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Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
03-09-2010, 10:10 PM
Post: #1
Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
First, I apologize...you guys probably consider some people newbs, but I'm admittedly probably a step below that.

I've done a ton of looking around and after consider the WD TV Live, Seagate Home Theater+ and the Boxee, I've decided the PCH C200 is probably the best solution for what I want to do (and some things I may want to do in the future).

And I read the "idiot newbs read here first" thread and read all through the Wiki and I think my questions are even too basic for the Wiki (or I missed it).

Anyway, it is obviously going to take a little time for me to get the C200 shipped to me, so I was wondering what all I can do in the meantime. I figured starting to load all my DVDs onto an external hard drive would be a good start.

My first question is whether any particular software for copying DVDs to a hard drive is better than the rest? I want to copy the whole DVD, with menus, special features, etc. Also, I had read on another forum that to save space, you could create an "iso" file to get all the menus and special features, but then convert that ISO file to a mp4. Is that true? If it saves space, is it at the cost of decreased quality?

Also, I eventually want to have a Movie Jukebox program, probably the YAMJ Aeon Wall since that's leading the poll. Is that something I should be doing now, or wait until I get the unit?

Regarding the hard drive, is there any benefit to keeping the hard drive under 1.0 tb? A guy I know suggested that the reasonably affordable 2tb and up hard drives aren't as stable. Is that just BS? I'd rather just buy a 2tb HDD now than have to get a new one down the road if I fill mine up.

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
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03-09-2010, 10:21 PM
Post: #2
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
I would agree 2tb drives are not as stable as smaller drives. Are you planning on keeping your media on the popcorn box or a pc?

Most people use anydvd by slysoft to make their backups.
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03-09-2010, 10:36 PM
Post: #3
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
(03-09-2010 10:21 PM)halfelite Wrote:  I would agree 2tb drives are not as stable as smaller drives. Are you planning on keeping your media on the popcorn box or a pc?

Most people use anydvd by slysoft to make their backups.

I was going to keep all my movie files on an external hard drive that I leave plugged into the Popcorn box. That would allow me to also plug it into a PC though to add movies, manage files, etc., right?
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03-09-2010, 10:40 PM
Post: #4
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
That is correct.
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03-09-2010, 10:52 PM
Post: #5
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
Thanks again...

Anybody have any insight on the ISO vs. mp4 file format question?
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03-09-2010, 11:02 PM
Post: #6
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
payday05 Wrote:I figured starting to load all my DVDs onto an external hard drive would be a good start.

Yes, good idea, this takes a lot of time.

payday05 Wrote:My first question is whether any particular software for copying DVDs to a hard drive is better than the rest? I want to copy the whole DVD, with menus, special features, etc. Also, I had read on another forum that to save space, you could create an "iso" file to get all the menus and special features, but then convert that ISO file to a mp4. Is that true? If it saves space, is it at the cost of decreased quality?

As the other poster indicated, AnyDVD is the best and you can try it free, it has a 30 day trial period, great software and constantly updated. Converting to mp4 is an option but will compress the material at the expense of quality loss. Most movies are compressed into an mkv container, mp4 is typically for portable equipment (iPhones, iPods, etc). If space is an issue, then you should consider converting the ISOs to mkv's.

payday05 Wrote:Also, I eventually want to have a Movie Jukebox program, probably the YAMJ Aeon Wall since that's leading the poll. Is that something I should be doing now, or wait until I get the unit?

If you want to use YMAJ, you can start doing that now, you run it from a PC to build the library and collect all the cover art from the web, you'll need to be careful to use the right links when you do your scan. Some of the automated frontends won't work without access to the PCH, but you can do it manually.

payday05 Wrote:Regarding the hard drive, is there any benefit to keeping the hard drive under 1.0 tb? A guy I know suggested that the reasonably affordable 2tb and up hard drives aren't as stable. Is that just BS? I'd rather just buy a 2tb HDD now than have to get a new one down the road if I fill mine up.

I don't personally believe this, look at the compatibility list and you'll find plenty of 2TB drives, no issue with stability. Any new hardware goes thru growing pains, and I think they have stabilized now. I have a bunch of them and they work fine.

ReadyNAS NV+ w/4TB & Pro Business w/12TB
PCH A-100 w/150GB 3.5" HDD - Philips 42" LCD 1080i HDMI - Sony Soundbar
PCH A-110 w/400GB 2.5" HDD - Sony WEGA 50" DLP 1080i HDMI
PCH C-200 w/500GB 2.5" HDD & LG CH08 BD - Samsung 61" DLP 1080p HDMI - Onkyo TX-SR606
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03-09-2010, 11:25 PM
Post: #7
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
Do not user AnyDVD to rip standard-def DVDs. The "Rip to Image" and "Rip to Folders" functions are for ripping high-def material. Personally, I use CloneDVD for ripping my movies to ISO.

