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DVDs - to compress or not to compress ?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by ants, Dec 30, 2003.

  1. ants

    ants
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    Having built a new HTPC, I thought it would be grand to move all my software onto hard disc.
    Whilst this seems to be OK for CDs (Media Jukebox , EAC and Monkey Audio) DVDs present a problem with their size ie at 5Gb a go disc space doesn't go far.
    I use DVD Shrink (is this the best option ?) but have refrained from using the compress function as I didn't want to lose any PQ ( outputting to plasma via DVI ). I guess I'm asking whether the compression is lossey (I assume its just a more agressive mpeg2 encoding) and if sodo I have anyother options than ordering another 3 200Gb disks !
     
  2. tonyb

    tonyb
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    Hi ants,

    I guess the only way you're going to find out is to give the compression a try, and see how it affects both the file size and picture quality.

    If the compression reduces file sizes significantly and picture quality is still acceptable then go with the compression, assuming you have the time to sit and wait for dvdshrink to compress the stream.

    If you're lazy (or have lots of spare cash) then i'd say go buy some more 200gb discs!

    I think it's fair to say that each person will have their own level of acceptance regarding picture quality, and there will be a point where you say 'this is ok', and 'this is utter crap'. What you think is ok may not be acceptable to someone else, it's all down to personal taste.

    If you decide to have aplay with the compression, I'd be interested to hear some reports of what you discover, and which settings you use, as I'm thinking about doing something similar.

    Tony
     
  3. ants

    ants
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    As always its a matter of spare time, this could be one of those problems that cash makes go away !

    I'll give it a go and let you know how I get on. DivX is another option as mpeg 4 is supposed to be alot better at retaining PQ but I think it takes an age to compress.

    I certainly recommend the media jukebox route , if anything else it makes your whole CD collection so much more accessable and using a semi-pro sound card you probably get better SQ than you do from a decent cd player.
     
  4. tonyb

    tonyb
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    ants,

    Good luck with the testing.... I'd completely forgotten about using divx. Guess you'd have to use dvdshrink to rip the video without compression then use something to re-encode the extracted stream to divx format - if only there were enough hours in the day!

    Agree with you on Media Jukebox - I'm in the process of transferring my cd collection to my pc. I'm using the lossless monkey's audio format, with each track resulting in a file of around 300mb. Much, much larger than mp3 I know, but i figure that if you have the diskspace then use it! With the pc hooked up to my Sony 930 receiver using spdif, results are very good indeed.

    Tony
     
  5. GrahamC

    GrahamC
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    Why don't you just have a kernal of films on the drive and re-rip If you want to watch one that's not on. This has got to be quicker that compressing all your films. DVD in and start rip, go make a brew or open a can watch film. Even a small 200gb HDD can hold a far few films. :D
     
  6. ants

    ants
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    You're right, I may well endup with something like a top 50 list or something.
    It would be cool if everything was online, but it maynot be achievable yet. Unfortunately part of the deal of having 'another of my boxes' in the living room was I got rid of aload of the clutter (dvds, cds, cd player etc.....:lesson: ) which I obviously said was entirely possible!
     
  7. Steve Bate

    Steve Bate
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    It is if you can live with a huge media server with all its fans running :D :clown:

    The alternative is a dedicated server in a cuboard somewhere and a barebones HCPC for playback in the living room.

    Steve
     
  8. Madders

    Madders
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    I now use dvdshrink to rip just the movie and soundtrack I want (so leaving out extras, subtitles, foreign language dolby digital etc), this means the film will usually be under 5gb - although I still have 2 x 300gb and 1 x 120gb hard disks on board to store them and my complete collection of cd's using lossless music WAV files.

    Steve
     
  9. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
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    I've found that on a 32" ws tv, it's very difficult to tell the difference between the full version or 40% reduced version of LOTR TT. So for a plasma, you could try that and see if there's a lot of difference. At 15%, I can't see any difference on a 7ft wide screen, so it may be a case of trial and error before you start getting artefacts showing up.

    I use DVDShrink in re-author mode like Madders for best picture quality and one audio track. Works very well too. :)

    Gary.
     
  10. NoDad

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    DVDShrink (latest V3 Beta 5) works very well and exhibits very little PQ degradation if you get the video up to 80% of the original.
    Also discard all soundtracks except say either dts or ac3. Some films have LPCM which can eat about 1.8GB of the disk!
    Get rid of extras, also convert titles to still pictures, this can save 300-500 MB dependent on film.
    If you want to save serious space use DivX. DVDX is an excellent program (freeware available from vcdhelp.com under software tools) which converts DVD directly to DivX in one go. It does take about 4 times the length of the film using a 2600+ but do it overnight. YOU MUST ENCODE WITH 2 PASSES TO ACHIEVE EXCELLENT QUALITY (once you've set this both passes happen automatically). One prob with DivX is that you have to settle for audio downmix to Dolby surround unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time extracting the AC3 and then seperately muxing it after.
    Anyway films at 1500kb/s video compare v. favourably with DVD and take up around a fifth of the space.
    For some things you can end up with a whole series of a sit com on one DVD with little or no difference to the original DVD.
     

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