Ever since creating my first home theater PC, I've archived my Netflix rental DVDs to files on the hard drive. I don't do this because I want to rip off the movie industry; I do it for convenience. It's easier to deal with a collection of digital files than it is to deal with a bunch of shiny, easily scratched plastic discs. Nor do I keep the movies around after I watch them. I already own more movies than I could possibly ever watch in one lifetime. As I get older, my desire to collect things is rapidly diminishing. My ripping is purely about simplicity and ease of use for me, the consumer.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original blog entry at: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2008/12/easy-efficient-hi-def-video-playback.html
I can’t refrain now that I see this blank area…
Wow. That makes me feel much better. I have an old Alienware PC from 2002 that can’t really play much HD. The fact that you had a hard time with a much newer system shows that I wouldn’t have done better to wait just a little longer. (btw that PC cost $4700 when I got it - I know, total waste of money)
I know it wont compare to hardware decoding, but I am curious to see how much better VLC (http://www.videolan.org/vlc/) plays your usual movie rips. I don’t have Windows at my fingertips, but from a linux perspective I find VLC to behave much better than the other typical movie players.
Unfortunately, as per a recent slashdot article, the Blu Ray crew have fought back, and upped the protection on newer titles, such that AnyDVD HD can no longer rip them (for now).
They’ll surely catch up eventually, but I’m afraid it’s going to be a cat and mouse game for a long time (unless they actually find a weakness in the encryption itself).
That is such an awesome post.
I am about to embark on my first HTPC adventure after the various off the shelf boxes that I have had have died slow and miserable deaths.
One of my reservations was video codec hell. This solves it. Fantastic.
It’s easier to deal with a collection of digital files than it is to deal with a bunch of shiny, easily scratched plastic discs. Nor do I keep the movies around after I watch them.
So you’re telling that in order to protect the netflix disk you rip them to your HD (how does this protect them… it’s one use either way). Then you explain how to do it. Open the apps, choose a path rip the disk then rename and copy the giant file.
Then you say I do keep them. I just do this because it’s easier than just watching it on the disk.
Of course, if you get 3 movies, rip them all, then send the discs back and don’t watch them all before the next batch arrives, you’re still ripping off NetFlix. NetFlix pays the royalties each time a movie goes out and counts on the fact that there are only so many movies a person can watch in a day to make a profit. I bet you’ll be throttled if you did it too much.
I’m not saying you actually do that, and I’m not commenting on the rightness or wrongness of said hypothetical actions, or NetFlix TOS, or RIAA, or IP, or movies, or [insert favorite boogey man here].
Oh yeah, T3 wasn’t all bad.
Ever since creating my first home theater PC, I’ve archived my Netflix rental DVDs to files on the hard drive. I don’t do this because I want to rip off the movie industry; I do it for convenience. It’s easier to deal with a collection of digital files than it is to deal with a bunch of shiny, easily scratched plastic discs.
How on earth does this make any sense? Taking the time to subvert the built in DVD protection, rip the disc then store the gigantic file is easier than putting the disc in a $40 player (yes good upscaling DVD players are now around $40)? That’s, for lack of a better word, is utter crap.
You’re pirating the movies. You don’t own them, nor do you have the right to copy them and keep them on your hard drive for a millisecond longer than you have the physical DVD. If you plan to break the law that’s your choice, but don’t act like you’re above the law because you already already own more movies than I could possibly ever watch in one lifetime.
the new version I just installed includes 128 megabytes of dedicated DDR3 video memory, too
Can you briefly elaborate? I followed your previous HTPC specs precisely, but was never able to successfully play 1080p content. I bought the Gigabyte MA78GM-S2H mobo about 8 months ago; I don’t have the newer MA78GPM-DS2H that you just linked to in this post…
am I screwed?
I bought the Blu-Ray/HD-DVD drive from Newegg last week and was watching the Blu-Ray version of Lost Season 4 using PowerDVD 8.
CPU Utilization while playing the movie was less than 5%.
I’d love to stop using this POS that is PowerDVD though. Spent an hour trying to get the movies to work until I downloaded the latest version of PowerDVD, old version of PowerDVD the screen would freeze after the FBI screen came up…leading me to believe it was a video driver issue or a Windows 2008 OS issue until I upgraded PowerDVD.
Hopefully your high CPU utlization is due to the craptastic card your using and if I use Media Player Classic HC I’ll get the same low CPU utilization as with PowerDVD.
Did you really just admit to a felony?
it is not illegal to backup a dvd for backup purposes. it may go against Netflix usage policy though.
Hey Now Jeff,
Coding Horror Fan,
The hardware is decent, but you’d get more mileage performance wise by installing Linux and XBMC:
My box is an Intel 5200 / Nvidia 8500GT / 2GB RAM and it runs extremely well as an matx box running XBMC and using the venerable Microsoft IR remote, and as it is Linux it can also do all manner of other things like run an iTunes server and serve dynamic dhcp/dns for the local network. =)
it is not illegal to backup a dvd for backup purposes.
Whether or not that statement is true for a DVD you own, it is certainly illegal to backup a DVD you do not own.
However, it may or may not be illegal to time shift a DVD you rent (ie through NetFlix) by copying it and then deleting after you watch it. Don’t know. Don’t care that much either. It certainly interferes with the renter’s business model/profit.
I don’t think the law has the ability to comprehend the right or wrongness of renting movies and ripping them, it simply does not understand the nature of information well enough.
If you have a fully digital media system, you want your movies on the hard drive, even those you rent temporarily. When stored on the hard drive you can watch the movie in wich room you want, tv-room, bed-room, kitchen. You can switch between movies fast just pressing next-button on remote control, not needing to switch physical DVDs in the player.
If you rent 3 movies and have them a month or even week, then you dont want to deal with physical DVDs. For many reasons, like them above and the fact that my kids EATS DVDs to breakfirst if they find any laying around.
Thanks for keeping up the good work. I rarely comment (actually, this is my first), though I always enjoy your writing. Now then…
@JeffG - please, if one more person in a forum posts some form of You’d be better off with [insert Linux distro here] I’ll scream. I use Windows because a) I work on computers all day and want one that just works when I get home and b) I don’t think people should just give me the software they write.
We get it, in your world, Linux is the God of all OSes, but seriously, enough.