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Ultimate Dvr


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#1 Gunmeddle

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:41 AM

Hey everyone! Thank you for those that help keep this board up.

Here is the layout.

1. I want to purchase a DVR that will allow me to save/rip my DVDs straight to the HD for later playback without reinserting the disc.
2. I plan to store around 100+ DVDs so I need the ability to increase my space to an unhealthy amount (around 1.5TB). I imagine 4 drives connected to a single RAID.
3. I need to be able to access all of this from a laptop I can neatly place in my living room with my new television and or remote.

I don't want to have to keep a whole computer out there to make this a reality.

I remember reading this was possible but I need some serious advice on how to make it so. Any suggestions please?
Thank you to all those whom took the time to read even if you're as stumped as I. :thumbsup:

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#2 Walkman

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 04:56 PM

1. There may be some out there. Have you searched for any yet on the search engines?

2. You can't increase space, unless you remove space 1st. Factor each original dvd movie is on a 8.5G dics. Mulitiply that by 100.... and that's how much space you'll need. If you can do without menus and all those extra titles and such, you can fit 100+ movies on a 100G+ hard drive. But I'm just giving you the other way to do so.

3. You will need an video output card/cable from your laptop to your DVR to do that.

If you're wanting to control all of your movies from your computer to you tv, then your best bet is to do this.

a1. Buy a big enough external hard drive to copy all of your movies to.. or
a2. Buy a big enough internal hard drive to copy all of your movies to.
a3. Buy a 120G hard drive, (internal or external) then convert all of your files to .avi without the menus. (approx 700M ea)

After that............

All you will need is a cable going from your laptop computer to your DVR then from your DVR to you tv. That's all you would need.

I'm not sure if DVR's will hold that many dvd's on them. Don't quote me on it, but I haven't seen any or heard about any that does. So.... there may be one that will do it.

You'll also need a video out card to put in your computer.

But if you want to just copy dvd's into a DVR (which I'm doubting... with the DRM laws and encryptions) you would probably need just a video out/ card in your computer going into you DVR, and the DVR connected to your tv.

#3 Gunmeddle

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 12:49 PM

Thank you very much for the reply.

I have done quite a bit of Google searching but I don't see any with expandability nor really the ability to copy DVDs to the box. Then again, I'm not exactly sure what the term is I should be searching for.

About the laptop + video card could you please provide examples as to what kind of video card and possibly what kind of laptop? Would I be playing the videos through my laptop or do I just need the laptop to move the files to my DVR so I can play them with my remote?

Thank you very much for the help! :thumbsup:

#4 LaZyFLiP07

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 07:54 PM

Hey everyone! Thank you for those that help keep this board up.

Here is the layout.

1. I want to purchase a DVR that will allow me to save/rip my DVDs straight to the HD for later playback without reinserting the disc.
2. I plan to store around 100+ DVDs so I need the ability to increase my space to an unhealthy amount (around 1.5TB). I imagine 4 drives connected to a single RAID.
3. I need to be able to access all of this from a laptop I can neatly place in my living room with my new television and or remote.

I don't want to have to keep a whole computer out there to make this a reality.

I remember reading this was possible but I need some serious advice on how to make it so. Any suggestions please?
Thank you to all those whom took the time to read even if you're as stumped as I. :thumbsup:


Have you looked into a Media Center PC setup before?

#5 Gunmeddle

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Posted 25 January 2007 - 10:27 AM

I have but I'm honestly not sure what I'm looking for. I know the basics of computers but not Media Center PCs versus DVRs especially. I'm willing to learn through, just need a hand at what I'm trying to do exactly.

#6 Andrew

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 08:25 AM

Like Walkman was saying, I don't think you can find a dedicated DVR to do all that (especially with DRM's running about!).

I read about a setup, using a reletively low-end PC running Windows XP Media Center and extra storage capacity being used in lieu of an actual DVR. Look at this article to see an example with instructions.

I'm not familiar with the methods used to watch decrypted (ripped) DVD movies without burning the files to a DVD with an appropriate burner so I can't say much as to whether this setup will be up to the task, but it seems likely.

klaatu barada nickto!

#7 LaZyFLiP07

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 10:51 AM

I have but I'm honestly not sure what I'm looking for. I know the basics of computers but not Media Center PCs versus DVRs especially. I'm willing to learn through, just need a hand at what I'm trying to do exactly.

The first thing you need to do is build or buy a PC running the Windows Media Center OS. Depending on the quality of sound and video you want to output you would aslo want to look for a decent sound and video card. You should also look into multiple large hard drives. Building the computer yourself would probably be the most cost effective. If you have any more questions feel free to ask me. Hope this helps out somewhat.

#8 purple frog

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 11:02 PM

in my limited experience with this kind of stuff, i have started to use nero 7. it has a program just like the media center thing, and if you happen to get a device like this you can use the bluetooth capabilities of your laptop to go through the menus on the media center / nerohome programs. also, if you are trying to get the movies off of a dvd, and to store them on your computer, then use a program such as dvd shrink to copy from dvd to hard drive. if you want to just have the movies, and dont really care for the extra menus, then you can use a program like divX converter to convert them to avi. the big difference being with an uncompressed dvd, it will take up about 4 gigs of space; where as the avi will only take up around 700 mb. once again, im not an expert on this by any means, i just enjoy tinkering with my computer.


on edit: just noticed i forgot that you can use an s-video cable to go from laptop to computer; and a headphone to component (or headphone to headphone depending on surround system set up) if you have an alright surround sound system. once again, a good sound card wouldn't hurt.

Edited by purple frog, 28 January 2007 - 11:04 PM.





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