  4. f(A)t'kId macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2008
    To convert "trouble" dvd's I use a program in windows called dvdfab. Re-writes some of the files that normal makes ripping programs not work. A lot of sony / columbia dvds are this way. I also like to use that program cause it take about 10 mins to rip the full file to my desktop. From there I queue up a bunch of movies in Handbrake. Like it was said in previous post the apple tv preset seems to work great. Little to non of the quality is lost on that setting other then the audio (160 max). You won't even notice that it's not a dvd. My brother and I started this ripping process (we're almost to 700) and he's my backup and I am his. To many hours spent ripping dvds to loose it with a failed drive. I have two 1TB Western Digital MyBooks for my library. Happy ripping :D

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