1500 DVD collection - How/Where to start converting to HTPC? - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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Home Theater Computers > 1500 DVD collection - How/Where to start converting to HTPC?
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 12:59 PM 01-07-2013
You will for sure watch and enjoy them more if you rip them and then ad the meta data to browse in a slick front end like XBMC or mediabrowser.

Build a cheap server with FLEXRAID- and go for it.

captain_video's Avatar captain_video 02:25 PM 01-07-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

Build a cheap server with FLEXRAID- and go for it.
You just had to say that, didn't you? The cost of a FlexRAID combo license ($60) plus a hard drive for the OS ($60, give or take) is about the same as the cost of an unRAID Pro license ($119 to support up to 21 drives plus the cost of a compatible USB flash drive). If you use Windows Home Server with FlexRAID then add another $50 to the cost, making it the more expensive proposition. Ubuntu Linux is probably the least expensive option for using FlexRAID since it's free. The rest of the hardware used is identical in either configuration so that's a complete wash.

Unfortunately, I decided to try FlexRAID a while back with my existing unRAID hardware and it completely choked when I tried using more than about 8 drives. There was some sort of hardware incompatibility that I could not overcome so I switched back to unRAID and everything is hunky dory. That's not to say anyone else can't get FlexRAID to work because they obviously have. My situation was probably an isolated one so don't discount FlexRAID on one bad experience. The program has a lot of potential and some features that unRAID doesn't have, such as the ability to configure multiple parity drives.

OTOH, I've been using unRAID going on about six years now and I love it. I've had a couple of drive failures along the way and was able to restore the lost data from the parity drive every time. I've had one or two drives that liked to somehow declare themselves as disconnected from the array on occasion, causing me to reconfigure the drives and rebuild the data. This turned out to be a hardware issue unrelated to unRAID. I have since replaced the flaky drive(s) and so far the array has been quite stable.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 02:29 PM 01-07-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

You just had to say that, didn't you? The cost of a FlexRAID combo license ($60) plus a hard drive for the OS ($60, give or take) is about the same as the cost of an unRAID Pro license ($119 to support up to 21 drives plus the cost of a compatible USB flash drive). If you use Windows Home Server with FlexRAID then add another $50 to the cost, making it the more expensive proposition. Ubuntu Linux is probably the least expensive option for using FlexRAID since it's free.
Unfortunately, I decided to try FlexRAID a while back with my existing unRAID hardware and it completely choked when I tried using more than about 8 drives. There was some sort of hardware incompatibility that I could not overcome so I switched back to unRAID and everything is hunky dory. That's not to say anyone else can't get FlexRAID to work because they obviously have. My situation was probably an isolated one so don't discount FlexRAID on one bad experience. The program has a lot of potential and some features that unRAID doesn't have, such as the ability to configure multiple parity drives.


I really don't have a preference either way. I just use FLEXRAID personally and it works very well for exactly what the OP wants to do.

I have used more than 8 drives. I think once your server really gets rolling you need ZFS.

I'm still noob and learning there. For now WHS2011 + FlexRaid works really well for me.

I am at 20TB's now.
lockdown571's Avatar lockdown571 02:33 PM 01-07-2013
Food for thought: I don't think WHS 2011 plays nice with networked storage, and the My Movies auto-ripping feature is only available on WHS 2011. I don't know of any other solution like My Movies', and I couldn't imagine ripping 1500 DVD's manually eek.gif

Something to think about when choosing between WHS+Flexraid, Nas, Unraid, etc.
captain_video's Avatar captain_video 05:52 AM 01-08-2013
Ripping DVDs isn't really much of a time consuming process with today's hardware. You should be able to rip most DVDs in five minutes or less. There are at least a few ripping apps that allow you to rip multiple discs simultaneously and optical drives are available for less than $20 apiece. With three DVD drives in a PC, you should theoretically be able to rip 30-40 DVDs or more in an hour. It can be a tedious process, but it's not as bad as you might think, especially if you just do it in your spare time. If you dedicate just one hour per night and a maybe bit more on the weekends, you'll get through all 1500 DVDs before you know it. I had to rip over 900 DVDs and Blu-Rays and convert them to mkv's a while back and it took me only 2-3 weeks to get them all done. Since you're doing all DVDs and no Blu-Rays, you could probably finish the task in less time than me. If you can set up your ripping PC near your TV you can watch it while doing the rips. All you have to do is swap discs and start the rip with a mouse click or two and then wait for the next disc to finish. The job goes much faster if you have something to do while waiting for the discs to rip.

