The Home Cinema Topic - How To Rip Your DVDs page1

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BID0
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Location: Essex

PostThe Home Cinema Topic - How To Rip Your DVDs page1
by BID0 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:09 pm

The Home Cinema Topic


Table of Contents

POST #1
Introduction
Getting Started

POST #2
Hardware
- Storage Devices
- Playback Devices

POST #3
Software
- How to rip your Music
- How to rip your Movies and TV Episodes
- Recommended Folder Structure for Storage
---- Movies
---- TV Series
---- Music
- Online Databases
- Playback Software
---- Windows Media Center
---- Media Browser

POST #4
Useful Tips & Tricks


Introduction

Computers have a stigma for being tied to computer desks at work. Over the last 6 or so years they have moved away from that environment and into the living room.

A PC can offer an open environment for you to access your media. You don't have to worry about storing your media in certain formats for example, and you also do not have to worry about being tied to certain platforms in the future.

This topic will guide you through ripping your current disc based collection, how to store them in an easy to access manor and finally and probably most importantly, how to playback your collection in a beautifully presented setup.

For those with knowledge of PCs and Networks, you can probably skip to Post#3 and save being patronised ;)


Getting Started

You probably have everything required right now to get started. It just needs some tweaking on the playback side. That's right, this will likely cost you nothing to achieve! Just a tiny bit of time to get started.

The basic system requires somewhere to store your files (normally a Home Server or other Network Attached Storage device) and then lastly, somewhere to access them (PC, Laptop, Games Consoles, Mobile Phone etc).

For smaller libraries you could store and play your Films/TV/Music/Family Photos on a single device, and you probably already have done so in the past. As your media library grows you can add a larger storage device later, keeping your initial start cost down to the bare minimum.

Last edited by BID0 on Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Location: Essex

PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by BID0 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:09 pm

Hardware

Storage Devices

As has been mentioned, if you are dealing with a collection of media totalling up to 500GB then you likely store these files fine on your current Laptop drive etc. You can however expect your media collection to grow up to 2TB+ (that's 2000GB!) though, in which case you will likely be looking to purchase a Network Attached Storage (NAS) device, or a Home Server.

NAS devices not only let you store a large quantity of media in one place, but they also have the benefit of being accessable anywhere in your home. This opens up the possibility of different people watching different films/tv/music without disturbing what the other people are doing.

HP MediaSmart Server EX490

Image

The HP MediaSmart Server range unfortunately became discontinued at the end of 2010. They however can still be purchased from a few places that still carry stock.

Manufactured by Hewlett-Packard, it runs Microsoft's Windows Home Server operating system.

The unit comes with a 1TB hard drive, with an additional 3 hard drive bays available for expansion. It is also possible to expand this even further with USB drives as the unit comes with 4 USB 2.0 ports and 1 eSATA port. The server manages all of the connected drives using something called drive extender, this basically joins all of your storage space into a single visible drive! That means your movie folder storage is effectively limitless!

When adding drives, it is simply a case of buying a 3.5" Hard Drive (manufacturer and size does not matter) and slot it into a bay. You then use the console software on a PC or Laptop to add the drive to the pool of storage.

The server doesn't come with a video output, it connects to your home network via the Gigabit Ethernet port on the back using a network cable. You can leave the server in the loft, or a cupboard as it never needs to be physically accessed unless you are adding more hard drives to it. It runs fairly quitely to so you will never know it is there!

It is also possible (and optional) to set the server up too backup computers and laptops in the house as well as make sure all/some of your files on the server are backed up. If you chose to backup certain folders on your server (for example your photos folder) then the storage requirement effectively doubles. For example a 1MB picture now uses 2MB space, a 700MB film now uses 1.4GB etc

When running idle, the server draws around 50watts-100watts (depending on how many drives). That's the equivalent of a light bulb. If you don't want the server running continously, then there is a power button on the back which you can use to power the unit on and off when needed. You can also turn the server off remotely using a laptop or computer.


