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Beginner Questions

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Sorry to post these questions but I didn't see an HTPC FAQ at the top

I enjoyed reading assassin's writeups and viewing his youtube video of scrolling through movies as this is what I want to accomplish.

However, I know back years ago when I first looked into this it seemed you lost audio and video quality when storing movies to the HD. Has technology caught up and you're getting the same quality of audio and video as if you were playing straight from a Blu-Ray player?

What is the average size of a BR movie?

How many BR movies can you fit on a 1TB drive?

How many hard drive slots fit in a standard case? I like the look of the Silverstone GD05B, but I could go taller if necessary. I would like storage of a few hundred movies assuming 2-4TBs drives

I'll look into building something in probably 6-9 months as I am working on my theater which is probably good considering the cost of storage drives
post #2 of 28
You only lose quality if you compress the video or audio. That should have been the same back when you looked into it. A blu ray is anywhere between 25-40gb's commonly. So you do the math. They add up quick. Sometimes when remuxing you can get them down around 15-30gb but it varies from film to film.
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

However, I know back years ago when I first looked into this it seemed
you lost audio and video quality when storing movies to the HD.

It's possible to make an exact ("1:1") copy of DVD and blu-ray discs; the
resulting files are just as big on an HDD as they are on the disc itself.

It's only when the data is recompressed ("transcoded"), to save space or
for specific audio and/or video codecs, that quality may be sacrificed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

What is the average size of a BR movie?

The smallest I have, out of about eight, is ~27GB. The largest is ~35GB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

How many BR movies can you fit on a 1TB drive?

25? 40? It depends on how big they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

How many hard drive slots fit in a standard case?
I like the look of the Silverstone GD05B ...

If that's an HTPC case, the answer is probably one (1).
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

You only lose quality if you compress the video or audio. That should have been the same back when you looked into it. A blu ray is anywhere between 25-40gb's commonly. So you do the math. They add up quick. Sometimes when remuxing you can get them down around 15-30gb but it varies from film to film.

Thanks, I wouldn't want to lose any quality so I will assume 32gb per movie

assuming I want 500 movies I am looking at a need for 16tb so essentially 8 2tb drives at a reasonable cost over time. Which cases should I be looking at that hold 10 drives
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamilcar Barca View Post

It's possible to make an exact ("1:1") copy of DVD and blu-ray discs; the
resulting files are just as big on an HDD as they are on the disc itself.

It's only when the data is recompressed ("transcoded"), to save space or
for specific audio and/or video codecs, that quality may be sacrificed.



The smallest I have, out of about eight, is ~27GB. The largest is ~35GB.



25? 40? It depends on how big they are.



If that's an HTPC case, the answer is probably one (1).

Which cases should I be looking into? I just like that appearance to match other equipment

so if I copy 1:1 I will retain all functionality and options?
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

Thanks, I wouldn't want to lose any quality so I will assume 32gb per movie

assuming I want 500 movies I am looking at a need for 16tb so essentially 8 2tb drives at a reasonable cost over time. Which cases should I be looking at that hold 10 drives

With up to 8 drives you need to build a media server to store all your data. Then a wired gigabit Ethernet connection to your HTPC.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

Which cases should I be looking into? I just like that appearance to match other equipment

so if I copy 1:1 I will retain all functionality and options?

As you're talking about significant storage (16 tb) in your other post, i would recommend just getting a HTPC case you like, but build a secondary NAS device for your media storage. I dont know of any A/V component looking cases that can hold 8 drives, but i may be wrong.
post #8 of 28
Remember also that a 2TB drive only holds just over 1.8TB of data...

I don't have a server. I just use my mid-tower PC for accertaining, manipulating and storaging my data on the 6TB in there that will soon be expanded to 12TB. I also have 5TB in my HTPC and am going to expand that to 7TB soon. But yeah, to store that many movies you need to do it over the network, have a huge case in your media room or have one of those multi-drive eSATA drive cases in your media room.. Make sure your MoBo supports multi-port eSATA if you do that.
post #9 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

Thanks, I wouldn't want to lose any quality so I will assume 32gb per movie

assuming I want 500 movies I am looking at a need for 16tb so essentially 8 2tb drives at a reasonable cost over time. Which cases should I be looking at that hold 10 drives

How much of a pain will it be to redo all the movies if you were to lose them?

?I would say that if you want 16 Tb capacity, and don't want to re-rip the movies every time a hard drive crashes, you should go with a redundant storage. Software RAID5 would use the least nummber of drives to give you the redundancy, unless you want to get into $1000 RAID controllers that support more exotic configurations.

