Originally Posted by jrfuda
There are several reasons why it's nice to have both a 777 and HDD-based movie collection.
1. Cost per movie - uncompressed - is cheaper in a 777. Even ay 5GB per movie (which will require some compression on most movies) You'd need 2TB of space in order to equal the storage capacity of the 777, and if you figure you're using a RAID5 volume (which is the most common RAID type for media servers, and probably the one that makes the most sense) you need 2TBs + 1 HDD (so, 8+1 (9) 250GB drives, 7+1 (8) 300GB drives, or 4+1 (5) 500GB drives. Given the price of the RAID5 hardware, plus drives and PC - the cost gets very high per movie. However, if your ultimate goal is to be able to watch something different on ever TV in the house, then the extra cost is worth it.
2. As others have said, it's a lot easier to stick a disc in a changer slot than to copy it to HDD, and there are some movie that just can't be copied, even if you re-author it, use a DVD Decrypter & DVDShrink Combo, etc. I have some movies that play fine in my DVD players, but give me CRC errors when I try to back them up with either program.
Yes, the playback may
be somewhat inferior to HTPC playback, but you have to remember that the source material is always 480i - no matter what! So any improvements you get with scaling - whether using FFDShow, DScaler, or an external hardware scaler is still manipulating a 480i picture.
I've seen some side-by-side shots in various threads on various forums 'round the net and the quality increase you get from scaling is subjective. I think some really hardcore videophiles may actually prefer an unscaled picture - though I don't know, and I can't tell on my meger 720p 50" set. This morning I finished hooking up a modulator to my DVDChanger and watched about five minutes of a movie in a remote room - Now, the TV was only a 32" SD model, but the picture looked awesome to me - and this was a "TV" channel for goodness sakes! I'm sure if I viewed the modulated content on my 50" or something bigger I would have noticed quality issues, though (I think there may have been a wee bit of a herringbone pattern in the pic - but you had to really look for it).
One day, when I can copy an uncompressed movie onto HDD for about $1.25 per movie - including the cost of building the PC storing the movie and all HDDs & RAID cards, I'll switch to a purely HDD-based system. If I win the lottery or my investments really take off, then I may raise the cost per movie threshold, however
For someone who has more money budgeted for this kind of thing, hoever, I'd say an HTPC-based system is a great way to go.
What I think Ruben should do, is get his 777, slowly copy all his movies to HDD, removing them from the 777 as he does, and when the 777's empty, he should sell it to me for a song!