MY DIY Apple "Kaleidescape" Type Media Server - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-27-2010, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I posted this on the AVS forums and I thought some of you might be interested in it.

I do want to say that the company I do own is a Crestron and Kaleidescape dealer. I did the following just to see 1, if my idea would work and 2, to develop and test a Crestron module that will control Apple systems via IP.

Ok here is what I did. A little on the extreme side. I decided to build a "Kaleidescape" type system using mostly open source software and Apple hardware. This setup consists of various Apple Xserve G4's, G5's and Intel Xserve's along with Apple Xserve Raids. Most of the Xserve's have been updated with a DVI video Card and all are running on a gigabit network with LACP and jumbo frames enabled.

Software - Software used for this projects is as follows.
iTunes
Handbrake
MySQL
Apache
PHP
RUBY
Pearl
Automator
AppleScript

The very 2 bottom servers are the ones that are used to rip the CD or DVD and import the data. All servers are running off the RAID and all data is stored on the Xserve Raids. The top server is used to import CD's and the bottom is used to import DVD's

I will just give a VERY BRIEF overview how the system works. I will not go into detail on how the code is written, modules, etc.

DVD Import Steps.
When you insert a DVD there is a Automator/Apple script that will execute and do the following.
1) Look up DVD on Amazon.com and retrieve the Title, DVD information and DVD Cover Image and stores all that in the MySQL Database

2) Next the script calls Handbrake to start ripping the DVD, giving the DVD a file name based on the index key of the information above thats stored in MySQL and saving that file to a folder (all files, movies and music, are saved in the same folder).

Thats pretty much it.

To watch a DVD
All the other Xserves you see are the "movie/cd" players. One for every "Zone". They are a mix of G4, G5 and Intel Apple Xserve. These are connected to a AV switch. We have written a custom Crestron control script (We are also a Crestron Dealer) for our experiment that controls the players. To select a DVD to watch is like selecting a DVD from any other media server. Our UI is Flash based (Dynamic) and is always up and running. It's basically a web page (php) with Flash embedded . You use the arrow key to navigate up, down, left, right. Flash is pulling the data from the MySQL database displaying title, product description and cover image.

Thats pretty much how that works.

Issues - Currently there is no support for the following;
Blu-Ray
multi-channel audio
SACD

As far as ripping a CD it's pretty much the same as above except the script calls in iTunes to do the ripping.

Now a few questions that I thought you might have.

Why did I do this?
Just to see if my idea would work.

Do you use it as a media server?
Sorta we use it in the office for Audio only not to watch DVD's. I actually use it more to test the Crestron module that we are working on than anything else. Think of it like a concept car. I got a lot of ideas out of it and solved a few issues as far as controlling a Apple system using Crestron.

Why so many servers?
We are an all Apple shop these were old server we had lying around, and I had the idea of trying to "Roll my own" media server. We have been working on this for over a year . .actually about 2 years.

Have you tried using Mac Minis?
We have and there are no issues. I will try to post a pic of the Mac Mini's later. I don't have one right now.

How's performance?
Well the tests we did were not scientific but we were able to run all the "movie players" Xserve and Mac Mini, about 20 servers all together, with out any issues. As far as audio goes we ran a total for about 40+ servers with out any issues.

What do you plan to do with it?
Pretty much nothing. I don't really plan on going any further with it. In fact I have already pulled 2 of the "movie/audio players" servers and repurposed them.

Did you do this by yourself?
No. I had 3 of my employees working on it along with myself, when we had the time. Thats why it took 2 years.

How come there are no images of the UI or Crestron TP?
I have applied for patent and copyright on the interface and all coding. Until that is granted I am keeping that portion under wraps. Hence why I did not go into programming details.

So that's it. I thought I would post something thats a little different.

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post #2 of 25 Old 03-08-2010, 06:40 PM
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This is very good, but stinks. I mean, realistically, the Kaleidescape is an extremely overpriced piece of beautiful art. Nobody can buy reprints or posters, but there are lots of cheap knockoffs that don't come close.

Even then, no Blu-ray.

