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post #1 of 5 Old 03-02-2012, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to streamline my system from a Mac Mini Server and a few pcs to the Server and a few Apple TVs and have a question about encoding. I have held off going to the Apple TVs for the lack of Hulu support. Most of our consuming has been from Netflix and Hulu with a few videos served from a network drive using XBMC. But now my family is convinced we need a Hulu+ account which seems to be paving the way to an iTunes Apple TV model.

So what to do with the SD DVDs that have been ripped to the network. Is there any reason not to convert them using the Apple TV2 settings in handbrake and move them into iTunes? My wife and kids will find them much easier to watch and they take much less space. With them being SD DVD am I going to loose anything with this approach?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 5 Old 03-03-2012, 08:53 AM
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So what to do with the SD DVDs that have been ripped to the network. Is there any reason not to convert them using the Apple TV2 settings in handbrake and move them into iTunes?

No, not really, the Handbrake presets for conversion of SD DVDs was worked out long ago, essentially transparent, and it can be very convenient having that all in iTunes for sharing. Only reason to keep the original VIDEO_TS around is for the menu structure, bonus features or should you ever want to burn another full copy of the original disc. Blu ray rips Handbraked to the aTV2 or iPad2 preset look and sound especially good on the aTV 2, even when connected to a 1080p TV. Whether the extra effort and expense involved in starting with a higher res source is worth it to you depends on how valued the content is--and if it will ever be released in a higher res format.

There likely will be an aTV 3 soon, you may want to wait to start any big project until you see the price and specs of the new model--but if you have SD DVD content that you doubt you'll ever upgrade, go right ahead and start transcoding now, it won't look any better than it can right now.

Even if you can't have Hulu on the aTVs per se, you'll most likely be able to Airplay mirror or display mirror whatever Hulu content you want from an iPad or Mac running Mountain Lion to those aTVs, so don't worry. This should all shake out very soon with the iPad3, aTV3 and actual release of Mountain Lion.
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-03-2012, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Chef!

Some of the things I have on my video server may someday get upgraded to HD formats but most of it is kids stuff, so that seems to make sense to transcode now and if they ever get replaced with HD copies, I can re-do the transcode.

That brings me to another question though. Right now I have a LaCie 1TB FW800 drive dedicated for my Videos and currently takes up 750 GB. My iTunes library sits on a 1TB USB drive that it shares with other files it is currently 425GB just for the iTunes library. It looks like if I consolidate those two libraries I'm going to need more than 1TB even after the video compression. I currently have a 2TB WD Green that resides in my Drobo that I use for TimeMachine. I guess I could steal the 2TB and replace it with the 1TB that sits in the LaCie. Do you think it being a WD Green Drive would be a problem? Too slow for a shared iTunes library? If I did that I would still have 2 3TB Green Drives, a 1TB Segate and a 500 GB Segate in my Drobo.


Rumors of the new ATV is what kept me from moving the old Dell out of the living room at Christmas. As soon as the new one comes out, I'll either be picking a new one up or looking for a second gen. one. As far as Hulu goes, the family insisting on a Hulu+ account so hopefully Mt. Lion will solve the problem. On a side note; I don't have an ATV so I have not kept up but I thought when it first came out they were advertising Hulu+ but not Hulu. Did Apple reverse on that?

Thanks!
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-04-2012, 04:30 AM
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Do you think it being a WD Green Drive would be a problem? Too slow for a shared iTunes library?

Not at all, all the "Green" drives I've had, the WDs and Samsung EcoGreens, have been perfect for home theater use and media sharing. I have no experience with the Drobo, never trusted it, but my slowest connection--a green drive as a USB AirDisk drive plugged into my Airport Extreme--is fast enough for a blu ray rip.

If I were you, I'd consolidate your media into 1 large iTunes home sharing library, then keep it directly attached to your Mac in the Lacie FW800 enclosure, a second copy of it on the USB drive, which you connect only to do periodic updates, then a third copy of it on your Drobo. (Since everything might not fit on a 1TB drive, just open up that LaCie and put something bigger in.)

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On a side note; I don't have an ATV so I have not kept up but I thought when it first came out they were advertising Hulu+ but not Hulu. Did Apple reverse on that?

Conventional wisdom posits that Hulu is a threat to iTunes media purchases/rentals on the Apple TV, more so than Netflix.

You can do Hulu+ on the iPad with an app or in a browser on a Mac, you've never been able to do any Hulu on a stock Apple TV because it doesn't have user-configurable "apps" or a browser, though once people figured out how to get XBMC running on an Apple TV, plenty of folks have been using both the free and paid versions of Hulu on their Apple TVs.

XBMC running on the first or second generation Apple TV is quite nice.

But, there's also no reason why you couldn't keep the Mini right at your main HDTV in order to do Hulu+ duties until you've completely worked things out. It can do server and playback duties just fine.
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-04-2012, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again Chef!

The ATV(s) will be used in other locations The Mini is hooked up to the projector in my HT in a mirrored screen set up, the second screen on a desk nearby. My only complaints about this set up is the HDMI handshake dance the computer screen goes through anytime somebody changes a setting on the HT whether the Mini is the source or the PS3, etc. (I'm checking e-mail and my son turns on the HT rig to play a game on the PS3 and I get 2 minutes of screen refreshes.) Gotta love digital copyright protection!

Thanks again for the advice!
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