Need a suitable Media Box for watching my ripped collection

Rob89

Active Member
I plan to rip my Blu-ray collection and store it on an external hard drive. I've been wracking my brains trying to find the best media box i could play it on to watch on my tv and (hopefully projector in future) I'll also be adding 4K movies to it to once i get the projector, and expand my hard drives too most likely. Is there a media box that plays the original MKV files as is without all these processing filters which i guess come with whatever app you play it on that affect the quality. I'd love to load them into something Plex-esque so it gives me a Jukebox video wall, rather than just files names on a drive. And a box that supports 3D and HDR too is a must and 4K.

On another site someone told me it will never look as good as playing the original disc on the Bluray player. Surely not?

And i'd give like to do the same with my tv shows on DVD, but these are interlaced so i'm not sure how well it would deinterlace and display the motion smoothy like it does on tv.

Reason i'm doing all this is convenience and decluttering, as i have 250 Blurays just lying on the shelf, so feel it's time to sell them on as technology has evolved.
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
My recommendations:

1. Vero 4K+ - You can't go wrong with this little box. It doesn't output Dolby Vision but does other formats including 3D.
2. Zidoo - If you want Dolby Vision output from your MKV files. Supports all formats.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Any modern Android box should work fine for you. If you want to preserve menus, navigation, etc then I would create an ISO of the blu-ray which means no information or quality will have been lost but you are looking at 60+ GB files. At which point you probably want to think about getting a NAS rather then trying to store 15TB (250 x 60GB) of files on USB drive.

There are a number of android apps that can playback Blu-ray ISO, you can look at something like DVD Fab.


If you are going down the MKV route then I would go with Kodi, it can download all the meta data (cover art, etc) and give you nice GUI to pick the movies.
 

Rob89

Active Member
Any modern Android box should work fine for you. If you want to preserve menus, navigation, etc then I would create an ISO of the blu-ray which means no information or quality will have been lost but you are looking at 60+ GB files. At which point you probably want to think about getting a NAS rather then trying to store 15TB (250 x 60GB) of files on USB drive.

There are a number of android apps that can playback Blu-ray ISO, you can look at something like DVD Fab.


If you are going down the MKV route then I would go with Kodi, it can download all the meta data (cover art, etc) and give you nice GUI to pick the movies.
I don't want the Bluray menus so ISO's wont be required. Just would like to click on the film and it plays straight away. Though it would be cool to rip some of the special features and documentaries, alternative cuts and perhaps commentaries on the discs and by clicking on the film it gives me a drop-down list to choose from, or a special features section if you hover over it, rather than all these menus that play clips from the film (which is annoying if you haven't watched it yet)

I'm guessing i could do the same for DVD files ripped with MakeMKV. Though if the motion is affected i guess i'll have to stick with the ISOs.

Yeah i do plan to get a NAS once i run out of space.

I hear good things about the 2019 Nvidia Shield Pro, seems to be the go to Android box.

My recommendations:

1. Vero 4K+ - You can't go wrong with this little box. It doesn't output Dolby Vision but does other formats including 3D.
2. Zidoo - If you want Dolby Vision output from your MKV files. Supports all formats.

Thanks. I came across the Zidoo and looked like it did everything i needed, but what put me off was the reviewer pointing out the picture/contrast is lighter compared to a Panasonic 4k Bluray player. Maybe he had different settings on both, like HDR10+ on one and Dolby Vision on the other?

Picture Quality.png
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
I don't want the Bluray menus so ISO's wont be required. Just would like to click on the film and it plays straight away. Though it would be cool to rip some of the special features and documentaries, alternative cuts and perhaps commentaries on the discs and by clicking on the film it gives me a drop-down list to choose from, or a special features section if you hover over it, rather than all these menus that play clips from the film (which is annoying if you haven't watched it yet)

I'm guessing i could do the same for DVD files ripped with MakeMKV. Though if the motion is affected i guess i'll have to stick with the ISOs.

Yeah i do plan to get a NAS once i run out of space.

I hear good things about the 2019 Nvidia Shield Pro, seems to be the go to Android box.



Thanks. I came across the Zidoo and looked like it did everything i needed, but what put me off was the reviewer pointing out the picture/contrast is lighter compared to a Panasonic 4k Bluray player. Maybe he had different settings on both, like HDR10+ on one and Dolby Vision on the other?

View attachment 1534390

There are some known black level issues with the Zidoo but not when you have the settings in Auto mode and TV led.

What TV do you have?

You won't wrong with either of these players. The Vero is the best out there for the money.

