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Blu Ray drive for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Nelson Au, Aug 2, 2019.

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  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Dave! I’m going to have to get Plex going!

    I have 2 third generation Apple TV’s and one Apple TV 4th gen in the main home theater set-up. So that’s the only one that I can install Plex. So might have to upgrade to the newest Apple TV so I can use my older ATV4 in the kitchen area where it will he used for Plex too.
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Producer

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    Nelson, I have the Pio mentioned upthread and use it on my 2015 27" Retina iMac.

    I bought it specifically to rip audio hirez from BR discs, but use it to rip CD's and audio from DVD's as well. I have had it for a couple eyers and have no complaints.

    That said, I have never used it to actually play my media, but as a ripper it has been great.
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    That’s cool Brian. You must be referring to the external Blu Ray drive. Ripping blu Ray High Rez audio is something I’m interested in doing too. Up til now, I never thought I could do it. Something else I’ll have to learn more about. Thanks! :)
     
  4. Brian L

    Brian L Producer

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    Yes, external.
     
  5. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I recently came across this bad sector problem on a recent purchase, which my LG drives just bulldozed through.

    (I had to make a decision as to whether I wanted to drive 15 miles back to the store, to do an exhcange).


    My first check was to try a different dvd/bluray drive. It turns out my Samsung dvd drives could read this problematic disc without any issues. Also my Asus dvd drives could read this disc, albeit it slowed down at the problmatic areas.

    I had a hunch about the LG drives which I didn't think much of previously. I wanted to see whether this "bulldozing behavior" over bad sectors is dependent on the drive speed. So I deliberately slowed down the LG drive from 12x to 8x, and ripped the same disc again. It turns out at the slightly slower 8x speed, the LG drive didn't trigger the "bulldozer" algorithm at all. It just took a slightly longer 16 minutes to rip the entire disc. (Normally at 12x speed, it takes around 11 minutes to rip the entire disc).

    I ran hashes on these LG drive 8x speed iso rips and the culprit vob files, and compared them to the same corresponding rips from the Asus dvd drive. The hashes were a match, which means the "bulldozer" algorithm was not triggered at all at the slower 8x speed.

    I also checked this on a few other discs which exhibited this "bulldozing" behavior at the full 12x speed in the past. Forcing the LG dvd drive to a slower 10x or 8x speed, it turns out many of these discs also ripped without triggering the "bulldozer" behavior. (Though when the LG dvd drive was back running at the full 12x speed, it went back to "bulldozing" over the problematic sectors).
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Jr, that’s good data, thanks for sharing. If I run into trouble with a disc, I’ll see if i can slow down the rip.
     
  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Guys, life has been very busy recently and I haven’t been able to do any ripping. I did try a few nights ago and MakeMKV said I needed to buy the license in order to continue using the software. I guess the trial expired. But in an earlier experience, the software told me the trial was over and I could re-download it to continue using it. This time it did not say that. I can try to re-download MakeMKV and see what happens. Has this happened to you guys?

    I did check and MakeMKV is a one time $50 fee and it seems reasonable. I’Ve got a lot of stuff I could try to rip.

    Also just bought the new Apple TV4K last night and hopefully I can try out Plex finally. It’s been a slow process as life as I said is really busy.
     
  8. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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  9. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I ended up paying for it because it’s a useful product that I’m happy with, but Pete’s right - you can just get the new beta free of charge rather than pay for the license, which is what I think most people do. I don’t see anything wrong with either choice, particularly if you’re still experimenting and not living the full on ripping lifestyle.
     
  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Peter, Josh. I’ll try that beta license until November when it expires according to that link. Then i’ll Pay for it if I’m still into the ripping.

    That’s a true statement Josh, until I see how well Plex works. Up till now, I’ve Recently been having issues with iTunes. And putting a disc in the player is much easier when iTunes isn’t behaving. I’ve not made the jump to Mojave, or Catalina for that matter.
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Here’s how far I’ve come in just a short time. I just got the new Jetsons Blu-ray set. I ripped it and put it into Plex immediately and watched it from there. Put the disc in storage. Never once made it into my disc player to watch the old fashioned way.

    I don’t like the Plex app on the AppleTV. I use Plex to run the server, but I use an app called Infuse for playback - better experience across the board. The Plex app for Roku is fine but their APTV app isn’t all that good. It won’t play the lossless audio tracks (it downconverts to AAC) and it doesn’t do a great job of playing interlaced material sourced from DVD. But Infuse does those things beautifully.
     
  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Josh for the tip. You mentioned Infuse earlier, I’d forgotten about it as Plex was burned into my brain. OK, I can try to install Plex on the Mac that will be the server. Then Infuse on the ATV4 amd try it out. Looks like there is the free version of Infuse and there is the paid version, I’ll try the free version first.
     
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  13. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    AppleTV is a mediocre streaming box for HTPC. I bought an nVidia Shield for my main system for a client interface. It’s basically bulletproof and supports everything. Much, much better than AppleTV for HTPC use.
     
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  14. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I’ve heard it’s great and if I run into too many limitations I’ll look into one in the future. But so far, the third party Infuse app has made up for all of the native Plex app’s issues with AppleTV. But good to know in case there’s a problem down the road.

    Does the Shield play MVC-encoded full resolution 3D content?
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I don’t know. Emby doesn’t support that mode, so I had to use an external player (MPC-HC) that Emby calls for 3D files. That’s a PC thing. (In any case, as I’ve noted elsewhere, I’ve given up on 3D.)
     
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  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    3D is still important to me and as best I can tell from all the research I’ve done, the simplest thing for me at this point based on the equipment I already have is to just use the disc player on the 3D discs, which I’m fine with.

