Reg DVD or Blu-ray for XBMC HTPC? - AVS Forum
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Old 10-29-2013, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm a newbie on XBMC and HTPC.....

 

 

I will be start collecting movie and rip them to my HTPC.

 

Should i start buying Reg DVD or Blu-ray?

 

i understand some movie should get blu-ray.... for example "The dark knight rise"

 

But for normal non action movie, should i just get reg DVD? It will be alot cheaper.

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Old 10-29-2013, 11:52 PM
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DVDs are over.

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Old 10-30-2013, 05:22 AM
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If your tv is bigger than 32", or you think you might like a larger tv some day, you will wish those dvds were bluray discs

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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what is the normal MP4 size for Blu-ray after ripped to hard drive?

 

Just wondering.... so I know what kinda  HDD to buy in the future.

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:39 PM
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bluray discs hold up to 50gb - so that would be your theoretical maximum. in practice most are 20gb for comedies to 35gb or so for 1.85:1 action films like Avatar or Saving Private Ryan

Now, you mention mp4 files. I assume you take that to mean the .mp4 container. Some parts of the bluray spec - VC1 video, DTS-MA audio - don't go inside .mp4 files. So unless you are going to strip detail from your discs you will need to use another container like .m2ts or .mkv.

If you want to create .mp4 files with software like Handbrake you can make them any size you want, although that compression will eliminate a lot of the detail in the picture. How much is apparent to you will again depend on the size of your tv. I thought my old method of turning dvds into 700mb .avi files was awesome when my pc was connected to a 24" Sony Trinitron via s-video. When I replaced it with a 37" 1366x768p display I was still generally pleased, but they became unwatachable at 50" 1080p

I don't compress discs really but I do detelecine/deinterlace some DVR recordings from 30fps to 24fps and convert from 1080i MPEG2 (the digital tv standard) to the more space efficient 1080p h.264. Two hours worth of that comes out to approx. 4gb.

DVDs are usually 6-8gb untouched. They also use the less efficient MPEG2 codec so you use more space for less detail. Id rather watch a bluray compressed to 8gb at 1080p using the h.264 coded than watch a 480p dvd. They take up the same space on the hard drive but one looks way better.

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the info.

 

I'm trying out with diff ripping software. I really like MP4 cus I can just copy and paste the file to my Nexus 7 and watch it on the go.

 

what is the advantage of MKV vs MP4?

 

I was trying out dvdfab BR ripper last night, and ripped "The dark knights rise" It is about 9GB. just the movie itself

 

what is " VC1 video, DTS-MA audio"???

 

After the rip, only file I have is the dark knight rise .MP4

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leung19 View Post


what is the advantage of MKV vs MP4?

It can hold more types of video/audio/subtitle streams. In terms of what you can put into an mkv file it is more versatile. mp4 seems to be more widely supported by different devices
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Originally Posted by leung19 View Post


what is " VC1 video, DTS-MA audio"???

those are codecs used on [some] bluray discs. these are the bluray standard codecs:
video - h.264 (aka avchd aka mpeg4 part 10), VC1, MPEG2
audio - Dolby Digital (aka AC3), Dolby TruHD, DTS, DTS-MA, DTSHRA

mp4 cant accept all of those the way mkv can.
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I was trying out dvdfab BR ripper last night, and ripped "The dark knights rise" It is about 9GB. just the movie itself

After the rip, only file I have is the dark knight rise .MP4

There are a few different things "ripping" can mean. When I "rip" a disc I remux it into a different container. I just take the audio and video untouched and put it inside an mkv container. It could be any combination of the codecs I listed above. I think dvdfab calls this mkv remux.

What you did was encode/compress the disc. You fundamentally altered the audio and video streams to shrink them which is why I bet it took over an hour to do. If you remuxed it like I do it would've only taken around 20 minutes. My copy of TDKR is 32gb untouched with the h264 video and DTS-MA audio straight off the disc.

If you're happy with what you did that's ok - a lot of people on the forum will tell you never to do that. But if you are going to spend the time doing it just realize as your screen size gets larger you will notice more of the flaws in the compressed files vs their originals on the disc. I redid a lot of DVDs that I compressed 8 or 9 years ago when I got a larger tv. Many were replaced by bluray discs.

