"Official' Fusion Research Movie Server Discussion Thread - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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"Official' Fusion Research Movie Server Discussion Thread

I saw THIS company and its products mentioned in the Kaleidescape Thread and was interested in investigating it but since it is not a K product, it was suggested that I start this new thread.

My personal interest is looking for a much better solution for playing my already ripped movies. Some may see this as a Kaleidescape competitor but I do not. K current or future owners have little to no interest in ripping movies and dealing with the many inherent issues and limitations that are part of that approach.

I think, at its best, it is POSSIBLY a better packaged DIY solution, with (hopefully) a much better UI, more trouble free ripping, and more user flexibility and lastly, much better and more timely support than the players that are currently available. I have tried the AppleTV, Dune and currently the Nvidia Shield/Plex and each of them have their own major shortfalls. The AppleTV would be all I need if they would support bitstream audio from my NAS. Each of these solutions sell for under $200. I have no belief that any of the Fusion products would sell for less than $2000. MSRP of their "top of the line" 4K Solution is $6999.

So, I have contacted the company on becoming a dealer. If they respond, I will then try and understand what exactly this product is and what it's shortcomings are. If I decide it makes sense for me to use, then I would indeed become a re-seller.

Product issues notwithstanding, I wonder how they have escaped the piercing eyes of Hollywood Lawyers. It appears they have been around awhile (16 years) so they must be doing something right. I am most anxious to hear from them.

We shall see!

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post #2 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 02:11 PM
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Chuck, you are a pioneer Hope it works out for you.

Steve
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post #3 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Chuck, you are a pioneer Hope it works out for you.
Don't know about that. I just know that none of the media players I have tried (nor those I have read about) are the answer - and most seem to have sketchy support - at best, and all seem to have one issue or another that makes them less than ideal, at least for my use. If Nvidia/Plex would offer the chance to turn off up converting of 1080P material to 4K, it could be an OK product. My preference among these products would be the ATV if they could handle bitstream audio.

I am hoping that they have a solution that provides more feature/functions/support than what is possible with the $200 devices and maybe an improved UI. I'm not expecting a Kaleidescape experience, though that would be nice.

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post #4 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
I saw THIS company and its products mentioned in the Kaleidescape Thread and was interested in investigating it but since it is not a K product, it was suggested that I start this new thread.

My personal interest is looking for a much better solution for playing my already ripped movies. Some may see this as a Kaleidescape competitor but I do not. K current or future owners have little to no interest in ripping movies and dealing with the many inherent issues and limitations that are part of that approach.

I think, at its best, it is POSSIBLY a better packaged DIY solution, with (hopefully) a much better UI, more trouble free ripping, and more user flexibility and lastly, much better and more timely support than the players that are currently available. I have tried the AppleTV, Dune and currently the Nvidia Shield/Plex and each of them have their own major shortfalls. The AppleTV would be all I need if they would support bitstream audio from my NAS. Each of these solutions sell for under $200. I have no belief that any of the Fusion products would sell for less than $2000. MSRP of their "top of the line" 4K Solution is $6999.

So, I have contacted the company on becoming a dealer. If they respond, I will then try and understand what exactly this product is and what it's shortcomings are. If I decide it makes sense for me to use, then I would indeed become a re-seller.

Product issues notwithstanding, I wonder how they have escaped the piercing eyes of Hollywood Lawyers. It appears they have been around awhile (16 years) so they must be doing something right. I am most anxious to hear from them.

We shall see!
Hi Chuck,
I looked into this a few years ago when I saw them at CEDIA, and was considering buying their server. This was a year before 4K became a serious consideration, so I was just looking at DVD and BD at the time, and had just planned on buying the NextGen Oppo product when UHD had significant content, which I did with the Oppo 203.

There's two things I should point out:
1) Their server required (at the time) a separate license for AnyDVD HD that the user or CI would have to get themselves
2) I don't know if this is still true, but there was no option for "source direct" for video, and they did upscaling by default.