I am desperately seeking out that completely elusive media player that actually is completely transparent to the user as a PC, but actually is friendly... and is just software which can be loaded into any rack mount PC. Something which is expandable with off-the-shelf USB or eSATA drives.

Unfortunately, everything coming to market is all about people tying their normal PC to the box and then downloading, manually ripping, configuring, then enterring a ton of information manually... if at all.

Two years... it's phenomenal that someone hasn't actually delivered a product to market in that time frame and exciting that you have, but at what cost to consumers?

I would think that if Kaleidescape could get the entire process together WITHOUT the DVD decrypting, and just left it as a piece of software with some hardware recommendations for $200-$500 for that software, then they could increase sales a hundred fold or more.

There is lots of potential here, but not at thousands of dollars.

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post #3 of 25 Old 03-09-2010, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoGo Delicious View Post

How come there are no images of the UI or Crestron TP?
I have applied for patent and copyright on the interface and all coding. Until that is granted I am keeping that portion under wraps. Hence why I did not go into programming details.

Ah yes, patenting something that is not novel or unique, and is 7 or 8 years behind its time. Truly what the patent system was intended for

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post #4 of 25 Old 03-09-2010, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

There is lots of potential here, but not at thousands of dollars.

Not really. As has been shown in the market, the potential for ripping DVDs sits squarely with the technically inclined, who are also the ones that actually prefer to manually do it step by step so it is done the way they want it.

The extremely small percentage of the public that want an all automated system of complete Dwere also the ones that were willing to pay large sums for a boutique system ala Kaleidescape.

There have been other cheap and cheerful all in one automated rippers over the years (mostly back 5 or so years ago when ripping DVDs was becoming something novel beyond the truly early adopters. Today it is so common that nobody really cares anymore and 99% of the people interested in it have already moved on to Blu Ray.)

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post #5 of 25 Old 03-09-2010, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

As has been shown in the market, the potential for ripping DVDs sits squarely with the technically inclined, who are also the ones that actually prefer to manually do it step by step so it is done the way they want it.

I think you are mistaken.

The market has shown that it has no ability to put a product on the market which actually works the way a Kaleidescape does for a reasonable amount of money. The PCH is great for those who are technically savvy, but meaningless to those who aren't. Those who aren't savvy don't have a choice in the matter, even if they want it. Or, more accurately, for those who aren't technically savvy, their solution costs $10,000, while those willing to do a lot of manual work can get a solution for a few hundred dollars.

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The extremely small percentage of the public that want an all automated system of complete Dwere also the ones that were willing to pay large sums for a boutique system ala Kaleidescape.

Without a single product to compare it to, I think that is quite an assumption.

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There have been other cheap and cheerful all in one automated rippers over the years (mostly back 5 or so years ago when ripping DVDs was becoming something novel beyond the truly early adopters. Today it is so common that nobody really cares anymore and 99% of the people interested in it have already moved on to Blu Ray.)

I'm not talking strictly of DVD, but am including BD in this mix. A PCH with a BD drive which has the capability to do what the OP described. Drop a disc in, have it eject 15-30 minutes later, then have it as part of your collection. I've been looking for over five years for this product and nothing I've seen is close. PCH isn't close, even though it is does what it does better than most. Drop 10TB of potential storage onto a PCH and have it auto-rip and add disc info automatically and I could seel a dozen of them this year myself at $1,000 a pop. I'll add the hard drives as necessary.

IMO, this feature is the one which has been most lacking, not the one which is least desired. People don't get a Kaleidescape because they can't afford it... not because they don't want it. Plus, it doesn't do BD - which should be a requirement.

-Suntan[/quote]

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post #6 of 25 Old 03-09-2010, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

Those who aren't savvy don't have a choice in the matter,

Those who aren't savvy don't care about ripping. They are happy to put the disc in the drive.

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Without a single product to compare it to, I think that is quite an assumption.

There have been all-in-one ripping and cataloging programs in the past. Sorry, but you're not going to find a box sold at a retail store like Best Buy with a single button on it.

