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Old Oct 8, 2011, 06:56 PM   #1
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mizzer
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Default How do YOU stream movies to your HD TV?

I'm considering several different setups.

Do any of you stream movies via an external HD connected to a router?
If so, what is your set up? I'm wondering what kind of box I should have at the other end: Roku 2, Western Digital, etc.

How do you prepare your DVD and Blu-Ray movie rips for streaming? Do you use media software, etc?

Thanks.
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Old Oct 8, 2011, 07:00 PM   #2
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connect computer to TV. Turn on TV. Turn on computer. Play video.

For blu ray I rip it with some free software and then convert it with handbrake. The file is stored on a NAS and streamed over Ethernet.

pretty easy to find a simple guide if you google around for converting blu ray with handbrake I think you will find something.
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Old Oct 8, 2011, 07:29 PM   #3
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I use a popcorn hour c-200 but Ive owned a lot of the other popular media players out there, wdtv gen 1, wdtv live, popcorn hour a200, xtreamer. If I were to buy one now id end up getting a Popcorn Hour A-200/A-210 or a Boxee.

it all comes down to how much more features you wan't, for example the popcorn hour c-200 can read the original bluray menus and not simple bd menu like some other media players.

Imo you should check this site out, it lists virtually every single media player out there and whats its capable of.

http://www.iboum.com/net-media-players.php

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Old Oct 8, 2011, 07:42 PM   #4
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Something I noticed with the Roku 2 and I might be wrong on this, I don't think it has DTS downmix, which means unless you have a dts capable receiver you're gonna downmix most of the bluray movies you backup through your computer otherwise you'll get no sound, unless of course you have a dts capable receiver then it shouldn't matter since you'll be using that instead.

EDIT:

From http://www.iboum.com/pr/roku2xd.php

Quote:
Tiny new version of the Roku streamer. Rubbish for playing multi-format video, but these boxes are not designed for that. What they are good at is providing streamed content from the internet including Netflix. This new version uses a new Broadcom chipset (performance unknown).
IMO, Boxee looks like the best bet for everything you want.

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Old Oct 12, 2011, 10:12 PM   #5
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We currently use a Netgear NAS device and it works wonderfully to native Samsung devices as well as the PS3.

As far as ripping goes, I have yet to find a good method to rip DVD and BluRay.

We've used DVD Fab before and iSkySoft iMedia Converter (now) but both leave much to be desired... it's still pretty much hit or miss on the rip side of things.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 09:25 AM   #6
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Use DVD Fab and then handbrake to make mkv files.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 11:51 AM   #7
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Mine aren't streamed, I just use a wdtv to access shared network files.
However, I'm setting up ps3media server is in the very near future and if it works just as well, will move the wdtv into the bedroom.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 12:59 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input guys.

I think I'm going to build my own NAS/micro-server. With it I can solve two issues with one box: whole house back-up and media server.

Any of you have experience using Windows Home Server? That's my likely OS of choice. If I could get the Netgear ReadyNAS software onto my own server I think I'd do it. It seems really simple to use and maintain. But I don't think that's an option.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 01:02 PM   #9
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I built a HTPC using an AMD fusion micro ITX setup for around $200. Added benefit of that is I don't have to worry about Cinavia screwing with my rips.

I stream my video off my Windows home server box using power-line Ethernet. Works pretty well so far.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 04:15 PM   #10
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Living Room - Use PS3 Media Server to stream from PC to xBox 360. Currently some functionality issues when playing certain formats (.mkv etc) - doesn't resume, and can't skip forward/backward. Works perfectly with avi (xvid) content.

Bedroom - Currently same as above, but to Patriot Box Office. Used to be able to use Win7 login creds at the box, giving full access to media, but that borked at some point and I haven't had the time/desire to remedy it since PMS still works pretty well.

Enjoy the above options since it means not having to build a dedicated HTPC - one less rig to keep updated / maintain, and keeps all my stuffs in one place for easy redundancy / backup.
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 04:54 PM   #11
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I use two methods in my house currently

HomeTheater - WDTV Live Plus. Love it, plays everything I throw at it. Access its content through simple network shares currently. I'd use a NAS, however....

