Sources of Good Free Content for ATV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by spamdumpster, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. spamdumpster macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 22, 2008
    #1
    Post here sources for good free content for the ATV. We're all aware of the torrent/illegal downloads. Let's focus in this thread on free and legally available stuff.

    One obvious place to look is google video, which allows most files to be downloaded, formatted for iPod. Some of the stuff is decent quality. I downloaded some tom & jerry and bugs bunny cartoons for my kids.
     
  2. RexDevious macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2008
    #2
    Is *this* legal?

    Rip your DVD's with Handbrake. If you don't put them on bit torrent, that may be legal. Probably isn't legal to subscribe to NetFlix to do this same thing though.

    All in all, I'd avoid illegal sources for video content. Not only do you expose yourself to viruses and lawsuits; but unless your time isn't worth much at all - it's more efficient to buy the content you want, and *then* convert it to whatever form is most convenient for you.
     
  3. mallbritton macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #3
    I agree that the best and most time efficient and way to get the content you want on your :apple:TV is to buy the media and rip it yourself. I've always found that trying to download that stuff is just more trouble than it's worth. And frankly there is little to no content on either YouTube or Google Video that I find worth watching.

    However ripping your own video content is technically a violation of the US law known as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This law makes it illegal for for a person to intentionally break digital rights management, which is what we do when we rip the contents from a DVD. I do this full well knowing what I am doing.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  4. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #4
    Video Podcasts are free!

    I recommend "Internet Superstar", "The Digg Reel" and "Ask a Ninja"!

    Oh, and "Play Value": a fascinating history of the video game industry!
     
  5. Macjames macrumors 6502a

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    Yorkshire, England
    #5
    Pets is a great (adult comedy) podcast about talking pets living in a house!
     
  6. kolax macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #6
    We use Mac's so #1 isn't a big issue, #2 a huge proportion of internet users download illegal content - they aren't after the people who download it, they are after the people who set up and share the files to begin with.

    How is it more efficient to buy the content? I'm not promoting illegal downloading at all, I'm curious how you think it is more efficient to go to a shop, buy a DVD and walk back, rather than clicking a few buttons and downloading it in 30 minutes?

    Ripping a DVD and converting it is a lot less convenient than converting a downloaded one.
     
  7. r12ski macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2008
    #7
    @ mallbritton: Where can I buy HD content to play on my :apple:TV?
     
  8. ratter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 31, 2008
    #8
    I'm just starting to get into the video podcasts, lots of cool stuff out there. And it'll be a long while before I'm done ripping my dvd's. I'm hoping that more and more sources realize the benefit of putting their stuff for free (with ads/sponsorship I'm sure) on iTunes.
     
  9. spamdumpster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 22, 2008
    #9
    I agree with most of this post, but I have to ask: Where are you finding free DVD rips that download in 30 minutes?
     
  10. spamdumpster thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 22, 2008
    #10
    The purpose of this thread was not to debate the legality/efficiency of downloading illegal content. It was to discuss and share free sources of good content. Whether this is instead of, or in addition to, illegally downloaded stuff is up to you. We all know that lots of folks do it. I'm looking for sources of good free content.

    www.guba.com is a google video-like site that also has free videos that can be downloaded and played on the ATV, although the quality isn't great.
     
  11. mallbritton macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #11
    Re-reading my original comment I realized that I was making a generalization. I should have been more specific and said that I find it more time and cost efficient to buy the content and rip it myself rather than searching all over the dank parts of the internet for the content I want that will wind up being of questionable quality.

    If I buy a DVD or music album then I can rip it to the exact specifications I want and not have to hope I can find what I want somewhere on a torrent site. And as to "downloading it in 30 minutes" ... I've never been able to download a video file in that short of a time except off the iTunes Store (which I also purchase content from).

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  12. mallbritton macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2006
    #12
    I don't know. I'd like to know as well. But I think if we give it a bit of time we'll eventually be able to purchase downloadable Hi Def content, although I expect it will be in 720p (which will not please some people). I also expect that eventually we'll be able to rip our own Hi Def content off physical media, or perhaps the content producers will start incorporating the new "digital copies" on blu-ray disks.

    Regards,
    Michael
     
  13. tothelimit macrumors regular

    tothelimit

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    Jan 9, 2008
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    South Florida
    #13
    technically this is not 'legal' ... i mean no one is really gonna beat your door down about it. but no - its is not legal to rip/copy your DVDs, purchased or otherwise. you're really only allowed to put them on your computer/media device if they come with a 'digital copy' (like fox and others have already started doing).
     
