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Blue|Fusion
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Joined: 30 May 2005
Posts: 441
Location: Cleveland, OH

PostPosted: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 18:51:07    Post Subject: Home Entertainment System Reply with quote View Single Post

Before you read, I apologize for the long-winded explanations and specs of this project of mine. I just like to be detailed Smile .

Ok, first of all, I'm wondering what some of your opinions are on a setup like this and putting a whole lot of money and time into it (build HTPC, and buy several 500GB drives). Second, I'm wondering if anyone knows of a program, or how to make a program compatable with KDE that I discuss later in this post.

So, the project starts out simple >>> Rip my entire DVD collection to a linux system on the 1000Mbps network in the basement. The DVDs are ripped in lossless quality ISOs - not modified in any way other than exactly what was on the original DVD. Obviously these files are 4+GB each, therefore multiple 500GB harddrives will be required in this system (we'll call it the DVD server, for simplicity). This DVD server is sharing the directory containing all of these ISOs over the network using the Samba daemon.

Next, we'll talk about the HTPC. The HTPC will also have Linux on it, along with the KDE GUI. The HTPC will be attached to the gigabit network like the rest of the PCs in the house. The HTPC will have a relatively simple program on it that initiates on KDE login. The program should fill the whole screen black or blue or whatever color works (not the important part), and in the center has a list of movies to select from. Along with the movies in the selection box, it shows eaach movies' runtime, MPAA rating, aspect ratio, and genre. It would show up something like this:
Code:
Title:               Rating:   Aspect Ratio:   Runtime:   Genre:
Eurotrip             R         Wide            90         Comedy
The Longest Yard     PG-13     Full            120        Comedy


For this program to get this information, a flatfile database can be used (or something more advanced like MySQL if need be). It would contain the info listed above, plus the ISO filename for each movie like so:
Code:
Eurotrip;R;w;90;comedy;eurotrip.iso
The Longest Yard;PG-13;f;120;comedy;the_longest_yard.iso


Using a remote or whatever you use with an HTPC (never used one) you scroll to the movie you want which is in alphabetical order (and maybe search by genre, rating, or aspect ratio?). Once you select the movie you want to watch, this program automagically edits the user copy of the Xine-ui configuration file, changing the device used to read DVDs from "/dev/dvd" (the DVD-ROM) to "/mnt/dvdserver/moviename.iso" (/mnt/dvdserver is the mountpoint for the DVD server on the HTPC (and other PCs)). Once this change is made (practically instantaneous), the program launches the Xine-ui media player and starts playing the DVD from the raw ISO over the network. After this, it's just like playing a regular DVD in a DVD-player.

Moving on, I'd like to make better use of that server with an entire collection of DVDs in the basement. I'd have a similar program to that of the HTPC, except it has no need to be fullscreen (the black/blue/whatever fill around it) and can use a mouse. But once a movie is selected to play, it will do the same thing - configure Xine-ui to play the proper ISO file, start up Xine-ui, and start playing. this slihtly modified version of the program would go on the rest of the Linux PCs in the house so we can watch these DVDs from our rooms - evan all at the same time (...if the bandwidth doesn't affect things).

Continuing to my PC's setup for this... I setup my TV on my nVidia's VIVO port and found a way to convert the digital audio port on the back of the PC to analog so this old TV can play it (of course why do that when the PC has a superior audio system?). Currently, I just have the wires running along the floor but if I really go ahead on this, I'll run them under the carpet so it looks a little neater in here (note "little"). I also had to go through some 5 different tutorials on Gentoo-Wiki and the Gentoo forums to find a way to get Xorg to display everything properly with each display (monitor and TV) seperate desktops. That way I can still be doing stuff on the PC while the output to the TV is in full screen.

So far I've tested the DVD rip to ISO thing and works without error using the Xine-ui media player with the proper DVD libraries. so far I have 9 DVDs ripped to my system and to watch them all I have to do is change that DVD device setting in the media player.

My main concerns for this project that I really hope to do is I don't know the bandwidth consumption that DVDs would be required to play over the network. the DVD ripping only averaged around 10MB/sec, and IIRC, 1000Mbps is > 10MB/sec, but not sure. Additionally, would that hold up with 2 or 3 client PCs accessing these DVDs simultaenously? And do you really think it's worth spending a few dinero to do something of this nature? I don't mind the time, really. But how much would it cost to make an HTPC capable of doing what's necessary? I always like learning how to do something and make stuff work. It'd really be a challenge teaching the family how to use it all if I did do it, hehe.
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Little Bruin
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Joined: 07 Apr 2003
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Location: Black Pearl
BeerCheeze
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PostPosted: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 19:31:15    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

Windows Media Center Edition 2005, and Windows Server.

DONE!

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Hellfire
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Joined: 05 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 19:37:32    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

Yea, agreed with EC....

Played with MCE to test the AverMedia card and now put MCE on my HTPC. Works nice, especially nice with the remote scheduling now.
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Blue|Fusion
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Joined: 30 May 2005
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PostPosted: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 20:35:52    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

Yeah, but Windows is too easy and I prefer the adaptability of Gentoo.

But out of curiosity, can you rip DVDs to to HDD with original quality with the Windows stuff and play it?
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Hellfire
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PostPosted: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 21:24:27    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

Yea, used to be one called DVD Decrypter. That would rip the DVD to your HD unencrypted.
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Doctor Feelgood
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Joined: 07 Apr 2003
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PostPosted: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 05:43:50    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

Can DVD Shrink be set to do them without loss?
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blfinche
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Joined: 18 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Tue, 18 Apr 2006 06:55:41    Post Subject: Reply with quote View Single Post

Big Bruin wrote:
Can DVD Shrink be set to do them without loss?


Yes, just select custom ratio in the combo box and adjust the slider to 100%.
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Little Bruin
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