AVS Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some help and I dont know if this is the right place to post, If not please point me in the right direction.


I would like to setup my home Tv like a hotel. What I mean is I like when I turn on my TV and hit menu I can pick a movie (pay for it and watch it). What I want to do is basically the same thing. I want to turn on my tvs in my house and have them hit menu and pick a movie I have either stored on my NAS system or something like that. Basically not setting up a media server on each tv but maybe through where the cable comes into the house. Any help would be greatly appreciated.. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
Any of the streamers listed in this thread that have network connectivity built in are capable of doing what you're asking. All of them will be able to stream video from a computer on the network using simple Windows network shares.


Basically you would store the videos on a folder on your PC, share that folder over the network, and any streamer connected to the network (wired or wirelessly) will be able to browse that shared folder and play the video files.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,654 Posts
Whatever you want to do you gotta have something at the tv's. TV's dont natively support an input of this type. As the server just serves the files but the "extender" is the device that actually plays the media.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 /forum/post/16917621


Whatever you want to do you gotta have something at the tv's. TV's dont natively support an input of this type. As the server just serves the files but the "extender" is the device that actually plays the media.



Ok what would be the best one at the tv that can work with the dns-343 or do you suggest another NAS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
If there were one "best" device for everybody, there wouldn't be over 80k posts in this forum



None of the devices are perfect. What works best for you is something only you can decide. There are a lot of variables involved - What format are your movies encoded in? How many do you have? Do you want a fancy graphical UI with DVD cover art, or a simple text list? How much are you willing to spend? How much technical knowledge do you possess? how much effort are you willing to put into setting this up?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/16922335


If there were one "best" device for everybody, there wouldn't be over 80k posts in this forum



None of the devices are perfect. What works best for you is something only you can decide. There are a lot of variables involved - What format are your movies encoded in? How many do you have? Do you want a fancy graphical UI with DVD cover art, or a simple text list? How much are you willing to spend? How much technical knowledge do you possess? how much effort are you willing to put into setting this up?

Dont have any movies decoded yet, But Have about 150 blu rays and over a thousand DVD's. Let me know what format to do and I will do it. Would love a fancy looking GUI with DVD cover art and info on that dvd. Have alot of Technical knowledge in computers but none really in video streaming. Will to put alot of effort into it. and 3-4k Budjet.. Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mongoose107 /forum/post/16923232


Will to put alot of effort into it.

You'll have to. With a collection of that size, ripping is going to take at least a couple hundred hours. With a collection of that size, you've also eliminated most of the currently available streamers from the list of candidates. Most of them just aren't efficient at navigating very large collections.


First things first. You have to decide on how you want to rip your discs. You have three basic options:


Full rip: Ripping everything, bit-for-bit, off of the discs into an ISO. This keeps everything, including all the menus, extras, and multiple audio / subtitle tracks. This will take ~6-8GB per DVD. Takes 10-15min per disc.


Stripped rip: Rips just the main movie track into an ISO. You can keep or remove additional audio and sub tracks as you wish. Depending on the disc, you can usually save between 300MB and 2GB by cutting out what you don't need. Takes 5-15min per disc.


Transcode: Rip the entire DVD to your hard drive, then re-compress it with a more efficient codec. The up side: Using x.264, an average movie can be compressed down to about 2GB with no noticeable loss in picture quality. The down side: Even on a very fast PC the process takes 1-3 hours per film. You also lose menus and extras unless you transcode them separately.


For Blu-ray, your only real options are stripped rip (to MKV or M2TS) and transcode. No player currently available will play BD ISOs. Keep in mind that even stripped BD rips are in the 15-20GB range. You can transcode them down to 10-12GB without losing much picture quality, but the process takes a long time.



Even if you transcode everything, you're already pushing the limits of your Dlink NAS, and that's without any redundancy. Considering the time and effort you're going to have to put into this project, I highly recommend you consider more robust storage solutions that will keep your media safe in case of drive failure.


First figure out how you want to rip your collection and we'll go from there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by candre23 /forum/post/16923429


You'll have to. With a collection of that size, ripping is going to take at least a couple hundred hours. With a collection of that size, you've also eliminated most of the currently available streamers from the list of candidates. Most of them just aren't efficient at navigating very large collections.


First things first. You have to decide on how you want to rip your discs. You have three basic options:


Full rip: Ripping everything, bit-for-bit, off of the discs into an ISO. This keeps everything, including all the menus, extras, and multiple audio / subtitle tracks. This will take ~6-8GB per DVD. Takes 10-15min per disc.