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I'm not talking strictly of DVD, but am including BD in this mix. A PCH with a BD drive which has the capability to do what the OP described. Drop a disc in, have it eject 15-30 minutes later, then have it as part of your collection. I've been looking for over five years for this product and nothing I've seen is close. PCH isn't close, even though it is does what it does better than most. Drop 10TB of potential storage onto a PCH and have it auto-rip and add disc info automatically and I could seel a dozen of them this year myself at $1,000 a pop. I'll add the hard drives as necessary.

You do realize that what you are asking for is illegal to sell here in the states and would never be a viable business plan?

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IMO, this feature is the one which has been most lacking, not the one which is least desired. People don't get a Kaleidescape because they can't afford it... not because they don't want it. Plus, it doesn't do BD - which should be a requirement.

News flash, 10 minutes worth of investigation on the internet will teach you how to rip DVDs and Blu Rays on a computer for playback on whatever equipment you want to play it on (assuming said equipment can even play blu rays.) If you're too lazy to figure it out that way, you will have to accept that you will never have this capability as you will never have a complete turn key solution sold to you in this country - because it is illegal.

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post #7 of 25 Old 03-10-2010, 08:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post

Those who aren't savvy don't care about ripping. They are happy to put the disc in the drive.

Those who don't have a product to buy (like you claim they did 5 years ago) don't have any options... do they?

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There have been all-in-one ripping and cataloging programs in the past. Sorry, but you're not going to find a box sold at a retail store like Best Buy with a single button on it.

I am going to ask, because I think you are incorrect on this... What product has ever been on the market which has been similar to the Kaleidescape, even as a software only package which delivered the ease of use... Or even has been close?

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You do realize that what you are asking for is illegal to sell here in the states and would never be a viable business plan?

It is illegal to sell a media server which will decrypt the discs. I am not looking for that. I am looking for one which is marketed to simply rip my non-copyright protected DVDs and Blu-rays to a hard drive.

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News flash, 10 minutes worth of investigation on the internet will teach you how to rip DVDs and Blu Rays on a computer for playback on whatever equipment you want to play it on (assuming said equipment can even play blu rays.) If you're too lazy to figure it out that way, you will have to accept that you will never have this capability as you will never have a complete turn key solution sold to you in this country - because it is illegal.

It's illegal, but takes ten minutes to figure out? Then a properly built product could be delivered without that 'hack' legally. But, it doesn't exist, and despite your claims I don't believe that it has ever existed.

You also are under the requirement to keep a separate PC up and running 24/7, to maintain that PC, to maintain the network, to catalog the disc yourself, to look up and load artwork, to MANUALLY go through a process which should be 100% automated.

You are arguing that people shouldn't expect a product which actually is easy to use for the average homeowner. Or a product which can be setup quickly by most people which would allow for ease of use access to a library of DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

The failure on your part with making this arguement is this:
Escient
Kaleidescape

Both of these successful companies exist because of exactly the reason you say that they shouldn't possibly exist. People drop a disc in, and it is part of their collection. They work, they are simple, and they are available for purchase right now. The Escient has no ability for the digital content storage and is extremely expensive for what amounts to a 400-disc player interface, while the Kaleidescape is gorgeous, but falls into its own price category.

Seriosuly - if you want to argue that product like this isn't wanted or is stupid, then you should actually pick a product which doesn't have proven success already demonstrated.

What I'm after is the improved implementation of this product, and it is pretty significant that it does not exist at this point at $1,000 - $2,000 pricing levels for the basic hardware/software package.

If you know of something five years old which could actually do this which has GOOD reviews and actually wasn't a piece of junk product with lousy reviews, no support, and no follow up I would be VERY interested in hearing about it.

I've personally spent hundreds of hours getting my DVD collection into Apple friendly formats and there are people who would actually like to spend those hundreds of hours just watching their movies.

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post #8 of 25 Old 03-10-2010, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

I am going to ask, because I think you are incorrect on this... What product has ever been on the market which has been similar to the Kaleidescape, even as a software only package which delivered the ease of use... Or even has been close?

There have been several fly-by-night one-button rippers over the years (mostly repackaged freeware with a frontend), but only one professional piece of software that did exactly what the Kaleidascape did. Rather fittingly, it officially died yesterday. RealDVD worked essentially the same as Kaleidascape. It did all the ripping and cover art/metadata downloading automatically, and it even re-locked the ripped video with DRM which was much stronger than the wet-cardboard-weak CSS on the original disc. That still wasn't enough for the record labels, though, so they killed it.


