Streaming DVDs
December 9, 2004 12:57 PM   Subscribe

Let's say I want store DVDs on my hard drive, and access them. I don't need the extras, just the movies/tv shows that are on there. Is there a piece of media access hardware that will (1) pull from ISOs of DVDs on another computer networked, or (2) allow me to stream video I rip from a DVD, and what software would I use to rip said DVD to a usable file. All legal DVDs and all that.
posted by benjh to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
You, sir, are asking about videolan -- also known as VLC -- which was created to do (1) and (2).

Your implicit (3), ripping DVDs, is a matter of choice. I use MacTheRipper, because my DVD stuff happens on an OSX machine, but the choices are numerous and most support doing a "movie only" rip (which just rips the largest title and ditches everything else).
posted by majick at 1:02 PM on December 9, 2004

As for the hardware, just about any old thing will work. You could cobble together a Mini-ITX machine, or scrounge up an old PC.
posted by majick at 1:03 PM on December 9, 2004

DVD Decrypter is the defacto-norm for DVD ripping for the PC. Just FYI.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:09 PM on December 9, 2004

Am I right in thinking that with videolan, you don't have to worry about decrypting the DVDs when you rip, since the decoding is done in software?
posted by mr_roboto at 1:18 PM on December 9, 2004

You can decss on the VLC side, or on the rip. Might as well decrypt it once on rip, though, rather than waste the (minimal) CPU to decrypt every time.

There's a pure hardware solution for all this, too, but it's tens of thousands of dollars.
posted by majick at 1:24 PM on December 9, 2004

This just in: MPAA sues the makers of the Kaleidescape System.
posted by sexymofo at 1:29 PM on December 9, 2004

It's the DVDCCA -- a secretive conspiracy of hardware, software, and studio companies -- not the MPAA directly, and it's a contract thing. I've got one of Kaleidescape's people in IM right now, and while obviously they can't comment on pending litigation, I say it's, um... a bunk suit.

But the product is so expensive as to render that discussion moot. Just do the videolan thing unless you're a millionaire.
posted by majick at 1:40 PM on December 9, 2004

I've been thinking about doing this with DVDs ripped to high-bitrate XviD files stored on a linux box with giant hard drives in the closet, and using a PRISMIQ media player. To me, it looks like the closest thing to a non-build-it-yourself solution for storing all your video centrally (and probably more wife/girlfriend friendly, to boot). It claims it can hook to anything using SMB, which means Mac/Windows/Linux should all work.

To rip DVDs to XviD on OS X, I use DVDBackup + FFmpeg.

On windows, I've used DVDDecrypter and AutoGK with excellent success for that sort of thing.

Google will be helpful in finding all sorts of forums about ripping DVDs; there's quite a bit of information out there nowdays.
posted by AaronRaphael at 2:24 PM on December 9, 2004

Oh, and pricewise, the PRISMIQ only $199, but you're providing the storage yourself.
posted by AaronRaphael at 2:26 PM on December 9, 2004

DVD Shrink is also a fine way of ripping DVD to the HD, reduced or not.
posted by muckster at 2:41 PM on December 9, 2004

I use mplayer to play DVDs and DVD images under Linux, and it works very nicely. I also found by accident that if I started a DVD playing with mplayer and then paused it, I could just use dd if=/dev/dvd of=wherever to grab a DVD image; there is some deCSS magic happening there I haven't bothered to investigate.

I use an elderly 266MHz box that I've put a cheap 200GB drive in for storage, and transfer movies to my laptop for viewing (I don't own a TV, and the laptop's screen is very good).

Mplayer comes with a GUI, but I didn't compile it into my copy; once the movie is playing, it's easy to control volume, brightness, subtitles, scene selection etc. using keyboard controls. It also comes with mencoder, which can make high quality compressed movies.

The only downside to all this is that I'm the only person in the house who can drive it all. But I'm sure there's stuff out there to make a system based on these parts pretty.
posted by flabdablet at 5:32 AM on December 10, 2004

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