Stripped rip: Rips just the main movie track into an ISO. You can keep or remove additional audio and sub tracks as you wish. Depending on the disc, you can usually save between 300MB and 2GB by cutting out what you don't need. Takes 5-15min per disc.


Transcode: Rip the entire DVD to your hard drive, then re-compress it with a more efficient codec. The up side: Using x.264, an average movie can be compressed down to about 2GB with no noticeable loss in picture quality. The down side: Even on a very fast PC the process takes 1-3 hours per film. You also lose menus and extras unless you transcode them separately.


For Blu-ray, your only real options are stripped rip (to MKV or M2TS) and transcode. No player currently available will play BD ISOs. Keep in mind that even stripped BD rips are in the 15-20GB range. You can transcode them down to 10-12GB without losing much picture quality, but the process takes a long time.



Even if you transcode everything, you're already pushing the limits of your Dlink NAS, and that's without any redundancy. Considering the time and effort you're going to have to put into this project, I highly recommend you consider more robust storage solutions that will keep your media safe in case of drive failure.


First figure out how you want to rip your collection and we'll go from there.


Thanks for helping, Most Likely I will rip without the menus and extra audio Just the dts Audio and movie is what I am looking for. I do have a pretty fast computer but that probally wont help much as you said. My DNS-343 is raided and has 4 terabytes of free space right now but will buy another NAS if you suggest. Blu Rays will do the same, Hard drives are cheap right now so let me know. I also have 3 media centers sitting there doing nothing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
I assume by "rip without the menus and extra audio Just the dts Audio and movie" you mean a stripped rip and not transcoding? I hate to break it to you, but your Dlink NAS is just not going to cut the mustard. Realistically, you're looking at ~6TB for your DVDs plus 2-2.5TB for your BD rips. So figure on needing a minimum of 9TB to account for margin of error and to give you a bit of room for new titles. That's not even counting some sort of redundancy. Obviously the back end is going to be the biggest and most expensive part of this setup, so you should really get that sorted out before you decide on a front end.


Getting another NAS (or two, or three) is an option, but a much better, long-term solution is to set up a dedicated file server. A server will give you a more control over your collection, and will be a heck of a lot more expandable. For servers, you have three choices again:

Windows Home Server : Very easy to set up and maintain. All drives are pooled together and show up as one big empty space into which you can put all your media. You can add or remove drives of any size at any time. If you run out of room, just add another drive and your pool gets bigger. The down side is that WHS only uses 1:1 mirroring for redundancy. This means that you would actually need 18TB worth of drives to hold 9TB worth of movies.

unRAID : Not as easy to set up as WHS, but not rocket science either. It's basically a very simple Linux build with a customized file system. unRAID takes drives of any size and can be expanded at will. Unlike WHS, it creates redundancy by using a single disk (the largest) for parity. This means that if you have 6 1.5TB drives for storage, you only need to add one more 1.5TB drive (instead of 6 more for WHS).


Standard RAID: You can arrange your drives in a standard RAID array under any OS you choose. RAID-5 (1 extra disk) would probably be ideal, or RAID-6 (2 extra disks) if you're feeling extra cautious. The down side is that RAID arrays are very picky. All disks in the array need to be the same size and preferably of the same make and model. Additional drives (of the same size) can be added to the array later, but only if your hardware supports it.


If you go for one of the first two options, you can use pretty much any hardware - even something old you have lying around. Anything P4-class or newer with at least 1GB of RAM should be fine. You may need an extra SATA controller card or two, but they're quite cheap . Since you'll be building a raid with quite a few disks, the third option would require a hardware RAID card. They're not cheap . Personally, I'd suggest you go with WHS or unRAID.


Any server is going to need a sizable case to house all your drives. I can offer some suggestions if you want, but it's not terribly important at this point. Right now you need to decide of you want to go with a server or not, and if so, what kind.



EDIT: There is one more option that I just remembered. It's the most expensive, but it's also the simplest. The Drobo pro is a really smart NAS that holds up to 8 drives. It does pretty much the same thing as WHS or unRAID, but with zero configuration. Just stick drives in it and it figures it all out for you. It uses single-drive parity like unRAID, so you only lose one disk to redundancy. You wouldn't have much room for expansion later, but it still might be worth considering if you don't want to set up and maintain a dedicated server.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
And then you have two basic choices for front ends - NMT or HTPC.

