For quite a while now I’ve been ripping my standard-def DVDs to ISO files, storing them on a hard-drive connected to an always-on desktop computer, and streaming them to multiple classic XBox’s running XBMC. It all works quite well, but I do feel that I’m missing out by not getting the added resolution that I could be getting with Blu-ray. I periodically check in on what’s required for downconverting Blu-ray movies to a smaller-sized format, but it seems like it requires too much manual intervention and time, and I’m spoiled by my current process of ripping standard-def DVDs as-is in about 20 minutes.
So I’m thinking that with hard drive storage costs coming down all the time, I might be able to live with ripping a Blu-ray as-is (no downconversion, but dropping unwanted audio tracks, etc.) and dealing with the 25GB-or-so per-movie storage requirements.
Now, as I mentioned earlier, I use classic XBox’s running XBMC. I realize that these devices won’t be up to the task, and I don’t want to spend $300 or more on a fully powered desktop computer for each room (or deal with the added noise that they’ll bring), so I may decide to give up the niceties of XBMC and just go with whatever the cheapest option there is that’s capable of playing Blu-ray quality files streamed over ethernet.
So, having said all that, I’ve got two questions:
Is DVD Fab’s Blu-ray ripping up-to-snuff yet? Can it handle ripping even protected (BD+) discs yet? How long does it take to rip? If I drop off unwanted audio tracks, what do typical new releases seem to take up storage-wise?
What are the cheapest ethernet streaming devices available that can play these files?