The second issue was the dealbreaker for me, as while they claim many of their clients also install Lumagens, I prefer the "don't molest the video" approach if you're going to use a video processor.

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post #5 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sdrucker View Post
Hi Chuck,
I looked into this a few years ago when I saw them at CEDIA, and was considering buying their server. This was a year before 4K became a serious consideration, so I was just looking at DVD and BD at the time, and had just planned on buying the NextGen Oppo product when UHD had significant content, which I did with the Oppo 203.

There's two things I should point out:
1) Their server required (at the time) a separate license for AnyDVD HD that the user or CI would have to get themselves
2) I don't know if this is still true, but there was no option for "source direct" for video, and they did upscaling by default.

The second issue was the dealbreaker for me, as while they claim many of their clients also install Lumagens, I prefer the "don't molest the video" approach if you're going to use a video processor.
Number 2 still appears to be the case but I am going to call and confirm. If it still true, that is indeed a deal breaker and the main fault I have with my Nvidia/Plex approach.

And I think Number 1 is true as well. Not necessarily a deal breaker but that is clearly how they have escaped the ire of Hollywood. I have no experience with AnyDVD but it sure does not seem to be the first choice for ripping 4K stuff as MakeMKV seems to own that market.
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post #6 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I've learned more.

You can not turn off up-converting (deal breaker for me) but if one does not have a Lumagen, not a big deal.

They do use AnyDVD

You can pass your already ripped MKV files through their import software and unless you have diddled with the file (e.g. with something like HandBreak), it should work.

They do not have the ability to provide a view of separate folders. In my case, I have a folder called "Next Up" another called "4K Movies" and another called BluRay Movies", etc. That is also a deal breaker for me. But if one doesn't care if all of your movies are lumped together, not an issue. They, of course, do have sorting/selection criteria like action movies, and choose by actor etc.

Lastly, in order to access your ripped movies from another room, it won't work via your home network. You either need an HDMI switching capability or one of their reader devices (much too costly).

Not the solution I was looking for. My Nvidia Shield/Plex that cost $175 and my 33TB $1800 NAS provides more ability and more storage than the solution they sell. AND, they rip everything that is on the disc - which is just plain silly but I understand why. It removes those decisions and actions from the user. They then use software to skip the "commercials" and select the best movie file. With MakeMKV, I can (and do) select which audio track and which movie file I want to and save lots of file storage.

Bummer. I really wanted something better than I have but they are not it!!!

Last edited by audioguy; 06-03-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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post #7 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I did read some of one of their user manuals. If someone wants a reasonably easy way to watch their movies collection from a movie server AND has no inclination for a DIY solution, this is certainly a more than reasonable alternative. For someone who just wants something to work, I don't think the price is completely absurd.
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post #8 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
I saw THIS company and its products mentioned in the Kaleidescape Thread and was interested in investigating it but since it is not a K product, it was suggested that I start this new thread.

My personal interest is looking for a much better solution for playing my already ripped movies. Some may see this as a Kaleidescape competitor but I do not. K current or future owners have little to no interest in ripping movies and dealing with the many inherent issues and limitations that are part of that approach.

I think, at its best, it is POSSIBLY a better packaged DIY solution, with (hopefully) a much better UI, more trouble free ripping, and more user flexibility and lastly, much better and more timely support than the players that are currently available. I have tried the AppleTV, Dune and currently the Nvidia Shield/Plex and each of them have their own major shortfalls. The AppleTV would be all I need if they would support bitstream audio from my NAS. Each of these solutions sell for under $200. I have no belief that any of the Fusion products would sell for less than $2000. MSRP of their "top of the line" 4K Solution is $6999.

So, I have contacted the company on becoming a dealer. If they respond, I will then try and understand what exactly this product is and what it's shortcomings are. If I decide it makes sense for me to use, then I would indeed become a re-seller.