Quote:


It is illegal to sell a media server which will decrypt the discs. I am not looking for that. I am looking for one which is marketed to simply rip my non-copyright protected DVDs and Blu-rays to a hard drive.

If a disc isn't copy protected, special software isn't needed. You can copy and paste it with any file manager.


Quote:


It's illegal, but takes ten minutes to figure out? Then a properly built product could be delivered without that 'hack' legally.

You're not making any sense here. Without the "hack", ripping software doesn't do anything. It's illegally breaking the CSS encryption that makes it work. Without that, you have a frontend that does exactly nothing.

Quote:


You also are under the requirement to keep a separate PC up and running 24/7, to maintain that PC, to maintain the network, to catalog the disc yourself, to look up and load artwork, to MANUALLY go through a process which should be 100% automated.

Install XBMC. It has automated scrapers built in which scan your drives on startup for new videos and find about 98% of movies without any effort on your part.

Quote:


You are arguing that people shouldn't expect a product which actually is easy to use for the average homeowner. Or a product which can be setup quickly by most people which would allow for ease of use access to a library of DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

The failure on your part with making this arguement is this:
Escient
Kaleidescape

The failure on your part is your belief that Escient does what you think it does, or that Kaleidascape is successful.

Escient doesn't rip or copy DVDs. It is simply a fancy frontend for carousel-type DVD changers. Since no copies are made, no laws are broken. The box does find the cover art and metadata for you (from Escient's own servers), but it damn well should for what you pay for it.

Kaleidascape has been under almost constant attack from the movie industry since it launched five or six years ago. The real reason it costs so damn much is because they have astronomical legal fees to pay. The court battles are far from over, but as of the latest decision, things don't look good for Kaleidascape. They haven't been totally sunk yet, but the movie industry has very deep pockets. Is it any wonder nobody else wants to step into the ring with them?


In the USA, breaking copy protection is illegal. It doesn't matter if you own the disc, or that it's only for personal use, or any other excuse you can name. It's a bad law, and we all break it, but it is the law. That's why nobody makes a cheap, easy DVD ripper that you seem to think you deserve. It's an open invitation to be sued into oblivion. Until the law is changed, there will never be a successful retail product in the US that rips DVDs. RealDVD just set the legal precedent. It's over. Fair use is dead.
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post #9 of 25 Old 03-10-2010, 09:45 AM
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What Candre said. I couldn't have put it any better.

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getting my DVD collection into Apple friendly formats

Well, to be blunt, there is 95% of your problem right there.

That said, there are still a lot of Apple users out there that do not seem to have as much trouble with it as you do.

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post #10 of 25 Old 03-10-2010, 10:00 AM
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Well, to be blunt, there is 95% of your problem right there.

That said, there are still a lot of Apple users out there that do not seem to have as much trouble with it as you do.

Once you get past the illegal part (cracking CSS), there are plenty of options for getting video into Apple formats. Handbrake is pretty much designed to do just that. They have several presets specifically for Apple products. If you install AnyDVD HD, it will transparently remove copy protection from a disc as you access it. With that software running, you can simply stick a DVD in the drive and rip it directly with Handbrake into an Apple-approved format using only two or three button presses. If that's still not good enough, you're simply asking too much.
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-10-2010, 10:16 AM
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Once you get past the illegal part (cracking CSS), there are plenty of options for getting video into Apple formats. Handbrake is pretty much designed to do just that. They have several presets specifically for Apple products. If you install AnyDVD HD, it will transparently remove copy protection from a disc as you access it. With that software running, you can simply stick a DVD in the drive and rip it directly with Handbrake into an Apple-approved format using only two or three button presses. If that's still not good enough, you're simply asking too much.

Oh, I agree that most people will (and do) find it trivial to accomplish, even with macs. It just appears that when you are starting with such a handicap on the subject (as it seems AV-Intergrated is) you shouldn't "start the race with a 5 lb brick on your back."

Anyway, if DVDs are giving him fits, just wait until he trys ripping and playing Blu Rays on his macs.