To get 16 Tb capacity with RAID5, you will need 11 2Tb drives. Even if the prices come down to pre-flood levels, you are still looking at $770 for the hard drives alone.

Most full size towers will hold 10-12 hard drives.

As others have suggested, build the small HTPC, and then build a BIG server, and connect the two through the network.

I keep the server in the basement, where it is cooler, and I don't need to worry about it being noisey.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

How much of a pain will it be to redo all the movies if you were to lose them?

?I would say that if you want 16 Tb capacity, and don't want to re-rip the movies every time a hard drive crashes, you should go with a redundant storage. Software RAID5 would use the least nummber of drives to give you the redundancy, unless you want to get into $1000 RAID controllers that support more exotic configurations.

To get 16 Tb capacity with RAID5, you will need 11 2Tb drives. Even if the prices come down to pre-flood levels, you are still looking at $770 for the hard drives alone.

Most full size towers will hold 10-12 hard drives.

As others have suggested, build the small HTPC, and then build a BIG server, and connect the two through the network.

I keep the server in the basement, where it is cooler, and I don't need to worry about it being noisey.

Thanks I think i'll go in that direction and build the server at a later date. Would something like this also work? NORCO RPC-2212

Yes it would suck if a drive fails and I lose a minimum of 50 movies

Are there HTPC cases that hold a few drives? Maybe get 3 or 4 storage drives in there?
post #11 of 28
These will all hold 4 internal drives

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=1&srchInDesc=

I did a lot of research before I settled on a case. I finally decided that I would build a server so I didn't need a large HTPC case. Look at the pictures, read reviews and make sure you get what you want before you buy. I bought an open box server rack mount case and then decided to go another way and now I'm stuck with this thing.
post #12 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

These will all hold 4 internal drives

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...=1&srchInDesc=

I did a lot of research before I settled on a case. I finally decided that I would build a server so I didn't need a large HTPC case. Look at the pictures, read reviews and make sure you get what you want before you buy. I bought an open box server rack mount case and then decided to go another way and now I'm stuck with this thing.

In an HTPC case, are th 3.5" bays just for hard drives? Or will I need to put something else in there?
post #13 of 28
The 3.5" bays are for hard drives. You can buy additional accessories that fit in a 3.5" slot but they are primarily for hard drives. If you're going to put that many hard drives in an HTPC case I would definitely look into some rubber, or urethane bushings for mounting or else they may make a lot of noise.
post #14 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

The 3.5" bays are for hard drives. You can buy additional accessories that fit in a 3.5" slot but they are primarily for hard drives. If you're going to put that many hard drives in an HTPC case I would definitely look into some rubber, or urethane bushings for mounting or else they may make a lot of noise.

Not overly concerned with noise as it will be located outside the theater room...but at the same time I don't want jet engines as that will be the location of the bar area and another tv a few feet away.
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

Not overly concerned with noise as it will be located outside the theater room...but at the same time I don't want jet engines as that will be the location of the bar area and another tv a few feet away.

If its not something that will be in an entertainment center then a normal tower case is a much better option. Easier to work in, more space, better air flow.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

If its not something that will be in an entertainment center then a normal tower case is a much better option. Easier to work in, more space, better air flow.

I prefer it to be on display in a "rack" enclosure. Would be nice to just pop a DVD in and copy/watch it without having to go behind the scenes

Plan is to build a Middle Atlantic rack ripoff
post #17 of 28
How about a Lian Li case? I use this one (with hot swap drives):
I also run a RAID 5 so if a drive goes bad I can swap in a replacement without lossing any data.



I will tell you that this setup is noisy. You don't want it in your Living room, but it is fine (and not very distracting) in my office. I leave it on 24/7.
I currently have twelve 1TB drives installed (room for 3 more drives). I'm up tp 933 movies and TV series recordings.
post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

I prefer it to be on display in a "rack" enclosure. Would be nice to just pop a DVD in and copy/watch it without having to go behind the scenes

Plan is to build a Middle Atlantic rack ripoff

For me the purpose of having an HTPC is to avoid having to go to the shelf, ponder on a movie, pop it in and then sit through a bunch of warnings and old trailers before you can watch the movie.. You just thumb through your collection and hit play.

I have a few hundred Blu-rays I'm ripping to HDD's just for this reason.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryBumkin View Post

How about a Lian Li case? I use this one (with hot swap drives):
I also run a RAID 5 so if a drive goes bad I can swap in a replacement without lossing any data.



I will tell you that this setup is noisy. You don't want it in your Living room, but it is fine (and not very distracting) in my office. I leave it on 24/7.
I currently have twelve 1TB drives installed (room for 3 more drives). I'm up tp 933 movies and TV series recordings.

