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Old 04-16-07, 05:59 PM   #1
six_storm
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Default To HTPC Peeps

I've been interested in making backups of my DVD collection onto my storage server/HTPC and I had a question. Which one of these two methods are better for ripping a DVD and backing it up for later use?

1: Ripping the DVD (main feature only or the entire disc), not converting any of the files and running a program like "Matinee" that plays TS_VIDEO files and such.

OR

2: Ripping the DVD (main feature only or the entire disc), converting the movie to MPEG or AVI (or any other high quality format) and just running it under VLC or what not.

Just wondering, I'd like to keep the HDD space to the max (I only have a 80GB HDD) and get as many movies/music/other stuff on there as I can. Any suggestions would help.

EDIT: Also, what about getting the best quality? I have a 32" Westinghouse LCD at 720p and I'd like to have the movies upconverted for the best quality, while keeping the storage space in mind.
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Old 04-16-07, 06:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six_storm
I've been interested in making backups of my DVD collection onto my storage server/HTPC and I had a question. Which one of these two methods are better for ripping a DVD and backing it up for later use?

1: Ripping the DVD (main feature only or the entire disc), not converting any of the files and running a program like "Matinee" that plays TS_VIDEO files and such.

OR

2: Ripping the DVD (main feature only or the entire disc), converting the movie to MPEG or AVI (or any other high quality format) and just running it under VLC or what not.

Just wondering, I'd like to keep the HDD space to the max (I only have a 80GB HDD) and get as many movies/music/other stuff on there as I can. Any suggestions would help.

EDIT: Also, what about getting the best quality? I have a 32" Westinghouse LCD at 720p and I'd like to have the movies upconverted for the best quality, while keeping the storage space in mind.
You'll want to re-ecode the vids if you want max storage. If you just rip the main movie, it will be between 4 - 6GB per movie because it is encoded in MPEG-2. If you re-encode them into divx or xvid, you can shrink them down to half the size, or even smaller without losing any quality.

If your software was able to upconvert the movies than I would imagine it would look better using 720p upscaled sources versus normal res and stretching the image. The only problem is that the 720p files would take a lot of space. If you just play a regular dvd on a pc running at 720p, they already look pretty good, so I probably wouldn't go through the hassle of trying to upscale them. I'm not even sure of software that will do that for you, or if your hardware is going to do it automatically.
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Old 04-16-07, 09:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: To HTPC Peeps

Thanks BMan, I'll take a look at the DIVx stuff later. I'm also torn between what media centers to use. I tried to install Linux this afternoon but I'm having a weird issues with it. Once school lets out, I'll have more time to focus on it. I'd actually like to have my entire DVD collection, along with a full iTunes and other files backed up on my HTPC by June so that all I gotta do is install a media center program and be good to go. I guess if I have to, I'll dish out some cash on a MS based product to use until something better comes out. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-16-07, 10:38 PM   #4
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I'm running Win XP Media center edition on my HTPC. Works great for me. Look into MCE Tunes for integrating your iTunes library with Media center. It basically allows MC to see your itunes library. Very handy. Especially because my music is all AAC's....

As for DVD backup, I have plenty of storage (2 320GB Seagates in RAID 0 ) so I just do a direct rip of the DVD to my hard drive using DVD Decryptor. I think I'm going to be able to fit about 90 - 100 movies on there so I'm good for a while...If you end up ripping entire DVDs, look into My Movies. It's a program that integrates into media center that lets you watch the ripped dvds in media center. It reads the VIDEO_TS folder and functions just like the DVD is in the drive. You just have to add all your movies to it's database, and it downloads the covers, cast info, plot summary, and other cool stuff. Then when in Media center, you can browse it all. It's really cool And best of all! It's free!

Oh, and VLC can also play VIDEO_TS folders. You just need to go File > Open Folder

That all being said...because you're space limited, you'll probably want to compress your movies. I don't know anything about this so I'll let someone else make recommendations
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Old 04-17-07, 01:18 AM   #5
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Just do direct rips and add more HDD space. Hard drives are extremely cheap if you buy them at the right time. Hell, 4 years ago I would commonly buy 160GB HDD's at 20-60 dollars each. Now its possible to get 300GB's at that price if you play your cards right.

Quit buying your stuff from apple, they rip you off.
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Old 04-18-07, 10:38 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaWolf_HK
Just do direct rips and add more HDD space. Hard drives are extremely cheap if you buy them at the right time. Hell, 4 years ago I would commonly buy 160GB HDD's at 20-60 dollars each. Now its possible to get 300GB's at that price if you play your cards right.

Quit buying your stuff from apple, they rip you off.
Ha! Nice post. Seriously though, here's what I've been looking at:

1) I could use my PC to set up a Linux based HTPC and also having it to be a storage server as well. All I would have to purchase would be a nicer HTPC case, remote, IR receiver, and a new DVD-ROM drive. This would probably cost around $150-$250 depending on what I buy.

2) I could purchase a package from PCAlchemy.com that includes a copy of Windows MCE 05, Windows MCE remote, Hauppage PVR-150 and NVIDIA's Decoding software for about $225. Also along with a new, more attractive HTPC case, it would be about $350 after shipping and everything.