FWIW, I had all of my Blu-Rays ripped as iso's and my DVDs were in folder format. I decided to give XBMC a try for mkv playback and it turned out to be the best playback app I had used to date that provided absolutely smooth playback with HD audio (I was using a HD audio patch with XBMC at the time). Prior to this, playback of Blu-Rays was inconsistent and sometimes stuttered or froze. This alone prompted me to convert my entire library to mkv's using MakeMKV. I have never regretted spending the time converting them as my entire movie library is now available to any PC in the house.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 07:49 AM 01-08-2013
How do you rip BluRay to ISO ?
captain_video's Avatar captain_video 07:59 AM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

How do you rip BluRay to ISO ?
AnyDVD HD. It allows you to rip to either iso or folders, with or without encryption.
Mfusick's Avatar Mfusick 08:08 AM 01-08-2013
And so what do you use as a player ?
lektern's Avatar lektern 08:55 AM 01-08-2013
The follow-on question to all of this is:

What can I expect the total hardware cost to be? (I know, I know, it depends on how much you're willing to spend)
Assuming the following options:

Option 1:
A solid HTPC with 12TB of NAS storage

Option 2:
A solid HTPC with a file server

Option 3:
Suggestions?

Thanks everyone for your feedback so far. I plan to subscribe to Assassin's newsletter just to learn more about my options.
macks's Avatar macks 10:33 AM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

How do you rip BluRay to ISO ?

DVDFab or MakeMkv are the free options.

Option 3:
Suggestions?


HTPC with 12TB(9TB) of hard drives.

Option 4:

Media Streamer with NAS/File Server(cheapest, easiest and most limited option).

COST:

*HTPC: $100 - $2000

*File Server: $150 - $2000

**HDD's: 3TB x4 $600
x5 $750
4TB x4 $1240

Media Streamer: $50 - $200

***NAS: 5-bay $350 - $1000

*note: Prices vary significantly from Atom based platforms to high-end desktops.

**note: File Server or NAS must support 3/4TB hdd's

***note: The highest end NAS will potentially perform as good as the lowest end file server...
Catalytic's Avatar Catalytic 01:04 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

Ripping DVDs isn't really much of a time consuming process with today's hardware. You should be able to rip most DVDs in five minutes or less. There are at least a few ripping apps that allow you to rip multiple discs simultaneously and optical drives are available for less than $20 apiece. With three DVD drives in a PC, you should theoretically be able to rip 30-40 DVDs or more in an hour. It can be a tedious process, but it's not as bad as you might think, especially if you just do it in your spare time. If you dedicate just one hour per night and a maybe bit more on the weekends, you'll get through all 1500 DVDs before you know it. I had to rip over 900 DVDs and Blu-Rays and convert them to mkv's a while back and it took me only 2-3 weeks to get them all done. Since you're doing all DVDs and no Blu-Rays, you could probably finish the task in less time than me. If you can set up your ripping PC near your TV you can watch it while doing the rips. All you have to do is swap discs and start the rip with a mouse click or two and then wait for the next disc to finish. The job goes much faster if you have something to do while waiting for the discs to rip.
FWIW, I had all of my Blu-Rays ripped as iso's and my DVDs were in folder format. I decided to give XBMC a try for mkv playback and it turned out to be the best playback app I had used to date that provided absolutely smooth playback with HD audio (I was using a HD audio patch with XBMC at the time). Prior to this, playback of Blu-Rays was inconsistent and sometimes stuttered or froze. This alone prompted me to convert my entire library to mkv's using MakeMKV. I have never regretted spending the time converting them as my entire movie library is now available to any PC in the house.

