DVD's on ATV2 without encoding?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by weddlec, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. weddlec macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2008
    My us usual workflow is to rip DVDs a season at a time and host then on my Mac mini. I then watch these .dvdmedia files on 2 of my home theater areas by just double clicking on the networked file. Works great. I recently put a tv in my kitchen a bought an ATV2 for it as another mini would be overkill for that. What I would like to do is play the .dvdmedia files in a similar way. I have been using Handbrake to encode individual episodes, then name them, them dump them into iTunes, and finally delete them off the server later. This is pretty tedious.
    Boxee app can live encode and stream from a server to an iPad, although nit .dvdmedia files. I was wondering if a similar solution exists for ATV2 yet.
  2. merman637, Sep 14, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2011

    merman637 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Oklahoma City, Ok
    DVD on atv2

    Personally I find it easier to use an app called "ripit" that i purchased for $29. This make an exact copy of the dvd folder (Video_TS) that i then store onto my server (mac mini 1.25 G4). Using "Firecore" ($19) on the atv2 I can then set up a favorite share (called movies). from there it works just like having the movie in itunes, except i have the dvd menus etc. You even get a Preview image of the DVD case, and a breif synopsis, that the "firecore" added software fetched from the net.

    I have been working through my whole DVD library, including tv shows, and have so far used over 4TB of storage, so just make sure to plan ahead. you can have them located wherever you want on your network, but I like them all hosted on one drive. My setup includes a DROBO with 8TB of capacity (builtin backup) then a 2nd DROBO set-up exactly the same that i use for time machine backups of the same data. Redundant I know, but with the amount of time ive put into this i sure dont want to lose anything.

    FYI about "RipIt. It automatically names the folder most of the time, and only takes about 30-45 minutes to rip a whole disc. Much faster and more reliable than handbrake, mediafork, or MacTheRipper was. Using those i would occasionally get dropped sound, repeated chapters, and various encoding problems.

    My file structure would look something like:
    HD->Movies->PG-13->MovieName->Video_TS (you never see the video_ts folder from the atv, simply select the MovieName folder and it plays just like a DVD)


    Yes, I sort all of my movies by MPAA Rating. And my TV Shows are sorted by season, then by disc.

    Hope this helps!
    Another FYI, I now own 2 ATV2's and one ATV1 (which is for sale)
    the $50 i spent on the software saved me literally months of time in the whole process.
    I have a large cabinet 2 deep and 10 high of DVD's, and i still have 2 large boxes to go, but it has been a fun hobby! I find it hard to pass up 5 for $20 movies at blockbuster, and movie 4 packs for $5 at walmart! :)

    I also forgot to mention. your ".dvdmedia" file is the exact same as a Video_TS, Finder uses the extension to automatically open DVD Player. ripit gives you the option to add or remove the xtension during the rip.
    If you remove the extension, (get info, rename without extension) it becomes a folder that can be seen by the atv2 (assuming you have firecore's seasonpass installed).
  3. ryanide macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2002
    Thanks merman637

    I really like your idea here. I've been wanting to rip my DVDs with a good backup option and just using Handbrake is limiting. Thanks.


    I notice that you do not have any spaces in your folders/filenames. Is that a requirement or just your preference?
  4. dlegend macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2009
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    That Firecore program looks cool. Looks like you have to jailbreak the ATV. Is it hard to keep it jailbreaked with the new updates coming out from Apple?
  5. iPadThai macrumors 6502a

    Apr 25, 2010
    Why bother? Transcode it using Handbrake to ATV2 profile setting and it's virtually the same quality (using CFR 18.5-20) as the original dvd.

    Plus it's a fraction of the disc space. The resolution of DVD's are crap anyway so it won't even matter. It's plenty acceptable transcoded to ATV2 via handbrake.

    You can even just simply transcode all the dvd extras if you wanted to. Using ripit to do the entire disc of course is painless but also a waste of space.

    Having to pay $19 for a JB app and having to JB the ATV2 is lame - especially when having to play cat and mouse all the time with atv updates
  6. merman637 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Oklahoma City, Ok

    It is not a requirement. I do have spaces in my actual setup. for instance the DVD name would be for example "Chasing Amy"

    The files inside the Video TS folder (and the folder itself) however cannot be changed.


