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Old 29-04-2014, 12:45   #31
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

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Thanks, guys. Goal is not to reduce size when that's going to reduce quality. I've tried a few file converters and am surprised that a 1.25gb mp4 file seems to be just as good as a 4gb dvd does. And pleasantly surprised because unless I missed something, some of the tools will just grab the main movie and knock out all the previews and menus, which I'm not looking to keep.

No decisions yet, there's so much out there. But it looks like MP4 is the no-brainer way to go on this.


I think I have what you're looking for. It's called Western Digital Media Player Live! It's a media server than can also play from another media server on your home network. It's small, about 4"x 4"x1" but it has an ethernet port, wifi, 2 USB ports, an HDMI out, a fiber optic audio output and a power socket for the wall wart. It retails for about $65, but I've been picking them up used from Ebay for about $40. It plays any known format of video file, it actually sorts all of your files on your local or remote drive into photos, videos and audio. It will also access all of the popular online content, like Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Facebook, etc. It basically does everything a smart TV does, or a Roku.

In the past I've used Win X DVD Ripper. It works great, allows you to select the bitrate and thus the compression ratio, along with giving you a huge variety of codecs and containers for Iphone, or Android phone, or whatever.

The best part is I've been watching files that were ripped from Bluray, but encoded with h.264 at 720p, resulting in files about 750-850MB ea. The WD Media player seems to be upconverting the files so that they look sharper than an uncompressed DVD, yet taking up only 800 MB instead of 4.5GB. This is on a 65" Mitsubishi LCD, they look really crisp. They're also amazingly good at playing files that other players claimed were corrupted.

I have a number of WD portable 1TB drives, a full one has about 1100 movies on it. One is older movies, one is newer movies, one is TV shows, etc. I currently have 2 of these WD Media players and each one can support 2 USB HDDs. Each one can see and access the content of the other media server as long as you have a wireless router. Between the 2 of them, I could access up to 8TB of movies, TV shows, etc if I had 2TB drives hooked up. For only about $80 or 90 more than the cost of the USB drives, I think they do an amazing job.
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Old 20-06-2014, 00:11   #32
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

You can also get what's called an air stash. It's a USB device a mini SD card fits into. Depending on the storage you can get a lot of movies. It works blue tooth with an iPad or plugs into computer. We use it when traveling. Works great. But we do have a WD cloud we take on the boat when we are out for a while.
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Old 22-06-2014, 15:01   #33
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

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Old 04-07-2014, 12:50   #34
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

I was reading this post and came across the post about the WD media player. I got one and have been playing with it. Works great but was wondering if there is a way to do like a cloud on it so as the kids can watch their movies on their tablets while on the boat or in the truck while on trips?

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Old 04-07-2014, 17:04   #35
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

what's a DVD?

for movies&GOT episodes: usenet/torrents + itunes = easy library management..

add bluetooth speakers and a pocket 1080p projector and u have a portable energy efficient home theater on the boat
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Old 04-07-2014, 20:19   #36
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

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Originally Posted by Liltttzr View Post
I was reading this post and came across the post about the WD media player. I got one and have been playing with it. Works great but was wondering if there is a way to do like a cloud on it so as the kids can watch their movies on their tablets while on the boat or in the truck while on trips?

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I bought a Buffalo NAS 4tb. It has been unreliable as an internet capable tool. It is supported from Japan and if you are a "geek" you can keep it running but I have a life and gave up.

I then got a D-Link Share Center for use only on the internal network - painfully, painfully slow.

I now have a plain old SATA 2-dock tray I picked up at Fry's. It is also slow but bearable.

As I have added capacity I am now up to 14tb of sotrage across various drives - I purposed 1X2tb drive for music and photos, 1X2tb drives to back up the same, 1 X 4tb drive for movies a 1X4tb for backup. I also have a 2tb "working drive" for projects, video editing etc. Pretty much nothing stays on the laptop drive and I can swap laptops at will.