Hey Captain, does MakeMKV support doing simultaneous rips? I'm curious because it doesn't allow me to name the output file, so will it try to overwrite whichever one finishes first? I would love to rip 2 at a time!
captain_video's Avatar captain_video 01:13 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalytic View Post

Hey Captain, does MakeMKV support doing simultaneous rips? I'm curious because it doesn't allow me to name the output file, so will it try to overwrite whichever one finishes first? I would love to rip 2 at a time!
I haven't actually tried it on a single PC yet. I do know that AnyDVD HD allows multiple rips simultaneously. I've only tried multiple rips with MakeMKV on multiple PCs at the same time. If I get a chance I'll check it out with a couple of DVDs this evening and see if it works. I know what you mean about the output file. Some will adopt the name of the disc while others will just come out as "title_01.mkv." I suspect I'll have to point the output to different folders in order for it to work, assuming I can get multiple instances to open on my desktop.
captain_video's Avatar captain_video 01:15 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfusick View Post

And so what do you use as a player ?
For iso's I'll mount the image using VirtualCloneDrive and then play it with PowerDVD, TMT5, Nero, or any other playback app that works with actual discs. I used to use mikinho's disk image mounting app inside of WMC to automount the image and begin playback in either PDVD or TMT5, depending on which one was installed at the time. For mkv's I use XBMC with the HD audio patch, although the latest beta version includes HD audio capability. I'm actually using the Eden RC2 version with the HD audio patch installed on top of it. I tried the latest beta version and playback stuttered all over the place. I switched back to what's been working for me so now all is well once again.
steelman1991's Avatar steelman1991 01:19 PM 01-08-2013
There was a multi-rip programme posted in the MakeMKV forums, but I could never get it too work - do a search in there it is there.

MakeMKV does allow for output file names for precisely the reason you give.

Make sure the 'title' on the left hand pane is highlighted - then on the right hand pane under properties you should have drop-down option (name - by default, but also filename and metadata language) choose filename, name your file and the output name is whatever you made it. This can be changed for multiple titles should you want more than the main movie, or to output a TV Series.

EDIT

Here's the link to MultiMakeMKV - http://www.makemkv.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=4987 don't know how.or if it works and there is no follow up postings to confirm whether it works - me? I couldn't get the damn thing to work.
Catalytic's Avatar Catalytic 01:24 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by lektern View Post

The follow-on question to all of this is:
What can I expect the total hardware cost to be? (I know, I know, it depends on how much you're willing to spend)
Assuming the following options:
Option 1:
A solid HTPC with 12TB of NAS storage
Option 2:
A solid HTPC with a file server
Option 3:
Suggestions?
Thanks everyone for your feedback so far. I plan to subscribe to Assassin's newsletter just to learn more about my options.

Definitely subscribe to AG, that's the best $25 I've spent in a while!

I'm not overly familiar with what NAS storage is, but here is what I built a month ago and what it cost:

Four Seagate Barracuda 7200 3 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare x $96.51 each $386.04
Rosewill Challenger case $39.99
CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply $49.99
Two DVD Burners $19.99 each $39.98
AMD A6-5400K Trinity 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket FM2 65W Dual-Core Desktop APU (CPU + GPU) with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 7540D $74.99 (minus $10 for combo with mobo) $64.99
MSI FM2-A75MA-E35 FM2 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX AMD Motherboard $59.99
Crucial Ballistix BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S0 Desktop Memory Kit - 8GB (2x 4GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, 240-pin DIMM, 1.5V $27.99
Windows 7 64 bit $79.99
Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 with Built-In Multi-Touch Touchpad $22.99

Total of $771.95

Had I found this forum first, and realized the potential of an HTPC, I think I would have bought a bigger case (to hold more DVD writers and more HDDs), and a motherboard with more SATA ports, or figured out how to do the HDDs separate from the actually HTPC, but we're still AD and moving around a lot, so one case works best for us right now. I only learned about HTPCs about a year ago, but HDD prices are so yucky, I hadn't pursued it. When I caught Amazon's HDDs for less than $100, I bought one, had the husband buy one, and had my mom buy one. (Limit one per account on that deal). One got lost in the mail (my mailman is an idiot), so Amazon sent me another, and then both the original and replacement showed up within the same week. Amazon let me just buy the replacement for the same price.

I consider what I built to be my starter, and I want it to last until the husband retires from the Army. THEN I will look into doing some of the setups these guys have in the pictures thread, and maybe do a server (? I don't know really how they work yet, but when the time comes, i will learn) in a central location and have HTPCs on the different TVs in the house.