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post #12 of 25 Old 03-10-2010, 09:34 PM
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You guys really don't get it. You are tech savvy enough to be snobbish, but don't get that the client's I deal with have no interest in turning on their PC just to watch a movie. While it thrills the techno geeks to no end to have to do 45 steps and maintain a network so they can get their dimished product working after hours of encoding then net scraping and setup of XMBC and half a dozen other programs...

How about one device which does it all EXCEPT the illegal decode of the encryption to be available? What's that you say? This makes the product useless? Then you point to a product which does make it appear that ALL discs are decrypted?

How about a product which can be installed by someone 3% tech savvy who could install AnyDVD on their own? A product that was actually reliable? A product which did not encypt any video, because to the program, it would appear that the video is all decrypted anyway, then... without touching a keyboard, you had your video collection readily available?

The issue to you two is that you think the pain in the neck work you do is something everyone is happy to do. I've got AnyDVD, Handbrake, Clone DVD Mobile, and a dozen other programs. They are all easy to use, but they all lack, incredibly, in what they should be doing, and none of them actually integrate with anything that plays video back in a seamless manner, which means MORE work to get it all working properly.

On top of which, a separate PC, outside the A/V equipment area, is forced to be maintained and runnning just to deliver files which bog down the network and bog down the PC because the two aren't a single A/V piece.

Try to simplify the concept by a degree of 100... or 1,000. Try handing your wife or girlfriend... or kids... or parents! a disc and say "please put this on our media server" and then tell them how to do it in under 10 seconds.

If you think that the answer: "Put it in that slot, then press the red 'record' button." is not a far better answer than the excuses you are giving above about how this would not be more convenient then I am certainly not the one who is handicapped on this subject.

Guess I'll go see how my 200th DVD running through Handbrake is doing... Just 150 more to go and it's only been SIX MONTHS since I started this project! Yay to convenience.

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post #13 of 25 Old 03-10-2010, 09:59 PM
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I did forget that the Niveus products are out there and are similar to what I am looking for...

http://www.niveusmedia.com/products/mediacenters.htm

This company delivers a product without a built in decrypter... (start sarcasm) I wonder what end users do? (end sarcasm)

Still, it's pricey for the product.

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post #14 of 25 Old 03-10-2010, 11:22 PM
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I was as plain as I could be, but you're still not getting it. What you want to do is illegal in the US. After seeing what happened to Real, and is still happening to Kaleidascape, no legitimate company in their right mind would try to sell you some polished DVD ripping software. The only ones that sell ripping software (like AnyDVD HD) are fly-by-night companies run out of the Caribbean. They don't really care about your ease of use because they don't have to. And as for the free software, why should anybody go through that much effort on your account just to not get paid? If you want something better, write it yourself. Nobody owes you anything.

You're like a burglar that complains about lockpicks being too hard to use. You're committing a crime. It's not supposed to be convenient. That's why they put copy protection there in the first place!

And as for Nivius, it doesn't copy protected discs. They bury that little tidbit on page 36 of their user manual. Honestly, they have got to be the biggest rippoff going, since their "custom interface" is just a barely-modified version of MyMovies running in WMC. What a scam.
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-11-2010, 06:19 AM
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candre - Please don't make up arguements I didn't say...

Free is your word - not mine - I have never asked for any software or product for free in any of my discussions on this. I have customers that will pay for this product and I would to if it was good and reliable. I would pay more for a PCH if it would rip discs that were NOT copy protected.

Likewise, I pretty clearly stated that Niveus does not include disc decryption in my post. But, there is a very straightforward workaround which makes it work as people likely want it to.

Keep in mind...

It is not illegal for a company to sell or for me to purchase - or you to purchase - a program which rips unencrypted DVDs. As long as there is no disc encryption then the ripping process is 100% legal. The product itself is 100% legal. Real and Kaleidescape are running into issues because they paid to do legally what other products don't do at all.

I think I've been pretty clear - I don't expect any program sold to decrypt DVDs, I expect it to be able to rip and properly catalog unencrypted DVDs & BDs and have a hardware design potential to support multi-TB of storage and work reliably with minimal user effort or maintenance.

