Beginners Guide to Transferring DVD's and Blu Rays to hard Drive[s]]

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by John Dirk, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    After many years of using dual 300 disc carousels for my 500 plus DVD collection, I am ready to take the leap to a hard drive based solution. There are many reasons for this. While the carousels [Pioneer DVF-727's] are rock solid, they do not offer the features you get by simply plugging a DVD into the DVD drive of a HTPC. Features such as Internet based title cast and crew information, ability to watch in a window while doing other things and integration of practically everything I need [except Direct TV, sadly] onto a single input of my HT receiver make this an easy decision, even though the actual implementation is proving to be a challenge.


    I have no experience with this sort of thing so I am hoping to get a little guidance. My general questions are as follows.


    1) I use Arcsoft's TMT5 for DVD and BD playback. It works great with physical media. Will it do the same for burned media?


    2) What is the best method for burning DVD's to a hard drive and how is it done.


    3) What are the best options for data security? I've looked at the Drobo products but they seem overly expensive and I've read some bad reviews. Nonetheless, some sort of data security is a must.


    4) How much storage capacity do I need? I have about 500 DVD's and 50 BD's. I'll probably want to transfer only about 400 of the DVD's to hard drive since many are "features" discs etc. I will want enough storage capacity to guarantee total data integrity. In other words, I don't want to risk loosing my data, regardless of the cost.


    I guess this sums it up. Any help is greatly appreciated. My DVD's are all boxed up and I'm about to put the Pioneer carousels on the market. I figure I'll burn the DVD's to hard drive as I watch them going forward, so this will be a gradual transition.
     
  2. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    DVD discs are up to 9GB, so you can get at least 110 discs per terabyte. AnyDVD is a good piece of software for doing straight rips. I haven't ripped any of my BDs yet, but I hear the software works well for those as well. For storage, if you are going to get a NAS, get 2 of them, using one for backup. Stay away from Drobo. They don't work as well as advertised. Something from Synology or a Netgear ReadyNAS should work just fine. I went a different route, building a Linux server with a bunch of hard drives. It cost less than a NAS and is more bang for the buck, and allows you to do more with it. Backup is a duplicate system. I use a dedicated playback device called a Dune HD and use MyMovies to generate the front end library navigation for it (MyMovies also has a plugin for WMC that is very good, you might want to check it out).
     
  3. John Dirk

    John Dirk Second Unit

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    Nolesrule - Thanks for the great tips. I spent some time checking out both AnyDVD HD and My Movies today. Looks like AnyDVD is just a decrypter and a separate ripping solution is needed. So... I should be able to use AnyDVD for decryption and My Movies for both cataloging and ripping.

    Since Direct TV does not currently work with Windows media Center or natively play BD's, I have no real use for it at the moment. Will My Moovies work with standalone players such as Arcsoft's TMT5? I'll take a closer look at the NAS piece another day.


    Again - Thanks for your insight.
     

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