Also, the OP mentioned that he wanted to keep menus, extras etc.. Does the MP4 format support that? It certainly won't if it's muxed into an MKV container.
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03-09-2010, 11:44 PM
Post: #8
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
I've not used anydvd but dvdfab also has a free trial and takes care of the copy protection automatically for you. I'm not sure if anydvd does that as well, it may, but i know for a fact that dvdfab does. Also dvdfab allows you to keep everything intact or just pull the main title from the disc, and you can preview the tracks before ripping them.

PCH C-200 + WD15EARS 1.5Tb HDD + CH08LS10 BluRay
Xbox 360, Wii, PS3 Mods & Cases | Natural Lotion, Goat Milk Soap, Soy Candles & Tarts
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03-09-2010, 11:47 PM
Post: #9
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
AnyDVD removes both DVD and Bluray encryption. It can be used directly to make an image of a Bluray disc, or in conjunction with something like CloneDVD (or any DVD ripper) to remove CSS protection.
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03-09-2010, 11:52 PM
Post: #10
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
Quote:Regarding the hard drive, is there any benefit to keeping the hard drive under 1.0 tb? A guy I know suggested that the reasonably affordable 2tb and up hard drives aren't as stable. Is that just BS? I'd rather just buy a 2tb HDD now than have to get a new one down the road if I fill mine up.

My 2cents worth,
2Gig drives are probably just as stable as say a 500gig, but I would guess that a 500Gig would be more reliable.
Either way, Any Hard Disk can go 'bang' and die, so if you ain’t got no backup, Don't cry or blame anyone when it's gone.

Integra 7.9 - PCH C200 - Currenty coaxial/composite (hdmi is next)
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03-10-2010, 12:21 AM
Post: #11
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
(03-09-2010 10:52 PM)payday05 Wrote:  Thanks again...

Anybody have any insight on the ISO vs. mp4 file format question?

ISO means you rip the DVD in original quality, with no reencoding, keep it in a DVD structure but wrap it into an ISO - very fast

You can rip the entire DVD with every feature intact, or you can rip movie only with chapters, and a selection of subtitles, multiple 6 channel DD/DTS audiotracks etc.

mp4 means you pull out the movie only and reencode it to a smaller size with qualityloss, it also means spending hours of reencoding and no menu, no chapters or embedded subtitles and no 6 channel DTS or DD - should only be done if you really want to save space. If desided the better choise would be mkv which support 6 channel audio and embedded subtitles.

Living room: C200/A200/A100 HDMI to Pioneer KURO KRP-500A plasma / Denon AVR 3808 / KEF 5005.2 / B&W DM685
Kids room: C200/A110 HDMI to Panasonic 42PZ85, Optical to Logitech Z5500.


PLEASE READ THE WIKI
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03-10-2010, 07:08 AM
Post: #12
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
That's not entirely true, Spawn...

I rip my DVDs to MKV format with MPEG-4 re-compression and retain all the subtitles and all multi-channel audio tracks as well as chapters...

The easiest way to do this is to use MakeMKV first to extract the titles you are interested in into .MKV container, then use an encoder (I use TMPEG Encoder) to encode the video track to an .mp4 file and then use MKV Tools (mkvmerge) to mux this new video track with the audio tracks and subtitle tracks from the MKV file made by MakeMKV to a new MKV file. This way you can retain all the good stuff from the original movie and only convert the video part to MPEG-4 (I generally use 2.5 Mbit 2-pass encoding to 640x480). It'll mean a slight loss of quality, but for me, it's unnoticeable and saves a lot of disk space...

Keld R. Hansen
PopCorn MKV AudioConverter: Tutorial FAQ
YAMJ Poster Maker
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03-10-2010, 09:24 AM
Post: #13
RE: Ok, I've read through the Wiki and I'm already lost...
mpeg-4 and mp4 are different. mpeg-4 can include xvid etc.

You can use makeMKV but it doesn't create an mp4 file it simply remuxes the video from the DVD into an MKV, so it's mpeg-2 in an MKV with vobsub subtitles etc. It will be the same size as the DVD but w/o the menu.

To go smaller and keep best quality then you are looking at MKV container but with x264 video giving you avc L3:-
http://www.networkedmediatank.com/wiki/i...VD_to_H264

A400: SD Card(Apps), HDMI C200: USB(Apps), BD ROM (SH-B083L(SB01)), HDMI
CAT6 Wired Network: TV Panasonic TX-P42G20, HP ProCurve 1400-8G, Netgear GS-608/605, Synology CS407
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