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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. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Rocket Science Department
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    Only if the player uses Darbee or some other kind of artificial video processing / enhancement.
     
  2. Message #282 of 338 Nov 5, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I suggest reading the wirecutter review on extenders. They discuss technical details:
    T

    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-extender/


    My airport express is wired. As far as I can tell it runs at 5Ghz. No apparent slow down. But it’s so I think I avoid the speed reduction endemic to older wireless only extenders.
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Dave, when I last looked at that page, I looked on my phone and didn’t realize there was more stuff!
     
  4. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey guys, on another topic, I was looking at the rips I tried on the Get Smart DVDs made with MakeMKV. Playing back with the Infuse app, it’s apparent that MakeMKV is doing a 1:1 copy. I notice when I ripped a few of the Get Smart DVD discs on handbrake as few years ago, I could see combing/ interlaced lines. Handbrake has the ability to decomp a rip. so I redid the rip with High Profile setting that includes decombing. But from what I can see, MakeMKV cannot filter that out. And I guess infuse can not filter it out either.

    Have you guys come across this? And have any solutions? I found in the MakeMKV forum a guy who does a MakeMKV rip. Then uses that file as source and rips it in handbrake using high profile. That’s essentially what I did in handbrake when I ripped the DVDs and use the decomb function. But he said he saves it in the MKV package and that was new to me. Was not sure what that means.
     
  5. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    On my version of Handbrake (PC), there's a tab to select "Container" under "Output Settings" on the main screen. The choices I see are for MP4 and MKV. Perhaps that's what he means?
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Peter! I’ll look for that.
     
  7. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    MKV “rips”, or extracts original data and removes encryption.

    Handbrake transcodes, throwing away data to convert to another, more compressed, version and/or container. In doing so it can apply various images and audio processing effects, such as decombing to eliminate 3:2 pull down artifacts.

    Ideally, you rip and store bit perfect and then have the player apply any video and audio processing you desire.

    That said, Apple TV can’t handle MPEG2 (DVD) natively so I transcode all such video after ripping. That’s a fine place to apply de combing if you want it.
     
  8. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I found that the Plex program couldn’t deinterlace but that Infuse did. Once I switched to Infuse for playback, no lines. Still the same DVD rip.
     
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  9. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    Information like that makes me one step closer to getting an Apple TV for streaming purposes. My goal is to have all my DVDs on a NAS since my shelf space is filled with Blu-rays and it's a pain to dig out a DVD to watch.
     
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  10. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Interesting Josh. I could see some jaggies and a few lines on the Get Smart rips.

    Hey Dave, thanks for the advise on doing the decombing. I was thinking of doing the same. Make the MKV files from the DVDs first. If I can live with it as is, I’ll let it go. If not, I’ll de comb the files later.
     
  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    That goal has been almost completely accomplished in my house now and it’s amazing. Especially for TV on DVD. No more fumbling through shelves, no more remembering which season or disc an episode is on, no more forced trailers and obnoxious menus. The ripping takes a little time and effort but I’m an archivist so it’s up my alley. Most shows are easily enough to look up in advance of ripping on the databases Plex pulls metadata from, so you can tell in advance how to name and number stuff as you rip.

    I was severely underwhelmed with the Plex app for AppleTV. No deinterlacing for DVD content, no lossless audio support for BD rips. I read about Infuse, it’s free to try, available as a one time $25 purchase for the latest version, or $10 a year to subscribe and always have the newest upgrade. Worked instantly with either no or very minimal setting adjustments. Done.

    I haven’t had a ripping boom like this since the first iPods came out and made music portable for me.

    It is the best thing I’ve ever done for my home entertainment setup.

    (Please feel free to PM me if there’s anything about this you want to know more about!)
     
  12. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey guys just wanted to post a few things about my experience with Plex and Infuse so far.