I got 1000+ full fat MkV rips from my 4K / 3D and BD collection and not once these players especially the Vero have let me down.
 
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oneman

Well-known Member
I don't want the Bluray menus so ISO's wont be required. Just would like to click on the film and it plays straight away. Though it would be cool to rip some of the special features and documentaries, alternative cuts and perhaps commentaries on the discs and by clicking on the film it gives me a drop-down list to choose from, or a special features section if you hover over it, rather than all these menus that play clips from the film (which is annoying if you haven't watched it yet)

I'm guessing i could do the same for DVD files ripped with MakeMKV. Though if the motion is affected i guess i'll have to stick with the ISOs.

Yeah i do plan to get a NAS once i run out of space.
From my understanding you won't get menu's without it being an ISO, MKV do not support them. MKV do support multiple sound tracks so if you want directors commentary for example that should be OK.
 

Rob89

Active Member
There are some known black level issues with the Zidoo but not when you have the settings in Auto mode and TV led.

What TV do you have?

You won't wrong with either of these players. The Vero is the best out there for the money.

I got 1000+ full fat MkV rips from my 4K / 3D and BD collection and not once these players especially the Vero have let me down.
It's a Panasonic VT65. Though the reviewer did mention he projected this on a JVC projector (ironically the exact model i plan to get eventually)

I'm leaning towards the Vero, looks like it has really good reviews. Are the black levels fine on it? Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are no use to me anyway as my tv is 1080p and no projector support those formats yet.
 

dion 6

Well-known Member
As lgans316 said if you just want to rip your files to MKV and have a nice video wall I'd also recommend a vero 4k+ I've been using the original Vero 4k for 3 years now with no problems kodi will sort all your files out and give you whatever configuration for your video wall you want
 

chopples

Distinguished Member
It's a Panasonic VT65. Though the reviewer did mention he projected this on a JVC projector (ironically the exact model i plan to get eventually)

I'm leaning towards the Vero, looks like it has really good reviews. Are the black levels fine on it? Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are no use to me anyway as my tv is 1080p and no projector support those formats yet.

Hi mate

If you are planning to run 4k movies through the VT at any point then it’s probably worth considering a player with a decent hdr to sdr tone mapping algo. The vero is an excellent little box and probably pound for pound the best value but this most definitely something it used to struggle with, it’s possible its been fixed but I would have thought this is an area which the zidoo would be stronger, perhaps @lgans316 could offer some insight?

Depending on the PJ you go for there may also be instances where running in SDR will be preferable to HDR

Obviously if the box will be used exclusively with 4k hdr capable devices it won’t be a concern but I thought it was worth a mention
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
I hav
It's a Panasonic VT65. Though the reviewer did mention he projected this on a JVC projector (ironically the exact model i plan to get eventually)

I'm leaning towards the Vero, looks like it has really good reviews. Are the black levels fine on it? Dolby Vision and HDR10+ are no use to me anyway as my tv is 1080p and no projector support those formats yet.

Vero should be fine for HD / SDR contents as well. I have several 3D mkv rips that I have watched via Vero4K+ - Epson 9400 Projector.

I think most Android boxes would suffice in your case if you are limited to HD/SDR.

Vero4K+ sells for about £70-£80 in our classifieds and about £100 delivered for a brand new unit.
 

Rob89

Active Member
I hav


Vero should be fine for HD / SDR contents as well. I have several 3D mkv rips that I have wa
Hi mate

If you are planning to run 4k movies through the VT at any point then it’s probably worth considering a player with a decent hdr to sdr tone mapping algo. The vero is an excellent little box and probably pound for pound the best value but this most definitely something it used to struggle with, it’s possible its been fixed but I would have thought this is an area which the zidoo would be stronger, perhaps @lgans316 could offer some insight?

Depending on the PJ you go for there may also be instances where running in SDR will be preferable to HDR

Obviously if the box will be used exclusively with 4k hdr capable devices it won’t be a concern but I thought it was worth a mention

I didn't intend to play 4K films on my VT, though remember playing a 4K copy of The Grinch i downloaded one Christmas and my PC fan went really loud lol. I hope to get the JVC NX7 at some point so then i'll have a HDR capable device (well HDR10) and something that can actually play native 4K.

I'll be playing a mixture of both HD and UHD but for now just 1080p rips, and save watching the 4K content until i've got the proper set up.

People over on reddit keep vouching for the Nvidia Shield Pro. Is it reliable? Especially when playing 4K, no bugs or crashes, black levels issues? And i'm intrigued by Plex that you can stream from your hdd on any device away from home. Though it's still not clear if Plex does anything to the picture quality, does it go through some sort of coding process. I imagine Kodi plays the files as is.

