Home Media Thing

Discussion in 'Technology' started by monsly, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. Excuse the odd title but I've been wondering something. We've probably got around 300 DVDs worth of stuff plus other downloads. Is there a good solution to storing all these on some sort of device that could be accessed by other devices on my home network? I'm guessing some sort of PC based solution might exist but what does it involve? What's the costs and difficulties? Cheers for any help, doods.
  2. What are you going to do with the DVD's? Would be a pain in the ass to convert them to mpeg4 eh? I was going to say to just build your own NAS but that would require you to convert those DVD's over to. Or I guess you could just rip the vobs to the HDD and play them back like that.. but that's not really space efficient for the quality.
  3. You can set up a cheapy pc with a giant harddrive and stream them after you've converted each and every one of your 300 DVDs.

    You ever used the media server funtion on your PS3? I have a folder for movies on my computer set to shar under Windows media player and I can access that wirelessly with my PS3.

    Of course, the PS3 is a little finicky with file formats, but since you'll be encoding every one of your dvds yourself, you should be able to keep them compatible

    If you do it this way, using a regular wifi enabled pc/laptop, costs would just be the time requires.

    You can also buy dedicated boxes, dunno how much they are.
  4. I put all my retail dvd's in boxes in my parents basement. I made a copy of each that I keep in a binder, everything I have fits in one binder. I'm guessing 300 DVD's will probably be 3 regular or 2 jumbo(ugly) binders.

    It makes it laziest solution to have quick and convenient access. Although, I can't be bothered to watch DVD quality nowadays anyway.
  5. You'll need:

    • Home computer with Core 2 Duo or faster (for 720p streaming)
    • 802.11n wireless router
    • iPhone 4S or iPad 2
    • Stream to Me app for iOS
    • Serve to Me app for Windows/Mac
    • HDMI adapter to connect iOS device to TV

    That set-up will allow you to stream 720p videos to your TV or iOS device at will from your home computer. The Stream to Me/Serve to Me combo supports a VERY wide variety of video formats (excluding native iTunes downloads). The HDMI adapter is only necessary for the TV use.

    StreamToMe has full support for PCM, MP3, AC3, AAC, WMA9, MPEG1, MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV9, DivX, VP6, VC-1, MJPEG, Theora, Vorbis and Xvid codecs.
  6. I'm a total dunce when it comes to networking... I don't even see why it's even useful, I'm only on one pc at a time.
  7. I know you already have a desktop and a PS3 so...

    -Buy a large hard drive for your desktop, something like 1.5 or 2TB for instance. It's a shitty time to buy hard drives because of the flooding in Thailand.
    -Use your PS3 as the front end
    -Get a gigabit switch with cat 6 cable to connect your desktop with the PS3
    -Either set windows media center to stream or use PS3 media server (http://www.ps3mediaserver.org/). PS3 media server eliminates the PS3's issues with certain codecs by transcoding, so that's what I recommend. But you will need at least a reasonably fast dual core to do the transcoding.
    -Rip your DVDs to your PC using something like AnyDVD or DVDFab. Convert them to mp4s if space is a concern.

    This is the setup I have and it works pretty well. The PS3 only has wireless G and has some strange issues streaming over wifi, so definitely go with gigabit ethernet.
  8. I totally understand that as networking is only useful under different circumstances for each user.

    In the case of media viewing, it's super useful. Say your main computer is in a small bedroom/office. You store all of your media on there as regular 3.5" HDD's have huge storage capacity and are cheap (or used to be before thailand disaster). 2.5" HDD's for laptops just recently hit 1TB max capacity and are a bit more expensive. You want to view your movies on the big screen tv in another room that has a home theater system. We'll use a laptop in this situation. Hook up your laptop to your home theater system via hdmi and stream your movies instantly through your home network wirelessly if you have a decent 802.11n router. No need to transfer the movie to your laptop or external drive.
  9. Do all PS3 models have a 1GbE NIC? I think monsly has both a fat and slim PS3 in his house.

    Also running CAT5e/CAT6 cables around your house simply for streaming video seems a pain in the arse. Yes you will get better performance but unless your doing a lot over your home network it is overkill once you start going into multiple rooms. If I was to do it I would use surface or flush mounted boxes and terminate the cables either end. I hate making up cable with RJ45 ends and half the time find I have missed one of the cables and have to start again. Terminating the ends also looks neater.

    I know monsly has a virgin media hub which is 1GbE so that end wont be a problem.
  10. I just use one of these things instead of a usb wireless networking adapter.


    That thing is a bit overkill for monsly's use though as it doubles up as a gigabit switch. I use it as a multipurpose device. But the main thing is that things like this exist. Just plop that thing into an ethernet port and you got yourself a super strong wireless adapter instead of some garbage wifi chip your device came with.
  11. Re: Re: Home Media Thing

    Shit you just reminded me that I have to get some access points for a house a chap I know is building. The place has been fully wired with Ethernet cables but that isn't handy for phones, tablets or laptops. Going to need 3 or 4 I reckon because it is massive. 7 bedrooms and got to be worth £2 million +. As well as Ethernet he has put in a HDMI network of sorts to stream video to TVs around the house.

    Went in this week as it is nearly finished and it is lovely, wish I had that kind of money. Going back Tuesday to set up the home office stuff, probably be depressed when I get home to my little 2 bed :-[

    Personally I am waiting for 802.11ac to start appearing before I make any changes at home. As I don't have a stand alone PC anymore not much point in me running cables just to use my PS3 online.

    Don't fancy being monsly converting 300 DVDs, that's almost a full time job.
  12. Cor, at 2 hours per encode*, that's 600 hours. If he manages to do 3 films a day, it'll take about 5 months!

    Of course, if he could do it non stop, 24 hours a day, he could get it done in less than a month.

    *Assuming monsly's pc isn't bleem, otherwise he could be looking up to 4+ hours per encode.
  13. Do your blu-rays sell with UltraViolet in the UK? The idea seems like a good step forward, but I haven't read up on any criticisms on it yet. If something like this existed during the DVD age, I don't think monsly would be in this situation.
  14. I guess an easy first step is converting some DVDs on my current PC and seeing how long it takes. I didn't realise it took quite as long as some of you have said.

    My current PC is low on HDD space but it got room for more drives so maybe that could work.

    What's a NAS though? I've heard those mentioned before. Any advantage over using my current PC? My machine is duo core thing - e9500 I think or some such. Got a Radeon 460 or some such graphics card. It was a good one about 3/4 years ago. Crazy how fast times fly nowadays.

    Cheers for all the help so far, much appreciated.
  15. Yep, all models have gigabit.

    Network attached storage. Basically it's a low power PC in a small box running a minimalist OS with a HDD. There's no advantage. Just use your existing PC. I'm pretty sure you have a Core 2 Duo and a Radeon 4850, which will be fine.
  16. If you do go ahead with it I would seriously suggest getting a pair of HDDs and set them up in a RAID 1 array. That way they mirror each other and if one fails you switch it and don't lose 100s of hours of work.

    HDDs are mechanical and do fail and that is a lot of time to invest without some redundancy.

    I wouldnt say a NAS box was s waste if time. Most NAS boxes come with RAID options out of the box so that may be a good option. Just set up your PC to map a network drive automatically and over a 1GbE network you should get very good performance. It will also cost you less to run 24/7 than your PC.
  17. When I saw the title I thought this was going to be a thread on the new Xbox.