    I’m finding the Pioneer Blu ray drive is working fine so far, though there are times that the Mac still losses the drive and a shut down and restart will get it back, seems to be an issue with Pioneer and I seems to be able to deal with it.

    I did rip the entire first season of Get Smart. Upon watching on two different TV’s, I can see why Josh is saying the comb filter is working. I still see some jaggies on the edges of objects and people, but I looks like the comb filter is doing it’s best to keep up, but not quite getting it all. I can see shimmering when fine lines are onscreen.

    I can also say I am enjoying the ease at which I can pull up episodes of a TV show and easily binge! :) I had done this a little earlier with handbrake and my itunes library and using the Apple TV. But I’m liking that the files now are at full resolution!

    The next thing I wanted to try is how to get all the extras on a blu ray to also be included. It was easy enough to copy the entire contents of the movie blu ray. I did it for both Bullitt and Dr. No. My goal was to rip the entire James Bond series eventually so I started with Dr. No. ( I had not seen it in a while, and I took a quick look at the movie on Infuse for a few minutes and the work Lowry did on those early transfers, though I know they are over a decade old, sure looks great!) On my first attempt, all the extras and the trailer for Bullitt was copied and shows up in Plex in the server, as I named each asset as their actual title. But they are just spread out all over the movie library. I wanted to know if I could consolidate the assets into one place. For Bullitt and Dr. No. reading up on the articles in the Plex site, I found out the procedures to create a folder for the movie, folders for the extra assets like the supplements, behind the scenes, shorts and trailers. But no matter how I tried, they just don’t show up in the Plex server library. I checked all the settings too in the server. Then I realized that it’s only available when you upgrade to the paid Plex Pass. So this is something I’ll consider as I convert more movies and TV shows. I see there are people who lookout for the coupons to get the Plex Pass for life at $75.00. I’ll keep that in mind. Though I’m disappointed , I get it that this is a feature you only get if you have a paid version of Plex. The next question is I assume that these extra features of the Plex Pass are available while using the Infuse app player on your client devices, Apple TV, Roku, etc.

    By the way, about the MESH WiFi routers, a friend showed me his Google MESH set up at his house. He says it works great. And Dave, I went to the Wirecutter site and found reviews of the Eero Pro MESH. It’s a bit pricey, but it’s on my list now to consider. I guess you can’t change the laws of physics, as I wondered about how a more modern WiFi router can be better then my older Apple Airport Extreme in terms of how the 5ghz and 2.4 ghz frequencies has the ability to penetrate the walls and glass in my house. I’m going to read up on how the MESH works to understand it better, but if the 5ghz frequencies drop off in range so fast in my house with the AirPort Extreme, I wonder how the MESH units can talk to the other wireless units and also have the higher brand width then a single router can do. Anyway, I’ll be reading up more on it. Hopefully I can make a good choice.

    So far, this has been a pretty fun experience. I’m learning a lot still. Equipment investment so far hasn’t been too bad. Upgraded my Mac Pro with an internal blu ray drive and added an Apple TV4K so I have two ATV4 with the ability to add the Plex and Infuse app. Also added a hard drive, though I haven’t set it up yet and I’m thinking of getting another drive that’s smaller to install in the Mac Pro for the main library storage. The heavy monetary investment could be the MESH, unless I can get a second used AirPort Extreme and see if bridging could help with the bandwidth. Though I suspect that’s throwing good money at a bad solution just to see what would happen. The other investment is my time and effort to rip and do the file naming and create the folders needed.

    I’m already thinking now about other TV shows on DVD and Blu ray in my collection I can start adding to the library in addition to movies.
     
  13. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    You don’t need to pay for the Plex server for access to extras.

    I’ll say this first: extras are a pain in the butt, and that’s the one area where Infuse falls short - it’s not designed to recognize them. But the Plex app for AppleTV does recognize them, so I can switch back to that app when I want to view one.

