(Beginner question) What is needed to set up media player system to play ripped BDs? - AVS Forum
Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming > (Beginner question) What is needed to set up media player system to play ripped BDs?
nba23tsc's Avatar nba23tsc 02:42 AM 10-01-2012
I am a beginner and has some vague ideas what individual components are but not exactly sure what a complete media player/streamer system with media jukebox looks like and how to set it up.

Would appreciate if I can get tips on how to start.

What I want to do:
1. Ability to play ripped BD/BD media files (including menus and BD features) on my TV smoothly.
2. Set up a media jukebox of the above files.

What I already have:
1. HDTV in living room.
2. AV receiver connected to home theater system in living room.
3. Playstation 3 (which I use to play BD discs) in living room.
4. PC in another room B which I use as storage right now.
5. Wireless G router at another room C wired to the PC.

What I think I may need:
1. Media player like Pophorn/Dune whatever (since PS3 stinks as a media player) in living room
2. NAS in living room for long term storage of media files?
3. Wireless N router?


Right now I am able to watch BD discs on the PS3. However I would like to have the flexibility to watch backup BD media from harddisk and the PS3 is bad at that (not able to play BD format from external harddisk). In addition, I like the idea of a central jukebox for media rather than have to deal with discs.

So here are some basic questions:
A. How to connect NAS to media player using wires? The reason why I say wires is because I have no confidence my wifi can give the right streaming quality for BD files.
B. How to transfer BD files ripped in my PC to the NAS? Will wifi be too slow for transferring BD files and I have to use primitive method like external harddisks to move data between PC and NAS given my situation? Will wifi-N work?
C. Should NAS be in the living room with media player or room B with PC? I am guessing living room in order to ensure smooth play back to media player?
D. What can be done to improve my situation (devices in 3 different places lol)? Will wireless N help or I need to move equipment?

Take note a lot of my ignorance comes from my lack of understanding of media player and NAS and what connections they have.

Alx330's Avatar Alx330 04:56 AM 10-01-2012
You will need a HDI Dune Smart player to play BD's with full menu support & they also have a jukebox through Zappiti. Newer players cannot use BD full menus without implementing the dreaded Cinavia DRM system which is part of Blu-ray standard now. Cinavia is an audio watermark that when detected on a Cinavia player [like the PS3] will kill the audio track and it's not something you can remove/disable.

A. You will need to use wired ethernet for BD steaming, wireless is no good. The NAS plugs into the routers ethernet ports same as the HDI Dune player.
B. You will want to hook up the PC or laptop to the ethernet to transfer BD files. If you cant then using an external HDD is the next best option to transfer between the two.
C. Does not matter where the NAS is as long as there is an ethernet port nearby that is running back to the router. NAS are also not silent so it's not a great idea to put a NAS in the living room.

D. Well if you don't run ethernet cables then using powerline adapters might work, you can see some of the fastest ones here, they send the ethernet signal over the power cables of the house, they are not as fast as a true ethernet link but are better than wireless. The quality of the electrical cabling is also a factor and the powerline adapters should be plugged into the wall socket for best performance.
smitbret's Avatar smitbret 01:03 PM 10-01-2012
I agree with Alx330 on most points.

That being said, I am a little unclear on location playback. Are you looking for playback at 1 the HDTV location from your PC in another room or are you looking to have playback capability on 2 remote PCs as well?

If you plan on having a large library of BR rips, there really is no answer short of a large NAS. 1 BR rip will take 40-50GB so 20 BR rips will nearly fill 1 TB. That's before redundancy is considered as well. You'll probably want to keep the NAS near your main router, connected via ethernet so that throughput isn't limited and for noise considerations.

To get all the menus and extras you'll need to rip your discs to ISO files. That means you also need to consider the software you are using to defeat DRM protections and rip each of the BR discs. Set aside about 30-45 minutes per disc for ripping. While most media streaming devices will support DVD ISOs, most will not support BR ISOs. Dune will, but as you probably noticed, they are a little spendy. BR ISO support should start showing up in firmware updates for many of the less expensive boxes out there like the WD Live or Boxee Box. If patience isn't an option, you may find it cheaper just to set up an HTPC in the living room.