Bedroom - TiVo Series 2. For streaming, kind of a pain in the ass. Mostly because it doesn't support anything natively, which mean all content has to be transcoded for it. Requiring me to run a pyTivo server just for it.

Hence I'm currently not using a NAS
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Old Oct 13, 2011, 05:53 PM   #12
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I used to use ps3mediaserver, but I recently got a laptop. So, now it's:
TV - HDMI cable - Laptop. I just have them on the same homegroup on my network, and use VLC media player. Jobs a goodun
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharkfood View Post
We currently use a Netgear NAS device and it works wonderfully to native Samsung devices as well as the PS3.

As far as ripping goes, I have yet to find a good method to rip DVD and BluRay.

We've used DVD Fab before and iSkySoft iMedia Converter (now) but both leave much to be desired... it's still pretty much hit or miss on the rip side of things.
For ripping DVDs DVD Shrink + DVD Decrypter does a great job for everything accept some Disney movies and are free.

I am happy with DVD Fab for ripping blu-rays to my NAS. We then add the folder to the Total Media Theater library. The free version of DVD Fab does this well.

If you want to make a single much smaller video file without special features but still has the HD audio Hand Brake works really well. HB is also free which is nice.
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 12:54 PM   #14
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What NAS' do you guys have?
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 05:27 PM   #15
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What NAS' do you guys have?
I have a Synology DS211j. It's good and easy to use but not the one I would recommend. Someone came out with a substantially faster NAS shortly after I got the Synology that was also a bit cheaper. I want to say it was Buffalo.
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 08:55 PM   #16
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Built an HTPC. I store all my music, movies and tv shows on it.
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 09:43 PM   #17
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Windows Home Server is the foundation for all my streaming. It runs multiple servers so that different devices can stream from it, primarily Twonky Server, Air Video iTunes and Winamp.

I use RipIt4Me for DVDs and MakeMKV for Blu-rays.
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 10:25 PM   #18
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HTIB receiver via cabled to my shared media devices. That or if the movie seems to struggle id just toss it on a usb. Such big sizes yet compact, not even noticeable.
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Old Oct 14, 2011, 11:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitocorleone View Post
Windows Home Server is the foundation for all my streaming. It runs multiple servers so that different devices can stream from it, primarily Twonky Server, Air Video iTunes and Winamp.

I use RipIt4Me for DVDs and MakeMKV for Blu-rays.
Does WHS use a browser-based GUI or does it need its own monitor, keyboard, etc?
Also, what's your build like? Anything you'd do differently if you were building it today?
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 10:43 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzer View Post
Does WHS use a browser-based GUI or does it need its own monitor, keyboard, etc?
Also, what's your build like? Anything you'd do differently if you were building it today?
It's actual cut down windows server os - 2003 for original whs (which I have) or 2008 for the latest version of whs. You can set up a remote connection to the server and/or use the client based and/or browser based UI. I think the more you know about windows and windows networking the better.

I have an older core2duo based server with 2 gb ram - it does have my old 15" LCD and a crappy keyboard and mouse hooked to it for when I need to log in (also easiest during install/setup). After setup I've rarely used the LCD keyboard and mouse. Whs - at least v1 - is primarily used for system backup, but since it's windows, you can make it do oh so much more.

I'd use a faster core2duo processor and 4gb ram now since I do live conversion on the server of all my movies encoded in mkv format. I'd probably use as small an ssd for the system drive too (small storage space not size). If I needed it and my home network could do anything with it I'd team two intel gigabit pci cards as well.

If you want utility and flexibility and can handle some complexity, whs is amazing. If you want something simpler, I'd go the NAS route with wdtv or boxee.
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 05:38 PM   #21
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Another consideration with Windows Home Server: You might not need to beef up the home server if you run a separate HTPC 24/7...the server can act as a file server to any of the other windows machines on your network, and a lot of the server apps that stream to, for example, an ipad can be run on the HTPC, if they support networked directories. In short, you can leverage the horsepower on a beefier home theater or office PC to convert/stream media stored on the server. This is what I do: My home server is a nothing socket 939 (I know, I should get something more power efficient), but I can stream 1080p files (down-res and bitrate) resident on the server no problem to my android tablet via my HTPC (a newer AMD).
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Old Oct 15, 2011, 11:31 PM   #22
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Thanks guys. Good stuff.

