Easy, Efficient Hi-Def Video Playback

It absolutely is against the Netflix terms of service:


The DVDs Netflix buys from studios and sends to customers are fixed assets. The business model is built on the fact that consuming that asset (watching the movie) takes time and during that time the asset is monopolized by that customer. Because it takes time for each consumer to watch the movie Netflix is required to purchase a certain amount of discs to meet demand.

Now imagine if that amount of time a customer keeps the disc is artificially shortened, by say, doing exactly what Jeff here is doing - get the DVD, rip it, send it back and watch it at his own leisure. It may seem like there’s no harm no foul since hey, he’s just going to watch it once and delete it anyway right? Wrong. Because he can now watch it whenever he wants the model falls apart and the value of the disc is diluted. Studios lose money, grow more paranoid about protecting their content and continue to shove more crippling DRM down our throats. Who can blame them when people like Jeff so glibly rip them off?

Dear Jeff, when you’re in the federal, pound-me-in-the-ass prison and you drop a bar of soap, don’t bend down to pick it up - it’s a trap.

I followed your previous HTPC specs precisely, but was never able to successfully play 1080p content

Oh, you definitely will be able to if you use the MPC-HT filters. It’s all about the video acceleration taking the load off the CPU.

The version of this mobo with the 128 MB of dedicated DDR3 video memory does offer about 15% more video performance – my graphics scores went from 3.6 to 4.0 in the built-in Vista Experience benchmark. It’s just a nice perk; I only upgraded because I botched installing an aftermarket heatsink on the mobo northbridge and eventually burned it up… :stuck_out_tongue:

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.

It varies, but I don’t artificially rent and return. I’ve kept some Netflix discs for literally months. Some of the titles I’ve rented I never even got around to watching, ever.

Like I said in the post, it’s about convenience.

Did you really just admit to a felony?

I guess, but I fail to see the harm when it’s for my own personal use, and I paid for the rental fair and square. It’s not like I’m seeding torrents here, or building some massive multi-terabyte digital video library.

I wonder how all this compares to ATIs own codec offering.


My guess would be that as long as Jeff erases the copy before returning the disc, nothing changes in the business model.

During the time for which Jeff is paying due to the rental, he should be allowed to watch the movie by the means he finds more comfortable. Doesn’t this seem reasonable?

Now, if he keeps the file after returning the movie, he is wrong. That would mean keeping the right to watch the movie for more than the contracted time.

When you build your custom home theatre PC, I assume you are looking for one of the following

  1. You don’t want to spend money on buying a hardware player
  2. You have a machine lying around which is sufficient to do video
  3. And more importantly, you want customizability and ability to play any random video formats that a hardware player wouldn’t be able to do without a firmware upgrade.

If you were looking for 1 and 2, why spend money on buying software? You can do most of the video with Linux + mplayer (optionally VLC). Even if you were looking for 3, Linux should suffice. How do you get any advantage after paying for (even cheapest $260) Windows Vista with Mediacenter?

Tyronomo that’s an encoder, which although definitely interesting (hardware assisted encoding), is a different topic altogether:


after paying for (even cheapest $260) Windows Vista with Mediacenter?

Windows Vista Home Premium OEM is only about $100-$120 last time I checked.

And it is dead easy to set up. That’s worth a hundred bucks to me. YMMV of course.

DXVA decoding is nice, but it’s got a few flakes around the edges you should be careful of:

  1. It requires you use the EVR renderer on Vista, which sometimes screws up luma levels in MPC-HC. If this happens to you try telling MPC-HC to use the ‘EVR Custom’ renderer which generally is closer to what the video should look like.
  2. It doesn’t play every stream you will find online. Any stream ripped off a high def disc will work though.

There’s more info here: http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/DXVASupport.html


You’d be better off with Kubuntu. :wink:

In all seriousness, though, media software isn’t crippled on Linux. Once you get everything working, it truly is better. Although there are enough negatives (it takes more ka-jiggering, for example) to balance that out. Overall, I’m glad I switched.

/I’d also like to offer you some software I wrote. As a gift.


