Questions about server I may implement

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by williewalliewoo, Jan 20, 2008.

  1. williewalliewoo macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2008
    Hello everyone! (first post- been reading for about 2 years now but finally joined)
    I would like to thank everyone in advance for answering these probably obvious questions. I am very familiar with apple hardware, but want to ensure that this setup will work perfectly.

    I am installing an server (mac pro) in our house to stream media to apple tv's. I am planning on ripping dvd's into handbrake using an unknown (for now) preset, then using itunes on the "server" to stream (not sync) to apple tv.

    I have a few questions.

    A: What is a good preset in handbrake to use for quality that is identical to the dvd, but does not eat up space unnecessarily for quality that a person couldn't notice?

    B: On a mac pro, can one rip 2 dvds at once from both drives (using two copies of handbrake) and still experience flawless rips?

    C: Say I have a typical hour and a half movie. I rip it with whatever settings I decide on (probably very high). How long will it take to import using a mac pro (3.2 GHz, 8GB RAM) while another, similar movie is being ripped from another drive?

    D: Will streaming, say, the movie from the above question to an apple TV over an "n" network experience any stuttering, quality loss, or skipping? If the mac pro is dedicated to serving movies, will I ever notice skipping, loss, ect?

    I know this may sound like overkill, being paranoid, ect, but I want to ensure this system will work well before I drop the cash. Please do not comment about "you could do this so much cheaper blah blah". We have spent many months researching and have specific reasons for not putting 1TB drives in the mac pro, ect.

    Our System (proposed)
    Mac Pro, 3.2 GHz, 8GB RAM, 320GB/500GB (in raid 1), Fibre Channel
    Apple Xserve RAID 2.2 TB (expanded down the road) in RAID 5
    5 Apple TV (40GB)
    2 Mac Mini (1.83, 160GB) with Eyetv 250

    Thanks for any answers in advance!
  2. nick.hobbie macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2007
    I have been using the AppleTV preset on handbrake with 2-pass encoding and it looks fantastic on my Sony HDTV. I am really picky about my picture and would NOT recommend the Turbo.264. It is only good for older movies and TV shows.

    I have been using a 'g' network and have no issues with streaming.

    I do not know about the other two, You can rip the dvd's to your HD using mac the ripper and handbrake has a queue that you can add stuff to, I usually do this and leave it overnight or when I go to work. But I cannot open two instances of Handbrake. You can copy it to the desktop and name it something different and open two that way but do not know about performance. I do know that you want as little going on in the background when you are converting movies because it affects not only time but quality as well. Good luck to you.
  3. williewalliewoo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2008
    Thanks for the answers! I think I will use that setting you recommended.
  4. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    A. I use generic setting at 1500 kbps. The movies come out to around 1.3-2gb depending on the length, and the quality looks very good to me. But I am not super picky either.

    B. I dunno.

    C. What I usually do is save the .mp4 file right to my iTunes/Music/Movies folder so that way I just go to the File/Add to Library and it doesn't have to copy that file in. This is done after I use MetaX to put in all the Meta tags and movie poster on the file so it shows up nice and purrty in iTunes and on my :apple:TV.

    D. I stream over my Aiport Extreme N while playing WoW or ripping a DVD on my 24" iMac, and my girlfriend never complains about skipping or stuttering at all.

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