I am an avid iTunes user but I don't trust their cloud to "host" what I have paid for. Some pointy haired exec will decide someday that they are going to take my **** away. Yes I am a skeptic.

Anyway I have seen the WD media center and an interested to hear experience. I would live to be able to access my files globally over the internet.

I also have about 100 DVD movies that I want to rip and interested in exactly HelloSailor's first question - brainless hands off ripping to MP4. BTW MP4 is what I settled on because I have Apple tvs in 3 rooms in my house and the Atv reads MP4 natively.

However unlike HS I am not too concerned about resolution.

What I would really like to see is a blue tooth stand alone media player that the iPads can talk to on the boat. Plug it in power it up, log in and have access to all the media... I am not a fan of laptops on the boat.
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Old 06-07-2014, 15:43   #37
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

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Originally Posted by Liltttzr View Post
I was reading this post and came across the post about the WD media player. I got one and have been playing with it. Works great but was wondering if there is a way to do like a cloud on it so as the kids can watch their movies on their tablets while on the boat or in the truck while on trips?

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I found an Android app that streams from the WD TV Live player to an Android tablet or phone. Oddly enough, it's called WD TV Live Media. LOL

Anyways, the basic program is free and works fine, it asked me for $3.99 to enable media servers, so I paid it. It turns out, the WDTVLIVE media player actually shows up under Windows Shares, so you might not actually have to pay the $3.99 to get it to work.

The first few times I tried it, it didn't work, but then I discovered it was because the files were encoded in a format that the android tablet didn't like.

So, download the app, install it, register with ZappoTV, then look for your WD TV Live player on your network under "windows shares". Select it, then select the drive letter or name, and you'll see the entire disk directory. Select the movie, and it will ask you which media player to use. Use your favorite, or the one with the widest selection of formats. I like MX Player, but there might be others with a wider format selection.

It streams smoothly, looks great!
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Old 06-07-2014, 15:53   #38
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

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I bought a Buffalo NAS 4tb. It has been unreliable as an internet capable tool. It is supported from Japan and if you are a "geek" you can keep it running but I have a life and gave up.

I then got a D-Link Share Center for use only on the internal network - painfully, painfully slow.

I now have a plain old SATA 2-dock tray I picked up at Fry's. It is also slow but bearable.

As I have added capacity I am now up to 14tb of sotrage across various drives - I purposed 1X2tb drive for music and photos, 1X2tb drives to back up the same, 1 X 4tb drive for movies a 1X4tb for backup. I also have a 2tb "working drive" for projects, video editing etc. Pretty much nothing stays on the laptop drive and I can swap laptops at will.

I am an avid iTunes user but I don't trust their cloud to "host" what I have paid for. Some pointy haired exec will decide someday that they are going to take my **** away. Yes I am a skeptic.

Anyway I have seen the WD media center and an interested to hear experience. I would live to be able to access my files globally over the internet.

I also have about 100 DVD movies that I want to rip and interested in exactly HelloSailor's first question - brainless hands off ripping to MP4. BTW MP4 is what I settled on because I have Apple tvs in 3 rooms in my house and the Atv reads MP4 natively.

However unlike HS I am not too concerned about resolution.

What I would really like to see is a blue tooth stand alone media player that the iPads can talk to on the boat. Plug it in power it up, log in and have access to all the media... I am not a fan of laptops on the boat.
Check and see if WD has released a WD TV Live Media App for Apple. If so, you could buy a WD TV Live, connect it to your wifi network and stream from that. It really does work well. I've also tried a variety of networked media servers and so far, the WD device just plain works.

I tried another bandwidth experiment yesterday. I started a movie on the TV with the WD TV Live, then accessed it from 2 laptops, 2 desktops and a LG Smart BD player, playing the same movie on 6 different devices all at different points in the movie. No slowdowns, or any evidence that it was serving more than one movie, excellent performance from a $99 2TB WD Elements portable HDD and a $45 media server.
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Old 06-07-2014, 17:14   #39
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

socaldmax, thank you so much. Zap worked perfectly! Have the WD set up in our suburban. Just in time for a 8hr drive we with the kids. This is gonna work great! I am buying 2 more both with 2T hd 's attached. Before we carried about 50 CD's and never had the movie they wanted this will solve a lot.