IANAL, but failing to see the harm in committing a felony is not usually considered a reasonable defense. I think you should just delete this post before Netflix cancels your account.

(Just my $.02)

What Jeff is doing is not much different from taping TV shows with a VCR, which was deemed legal back in 1984: a href=http://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id408.htmhttp://eightiesclub.tripod.com/id408.htm/a

How do you get any advantage after paying for (even cheapest $260) Windows Vista with Mediacenter?

By being able to access that machine from 2 Xbox 360s in other areas of the house and get the same Media Centre experience, live TV, Recorded TV, music, videos etc.

@Netflix (10:01 PM)

It’s very different. To whit:

  1. He’s violating Netflix’s TOS.

Content shall not be reproduced or used without express written permission from Netflix, Inc., or its suppliers… Netflix reserves the right to terminate your membership hereunder if Netflix, in its sole and absolute discretion, believes that you are in violation of this paragraph, such violations including the copying of DVDs rented to you by us…


  1. He’s probably violating the DCMA. DVD’s are encrypted, so unless he rips his DVDs using a DVD-approved (by court order) $10,000 Kaleidescope system, he’s violating the DCMA every time he does it. (In a nutshell, he needs to decrypt the disc without a license from the DVD-CCA. Decrypting without a license is a DCMA violation.)

@myself Netflix

To be pedantic, there may be other software that can legally rip DVDs. Kaleidescope is the only one that I know has been proven legal until the appeals play out.

@JPLemme: no matter what Netflix’s terms of service say, it is legal to record TV shows for personal use. It’s the fair use exception to the copyright. If Netflix’s terms do not allow that, it makes no difference. The fact that Netflix puts something in its terms of service does not automatically make it legal.


This is probably a better link, and yes I did confuse encoding with decoding :frowning:
Although I would think it safe to assume that if you using ATIs Avivo to hardware encode, there should be some benefit when you decode. Unfortunately the marketing page I linked does not clearly state us such.

Clearly no-one here has read the Pirates Dillema (http://thepiratesdilemma.com/), or considered that as consumers, we should have at least some say in how we chose to watch movies and listen to music. It’s not just more convenient…it’s basically a new kind of more convenient, and right now, there’s no competition.

All I’m saying really however, is at least Jeff’s still, like I am, trying to support the industry in some way by spending something on legitimate licenses, even though they’re making out lives as hard as possible, for the sake of share-holder profits. (And yes, it is still harder just knowing how much simpler the technology can be, without those little plastic discs, and pointless copy-protection schemes.)

One final post before bed, because I got curious.

Slysoft seems to be in that gray zone of software that allows you to do something that should be legal, but may not be. They’re not licensed by the DVD-CCA, so they don’t have the right to decrypt CSS-encrypted DVDs. And their license says:

SlySoft Ltd. discourages any attempt to copy rented DVDs. It is illegal to make a copy of a DVD for most purposes other than your own personal use. SlySoft Ltd. respects the rights of artists and film companies, and asks that You do the same.

Using the SOFTWARE will create backup copies of DVDs. The copy will be an archival backup copy of a DVD, created solely for the private and personal use of the owner of the DVD from which it was made. Federal copyright laws prohibit the unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or exhibition of copyrighted materials, if any, contained in the archival backup copy. The resale, reproduction, distribution, or commercial exploitation of the archival backup copy is strictly forbidden. We ask you to respect the rights of copyright holders.

(i.e. the archival backup is meant so that you can burn a new disc if the old one gets damaged. Actually playing it off the file would be wrong. Wink, wink.)

The whole rotten system sucks, but regardless this is not a good thing to be blogging about on a popular blog.


  1. It is legal to record BROADCAST TV shows. Not to make copies of physical media.

  2. And to make sure it stays illegal, your friendly MPAA and RIAA pushed through the DCMA so that even IF the coping itself is legal, breaking the CSS to make the copy is not.

  3. Netflix’s TOS can absolutely, positively restrict you in whatever way they feel like it. It’s a contract that you can choose not to sign, so they can include any reasonable terms that they like. By your logic, a non-disclosure agreement would be unenforceable because it violates your first amendment right to free speech.