Drobo FS

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I wont get into too much detail here. The Drobo FS offers similar features to the MediaSmart server, but it actually has the benefit of still being in production. It's not quite as versatile as the MediaSmart server so the more experienced computer user may chose the HP solution over this one. It is fairly simple to operate for a novice and has backup running as default (this is a negative if you're not after the feature as you lose a fair amount of storage space)

Like the HP MediaSmart server, the Drobo offers 4 bays for Hard Drives. For some bizarre reason (cost) it doesn't come with a drive at all, so you will have to purchase one in addition to the main unit. The unit also has no USB ports for extra hard drives, so when you use all 4 bays you will need to take out the smaller drive and replace it with a larger one each time.

When adding drives, it is simply a case of buying a 3.5" Hard Drive (manufacturer and size does not matter) and slot it into a bay. The Drobo will take care of everything else! Like the HP MediaSmart server, all of the drives will be joined together so you only have to manage a 'single' drive.


NAS Devices

For a fairly easy and cheap network solution, a general Network Attached Storage (NAS) device will be sufficient.

TBC.



Playback

Your playback device is what you are using to watch/listen to your media. Computers/Laptops/Macs/Games Consoles/iPads/Mobiles will all work with this system.

Acer Aspire Revo R3700

Image

The Acer is around the size of a Nintendo Wii, comes in gloss black and runs silently (Not XBOX 360 silent, I mean actually silent!) It can be mounted on the back of a TV discreetly using the VESA bracket included. Alternatively it comes with a stand so it can sit seperately.

It uses an Nvidia ION 2 which is great for power consumption, cooling and size. It is capable of playing back HD content which makes this computer especially suitable as a Media Center PC.

  • HDMI and VGA out
  • Optical and 3.5mm Headphone Out
  • Wireless: 802.11 B/G/N and RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet


The Linux version can be purchased for around £200 usually. If you have a spare copy of Windows (Vista, or even better Windows 7), you can install this onto the computer and save yourself a £100 or so, instead of buying the unit pre installed. I had trouble installing 64bit versions of Windows, so stick to 32bit installs.

Last edited by BID0 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Location: Essex

PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by BID0 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:09 pm

Software

How to rip your Music
TBA

How to rip your Movies and TV Episodes

No doubt you have a lot of DVDs around the house. Wouldn't it be great to store these up in the loft and make space in your house for more important things? This section will guide you through backing up a DVD film or television show, in a format that should be accessible by the majority of your devices capable of playing back digitised media content.

There are many ways of doing this, some quicker than others and some costing money for the software required. I will explain how to achieve this using freeware.

At this point I am going to assume that you have a computer with a DVD drive available. If you have multiple laptops and computers capable of ripping DVD discs, I suggest using the one which has the best processor and one that you don't mind leaving on overnight while you sleep.

The following guide is for backing up your collection only. GRcade takes no responsibility for users copying their DVD collections and sharing them with friends, family and the internet.


Software Required:

Install the Codec Pack first. Once installed a few setup changes are required. Once these are done however you should no longer need to change them. You'll find the newly installed program on your Start Menu under 'All Programs' then 'Xvid'. You will see a few items here, you are only interested in 'Configure Encoder', left click to run it.

At this point, it's easier for me to just to show you my settings for you to copy. I will explain some of them as I go along though when required. Note: Ignore the target sizes, as these will change each time you do a DVD rip.

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'Profile @ Level' should be changed to 'MPEG4 SP @ L5' and then click 'MORE' to the right of it.

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Everything on this new window should match the above image. When it does, ignore the 'Level' tab and skip to the 'Aspect Ratio' tab.

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Ensure that you are set to Square (default) as above. Don't change this unless you really know what you are doing… there's no need. Click OK.

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Back on to the previous window (above), make sure the 'Encoding Type' is set to 'TWOPASS - 2ND PASS'

The encoder effectively does a dummy run first to see which areas of the video need the highest bitrate. For example, high action scenes like a fire in a building would require a much higher bitrate in your final video, to prevent the picture breaking up into blocks. A fairly static scene, like a talk show with a plain background, won't need as many screen updates so the bitrate can be minimised. By doing the 2-pass encode, you ensure the areas of the video that need a high bitrate get enough by taking bitrate away from 'quieter' scenes. Ignore the target size, it will be changed for each encode.

As before click the 'MORE' button next to it.