3) I could buy an Apple TV for $300, which is a nice and SMALL device in which you could do all kinds of stuff with (install a full version of OSX, add a bigger HDD, create a emulator for SNES, NES, etc) and doesn't take up that much space. Just like most Apple products, it's attractive. Also, I could buy an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid, a USB stick device that inputs SD and HD cable and OTA channels. Again, all of this takes up little to nothing on space, whereas the other two options would take a decently big HTPC case. Total = $450

I already have some my movies ripped onto my iMac and iBook so it will be convient either way, Macs work with anything. And I know that you can mix and match on the features too. I'd like to get the Linux based solution to work but my PC is rejecting it and I don't have a lot of time to dabble in it right now. Maybe once I can get past finals, I'll have some time.
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Old 04-18-07, 05:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by six_storm
Ha! Nice post. Seriously though, here's what I've been looking at:

1) I could use my PC to set up a Linux based HTPC and also having it to be a storage server as well. All I would have to purchase would be a nicer HTPC case, remote, IR receiver, and a new DVD-ROM drive. This would probably cost around $150-$250 depending on what I buy.

2) I could purchase a package from PCAlchemy.com that includes a copy of Windows MCE 05, Windows MCE remote, Hauppage PVR-150 and NVIDIA's Decoding software for about $225. Also along with a new, more attractive HTPC case, it would be about $350 after shipping and everything.

3) I could buy an Apple TV for $300, which is a nice and SMALL device in which you could do all kinds of stuff with (install a full version of OSX, add a bigger HDD, create a emulator for SNES, NES, etc) and doesn't take up that much space. Just like most Apple products, it's attractive. Also, I could buy an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid, a USB stick device that inputs SD and HD cable and OTA channels. Again, all of this takes up little to nothing on space, whereas the other two options would take a decently big HTPC case. Total = $450

I already have some my movies ripped onto my iMac and iBook so it will be convient either way, Macs work with anything. And I know that you can mix and match on the features too. I'd like to get the Linux based solution to work but my PC is rejecting it and I don't have a lot of time to dabble in it right now. Maybe once I can get past finals, I'll have some time.
Hmm, what do you currently have now for a PC? Is it your gaming PC?

A lot of what I would do depends upon what your setup is. If you are just going to be using it as a gaming / media computer hooked to a monitor, I would just leave it with xp and not even worry about MCE. If you want to have a dedicated HTPC that sits with your tv, then I would probably look at getting the stand alone unit. The biggest thing is that if you want to either rip or encode, you'll want a lot of CPU power to do that with.

Either way, if your going to be spending money a hard drive should be first on the list. With direct rips you could only get about 15 movies onto that hard drive, with no room left over for anything else. That might also influence your decision as well.

@einstein_314: If you want to re-encode those vids, a great program is autoGK. It is a simplified version of an all in one solution to re-encode movies.

What goodies does MCE have? I can't use it because it doesn't support my current tuner, but I'm curious if it is even that much nicer than simply using regular xp.
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Old 04-18-07, 09:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bman212121
Hmm, what do you currently have now for a PC? Is it your gaming PC?

A lot of what I would do depends upon what your setup is. If you are just going to be using it as a gaming / media computer hooked to a monitor, I would just leave it with xp and not even worry about MCE. If you want to have a dedicated HTPC that sits with your tv, then I would probably look at getting the stand alone unit. The biggest thing is that if you want to either rip or encode, you'll want a lot of CPU power to do that with.

Either way, if your going to be spending money a hard drive should be first on the list. With direct rips you could only get about 15 movies onto that hard drive, with no room left over for anything else. That might also influence your decision as well.

@einstein_314: If you want to re-encode those vids, a great program is autoGK. It is a simplified version of an all in one solution to re-encode movies.

What goodies does MCE have? I can't use it because it doesn't support my current tuner, but I'm curious if it is even that much nicer than simply using regular xp.

Yes, I will be using my gaming PC as my media server as well as my HTPC. I finally got Linux installed on my PC and I'm going to be trying the Linux MCE (linuxmce.com). If that works, then all I need to buy is a PVR card and a remote. Oh, and yes, I will have to buy an extra hard drive. The bad thing is that I have a $1,700 engagement ring to pay off in the mean time lol.
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Old 04-18-07, 10:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Yes, I will be using my gaming PC as my media server as well as my HTPC. I finally got Linux installed on my PC and I'm going to be trying the Linux MCE (linuxmce.com). If that works, then all I need to buy is a PVR card and a remote. Oh, and yes, I will have to buy an extra hard drive. The bad thing is that I have a $1,700 engagement ring to pay off in the mean time lol.
Someone needs to teach you about priorities.

Let us know if you get that working, I might try a linux box if it likes my Ati tuner card.
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Old 04-19-07, 09:07 AM   #10
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Someone needs to teach you about priorities.

Let us know if you get that working, I might try a linux box if it likes my Ati tuner card.
Haha. Yeah, I won't be buying anything for quite a little while lol. But hey, there are always birthdays and Christmas! Linux works like a charm on my PC now, works really well. Just need some time to dabble with the settings and stuff.
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Old 04-22-07, 02:02 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bman212121
@einstein_314: If you want to re-encode those vids, a great program is autoGK. It is a simplified version of an all in one solution to re-encode movies.

What goodies does MCE have? I can't use it because it doesn't support my current tuner, but I'm curious if it is even that much nicer than simply using regular xp.
Sweet! I'll check out that autoGK. Although for now I'm not going to bother compressing them...I've still got 300GB free.

Really the only thing that MCE has that regular XP doesn't have is Media Center. You can play all your movies, music, view photos, even browse youtube (with a plugin) from within it. Other than that there are a few minor things. Like the MCE theme for windows. It is definately nicer than regular XP if you're using it as a HTPC.
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Old 04-22-07, 03:51 AM   #12
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If your not worried about space, why not just rip them to ISO's? Then use something like Alchahol120 to play them back?

If you convert, please don't use Divx...Use the H264 codec...The picture is MUCH, MUCH better than Divx/Xvid...
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