Product issues notwithstanding, I wonder how they have escaped the piercing eyes of Hollywood Lawyers. It appears they have been around awhile (16 years) so they must be doing something right. I am most anxious to hear from them.

We shall see!



Don't do it Chuck!


I had the Fusion Premiere for a period of time, and coming from K-scape, it just was not pleasant.


Sure, it does what it says it will do - rip blur rays, but the interface and remote is soooooooo klunky it was not fun to use at all.



example: once watching a movie, the FF, REW, and Skip comands were so oddly implemeted you could not rewind and rewatch a scene if you wanted to. It usally would go to the very beginning of a movie, with no way to get back to where you were.


Maybe things have changed, but I don't miss it.
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post #9 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
Don't do it Chuck!


I had the Fusion Premiere for a period of time, and coming from K-scape, it just was not pleasant.


Sure, it does what it says it will do - rip blur rays, but the interface and remote is soooooooo klunky it was not fun to use at all.



example: once watching a movie, the FF, REW, and Skip comands were so oddly implemeted you could not rewind and rewatch a scene if you wanted to. It usally would go to the very beginning of a movie, with no way to get back to where you were.


Maybe things have changed, but I don't miss it.
Thanks. As I previously noted, my existing solution is better than this but I was curious if those less DIY inclined might be interested. But if it is a clunky" or "klunky" as you suggest, I would have no interest in trying to convince someone else to use it. I would need to do a "try and buy" before committing to be a reseller of that product and I don't know if they do that.

Time to move on I guess.
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post #10 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 05:02 PM
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I thought this had promise as a k-scape alternative back in 2016, but with really no news since then i’m
guessing it’s fizzelled out


https://www.modulusmediasystems.com/
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post #11 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought this had promise as a k-scape alternative back in 2016, but with really no news since then i’m
guessing it’s fizzelled out


https://www.modulusmediasystems.com/
I looked at that as well - multiple times but I'm not sure they are the answer either.

By the way, VERY attractive theater ......... and dog!!
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post #12 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 05:27 PM
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I looked at that as well - multiple times but I'm not sure they are the answer either.

By the way, VERY attractive theater ......... and dog!!
And dogs can be trained to be active absorption if trained. LOL.
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post #13 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by madhuski View Post
Don't do it Chuck!

I had the Fusion Premiere for a period of time, and coming from K-scape, it just was not pleasant.

Concur....can't recommend it. I bought the movie server and a movie player to serve as a 2nd zone in 2015. I was thinking this would be a device that would be easy for my wife to use. Never happened.

Broke down twice. Weeks missing in action both times.

Clunky operation.

Control4 has lost either one of the device's, and sometimes both, IP addresses multiple times (...don't know if it is a Control4 problem or a fusion research problem...either way, it's a pain in the rear). Can't operate the server until the IP addresses are reloaded in Control4 by the AV techs...many more days gone each time.

During the time AnyDVD operations were transferring to Taiwan we lost the use of AnyDVD for many, many weeks until they got their act straighten out...that's when we found out we could not even watch movies/shows already stored on the fusion research server until AnyDVD finally updated/approved our license renewal. And yes, we initially lost the AnyDVD license when fusion research scrubbed it during one of the repairs. This collectively took months to resolve.

Wanted to setup single folders with subfolders for each of the many TV series we have on blu-ray/DVD. That way we could have one icon to represent the series instead of having 50 or more icons showing the same picture. Found out that you have to send all the discs to fusion research so they can load it into the system.

Bottomline...between the problems we have had with this system and its clunky operations we seldom even attempt to use it anymore. We definitely won't buy this system again.
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post #14 of 52 Old 06-03-2019, 06:13 PM
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I know it’s out from the topic

Did u check this ... http://zappiti.com

There are now CEDIA member and there player works with home network and there price seem to be great value I was looking for this product to replace my oppo 203 so I got K from download and Zappiti for rip but I don’t have much info


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post #15 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 05:35 AM
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The Zidoo X9S is working perfectly for me now with my 4K MKV rips. Other than ripping the disc, everything works automatically in terms of the media player, library management and metadata., and I get on really well with the interface and side pop-out menu also.