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On the 2nd pass config, there should be nothing to change, unless your settings differ from the ones above. Ignore the filename dialog, this will change after every encode. Click OK.

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Back to the main window again, click 'ZONE OPTIONS...'

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Make sure they match, then click OK.

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Back to the main window, click the 'MORE' button in the 'Quality Preset' section nearly at the bottom.

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Check that you match what is above, then click the 'Quantization' tab and confirm your settings are as below.

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If they are, Click OK to return to front page.

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Back on the main window, click the 'OTHER OPTIONS...' button which is the middle of the bottom 3 buttons.

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You'll see that I've disabled the option to 'DISPLAY ENCODING STATUS'. This is a personal preference as it just opens another window up that has no real benefit, other than getting in the way. If you want to see it, check the box, if not disable it like I have.

The decoder tab has no effect on the encode process, so skip to the 3rd tab 'COMMON' which should match as below...

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XviD is now configured and shouldn't need touching again. Click OK and then OK again to close the encoder configuration.

Next up install Gordian Knot and DVD Decrypter which you downloaded earlier.

Open up Gordian Knot. This is the main program that will help you to rip the DVD's and encode them into a playable format.

Click the 6th tab titled 'PROGRAM PATHS'.

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This is optional but I really recommend pointing Gordian Knot to where you installed DVD Decrypter. The default install location is C:\program files\dvd decrypter\dvd decrypter.exe

Now that's done click the 1st tab 'RIPPING'.

You have 3 coloured box logos here. Click the top one which is a gold disc under 'RIP THE VOBS'

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DVD Decrypter loads and shows the content of one of your DVD drives. You can rip the content from physical discs, or even from a disc image you may have that has been mounted using Daemon Tools or similar drive emulators. Ripping from a disc image can be a lot faster.

If you click the Mode menu, you will see 3 main modes, File, IFO or ISO.

'ISO' mode allows you to burn .ISO images you may have to disc. It's no use for ripping at all, but can be handy if you've downloaded an image and want to burn it to DVD.

'FILE' mode will show you the contents of the disc in native format. You can extract this by clicking the green arrow. This can be useful if you want to copy a large disc and then use DVD Shrink or some other tool to then shrink that down and burn it on a smaller 4.7GB blank DVD-R.

Lastly 'IFO' mode is the one that we really want. Click that and the drive will spin up and load your DVD in IFO mode.

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IFO mode uses the index that's supplied on the disc to display it in a similar way to how it would show on your DVD player. You'll see that you can select different chapters etc. On this disc, there is just the 1 film that is approximately 1 hour 45 minutes long. If you are trying to backup a DVD containing TV episodes it is likely that there will be 3 or 4 episodes on the disc, you need to rip each episode separately otherwise it will end up as one long continuous file.

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To backup a TV episode or Film separate from the other extras and episodes, click the one that you want so it highlights blue. See above. Then click the 'STREAM PROCESSING' tab.

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Here you can choose which streams you want to include. For example, you can exclude the subtitles and any foreign language audio tracks. In this example, I'm going to extract only the Video along with the best English audio stream available. This avoids the decryption process having to do too much, which is quicker in theory.

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To do this, tick the 'ENABLE STREAM PROCESSING' box, then keep only the bits you want ticked.

Choose a suitable destination (see above) I keep a folder on my desktop named 'R' for rips. In there I keep folders for each disc, named properly so I know where things are. This one will be in a folder called 'LETHAL WEAPON'

When you have selected the right bits and a destination folder, click the play button which is a Disc logo with a big green arrow and then a Hard Disc logo.

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Now you just have to wait for a few minutes while the VOB files are extracted. A new set of VOBs will be created in your target folder containing just the selected content. You'll see from the screenshot that it could be quicker, but DVD reading isn't that fast. Making an ISO first and then mounting that as a virtual drive can be a lot quicker.

When that has finished you can remove your DVD disc if you have finished with it and then go back to Gordian Knot.

Back on the 'RIPPING' tab where you have the 3 coloured box logos, this time click the bottom one which is a piece of coloured film under 'PREPARE THE VOBS'. Clicking the icon in this section will open a program called DGIndex.