Except the gorilla is Slysoft and AnyDVD.

The integrated media server program would act 100% indpendently of the media, but the ability to rip discs is not illegal. Real was not in legal troubles because it ripped discs, the issue was the CSS decryption which Real included.

The arguement has shifted a bit from the desire for a fully integrated ripping/content management product to a question of legality. The validity of that arguement is different.

Niveus, for example, does not rip copy protected material. But, because it is a PC, AnyDVD can be loaded and Niveus will then rip the disc that appears to the drive and system as being non-copy protected. Anyone who does about 5 minutes of research would figure this out and Niveus, to my understanding, is not facing any legal battles with their product.

Their interface, unfortunately, is not as nice as it should be and most of the cost of their product seems to be in their hardware and significant markup.

I don't think the product I am looking for is out there, which is why I asked. I do think that there is a pretty significant market for a product like a PCH which also inclues ripping capabilities of non-encrypted discs native in the box and the ability to locally include storage directly on the box with a easily accessible upgrade path.

The consistent statements of "that's illegal" immediately followed by "use AnyDVD" is getting pretty tiring. If a program would allow for an end user to install a program like AnyDVD, then that doesn't make the program itself illegal. The end user would buy AnyDVD on their own and the program itself would not be breaking any laws. The money spent would be on a good ripping & organizing program with a great user interface, a good remote control system, solid integration, and an upgrade path that is easy for consumers to take advantage of at a reasonable price.

If consumers choose to purchase a highly questionable product like AnyDVD on their own, completely independently of that program, and install that program, then that is their choice to do so.

I think on these forums there is a pretty strong consensus that people choose to do so. Then are left with some clunky processes to get that content to their TV.

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post #16 of 25 Old 03-11-2010, 07:22 AM
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Seriously. The reason there isn't a retail product like what you are looking for is that there is no justifiable market for it. The number of people that fall into this magical valley of yours (tech savy enough to want ripped discs, but not smart enough to run a computer) is exceedingly small. Oh btw, those Niveus products *are* computers. You're just buying an (overpriced) OEM computer that has a couple of preinstalled programs that jazz up the appearance of the already existing capabilities found in Microsoft's media center application. Ask yourself why their fancy YouTube videos don't show the process of actually getting that content up and into their slick looking (standard Win7 media center) interface? Because it is going to look just as clunky as it would if you used a low cost PC from Dell. Namely, you're going to have to drop out of media center, fire up AnyDVD, break the law, etc. etc.

As stated earlier, if you want to copy an unencrypted DVD, just cut and paste. If you want to copy an encrypted disc (and be able to watch it) you need to defeat the encryption. You can either do that on a computer, with decryption software, or you can design a special purpose hardware chip to do it (and then keep updating the firmware every other week when new encryption schemes come out.) If you want to offer a consumer product that isn't a computer (because your magical valley market doesn't want a computer) then you're going to be sued out of business long before you get your decryption chip specs to a fab plant in China.

The main take away, you will not be able to offer a low cost, consumer electronics box that copies encrypted discs and you won't be able to sell a consumer electronics box that only copies unencrypted discs with a wink' wink' from the salesman suggesting they download AnyDVD on one of their computers that is networked to this box.

The idea that there is a market for just a CE box that only rips unencrypted DVDs is silly. In the last decade I've come across a total of 3 DVDs that have had no encryption. They were all very early release DVDs. To my knowledge, there have been no Blu Rays released without encryption.

Face the fact that if you want to rip DVDs or Blu rays, you need to personally invest the time to learn how to use AnyDVD (or DVDfab) to break the law and rip the discs.

One more point, if you're smart enough to set up a PCH, then you should be smart enough to setup and run AnyDVD, it's not that hard to right click on an icon and then click on rip disc to drive. If you can't handle that, then you probably can't run a PCH (and in all reality, the person likely doesn't even know what ripping is and is content to put the disc in the player by themselves.) In all seriousness, do you even know one person that knows what a PCH is and what it can do, but doesn't know what you need to do to rip a disc?

