Yesterday, in one of my posts, I said I was trying to figure out how to use the Samsung DVP 1080P9 with an external USB as an alternative to HDD farm with the 2160. Well, last night in bed at 5:00AM, I came up with this proposal which I will throw out here for your perusal/comments.
As I see it, the 2160 is great for time shifting, when you record a title and a short time later watch it and delete the title. But if your are like me and want to start collecting movies & TV series for long term storage, the HDD can fill up quite fast & the process for title naming & finding titles can be a little cumbersome. Reading the posts on this board, many of you have faced the same problem, since there is a lot of talk/action re upgrading to a 500Gb drive, and using multiple 2160's. Some of the latter may be just to have the capability of recording more than one program at one time, but some of it is because the previous unit is full & I don't want to delete titles syndrome. Those of you who are really serious about large collections have gone to HDD farms.
In that regard, I started looking into downloading the compressed files for TV programs that can be found on the web. These are MPEG4 format files - termed Divx, Xvid, AVI, etc. These take up much less space on the HDD, and generally give a good quality picture. One problem with these is that they cannot be played on many DVD players. So I researched DVD players that have Divx capability, and narrowed it down to players that also have a USB port, so I could connect some storage to it. I came up with the Samsung DVD 1080P9.
This unit has mostly good reviews at both Walmart & Amazon. It is also upconverting. But the biggest features for me are the ability to play compressed AVI/DivX files [ pretty much the standard for dl TV video files] and the USB port. I have tried the USB feature [USB flash stick] with Video DL AVI viles and it works great. I am researching what external USB HDD to buy [need FAT 16/32 ?????].
Just think, You could put 2,857 1 hr AVI files on a 1 TB HDD - or about 1,400 movies - your entire mp3 music collection. Or, if that is not big enough, try 2TB - or 3 TB!.
Let's compare that to how many 1 hr files you can store on a 160Gig HHD
using the 2160. At SP you can record 60 1 hr programs -- at EP you can record 120 1hr programs before the HDD is full. If you upgrade your 2160 to 500 Gig
, those numbers expand to 188 1 hr programs @ SP & 375 at EP. It would take 15 500 Gig Hdd's with the 2160 set up to give you the same storage capacity at SP as you would have with one 1 Tb Hdd using dl AVI files & the 1080P9. That number would drop down to 7.5 500 Gig HDD's if you recorded at EP. I hope some of you Techno-Geeks out there will double check my math!
With the 1080P9 you can set up different folders on the ext HDD to store:e. g. , MOVIES, TV PROGRAMS, MUSIC, PICTURES, HOME VIDEOS, ETC. The unit makes it easy [using the arrow buttons] to scroll thru & to open the proper folder and see all the titles you have in that folder [titles which you already chose when you first saved the file]. It is easy to scroll down till you find the one you want & hit enter to play. This is very user freindly in that regard. For someone who is considering a large collection of TV programs/movies, the use of downloaded AVI files & a DVD player with a USB port might be a good choice to connect to your TV along side of your 2160(s) for time shifting. You could be watching your video collection on the 1080P9, while your 2160 is recording your favorite programs for time shifting. And if you needed more than one ext USB HDD to store your colllection, it would be a breeze to switch the USB connections.
The AVI files have another big advantage. Some of us like to make DVD's from our collection of movies & TV series. With the 2160 at SP quality, you can fit 2.0 hrs on one DVD - at EP quality 4.0 hours. With the AVI files on the 1080P9 , you can fit 13 hours on one DVD -- or 13 one hr episodes -- 26 half our episodes.
1--If we already have a big collection of titles in our 2160 system, I am not sure what it would take to convert them over to AVI files to be incorporated into the 1080P9 system.
2--Picture Quality of the 1080P9 system vs the 2160 system. But AVI files are generally regarded as good quality.
3-- Which HDD to choose for the 1080P9 system and what problems the FAT16/32 requirement would pose.
4-- How well the the 1080P9 system will work with a large external USB HDD vs the USB flash stick. I read the reviews and a few people used this option - all but one was positive. But little detail.
5--How to prevent loss of your entire collection if the HDD goes bad. I have read a few reviews & there are some horror stories out there in this regard [even a WD drive]. Of course, we have the same risk with our 2160's.