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Do not be afraid. Simply click 'FILE' then 'OPEN'. Add each VOB file in the extracted folder you created earlier one at a time as shown below. Each VOB will have a number at the end (see below, make sure these are in the correct order otherwise the story in your film will be all over the place!

A TV episode will likely only produce a single VOB file so you only need to open that one file.

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When all of the VOBs for that Film or TV episode have been added, click OK.

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Now click 'FILE' then 'SAVE PROJECT AND DEMUX VIDEO'

By default it will save it in the folder with all of your VOB files. It's best to save it in the default location.

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The process will begin above. Then it's just a matter of waiting while the VOBs are joined. It will likely last between 3-7 minutes.

Now the VOB files that you ripped from your DVD disc are joined up, go back to Gordian Knot and click the 'OPEN' button on the bottom left corner. Point it to the d2v file you just created.

You should now see a preview window appear.

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From the view menu choose 'RESIZED' and, if it's a bit big on your screen, also choose the '1/2 SIZE' option. There's also an 'ALWAYS ON TOP' option which you may also find useful. These are down to personal taste and you will find that you have a personal preference once you have ripped a few DVDs.

Now with that preview window left open, switch back to Gordian Knot and click on the Bitrate tab along the top.

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Ensure 'AVI' is selected as the container and then click 'Calculate Average Bitrate' in the Mode selection. It's widely accepted that you use the AVI container format and XviD codec for Standard Definition content (DVD) and then the MKV container format with the x264 codec for High Definition content (BluRay, HD DVD)

Check all the other settings are correct and match the picture above. Audio Bitrate should be 128kBit/s. Audio1 should be 'VBR MP3' and Codec must be 'XVID'.

Once these changes have been made, then you shouldn't need to change them again. Two things that you will have to change are Container Format and Codec (if you are switching to from backing up DVD and BluRay for example) and File Size (will depend on the runtime of your film/episode)

In the example above you will see my video length is just over 60 minutes and the output filesize is 700MB. Generally I stick to the guide below, but you are free to make the files larger/smaller if you are not happy with the quality that you get from the following:
  • 0:30 - 350MB
  • 1:00 - 700MB
  • 1:30 - 900MB
  • 2:00 - 1200MB
  • 2:30 - 1500MB

Enter the value that you want into the 'TOTAL FILE SIZE' box on the right hand side.

Now that's done, let's move on to the Resolution tab.

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You will likely see that 'OTHER' has already been selected under 'Input Resolution'. This was set from your d2v file that you opened, so leave it as is; along with the 16:9 setting. These should never need to be changed.

For DVD I would normally use 640 x 352 or similar. This is much lower quality than the DVD itself, but helps keeps file sizes down. You are free to increase the resolution if you wish.

'W-Modul' and 'H-Modul' should always be set to 16 to ensure compatibility with playback devices.

Only after you've set the output resolution, move on to the cropping section. First click disable (if you've previously done a DVD rip then your last settings will be set still. If you're ripping a TV boxset however you may wish to skip this, as it should be the same settings required) then click the Pixel option. The 4 border boxs to the right should now be set to zero.

Remember that preview window we talked about at the beginning, when you loaded up your d2v file? You'll now need your preview window visible. 'ALWAYS ON TOP' may be sensible at this point if you're short on screen space.

You may see black lines around the sides of your image (you're looking at that preview window of your DVD rip). We need to get rid of these as they're not needed.

Firstly, whether there is any black or not, set the bottom crop setting to 4. If there is still any black at the bottom add some more but ensure at least 4 is set. This will remove some of the blurring that may occur at the bottom of your video file after encoding, it's simply chopped off.

Now add crop settings to each side as necessary to clean off all of the black borders. Scroll the slider along the timeline to see different parts of your DVD. Often the borders will vary in different parts of a film and especially in TV episodes.

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Shown above, my crop settings are now set to get rid of all the black. You will see, however, that there is an Aspect Error of -0.3%. Your Aspect Error should be 0.0% or, at most 0.1%. To get it right, you need to crop the sides to even out the cropping that you've already done. Sometimes you may need to add top/bottom crop to even out the sidecropping, it depends on the source material.

