Originally Posted by StardogChampion
Originally Posted by joejmunro
Have been ripping the home collection use MakeMKV and I like XBMC (I know, good for me). Am quickly finding that MKV files are huge and I am running out of space and still have DVD's to go.
I have been going through the sticky threads, the other forums, and am just plain exhausted. It seems to difficult to get any straight answers from any of this, there are so many possible ways to do it all...UGH. Not sure if I really want to try and build a HTPC or can I just buy something from Bestbuy and keep what hair I have left. I love computers, playing with and tinkering, but have never built one...and the cost, really come on. I just want to rip the family movies so we can more easily watch them instead of having to pull the round thingy form the rectangle box and doing that dance, IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR???
I found Media Browser add-on for WMC, that's great but the ability to play with the Meta Data sucked. Started using Media Center Master and that seems okay. But trying to push all this to my XBOX as an extended device yields crappy quality on my converted MKV files. What's the best format to take an MKV to so other things can play with it. Arrrgghhh....
Sorry for the ranting and raving, I feel a little better. If you have any input great, if you don't I hope this is what you went (going) through as well.
Unfortunately your rant doesn't make much sense, so I'll try to re-state your problem in order of severity
- Storage space for ripped discs
- Extending playback to other devices
- MKV playback on extenders
- Cost of computers
Going through these you need to further describe your setup
- What are you using to rip? If not a laptop, does it have extra hard drive space?
- How many rooms are you trying to provide playback in?
- Do you have network cables running to those rooms?
As for some of the other items . . .
The xbox nor any other small extender device can currently handle ripped blu rays with ease, and it's not a problem with the mkv format. Mkv is a low overhead container format that makes it great for streaming or transcoding. If what you ripped were all dvd's (not-bluray) your playback problems are likely the result of poor network performance, or not enough horsepower/memory on the instance of WMC that you are "extending"
I use htpcs for all of my screens (3). Nothing else is connected to the TV
Since you like XBMC, you can purchase the hardware rather cheaply and install OpenELEC (saves the cost of the Windows license). As for storage, you'd keep everything stored where it is currently, or move everything to a server or NAS. Where your storage exists is really a personal preference. I currently lean on the side of leaving 6 hard drives in my main HTPC (Windows 7) and letting the other two HTPCs pull movies and shows over the network. One htpc is wired and one is wireless, but the wireless connection is to a linksys wes-610n. I've found it's performance to be superior to pci or usb wireless cards
A playback htpc running xbmc should only cost as follows
Intel G645 ($50 at Microcenter, $70 elsewhere)
Asrock B75 motherboard ($55 at newegg, or an H61 board for $30 after rebate would still work)
4 or 8 GB DDR3-1600 ($25)
60GB (or deal on 128GB) SSD ($50-$70)
Case and PSU have lots of options. Cheapest is $20 full case and $20 Corsair 430W PSU. You can add the HTPC look instead of a normal case with the NmediaPC 5000B for $50 instead of $20. You can go way higher price-wise on cases as well, and add a nicer Seasonic or PC Power and Cooling Power Supply for $50-$70 instead of the $20 Corsair
Your cheapest build could run $200, but a more recommended budget build shouldn't cost more than $300
Load openelec and it'll play everything you throw at it with ease