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So... I'm haunted by my uncertainty as to which would be the best way to store ripped DVD's on my HD. (talking about DVD's I own).


Let's stipulate that the ideal movie storage format would have:


*portability to the maximum number of media center apps/devices

*conservative file size

*good prospects for longevity - the file format is popular and likely to be around for a while

*no or negligible loss of data from the original DVD mpeg2 files.


Of these, the most important, IMHO, are maximum portability and negligible data loss. Maximum portability in that there are many fantastic programs and devices on the market (with more on the way) that can serve movies.


On Portability... some examples from my living room.


The excellent MyMovies by Brian Binnerup for XPMCE, however, works very well with dvd's stored as disk images *.iso, but, at least the last time I looked, didn't play straight from VIDEO_TS directories.


XBox Media Center will play disk images, but likes them in *.img format. It will also play from VIDEO_TS but not as slickly.


SageTV, I believe, needs VIDEO_TS directories and won't play disk images.


Alternately, a non-native format such as DivX has a wide distribution of supporting software and media devices. However, reencoding is a lossy process which gives me pause.


I really think that sacrificing any quality for the sake of file size is going to be a mistake. We've all seen how HD capacity and prices have changed over the years. My first HD was 10 MB, now I've got a Raid5 with a Terrabyte of storage. In a few years, or sooner, the difference between a 5 GB movie and a 2 GB movie will be inconsequential. Anyone who reencoded their movie collection and lost quality to save space will kick themselves when Terrabyte drives are $129.99 after MIR.


So, Is there an answer? Is there a extremely portable file format that has negligible quality loss? If not what conclusions and compromises have others made?


Sorry for rambling and sorry if this has been talked to death in this section of AVS. My searches of past threads weren't very productive.
 

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Divx at high quality is very good, especially when you are not concerned about file size- and it is very portable. I am also a big fan of the My Movies plug-in which is excellent. and have a RAID5 2 TB files server. Here is what I do...

Original movie ripped to divx with AutoGK- size 1.4GB

Original DVD filed away- best quality- occassionally (for a special movie) I will copy the uncompressed rip to my file server for HTPC viewing of the rip.


As ChrisL mentioned, VIDEO_TS folders work fine in MCE2005.
 
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