Essentially, add cropping on each side until the Aspect Error is minimal.

Now, skipping the Subtitles/Chapter tab (not required) go to the Options tab.

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Under 'XviD default codec settings', click 'FIRST PASS'.

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Your settings should be as above. 'Twopass – 1st pass' and all the other options as per the configuring section earlier on. Double check them to make sure. Click OK.

Do the same with the second pass options.

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This time you will see that the encoding type is 'Twopass – 2nd pass'. You must ensure all these settings are correct and the 1st and 2nd pass have the same settings. If they do not match then your 1st pass will not be optimising it and it may as well not happen. When confirmed click OK.

Almost finished! All options are now configured, so switch back to your video preview window. Double check that all of the black borders are gone and then click 'SAVE & ENCODE' which will be found on the bottom left of your preview window.

Another window pops up with more settings to change! Wahay! These settings do not save from one rip to the next, so you will have to change these on each job. Only two options should need changing though so it isn't a big deal, both 'SHARP BICUBIC' and 'KERNAL DEINTERLACE'.

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Check that everything matches up as the above image. Click the 'SAVE & ENCODE' button on this window.

You are now prompted to save another file, this time a .avs file. This will store all of the encoding settings required. Click 'SAVE'.

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Now you need to choose an audio file. You don't know it, but you did it earlier when using DGIndex to join and prepare the VOB files. It should be in the same folder as your .d2v file. Now you're beginning to realise why I keep them all in one place.

Click 'SELECT' for 'Audio Source File' and browse for the .mp3 file which has the same filename as your project. Click 'OPEN'.

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Make sure that the above matches what you have, the Audio Source File name obviously depends on what you are working on, so that will differ to the example above, as well as the top centre and right boxes with runtime information etc.

All good?.. Then click the 'XviD' tab.

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No need to check the XviD settings, you have checked the defaults, so just click 'ADD JOB TO ENCODING QUEUE'.

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Now you have got the project set up you can click either 'YES' to begin encoding, or 'NO' if you wish to set more projects up in a queue. For your first few DVD rips I recommend clicking 'YES', so do that now. I will explain about clicking 'NO' and setting up more rips at the end of the guide.

The different phases of encoding will now begin, starting with BESweet.exe which will sort out the audio for your final file. This is a short process and will likely last about 10-15 minutes. After that, the 1st pass XviD encode will kick in, then the 2nd pass; which will take a little longer than the first.

On a high spec machine, it should take about 1min to encode 1min of video, so expect at least an hour for a 60 minute video rip.

Once the encode is done, the video and audio files will be merged into your final AVI file. The output AVI file will be exactly the size you specified, or up to 1MB smaller.

Playback your output file and check for sync errors. Play sections of video about 2 minutes into the video, then somewhere in the middle, then a few mins from the end. If the audio syncs with the video then you are good.

You can now find your AVI file amongst the other files in the folder. Rename it the file following Recommended Folder Structure for Storage section just after this one. Remove your finished file from the ripping folder. This folder likely is between 10-12GB in size! If your video is okay then you can safely delete the unneeded files to free up space for more DVD ripping.

Now let's talk about queueing up jobs. Remember the prompt a short while ago asking if you wanted to begin encoding? I just talked about what happens if you click 'YES'. This time I will explain about the 'NO'.

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If you click 'NO', then you should get the above image. Do you see on the left side a box called 'Job'? and below that a tickbox titled 'Job1'? That's the project we have just set up, but haven't began encoding yet. To get through your piles of DVDs it's probably worth spending an hour or so in the evening, setting up some DVDs to encode overnight by doing what we did above, but clicking 'NO' to encode each time until you're ready. When you are ready to go, just click the 'START ENCODING' button and it will work through the list of jobs while you're sleeping.

Below is a table of what to expect a project to use in storage space (imagine you are going to sleep for 8 hours and all of the ripping and settings have been done)

8 hours encoding overnight:
  • 4 Films (or 16x 30 minute TV episodes) can be encoded in 8 hours
  • 40GB Hard Drive space required for all project files (VOBs, settings, finished AVI etc)

Preparation time (Rip DVD, Cropping etc) for encoding 8 hours overnight:
  • 20 minutes per film. 4 films = 1 hour 20 minutes
  • 7 minutes per 30 minute TV episode. 16 episodes = 1 hour 52 minutes

The most important thing is making sure you have enough hard drive space to save the encodes. You don't want to fill it up with VOB files etc and then not have space to save the finished AVI files.

