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Suggestions for a DVD Video on Demand System?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the serving-it-up-when-you-want-it dept.

Data Storage 651

An anonymous reader asks: "I was paid, with about 1000 DVD movies, by a video rental store that owed me money and then subsequently went out of business. I'd like to rip a couple hundred of them to a 1 TB disk array, and serve them up to my big screen, via a video on demand system. However, all the systems I can find for interfacing computer network to the plasma display only serve up the basic MPEG files, and not the entire ripped DVDs with their menus, etc. What systems would Slashdot readers suggest that could manage the ripped DVD files as a complete disk, and serve them up?"

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If he's got plasma... (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381754)

The more I think of this situation, the more I think that the solutions are worse than the problem at this point. If he's got a plasma screen, he's not going to want to give up any video quality, so recompression really isn't an option.

Maybe the best idea is to find him a high-quality DVD player and nice storage rack so that he can organize his 1000 DVD collection and show it off.

Oh, wait, this is /. We like doing things the hard way...

why recompress? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381811)

If he's got a plasma screen, he's not going to want to give up any video quality, so recompression really isn't an option.

Who says he has to recompress? Maybe there's a solution that will use the original .VOB files? If he's planning on using the original DVD navigation, I'd think they'd try to access those files anyway.

BTW-- damn, I wish I had 1000 DVDs. He should open up his own store, then "black out" certain ones while they are rented so he can't watch them at the same time.

HOW WE AV PROGRAMMERS HANDLE IT (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381841)

1 crestron MC2W-
1 crestron STX-1700
1 kaledascape video service
That would provide complete control over the complete collection(stored on a hard drive), the x1700 would display the collection, the control to the mc2w and kaliedascape would be through rs232

The Programming Lang would be simplwindows, VTPROE

Re:If he's got plasma... (5, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381927)

If he's got a plasma screen, he's not going to want to give up any video quality, so recompression really isn't an option.

Maybe the best idea is to find him a high-quality DVD player and nice storage rack so that he can organize his 1000 DVD collection and show it off

It's digital data, the whole point is you can copy it losslessly! I realize DRM is supposed to wreck everything, but that's what we have tools like mencoder for, to break down the barriers.

As for doing things the hard way, I suggest he set up an automated system that rips when you pop in a disk. Then, instead of ripping all 1000 dvds, just rip a show when you want to watch it. This way, you invest no more effort than it would take to place the dvd into a player to watch it on the first viewing, and subsequently it's already on line for you.

Speaking of which, I'm still waiting for a car CD player which will automatically archive all the CD's I play through it. Is there such a thing?

Re:If he's got plasma... (5, Funny)

proub (26701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8382000)

Maybe the best idea is to find him a high-quality DVD player and nice storage rack so that he can organize his 1000 DVD collection and show it off.

Step 2: Acquire and train a monkey. This step may take some time.

You now have a voice-activated, on-demand DVD swapper.

Suggestion: omit Planet of the Apes from the collection.

yeah, right (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381763)

I was paid, with about 1000 DVD movies, by a video rental store that owed me money and then subsequently went out of business.

A likely story.

MythTV (4, Informative)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381766)

I would start with MythTV [mythtv.org] . They have a section on working with DVDs [mythtv.org] for their PVR software.

Re:MythTV (5, Funny)

Captain_Loser (601474) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381873)

I just got mythtv working for myself, I only have 3 or 4 dvds, but this is a slick program that I stongly recommend. And hey, it has a web browser, pvr capabilities, music/media player, dvdplayer, and will tell you the weather. That way you can trick people into actually thinking that you went outside, becuase once you have this set up with many many dvds, you won't ever see the sun again.

Re:MythTV (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381910)

How about Videolan? Rip a disc image of each DVD, and mount them each on a loop device. That should work fairly painlessly.

1000 DVDs? (5, Funny)

ack154 (591432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381768)

I need to start applying to crappy video stores that look like they're going to go out of business (but have a well stocked selection... :)

Think scalability (0, Funny)

ShockerFan (741511) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381769)

Human slavery is where it's at.

