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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read through previous posts about custom media servers, but I'm having problems with a slightly different version.


Hardware:

I have a cheap P2 350mhz computer set up with Win98 (boots faster than 2000) and a RealMagic X-Card. My storage is located on another computer where I'm using SATA RAID (300GB now, will up to 1TB by the end of the year). I'm running a 100baseT network. It was using 802.11b before, but was running too slow (read: choppy) to handle uncompressed DVD's.


Software:

I use DVD Shrink to dump DVD's to the server, removing everything except the main movie and primary audio channel. I wrote custom Perl software that runs on the cheap media computer. It displays the DVD's cover and basic info and allows you to browse the collection on screen (using arrow keys for now... remote control will come later). Pressing Enter mounts the DVD ISO using Daemon-Tools (latest version) and the RealMagic software automatically launches upon seeing a new disk. I switch TV inputs to my component in and I get perfect video and sound.


The Problem:

On movies compressed with DVD Shrink, as well as some movies that are completely uncompressed, the player freezes up. I'm able to duplicate this with each freezing movie even if the ISO is moved to the local hard drive. Burning the ISO to DVD+R and playing in my DVD player seems to work fine, with freezes happening rarely. So, I'm kind of stuck. I don't know if the X-Card just has a tougher time recovering from a poorly encoded movie than my hardware player. Perhaps Daemon Tools is causing the problem? Any ideas? Any easier way to get component out and coaxial AC-3? I'd be happy to switch to linux, software decoding, and/or use a VGA breakout I knew it would work and produce the same quality audio/video.


Once completed, I'm going to release the code for the Perl launcher, since I'm quite proud of it. It uses Tk and the imdb to display the info, and includes type-ahead-find for DVD titles.
 

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The code sounds very nice... let me know when you release it ;). I'll be honest, I'm not sure how the RealMagic card works. Have you checked your CPU numbers?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by madpoet
Have you checked your CPU numbers?
Yeah. The RealMagic is a hardware decoder so it's barely using any processor. The only processing power is used by the drivers to transfer the data from the DVD device (simulated DVD-ROM in this case) to the card, and a little to display the software player that controls the card. It hits the processor less than WinAmp.


I have a few ideas to make the software even better. On web enabled phones and people who have cable modems, I can allow the selection of a movie off a cell phone (from a list, or with a tiny cover image). A laptop/PDA with wireless access would work even better. :)
 

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Ok then, some other easy thoughts... are you sure you're using 100/Full on your NIC? You might need to hard code it instead of using auto.
 

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I think I read something (in the ripping 101/102 threads) about making sure that DVD Shrink splits the files into chunks smaller than 2GB. People had problems with playback when they didn't split the files.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Will verify full 100mb network tonight and I'll run a test with smaller files. Right now it's just creating one ISO, but I'll try creating the VIDEO_TS/AUDIO_TS file structure and making smaller files. That would eliminate Daemon Tools as the culprit as well, since I'd have no need to mount the ISO. Thanks for the ideas. I'll report back later. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok... I figured out the problem based off the responses here, and just need to figure out a way to solve the problem.


My network is running at full speed, so that wasn't the issue. However, the comment about the 2GB file size lead me in the right direction. I tried using DVD Shrink without splitting the file into
 
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