    But totally loving this as the solution for my 2D media. I’ve been enjoying so much more of my TV on disc collection this way because it’s no longer a production to watch an episode of a show and then switch to something else.

    A year ago, I’d end my night by watching an hour of something like Star Trek and then a half hour of something like MASH. That went something like this:
    1. Take disc off shelf and try to remember which disc/episode I left off at, or spend time trying to figure out which disc the random episode I’m thinking about is on.
    2. Place disc in player.
    3. Sit down.
    4. Wait through forced trailers and overly elaborate menus
    5. Enter settings menu before watching each and every episode to make sure it plays the original version and not the new effects version.
    6. At conclusion of episode, get up.
    7-11. Repeat steps 1-5 for each different disc or show desired.
    Total time of each cycle between episodes: 5-15 minutes depending on amount and degree of unstoppable programming.

    Now with Plex:

    1. Sit down.
    2. Use remote or iPhone to select what I want. Program already remembers last episode watched and preferred settings. Play.
    Total time of each cycle between episodes: 5-15 seconds.

    It really is a game changer for me.
     
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  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Searching says Shield doesn't play MVC 3D. But some other streaming devices might (like the Zidoo). You need to find server software that supports MVC 3D. Emby doesn't (or didn't last I looked). Don't know about Plex or Kodi.

    It's doable with a PC (don't know the software for a Mac). But that's more work and cost.
     
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  18. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey guys- I wanted to chime in as I had a few minutes to think about the Plex situation.

    Firstly, on the MakeMKV front, I tried to purchase the license and at first I was disappointed there didn’t seem to be a PayPal option, even though I see the icon on the page before you pay. When I did try to make the purchase, I got a window that was blank, except for words, please wait. That went on for quite some time. After about 15 minutes I gave up, I suspect their servers might be down. Or I got ripped off. Though suspect the former as Josh had success. I might try again today.

    Back on the Plex situation, I’ve been thinking about how to do it. Firstly I’ll try it via the Mac as the server. But Dave’s comments about using a NAS and speaking to a co-worker, I found out he built his own NAS. He admits he went overboard because he had a free i7 chip lying around and didn’t like how laggy some NAS servers can be. So he built his own. He said if I used a NAS, make sure it’s got a super fast processor. and don’t buy anything under $900 or else it’s not going to be up to the task. Then thinking about what Dave said, that he has a RAID, it occurred to me that is an option. And my co-worker’s NAS is set up with 4 drives as a RAID. He keeps everything in there, photos, documents, video and music files.

    in searching around, I found a PC magazine review of NAS’s on the market and the one from Synology appear to get high ratings, especially the models with the + designation. I’ll do some more research and thinking on this should I get the MakeMKV software going so I can keep ripping.
     
  19. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Guys-

    I had a few minutes tonight to do a trial of Plex. I set it up on my Mac Pro and for the trial, I added Plex to Apple TV. I’ll try infuse after I get the set-up working.

    The set up went well. I added movies, only 4 titles so far. That worked fine. But I had a ton of trouble with the TV shows. I only have Star Trek partially ripped. I gave each episode it’s proper title after they were ripped. Upon the first scan, it only brought in 3 episodes and the titles were wrong. I’ve ripped nearly the entire first season and only three came in, probably because the makemkv numbers were still in the titles too. Balance of Terror is actually Court Martial. Then I did a little reading on Plex and I have organized my folders as such: Documents/Videos/Blu ray rips/TV Shows/Star Trek/Season 01/

    then after more reading, I added season number and episodes number after the titles and used the production order as Memory Alpha lists. But that didn’t work as the numbers don’t match the title. The Man Trap is showing up as Where No Man Has Gone Before. Maybe because Plex thinks The Man Trap is s01e01 because it’s the first one aired. i only did a few episodes to test the numbers and titles. It’s a lot of work until I know the right process. So far it seems I need to number the episodes per season and air date order number. I had ripped 4 second season episodes and those did not show up in the scan. So for Amok Time, I added s02e01 and then Amok Time showed up with the correct titles. So it seems you need to add the season number and episode number per episode after the titles: Amok Time-s02e01. Is that what you did Josh? Not as elegant as iTunes.

    This is pretty neat so far. I can see that Plex is showing that the episode is being transcoded to play on the Apple TV. The Mac Pro is handling it well. Not stuttering.
     
  20. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Plex has a standard naming protocol and it pulls metadata from different databases. For TV shows, it’s the TV Movie Database, which lists the episodes of TOS in airdate order (like the Blu-rays). I always go there and look up a show and see how they have it listed before I name the files.

    For the folder structure, Plex likes you to keep Movies and TV shows separate.

    So for me, I have two folder structures.

    Let me give you the example of Star Trek III and The Man Trap as how my stuff is named and organized.

    Plex/Movies/Star Trek III The Search For Spock (1984)/Star Trek III The Search For Spock (1984).mkv

    Plex/TV Shows/Star Trek/Season 01/Star Trek - s01e01 - The Man Trap.mkv

    For TV shows in particular, Plex wants the episodes numbers to be “s01e01” format and wants a dash with a space on either side. It doesn’t care at all about episode titles, you can choose to call it “Star Trek - s01e01.mkv” and that would be enough. I keep the episode names for my own convenience but it’s not strictly necessary.

    Plex is transcoding because the AppleTV app has issues with native support of both VC1 video and TrueHD audio. Infuse doesn’t have those restrictions. When you use Infuse it’ll direct stream with no transcode, which will reduce the usage of your PC processing power in the chain to almost nothing. (Everything Infuse does comes automatically in the Plex app on all other non-Apple platforms.)
     
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