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2016 HTPC for Catfisch Cinema

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by DaveF, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Transcoding a DVD at high settings will be indistinguishable from the original, and will take half the space. For example, when I download shows from my TiVo, they're MPEG 2 files, similar to a DVD. I transcode to H264 into an MKV container. This format plays natively on my AppleTV. And at good settings, I lose nothing visible while getting a video file same size or smaller.

    But, to rip ISO, I think you have to buy AnyDVD. For this to be free, MakeMKV is the way to go. Which has you either making a folder backup or extracting to MKV.

    For your immediate problem of freeing up space in your apartment without losing favorite movies, you can try ripping a DVD or two with MakeMKV and see how it goes. If it's an OK solution for you, then rip your favorite couple dozen DVDs, and put them in storage. That solves the next six months concern, without spending much money or trying to boil the ocean to solve all video needs for the next five years. :)
     
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  2. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I’m starting to think I may wait a while. I’ve been able to mostly accomplish this goal of freeing up space by condensing multiple titles into multi-disc cases.

    And looking over the material that I would want to digitize, it’s a lot of TV on DVD and other such things where lots of items per discs would probably make doing individual rips more time consuming than I’d like - the ISO rip with something that can play them back is more elegant.

    And I also know that at this specific moment in time, buying a PC to use as a media server is not gonna fly in my house. It’s probably the more logical solution but one that I’ll have to wait a few years for.

    So I think short term plan is to continue condensing multiple similar titles into smaller cases to maximize the space I have with the minimum amount of effort. And to put physical discs in storage if they came with digital copies that include everything I’d want from the disc. I have a feeling that a lot of my Blu-rays do have digital copies that are good enough.

    And the long term plan might be to build a media server taking a page from your “best practices” book.

    I think what I’m realizing after flirting with the idea is that no matter how I approach it, it’ll be a project, and I’ve got enough projects going on at the moment.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    That's reasonable. Ripping TV discs and converting to MKV can be tedious -- I've done a lot -- due to the need to identify episode numbers and titles.

    If you have a computer (mac or pc) with a dvd drive, you can download MakeMKV and try ripping for free. If you have a spare USB drive, you can try out your Oppo and PS4 as media players. And you can buy a 256GB thumb drive (that's 20-40 discs worth) for $40.

    This is not to convince you. But to say that if you're curious, you can try it out for no money, and even have a modest solution for minimal cost. You don't have to go all in on a media PC.

    Long run, streaming services looks like the solution.
     
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