Originally Posted by assassin
You have very good questions and they are important to answer so you can educate yourself on this hobby. Owning and operating a HTPC is kind of like trying to drink from a fire hydrant --- there is a lot to learn
. In short, there are no great HTPC faqs out there as they would take an incredible amount of time to create and update. I would suggest trying to read as much as possible here at AVS.
BTW we have discussed creating a "FAQ for Dummies" but quickly recognized the insane amount of time it would take to really do it justice. So its on our list of things to create in the future as we have a hard time sometimes explaining to the uneducated exactly what a HTPC "is".
hahaha...wow, I just bolded an absolutely outstanding statement. I feel like a dude who says, "i'm kinda thirsty", holds up his glass, and gets slammed by a 60-foot tsunami
As I said, the ultimate goal is to take my BluRay and DVD collection, digitize them, and make them available to all my electronic devices. My kids tend to borrow/take/lose/scratch/obliterate discs and beating them unconcious is messy, illegal, and immoral (among other issues) so I figure trying to "network" my entire media collection, useable only by members of my household, makes sense and is legal (I hope) since I purchased and own everything I'd be using this for.
so perhaps I'll try to ask a few pointed questions here / make a few statements, incorporating what (I think) I know, and either a "yes, you're on the right track' or "no, you're smoking crack" can help set me straight:
1. If I want to take a full BluRay disc, and make a "useful" backup (i.e. one that takes up less hard drive space than the full BluRay disc itself), I need an "authoring/encoding" application to make certain filetypes (iso? vob?), as well as a 'copy protection' breaker that will allow me to even make a backup in the first place. This will be an 'encoded' file(s) that I use to remove the 19 language subtitles
2. If I want to take my DVD/BRD and make it 'useful' on a laptop, I can/could use applications like "makeMKV" or "handbrake" to make a *moviename*.mkv file (Container?), that is playable on laptops that use VLC. mkv is "good" because it's small filesize with good quality, but is unreadable by my PS3, so ultimately, this may not be the best (container?) file format and avi is a lot more widespread and supported (?)
3. If I want to take the DVD/BRD and make it useful on my daughter's iphone or my wife's Droid, then I should do as in #2, using a different piece of software and a different filetype / container, neither of which I've looked into since I'm still trying to figure out if I'm correct with #2
4. I have a PS3, an XBox, NetFlix through the XBox, Direct TV with the Direct TV Cinema, and the capability to record TV shows on the Direct TV. Somehow, I can incorporate these to provide more 'options/functionality' to the whole 'networked home theater PC' thing. A little curious about legality, although it's all paid for, and would never be used to give to someone else or sell or whatever. Just (for example) save the 19th episode of SpongeBob on the direct TV, then get it to a digital format so my youngest can watch it on my laptop or my cell phone while we're driving across the state to one of my other daughter's soccer games (again, for example). Makes the long drive more tolerable for all of us.
5. Ultimately, I'll need a buttload of storage, an HTPC (i3 should be more than adequate for this), and a home network to make the whole thing run properly, and if properly configured, I will have reached nirvana without a completely empty bank account.
so am I fairly accurate in the above statements? if so, at least that'll answer a few of my questions and I can be a bit more focused in my web searches. Thanks a ton for any responses.