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1168 posts

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  # 647644 28-Jun-2012 14:35
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If you don't mind my asking what kind of router are you using, planning to use, to tie it all together? 

Looking into similar options myself. 




Didn't anybody tell you I was a hacker?



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  # 647658 28-Jun-2012 14:49
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Hi there,

My plan is simply to attach the player directly to the TV via HDMI, and have the hard disk attached directly to that.  I'll access the player wirelessly via my local network (which has a Thompson router).  I'm not looking to do any streaming as my *primary* goal, which is my reasoning for this approach.

I did see this, however, when I did my purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004GK0GKO

...which I wonder whether it might be more approprrate for streaming from other (networked) devices?

Cheers!

 
 
 
 


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  # 647775 28-Jun-2012 19:32
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Mark: Handbrake doesn't need the DVD saved to an ISO first it can decrypt the DVD direct [...]



Well yes, but particularly if you have a lot of DVDs like the OP, you really don't want to do this. Firstly, it puts a lot of sustained I/O load on the DVD drive. More importantly, it's the encoding not the ripping which is the slow bit. You can rip a bunch of DVDs to .ISOs pretty quickly, then queue the encodes in Handbrake and go to bed - leaving the queue to batch-encode over night.

@crackrdbycracku I'm using a Belkin Playmax, but any good WiFi N router should suffice. The MyBook Live just plugs into one of the gigabit ports and takes care of the file-serving, and the router takes care of the streaming. The MyBook even has a built in DLNA (Twonky) server if you want to stream to playstations or direct to modern TVs etc. The Belkin is good because it's dual-band dual-radio, so I can stream video in the 5.8Ghz band, while connecting the iPod/Lappy etc on the 2.4Ghz band, and they don't conflict or interfere with smooth streaming.




68 posts

Master Geek
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  # 648041 29-Jun-2012 10:03
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JimmyH:  Well yes, but particularly if you have a lot of DVDs like the OP, you really don't want to do this. Firstly, it puts a lot of sustained I/O load on the DVD drive. More importantly, it's the encoding not the ripping which is the slow bit. You can rip a bunch of DVDs to .ISOs pretty quickly, then queue the encodes in Handbrake and go to bed - leaving the queue to batch-encode over night.


Again, excellent information.  Several hundred DVDs are not something I want to sit in front of my computer encoding for days and days ;-)

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  # 648045 29-Jun-2012 10:11
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JimmyH: You can rip a bunch of DVDs to .ISOs pretty quickly, then queue the encodes in Handbrake and go to bed - leaving the queue to batch-encode over night.


+1 This is my standard work flow,

Especially for TV shows off DVD, I queue up a bunch of encodes, then once they have finished , I do a batch rename to the correct filenames so that Xbmc can pickup the episode info.. 



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Master Geek
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  # 648046 29-Jun-2012 10:19
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wellygary: I do a batch rename to the correct filenames so that Xbmc can pickup the episode info.. 


What are the 'correct file names' to get episode info, out of interest?  Thanks for the commentary, too!

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  # 648057 29-Jun-2012 10:32
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Maelstrom:
wellygary: I do a batch rename to the correct filenames so that Xbmc can pickup the episode info.. 


What are the 'correct file names' to get episode info, out of interest?  Thanks for the commentary, too!


I play my files through a jail broken Apple TV2 running XBMC, http://xbmc.org/about/

It will run off and index movies and TV shows and then scrape metadata (Actors, directors, episode descriptions, screen shot background  etc,) to present for when you are scrolling  through choices, 

eg 

http://xbmc.org/wp-content/gallery/confluence/screenshot005.jpg
but to do so it needs to know the Title, Season and Episode number of each file you create for a TV show,
i,e, The Office (US) S01E05 for Season 1 episode 5




 
 
 
 




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Master Geek
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  # 648058 29-Jun-2012 10:35
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Cool, makes sense.  The WD I've bought obviously may function differently but I'm familiar with the S0_E0_ approach.  Cheers!

42 posts

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  # 648569 30-Jun-2012 09:26
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I'm using a combination of a 2011 MacMini hardware and XBMC software for managing my media.

The 2011 MacMini has HDMI out, which was the main reason I went with it. Easy input into the Panasonic plasma. Bought a bluetooth keyboard and wireless mouse, so can operate it from anywhere in the lounge. Also means I've got a full PC attached to the lovely large monitor whenever I want. I prefer the "smart" box attached to "dumb" monitor - rather than the IMO overbuilt "smartTV" approach. I don't have an A/V amp or any 5.1 sound setup - it's just the built in audio on the TV. This isn't a home theatre - it's TV in the lounge for kids and general watching of movies and sky.

