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Media streaming - a little help please!

UE Jimbob

Active Member
Hi there,
I currently have a collection of around 100 blu rays and 300 DVDs, which I want to get set up on either a popcorn hour or dune. I am a bit of an amateur when it comes to media players, and am not sure where to start.
Question 1. I have a MacBook Pro retina and a separate Sony blu ray reader/writer drive, will I use this to rip all my blu rays/ DVDs to a separate SSD hard drive connected to the mac? What software will I need for the ripping? What format do I rip them in etc? How much of a procedure is this?
Question 2. Once I have these all ripped onto a SSD hard drive, do I then connect it up to the media player, and away I go?
Question 3. What would you all recommend, do I go for a popcorn a or c series, or opt for one of the Dune units, if so which one?

All help and advice great fully received! Cheers Jim
 

UE Jimbob

Active Member
Or will an Apple TV and separate external hard drive do the same sort of thing??
 

mentm

Well-known Member
I have been using DVDfab which is mac compatible, DVDfab makes the process easy, personally I have been converting to mkv which is widely supported and allows your to keep original audio and uncompressed video if required. I have been converting to Dolby digital and compressing the files to save space but this is a personal choice really.

Why are you using a solid state drive aren't they expensive and relatively small?
 

next010

Distinguished Member
1. Yes, use MakeMKV for lossless copies or DVDFab if you want to convert/compress. You do lose menus by going with this approach, for that you need to rip to ISO.

2. Yes though an SSD is a poor choice, the speed is wasted and capacity is what you want, get a big external USB HDD instead.

3. The PCH/Dune are a bit unnessecary, a WDTV Live would suffice and play the output from MakeMKV or DVDFab. The PCH/Dune can do full HD audio pass-through, the WDTV cant pass all HD audio to an amp only regular DD/DTS tracks. If you've no sound system then the WDTV Live is perfectly fine for the job.
 

UE Jimbob

Active Member
Cheers guys. I would prefer to keep the ability of having menus and definately do not want to compress on picture or audio as I have a reasonable sound system and a projector and want to use them to the best of its ability. So, in that case I guess I need to rip to ISO? What do I need to do for this and do I need to go down the PCH/Dune route for full HD audio?
Thanks again Jim
 

UE Jimbob

Active Member
Also, on balance I can go for USB HDD, just wasn't sure about the speed being a possible issue. My other reason was being a bit wary of a standard HDD breaking and me loosing everything
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Cheers guys. I would prefer to keep the ability of having menus and definately do not want to compress on picture or audio as I have a reasonable sound system and a projector and want to use them to the best of its ability. So, in that case I guess I need to rip to ISO? What do I need to do for this and do I need to go down the PCH/Dune route for full HD audio?
Thanks again Jim

The WDTV Live can do DVD menus but not BD menus.

The Dune Smart range can do DVD and BD menus along with full HD audio pass-through.

The PCH-A400 can do DVD menus but only does BD Lite menus, gives you basic title selection on the disc not full menus. Also has full HD audio pass-through.

BD menus have been complicated as back in 2012 the BD licensing group adopted a new form of DRM called Cinavia and made it mandatory for all future BD players, Cinavia is something you don't want on your media player so it was the kiss of death for BD menus on latest generation devices. Thats why only older players like the Dune Smart range still support BD menus as they got a license before the change.

There are workarounds Cinavia in the works but it will be some time until we see them.

For ISO on OSX, DVDFab probably does it. MakeMKV can sort of do it, well it backs up the raw disc so you get the BDMV folder and ISO is just an image of that folder.

Also, on balance I can go for USB HDD, just wasn't sure about the speed being a possible issue. My other reason was being a bit wary of a standard HDD breaking and me loosing everything

Speed isnt any issue even the slowest 5400rpm USB2 drive is fast enough. SSD breaking is far more dangerous than a HDD, when an SSD fails everything goes and it's gone forever in an instant, with a HDD you tend to get warning signs of failure.
 

mentm

Well-known Member
Got in before me, but you can still use dvdfab, and wdtv live doesn't do dts master audio or bd menus.
Copy Blu-ray to ISO file on Mac computer

Best method of back up is to have two drives one a copy of the other. I have a NAS with my media on and backup usb drives.
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Q1. This has been well covered by the others, and as I'm not a Mac user I'm not best placed to help with this question anyway.