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The Zidoo X9S is working perfectly for me now with my 4K MKV rips. Other than ripping the disc, everything works automatically in terms of the media player, library management and metadata., and I get on really well with the interface and side pop-out menu also.

Wookie: A few questions:

(1) Is there a way to make the first thing that pops up a screen for selecting movies?

(2) As noted, I have multiple folders. One for 4K, one for BluRay, one for "Next UP", etc. Can the Zidoo display those folders so I can select what I want from them?

(3) Does it provide the ability to NOT up convert 1080P to 4K? (If the Nvidia/Plex did that, I would be very satisfied with it)

(4) Does it automatically scan when you add/change/delete movies or does it work like the Dune which forces you to rescan, etc?

(5) Any ability to handle chapters?

(6) Will it handle the ISO format in additional to MKV?

Thanks
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post #17 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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And dogs can be trained to be active absorption if trained. LOL.
One of our dogs is a Golden. When she visits the theater, I am able to enjoy cardio exercise vacuuming the black carpet!!
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post #18 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:15 AM
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"Official' Fusion Research Movie Server Discussion Thread

So the Fusion thing is the bust I expected. It’s just an attempt to automate the self ripped diy HTPC server. No easy feat and easy to see why it doesn’t work.

I have my K but I’m going to back burner it for a while and go back to doing my own media again. I rebought an Oppo 203 and set my Synology back up last night.

I’m sticking to full disc rip ISOs though. MKV is too much work relative to cost of 10TB HDs being $160. I was getting tired of ripping because of MKV. Ripping a full disc with extras in one click and knowing it will play flawless like a disc with immersive audio, proper subtitles, Dolby vision, and all that justifies to me the weak network browsing interface of the Oppo. I’ll keep track of my library for browsing elsewhere, likely on blu-ray.com.

I really do like the K but I cannot justify $25-$35 per movie with no portable digital rights. I also already have too many 4k movies in my MA that I’m not paying the same price to rebuy. So I’m going to hold onto it at least until CEDIA time. If they announce MA support then I may flip the Oppo again and take down the server, but we will see what happens. If MA doesn’t come to K by holiday time then maybe I’ll flip the K unit.

The issue I have with ripping is we all know it’s a dead end street. All it takes is one studio to pull out of discs and/or more companies to pull out of players and physical media crumbles. Or for Apple to juice the quality of content on iTunes.

At least in the meantime, I’ll enjoy content from my server for high quality playback in my theater, build up my MA library, and such by buying discs as I wait and see. If K gets MA or not, I’m not out anything. If Apple bumps quality or not, I’m also not out anything.


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post #19 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:20 AM
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Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
Wookie: A few questions:

(1) Is there a way to make the first thing that pops up a screen for selecting movies?
Yes and no. It used to load straight into that screen posted above (minus the menu - that pops out when you click left), but mine has stopped doing it, so I need to do one click after turning the Zidoo on, to load the movie wall. I'm sure they'll sort that at some point (or may have sorted it already, and I've just not changed the appropriate setting).

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
(2) As noted, I have multiple folders. One for 4K, one for BluRay, one for "Next UP", etc. Can the Zidoo display those folders so I can select what I want from them?
Yes, you just have to have them set up as shares on your NAS (as you do with all media players) and then add them to the Zidoo as 'sources'. You won't need the "Next Up" folder though. The Zidoo has a menu option to filter by 'Recently Added' - very useful for finding recent rips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
(3) Does it provide the ability to NOT up convert 1080P to 4K? (If the Nvidia/Plex did that, I would be very satisfied with it)
Yes, I output everything as native.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
(4) Does it automatically scan when you add/change/delete movies or does it work like the Dune which forces you to rescan, etc?
Yes, all automatic as soon as it boots.