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Old 06-07-2014, 17:16   #40
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

Thank you! It worked!=-O ;-)

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Old 06-07-2014, 20:30   #41
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

WD Live TV...there's a host of proprietary stuff coming out designed to push stored media over local wifi "mesh". And there's DNLA, which sometimes seems impossible to configure and at other times, magically pops up and tells you stuff is linked up without being asked. Damfino.

But Dan, what I'd really like to find is software that does an all-in-one on ripping DVD and BR alike. DVD, like Mark Twain, ain't dead yet, but it HAS been obsoleted by BR and there's no way I'd invest in DVD media now as opposed to BR. Although, it is nice to know that Hollywood is still up to the same games, charging $15 for a DVD but $25 for a BR disc that costs them less than a buck. (Then they wonder, or claim to wonder, why people treat them like thieves? Hmmm.)

Anyway...I can rip my DVDs to MP4 with no trouble but when it comes to BR...software seems scattered, or only partly functional, or else there's one damned expensive source left. It was easier moving my LPs to tape aeons ago.

Oh, and those Hollywood guys? You know, the tracks that split just fine on my old LPs, are split incorrectly (cut off or going into other tracks) on a lot of CD's. Talk about leopards never changing their spots...
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Old 06-07-2014, 20:49   #42
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
WD Live TV...there's a host of proprietary stuff coming out designed to push stored media over local wifi "mesh". And there's DNLA, which sometimes seems impossible to configure and at other times, magically pops up and tells you stuff is linked up without being asked. Damfino.

But Dan, what I'd really like to find is software that does an all-in-one on ripping DVD and BR alike. DVD, like Mark Twain, ain't dead yet, but it HAS been obsoleted by BR and there's no way I'd invest in DVD media now as opposed to BR. Although, it is nice to know that Hollywood is still up to the same games, charging $15 for a DVD but $25 for a BR disc that costs them less than a buck. (Then they wonder, or claim to wonder, why people treat them like thieves? Hmmm.)

Anyway...I can rip my DVDs to MP4 with no trouble but when it comes to BR...software seems scattered, or only partly functional, or else there's one damned expensive source left. It was easier moving my LPs to tape aeons ago.

Oh, and those Hollywood guys? You know, the tracks that split just fine on my old LPs, are split incorrectly (cut off or going into other tracks) on a lot of CD's. Talk about leopards never changing their spots...
As someone who still has beta tape, VHS tape, VHS-C tape, 12 inch laser discs, VCDs and DVDs I feel your pain - I finally got a clue (for myself) and stopped chasing the technology. Never bought a BR disc, never will.

I totally get intellectual property and piracy protection and one should be able to profit from their labors. The battle is around the price point. For me iTunes is right about there. I can rent most movies for less than $5. I can buy most movies for less than $15 bucks. I compare that to the "cinema" experience and have decided that buying an HD or SD movie makes sense to me and only rarely go for the cinema" experience. Take 4 people to a movie and you've killed a $100 bill. I also get to preview the movie and make a better informed buying decision.

Every technology company in the world has a MGPP designed to obsolete the current technology. so as the "hackers" successfully figure out blue ray the next latest thing will come out.

I suspect the "media" companies will figure out that they can sell BR resolution on iTunes and people will pay $17 vs. $15 and it will become available as soon as "newer," "better," "higher resolution" "Silver Ray" discs are ready to market.

They are also waiting for WD to finish up beta testing on petabyte, exabyte and zettabyte drives for home use...