And that's how to rip a DVD film or TV series that is playable on a wide variety of devices. Congratulations! Once you have done a few, you'll be able to rip a DVD without even looking at this guide. If you do get stuck or have any questions, then don't panic, just leave a reply to this topic and myself or someone else will be able to help you out.

Image Pack 3.2 http://www.mediafire.com/?hc1b5h9nhcbvb06


Recommended Folder Structure for Storage

The biggest benefit of getting your media in one place is the ability to quickly access it. Having everything in one place though requires you to keep things organised. Don't worry, it's quite straight forward!

Movies

Below is a recommended folder layout for movies:

Code: Select all

D:\Videos\Movies\The Shawshank Redemption (1994)\
            The Shawshank Redemption.avi
D:\Videos\Movies\Titanic (1997)\
            Titanic (Part 1).avi
            Titanic (Part 2).avi
D:\Videos\Movies\Avatar (2009)\
            Avatar [HD].mkv

The year between brackets in the folder name is optional but I strongly recommend it. It will allow proper conflict resolution in cases where there are two movies with same/similar names (especially in this age or remakes and reboots!).

Any text between [brackets] will be ignored, you can use this for comments, versions, etc.


TV Series

Below is a recommended folder layout for TV Series:

Code: Select all

D:\Videos\TV Shows\Friends\Season 01\
            S01E01 - Episode 1.avi
            S01E02 - Episode 2.avi
D:\Videos\TV Shows\Friends\Season 10\
            S10E01 - Episode 1.avi
            S10E02 - Episode 2.avi
D:\Videos\TV Shows\Game Of Thrones\Season 01\
            S01E01 - Winter Is Coming [HD].mkv
            S01E02 - The Kingsroad [HD].mkv

In the case of TV Shows, the files need to be grouped in season folders inside each show's main folder. I recommend that the seasons be called 'Season 01', 'Season 02', etc. Please note 'Series' is no good for what we want to do.

Each episode should have 'SxxExx' at the begining of the file name. S stands for Season and E for Episode. Anything else is optional after that.


Music

Your music will probably span the most folders than any other kind of media.

I recommend that you have letter folders 'A', 'B', 'C' etc and '#' for non-lettered Artists.

Each album/single should have the year it was originally released at the beginning, so when you view them they will be in release order.

Below is a recommended folder layout for Music:

Code: Select all

D:\Music\#\1 Giant Leap\
            2002 - 1 Giant Leap
D:\Music\B\Bob Marley & The Wailers\
            1984 - Legend
D:\Music\B\The Beatles\
            1965 - Help!
            1966 - Revolver
D:\Music\O\Oasis\
            1995 - Wonderwall (Single)
D:\Music\U\U2\
            1987 - The Joshua Tree
D:\Music\V\Various Artists\
            1983 - Now That's What I Call Music

To keep the folder path down to a minimum then each track should be named like this:

Code: Select all

D:\Music\B\The Beatles\1965 - Help!\      01 Help!.mp3
D:\Music\B\The Beatles\1965 - Help!\      02 The Night Before.mp3
D:\Music\B\The Beatles\1965 - Help!\      03 You've Got To Hide Your Love Away.mp3
D:\Music\B\The Beatles\1965 - Help!\      04 I Need You.mp3


Online Databases

You have probably used at least one of these kinds of websites before, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) is probably one of them. You may not know that these websites are very helpful when it comes to sorting and watching your media library!

If you've named and stored your movies and TV episodes in the format recommended earlier then your media computer will be able to access these websites and collect artwork, actors, genres, ratings and much more. Best of all you don't need to lift a finger!

The Movie Database - Link

Image

This is where your computer goes to collect movie information.
It's possible to create a free account here and add/edit anything you like. Some of the movies that you have in your library may require you to add them, if you want your computer to collect the information itself.

