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Best way to digitally store DVDs so they can be read by Apple TV and Macbook

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So in my infinite wisdom, i have decided i want to rip all my 500 DVDs (open up some shelf space), and store them digitally. I would need to to be as good of quality as possible, but readable by a Jailbroken AppleTV (Newest model). The tricky part is, my wife travels for work, and wants to be able to grab so 10 movies at a time, bring them onto her Macbook Pro, and watch them in whatever format they are in. I am thinking about storing them either on my current PC HD (I have a 2TB drive, only using 400MB of it), or getting a small 2TB Ethernet enabled Ext HD (Yeah, i know i wont be able to store all 500 on one drive). The apple TV is going to be hardwired connected to a Panny 65GT30 display.

SO my question is, what is the best way to rip, in which format so that I can meet the 2 requirements above?

Thanks

-Ryan
post #2 of 9
Search for software called Handbrake which will let you rip your DVDs to .mp4 format (readable by AppleTV). There is a built-in preset for creating ATV-compatible files but you can experiment with different settings for video and audio.

You have a couple options for playback: adding all the movie files into iTunes will work.

If you are interested in being able to remotely access your files without having to manually copy over files, you might want to look at the Plex Media Server software. The latest release (Laika) introduces the MyPlex feature, which basically makes your your media collection available over the Internet (password protected, of course). And Plex Client (the playback part) runs on jailbroken AppleTVs, too. www.plexapp.com
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks Petern,

I tried Handbrake, it seems to work ok, just seems to take FOREVER to rip and convert a movie, took 1.5hours for a short 85minute movie. I played around and ripped a DVD to ISO, and figured out how to get my Macbook to play the ISO just fine, i just need to jailbreak my AppleTV and see how well XBMC reads ISO files and then that seems like the best bet, I dont lose anything with ISO files, just there rather large files is the problem and will require lots of storage.
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by REL77 View Post

So in my infinite wisdom, i have decided i want to rip all my 500 DVDs (open up some shelf space), and store them digitally. I would need to to be as good of quality as possible, but readable by a Jailbroken AppleTV (Newest model). The tricky part is, my wife travels for work, and wants to be able to grab so 10 movies at a time, bring them onto her Macbook Pro, and watch them in whatever format they are in. I am thinking about storing them either on my current PC HD (I have a 2TB drive, only using 400MB of it), or getting a small 2TB Ethernet enabled Ext HD (Yeah, i know i wont be able to store all 500 on one drive). The apple TV is going to be hardwired connected to a Panny 65GT30 display.

SO my question is, what is the best way to rip, in which format so that I can meet the 2 requirements above?

Thanks

-Ryan


just rip to ISO. takes 10 minutes. no conversion necessary. XBMC will play ISO's on JB ATV2 just fine. have fun.

VLC or XBMC on the macbook for playback
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
ISOs will work, and will give me a 1:1 copy if I ever need to create a replacement DVD, but obviously they take up a ton of space. Generally with DVDs at this point, I couldnt care less about the xtras, whats the best way to get just the main movie, and the 5.1 sound and just store copies of those? What format should i look at that i wont lose any quality (These will be played on a 50" LCD and 65" plasma 1080p monitors).
post #6 of 9
Any number of DVD rippers can give you the main movie only with no compression or conversion. They can also create an ISO of that. As a general rule this will save 1-2GB per title.

Anything that involves conversion will result in the sort of times that you saw with Handbrake. However, Handbrake's constant quality conversion to H.264 is virtually identical to the original at 1/3 to 1/2 the size. So you need to compromise between time and quality. An upgrade to a high-end 4-6 core CPU will cut those conversion times considerably but you're still looking at something close to 1x speeds.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by REL77 View Post

ISOs will work, and will give me a 1:1 copy if I ever need to create a replacement DVD, but obviously they take up a ton of space. Generally with DVDs at this point, I couldnt care less about the xtras, whats the best way to get just the main movie, and the 5.1 sound and just store copies of those? What format should i look at that i wont lose any quality (These will be played on a 50" LCD and 65" plasma 1080p monitors).

ISO as I already said. ISO's can be full discs or main movie only.

If you dont want lose quality you can't reduce the space besides trimming extras etc which is generally not much space.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

Any number of DVD rippers can give you the main movie only with no compression or conversion. They can also create an ISO of that. As a general rule this will save 1-2GB per title.

Anything that involves conversion will result in the sort of times that you saw with Handbrake. However, Handbrake's constant quality conversion to H.264 is virtually identical to the original at 1/3 to 1/2 the size. So you need to compromise between time and quality. An upgrade to a high-end 4-6 core CPU will cut those conversion times considerably but you're still looking at something close to 1x speeds.

The H.264 is not awful but calling it virtually identical is big stretch. I can see the dithering artifacts even on a smaller display. its quite obvious if you know what your looking for.

Only you the end user can determine what quality level is acceptable for your application.
post #9 of 9
So I am kind of in the same boat, mostly just want to rip my DVD's to digital format just not sure how to play it back. I have a LG player, Samsung DLP TV, XBOX. Ideally I would like to rip all DVD's to digital format and store them on a portable Hard Drive so I can take them from room to room or pc to pc. Am I on the right path, is there a path I am even on. Where should I start?
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