Mac Mini to store all my DVDs on?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by GizmoDVD, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. GizmoDVD macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    SoCal
    #1
    Been contemplating picking up a Mac Mini to store all my DVDs on. I want to rip them to the hard drive and be able to play them anytime I want. How good will these look? Will they be upconverted in any way like a standard DVD/Blu-ray player or am I better off just using the disc?
     
  2. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #2
    They will not be upconverted. Also seems like a waste of time. I mean, yes, I went to the painful task of ripping all my CDs (over 400) to ALAC then MP3, but I replay my songs all the time. The question you have to ask is, how often do you watch the same DVD? Personally I watch a DVD and MAYBE I'll rewatch it a couple years later.
     
  3. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #3
    If you have a large DVD collection, storing them internally in a Mac Mini probably won't be so good as the largest 2.5" drive you can put in there is a 500gb drive.

    You can rip all your movies with MacTheRipper and then use Handbrake to encode them to H.264. I done that with mine at about 2000-2500kbps. Most movies takes up about 1-2gb each. I just backup the main feature and not all the "extras" as I never watch those anyways.

    If you have like a 200-300 DVD collection. You could possibly store them internally on the Mini if you upgrade to a larger drive. But your best bet is store them on an external hard drive. A great solution is called the MiniStack which the enclosure sits underneath the Mini.
     
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #4
    I agree with your suggestion to store on an external drive and more so if one uses PLEX as a front end for movie playback. DVD movies play extremely well on PLEX and one doesn't need to convert the files with Handbrake. PLEX will play back VOB files and also ISOs. The catch is to properly archive the movie(s). I too prefer just the "main feature" and no menus or extras but there are cases where I have kept the ISO at hand because the extras were worth another look (with guests watching).

    - Phrehdd
     
  5. GizmoDVD thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Oct 11, 2008
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    SoCal
    #5
    But they won't play as "upconvertered" even if I have the proper DVI to HDMI adapter? I have a few 1TB exrrernal drives so I would store them all on that.
     
  6. azdunerat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #6
    When you say upconverted are you refering to say a standard DVD being upted to something like 1080p??? If so then no they wont and Im not sure anything that can. Even with everything that I have seen that says it upconverts the fact of the matter is you cannot creat data that isnt there. Most gimmicks are just that, gimmicks. I have been more than just impressed I was pretty blown away but the output quality from my mini compared to my panasonic DVD player that was connected to my TV via component output. The mini has much truer color saturation as well as almost no artifacting at all.

    I will tell you that I have started to move my dvd library to an external drive and play them back through PLEX and its everything I had ever dreamed of. I remember a couple years back I saw a company called Kalidascope, they are a very high end Home theater manufacturer that made a device that could catalogue and organize DVD collections up to 300 movies for 10,000.00 or 500 movies for 12k. Then you would buy their special front end box to watch them throughout your house. The front end box ran about 1500.00 or so each and you needed one on each tv. I just thought how effin cool is that and I really wanted to have something like that one day.

    Well 5 years pass and now I have a mac mini that set me back 600 a 2TB drive that set me back 250 and AEBS that was 150. All said and done I am into the set up for well under a grand and it will do everything the 12,000 dollar system can do. In fact all I have to do is add Mini's to my bedroom and den and I can access my entire collection wirelessly without any issues. I actually tried it using my macbook and it worked perfectly.

    My only other suggestion on top of buying an external is make sure you buy something in a raid 1 config.I probably have a couple 5 hours into moving my 30 movies over so far and when said and done it will probably take about 15-20 hours to move over my entire library. I really dont want to have to do it all over again so if one drive fails, I pop it out and put in a new drive. The system automatically rebuilds the new drive and I am back in business. Also if your the kind of guy that double raps your goods, then you could even finish your collection pop out a drive and pop in a new drive. It will rebuild the new drive and you can keep the spare drive offsite just in case of a catastrophic issue, IE power surge, fire ect.

    Hope this helps
     
  7. GizmoDVD thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2008
    Location:
    SoCal
    #7
    Excellent post.

    Upconverting means making the picture sharper typically through the HDMI port. I wasn't sure if the Mini can do the same thing. I hate the watch a DVD ripped to the Mini knowing their a "superior" version sitting in the closet (DVD).
     
  8. azdunerat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    #8
    Put your mind at rest. I use a cheap 10.00 DVI to HDMI adaptor and it works great. Also you can download a program called ripit that will give you exact copies or your DVD, all 7-8 gigs. I started with this and began to make copies because being a complete mac noob I didnt want to screw around with anything or loose any quality. Being an old AV guy the word compressed always sends shivers down my spine as I conjure images of chitty youtube quality movies on my TV. Well I had some issues with some of my movies with Ripit, so I downloaded handbrake(god bless freeware) and had to use it to encode the movies. I set it to match the framerate of the DVD and most other settings were standard. In the end, instead of a 7-8 gig file I only had a 1-2 gig file and I could not even in the slightest bit see a difference in my video quality. The only problem I have now is a Ripit copy takes 30-45 minutes, a handbrake encode takes 1.5-2 hours.
     
  9. TrapOx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Location:
    Denver
    #9
    Upconverting is nothing more than scaling a small resolution video to fit a bigger screen resolution, there is no "making the picture sharper". Every personal computer that can play video can do it.

    Anything you do to reduce file size will reduce quality. Ripping the DVD directly to the HD as-is will take 4-8GB but the quality will be identical to the DVD.
     

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