  14. kolax macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #14
    700MB file for a movie off the net these days. Most people are on at least a 5 meg connection. That means average download speed of around 500kb/s. (0.5MB/s)

    700/0.5 = 1400 (seconds) / 60 = 23.3 minutes.

    That is assuming your able to get a constant 500kb/s, but I have achieved close to that.
     
  15. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Seattle
    #15
    This is true. I say so not to vilify anyone, just to make sure people aren't misinformed. Just because we all want it to be legal and think it should be doesn't make it so. One element of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) is to specifically make it illegal to circumvent copyright controls, such as the Digital Rights Management (DRM) used on DVDs, whether other, more traditional means of copyright violation (such as distribution) occurs or not.

    Of course lots of people feel that it is, or at least should be, 'fair use' to rip DVDs you own, but unfortunately the end user isn't who determines what is fair use. If you ask the copyright owners (or the DVD Copyright Control Association) whether it's legal they'll say absolutely not, but in a certain sense the legality is up in the air until it gets tested in a court of law, which hasn't really happened yet.*

    *(except for the Kaleidascape case, but Kaleidascape devices are licensed to use/decode CSS, just like your DVD player, so they're not actually circumventing the DRM. The issue there was whether it's ok for the licensed device to hold the legally-decoded digital data in memory indefinitely, which was ruled to be ok.)
     
  16. datawrangler macrumors newbie

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    #16
  17. macleod199 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 10, 2007
    #17
    Keep in mind that the DMCA is a US law. Canadians have been able to fight off our equivalent law so far, and only a few Western European countries have similar laws.

    Also, to be completely clear, there are DVDs you can by that are unencrypted and/or don't have region codes. If they're unencrypted, it's not illegal to rip them.
     
  18. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601

    MagnusVonMagnum

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    Jun 18, 2007
    #18
    And a 700MB file is supposed to be equivalent quality to a 2.5-5GB DVD? In what Universe, praytell? Given comments on here about handbrake, etc., I really get the feeling most AppleTV users don't care about video quality very much. I have a 93" screen and 720P projector and anything less than the HD feeds off AppleTV are unacceptable (not even really that close to anamorphic DVD quality). AppleTV's 720P HD movies look as good as most cable HDTV stations, IMO, at least and aren't a bad source for rentals (if you can get it to work; I've gotten two bad units in a row). I wouldn't really want to "buy" any movies like that, though. Blu-ray still wins there.
     
  19. kolax macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #19
    Using the right compression methods, I can't tell the difference between a DVD that is a lossless rip and one that is properly compressed at 700MB.

    On my MBP or my 40" TV.
     
  20. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    Seattle
    #20
    This seems slightly generous to me, but not completely impossible. My DVD rips, using Handbrake to give high quality on the :apple:TV, come in at under 500Mb/hr. That would make a 90 min movie <750Mb, and these rips are indiscernible from the original DVD. You could probably nudge the compression up a little and still not see much difference, and get a 90 min movie down under 700Mb.
     
  21. Dorfdad macrumors 6502

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    Oct 26, 2007
    #21
    Do you mind giving me all the settings you used? I have been converting some of my DVD's but im getting 2+ Gig files what your getting is Divx sized and you have lost no AAC and 5.1 Surreond support?!
     
  22. sandman42 macrumors 6502a

    sandman42

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    #22
    Mostly I'm just using the :apple:TV preset in HandBrake, but I'm not including 5.1 sound (just stereo). That could be making a big difference.
     
  23. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    Mar 27, 2003
    #23
    The HandBrake AppleTV preset even without the 5.1 audio track will not give you a 90 minute movie under 750 mb. You must be reducing the abr of the video by like half or something.
     
  24. err404 macrumors 68020

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    Mar 4, 2007
    #24
    the 5.1 AC3 audio was designed with high amounts of storage in mind and is very large by itself (448kbps). It adds a bit under 500mb to the size of a typical movie.

    Some movie scenes are just more complex then others and need more space to look right. If you use HB, I'd recommend trying CRF instead of the default for the Apple TV. It will create an unpredictably sized file since you are targeting quality instead of size, but all movies will look about as good as each other. As a bonus, since it's a one-pass encode it is typically faster.

    A setting of about 65 looks very good, but you'll still see some slight artifacts if you try and look. 70 is nearly the same as the original DVD.

    most movies should clock in between 1.2G and 1.7G w/o 5.1.

    I've never seen a 700mb 90 min encode that was much better then 'passable' for casual viewing on a 50" HD screen.
     

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