Forget about HD over Wireless G. It won't happen. You could try Wireless N, but even then your signal will have to be really strong and your FF/Rew will be limited and annoying. Ethernet is best, but powerline is adequate. If you have existing coax connections and can afford a bit more for hardware, MoCA is a good choice, too.

If you aren't using the PCs for playback, they are really a non-issue outside of ripping and copying the rip to the NAS. Since real time playback from NAS isn't an issue, speed of connection really won't matter other than the annoying wait while 1000s of MB of info are transferred.

I know you said that you wanted to keep the menus and extras, but you might want to consider just how much they are worth to you. Dropping that requirement could save you a lot of $$$ in equipment and storage costs.
nba23tsc's Avatar nba23tsc 10:21 PM 10-01-2012
Thanks. I intend to use the PC for ripping and transferring files only and to use the media player beside the TV for playback. Seems like, unlike what I imagined, there is no direct connection between NAS and media player that is possible (USB etc) and everything goes through the ethernet cable, right? Which means that in order for problemless playback of BD media both NAS and media player need to be individually connected by wires to the router?

Given my awkward situation, devices are scattered in 3 places:

Location A - living room HDTV, near a broadband cable point
Location B - PC
Location C - router, near a broadband cable point

Also B is wired to C. B is in between A and C. Should I therefore move the router to location A (near the other cable point), near both the HDTV and media player, so that I can then place my NAS there keeping most devices close to each other?

Or place the NAS at location C near current router position and just run a cable from C to A (a bit far), for the advantage of keeping noise of NAS (not sure how loud) and modem away from living room?

Thanks for all info.
nba23tsc's Avatar nba23tsc 11:25 PM 10-01-2012
Another issue brought up is whether it is still worth it to store rips as BD, vs less official formats (I am assuming the alternative format of choice is MKV), considering the cons of BD format:

1. Required ISO format in order to have full menus.
2. Cinavia implementation in new devices approved for playing BD-ISO
3. Cost of these playback devices approved for BD-ISO
4. Greater harddisk space needed for storage
5. Possibly better equipment in order to get the right streaming quality

Related questions:
- If a device can play BD-ISO format with full menu, does it also apply to BDMV folders, since that is the BD structure ie these devices can also play BDMV folders with full menus?
- Are menus, features enabled in MKV or alternative formats? If I cannot get the official menus, can I at least get the same functionality (eg going to specific chapters, accessing the features content)?
- Is MKV capable of exactly the same video quality as BD, or there is compromise due to compression?
- More importantly, is MKV capable of lossless sound (DTS-HD MA, Dolby TrueHD)?
- If using high quality MKV format, would smooth wireless-N streaming become a possibility, or still no go?
- Given the Cinavia implementation and other cons of keeping files in BD format, is MKV the format of choice to store high quality BD rips to make a jukebox going forward?
- Should I consider sticking to backups on BD-R DL optical discs (quite expensive) if I want to keep full menus with no compromise?
Alx330's Avatar Alx330 09:34 AM 10-02-2012
Quote:
- If a device can play BD-ISO format with full menu, does it also apply to BDMV folders, since that is the BD structure ie these devices can also play BDMV folders with full menus?
In general yes, though a player has to guess that a BDMV folder is a Blu-ray disc whereas it knows an ISO is a disc image.
Quote:
- Are menus, features enabled in MKV or alternative formats? If I cannot get the official menus, can I at least get the same functionality (eg going to specific chapters, accessing the features content)?
The MKV format supports menus but no-one has ever built anything based on the specification.
The MKV format supports multiple video streams within a single container but very few players support this part of the specification.
Quote:
- Is MKV capable of exactly the same video quality as BD, or there is compromise due to compression?
MKV is just a container it does not mandate any format, MakeMKV is a tool for generating lossless rips of Blu-ray and DVD's by copying the video/audio into MKV containers.
Quote:
- More importantly, is MKV capable of lossless sound (DTS-HD MA, Dolby TrueHD)?
Yes see MakeMKV.
Quote:
- If using high quality MKV format, would smooth wireless-N streaming become a possibility, or still no go?
Yes wireless would be a possibility if compressing the video with x264 via Handbrake (feed the output from MakeMKV into Handbrake so BD VC-1/MKV becomes x264/MKV). For very high image quality you will want to use the high profile preset in Handbrake and possibly set the RF value to 18 on the video tab, not all movies compress the same some are more susceptible than others but for those that aren't at RF18 they will almost be as large as the original video so it's up to you if you want to compress further, Handbrake uses a default of RF20 which is a good fall-back to in those cases. You will also want to use faster 5Ghz wireless network too, 2.4Ghz might be pushing it, the new 802.11ac standard should be even faster than 5Ghz 802.11n links.
Quote:
- Given the Cinavia implementation and other cons of keeping files in BD format, is MKV the format of choice to store high quality BD rips to make a jukebox going forward?
I would definitely say yes. All is not lost though their is an open source project by the VLC guys for BD menus under-way however it will be another year or two before it's practical for use.
Quote:
- Should I consider sticking to backups on BD-R DL optical discs (quite expensive) if I want to keep full menus with no compromise?
Wont work Cinavia will activate on those too if playing on any Cinavia device.
ScottJ's Avatar ScottJ 01:36 PM 10-02-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by nba23tsc View Post

