Blu-ray rips to media player in Home Theatre - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 07-23-2014, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Blu-ray rips to media player in Home Theatre

There is a lot of info and threads to navigate. TBO the search function on this site is underwhelming lately.

So I thought I'd just jump in with my goal, and see if you fine people can help! I prefer not to have my blu-ray discs clutter up the theatre due to it being a planned space with treatments.

1. I need to be able to feed a media player with ISO/mkv rips of my BD collection
2. I have cat5e wiring in place from upstairs to the theatre
3. I am looking to bypass a purely HTPC option
4. The option needs to pass lossless audio (most important)
5. Only needs to feed blu-ray, and audio music (flac, PCM MCh, DTS M.ch)

I was looking at getting a D-LINK DNS-345 4-bay NAS box(situated upstairs at the cat5 socket), and housing a WD TV live player in the theatre room, that will connect to an ONKYO 818.

Will that alone serve my needs do you think? Am I missing something about either hardware that would break down my goal? You do the research but sometimes you miss something :\ Too many people get burned I can't afford to waste money with my financial situation.


p.s if this isnt the right section please move it moderators cheers

Last edited by alyssanick; 07-23-2014 at 08:44 PM.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-24-2014, 06:40 AM
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I don't see anything wrong with it. Depending on how large your music and movie library is you might run out of space soon?
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-24-2014, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alyssanick View Post
I was looking at getting a D-LINK DNS-345 4-bay NAS box(situated upstairs at the cat5 socket), and housing a WD TV live player in the theatre room, that will connect to an ONKYO 818.
That will work. It is basically what I do. I have several WD Live-SMP's networked around the house and fed by a couple 4TB D-Link NAS units and a Shuttle-based 16TB Media-PC/server. The Live-SMP in the main viewing room is hooked to an older Onkyo.

The Live-SMP reliably plays just about anything you throw at it. It has a decent UI and a good compliment of Internet streaming channels, if you are into that. It will give you HD audio passthrough to the AVR and will play DVD.iso with full menus as if the disk were in a player. It will play a BD.iso but what you get will be hit or miss depending on the nature of the rip. Like all current media players, the Live-SMP doesn't support BD menus. If you rip the main title only, of a BD to a BD.iso, the Live-SMP will play it fine including seamless branching titles -- you will not get chapter point support with BD.iso. If you rip the full disk to BD.iso there is no telling what you will get when you go to play it. I don't bother with BD.iso and rip all my BD titles to native BD.m2ts which all play perfectly. If you want chapter support, you would have to rip the main title to MKV. I feel the Live-SMP is the top box of its price class. The only thing the more expensive units offer is 3D support and BD.iso chapter support. Can't tell you about streaming music with the Live-SMP because I don't do it.

The D-Link NAS units are cheap but not known for network performance. I have a pair of the 2-bay DNS-321's. They have been solid NAS units chugging along reliably for several years and I am very pleased with them for what I use them for -- that would be DVD.iso only. Although they support GigE their network transfer rates are horrible. I typically see 14MBps tops on a write to them and <10MBps on a read. I use them only for DVD streaming because sending a 30GB BD.m2ts file to one could take well over 30 min. In contrast my Media-PC/server delivers 110MBps each way and is used to serve all the BD rips and HDTV content. Before you buy a 345 I would do some research on the forums to see if they have improved the network transfer rates. If you want expandability and total flexibility for the future, nothing beats putting together a simple Media-PC/server.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #4 of 12 Old 07-24-2014, 10:37 AM
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You don't mention your home network. Are you going into a router/switch upstairs?
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-24-2014, 11:31 AM
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I agree with Kelson's final statement. If you have ever built a PC and installed Windows to it, then you may want to consider building your own server. UnRAID was created just for this and can often be put together from old parts you have lying around.

The performance will be much higher than an inexpensive NAS and allows for a lot of options in the future.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-24-2014, 11:32 AM
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I use and would recommend a lenovo ix4-300d. 4 bay NAS, not too expensive, extremely fast read/write speeds for the price.

Then you can organize and play your media using a dune media player. Best system for playing blu ray with lossless audio over a wired network I've seen yet.
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-24-2014, 12:10 PM
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I am using an unRaid server and a Dune Base 3.0 media player. This has been the best combination I have found for playback of my full BD-ISO and MKV files. I have tried just about every media player out there and they all have limitations but the Dune works best for me. The unRaid server has been pretty much untouched for months at a time. Prior to that I had an HP MediaSmart server fully populated with hard drives and an additional eSata connected enclosure with more drives. This worked well for a while but it was bloated by all the Windows services running on the box and eventually I had so many errors and streaming got so bad that I gave up on the whole thing and gave it away. The unRaid has been amazing and I have a 20-bay enclosure that I just pop new drives into when needed.


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post #8 of 12 Old 07-25-2014, 02:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdallen View Post
You don't mention your home network. Are you going into a router/switch upstairs?
I have a D-Link DSL-2890AL Dual Band Wireless AC1750 ADSL2+ Modem Router upstairs to handle internet (wired/wirelessly fed in the house), though I didn't plan to utilize WIFI for my HT needs.

