Dune HD Smart Users: Plan B? - AVS Forum
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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It appears we've reached the end of the line with media streamers that read full ISO rips, and I was wondering what everyone plans to do from here. After putting in substantial time and money, I (like many others) have a pretty good setup going. 42TBs of media data all stored on one server and being able to be streamed all over the house, and organized and viewable through a pretty nice, easy to use GUI. After all this work, I am very satisfied with this current setup. Since no more of these units are being made, and nothing comparable is on the horizon, I'm trying to figure out what my best route is to maintain this system. I'll be moving into a new house in the next month and am weighing a few options but would like to get some input since my current leading choice is to spend a couple grand buying 4-5 of the last Dune units.

Here's the options I'm considering:

Purchase 4-5 additional Dune units. This will enable me to extend the setup into the additional rooms and have a couple backup units for when the inevitable failure occurs, hopefully years down the road.

Convert the entire library (1100+ movies, 40-50 full TV Series) into a different format. MKV and MP4 seems to be where everyone goes these days, so I would have to go the route I never wanted to go and convert the files, lose some of the A/V quality, and have to figure out the damn subtitles again.

Entertain the notion of building a HTPC. I haven't done a lot of research on this, so I have no idea what the limitations are, but ideally build something that effectively does what the Dune currently does...play full ISO rips through a nice interface from any TV in the house. Would need either media players/extenders or a computer hooked up to each tv?

Any other ideas I haven't thought of?


Is anyone else in a similar situation and trying to figure out what's next?

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Old 02-02-2014, 01:08 PM
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HTPC/STB hybrid option is the most promising.

There is an Intel bay trail open STB project over on the XBMC forums, projected retail price is $150 due in March running something like Openelec. This should give you all the HD features such as 24Hz and HD audio bit-streaming that is currently lacking in the Arm Linux/Android STB's for XBMC but has already been possible in the Intel x86 versions of XBMC. However the creator of that project will not be supplying remote controls with the boxes, he is intending it to be controlled via HDMI-CEC on your TV or supply your own third party remote like a Harmony or anything else that works with XBMC.

Lenovo also have an an XBMC box named the Beacon allegedly due in March but whether this does 24Hz/HD bit-streaming is unknown it does have an Intel x86 chip but it's a bit more exotic than the normal PC ones.

The Intel NUC line are currently one of the most popular regular HTPC's for use with XBMC but they will cost a bit more than the above solutions.

Other than the XBMC options your looking at Dune or Popcornhour, same old stuff.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:39 PM
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John,

Funny, I am building a house and I have a 30TB Synology Server that I have been using My Movies and a Dune HD Smart player for content for a few years nearly flawlessly. I went through exactly your issue 6 months ago as I had to decide which way to go.

I ended up buying 2 Dune players (the last they had in stock) and picked up 2 on ebay.

I will have 3 running full time through a HLX Audio Authority switch so the kids/wife can watch whatever they want on their own Dune Player - then I have 2 in reserve in case one breaks.

I figure this should last me 4-8 years and by then something new will likely have come along

Like you, my setup is nearly flawless, everyone in the family knows how to use it and if it isn't broke, don't fix it. Most of my movies are backed up in ISO and the Dune player is the best player I have found.

You can pick up Dune Smart players off ebay every few weeks or so.

Best of luck in your decision
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:37 AM
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I really hope we start seeing alternative options pop up. I'm also all ISO and don't want to go through conversions etc.
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:46 AM
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Add me to that list as well. Im about 12TB all iso's and it looks like htpc is the only solution that has "options". Everything else seems like you're giving up at least 1 or 2 features
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Old 02-07-2014, 05:38 PM
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I have a Smart B1 - the Blu-Ray drive died a month after I got it. But I bought it to stream, so wasn't a loss.

I've thought of selling my B1 because I'm all MKV. I'd prefer to trade it for another TV-303D Dune unit.

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

(I buried that format finally)

www.16cylinder.com
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet-X View Post

I have a Smart B1 - the Blu-Ray drive died a month after I got it. But I bought it to stream, so wasn't a loss.

I've thought of selling my B1 because I'm all MKV. I'd prefer to trade it for another TV-303D Dune unit.

Man I wish I would of known that before I sold my TV303D. Lucky I only had about 60 BD ISO, which I changed to MKV. Everything I do now is MKV. I've got about 50 movies that are M2TS. I'm actually considering selling my Dune D1, and building a couple of HTPC instead.

Media Server: UnRaid Server: 15TB of storage and growing :).

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8599

 

Home Theater Set Up:

http://www.avsforum.com/lists/display/view/id/8597

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Old 02-08-2014, 12:59 PM
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I love my Dune's - sticking with them until something better (that isn't an HTPC) comes along.

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

(I buried that format finally)

www.16cylinder.com
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Old 02-09-2014, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Galt View Post

Convert the entire library (1100+ movies, 40-50 full TV Series) into a different format. MKV and MP4 seems to be where everyone goes these days, so I would have to go the route I never wanted to go and convert the files, lose some of the A/V quality, and have to figure out the damn subtitles again.

Entertain the notion of building a HTPC. I haven't done a lot of research on this, so I have no idea what the limitations are, but ideally build something that effectively does what the Dune currently does...play full ISO rips through a nice interface from any TV in the house. Would need either media players/extenders or a computer hooked up to each tv?

Just a thought -- and you may decide it's not worth the effort -- but you don't have to lose any quality at all by ripping your collection to Matroska containers, unless you want to convert/re-encode to save space. You can use the program MakeMKV to rip your Blu-Rays and DVDs. The software does not re-encode , just rips the audio/video/sub streams into playable MKVs. It's much quicker than re-encoding, about 5-10 minutes to rip all the contents of a Blu-Ray, depending on your processor speed.

On the Dune, this is actually a quicker and more pleasant viewing experience, because you don't have to wait for Blu-Ray/DVD menus to load, you just go straight into the film/show. Even easier if you use one of the available front ends like YaDis (the easiest and quickest, though lacking a few features until the next version). You'd also end up regaining some HDD space, because you can omit superfluous audio/subtitle tracks in languages you don't need, as well as trailers/warnings etc, unless you already did that in creating your ISOs.

The only features this method does not support are 2-in-1 branching films (e.g. theatrical/extended -- branching MKVs are playable on a computer but not on the Dune) and PiP features. You can work around the branching limitation by either ripping just your preferred version or ripping both versions. I've managed to save PiP features (not that I've ever watched any of them) by ripping them to standalone files with HdBrStreamExtractor.

I worked on an HTPC on and off for years before I got my hands on a Dune. The Dune does just about everything I wanted with far less hassle. Even if it's not as customizable, I'd never bother with an HTPC again.
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