Given my awkward situation, devices are scattered in 3 places:
Location A - living room HDTV, near a broadband cable point
Location B - PC
Location C - router, near a broadband cable point

I would recommend MoCA. I have a very similar setup; my NAS and PC are on one end of a MoCA link, and the Dune is on the other. I've had occasional hiccups during movie playback, but I blame that on my NAS. Most of the time movies play fine with no issues.

There is a thread here about the Actiontec MI424WR, which you can find on eBay for pretty cheap ($20 or less), which can act as a MoCA router.

One thing you will need a lot of: TIME! I spend more time ripping discs, curating my library, and tweaking my setup than I do actually watching movies.
nba23tsc's Avatar nba23tsc 07:30 AM 10-03-2012
Thanks for all the info! Will check out what is MoCA.

More questions! Appreciate answers to any of these.
So what is the rough size of a file with lossless audio and no discernible difference in video quality from a 40G BD?

Going forward, all devices capable of playing BD with full functionality will become Cinavia-enabled? Also, moving forward, movies affected by Cinavia will likely remain a minority, continue to increase in percentage, or all required to have Cinavia etc?

Anyway to make a BD rip play without Cinavia activation on a Cinavia-enabled device?

When setting up a NAS, is it true that recommended size of harddisks is 2T? I heard that above 2T there is problem with detection/setup.

What are some popular models of media player capable of both DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD? Nice jukebox interface even better.

Is current media player ready for good 3D BD rips playback yet or we are still some time away from acceptable equipment?
Mr Eric's Avatar Mr Eric 08:21 AM 10-03-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by nba23tsc View Post

Thanks for all the info! Will check out what is MoCA.
More questions! Appreciate answers to any of these.
So what is the rough size of a file with lossless audio and no discernible difference in video quality from a 40G BD?
if you rip to movie only + 1 HD audio track the average is 25/30G. If you rip to full : 40GB = 40GB (incredible, isn't it biggrin.gif)
Quote:
Going forward, all devices capable of playing BD with full functionality will become Cinavia-enabled?
No. Cinavia would transform any media player into a brick. that's why the latest/coming generations don't have anymore the BD license and plays BD only on lite mode. For the past generation of players, the licence is older and without Cinavia (i think someone said that Cinavia is mandatory since Q1 this year) and are perfectly able to play cinavia discs/full rips. that's why older generation can play full BD rips including menus and interactivity, and can also have a BD drive included (like the Dune MAx for example).
Quote:
Also, moving forward, movies affected by Cinavia will likely remain a minority, continue to increase in percentage, or all required to have Cinavia etc?
We don't know. But the risk is high that the studios will add cinavia to all their new releases...
Quote:
Anyway to make a BD rip play without Cinavia activation on a Cinavia-enabled device?
If you mean "remove cinavia when ripping from a cinavia disc", it's not possible. Slysoft is working on it, as well as the DVDFab guys (simply because it's a huge threat to their business). but it seems to be very complicated.
Quote:
When setting up a NAS, is it true that recommended size of harddisks is 2T? I heard that above 2T there is problem with detection/setup.
May be on some low end NAS, but the big guys like qnap or syno don't have any problem with 3TB (or more) HDD. even smaller NAS from Dlink were upgraded by a new firmware to make it compatible with 3TB HDD.
Quote:
What are some popular models of media player capable of both DTS-HD MA and Dolby TrueHD? Nice jukebox interface even better.
usual suspects : Dune, Pop Corn Hour, Mede8er. All have their own way of working and pros and cons. But you won't be wrong by picking up one of their player (except Dune 101/301 !)
Quote:
Is current media player ready for good 3D BD rips playback yet or we are still some time away from acceptable equipment?
Mede8er 1000X3D is already out and plays 3D ISO without problem. PCH is launching soon the A400 which should be soon considered as the best media player available (first preview testings are very good). Dune are a bit behind with their own new range 203/403/Base 4.0 3D set to be launched somewhere between november and Q1 next year (TBC). All have their own topic if you want to know more wink.gif
nba23tsc's Avatar nba23tsc 01:22 AM 10-04-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Eric View Post