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for the great info,

 

so can you walk me thru what u did with TDKR??? Did u end up with a 32GB un-touch afterward?

 

I would like to keep a BR disk to about 10-15GB if possible, what would be the best way to do that with good quality?

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:54 PM
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I use software called makemkv. it looks mostly like dvdfab does. you pick your video stream, your audio streams(s) and your subtitle stream(s).

You should still be able to do it on dvdfab too - under the ripper presets look for one called mkv remux. do they still have that?

as for the best way to make 10gb files? well that's 100% up to you. youre talking about a subjective opinion. Handbrake is probably the most popular software to create mp4 files. you can find tons of opinions on settings and whatnot.

if you think it looks nice that's all that matters.

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Old 10-30-2013, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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if I use makemkv, does it end up with 1 mkv file?

 

do I still need to use handbrake afterward???

 

what about reg DVD? do u do the same too???

how big is the ur file with reg DVD?

 

 

So i'm guessing I need to use makemkv.... from BR disk to mkv file, then use handbrake to convert to MP4 file. is that correct?

 

Might have to do some research and try it out

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Old 10-31-2013, 07:05 AM
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Makemkv unlocks the disc and makes the mkv file in one step. Thats why I like it. I believe you can compress with it but I've never even looked at those features. It will look at each playlist file on the disc - I told it to ignore anything shorter than 15 minutes. If I was doing a tv show dvd I would make a file out of each episode on the disc.

I definitely don't compress regular dvds. For a while I was straight remuxing them to .wtv files but thats just because I'm locked into Windows Media Center and using that container allowed me to fast forward and rewind.

I haven't really bought any in the last four years. I picked up a tv series dvd set recently and remuxed each 45ish minute long 4:3 episode into an mkv file. They're each about 1.5 gb if I remember correctly. An untouched movie on a dvd is roughly 5-8GB.

There was a dvdfab component called passkey or something like that. It would allow you to unlock the disc. You could then use another piece of software like Handbrake with it. Handbrake's drawback is that it cant decrypt discs - it needs something else like the dvdfab passkey or anydvd to do that.

You can keep doing what youre doing if you liked the way your file turned out - I assume you already paid for the program so definitely use it. Thats a single step process and its easy to do.

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Old 11-01-2013, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I will try makemkv and handbrake this weekend, I'm guessing the latest XBMC will support MKV without any add on right?

 

Also just wondering... how is ur HTPC setup? do u have it setup with a NSA?

 

If I want to make backup copy of DVD or BR, should I use the software like dvdfab, or should I use makemkv/ handbrake and somehow convert back to DVD / BR?

 

is it easy to convert mkv to mp4?? I would like to have some file in mp4 so I can play it in my Nexus 7

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Old 11-01-2013, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leung19 View Post

I will try makemkv and handbrake this weekend, I'm guessing the latest XBMC will support MKV without any add on right?
I never used XBMC but I'm positive it supports mkv. I just don't know how its implemented and set up.
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Also just wondering... how is ur HTPC setup? do u have it setup with a NSA?

I use a few pieces of htpc software
-Windows Media Center is my main interface and DVR software
-I use a library viewer called Media Browser that runs inside of WMC
-For bluray and hd-dvd disc playback I use Arcsoft Total Media Theater 5
-For VHS playback I use ATI Catalyst Media Center
-I run Plex Media Server to stream and transcode my library to my Google TV and my Android phone (transcode means to convert to supported format in real time)
Quote:
Originally Posted by leung19 View Post

If I want to make backup copy of DVD or BR, should I use the software like dvdfab, or should I use makemkv/ handbrake and somehow convert back to DVD / BR?

The best way to make a backup copy for pure archival purposes is to make an iso image of the disc.

If you're talking about taking a stand alone video file and turning it back into a dvd or bluray you need to consider a few things:
-do you want to make a data disc, like a thumb drive, that will hold an mkv or mp4 file? many newer bluray players could play that
-or do you want to burn a dvd or bluray spec disc? this will requrie special formatting

for a dvd spec disc you will need to convert whatever your file is to MPEG2 video and dolby digital audio. bluray can accept the files I listed a few replies ago. you would likely need special software to do this and then turn organize it in a way a dvd player would know how to read.