The TV Database - Link

Image

This is where your computer goes to collect TV information.
It's possible to create a free account here and add/edit anything you like. Some of the TV shows that you have in your library may require you to add them, if you want your computer to collect the information itself.


Playback Software

Your collection of movies, television and music have all been converted to a digital file format. They've been safely stored on network device and are now accessible by everyone in the home...

It is now time to set up your computer (or laptop) to browse through this massive collection of entertainment as easily as possible!

Media Browser - Link

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Media Browser is a free, fully customisable plugin for Windows Media Center (Windows Vista & Windows 7 supported only)

It will collect information about your video files (Movies and Television) from the websites listed earlier (The Movie Database and The TV Database) which means you can browse the media by coverart as you would on your DVD rack previously. You can view video content by Title, Genre, Year etc. You can also pull up information such as an overview of the movie/episode, actors, release year, genre, age rating, score.

It is possible from here (for example) to click on an actor's name or genre and then be shown all movies/television featuring that actor or genre in your collection!

You are able to customise the Media Browser application using a variety of extra plugins (some free, some paid for) such as more themes, added trailer support, advanced coverart options, videogame emulator support etc.


TBC

Last edited by BID0 on Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:19 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by BID0 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:10 pm

reserved part 4

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by JiggerJay » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:11 pm

Surely there should be a section for the other components like speakers? Players and TVs?

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Beans » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:14 pm

For a good home cinema, the most important aspects are the screen, the amplifier/receiver, and the speakers. You seem to have missed all of this.

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by BID0 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:14 pm

Yup I'll get to that :)

Next thing on the list is ripping movies as a few people are after that. I'll try to get that done tonight if I have time.

Last edited by BID0 on Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Tafdolphin » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:34 pm

So these NAS devices are sort of like localised Cloud storage right?

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Drumstick » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:36 pm

Yo BID0, could we get pictures of your various set ups?

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Drunken_Master » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:44 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:So these NAS devices are sort of like localised Cloud storage right?


It's just an enclosure with a hard-drive and a network card.

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Tafdolphin » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:46 pm

Drunken_Master wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:So these NAS devices are sort of like localised Cloud storage right?


It's just an enclosure with a hard-drive and a network card.


So, what's the advantage of having one over just buying another HDD for your PC (which is probably already connected to a home network? :?

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Drunken_Master » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:50 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Drunken_Master wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:So these NAS devices are sort of like localised Cloud storage right?


It's just an enclosure with a hard-drive and a network card.


So, what's the advantage of having one over just buying another HDD for your PC (which is probably already connected to a home network? :?



Apart from the fact you don't have to have your PC on 24/7?

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Tafdolphin » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:52 pm

Drunken_Master wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Drunken_Master wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:So these NAS devices are sort of like localised Cloud storage right?


It's just an enclosure with a hard-drive and a network card.


So, what's the advantage of having one over just buying another HDD for your PC (which is probably already connected to a home network? :?



Apart from the fact you don't have to have your PC on 24/7?


Hmm.

Ok, another question: if I wanted to stream content directly to my TV from my PC, what would I need (apart from cables etc)? I have tried doing this using my 360 but the file support is pretty bad (.mkvs don't work I don't think, and some .avis).

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Drunken_Master » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:56 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Drunken_Master wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Drunken_Master wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:So these NAS devices are sort of like localised Cloud storage right?


It's just an enclosure with a hard-drive and a network card.


So, what's the advantage of having one over just buying another HDD for your PC (which is probably already connected to a home network? :?



Apart from the fact you don't have to have your PC on 24/7?


Is that the only advantage then?


It's the biggest advantage, yes. Probably not the only advantage, it depends upon what you're using it for really. Although it does sound pretty cool when you tell people, 'all my media is stored on a 2TB NAS' or does it sound sad? Hmm.

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Drunken_Master » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:58 pm

Tafdolphin wrote:
Drunken_Master wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:
Drunken_Master wrote:
Tafdolphin wrote:So these NAS devices are sort of like localised Cloud storage right?


It's just an enclosure with a hard-drive and a network card.


So, what's the advantage of having one over just buying another HDD for your PC (which is probably already connected to a home network? :?



Apart from the fact you don't have to have your PC on 24/7?


