Haven't had much time to play with it yet. It will playback Vob's (MPEG 2 files), MPEG 4, Divx, AVI and some others. I use Shrink to rip from DVD, with DVD43 running in the background to remove encryption. I used Win AVI to convert to any of the above. I have only tried cartoons at this stage as my 5yo wants to try it out first but the quality at 750Mb from the orig 4.3 Gig seems very good using either Avi or Divx.
It is my intention to use it with a 21" Tv on the boat, on a big screen
it would probably be less impressive.
hellosailor I use Shrink to extract just the movie and discard the rest. The movie is always under 5 Gig. Shrinking down to 50% with an output file type of VOB is usually pretty dismal so I was only expecting to get about 120 movies on the box but out of curiosity I tried the other formats and so far have been pleasantly surprised but time will tell.
Cowboy Sailer The time is taken up with converting to the Divx format, copying it to the drive is via USB and is no different to any other external hard drive. WIN AVI has a batch node so you could do a heap overnight. First Shrink the DVD's to the hard drive and then let them all run. Getting 500 movies on the box will be a fairly serious time commitment though. I usually shrink in the background, maybe 5 mins to set it up then up to 1 hour shrinking. The conversion seems about 2 hours but only 10 mins to set up a whole batch. It is only hooked to the PC while copying files to it, it then has a tv onscreen menu to select the playback just like a video or PVR.
I will try to get to measuring the power draw over the weekend