Generic settings to put backups on a media server

Hello again!

I would like to use a media server to watch my DVDs in the house. I have hard wire LAN near the TVs.

I have experimented with Generic Settings for several days but because my Plasma screen doesn’t look good I can’t decide what settings to settle on.

I care more about high quality than low gigs.

As I understand the Bits/Pixel, rate should be above 20?

What should the Frame Res be? My target is a 50" plasma HI def screen.

Since the bit rate changes the Bits/Pixel, I need to know what the Bits/Pixel ratio is suggested for high quality on a 50" plasma.


Also, any suggestions for a media server and media appliances? (D-link etc?)

Thanks for your help!

  • flyer

(added picture of generic settings section)

I would like to use a media server to watch my DVDs in the house. I have hard wire LAN near the TVs.

I have experimented with Generic Settings for several days but because my Plasma screen doesn’t look good I can’t decide what settings to settle on.

I care more about high quality than low gigs.

As I understand the Bits/Pixel, rate should be above 20?

What should the Frame Res be? My target is a 50" plasma HI def screen.

Since the bit rate changes the Bits/Pixel, I need to know what the Bits/Pixel ratio is suggested for high quality on a 50" plasma.


Suggestions: For the best quality, try the [B]VOB Passthrough[/B] option(if your server/player supports it). It is in the “Device” drop down on the Generic configure page. The files will be the same size as the original DVD and the same quality. If that does not work, try one of the profiles with H.264 video encoding. Keep the bitrate and screen size as high as you can tolerate. I do my conversions with a target of 5.-.6 bits/pixel and they look pretty good. This may not be practical with large screen sizes.

I really don’t see the sense in storing DVDs in anything other than their full original uncompressed format, for use with a media server.
For the price of a few dvds you can add a 500Gb drive to your server which will hold close to 100 uncompressed DVDs with all the surround sound options intact. Just strip the unwanted extras & warnings with fab, using customise mode , then stream them as needed over your home network. I have this working fine with wireless G and with the DVD source files on an extenal USB drive on the remote server.
I figure that if you compress & converting to avi, xvid. divx - whatever, then sooner or later you’ll be thinking "would this look/sound better on my big screen home theater setup if I had not compressed it ,& you’ll find yourself doing the whole project again from scratch.
Just look at the economics of say $60 for 500Gb storage vs the time you’ll spend re-ripping 100 DVDs, if you ever own that many. ( I’m in the UK & my 500Gb drive was £60 from amazon.co.uk )
The only value in compression , in my view, is for mobile formats, or where 95-99% compresssion means you can use an SL rather than a DL backup, if you are creatign backup DVDs for standalone players.

The better DVD software players, like powerDVD will happily open a VIDEO-TS folder anywhere on a home network. Making that happen from within the MCE interface may not be possible but who needs that really ? I bought Cyberlink remotes for 2 of my PCs and that gives me all the useful the basic DVD controls . One PC has MCE, the other is Xp Home but the remotes work with both & they work with WMP as well as with PowerDVD.

I have one slim line PC stashed behind the big TV with a wireless network interface, and the server in another part of the house. Beacsue everting is on the servier there’s no need to grope around for the DVD drive on the slim line PC, I either stream the files or copy them over via the wireless network for local storage, and use wirelss mouse/ keyboard with that PC.
I’ve found that I can now go one better in terms of user-friendly. I can send the video_ts.ifo file from within the video_TS folder on the remote server external drive to the desktop of my target PC as a short cut, and give it a friendly name. Then just by double clicking that icon I can launch the movie in whatever software I set as the default for .ifo files.

Thanks, that is a very good point! It makes sense.

  • flyer

Bandwidth? Large file size of the uncompressed backups choking the bandwidth for the LAN. At least its wired.

Also it might be easier to manage if you have everything as *.avi’s, *.mpg’s, etc. So if you want to watch Die Hard you load Die Hard.mpg instead of a dvd menu in PowerDVD or whatever.

What are you playing them with from the media server? Going to watch them on any pc’s or laptops?

Nice setup cybmole. Very nice. Can you expand on your user friendly shortcut renaming thing?

[QUOTE=jsmiddleton4;1943466]Nice setup cybmole. Very nice. Can you expand on your user friendly shortcut renaming thing?[/QUOTE]

open the video_ts folder for the movie you want to shortcut to.
richt click video_ts.ifo file & select send to…desktop(create shortcut).

rename the desktop file ( press F2 or right click -properties-rename ) to whatever you like e.g. to my movieshortut. ( this is just a shortcut so it does not need a file extension & can have any user friendly name).

The original video_ts.ifo is still in your DVD folder, unchanged.

Now either leave the shortcut on the desktop & just double click it to launch a DVD , or move it or copy it to wherever you want your shortcuts to be.

NB this works even if the DVd folder is on a remote machine, but do all the above steps on the machine where you want the shortcut to be.

to change which DVd software kicks in, right click your original video_ts.ifo file, select open with, then select the program you want & tick always use this program.

So the desktop shortcut calls “back” the *.ifo file in its original location so nothing fancy is needed. Nice.