I am setting up a HTPC and I have some questions about the best format and software to use for storing Bluray movies on my NAS drive. Let me start by saying how much I appreciate those of you who give so much of their time to help others! I am a newbie but I’ve done a lot of reading on the forums so maybe I’m an advanced newbie. Before I start asking questions, let me give you an idea of what I want from my HTPC system.
- Main use is to play back bluray movies I own from my NAS drive.
- Secondary use is to play back my BR movies through a remote extender (xbox or the new Ceton Echo extender).
- I will use WMC with MediaBrowser or MyMovies with a wired connection to my NAS.
- Initially I will play the audio just through the TV (2 ch) but will soon have a decent 5.1 setup.
- I want the movie stored on the NAS for main screen playback to be close to the original BD in quality (no additional loss over the original material – no transcoding), to include chapters/menu, to include some but not all subtitles but with all “extra”/bonus material and foreign language audio deleted. If I need to reduce the size/bit rate for use with an extender, I’ll make a second recoded copy with the desired characteristics.
- I want a process for archiving the movie to the NAS (repackaging into a different container if needed) to be as reliable as possible (handle as many different movies as possible with special processing). Also, I don’t really want to deal with converting BD graphics subtitles to sub subtitles through image recognition or movie databases.
If you don’t mind, I’ll ask one topic at a time to really understand so bear with me for the next few days. My first questions are:
What is the best container to use (.WMV, .ASF, mkv, .mp4, BDMV folders, iso, etc) for WMC? To insure reliable operation, I’d rather avoid 3rd party WMC plugins but would use them if the benefit was high enough. In the future, I want it easy to move to other containers as needed. I know a lot of contributors here are MKS fans but please help me understand all the good options. For my purposes, it seems to me staying with BDMV or BDMV in an ISO is best IF WMC can handle it. What do you think?
Will WMC play from BDMV folders directly or do thefolders have to be in an ISO file?
Will the choice of container limit my codec selection? For example, if I use .wmv, can I reliably use a h264 codec?
Thanks for the help!