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
(5) Any ability to handle chapters?
No not really. But pushing left and right on the directional pad on the remote allows you to skip forward and backwards quickly along the movie timeline bar. Have a look at this video at the 3:40 mark to see what I mean (ignore the annoying pumping of his camera):


Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post
(6) Will it handle the ISO format in additional to MKV?

It does for standard HD blu-ray, but I'm not sure on UHD ISO rips as I've not done any.
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post #20 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by JaremyP View Post
I’m sticking to full disc rip ISOs though. MKV is too much work relative to cost of 10TB HDs being $160. I was getting tired of ripping because of MKV. Ripping a full disc with extras in one click and knowing it will play flawless like a disc with immersive audio, proper subtitles, Dolby vision, and all that justifies to me the weak network browsing interface of the Oppo. I’ll keep track of my library for browsing elsewhere, likely on blu-ray.com.
I've not had a single issue with MakeMKV so far. Its easy enough to select the main video track and the main Atmos audio track.

I used to rip everything to ISO's but owning a Kaleisescape system spoilt me with the ease of clicking a button and the movie playing, so I rip the main movie to MKV's now for that same experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JaremyP View Post
I really do like the K but I cannot justify $25-$35 per movie with no portable digital rights. I also already have too many 4k movies in my MA that I’m not paying the same price to rebuy. So I’m going to hold onto it at least until CEDIA time. If they announce MA support then I may flip the Oppo again and take down the server, but we will see what happens. If MA doesn’t come to K by holiday time then maybe I’ll flip the K unit.

The issue I have with ripping is we all know it’s a dead end street. All it takes is one studio to pull out of discs and/or more companies to pull out of players and physical media crumbles. Or for Apple to juice the quality of content on iTunes.

At least in the meantime, I’ll enjoy content from my server for high quality playback in my theater, build up my MA library, and such by buying discs as I wait and see. If K gets MA or not, I’m not out anything. If Apple bumps quality or not, I’m also not out anything.


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Both options have the potential to be a dead end street if studios stop printing discs. But when I made my own decision, I determined that the bigger dead end street was the potential of K going bust (again) and me being left with 10-15 grands worth of paper-weights, or studios pulling support (think Disney and Netflix).

At least with ripping I'll always own the physical media as a backup, and if I need to junk my 200 quid Zidoo in 5 years time because there are no new discs, its not going to be a major financial loss.

i think we all know that eventually streaming will be the only option (make me shudder) but until then, my Zidoo is working extremely well, and saves me thousands over the K system I would have had to upgrade to.
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post #21 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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So the Fusion thing is the bust I expected. It’s just an attempt to automate the self ripped diy HTPC server. No easy feat and easy to see why it doesn’t work.

I have my K but I’m going to back burner it for a while and go back to doing my own media again. I rebought an Oppo 203 and set my Synology back up last night.

I’m sticking to full disc rip ISOs though. MKV is too much work relative to cost of 10TB HDs being $160. I was getting tired of ripping because of MKV. Ripping a full disc with extras in one click and knowing it will play flawless like a disc with immersive audio, proper subtitles, Dolby vision, and all that justifies to me the weak network browsing interface of the Oppo. I’ll keep track of my library for browsing elsewhere, likely on blu-ray.com.

I really do like the K but I cannot justify $25-$35 per movie with no portable digital rights. I also already have too many 4k movies in my MA that I’m not paying the same price to rebuy. So I’m going to hold onto it at least until CEDIA time. If they announce MA support then I may flip the Oppo again and take down the server, but we will see what happens. If MA doesn’t come to K by holiday time then maybe I’ll flip the K unit.