Re:Human Slavery... (1)

ErnstKompressor (193799) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381984)

"Human slavery is where it's at."

Just imagine a Beowolf cluster of those...

Xbox Linux (3, Informative)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381771)

I do exactly what you're talking about with an Xbox running Linux. It's cheap, fairly quiet, and the output quality is actually quite decent.

And as a plus, it also runs MAME and Unixware.

Re:Xbox Linux (0, Offtopic)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381818)

Hey, Darl... mind releasing the source for that project under the GPL? :)

Re:Xbox Linux (-1, Offtopic)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381839)

...with an Xbox running Linux.

Wait, isn't that in violation of SCO's IP, Mr. McBride?

So, caught red-handed in the pump-and-dump, eh? Ha!

Re:Xbox Linux (1)

rholliday (754515) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381887)

I'm sure Microsoft wouldn't be pleased with the arrangement, either. There's a chance they could be distracted from your illegality, though. Perhaps if there was a coordinated DoS attack on both their s ... oh. Yeah.

Legality? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381775)

Wouldn't you have to circumvent CSS encryption and violate the DMCA to do this?

Re:Legality? (5, Funny)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381812)

Wouldn't you have to care?

Hollywood is never gonna help this... (1, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381777)

However, all the systems I can find for interfacing computer network to the plasma display only serve up the basic MPEG files, and not the entire ripped DVDs with their menus, etc.

I don't think any off the shelf product is ever going to recognize the possiblity that there's a full menus-including DVD on an HD somewhere, because that means you ripped it and you know how Hollywood doesn't appove of that... therefore, this project will always be stuck in homebrew land.

The DMCA stands in the way between yet another great idea and consumers...

Re:Hollywood is never gonna help this... (2, Informative)

rmaniac (229757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381826)

Is the apple DVD player considered "off the shelf?"

Already exists...and is on the way with "On Demand (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381842)

Cable companies will be deploying this feature soon :) that have "On Demand" and I believe SeaChange software.

Re:Hollywood is never gonna help this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381891)

I use PowerDVD to play movies i riped to my hard drive. Also works across a 100mb lan.

Re:Hollywood is never gonna help this... (5, Informative)

jettoblack (683831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381914)

Who modded this insightful?

Almost every DVD playback software can play DVD disc layouts from a folder (I know PowerDVD and WinDVD can both do it, to name a few off-the-shelf products, as well as Xine and Ogle), complete with all menus and original features. How do you think people who author DVD content test their menus, etc. before committing to disc?

Of course if the disc was encrypted, you need DeCSS to get the disc contents onto your HD, and that's legally iffy right now (fair use says yes if you own the original disc, DMCA says no). But there's absolutely no problem supporting menus, multiple audio tracks, subtitles, multi-angle, etc etc. from content in a HD folder...

What about (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381778)

What about building a robotic, 1000 disc changer? Like a jukebox sort of setup only for DVD's?

Re:What about (1)

mix_master_mike (540678) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381794)

Sounds hot.. But difficult.

Re:What about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381996)

A robot? That might cost big bucks.

Why not rip them down to cd-rom sized copies
(using, for example, dvd2svcd), and then
mounting each image through a loopback. That
way, the OS thinks there's a cdrom drive, but
instead it's just a vnode backed by the iso
image.

This is much easier than a robot. It could be
done in about 20 minutes, plus the days it would
take to rip the dvds down to svcd. (Just set
them up in cron job, and let them work.)

Total cost: about 1TB of disks, or about $2000
US with redundancy and backup, raid, etc.

suggestion (2, Redundant)

jsk2001 (746830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381797)

Buy a cheap computer with a TV Output and rip the DVD's to dual 250GB hard drives

RTFS (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381840)

Maybe you ought to do yourself a nice thing and start reading the story. That's what he says did, in the story. His question is: What's next? Which software to use once he has a TB of DVDs ripped and a TV-Out ready?

I'm afraid I can't legally help you with this (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381800)

"Ripping" these DVD's is a violation of the DMCA and could result in criminal charges. You'll simply need to build a 1000 disc DVD changer as that appears to be your only legal choice.