I'm sure I could set up and run an HTPC easier than a WHS but my primary need is a back-up plan for all my data (movies, pics, my wife's writing/research, etc.). Everything I know about PC's I learned by putting my hands to building and maintaining my own. Even though I have little knowledge about setting up and running a WHS I think I'm gonna try it. My brother-in-law sets up and manages networks for banks so I know he can help me. And I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 12:15 AM   #23
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I use handbrake to convert everything to mp4 and stream from pc to ps3
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 09:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzer View Post
Thanks guys. Good stuff.

I'm sure I could set up and run an HTPC easier than a WHS but my primary need is a back-up plan for all my data (movies, pics, my wife's writing/research, etc.). Everything I know about PC's I learned by putting my hands to building and maintaining my own. Even though I have little knowledge about setting up and running a WHS I think I'm gonna try it. My brother-in-law sets up and manages networks for banks so I know he can help me. And I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
My only other suggestion is this: Although WHS backs up all your PC's, and can be made to use redundant drives, the fact remains that this server will sit in the same house, on the same electrical system, as the rest of the PC's in your house. Backing up the backups, for things like keepsake photos and important long-term documents, to an off-site storage solution, is something I recommend. Maybe you can stomach if your movie collection is incinerated in a fire, zapped in an electrical storm, or soaked in a flood, but your family photos and such, imho, should be periodically copied off-site somewhere.
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 01:05 PM   #25
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So, my wife has a laptop with HDMI output on it. When I hook up the video to play on the TV though, it doesn't use the whole screen. I think it's taking the resolution of her screen only. Is there a way to change this so it plays the 1080p rip in actual full 1080p at the full resolution?
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Old Oct 16, 2011, 03:20 PM   #26
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Quote:
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So, my wife has a laptop with HDMI output on it. When I hook up the video to play on the TV though, it doesn't use the whole screen. I think it's taking the resolution of her screen only. Is there a way to change this so it plays the 1080p rip in actual full 1080p at the full resolution?
Set the resolution to 1920 X 1080, 60 Hz, and check the scaling options for any cropping or overscan adjustment that might be going on. if there's a setting for overscan, set it to 0%. Depending on the card and drivers/control panel you're running, there may be a separate section for tv resolutions.

I don't know why some graphics vendors have the default settings for overscan adjustment "on". Haven't the vast majority of us moved on from CRTs?
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Old Oct 17, 2011, 01:08 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mizzer View Post
Thanks guys. Good stuff.

I'm sure I could set up and run an HTPC easier than a WHS but my primary need is a back-up plan for all my data (movies, pics, my wife's writing/research, etc.). Everything I know about PC's I learned by putting my hands to building and maintaining my own. Even though I have little knowledge about setting up and running a WHS I think I'm gonna try it. My brother-in-law sets up and manages networks for banks so I know he can help me. And I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
If you are any kind of student you can get windows server 2008R2, 2008 and 2003 for free from Microsofts DreamSpark program https://www.dreamspark.com/default.aspx . They also have some other cool stuff, mostly targeted at developers though.

Quote:
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My only other suggestion is this: Although WHS backs up all your PC's, and can be made to use redundant drives, the fact remains that this server will sit in the same house, on the same electrical system, as the rest of the PC's in your house. Backing up the backups, for things like keepsake photos and important long-term documents, to an off-site storage solution, is something I recommend. Maybe you can stomach if your movie collection is incinerated in a fire, zapped in an electrical storm, or soaked in a flood, but your family photos and such, imho, should be periodically copied off-site somewhere.
Google accounts are really great for this and space is pretty cheap or free. Google's Picasa is especially nice for backing up photos.
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Old Oct 22, 2011, 02:02 PM   #28
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Just built and setup my HTPC with XBMC. Eventually I'll pick up a set top box (Logitec revue maybe) for streaming to the Bedroom.

With Couchpotato and Sickbeard, I'm contemplating getting rid of DirecTV(gotta get the woman on board). Only thing that would suck is missing out on live events.
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