Anyway, just babbling, wanted to give you an idea of a budget build.
captain_video's Avatar captain_video 02:52 PM 01-08-2013
I'm happy to report that MakeMKV does allow for multiple rips simultaneously. I just double-clicked on the MakeMKV shortcut on my desktop twice and two separate windows opened up. I have two DVDs being ripped at the same time as I'm writing this. I just changed the output folder for the 2nd rip to a different location and started them both up.
acejh1987's Avatar acejh1987 03:15 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I'm happy to report that MakeMKV does allow for multiple rips simultaneously. I just double-clicked on the MakeMKV shortcut on my desktop twice and two separate windows opened up. I have two DVDs being ripped at the same time as I'm writing this. I just changed the output folder for the 2nd rip to a different location and started them both up.

Thanks for the info, I wish I had known that when I ripped some of my TV DVD's biggrin.gif
Tiddles88's Avatar Tiddles88 03:47 PM 01-08-2013
I wouldn't bother AMD's APU's. An i3 sucks less power and has more grunt for a general server.
steelman1991's Avatar steelman1991 04:44 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

I'm happy to report that MakeMKV does allow for multiple rips simultaneously. I just double-clicked on the MakeMKV shortcut on my desktop twice and two separate windows opened up. I have two DVDs being ripped at the same time as I'm writing this. I just changed the output folder for the 2nd rip to a different location and started them both up.

Captain - they can be sent to the same destination folder, if desired, see my post further up. Output name can be preset.
macks's Avatar macks 05:09 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiddles88 View Post

I wouldn't bother AMD's APU's. An i3 sucks less power and has more grunt for a general server.

I believe the above build is a htpc and in that case an AMD APU makes a lot of sense.

The OP missed out on a lot of great hdd deals over the holiday season.

I have run multiple instances of MakeMKV without any problems. The same can be said of DVDFab.
jmhays's Avatar jmhays 09:06 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

You must have compressed the living crap out of your Blu-rays if 546 movies only take up 4.11TB. At an average of 25GB per BD movie with all of the extras stripped out, I calculate about 13.65TB uncompressed, and that's on the low side. There is no way you could have created exact iso's at the size you're talking about. This is anything but "real world" data. You have obviously left out some details of your ripping process. I have about 900 movies converted to mkv files and about half of them are stripped Blu-Rays. They currently occupy over 20TB of a 26TB server.

captain_video,
Please read a little closer before you start attacking. I was only trying to provide some real world data to someone who is just starting to learn. I never said I ripped all my movies to ISO images, what I stated was "Most of the TV shows were ripped to ISO images". Most of my Blu-Ray movies are ripped to the MKV container and I have stripped out all the extras, menus, commentary, second languages etc. I would say my average Blu-Ray rip in MKV format is around 5 GB in size, but some go as high as 13 GB for Dark Knight Rises. Not all are in the MKV container, some are avi, some are MP4, which are MUCH smaller and ripped when I didn't know better.

I am sorry you don't believe my real world data, I would invite you over to count for yourself, but why bother. Excuse me for trying to help someone learn about this hobby/obsession.
lockdown571's Avatar lockdown571 10:22 PM 01-08-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhays View Post

captain_video,
Please read a little closer before you start attacking. I was only trying to provide some real world data to someone who is just starting to learn. I never said I ripped all my movies to ISO images, what I stated was "Most of the TV shows were ripped to ISO images". Most of my Blu-Ray movies are ripped to the MKV container and I have stripped out all the extras, menus, commentary, second languages etc. I would say my average Blu-Ray rip in MKV format is around 5 GB in size, but some go as high as 13 GB for Dark Knight Rises. Not all are in the MKV container, some are avi, some are MP4, which are MUCH smaller and ripped when I didn't know better.
I am sorry you don't believe my real world data, I would invite you over to count for yourself, but why bother. Excuse me for trying to help someone learn about this hobby/obsession.

I really don't think captain_video was attacking you. Indeed the numbers you gave were very strange. The OP specifically asked how much storage his library would take up and said that he didn't want to lose any quality. In your original post you make it sound like you just took out the menus and extras. You didn't mention anything about compressing. You even said: "Some people like to use other formats to save space because the rips are smaller. I can notice the difference between a MKV and AVI rip and I wanted to go with the best quality since I only wanted to rip the movies once."