Re:I'm afraid I can't legally help you with this (0)

motiv8x (658048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381963)

even if it's only for personal use? seems to me like ripping a dvd is no different than dubbing a cassette. as long as you don't sell it or distribute it, but hey maybe the law has changed.

Alternate Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381802)

Sell all of the discs that you don't want/like on ebay, that should be able to get you enough to buy a decent dvd jukebox.

get an xbox and chip it (1, Redundant)

js62 (609777) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381819)

mod an xbox, you can map the external drives to the xbox and stream the full dvd stream to your tv set.

Linksys DVD Player or HTPC seems perfect for this. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381820)

http://www.linksys.com/press/press.asp?prid=142&cy ear=2004

Rip to your hearts' content and play away, either that or get a HTPC that's networked to your 1TB array.

disc changers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381821)

dont rip em, put em in a disc changer,.. something like sonys 400 disc dvd changer... http://www.downtownaudio.com/sodv400didvd.html im sure theres some out there that can hold even more

Lawsuit... (1)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381823)

...manage the ripped DVD files as a complete disk...

Oh boy..
BTW, MPAA [mpaa.org] might know how to manage ripped DVDs :)

Software (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381824)

http://www.xlobby.com/ Also be sure and check out the AVS Fourms HTPC section. http://www.avsforum.com Tons of stuff in there about the hardware and software.

Alcohol 120% or others (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381827)

Use a disc imaging software such as Alcohol 120% to create direct DVD images. Then mount the disc's in a virtual drive, and hit play. At ~9 gigs a disc, you'll need 9 TB's.

Re:Alcohol 120% or others (2, Informative)

rholliday (754515) | more than 10 years ago | (#8382005)

Odds are you could use DVD Shrink [dvdshrink.org] to cut that size in half, or more, since you could removed the Russian subtitles and other stuff you probably don't need ... :)

the Kaleidescap System (5, Informative)

segfaultcoredump (226031) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381829)

Check out www.kaleidescape.com [kaleidescape.com]

The disadvantage is that it is a) not cheap (starting at $27k) and b) not f/oss.

but then again, it is exactly what you are looking for

wow thats exactly what you need (1)

emkman (467368) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381955)

supports up to 3.6 TB and you can cluster it. If you wanna hack up a system yourself that supports full DVDs then just make ISOs and use a virtual drive. Only problem is each ISO will be between 4 and 9 gigs. At most you are going to be able to fit 100-120 movies in a 1 TB array. Perhaps you can have the images compressed in RAR files and decompress and mount the one you want on the fly. If your server has lots of power and memory this could be done with a "load time" of only a minute or two, before the disc is mounted and ready to go.

Re:wow thats exactly what you need (1)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381976)

RAR won't compress DVD images because they are already compressed.

Re:the Kaleidescap System (1)

yooHoo202 (157142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381982)

How can they make this legally? Don't they have to decrypt the DVD to store it digitally; violating the DMCA? They're based in Canada so that could be the solution (kind of like buying hi-flow toilets and shower heads in Canada for use in an American house)

I wonder if it's region locked, though. If not, it would be a lot easier to expand the collection.

Disc Changers (2, Insightful)

vwjeff (709903) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381832)

You can link multiple DVD disc changers together. It might not be the most romantic idea but it will be reliable. I think Sony makes a few models with this capability.

One terabyte won't do it. . . (0, Informative)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381833)

If you want to keep the movies in tact with menus and mpeg2 format, you're gonna need more than 1 gig per disc. You're looking at 2-4 gigs per dvd. With 1000 dvds, one terabyte won't even get you halfway there. . .

Re:One terabyte won't do it. . . (4, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381857)

RTFA... uh, wait, there isn't even an article to skip here. ...I'd like to rip a couple hundred of them to a 1 TB disk array...

Re:One terabyte won't do it. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381866)

True one terabyte won't fit all 1000 DVDs, but he said he only wanted to do a couple hundred. So if it will get him almost halfway there...

Re:One terabyte won't do it. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381989)

He's right. The best way to do this is to use DVD Shrink and Nero. First use DVD Shrink to copy the DVD to your hard drive. Then use Nero to make an ISO. Store all of your ISOs on the (at least) 4.7 Tera-Byte hard drives. Then mount the image when needed, with nero image drive.