    For movies, Plex likes when each movie is in its own directory within a larger movie folder. So, for Dr. No, that might look like this:
    Movies > Dr. No (1962) > Dr. No (1962).mkv

    On the Plex website somewhere is a list of tags that Plex accepts for bonus content. What you need to do is put the extras in the same folder as the movie and have them labeled in the way Plex likes. Their bonus tags always go at the end of the title, first with a dash without a space and then from one of Plex’s pre-chosen categories.

    So, your Dr. No folder might end up containing several assets and look something like this:
    Movies > Dr. No (1962) >
    Dr. No (1962).mkv
    Inside Dr. No-behindthescenes.mkv
    Theatrical Trailer-trailer.mkv

    And then in Plex, those bonus items items will appear within your Dr. No listing. They’ll be invisible to Infuse (because Infuse wasn’t designed to read them, a pretty dumb oversight) but visible to the Plex app on AppleTV. Not a perfect solution but one that generally works.
     
  14. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Josh- thanks! I don’t know why the Plex instructions say for extras, you need a Plex Pass!

    I thought I had my folder structure set up similar to how you show it. It took a few tries to tweak the extras and I finally got the them showing as trailers, behind the scenes and featurette and shorts. It’s working for the 3 films I have the extras set-up with now.

    I agree, Infuse should include this function! Thanks again!
     
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  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Short answer: a single router is relying on a powerful radio to send a strong enough signal to overcome transmission losses through walls and distance. A mesh is a relay system to send the signal around obstacles and reduce absolute distance from local radio to get better performance.

    If you’re asking how a new router could be better than a six year old router...uhmmm...technology? :) new routers have more powerful radios, more and better antennas. They use more advanced beam forming. That’s my guess.

    As the Wirecutter discusses, for many people just getting a new router will be sufficient. But for folks with big or odd home layouts, a mesh may do a better job.

    As we’ve noted, a $30 extender is the cheapest thing for you to try. But the layout of your home as described seems suitable for a mesh system over a single big router...if you’re wanting to buy a new hardware kit.

    As I commented recently to some neighbors: I haven’t seen Google mesh gear recommended as a top choice in about two years. It appears to have fallen behind its competition in performance and value. I’ve not read it’s bad, but that there are better choices in 2019. (And that’s not even considering the philosophical issue of whether you’d want to give the worlds data harvesting machine a direct tap to all your personal home internet data.)
     
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  16. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey guys, a bit of a change in topic and I might start a new thread as I’m having some fun with my Mac.

    as I’ve been ripping a few more episodes of TV shows and only a couple of movies, I’ve run out of drive space. And it’s a 2 TB start up drive. My iTunes music rips from CDs are taking some space and photos too. I do have an external 10gb WD Drive. I’m thinking of not shucking it yet. I’ll use it externally first. Instead just ordered an internal drive and bracket to install in the Mac Pro. Turns out that the new hard drives over 6TB have a new mounting screw configuration and the original Mac Pro drive sleds won’t be able to use two of its screw holes. So I called OWC and they sell a new drive sled with 6 screw holes that accommodate the new drives and old drives. This sled replicates the original Mac sleds. So I’m going to be installing a new drive just for the media files as soon as they arrive. Can’t wait! I like the idea of doing the drive internally too as it’s powered by the computer and should be faster with its direct connection internally.

    This Mac Pro is also a Mid 2012 5,1 model, the last of the towers. It has 12 cores and lots of ram. I got it used in 2015. I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and YouTube videos praising how powerful it still is and how really upgradable they are. I’d contemplated a new Mac Pro, but it’s expensive. And for my needs, it might be overkill. So I’m thinking of embarking on a little upgrade adventure beyond the blu ray drive.