The issue I have with ripping is we all know it’s a dead end street. All it takes is one studio to pull out of discs and/or more companies to pull out of players and physical media crumbles. Or for Apple to juice the quality of content on iTunes.

At least in the meantime, I’ll enjoy content from my server for high quality playback in my theater, build up my MA library, and such by buying discs as I wait and see. If K gets MA or not, I’m not out anything. If Apple bumps quality or not, I’m also not out anything.
Fusion is a "bust" for me (and you) but clearly not for everyone. And you are so spot on with your comments on Kaleidescape - which is exactly why I sold mine. IF they get access to ALL studios, if they can deliver the right soundtrack on initial release, if they can provide a way to guarantee me access to the movies I download from them if they go toes up and if they lower some of their disc pricing, I would jump back in in a heartbeat. (Not much of a chance for all of that to happen)

What do you use to rip to ISOs? And will it decrypt the 4K stuff? And when you do full rip, is there a way to get to the movie and easily and bypass all of the warnings, previews, etc?
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post #22 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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i think we all know that eventually streaming will be the only option (make me shudder) but until then, my Zidoo is working extremely well, and saves me thousands over the K system I would have had to upgrade to.
That streaming will eventually become our only option is indeed scary. Not only do we end up with compressed audio and video compared to the shiny disc, we then no longer "own" the movie. The studios then have the complete control they have so desperately seeking - and we are totally screwed.
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post #23 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 07:24 AM
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I've not had a single issue with MakeMKV so far. Its easy enough to select the main video track and the main Atmos audio track.
I've found a few specific concerns with MKVs:

1. I primarily used an Oppo for my playback. It had stutter on some Disney audio tracks in MKV that did not manifest in ISOs. In addition, there's some TrueHD MKV audio nuances with the Oppo as well that don't manifest in ISO.

2. My family likes special features anyway so keeping the full disc is nice. Ripping to ISO full disc ensure everything is there.

3. Less so with 4k discs than HD BDs, but playlist obfuscation sucks when you encounter it. Needing to research the right playlist or inspect to find it, ugh. Ripping to ISO full disc avoids this.

4. TV shows are a terrible hassle combing through each episode ripped from a disc as the playlist order often does not correspond to proper episode order. That means time spent watching the first 10 second of every episode ripped of the MKV vs. the disc itself to match them up. Ripping to ISO full disc avoids this.

5. Forced subtitles it the big one though. I know there's a sheet, but it's not complete nor always accurate. Forced subs can be their own track, embedded in another track, can show up in multiple tracks, and so on. That stuff is a nightmare. If you really want to ensure you're getting the right forced subs in your rip, you really have to jump through hoops to manually verify them and sometimes even edit them. To those that just use only MakeMKV and think you're getting the right subs all the time, you're probably not. My interests tend towards sci-fi/fantasy/anime and so on that often has a lot of this going on.

5a. Many players don't even honor the forced subtitle flag in an MKV. Plus if you want to keep regular subs and have forced in an MKV, prepare for a lot of hand editing. Lastly, sometimes the forced subs are often artistically part of the movie (ex. John Wick). So if you just make MKVs and use a player without real PGS support, you get just plain text on the screen.

ISO full disc downsides though are the extra storage and needing to wade through the garbage to get to a movie. And full menu ISO playback is harder to come by in players. But, it just makes everything so easy and accurate.

Quote:
Both options have the potential to be a dead end street if studios stop printing discs. But when I made my own decision, I determined that the bigger dead end street was the potential of K going bust (again) and me being left with 10-15 grands worth of paper-weights, or studios pulling support (think Disney and Netflix).

At least with ripping I'll always own the physical media as a backup, and if I need to junk my 200 quid Zidoo in 5 years time because there are no new discs, its not going to be a major financial loss.
Yes, I agree. That's why I'm flipping back to DiY server for now. K has business risk too for sure that may not bother some. Without MA, I'm choosing not to build up a library of K content. With MA, K becomes uber attractive again. That's why I'm going to hold onto my player for a bit yet and see vs. selling right away.