Here you have no quality loss, but you can always check out the XviD codec.

A messy but theoretically possible solution (1)

Fallout2man (689436) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381836)

The only way you'd be able to serve all that content would be to get a video card with TV output, and a soundcard that could do some sort of component audio output to your sound system, rip everything to your PC, then get some remote control setup (like with WinDVD Platinum) to control the computer, which in turn outputs audio and video to your home theater system.

It's a messy solution, however the best you're probably likely to get in a long time.

This looks close (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381837)

Just a Google search for "DVD Jukebox", but here you go [i4u.com] .

Re:This looks close (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381853)

vaporware

Re:This looks close (1)

Kris_J (10111) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381990)

vaporware
From I4U? That's unpossible!

I would suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381843)

DVD Backup, a program for Mac OS X.
Then just do playback with the Apple DVD player.
Won't this do exactly what you require?

read avsforum.com (4, Informative)

robocord (15497) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381845)

Read the HTPC topic on the AVS Forum [avsforum.com] . You can learn all about this topic, in exhaustive detail.

Flash forward 10 years... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381849)

The mPod(TM)...

1000 Movies in Your Pocket..

Ooo.. and the domain is available!

Re:Flash forward 10 years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381959)

But the i in iPod doesn't stand for music.

You might try Farstone's Virtual DVD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381854)

I haven't tried it, but it looks like an off-the-shelf product that does what you want for $35.00.

How good are you with programming? (4, Informative)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381855)

First, I would recommend transcoding the DVDs to XviD or DivX with a high bitrate (2Mb/s). You won't notice the quality loss and you'll save a whole lot of disk space. This route also gives you a lot more options, as you can use software like Winamp or BSPlayer to play the videos.

Second, are you any good with programming? What I've done is rig up a simple fullscreen frontend with Java. When you select a movie, the player starts fullscreen. I've got a simple IRman interface, a remote control, and Girder [girder.nl] to translate keypresses on the remote into keystrokes that the Java app recognizes. Works great, and it's customizable to my preferences. I can understand if you don't have the time or skill to write a frontend, and I'm sure other posters will point out pre-made frontends.

The best part about Girder: you can translate keys like FF, REW, STOP, etc. into commands the player understands.

Re:How good are you with programming? (2, Informative)

CodeSniper (744502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381932)

It would take weeks to transcode that many dvds

Jukebox (1)

Yonkeltron (720465) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381856)

If you put the DVD's on a rotisimat, and you hack a jukebox to automagically select and handle the discs then all you'd need would be a sourceforge project to make a piece of software that would make your whole rotisimat-jukebox setup obsolete!

Store the ISO's and then mount them (2, Interesting)

ptelligence (685287) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381860)

There's a program (somebody help me with the name) that will let you mount an ISO in a *nix system and manipulate it as if it were a CD/DVD in the drive. You should be able to write an easy script to rip the DVD using the dd command. Then you'll have your entire DVD library intact. You could even use the ISOs to make more DVDs if you were so inclined ;)

Good luck!

Re:Store the ISO's and then mount them (1)

wastingtape (576230) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381952)

Was "Daemon Tools" what you had in mind?

You'll never watch all that!! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381862)

1000 movies averaging 90 minutes = about 62.5 back-to-back days. That's not counting extras and audio commentary versions which could easily take another two months. Add in rip-time and you're going to lose six months of your life over this thing.

I guaran-damn-tee you that after The Good, The Bad and The Ugly you'll never see anything better anyway. Watch that one and save yourself some time.

Are you sure these copies are legal? (1, Interesting)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381865)

Video rental copies are licensed for rental. I wonder what the legality of them giving them to you is.

I don't know, I'm just posing quiestions which I refuse to try to answer.

How about them yankees?

Re:Are you sure these copies are legal? (2, Informative)

TCaM (308943) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381919)

Most of the rental stores I have seen end up selling off the older rental dvds. The local blockbuster has several racks of 'pre-viewed' ones for sale.