Lastly, I really think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be. Personally, I put the DVD in the computer drive, right click on the little fox, then click on the button to rip the disc to the drive. A little while later it is available in SageTV for anyone to watch. Complete with a 10 foot remote controlled user interface (that my wife and mother can navigate) and through the networked extender boxes throughout the house. Full DVD menu navigation and all. If a person is smart enough to know how to add an attachment to an email, they are smart enough to know how to rip a disc and get it cataloged into my playback system. The fact that you monkey around with handbrake and everything else is your problem.

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post #17 of 25 Old 03-11-2010, 07:28 AM
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If consumers choose to purchase a highly questionable product like AnyDVD on their own,

Oh yeah, just noticed this line. It made me chuckle.

If your “consumers” are looking at buying a PCH product, I don’t think they need to worry about AnyDVD as far as questionability. If the track record of Sybas products is acceptable to them, Slysoft is nothing to worry about.

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post #18 of 25 Old 03-11-2010, 09:29 AM
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I want it now!

As Suntan pointed out, and as I've pointed out twice already, no legitimate company is going to go through the trouble of making some perfect, all-in-one ripper/media center/back scratcher, and leave out the one important part that makes it work. It's asinine. The people who are intelligent enough to know how to rip DVDs don't mind the two or three extra button presses required by the current methods, and those too dim to figure it out now certainly won't figure out how to install AnyDVD.

You're demanding questionably-legal software designed for a non-existent market. Good luck with that. If you absolutely, positively can't live with the extra two or three button presses, then pay the idiot tax and buy a Nivius system. It's nowhere near as nice as XBMC, but at least they have a dummy button for ripping DVDs.

In any case, quit your bellyaching. Posting rambling, whiny walls of text demanding software that doesn't exist, doesn't server any purpose. Nobody is going to be moved to write your ideal software suite (spending hundreds of hours, opening themselves up to lawsuits) just because you really want it. This thread was originally about a rather clever DVD server solution, until you took it over with your ridiculous demands. Just let it go.
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post #19 of 25 Old 03-11-2010, 05:56 PM
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Yes, I will go now.

I've tried to explain in English how it would all work and you both have been completely clueless as to the ease of use aspect of a product of this nature and denied existing product which sells, actually sells. You've said that legally sold product has no value even if it takes an end user 5 minutes to install a third party application to add that 100% value to it.

You've INSISTED that your process is 3 steps, but ignore the server you keep up and running, the network in place, the constant PC and drive maintenance requirements, and the playback device which is required elsewhere from your media could be considered an absolute nusiance by someone who just wants to easily enjoy movies.

Yes, you are right - the originally clevel DVD server solution that this topic was about has nothing at all to do with the EXACT thing that I was proposing would be a good product.

Please feel free to make up some more things that I didn't say to drive your point home.

Oh, and I'm still waiting for that 10 second solution of how you tell your mother or kids to add a disc to your media server setup. Your insistence on stupidly complex solutions being 'best' is shockingly annoying.

I thought the iPod would have actually taught people something... But, I guess some people like to fight simplicity and reliability for whatever reason.

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post #20 of 25 Old 03-11-2010, 06:57 PM
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Seriously dude, it takes more steps to get songs ripped off a CD onto an Ipod than it does to get a DVD ripped and playing back on a lot of systems...

But yeah, on further thought, maybe I'm coming around to your line of thinking. I mean surely you're right and it is we who are delusional. There is no real barrier in place that keeps any of a number of different vendors from offering a low cost set top box that rips discs... ...but doesn't rip encrypted discs... ...unless the consumer figures out how to load illegal software on it by themselves... and make it a successful proposition. I mean the way you explain it so simply, a device that isn't a computer (but interestingly enough still allows a person to install one of two x86 compiled programs) that is focused on ripping, storing and cataloging encrypted DVDs, which any lawyer fresh out of law school could still nail you on... even if you don't ship it with a copy of AnyDVD (see WIPO section 103.) With all the potential and no real downside (as you explain it) I can only assume that there will be a number of them flooding the market as soon as this whole DVD thing gains just a little more traction in the market place...

Alas, maybe it is just the "elitism" of techno-dorks like me and Candre that keeps all the manufactures from bothering to release this low cost, uber-box that you describe; and not the fear of instant and debilitating lawsuits, sorry about that.