So with RAID you have 6TB available for storage? How many Gigs per movie is that on average? Looks like right around 6? Am I missing something here?
post #20 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

For me the purpose of having an HTPC is to avoid having to go to the shelf, ponder on a movie, pop it in and then sit through a bunch of warnings and old trailers before you can watch the movie.. You just thumb through your collection and hit play.

I have a few hundred Blu-rays I'm ripping to HDD's just for this reason.

More in the instance when my friend comes over with a movie which would be frequent
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

More in the instance when my friend comes over with a movie which would be frequent

That's what the stand alone Blu-ray player is for.
post #22 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

That's what the stand alone Blu-ray player is for.

Yes, I've got a BDT-310 that will be in the same "rack" but would be nice to make a "backup" for him
post #23 of 28
Thread Starter 
These look nice. Total of 7 3.5" drives

Silverstone GD03

and

Silverstone LC10-E

I could start with 2-3 2TB drives and when prices come down grab a few 4TB drives
post #24 of 28
Blu-ray playback from disc with menu support will basically require that you buy playback software to go with the drive in your HTPC. Might as well put that $ towards a stand alone player.
post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Blu-ray playback from disc with menu support will basically require that you buy playback software to go with the drive in your HTPC. Might as well put that $ towards a stand alone player.

Losing me here...I have a Panasonic BDT-310 as a stand alone but I thought not stripping the BR will maintain its functionality like menus

Ok nevermind, I understand now...
post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

So with RAID you have 6TB available for storage? How many Gigs per movie is that on average? Looks like right around 6? Am I missing something here?

RAID 5 takes away one disk's worth of storage capacity in the array, So in my case I have 12 physical disks and with Raid 5, that leaves me 11 disks worth of storage space.

I only rip the main movie so that saves a bunch of space. My Blu-ray collection is still rather small still - about 105 movies averaging between 22GB and 27GB each (2.5TB total drive space used). My DVD collection is around 715 (ripped to MKV now, but before that Video_TS format) which averages around 2.5 to 4 GB each movie (2.2TB total). Then I have about 415 TV shows/series recorded, which avaerage around 1.2 GB each (.5TB drive space). But I'm still collecting.
So I have used around 5.2TB of 11TB (not really 11TB to start with though, because you don't get a full 1TB from a single drive). I currently have around 40% empty drive space.
Good Luck
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CountryBumkin View Post


RAID 5 takes away one disk's worth of storage capacity in the array, So in my case I have 12 physical disks and with Raid 5, that leaves me 11 disks worth of storage space.

I only rip the main movie so that saves a bunch of space. My Blu-ray collection is still rather small still - about 105 movies averaging between 22GB and 27GB each (2.5TB total drive space used). My DVD collection is around 715 (ripped to MKV now, but before that Video_TS format) which averages around 2.5 to 4 GB each movie (2.2TB total). Then I have about 415 TV shows/series recorded, which avaerage around 1.2 GB each (.5TB drive space). But I'm still collecting.
So I have used around 5.2TB of 11TB (not really 11TB to start with though, because you don't get a full 1TB from a single drive). I currently have around 40% empty drive space.
Good Luck

I decided to compress my movies using all those tutorials. Can barely tell the difference from the original rip. Movies are compressed to 10gigs. Sadly though I convert the loseless to ac3 since my computer can't output them or 5 channel pcm ;/
post #28 of 28
The most simple back up method for bluray and dvd is to make a MKV with a program like make MKV and just rip the main movie and audio track of your choice.

This would lose menu's and all the extras, options and BD-Live crap but in doing so would reduce the back-up file size a little, retain 100% video and audio quality and ultimatley be easier to playback with free software or even windows media centre itself with the right codecs installed.

My HTPC is a Silverstone LC17 and can hold six hard drives.

Overall though, the main problem you need to think about is if you use your standalone bluray player, it going to be straight forward to play a movie.
If you go down the HTPC route, the experiance will never be as fluid.
You will have to overcome: -audio and video hardware and driver issues
Overcome media playback software and remote control issues
A/V Display sync with HTPC clock resulting and less than smooth playback that will vary by software player, codecs, hardware, back-up method and various video encoding types.
and thats of the top of my head.

Overall I still enjoy my HTPC and cant seem to let it go, especially for the kids movies that then wont get damaged, scratched, lent out and lost etc and they dont care too much if the video has the odd skip in it or if I made the back-up with AC3 audio instead of Dolby True HD by mistake.
But have to admit, when I put a disk in the bluray player (especially 3D) it just works.
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