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What do you use to rip to ISOs? And will it decrypt the 4K stuff? And when you do full rip, is there a way to get to the movie and easily and bypass all of the warnings, previews, etc?
DeUHD and AnyDVD. I would primarily use DeUHD for 4k discs and AnyDVD for BD/DVD. Once click rip in either tool. Both support 4k decryption, but DeUHD is the lead program for that.

Per above, no way to skip the warnings and such. For us, once we decide on a movie, it's usually a few minutes before everyone settles in to view. So, I start playback earlier and the trailers and such play in the background.

Although.. I just saw this device advertised this morning:

http://www.zappiti.com/zappiti-pro-4k-hdr.html

On their web page, they say: "Display the DVD, Blu-ray and UHD menus and access to the additional contents, director's cut or theatrical version, bonus and extras, bookmarks, etc. This feature is compatible with both ISO and BDMV (DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and UHD). If you do not want to display the menus, you can start a movie immediately without trailers or warnings. The seamless branching is also supported for perfect gapless playback on director cut editions."

That's interesting. I'm still going to stick with the Oppo for now, but Zappiti has done some good things lately and legitimized themselves a bit (even CEDIA members now). So this box could be something.

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post #24 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 07:28 AM
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One other risk thing to consider with a DiY server though. What happens in theft, flood, or fire?

You lose your server, you lose all that time spent ripping and painstakingly making MKVs, configuring movie walls, and so on.

Unless you replicate your server offsite, which I doubt many do. So DiY also carries a total loss risk of its own.

Video: JVC NX7, Stewart Cima Neve 135"
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post #25 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:21 PM
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Although.. I just saw this device advertised this morning:

http://www.zappiti.com/zappiti-pro-4k-hdr.html

On their web page, they say: "Display the DVD, Blu-ray and UHD menus and access to the additional contents, director's cut or theatrical version, bonus and extras, bookmarks, etc. This feature is compatible with both ISO and BDMV (DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and UHD). If you do not want to display the menus, you can start a movie immediately without trailers or warnings. The seamless branching is also supported for perfect gapless playback on director cut editions."

That's interesting. I'm still going to stick with the Oppo for now, but Zappiti has done some good things lately and legitimized themselves a bit (even CEDIA members now). So this box could be something.

I like the Zappiti a lot, I have the Zappiti 4K HDR Duo. Interface is pretty slick, it has a nice movie wall and movie info screen. Allows preview playback before the movie if your so inclined. The box is fast and updates come frequently. Supports Blu-Ray/4k Menus etc. It gets a lot of love in my house. Also have the ATV5, Nvidia Shield and Oppo. The Zappiti is the most used playback device of the bunch. It certainly is not perfect but at this pricepoint its worth a look.

I did just purchase a Kscape Strato which I think is very slick but for my existing movie collection I'm quite happy to continue using the Zappiti + NAS since its not that far behind the Strato for Playback.

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post #26 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:39 PM
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I wish the timing of that Zappiti box would have been sooner. I just re-bought an Oppo 203 this week with the intention of modding it for ISO playback. I may still seriously look at the Zappiti though as it releases and reviews/feedback come out.

One question on the Zappiti, how well does it access TV series stored as ISOs? Does it have a direct file browser or the ability to build custom meta data around ISOs?

Video: JVC NX7, Stewart Cima Neve 135"
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post #27 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 06:48 PM
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I wish the timing of that Zappiti box would have been sooner. I just re-bought an Oppo 203 this week with the intention of modding it for ISO playback. I may still seriously look at the Zappiti though as it releases and reviews/feedback come out.

One question on the Zappiti, how well does it access TV series stored as ISOs? Does it have a direct file browser or the ability to build custom meta data around ISOs?
I haven't tried it yet myself but one of the more recent firmware updates allow it to support ISO episode playback for TV Shows.
It does have a file browser (explorer), although not sure about the custom metadata for ISO.