Hmm.

Ok, another question: if I wanted to stream content directly to my TV from my PC, what would I need (apart from cables etc)? I have tried doing this using my 360 but the file support is pretty bad (.mkvs don't work I don't think, and some .avis).



A cheap media PC would be your best bet. If you've got a laptop, you could use this too. Hell, I still used an old modded Xbox 1, which is fine for SD stuff.

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Beans » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:01 pm

With all this flaffing around is the inconvenience of putting a disc into a DVD/Blu Ray player more inconvenient than doing all this, not to mention ripping the DVD collection?

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Drunken_Master » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:06 pm

Beans wrote:With all this flaffing around is the inconvenience of putting a disc into a DVD/Blu Ray player more inconvenient than doing all this, not to mention ripping the DVD collection?


:lol:

You're a bit of a dinosaur Beans. Basically, the advantage is you can have all of your media centralised. You never have to find a DVD/Blu ray again. Browsing is just a matter of flicking through a menu deciding upon what you want to watch.

I use Boxee. Which'll categorise all your media, download lots of little pics and stuff and make it look spiffy.

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by plain_dead_lazy » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:09 pm

Great idea for a new topic - don't want to steal your thunder, but thought I'd throw in my system:

Current System
I have a Boxee Box connected to the network to two Western Digital Network Hard Drives (1x1TB, 1x2TB) - previously it was the Playstation 3, but as I later found out that the PS3 doesn't support .srt subtitles, I stepped up and bought the Boxee Box that I had always wanted (after using it on my iMac and Macbook for a few months)

Storage
I am aware that a RAID setup will give me greater protection against losing my movies files - at this time, I have 337 movies (DVD quality) on my 1TB hard drive (430GB free approx). My 2TB hard drive currently has 44 TV shows with varying numbers of seasons and episodes i.e 24 Seasons 2-8, 24 episodes each, Supernatural Seasons 1-5, etc. That hard drive has nearly 1.2TB left over...

My reasons for using a Boxee Box:

1) It can look up IMdb and download the movie posters, synopsis and ratings, and is very visual, which is pretty useful for people who can't remember what kind of movie is "2:10 to Yuma" for example.
2) It can go online and search for subtitles for TV shows such as Game of Thrones, which is ace!
3) It's pretty user-friendly
4) It has access to iPlayer, which was recently updated this week - watched Poor Kids, and the picture quality was great, almost like watching on Freeview.
5) My house is exclusively Mac only, and I don't fancy having a Windows system, and the Boxee Box seemed like a great solution.

Cons of a Boxee Box:

1) Can't record TV shows, but I can use the PS3's PlayTV function for that.
2) Can't really filter age-appropriate films for the kids i.e. Astroboy is sitting next to Alien, and that'll give my 3 year old boy nightmares! Or not. This is a glaring omission, and my workround is to set up two user accounts, which scan only certain folders, which are "Movies" and "Kids Movies" for each appropriate user account.
3) It can't download shows like Game of Thrones every week - that would be great - maybe somebody has set this up?

Future Plans
A RAID system is essential - I shudder to think of all the hours I have put into ripping and converting the films from DVDs....

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Beans » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:11 pm

Drunken_Master wrote:You're a bit of a dinosaur Beans. Basically, the advantage is you can have all of your media centralised. You never have to find a DVD/Blu ray again. Browsing is just a matter of flicking through a menu deciding upon what you want to watch.


I'm aware of the benefits. It just sounds like so much work. I have about 300 DVD's and it just frightens me how long it would take me to rip them :oops:

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PostRe: The Home Cinema Topic - Under Construction
by Drunken_Master » Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:13 pm

plain_dead_lazy wrote:3) It can't download shows like Game of Thrones every week - that would be great - maybe somebody has set this up?



How do you download stuff? If you use torrents or newsgroups you could use couchpotato

http://couchpotatoapp.com/

This'll allow you to download stuff you want automatically, and then it'd just be a matter of Boxee scanning any new stuff.

http://sickbeard.com/

Actually, you want Sickbeard for TV and Couchpotato for movies.

Last edited by Drunken_Master on Tue Jun 14, 2011 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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