    As far as I can tell, once it has been jailbroken? the updates work as usual. A note:
    Firecore simply packages other opensource software and makes the install process easier. There are frequent updates to the software installed, so i recommend getting the year subscription, rather than trying to find a bootleg, or going it alone by find the opensource software yourself. I did that initially, and boy was it a pain. ALOT of SSH and terminal work to get the shares working.
    It is very easy and quick to install and setup. I'd say from start to finish I can do it in about 15min.
  7. merman637 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Oklahoma City, Ok
    To each his own, but i recommend...

    Why bother? I could argue this all day, however in the end it's all a matter of preference.
    I originally started by transcoding. the problems were:
    on Tv Show Discs, I had to transcode each episode seperately. this isn't much fun on say the Seinfeld collection.
    I LIKE DVD menus and extras to be available. transcoding simply doesn't provide this.
    Transcoding had problem with a large amount of discs (Disney I'm looking at you). The result would be a partial transcode, dropped audio, artifacts, and more. Even worse, you dont notice the problems until you actually go to the ATV2 and start watching the file. 45 minutes into the movie the audio is dropped. F! Now i have people over, watching a movie on my "cool setup", only to have it FAIL miserably. very irritating.

    The rip time in ripit is anywhere from 20-55minutes depending on the disc size. the same for mediafork was 15-30 minutes for each pass (I used 2 pass).
    This was for the movie only. so Im already saving time by using ripit. no settings to fumble with. no worrying about the outcome.

    I have come across a whopping 3 discs that ripit had problems with. I contacted their customer support (try that with handbrake or mediafork) and they had an update to the software out in weeks. I haven't seen any problems since.
    $29 seems pretty cheap compared to how much time I wasted coming up with good settings, and then checking every file i ripped before adding it to my library.

    $19 is pretty cheap for the convenience and saved time. if your really that cheap, you can always JB and install the media viewer and AFP files by hand, for FREE. FYI, the JB software is free...just download for yourself at firecore (or any other of your choice) you are paying for the bundled install of all of the open source software. worth it for me. judge for yourself.
    Wasted space is also a relative statement. you can buy a 2TB drive for $60 nowadays. My experience has been that the average DVD size is let's say 4.5GB (my guess). On that drive alone you could have over 400 DVD images. available instantly. With ALL of the disc features.
    by contrast I was using a average bitrate method when using handbrake or mediafork. My average movie size was something like 1.75GB
    So i could get, say, 1100 movies. WITHOUT menus, features, extras.
    So about 1/3 ratio for the $60.
    Meanwhile you have spent $11,000 on those 1100 DVDs. Assuming $10 average.
    No brainer for me. in fact i went overkill and bought 2 DROBO for $600 (BHPhoto has them for $289) plus the 8 2TB drives for $80 each (external WD, disassembled for the drive). all my data is QUADRUPLY backed up.
    Overall I have less than $1500 in my drives and the appleTVs.
    I'd estimate I have about $40k+ in DVD's, CD's, iTunes purchases.
    Ive been buying these since the early 90's so...

    I have all of my iTunes library music/movie/tvshow/photos/etc on the same drives which justified it even more for me.
    PLUS, the DROBO will currently accept 4TB drives for a max of 16TB each, so I can expand as needed.

    Those that think ive spent too much need to know. No I am not rich. I saved my money up. I bought pieces at a time. I started with 1x1TB drive and a refurb gen1 AppleTV. My original Mini 1.25 G4 has been the file host. I ordered that back in Jan 2005.

    side note...I have a server running on my original 800mhz G3 ibook.

    the road has been a little bumpy, but it was/is fun and I have no regrets.
  8. peterjcat macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2010
    Unfortunately, any update you install from Apple will remove the jailbreak. So, if you rely on jailbroken functionality you can't update the Apple TV until the new firmware has been jailbroken. This normally happens pretty quickly, but it's something to consider.
  9. merman637 macrumors member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Oklahoma City, Ok
    point taken

    agreed. The most recent JB update occured literally before I even knew there WAS an update. It would have to be an extremely cool update for me to get upset about waiting a few days for the jailbreak update...

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