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post #28 of 52 Old 06-04-2019, 09:53 PM
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I haven't tried it yet myself but one of the more recent firmware updates allow it to support ISO episode playback for TV Shows.
It does have a file browser (explorer), although not sure about the custom metadata for ISO.
Is the ISO playback with menus reliable in general for movies?

Video: JVC NX7, Stewart Cima Neve 135"
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post #29 of 52 Old 06-05-2019, 05:59 AM
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4. TV shows are a terrible hassle combing through each episode ripped from a disc as the playlist order often does not correspond to proper episode order. That means time spent watching the first 10 second of every episode ripped of the MKV vs. the disc itself to match them up. Ripping to ISO full disc avoids this.

5. Forced subtitles it the big one though. I know there's a sheet, but it's not complete nor always accurate. Forced subs can be their own track, embedded in another track, can show up in multiple tracks, and so on. That stuff is a nightmare. If you really want to ensure you're getting the right forced subs in your rip, you really have to jump through hoops to manually verify them and sometimes even edit them. To those that just use only MakeMKV and think you're getting the right subs all the time, you're probably not. My interests tend towards sci-fi/fantasy/anime and so on that often has a lot of this going on.

5a. Many players don't even honor the forced subtitle flag in an MKV. Plus if you want to keep regular subs and have forced in an MKV, prepare for a lot of hand editing. Lastly, sometimes the forced subs are often artistically part of the movie (ex. John Wick). So if you just make MKVs and use a player without real PGS support, you get just plain text on the screen.
YES! On all these accounts. TV shows were one of the biggest nuisances in ripping as I like to make individual files for each episode. I mean we all have our favorites that we don't want to have to go spool up the ISO, start the "disc", go into the sub-menu, and select the episode. It's all such a pain.

Subtitles are also a big deal for me, just like you. It used to be so easy in the DVD and early Blu-Ray days, but man it's become such a hassle. Especially with Disney buying up so much IP out there, they've thrown an absolute TON of obfuscation out there. Those guys are the very pioneers of low-level protections that make discs suck to rip. That's when I started to give up.
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post #30 of 52 Old 06-05-2019, 06:55 AM
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1) Their server required (at the time) a separate license for AnyDVD HD that the user or CI would have to get themselves.
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They do use AnyDVD
Well there we have it. Many, many years ago, I purchased a lifetime license for AnyDVD HD. WELL worth it. However, it wasn't long until they (predictably) ran into legal troubles. They've had a bunch of ups and downs, have had shutdowns, are outright banned in Germany, were at one point "based" in Antigua, and are now based in and use a Belize domain (*.bz).

Needless to say, by using AnyDVD, the Fusion Research product DEFINITELY does not come with the studio blessing that Kaleidescape has fought so hard for.

Don't get me wrong. I've always been a big fan of AnyDVD and have supported them with my dollars. I come from the side of the fair-use argument that so long as we purchased the physical media (and retain them in our possession) then we should have any and all rights to back them up for personal use. HOWEVER, it's always been a legal grey area, and as much as I side with AnyDVD, it's also nice knowing that from a dealer point of view, and one who has to stand by a product, that we can't ever get in any sort of trouble for promoting or enabling a customer to skirt the law, silly as that law may be.

I really wish Fusion WAS onto something special, but it unfortunately it doesn't look like much more than what I can do on the hobbyist level, except what I can do for 1/5th the price would actually be less clunky. The reason the premium price SHOULD be worth it is for total ease of use, which it doensn't appear they're anywhere near the level of K. Everything has it's pros and cons and I can totally accept that when I know those things going in, but depending upon legally problematic 3rd party software (AnyDVD) that can come and go at a moment's notice is kind of a deal breaker. Bummer. I was REALLY hoping you had found the ultimate solution.
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