Flipping the "What HTPC Setup Should I Get?" Question on Its Head. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-13-2012, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
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So I promised my dad I would build him an HTPC for storing and playing back DVD rips and the occasional DVD rentals. Although he has quite a few CD's, we're going to leave that alone for now. I'm familiar with building and using my own set-ups, having had some experience with serviio (Ubuntu), XMPC, Windows Media Center (though it's been a while since I've played with it), plex, and (mostly Windows) tools like handbrake, DVD Shrink, etc.

However, my dad has NO experience with computers, so I'm trying to find the simplest solution for him to:

1. Back up his DVD's by simply inserting them and running a profile--basically no categorization and they can just go into one folder (e.g., stick in disk--dialog box comes up that asks whether to proceed, and he clicks yes=rips and eject disk).

2. Play these DVD rips or other media files I provide him by navigating through a menu or two.

I'm looking at re-purposing a Windows 7 Ultimate computer with 3x500GB drives in RAID (not sure if I'm going with striped or 5), the specifications aren't important, but which suffice it to say has enough horsepower to do what he wants (will hook up to his TV through DVI-to-HDMI converter).

Any ideas, especially for requirement 1? This has got to be really, really straight forward.
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-13-2012, 03:27 PM
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i work for an oil field company that deals with guys that have hardly any computer experience. the best way i have found is to make screen shots and use a marker to point where to click and what its for at the bottom. then do it while they watch and then watch them a few times while they use the guide. make a copy of it and give them your number because you will be amazed how far they can get off track. i also did this with my mom on how to use facebook and she has given it to her friends. they love looking at pictures on FB. you can also get a video card cheap with hdmi out so you get sound also.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-13-2012, 05:39 PM
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MyMovies with anydvd installed.

It gives you the option of basicaly one click rip from within WMC and gives nice cover art he can browse and launch movies from.
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-14-2012, 06:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chowyungfatso View Post

1. Back up his DVD's by simply inserting them and running a profile--basically no categorization and they can just go into one folder (e.g., stick in disk--dialog box comes up that asks whether to proceed, and he clicks yes=rips and eject disk).

If you decide to use WMC as his front end, look into Auto Rip n Compress. I played with it just briefly a while back, but it could be what you're looking for. You need some other tools installed (I think DVD Fab might be one of them) but if I remember correctly you can set up a specific profile to remux/compress to and never have to leave the 10 foot interface

My HTPC front end set up
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-14-2012, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by potts.mike View Post

MyMovies with anydvd installed.
It gives you the option of basicaly one click rip from within WMC and gives nice cover art he can browse and launch movies from.

+1 – This will do exactly what you're asking for. Easy wink.gif
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-15-2012, 03:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks. You guys are awesome. I just checked back in after an all-nighter trying to get some work out, and playing with my Asus RT-N66U. I will check out the MyMovies suggestion and also look at Auto Rip n' Compress.

Most likely I'll stick with WMC, but eek.gif WOW, things have changed since I've last looked into this (4+ years?), but I think I still have an old WMC remote somewhere.

I presume I'll have to look through this to familiarize myself again:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1250607/windows-7-media-center-setup-guide-knowledge-base-support

MediaPortal looks interesting too, but since I already have WMC, it's just as well I don't try to mess around too much with something new...for now...and for him, haha.
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-15-2012, 03:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txredxj View Post

the best way i have found is to make screen shots and use a marker to point where to click and what its for at the bottom. ... make a copy of it and give them your number because you will be amazed how far they can get off track.... you can also get a video card cheap with hdmi out so you get sound also.

Yeah, I hear ya. I bought him a fax machine a while ago and put numbered stickers as to what button to press. A few weeks ago I was at the house and I noticed he got a new fax machine:

Me: "What's wrong with the fax machine I bought you?"
Him: "It broke, and won't send out faxes."
Me: "Show me how you send out a fax."
Him: [Turns on speakerphone, dials number, hears receiving fax machine and then hangs up WITHOUT PRESSING SEND.]
Me: frown.gif"Sigh."

I'm at my parent's almost every week, plus the ex's place to pick-up/drop-off kids, and after 4 hours of troubleshooting 3 networks (including my own), fixing various computer issues at my parents' and the kids' place--just the other day I thought about figuring a way to have everyone live together just so it'll be easier to manage one set of network, computer, etc.

Wonder what the fiancée will think about that.

As for my mom, I found a Chinese version of the iPad manual for her, and it's helping ... when she's willing to RTFM. (Her: "It's too many pages! Just show me.")
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post #8 of 9 Old 09-15-2012, 05:47 PM
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lol you got me on the Chinese manual part. i was trying to think to think how a Chinese manual would help somebody use an ipad? almost 5 minutes ive been thinking wtf then it hits me, eek.gif she must be Chinese!
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post #9 of 9 Old 09-16-2012, 05:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txredxj View Post

lol you got me on the Chinese manual part. i was trying to think to think how a Chinese manual would help somebody use an ipad? almost 5 minutes ive been thinking wtf then it hits me, eek.gif she must be Chinese!

Oh yeah. Should have probably said something. smile.gif

So, I've briefly used WMC and MyMovies. Have to say things have moved along quite a bit since I've been away.

I may have to find a non-Windows solution for the movie/media cataloging features, as I'd like to be able to share data with my dad's box--I'm running Ubuntu on my server and, as you all know, MyMovies is Windows only.
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