if you rip to movie only + 1 HD audio track the average is 25/30G. If you rip to full : 40GB = 40GB (incredible, isn't it biggrin.gif)

Oh. So there is not much space saving by using MKV if I want to keep original quality?
Mr Eric's Avatar Mr Eric 03:00 AM 10-04-2012
bonus contents, menus and interactivity are not taking so much space. Just take as example LOTR extended BD version : just the main movie + 1 audio channel will take approx. 48GB per disc, the remaining 2GB are the audio commentary and menus...Of course this is an extreme example, but in most case (at least from my experience ripping 200/250 BD discs and counting) you will end up with the average I gave if you want to keep a 1:1 quality rip. Whether it's ISO, MKV or BDVM structure, the result is almost identical.

Anyone to confirm ?
trondmm's Avatar trondmm 05:21 PM 10-04-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Eric View Post

bonus contents, menus and interactivity are not taking so much space. Just take as example LOTR extended BD version : just the main movie + 1 audio channel will take approx. 48GB per disc, the remaining 2GB are the audio commentary and menus...Of course this is an extreme example, but in most case (at least from my experience ripping 200/250 BD discs and counting) you will end up with the average I gave if you want to keep a 1:1 quality rip. Whether it's ISO, MKV or BDVM structure, the result is almost identical.
Anyone to confirm ?

Well... You're sorta right, but still quite off.

I've recently ripped The first part of The Fellowship of the Ring Extended blu-ray to mkv, and I also have the iso. The full iso is 31GB. The movie, with all four audio commentaries is 27GB.

But LOTR Extended Editions are pretty poor examples, as the main discs are pretty much stripped of everything but the movie.

I've also ripped Avengers both to iso and mkv. The iso is 39GB, the mkv 29GB. Iron Man disk1: iso = 44GB, mkv = 28GB
nba23tsc's Avatar nba23tsc 12:26 AM 10-06-2012
Oh I was thinking just the MKV format with its more efficient video/audio codecs will reduce the storage space of the full quality movie alone, but in fact the commonly used codec H264 is in fact 1 of the codecs used in actual BD, so there is no space saving from the movie alone isn't it?

So how does the NAS upgrade path go and how do you go about setting one up?

I am thinking you start with a few same size harddisks (1 extra for redundancy?) and you probably choose the size that is most cost-efficient right (I am thinking 2T) for all the harddisks. Then you put movies in them until they run out of space, and then you have the option to add more harddisks into the NAS? It will be a dream if it is that simple but I am sure it is not right?

Do you have to decide on the total size of the harddisks to begin with and then do formatting etc in one shot, or it is possible to start small and expand later like described above. Is there a danger of messing things up in the old harddisks when you add new harddisks?
bgavin's Avatar bgavin 10:23 AM 10-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by nba23tsc View Post

Do you have to decide on the total size of the harddisks to begin with and then do formatting etc in one shot, or it is possible to start small and expand later like described above. Is there a danger of messing things up in the old harddisks when you add new harddisks?
NAS4FREE and others based on the ZFS file system allow you to add more drives to an existing array.
You cannot reduce the drive count without rebuilding the array.

My initial array is four 2TB drives in ZFS.
Two for parity, two for data.
This gives me 4 TB, and 2 failed drives without data loss.
As my storage needs increase, I can add more 22TB drives to increase capacity.

As I understand ZFS, as long as the drives are the same capacity, minor differences such as cache size and firmware are irrelevant.
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