And indeed you did compress the crap out of your blu-rays if you made them 5 GB. That's even smaller than a DVD. At that point I don't even see the point in buying blu-rays.
captain_video's Avatar captain_video 06:07 AM 01-09-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmhays View Post

captain_video,
Please read a little closer before you start attacking. I was only trying to provide some real world data to someone who is just starting to learn. I never said I ripped all my movies to ISO images, what I stated was "Most of the TV shows were ripped to ISO images". Most of my Blu-Ray movies are ripped to the MKV container and I have stripped out all the extras, menus, commentary, second languages etc. I would say my average Blu-Ray rip in MKV format is around 5 GB in size, but some go as high as 13 GB for Dark Knight Rises. Not all are in the MKV container, some are avi, some are MP4, which are MUCH smaller and ripped when I didn't know better.
I am sorry you don't believe my real world data, I would invite you over to count for yourself, but why bother. Excuse me for trying to help someone learn about this hobby/obsession.
I'm not attacking anyone. I'm just disputing the figures you presented as being erroneous for uncompressed data. It's simply a matter of doing the math and your numbers don't add up. Your "real world data" is only useful if you provide all of the facts. An uncompressed Blu-Ray ripped and stripped of extras will be a minimum size of around 20 - 25GB on average. If your files are only 5GB then there is some serious compression going on in your ripping/conversion process. I sincerely doubt that your BD discs have 30GB or more of extras on them.wink.gif I'm guessing you're using Handbrake or similar app for ripping, correct? My uncompressed "Dark Knight Rises" Blu-Ray rip with the extras removed is in excess of 30GB so you are definitely using some form of compression when you convert to mkv. Try your next rip using MakeMKV and then let us know what you end up with. MakeMKV performs zero compression and gives you a 1:1 copy of the original movie with HD audio in an mkv container.
Catalytic's Avatar Catalytic 09:00 PM 01-09-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by macks View Post

I believe the above build is a htpc and in that case an AMD APU makes a lot of sense.

The OP missed out on a lot of great hdd deals over the holiday season.

I have run multiple instances of MakeMKV without any problems. The same can be said of DVDFab.

If you are referring to the build I posted, yes, it is an HTPC, not a server. I'm pretty computer part stupid , so I asked on my game forums for a build suggestion, and mostly went with their advice. (They helped me build my gaming PC about a year ago and I'm very happy with it, so I trusted their advice, and unfortunately had not discovered this forum yet. If I had, and had done lots of reading, I probably would have changed a few things, but I am beyond thrilled with what I have for the money I spent at this point.) I would consider it a budget build, though I was told AMD A2 CPUs are great for this type of build (whereas Intel is preferred for my game, apparently, as it's a CPU driven game and not so much GPU intensive)

Quote:
Originally Posted by steelman1991 View Post

Captain - they can be sent to the same destination folder, if desired, see my post further up. Output name can be preset.

Steel, in a bit I'm going to make a new thread about this so as to stop hijacking lektern's thread. I am not seeing where I can change the output file name, and I will post screenshots for you, so maybe you can tell me where I am missing it at. (I am having success with writing to different folders, but that's kinda confusing LOL)
steelman1991's Avatar steelman1991 01:09 AM 01-10-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catalytic View Post

Steel, in a bit I'm going to make a new thread about this so as to stop hijacking lektern's thread. I am not seeing where I can change the output file name, and I will post screenshots for you, so maybe you can tell me where I am missing it at. (I am having success with writing to different folders, but that's kinda confusing LOL)

Will watch for it
lektern's Avatar lektern 05:36 AM 02-13-2013
File server is up and running. I'm using an old PC I had with a Pentium Duo Core processor. 4 x 3TB drives and unRAID.

Next step is to rip a couple DVDs, then test the menu system.
I'm going to try MakeMKV initially as the ripping software and XBMC as the playback. I figure if I only do a dozen DVDs and a dozen CDs, I should be able to get a feel for the interfaces without spending a significant amount of time.

Follow-on step is to build my HTPC. Planning on taking an old Dell case and putting a new MOBO, CPU & RAM in it. Based on what I'm reading in the Assassin build pdf, it should only cost me about $250. (Birthday gift to myself)

I was impressed how easy it was to get unRAID up and running, and there seems to be a HUGE support community out there.

Anyone have specific concerns with storing movies as MKV?

My only true requirement is that the movies be stored in a lossless format. I refuse to give up any video quality.
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