Q2. You can either connect a USB HDD directly to the media player or stream the content from your Mac or a NAS to the player. The advantage of a NAS is that it can also be used to backup other devices on your home network.

Q3. The PCH A series as already mentioned wont display a BluRay disc menu, but the C series players will. With the exception of the TV models and the new Based 3D all Dune players have a full BluRay license so will access the disc menu if it is in the rip.
Howeverr none of these players are full 3D capable, they will however do half resolution SBS type 3D. If you want a full MVC 3D player then as mentioned Cinavia prevents them from having the full BluRay license so no disc menu access for BluRay rips. But if you can live with that then the options are the Dune Base 3D or TV303D, PCH A-400 or Mede8er MED600X3 or MED1000X3 - all available from: Media Streamers - Items - Custom built Home Theatre PCs from my-HTPC

Mark.
 

UE Jimbob

Active Member
Cheers everyone, so it looks like a copy of dvdfab and a c series PCH will probably be the best route for me to go down. I have had a look at the dvdfab website and there seem to be a range of options, what exactly do I need to get and where's best to get it from?
Then, c200 or c300??
Cheers Jim
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Is there a reason why you have dismissed the Dune players?
PCH are good but they have their pro's & con's over Dune. Dune are very good at streaming hight bitrate media without stuttering that some that have moved from a PCH have previously had issues with. Dune can also decode rather than just passthrough HD audio if you have an older AV system that can't do this itself. But PCH have the advantage of an RF remote, so no line of sight required to use it. They also have a built in cover art program, so no PC or Mac required to set it up.

DVDFab AFAIK can only be bought direct from their website. I don't use it but I think all you need is the BluRay Ripper to rip your discs to MKV etc. but maybe best if a user confirms this.

If buying a PCH then I would think the newer model would be the one to go for. I'm not aware of the older C-200 having any advantages over the newer C-300 other than perhaps the price, but as I don't use either maybe best for an owner to advise on this.

Mark.
 

mentm

Well-known Member
If you just want to convert to iso then bluray and DVD copy. If you want to convert to any over formats it's bluray and DVD ripper, I'm sure they did a 30 day trial so you can try the software first. Also you should be aware bd iso's can be 50gb and DVDs 9gb.
 
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UE Jimbob

Active Member
Resurrecting a bit of an old post here, but I am finally getting round to going down this route, better late than never!
I still have the same equipment as before, so will, I assume, need to downlaod a copy of DVD fab 9 blu ray copy for mac (silly question, but aswell as being able to rip blu ray to ISO I assume this software will also work on older DVD's?) to enable me to create the ISO image for all the movies.
Am I best then going for a popcorn C series, or Dune (which one?) and just linking them up to a big HDD with all the ISO's on?
Just to clarify I want to retain all the full menus and original audio format on the movies. It does not matter if the streamer is only IR remote as I can get round this with my Logitech harmony 1100 and RF extender, provided it is compatible.
Is there anything new onto the market, or anything else I should be aware of??
Thanks in advance!
Jim
 

UE Jimbob

Active Member
just to add, I am not bothered about 3D one bit, so it does not matter if they are not 3D compatible.
cheers
 

bruny

Active Member
"Just to clarify I want to retain all the full menus and original audio format on the movies"

if this is important to you then i would get one of the smart series Dune players. i have the Dune Smart h1 and am very happy with it. it will do all you need. only problem is that Dune as a company are not very good with support.
But as a media player they are hard to beat. only thing is Dune does not have a built in video wall. but there are secondary programs that can do this for you using a computer.
 
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UE Jimbob

Active Member
Cheers Bruny.
sorry if it sounds like a daft question, but what do you mean by 'does no have a built in video wall'. Also, do you know what it is that Popcorn does not do from what my original requirements are?

Cheers again Jim
 

bruny

Active Member
you said you wanted full bluray menus the popcorn hour only does bd lite menus for blurays i believe. as stated in post 7 above.

this is an example of the video wall which is built into the popcorn hour



you don't have this on a Dune you have to set one up yourself using a pc to scrape your movies.For a Dune you can run several different video wall programs on your PC/Mac such as Zappiti, Yadis, Dune Flash Interface, My Movies, DuneX etc that export the pictures to the Dune for you to navagate by. There's plenty videos on you tube of them all if you want to have a look.
i personally use dune flash interface. which i think is very good.
 
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