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post #21 of 25 Old 03-11-2010, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post

Yes, I will go now.

I've tried to explain in English how it would all work and you both have been completely clueless as to the ease of use aspect of a product of this nature and denied existing product which sells, actually sells. You've said that legally sold product has no value even if it takes an end user 5 minutes to install a third party application to add that 100% value to it

Please don't - I appreciate your contribution.

I *am* tech savvy, but frankly, my time is so limited that I'm fed up with monkeying around with all the various software, hardware (streamers, you name it) and it *never* works as easily as it should.

iTunes made it simple and easy, it's an easy concept to apply to any type of media, but one that no one has succeeded at yet. Every piece of software or hardware requires hand holding and fiddling with to get it right. And all the streamers out there, NAS boxes, PCs, etc. nothing gets it just right with minimal to no headache. Period.

I am savvy enough, and would happily pay for a piece of software that was plug and play (or plug and rip - with legally owned content as I have) that organized everything on a server for me. There is none. Period. Doesn't exist. There's a ton of software required to make everything work just right, or some form of conversion necessary. It's a fact, just look at all the streamer threads in this forum.

In the end, it's more than just software, it's also the hardware - yes, the original poster has many (but still not all like BD, etc) formats supported, but it's limited to Apple devices. Essentially, an HTPC in each room with a server storing all the content.

If AV_integrated could get his software to support BD and all the other formats, AND make it work with all the streamer boxes out there, he'd have a winner. Right now, it's a nice alternative to Kaleidascape, but it's not the end all be all. And unfortunately, all the other streamer boxes or HTPCs are ahead of the curve in software support there.

AV_Integrated, don't give up - I'd be a customer if it all just worked, with all the formats necessary.

-> No longer looking for Hi-Vision LDs <-

(I buried that format finally)

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post #22 of 25 Old 03-12-2010, 06:05 AM
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Fair enough. Jey-X, do you *really* think you will ever see an all-in-one box available to buy in the States that you can just pop a DVD or a Blu Ray into and it will then assimilate it into your network?

Sorry to hear you are having such a go of it. Personally, I have AnyDVD HD and SageTV Server loaded on my computer. I right click on the fox and select to rip disc to the drive. Then I play back the disc image on my Sage HDTheater extenders (set top boxes.) The extenders support full DVD navigation (with menus) of DVD folder rips and they support main title playback (with audio track changing) of Blu Rays. It still isn't the all-seeing-all-dancing that some people may choose to wait forever in vain for, but it is pretty functional and not that hard to use.

Do I think people would buy a $200 or $300 box that would automatically allow you to have everything at the touch of a button without having to know anything about the underlying setup, etc. etc. Yeah, it would sell. Do I think you will ever see one available to buy in this country, not a chance.

Keep pining for something that will never be produced, or just get on with your life. Those are the choices.

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post #23 of 25 Old 03-12-2010, 09:16 AM
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Please don't - I appreciate your contribution.

Thanks - I'm just stepping away from this arguement. Far to many assumptions are being made by a couple people that don't share my vision and feel entitled to ridicule me for having it at all.

I will keep testing different media servers and doing research and will be working with programmeres to develop what I do want.

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post #24 of 25 Old 04-09-2010, 06:05 PM
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James,

I saw this at the time you posted it and just read it again. How unusual that not a single post complimented you on your endeavor. Thank you for taking the time to post this, I think it is great. I suspect you would have seen more love if you had posted this in the ultra high-end or automation forum.

David
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post #25 of 25 Old 07-11-2011, 04:48 AM
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I saw this old thread, and the major hangup to the concept is that any system that could not let a user rip commerical (encrypted) DVDs would fail in the marketplace.

There is another approach that would be legal (I think) for an owner of a DVD - play the DVD using analog out, and use that unencrypted signal for an analog to digital converter. A well designed system could do that with limited quality loss and would not break the laws around the DMCA.

So then if i own the DVD, I can make a fair use copy for my server. That, with single button convenience, would be legal and useful.

Of course the movie industry would still sue since they don't care about fair use alternatives that have the remotest risk of letting someone make copies of their content.
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