HTPC setup, will it work well?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by scrub0bk, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. scrub0bk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #1
    Hi, im pretty new to the whole HTPC thing, but as of now i am ripping all my DVD's to my mac and putting them on my itunes.

    I plan on purchasing a external HDD and moving all my movies to it, and hooking that up to a PC which will be connected to my HDTV via HDMI from DVI. Will i be alright quality wise if i use my TV as the monitor and just play the ripped DVDs from itunes?

    i feel like this is a quick and easy way of not using ATV but i really cant justify spending $240 on one of them if this is going to work fine.

    Also any help/hints would be appreciated on what i can and what i should do with my setup.

    thanks
     
  2. azdunerat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #2
    Right now I am in the process of moving my entire DVD library onto an external HD so I can access it off my Mac mini. I have a 42" plasma and the picture off my mini is amazing compared to my cheap DVD player. You will want a good organizational program to keep all of you media in order. If Itunes does it for you then that will work

    I have spent the last couple of days getting to know and love and hate PLEX. Its a solid interface and once you have it configured is second to none for organizing your media.

    How well you system will perfrom comes down to a couple of variable. What kind of TV/Display are you using. CRT based stuff will be ok for your movie playback but wont be good for anything other than that. Second how much if any are you compressing your movies. I have kept mine in a straight TS video format. They take up a lot more space but you keep all the extras. So I hope that helps. I by no means am an expert but I am learning
     
  3. scrub0bk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #3
    i actually have a 42in plasma as well, and plan on basically only using it for movie playback onto it.

    i have ripped them using the standard normal format on handbrake and they seem to be coming in pretty clear.
     
  4. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    How do you find the fan noise of the mini in a HTPC set up?
     
  5. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #5
    I'm wondering how you got it off your DVD Library (Which I'm guessing is actual DVD disks) onto a Hard Drive and it runs like normal.
    I used DVD Shrink for my DVDs, exported them as .ISO's, and then hooked up the Hard Drive to my home theater PC, and it didn't look good at all compared to the original DVD. I'm wondering how you did yours to make it look better than the standard DVD player?
     
  6. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    PDX
    #6
    He is probably using MacTheRipper to rip all of his DVD disks to his external HDD and just leaving them in their native VIDEO_TS folder, not compressing them. You can play VIDEO_TS folders using DVD Player or Front Row on the Mac.

    They do take up a lot of space though, I only rip the "main feature" and that is usually ~4.7GB.
     
  7. azdunerat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #7
    I acutally use Ripit to make video-ts folders that I then rename to the movie title(year released). I am not a big fan of compressing and havent found a reason to yet.

    As for the fan, it is audible but not overpowering. I have a fairly large room, about 15-20 and am running the audio to a bose lifestyle system. I really cannot hear the fan on the mini over the system or even the cieling fan I have in the room. However in a more intement setting it is noticable.
     
  8. scrub0bk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #8
    basically im using my HDTV as a monitor for my PC which will have all of my movies on it, and just running them through itunes in full-screen.

    am i going to expiernece quality loss if im ripping the DVDs using handbrake in mp4 format @2000kps? because all im really looking for here is a place to store all my dvd's in one place and play them from it to my HDTV.

    also, if im using an apple VGA>DVI connector then using a DVI>HDMI wire to plug it into my TV, will there be quality lost there? Will it even work? and from what i've read i dont think im going to get sound from it so i will have to hook up some speakers to the PC to get sound for the movies correct?

    thanks guys
     
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    Why don't you keep your DVD's in vob format? In fact, you can use Plex to play them in ISO format as well.

    For me - I have XP in Fusion and burn all my DVDs to drive. I then use DVDShrink to convert the movie into one large VOB file with only the audio I want. Front Row can play them, Plex can play them and streamed to PS3 can play them. I guess my frustration is why would anyone want to compress a DVD and loss quality when one doesn't need to if they are using an external drive or a few. Just a thought.

    - Phrehdd
     
  10. scrub0bk thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #10
    that is true, i'll actually try that out.

    i want to use plex, but since my htpc is going to infact be a PC, anyone have any alternatives? cause i'd rather have soemthing with a nice interface like plex, but i know thats only OSX.
     
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #11
    Try the original ..Plex was spun from - XMBC on Windows.

    My ideal world would be Plex on Linux. In this I could build an ideal small system and stream from my NAS or use an external drive with a good CPU/Vid combo (Mac Mini..great for everything except high bitrate blu ray-m2ts files).
     
  12. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Northern VA
    #12
    Uhh, You could rip them in ISO format, and play them in VLC.

    Thats what I started to do nowadays.
     

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