It's all a conspiracy - LOL
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Old 06-07-2014, 22:01   #43
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

"As someone who still has beta tape, VHS tape, VHS-C tape, 12 inch laser discs, VCDs and DVDs I feel your pain - I finally got a clue "
Well, technically you need to retain the original media in order to retain the licensing but in practice "We're gonna need a bigger boat" in order to keep the media and the six players.
Coupla years ago I was going to replace the FM/CD in the car because it was so old it only played "pressed" CDs, no MP3s, and that meant either taking originals on the road or taking a big box as opposed to MP3s. (I know, the sound quality isn't perfect, but over background noise, its enough.)
And then I figured out that if I moved to a radio with a USB input, I could literally put a thousand albums on a gizmo the size of my finger, replacing many milk crates worth of media in the process. And from my living space. THAT'S a clue. Many, big, bulky, replaced by "this tiny thing" with no moving parts. (OK, the backup hard drives have moving parts.)
Hollywood still doesn't have a clue. The discs are al going into storage, and trying to convince me that they are SO expensive to produce and distribute, when I'm actually not interested in that media in any case, is pointless. "No really, we make the finest quality buggy whips!" Ah, yeah, but I don't have a buggy.

"I totally get intellectual property and piracy protection and one should be able to profit from their labors." I'd halfway agree with you. I think the ARTISTS and PERFORMERS are entitled to way more than they get, but the blood-sucking thieves that claim to be promoters and distributors, should be locked up in a dark box with bread and water.

These are the same folks that claimed for many years (ended, you may remember, by a federal suit over price fixing) that CDs had to be way more expensive than LPs or tapes because they cost so much to produce. When in fact the tapes were the most expensive media (lots of little pieces to assemble) even though commercial ones were always made with crap tape. The numbers they claimed just didn't add up compared to the numbers from anyone else commercially in the business. So, "liar liar pants on fire" I'd like to see the artists and performers rewarded and the vampires staked. The groups that are going direct are paving an important way.


iTunes? Dunno. Neil Young may start something if his Pono Player project convinces people that better sound quality is worth pursuing. I think there are other solutions already out there for audio, but again...Wow! Some of those guys want $25 for an LP-quality MP3. More than a premium quality LP itself ever cost. Hmmm.

If I want to see a movie, I'll usually wait for Redbox (just over a buck) or the library (G) unless it promises to be a spectacle worth the rude crowds and sticky floors. I totally agree with you that $100/4 or even $50/4 is just out of line.

"They are also waiting for WD to finish up beta testing on petabyte, exabyte and zettabyte drives for home use..." Yeah, but ain't it funny how an MP4 file preserves full disc quality, at a fraction of the size?

I'm more likely to be found cranking up the tunes than playing video, but I have to admit, sometimes sharing a cult classic after dinner on the hook is a nice way to spend a little time. Being able to toss a few flash drives or cell phones in a hat and saying "pick one"...or at least, being able to bring a stash and say "Have you seen...?" beats all hell out of schlepping DVDs. And if they're in a flash drive or hard drive, safely tethered behind a monitor, no one can step on them or scratch them either. Gee, ain't that bad for business? (VBG)

To any performers and artists who are out there, who have given so much for so many years, let me also say thank you for all the years and all the music and all the memories attached. And let's find a way to stake the vampires, so you can get what you've rightly earned.
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Old 06-07-2014, 23:44   #44
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

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socaldmax, thank you so much. Zap worked perfectly! Have the WD set up in our suburban. Just in time for a 8hr drive we with the kids. This is gonna work great! I am buying 2 more both with 2T hd 's attached. Before we carried about 50 CD's and never had the movie they wanted this will solve a lot.

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My pleasure! So glad it worked great for you!
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Old 21-07-2014, 14:42   #45
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Re: Bringing Movies Onboard?

I've discovered a company called Adata is making water proof (to an extent) and shockproof USB hard drives. They come in various sizes from 500mb to 2t
Ive got a collection of them now and they are excellent for storing huge files like movies and backing up important data. With the extra protection on the drives they should live a bit longer in a marine enviroment.

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