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Originally Posted by leung19 View Post

I
is it easy to convert mkv to mp4?? I would like to have some file in mp4 so I can play it in my Nexus 7

Its not difficult.

Remuxing is the process of taking audio and video untouched from one container and putting it into another. If the audio and video in your mkv file are compatible with the .mp4 container, a remux will be very fast. If you have incompatible audio and video in the mkv file you will need to re-encode the streams and this will take a good bit longer.

I can play MKV files on my Android phone. Perhaps try the MX Video player. I've used that before.

I mentioned running Plex on my HTPC - you should really look into that. Right now I am sitting in my office with my phone on my desk. I can sort through my entire HTPC's library on my phone from the Plex app and play my 32GB Dark Knight Rises mkv file on my phone. Plex turns that huge unsupported file into a smaller one that my phone can play in real time.

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Old 11-01-2013, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I just check out the Plex website, it look very interesting. If I use that, I will not have to convert my mkv to mp4 file for my Nexus 7.

 

Here is a simple plan on what I would like to do for the future..... and would like to see what suggestion on getting thing setup the correct way "easy way"

 

1. I would like to rip all my DVD and BR to my HDD and setup as HTPC

 

I guess I can do that with makemkv and handbrake for that.

 

2. Make copy for some of the DVD and BR that I already own.

 

Not sure what is the best way to do that, currently I'm trying out

DVDfab

http://www.dvdfab.com/blu-ray-copy.htm

and

Aiseesoft Blu-ray copy

http://www.aiseesoft.com/blu-ray-copy/

 

Any suggestion???

I was thinking about get them in mkv file, and burn it later. But it looks like it will me more diff than just straight up copying.

Do you know the picture quality on those two copying software?? Or other suggestion??

 

3. Watch some movie on a tablet or laptop. I guess I could use Plex

Do you have the plexpass??

Does it work well with ur phone on wireless connection away from home??

Do u need to to have the plexpass to try out the app on phone/tablet ?

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Old 11-01-2013, 03:28 PM
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DVDfab was pretty easy to use when I used it. You can create mkv files and mp4 files right from there which is what I would do to save time. Unless youre going to learn how all the settings un Handbrake affect the quality I would probably just make mp4s and mkvs with DVDfab. It will also allow you to make copies of discs.

If you are straight up copying a disc to hard drive the copied files will theoretically be exactly the same. A common setting is to copy everything on the disc - menus, previews, foreign languages, etc - but compress it all. I used software a while back called DVDShrink that would copy everything on the disc but compress it all so it fit on a 4.7gb DVD-R.

When you talk about burning an mkv file you need to think about what you will play it back on. Are you going to burn the file MOVIE.mkv onto a disc and play it in a computer or a high end bluray player? or are you going to convert it to a bluray spec disc with BDMV folders and .m2ts files? You can do either, you just need to have the right software and know the capabilities of your intended player. DVDfab does this too I think.

As for Plex there are a few different pieces of software
-the Plex Media Server. this is where you associate all your file folders to your media libraries (your movie library, your music library, etc)
-the Plex app on your tablet and/or phone. I think it costs $5 in the Play store
-optionally - Plex Media Center is an offshoot of XBMC and is htpc frontend software. this would replace XBMC or Windows Media Center

Plexpass is a premium subscription and I don't have it. You get early access to new features and some premium features.

As for Plex quality - that's the best part about Plex - you can select the quality/bitrate of the file based on your connection speed and capabilities of your player. Over a cell network I can have it send my phone a 480p file that I have no trouble upstreaming from my home internet connection and downstreaming to my phone over the cell network. But if I was on a wifi network perhaps I would boost it up to 720p.

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Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
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Old 11-01-2013, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, right now i'm using DVDfab for my reg DVD copying. (Disk to Disk)

 

It compress enough to fit in one DVD+R on DVD5 mode I think.

Does the quality change due to the compression?

if not, my copied dvd should be as good as the original right?

 

I do not have a software for copying BR yet, and still researching, and testing for the best one.

You said you used to use DVDshrink? is that on BR or reg DVD? Any good suggestion on BR Copier?

 

So you can get the plexapp mobile without getting the plexpass? and it can still stream movie on the mobile via wifi or 4g from my own library?

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