I would assume that if there was an issue here that blockbuster would be a big enough target that the MPAA would have stopped it long ago.

Re:Are you sure these copies are legal? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381967)

The store used its "right of first sale" to assign ownership of the DVDs to him. I assume the rental rights came along with the ride, so he could open his own store if he was so insane to do so.

ISO's! (1)

towzzer (733077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381867)

Rip all the dvd's to iso on the server
have video out and audio out (to plasma and sound system) and control computer via wireless mouse and or keyboard. Really not that complicated just use software player (windvd,linux) and any old operating system and daemontools which allows you to mount the dvd's as drives. OR you can rip to folders and use dvd software that plays movies in folders (powerdvd does it)

ISO + Daemon Tools (4, Informative)

Professor_Quail (610443) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381869)

In a similar sort of situation, I ripped all my DVD's to a HD, then converted them into ISO files; I then mounted these with Daemon Tools [daemon-tools.cc] . The result is that the OS doesn't know the difference from there being an actual DVD in your drive.

Of course, this assumes you're using Windows...but maybe a similar approach could be used on other operating systems.

Re:ISO + Daemon Tools (1)

AnyoneEB (574727) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381945)

On Linux you can mount .iso files using the iso9660 filesystem with the mount command. I'm not sure how Linux reconizes that a directory is a disk, but I assume you could just point the DVD player program to the right directory.

A true slashdotter would say.... (0, Offtopic)

jigyasubalak (308473) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381879)

a "Beowulf Cluster" without batting an eyelid.

Virtual drives, I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381882)

I think you'd just have 1000 iso's and a virtual drive/mount point for them. You'd probably want software to give you a menu and a script to mount the proper dvd image. Should this problem be so unusual or difficult that some software doesn't exist? It doesn't seem as if it would have to be terribly complicated.

Kaleidescape (1)

Stogeboda (756274) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381893)

You could try this: www.kaleidescape.com It's pricey though. It holds up to 3.6 TB though

alcohol software (1)

CodeSniper (744502) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381894)

check out alcohol %52, it lets you play cd and dvd images off your hard drive like you were playing the actual disc Alcohol %52 [alcohol-software.com]

Simple Solution to Simple Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381895)

Not that hard. Build an HTPC with Xlobby [xlobby.com] .
It even has built in client/server support.
See screen shots here [xlobby.com]

Is there anything that can Image a DVD yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381896)

I know there's a player that will open .iso image vcd files from the HDD. If you could use something like CloneDVD to make an image of the entire disk, you'd be able to use the player to read the image like a disk.

Use the filesystem, luke (1)

Jon Langridge (705050) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381900)

A lot of people seem to have missed the all important requirement that he can still use the DVD menus. I'm guessing the solution will have to involve ripping the complete DVD image (not transcoding) and mounting the images as filesystems on demand.

image (1)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381902)

Just rip them as images and mount the image as a virtual drive. Then any traditional DVD playback software should do the trick.

DVD Decrypter + DaemonTools (1)

ddegentesh (714769) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381903)

Check doom9.net [doom9.net] for details on this approach... use DVDDecrypter [dvddecrypter.com] to rip the DVDs as an ISO image, then use Daemon Tools [daemon-tools.cc] to mount the ISO in a virtual DVD drive. Works perfectly.

Re:DVD Decrypter + DaemonTools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381936)

Agreed, DVD Decrypter as the ripper and (in my case) WinDVD as the player make a killer combo. Results are indistinguishable from playing the original DVD.

Virtual DVD Rom drive (1)

J-B0nd (682712) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381907)

I recommend ripping all the DVD's to your hard drive, then mounting whatever movie you want with a virtual DVDRom like this one: Daemon Tools [daemon-tools.cc] You get to keep all your menus, extras, etc with no loss of video quality. Play them with PowerDVD or WinDVD and use a TV out from the computer to your plasma screen.

Try a virtual dvd-rom drive (1)

interspectrum_2000 (195271) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381909)

Under windows there are several virtual cd/dvd-rom software vendors. VirtualDrive Pro by Farstone works well. I am sure you have something simular under Linux. The only problem is that it does not compress so you will need between 4.7-9.4 gigs (9.4 for a dual layer, right?) per movie. 1 TB would be enough for over 100 movies. This way you get the full dvd experiance since it is just like popping in the disc. All extras and features.

