Mac Mini/Plex/Blu Ray Rips

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by bbadalucco, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. bbadalucco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #1
    I want to get a mac mini with the sole purpose of playing my blu ray rips on it via plex.

    I was thinking of getting the following config:
    2ghz CPU
    2gb memory
    9400m with 128 mb

    Will this struggle playing blu ray rips? If so, what specs should I bump?

    Thanks
     
  2. spank2223 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    #2
    i would bump the ram to 4gb. Its an easy upgrade that you can do yourself. You could also upgrade the hard drive while you are at it.

    I have the same config but with 4gig ram and it does not miss a beat with the blu-ray rips on plex. 720p or 1080.

    Also remember to get the mini optical to optical cable for dolby digital.
     
  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #3
    It will play most Blu-ray rips just fine, so long as you extract the AC3 or DTS cores in the final ripped file. You will find that some Blu-ray rips will have stuttering in some scenes, but these will be in the minority. What would be even better would be to transcode the Blu-rays with Handbrake svn2592 down to 1080p, 61% constant quality 24 fps H.264 with AC3/DTS passthrough in an MKV container. If you do that, then you'll have no perceptible degradation of video quality and the files will be about 60-75% of the original m2ts file size.

    Also, with 2 gb of RAM you'll have 256 mb of vRAM for the 9400m gpu. That's more than plenty.
     
  4. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #4
    Would the stuttering be due to the low specs? Could I get the faster processor or better GPU to prevent the stuttering?

    Thanks for the heads up on HandBrake, I'd rather not transcode if at all possible though.
     
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #5
    Not unless you get a Mac Pro.
     
  6. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #6
    One more thing...the mini I was looking at was the low end one, it actually only has 128mb or vram (i was going to upgrade 2gb ram)...do you think I should get the 256?
     
  7. MacMini2009 macrumors 68000

    MacMini2009

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #7
    If you upgrade the RAM from 1GB to 2GB/4GB, the VRAM automatically allocates to 256MB.
     
  8. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #8
    Cool thanks
     
  9. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #9
    I was looking into transcoding the blu ray rips via handbrake as you suggested and I can't get handbrake to work. The majority of my rips are in a m2ts format??

    Any ideas?
     
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #10
    Pass the m2ts through tsmuxer and extract the DTS-HD or True-HD audio down to DTS or AC3. Make sure you're using the latest snapshot of Handbrake, which is referenced in the first post of the "Blu-Ray to Apple TV" thread in the Apple TV and Home Theater forum.
     
  11. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #11
    Ok, I've downloaded the build of Handbrake you mentioned. I've selected H.264, 24 FPS and constant quality of 60.78%. The input is 1920x1088 and output 720x304....do I need to change the output format to match the original resolution?
     
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #12
    If you're only going to use Plex for playback, then I'd do this:

    1. Select the Apple TV Preset.
    2. Change the video to MKV file, output to 1920 by xxx, leave CQ at 60.78 (or bump a couple more percent if you like), 24 fps, and ensure it's set for h.264.
    3. In the Audio tab deactivate track 2 and ensure track 1 is either AC3 passthrough or DTS passthrough (which is why you should run it through tsmuxer first; to get these audio tracks).
     
  13. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #13
    Ok, I did everything you metioned and it looks great...but WOW, after 9 hours I just stopped it (it was around 70%). Should it be taking that long with my MBP?

    SPECS
    June 2009 MBP
    3.06 Intel Core 2 Duo
    8gb Ram

    Thanks
     
  14. zmttoxics macrumors 65816

    zmttoxics

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    #14
    Its a lot of video to go through. If you lowered the output resolution to the 720x, it will probably go a lot faster.
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    My 3.2 gHz quad-core hackintosh takes about 5 to 6 hours to transcode a 2 hour Blu-ray movie, and Handbrake can use all four cores. So, it sounds like your MBP is performing as expected.
     
  16. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #16
    So if I were to get a Mac Pro would I want a 2.26 Octo or a 2.93 Quad...strictly for Handbrake encoding of blu ray rips?

    Sorry to keep this thread going, but you guys have been a huge help so I'm tyring to squeeze a bit more out.

    BTW, I've mroogled this topic and found some answers....a lot of back and forth though.

    Thanks
     
  17. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #17
    Handbrake can only use 4 cores, so an 8 core would be overkill (unless you ran two instances of it).
     
  18. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #18
    I say just live with it.

    It is silly to get a Mac Pro, which costs $2499, just to rip Blu-Rays. Your investment would never be recouped.
     
  19. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #19
    But I could sell the MBP that sits on my desk 24/7??? Just running the options through my head.

    I appreciate the inputs
     
  20. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Location:
    Albany
    #20
    Sorry if you mentioned that before. I just skimmed through.

    If you don't move it around a bunch, the I'd get the Mac Pro. Not with an Apple monitor, unless you already have one.
     
  21. bbadalucco thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    #21
    Cave Man, one final question for you: I've been using your suggestions for blu ray rips. I'm loving it...it appears to be the same quality and using only 37% of the space (on average)...this will save some space on HDD and money.

    I'm trying to do this for my DVD rips as well but the settings I'm using look bad. Can you tell me settings to use in Handbrake for DVDs or point me in the right direction.

    Again, you've been a huge help and I appreciate it.
     
  22. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #22
    For DVDs, I just use the Apple TV Preset. Works great on the ATV and Plex for me.
     
  23. dingamahoo macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    #23
    What's the Apple TV preset on Plex? I'm trying to learn how to use Plex on my mac mini, but still have a long way to go.
     
  24. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #24
    The Apple TV Preset is in Handbrake, not Plex. Plex just does playback.
     

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