I'm hard lined via cat5e to harness LAN delivery, but only from the upstairs computer nook. Which I kind of didn't want to put a HTPC (full tower, or midi) at because there is a "all-in-one" computer there already and it all looks low profile against the front window of the hallway. See here

My bedroom WILL have a modest gaming rig but no cat5 lines to feed from there. So having the storage in a HTPC/normal rig isn't viable unless I house the HTPC in the HT and then sound comes into the equation! My computer budget doubles my cost almost.... Buying an HTPC and a gaming rig. It's a conundrum but I wanted to avoid it.

OK it looks clear the d-link cheap option won't be solid enough. Some of my blu-rays will have 30+Mbps video since I am ripping bit-for-bit m2ts/mkv.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kneedragger View Post
Depending on how large your music and movie library is you might run out of space soon?
Music is only in the >10GB range, movies I've only just started converting 600+ Blu's into files. I plan to just install more drives as I go. 3 or 4 TB single drive to start.

At the moment I have my current 5+ TB free space of external usb drives to store the files.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-25-2014, 12:06 PM
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If you have 600+ Blurays you are going to run out of storage. Setup with a parity drive that DLink NAS is only going to give you 12TB of storage with 4TB drives. At ~30GB per Bluray you need over 18TB of storage - and that's if you never buy another Bluray. Unfortunately, that's large NAS or media server territory. I know you're on a budget, but you really want to plan now for your eventual usage - it will cost more to redo things later. Possibilities include:
  • Plan to buy additional NAS units in the future, but watch out - where will you locate them? They need power, network connections, space, etc.
  • Buy a larger NAS now
  • Buy a NAS that can take an expansion bay later
  • Build a PC based media server
  • Scale back your storage plans

That computer nook looks pretty tight, even for a small NAS. If the computer nook is where you have your router/switch, do you have cat 5e from there to any other less busy areas of your house where you could locate a larger storage solution? That's my strategy - small, low profile devices in visible areas, media server in a closet. It's worth talking more about your home network strategy now that you need more than one hardwired device.

There are a lot of commercial NAS solutions for home use with 4 bays or less, but they won't hold 600+ Blurays at current drive densities. Unfortunately, those type of storage requirements bump you from small, easy NAS solutions up into big boy territory. You could move up to something like a Synology DS1513+ or DS1813+, but now you are talking $800+ for the unit alone, no disks. If you have access to an older PC with a decent size case it can be a lot cheaper to go with a PC based solution. Personally, I had an older PC with a nice mid-tower case and I've reused it with minimal expense to build a PC based solution that can hold up to 10 drives. FYI, I'm also an unRAID user, but both FlexRaid and SnapRaid are also options for the PC platform.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-25-2014, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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^

1. Have no old PC laying around.
2. Don't have cat5e connections from other locations that are practical or unused.

In fact this "smart wiring" only feeds directly from one point to another. Nothing is inerchangable. And no option to upgrade it in my budget i.e rewiring/contracting it to be done.

As to the rest.. The sheer amount of time it would take to rip all my blu-rays... haha Not likely.

I understand your points, this isn't really the plan per se to convert ALL my media for convenience. It is a solution to movies I hardly care about showing off. I will still house a cabinet of blu-rays somewhere (maybe garage as it's close to the HT) and still play discs with a traditional player in 75% of cases for 24 months.

Primary candidates for conversion;
1. All movies my brother paid for. He's in Melbourne currently and should want them inside a year. I'll rip em and he gets the physical.
2. Dramas
3. Comedy
4. Anything that doesn't flatter the space (any titles with white spines for instance, provided I don't make custom art for those examples).

I estimate as of now that I will rip around 200-300 titles over the span of 2 years. And for talking dramas I may not rip bit-for-bit. So as far as storage amount it isn't a huge concern money wise yet, but planning ahead should be more of a goal than I had coming into this thread!

So cheers for the advice everyone so far. I think I am going to have to rethink for a HTPC budget in-room. A silent-ish option and maybe house it all behind the theater seats with the other gear. Hush box it if necessary. The entire back of the recliners will have acoustic foam too since all the gear is between it and the back wall.
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-28-2014, 11:36 AM
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It's your call on the HTPC, but I prefer the idea of separating display and storage. For instance, a NUC or low profile case can make a very nice HTPC. Storage, on the other hand, usually involves heat, noise, and fair amount of physical space. If your storage requirements are modest go ahead and put a large hard drive in an HTPC and call it a day. As you begin to consider storage needs that span to multiple hard drives, though, I'd recommend a split solution with a media player/HTPC for display and a NAS or media server for storage.

FYI, you could always consider a switch in your media room allowing you to have more than one networked device there (for instance, HTPC up front and NAS in back). You'd still be dealing with wires, but only within that one room.

Last edited by tdallen; 07-28-2014 at 12:28 PM.
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-28-2014, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdallen View Post
I prefer the idea of separating display and storage.
I'm all for that. Servers should be not-seen and not-heard.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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