MacMini is on wireless network - and can see my NAS box, but I store the majority of my movie media on a 2TB Western Digital usb2.0 HD, which is directly attached to MacMini.

Process for ripping my DVD library, was to using MactheRipper to rip full dvd isos to my HD, then used Handbrake to queue up a full set of media to encode to .mp4 or .mkv - and let it run overnight. As the Macmini is on the network, I was able to do this remotely - allowing wife to watch TV. Which was useful for keeping the domestic peace.  Wink Took a couple of weeks to encode my collection, with a few tweaks of encode settings and a bit of trial and error.

XMBC software is very handy, but has many, many options. It's an app you could spend ages modding and tweaking. I use the Metropolis skin, which is pretty retro-cool, and simple for the majority of use. I still have some issues with the file-naming of the library, and some of the labelling is cranky.

I also use Constellation on the iPad - remote control of XBMC functions, so you don't even have to be looking at the OSX interface.

On the whole - very happy with my setup. Couple of boxes of DVDs in storage, easy access to content for kids and wife. Useful database of media. Plenty for me to keep tweaking if I need too.

I have explored replacing XBMC with Plex, as it can serve streaming media to tablets or other clients in the house. Plex, AFAIK, has more options for streaming media from sites like Hulu or Netflix. For now tho, XBMC is working fine.

Obviously, a pretty Mac centric setup, so may not work for you.



68 posts

Master Geek
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  # 649413 2-Jul-2012 10:42
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Thanks TimSlim for an excellent and detailed write-up.  I went ahead and ordered the WD setup from Amazon so I'm going to see how that goes.  If it doesn't work like expected, I'll still have all the files on the external drive (so could move to the Mac Mini setup from there).  I like the idea of using Constellation (given that I have an iPad) so if the WD ends up being sub-par, I reckon this would be an excellent option to pursue.

Thanks also for the advice about your ripping process.  Had some good feedback on that elsewhere too.  I use a Macbook Pro as my main computer so your Mac-centric details were really useful.

Also, I thought I'd update everyone that I ordered the components from Amazon on a (NZ) Friday morning, using the standard shipping, and it arrived at the NZ local courier depot by Sunday afternoon.

TL;DR: Amazon shipped these products at lightning speed, even at the standard shipping which only commits to 8-10 working days.

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  # 649433 2-Jul-2012 11:03
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 (given that I have an iPad)


If you have an iPad and are thinking about wanting to be able to access your DVDs wirelessly around the house  (either now or in the future), then seriously consider encoding everything in your library as  .mp4,

Yes, there are apps that will play most file types available, but Mp4 can be played natively, from pretty much any source

(I just remotely browse the raw files on the NAS with an app called filebrowser and play whatever I want..) , but you can then also copy them to the ipad locally if you want to take them with on a trip...



68 posts

Master Geek
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  # 649436 2-Jul-2012 11:06
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Excellent advice.  I thought .mkv was going to be the approach but copying the kids' films to the iPad for holidays would be a big bonus.

Any disadvantages in tersm of .mp4 over .mkv?  Is .mkv a smaller file size (relative to quality)?

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  # 649443 2-Jul-2012 11:12
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Maelstrom: 

TL;DR: Amazon shipped these products at lightning speed, even at the standard shipping which only commits to 8-10 working days.


Yip, I had the same experience with my WDTV Live from Amazon. Ordered using the cheapest shipping option, and Amazon sent it through International Priority.
I didn't want to get your hopes up by saying that, only to find that it could have taken the stated 10 days.
I love Amazon! :)

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  # 649454 2-Jul-2012 11:19
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Maelstrom: 

Any disadvantages in tersm of .mp4 over .mkv?  Is .mkv a smaller file size (relative to quality)?


Not really. It's only a file container. It's what's inside the container that matters.

If you use Handbrake to encode (which does both mp4 (m4v) and mkv natively) the default High Profile encoding template encodes to H.264 (x.264) video, and either re-muxed/pass-thru AC3 (Dolby Digital) or re-encoded AAC, or the previous two audio tracks side-by-side, by default. I personally just go for AC3 pass-thru exclusively, and delete the AAC audio track.

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Geek


  # 653841 11-Jul-2012 07:51
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I got a WD LIVE (NZ) version. I dun goofed. Have ordered a US one, which was cheaper than the price from the distributor :/
Then I saw this thread. I was using an AC RYAN but what a piece of junk compared to the WD Live. Slow menus, stuttering video (on 100Mb wired LAN)
Really looking forward to trying out the netflix / hulu stuff. Might dump sky if its works as hoped.

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