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DVD Storage File Format Question


Mr Bill
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Good day all
I am interested in how people are storing their DVD collections on their servers. I am partial to saving the DVD's as individual ISO files over having a directory for each DVD and having the VOB files.
How are you doing it and what are the PRO's and CON's of each way of doing this?
What are you using as playback devices?
I am looking at using my XBOX 360 as an extender. I am also looking at getting one of the new WD TV Live - HD Media Player that plays media and has a network jack.
http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=735

Thanks for your time and comments.

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Hi Mr Bill,

Hope we can be less formal after we get to know each other ;-) (no ...not in that way !!!)

Sorry 'bout that , have to ease off the beer in the afternoons ;-)

I have been toying with the same question/s

Now on my second 'frankenbuild' of WHS. .....was running a HTPC connected to WHS....DVDs stored in iso on the WHS. Found Win 7 media centre great ....except would not play iso's ..I know there is a way but I am too lazy to get it all set up ....Win 7 MC interface OK but could be better ..realy liked XBMC as a front end to MediaCentre functon and it 'just works' for about every type of file ...but MC remote won't work with XBMC ...yeah yeah ..I know it can be done ...but I am lazy !!!

Wife acceptance factor (WAF) for XBMC interface was good ....Win7 MC not so much ...but was getting there.

At the risk of upsetting the 'Dave (Media Centre evangelist) McCabe' ....after a few months of messing around with the HTPC ...I decided to pull it apart ..(insides now became "WHS mark 2")

This was a "test case" for HTPC in the lounge that did not really fit well, being a small tower PC.

After reading reviews of the WD Live TV ..went out and bought it. This clinched the deal for the death of "HTPC mark 1". ..and WAF went up a notch or 2 ...win win.!!!

Am now going back through my DVD catalogue and, ripping with DVD shrink and converting to MKV files with Hanbrake Software.
Handbrake converts with AC3 and or DTS sound track, can do multiple sountracks so WD TV Live you can select the one you want, and also does subtitles if needed , again selectable on WD TV Live.
Using H.264 compression setting of 62% gives files of about 2Gig ..so ends ups one half to one quarter the size of original DVD size.

So far ...all pluses ;-)
The WD TV live plays everything except Windows Media Video with embeded 5.1 sound (MV9 encoded ..I think), I don't have many of these so don't matter much.
Plays .avi, mpegs from TV and Digital STB recorded files.
Also does music juke box funtions.

Only negative ..so far ....if you fast forward thru the mkv files the sound sync tends to get bumped, but it does slowly move back in sync over time. Is ok if you start and don't play around with FF or FR tooo much.

Still in early days yet with this set up ...but so far ..appears to be the least compromise ...for me atleast ..your mileage may vary

cheers,
Phil

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Oooops forgot a second negative. At the current firmware release WD TV Live does not handle DVD menus.

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manphil

You talked about re-ripping your collection. Is that because of personal preference or because the player won't play iso's?

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manphil,

I am still at the HTPC XBMC stage. Interested though with your experince with the WD Live. I have been trying to work out the pros & cons between this and the Xtreamer. Does the WD Live work with IFO/VOB's in sub folders? (I ask because this is currently how I have my DVD Rips).

Mr Bill

I tried the ISO route first but with my setup (as above) I got more Jitter / Frame Drop for some reason. This was apparent both using Vista Media Centre and Linux Ubuntu. I now use the XBMC Live (which is a basic Linux Ubuntu OS with XBMC on top.) Utilising the GPU acceleration for the Nvidia Ion (vdpau) in XBMC the VOB files barely drop a frame and jitters are very scarce.

Just my experiences - any advice / guidance always gratefully received.

Stan

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"You talked about re-ripping your collection. Is that because of personal preference or because the player won't play iso's?"

Yeah, mainly. ...just feel like I gained something by using smaller files size ....but with the low cost of disk storage these days ..it's probably academic ;-). As the WD TV live does nothing with the DVD menu structure and the main reason to have DVD rips on WHS is quick, convenience to play movie, all the extras on the DVD are not that important ..atleast to me. ;-)

Also, on migrating from WHS mark 1 to WHS mark 2, I was a bit more careful in trying not to loose files ...so progressively moved drives out of pool, copied files across, dropped duplication and so on. To ensure I had atleast 2 copies of files at any given time in the process ..in case of me fudging something up ..big time! To gain space for this ..I removed my DVD folders and or ISO's ..I had a mix!
So was needing to rip again anyway.
.

"Does the WD Live work with IFO/VOB's in sub folders? (I ask because this is currently how I have my DVD Rips)."

Mr Bill.
WD Live TV works just fine with IFO/VOB ..it just sort of ignores the first lot and plays the first full title it finds. If you want another title on the disc, say one of the 'extra features' you just have to find the correct vob and press play ....tooo techie for the WAF.

yeah. I really liked XBMC ...like I said ..it just works ..like you expect it too. !!!
Off topic... there are many who have suggested to WD that it would be great if WD TV Live used XBMC interface ...alas apparrently this is not possible ..atleast in its current form because XBMC relies on video acceleration hardware that the WD boxes don't have.
...maybe WD TV Live mark 2 or 3 or 4 ...dreaming !! doh!

cheers,
Phil

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I use MyMovies and Slysoft AnyDVD HD to put the VOB files on my WHS. I then use SageTV to view them. I am able to watch the DVD's using either my desktop PC or my Sage HD200 Media Extender.

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cskenney,
That sounds like a good senario. MyMovies if you have all the options, AnyDVD, the best. PC or HD200 a quiet extender.

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manphil,
Yes, it would be excellent if someone could get XBMC onto a cheap quiet extender. I hacked my old xbox, made it half as thick, removed the CD drive replaced the hard drive with a laptop drive, XBMC, I have the component video output, problem is it doesn't support 1080 and I get a random reset once in a while.

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Mr Bill,
Just some thoughts. I built a home server for a friend of mine and he has been using it a WD Live. He used ISO for all Standard DVD and MKV for blu ray. The WD handled them just fine except for the limitation of the some chapter and menu support and a few other bugs. Sine then he has switched to the Popcorn A-110 and is enjoying it much better. As for me, like cskenney I use the straight DVD and BD folder structure to the WHS and everything shows fine in WMC as well as my popcorn units. I running two home servers and have no issues streaming multiple BD streams to different rooms in the house.

Stand HD,
Do your research carefully before buying either of the ones you mentioned if you plan on playing HD/BD content. They bothe handle the video OK (mostly without menu support) but you will not get lossless out of either. If you plan of play HD audio anytime soon, want full menu support in MKV, consider a popcorn or HTPC as you will be much happier. Don't get me wrong, they work but they are more limited.

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