Basic HTPC question

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Al.Anderson, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I finally put a small widescreen in my computer room. It's really there for console games, but since it's colocated with the PC I thought I'd start playing around in preparation for my next real HT upgrade.

    Since I've ignored the HDTV topic completely I have two rookie questions:

    - What format do most people use to store their DVDs on the PC? I'm assuming the big plus of the HTPC is having all your movies at the ready. I use DVDshrink to get movies to my PSP; but that leaves the DVD in a pretty raw form, so I was hoping for a complete packaged solution.

    I'm thinking it would be neat to have a list that I can just select from and hit play. So I guess part-b of this question is, is there a good organizer for PC movies?

    - My TV is at the opposite corner of the room as the PC. How far can I run a standard 12 pin PC monitor connection? (I want to keep this simple for now and just use the available connector on my monitor.)

    Okay, three questions: does anyone know of a good how-to on this topic?
     
  2. Greg*go

    Greg*go Supporting Actor

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    That's difficult to answer since it's illegal to do what you're asking since it involves copying encrypted material. You may want to reword your questioning to something unencrypted, like home video.

    I'm jus throwing this question out there for others who may know the answer. Would VHS-to-PC work with this as well? Since the majority of my VHS tapes are not encrypted, that would be legal to copy for personal use, correct?

    As for an organizer of your movie collection, I use DVD Profiler, which is included in my signature.


    Edit: advised where my DVD Profiler link is.
     
  3. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Hmmm. I'm not trying to do anything illegal, just want to play my owned DVDs loaded on my hard drive using a legally purchased program. Let's go with only loading unencrypted DVDs.

    And if no one is using HTPCs to do what I'm thinking of ... what is the purpose of a HTPC?

    I also use DVDProfiler and like it a lot. But I was refeing to a program that could list the saved movie files and play them without having to move to another progam - something like Windows Media Player for DVDs.
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    The problem is that what you want to do is in fact now illegal. I know and you know that it is a perfectly valid thing to want to do - take the content from the DVD you paid for and put it on a hard drive for easier access and playback. However, thanks to successful lobbying by the MPAA, RIAA etc it is illegal because to do that you'd have to bypass the copy protection on the disc. Those organisations have enough money to throw around to get pretty much any law passed, and of course they've taken full advantage of that (and keep doing so.)

    For me, a HTPC is to play back DVD's normally - the HTPC is a superb scaler/deinterlace in itself. You can insert a TV card (analog, digital or HD, or a combo) and use the HTPC to record video for later playback. You can play back music you have ripped from CD and stored on a hard drive (not illegal - yet - because you don't have to break any copyright protections on a normal CD, but give it time.) You can, obviously, surf the web etc on the big screen. You can play games.

    You can also figure out how to rip those DVD's, even though it is illegal, and then store the disc images on a hard drive somewhere and play them back.

    The easiest way to use a HTPC is to put some form of purpose-built shell over the basic OS. One way you could go, that I personally like and plan to use once I build my HTPC (any day now... as I've said for a while... [​IMG] ) is to install MediaPortal.
     
  5. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    Thanks Kimmo, that explains a lot. Just so I can say I tried it I think I'll play with MediaPortal since it's opensource; but for the most part I gues I'll put this mini-project on the back burner now that I understand the limitations. I just don't have enough time and energy to fight the system. Maybe back in the college days it would have been good sport ... !
     

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