HTPC (1)

Mike Farooki (85314) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381912)

Here is a website detailing a great Mac-based home theater PC with 1 TB of storage:

http://www2.enights.net:5505/htpc.html

well.... (2, Informative)

ophix (680455) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381921)

assuming windows:

rip them with dvdshrink. be sure you have nero installed. you can set dvdshrink to 100% quality and have it automatically burn to nero's image writer once done. you can then put the images on your storage array and mount them with software like alcohol 120% of daemon tools (i recommend the former, although the latter is free). attach the computer to the plasma and use some software dvd player. (and before someone complains, i do this to dvds i bought and paid for so i can watch them on my laptop without bringing the disks with me).

dvdshrink will preserve all the menus and whatnot and if you set it to 100% quality and use nero's diskwriter plugin it more or less just rips the dvd to a full image minus the css.

assuming linux:
i use linux alot but honestly i have never played a dvd movie nor ripped a dvd movie under linux. someone suggested the mythtv site, i would advise going there. that said im sure it would be rather easy to to basically the same or similar thing on a linux box as i suggested for a windows box. a small amount of shell scripting and you could write the interface for choosing the movie.

powerfile jukeboxes (1)

Fapestniegd (34586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381930)

Buy 5 powerfile jukeboxes [powerfile.com] . I use mine (only one) with MythVideo and some homebrew perl scripts. But If you get five of them you would just have to write a script to change disks and call mplayer or xine on the disc itself. You can get them on eBay for $400-$700 or buy them new for $1500-$2000.

If you don't mind compressing the movies then You can get 4, 640x480 resolution divx4 br:1800 movies per disc. And if you understood all the above you are well on your way.

Loopback in Linux? (1)

djohnsto (133220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381939)

Hmm, I haven't tried this and may be talking out of my ass, but couldn't you use use something like dd to copy the raw bits of the drive to a large file and mount it using loopback as a virtual drive? You may need some twiddling in mplayer / xine / whatever to recognize the file as a dvd device. You may also need to use something other than dd to decrypt the vob files during the rip process (not sure if you need some uncopyable bits from the actual disc for DeCSS to work). Just a guess...

DVD Emulation (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381941)

Use a DVD Emulator to rip the entire disk to hard drive, then use an emulator to mount the image as a real DVD. The only issue is finding an emulator that can be automated easily. After this point I can't really help you as I haven't tried anything like this, though I do use a similar process for CD Images and that works ok.

That's a lot of DVDs (2, Informative)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381942)

Damn. That's a lot of movies. I don't see anything wrong with watching them on a Plasma screen though. Plasma TVs, with their 16 by 9 HDTV ratio are great for watching high-quality DVDs on. As long as everything is the best quality you can possibly find, it works out.

As far as backing up some DVDs.. it's going to take a lot of money if you want to do it quickly. I hear they sell Terabyte harddrives for $1300 now (not sure who sells them) -- you could start by ripping and decrypting them to the harddrive... then either splitting them into two parts and burning on seperate disks or compress it as much as possible (lessening the quality horribly; defeating the purpose of the DVD) and burn to a single DVD. I'm saying this because it gets it ready for the user to download (2 parts would be faster than one big part). Also, it'll save you a lot of space on your server.

None the less, this is going to take a lot of time. Have fun!

DVD VOD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381944)

Use windows with tv out
copy the vob files to hdd,
create an iso and throw vob files into it.

then use a program like daemon tools to mount the iso as a drive letter

i know there's a limit to the number of drive letters, but thats where batch files are a beautiful thing, daemon tools can be run from the command line and unmount/mount blocks of dvd drive letters

i don't know if it still works but i remember power dvd software used to let you copy vob files to hdd and play them

from there you're stuck with creating a frontend

Add a hard drive to your APEX DVD player... (4, Interesting)

SethJohnson (112166) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381946)



There's a pretty simple hack for some of the APEX DVD players. You can simply remove the DVD drive and replace it with a hard drive full of SVCD files. It can mount the drive and then provide a menu for selecting what movie you want to watch.