And is playing SDR content in HDR the equivalent of applying 3D to 2D content? Just a little gimmicky feature or does it genuinely make the picture look better?
 

chopples

Distinguished Member
I didn't intend to play 4K films on my VT, though remember playing a 4K copy of The Grinch i downloaded one Christmas and my PC fan went really loud lol. I hope to get the JVC NX7 at some point so then i'll have a HDR capable device (well HDR10) and something that can actually play native 4K.

I'll be playing a mixture of both HD and UHD but for now just 1080p rips, and save watching the 4K content until i've got the proper set up.

People over on reddit keep vouching for the Nvidia Shield Pro. Is it reliable? Especially when playing 4K, no bugs or crashes, black levels issues? And i'm intrigued by Plex that you can stream from your hdd on any device away from home. Though it's still not clear if Plex does anything to the picture quality, does it go through some sort of coding process. I imagine Kodi plays the files as is.

And is playing SDR content in HDR the equivalent of applying 3D to 2D content? Just a little gimmicky feature or does it genuinely make the picture look better?

Hi mate what I meant was hdr to sdr tonemapping, basically making those 4k uhd rips compatible with none hdr displays, but if you plan to only use it with HDR displays then it’s probably a none issue

I have the older shield box and yes it is reliable for bluray rips both 4k hdr10 and HD and as far as can tell there is no oddities with the image, DV is open to debate with apparent issues related to profile 7 fel files, my box doesn’t support DV anyway so I cannot confirm this, but I digress, as you do not require DV then this is a none issue.

Not sure if you are planning on 3D?i assume the JVC will support it either natively or with the emitter you can get, not checked.If you are then the shield will be a none starter as it cannot handle framepacked 3D Blu-ray files (mvc).

Plex works well and there is no processing/transcoding of the files if the device is capable and the bandwidth is there. This also goes for playback externally out of the home, although due to the typically high required upload speed and the depending external client download speed,transcoding (reducing the bitrate and or resolution),could be required. Plex can also tonemap back down to SDR which could save the hassle of holding multiple copies of a film if any of these displays are SDR. Kodi is also fine and will just playback With no transcoding.

hope this helps
 

Rob89

Active Member
Hi mate what I meant was hdr to sdr tonemapping, basically making those 4k uhd rips compatible with none hdr displays, but if you plan to only use it with HDR displays then it’s probably a none issue

I have the older shield box and yes it is reliable for bluray rips both 4k hdr10 and HD and as far as can tell there is no oddities with the image, DV is open to debate with apparent issues related to profile 7 fel files, my box doesn’t support DV anyway so I cannot confirm this, but I digress, as you do not require DV then this is a none issue.

Not sure if you are planning on 3D?i assume the JVC will support it either natively or with the emitter you can get, not checked.If you are then the shield will be a none starter as it cannot handle framepacked 3D Blu-ray files (mvc).

Plex works well and there is no processing/transcoding of the files if the device is capable and the bandwidth is there. This also goes for playback externally out of the home, although due to the typically high required upload speed and the depending external client download speed,transcoding (reducing the bitrate and or resolution),could be required. Plex can also tonemap back down to SDR which could save the hassle of holding multiple copies of a film if any of these displays are SDR. Kodi is also fine and will just playback With no transcoding.

hope this helps
Ah sorry got my wires crossed. That's pretty cool. I may use it for films i'm not too fussed about that have a 4K transfer available.

Oh no 3D? That's a bummer. Maybe the Vero 4K+ might be a better option after all. Saying that, could i connect the HDD to the USB port on my 3D Sony Blu-ray player and play the 3D MCV natively on the player itself?

Yeah the JVC requires the emitter.

Excellent! Even when it streams to other devices it's still an exact stream of the original, amazing. I just remembered our Toshiba in the living room is actually a 4K tv so could i play 4K on this with HDR natively by streaming the 4K files from my Plex server/HDD from my room?

Thanks for all your help :)
 

Rob89

Active Member
Now i have two options. I could either get a Seagate External HDD with 8TB for £117.. or a WD Elements HDD with 6TB for £119. Which should i choose?

Edit: Just went for the WD.
 
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lgans316

Distinguished Member
Now i have two options. I could either get a Seagate External HDD with 8TB for £117.. or a WD Elements HDD with 6TB for £119. Which should i choose?

Edit: Just went for the WD.

WD elements for me unless you get the Seagate for super cheap.
 

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