    The original 2TB start up hard drive is still in the system and I’ve noticed the system getting a little sluggish on start-up. Maybe it was due to High Sierra. It had been my plan to replace the drive with an SSD. So I think it’s time. I’m looking at a 1 or 2TB SSD. The Mac is currently running High Sierra and I figure I’ll have to install Mojave in the SSD. My GPU card is a NVIDIA K5000 for Mac, so it’s got Metal and can run Mojave. I just realized that GPU card was the first upgrade I installed in it. Might be fun if I can get a second card running into there too.

    But now I’m a little worried Mojave and the Pioneer Blu ray drive might not get along. Hope the BD drive will still work with Mojave. So now I wanted to ask you guys, if you’ve upgraded the start up drive to SSD drives and what brand would you suggest and where to buy from? My experience ordering the hard drive and mounting bracket from OWC was very positive. And they sell their own line of SSD cards. They know Macs and cater to us Mac users. So I trust they know what they are doing. What I don’t know is if the SSD’s they sell are OK. I would assume a company like Samsung makes them and they rebrand them. But maybe they are no brand drives they use. So what do you guys suggest for where to buy an SSD drive and brands. I want to get a drive that’s reliable. Thanks!
     
  17. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Dave, I didn’t get around to thanking you for your reply about the MESH system. You’re right, I’m sure the technology updates are a big part of how they can improve coverage. I agree with you that I think the way my house is, the MESH would be the best bet. As I said, I think I’ll likely go that route. For now my AirPort is doing the job after I repositioned it. But it’s not 100 percent. So I can take some time to learn more about it. :)
     
  18. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I wouldn’t worry about the drive with a new OS. Mac OS doesn’t support Blu-ray natively at all, so my understanding is MakeMKV is doing all the work there. It should continue to do so under Mojave I would think.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    For comparison: My HTPC server is an i5 with Intel's integrated graphics processor (IGP) and 8GB RAM. That is to say, a server doesn't need much computational power, unless you expect to be doing substantial realtime transcoding. And the reason I got the i5 over the i3 was because I knew I'd do some transcoding or TV shows and movies and wanted the extra speed without spending up (or having the heat and noise) an i7.

    Your MacPro is likely overkill for a simple media server. But the best media server is for many people the one they already own. I built my specifically for this purpose having no older computer to re-purpose. :)
     
  20. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Josh. I was thinking since you recently got a new MacBook Pro, it would have at least High Sierra or Mojave installed when you got it. I plan to get the new SSD in the next few weeks if not sooner. Maybe there will be Black Friday deals? I’ll see for myself when I install the drive and try it then. :)

    Dave, for sure the Mac Pro is overkill as a Plex server! But you’re right, it’s what I have and for now it’s a good platform for me to try and get to know how to set up a Plex server and do what I can to get it to work the way I want it to work. This experiment has been interesting as I have come to the surprising realization that if I want to create a library of TV shows and films, drive space will be a serious need. I knew this goIng into it but I was so surprised when my Mac told me it was out of space. So the reality of it was very much a surprise when one is faced with it. So it’s got me thinking that any more drives I buy should be big ones and I can install them in the Mac Pro since it has 4 slots for drives. But the idea is I could remove those drives and use them in a NAS. If it makes sense, I can try to build a server with multiple drives in it, maybe a used Mac Pro that’s a lower performance model. Or a Mac mini with drives attached to it. Or buy a NAS. I’ll see how this goes. I’m looking forward to installing the new 12TB drive after it arrives next week.

    Doing some crude math, a 1080p blu ray Movie copied with MKV is about 30gb. So maybe 30 movies per one terabyte. Or about 100 hour long TV shows episodes from blu ray.

    About the Mac Pro I have now, what prompted my earlier post was that I sort of got excited by the idea of modifying it with upgrades to make it faster and more up to date. It’s still a machine for doing other things with. I hate Adobe’s subscription plan, so I’m trying to keep my copy of Creative Suite 6 working as I use Photoshop and Illustrator for my own projects and work. So this Mac can be a workhorse and when it makes sense, another device could become a Plex server. I was even thinking of starting another thread if I do more modifications to it.
     

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