Caveats:

Have to yank the hard drive to add more movies. These are SVCD files, not full DVDs with extras and menus, etc.

The huge plus is that it's a real easy solution for this need. Grab a 250 gig HD for a hundred bucks and rip around 250 DVDs to the drive. Swap it into your Cyberhome player, then you've got a quick solution that has a proper remote control and doesn't require a noisy, hot computer in your house.

Here's a link to a how-to [area450.com] . It talks about adding a different power supply, but I've heard you can get away using the original ps.

the legality question... oh how sad (1, Insightful)

Slowping (63788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381950)

Gonna get modded as a troll for this one... but here goes...

Funny how already I see at least half a dozen posts about the legality of breaking CSS in order to rip those legally owned DVDs.

And yet the irony is so many people still buying DVDs and giving the MPAA and the CSS consortium their money.

Maybe I'm fooling myself by not buying DVDs and not going to movies. Should I just give in? Is anyone here actually still voting with their dollars by withholding it?

Dude (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8381956)

Are You hiring?

Suggestions for a DVD Video on Demand System? (5, Funny)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381962)

"Suggestions for a DVD Video on Demand System?"

I demand it, Kazaa provides it?

Oh, a video on demand system for you - nevermind.

Hang on, someone's banging on my door...

DVD Jukebox (1)

AndyBarrow (62701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381964)

Why not just get a DVD Jukebox?

The <href="http://www.kenwoodusa.com/product/product.j sp?productTypeId=25&sortBy=price&productId=782"><K enwood DV-5900M> looks interesting.

Re:DVD Jukebox (1)

AndyBarrow (62701) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381998)

Ooops

Kenwood 5900M [kenwoodusa.com]

myHTPC (2, Informative)

gricholson75 (563000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381968)

myHTPC [myhtpc.net] combined with a plugin for it called simpleVideo is the frontend you are looking for.

Simple Solution (4, Informative)

wolrahnaes (632574) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381970)

Some kind of raw image ripping program (CloneCD, BlindRead, etc.) combined with DAEMON Tools and DaemonUI
Mount the images and run the DVD player using DaemonUI's .DUI scripting language

Obviously this is a Windows solution. This can also be done easily with linux, although I don't know the specifics of mounting disc images.

Now as to the storage, an average DVD has 7 to 9 GB of data. 1000 DVDs will take up nearly 10 TB. The MPEG2 data cannot be compressed any further losslessly.

If you don't mind a quality loss (and spending a HUGE amount of time re-encoding the video and converting the menus) you can convert to your favorite MPEG4 derivative (Divx, Xvid, Quicktime MPEG4, etc.)

This will be a hugely expensive project, with the cheapest hard disk based solution costing over $30,000 (3x Xserve RAID 3.5 TB) plus the client machine to attach to the fibre channel switch (and that's not cheap either) to read from all the Xserves.

My suggestion: Just like with legal adivce, this is not the time to ask slashdot. With the kind of money involved, hiring a professional is the best option.

Just get a changer (1)

csoto (220540) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381977)

My Sony unit holds 400 DVDs, of which I have 84. No need for a geeky solution. This one just works, and it works well.

myHTPC (1)

enrico_suave (179651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381992)

myHTPC [myhtpc.net] does that... I guess the trick is to find the right PC card to ouptut to the plasma... Would that need to be upscaled? I wonder if that upscaling could be done on the fly.

*Shrug* good luck... although if you have an extra terrabyte raid laying around and a plasma tv, you probably can afford whatever solutions are out there to solve this problem without cobbling something together yourself (but that's half the fun!)

E.

MS (god forbid) solution... (0)

notetoi (690572) | more than 10 years ago | (#8381997)

DVDShrink to copy DVD to hd, and "DVD Media Classic Player" to play movie from hd - recognizes menu, languages, etc. Both programs are more or less dummy proof, press one key solution.

PowerDVD (2, Informative)

telstar (236404) | more than 10 years ago | (#8382003)

Just choose the "Play files from hard disk" option.
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