Networked Media Tank includes devices like the Popcorn Hour and Egreat M34A. There are about half a dozen different devices that use this platform, but they are all functionally very similar. There are several enhanced UI options available (which is good, since the default UI is not great). YAMJ , My Lil Movie Jukebox , Movie Flow , and Movie Portal are a few of the better examples. These fancy UIs require a program to run on your server that builds the HTML-based library pages. This won't be a problem for you since you're using WHS. The top-of-the-line NMT device is the Popcorn Hour C-200, which hasn't shipped yet. It was supposed to be ready sometime in July, but obviously it's a little behind schedule. Everything that we know about the device can be found in this thread .


HTPCs are a bit more complicated to set up, but they're a lot more powerful and configurable as well. You can build a very decent one for around $400. The two most popular HTPC front ends are Windows Media Center (with one of its many UI enhancements like Media Browser or My Movies ) and XBMC . There are other less popular options like Media Portal , but none are quite as slick as WMC or XBMC. Which you chose depends entirely on your personal preferences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Not sure how technical you are but have a look at the popcorn hour A-110 or c-200 with YAMJ setup (yet another movie jukebox). There are a bunch of skins you can use to turn the GUI into a lodgenet style interface, sorted by genre etc. It will take some tinkering but that's half the fun for some people
, especially some people around here... !!!!


EDIT: snap.... i take that all back and just say, "yeah, what candre23 says x2"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Mongoose107,


I hope you have an idea of how much information you were just presented in such a concise, clear, and well supported (links) manner. This thread is a treasure of information. I have been reading for a month to try to learn how to do exactly what your asking, and candr23 just summed up a months worth of reading in a single thread. With all the links you need to compare and evaluate your options.


Whats great for me, is your choices have been the same as mine up to this point, and if you like the C200 then you will continue down my same path. I like the C200 due to the ability to add a BR drive. This allows the nontech family member to rent a dvd or BR locally and just stick it in to play on that TV.


Candre23,


Please continue to do what your doing. I am espeacially looking forward to the part where you begin to explain the different options for ripping the movies (DVD and BR) and the formats as well as the programs which should be considered in conjunction with their strengths and weaknesses. I assume this is next as the ripping should be considered independantly of the NMT chosen. And in Mongoose107's case, he needs to get started ASAP with that many!


Once this conversation is finished someone should go through and pull out all Candre23 posts and make a single new thread that can be made a sticky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,143 Posts
There are already quite a few guides out there for ripping and transcoding DVDs, but if you would like the options laid out, then I suppose I can do that.


The two most popular free applications for ripping DVDs and BDs are MakeMKV and DVD Fab . They are both very simple programs and are as close to one-click as you can get. Simply insert your disc, select the audio, video and subtitle tracks you want, and give it an output path.


MakeMKV will produce MKV files (duh) with the original, unaltered video and audio tracks. It will not copy the menus.


DVD Fab will produce either an ISO file or a directory containing the raw VOB / IFO / BUP files. You can choose to keep the entire disc including menus or rip just the main movie and leave the rest. When ripping DVDs, it is important to select "DVD-9" under the quality setting, otherwise it will recompress the video, taking several times longer than normal an resulting in lower quality video.


Neither program is inherently "better" than the other. Some standalone players work better with MKV files than ISOs. You should obviously choose MakeMKV if you have one of them. Other than that, it's just a matter of personal preference.


If you intend to use the ripped video as-is, then there's nothing else you need to do. If you intend to transcode to Xvid or x.264, then you will need another program to do that. I personally use Handbrake for all my transcoding, but a lot of people swear by AutoGK . There are several other programs that will get the job done, but those are the two biggies. Both are totally free and well-developed pieces of software. Handbrake is simpler and a bit more polished. AutoGK is much more configurable. Handbrake's only real limitation is that it will only allow you to use one subtitle track, and that track is burned into the video itself (hard-subbed). AutoGK allows for multiple subtitle tracks that can be turned on an off by the player. Other than that, it's again just a matter of personal preference.


As for settings, you'll probably have to experiment a bit to find something you can live with - both in terms of file size an video quality. I've found that 1800kbps x.264 video with 192kbps MP3 audio is indistinguishable from the original on my old 32" 720p TV and works out to about 1GB per hour of video. You may want more or less video quality. You may want to keep the original 5.1 AC3 audio tracks instead of mixing it down to stereo if you have a surround sound system. There are no "best" settings, only settings that are the best for you and your equipment.


That's about it for ripping and transcoding. All of he software I mentioned is pretty easy to figure out, but if you need help, just google it. There are tons of tutorials and walkthroughs on the internet.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top