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  #11  
Old Aug 25th, 2016
Haywood Haywood is offline
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Originally Posted by Prof Yaffle View Post

Apple Store means essentially re-buying my content - not insignificant for 500+ movies. Obviously also quality takes a significant hit. Big plus is convenience/ ease - plus no re-rips/ management of iPad copies for the kids (big win).

Simon
I would argue that UV/DMA through Vudu is a better option than Apple for a couple reasons. The quality is basically the same between the two, so that does not play into it.

1) Apple works with Apple, but only Apple. Vudu works on most set top boxes, smart TVs and mobile devices as well as anything that has an HTML 5 compliant web browser.
2) Because almost all of the movies on Vudu are part of either UltraViolet or DMA, you are not entirely beholden to Vudu.
3) There is a HUGE marketplace for UV movie codes that will allow you to acquire pretty much any new release for somewhere between $6 and $12. I would say $7-8 is average. This saves a LOT of money vs paying full freight on iTunes. You can also shop around between UV services. It is a much more open ecosystem.
4) Disc-to-Digital allows you to buy HDX copies of most movies at $1 per Blu-Ray or $2.50 per DVD.
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  #12  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
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djb_rh djb_rh is offline
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Originally Posted by Haywood View Post
I would argue that UV/DMA through Vudu is a better option than Apple for a couple reasons. The quality is basically the same between the two, so that does not play into it.

1) Apple works with Apple, but only Apple. Vudu works on most set top boxes, smart TVs and mobile devices as well as anything that has an HTML 5 compliant web browser.
2) Because almost all of the movies on Vudu are part of either UltraViolet or DMA, you are not entirely beholden to Vudu.
3) There is a HUGE marketplace for UV movie codes that will allow you to acquire pretty much any new release for somewhere between $6 and $12. I would say $7-8 is average. This saves a LOT of money vs paying full freight on iTunes. You can also shop around between UV services. It is a much more open ecosystem.
4) Disc-to-Digital allows you to buy HDX copies of most movies at $1 per Blu-Ray or $2.50 per DVD.
Agreed on all of the above. I just wish Plex had *some* way of at least cataloging your non-Plex movies. I'd love to be able to drop in a text file with the proper movie name and instead of playing the movie (since it isn't there), the Plex user gets the message in the text file. Which could be something like "We own this movie, but it's in Vudu." Then you could at least have some kind of single interface that shows your entire movie library, even if it can't play it all.

And agreed on your previous post...everything about plex is wonderful except ripping.


--Donnie
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  #13  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
tzfan tzfan is offline
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Originally Posted by djb_rh View Post
everything about plex is wonderful except ripping.
I had heard wonderful things about Plex and decided to try it when I wanted to set up a movie server for the family before coming to Kaleidescape. Since Plex has no online movie store, my main use entailed loading my own physical media. This was way too complex for even a technical person who did not want to spend a lot of time at it. I asked Plex experts how to do this simply, including getting metadata, and their only response was it will take time and energy and there is no turnkey way to go about it. Plex largely assumes you already have your media in an online format and that is its achilles heal for many real-world uses.

I then invested in Kaleidescape and it did everything I wanted with DVDs including simple loading of media. Fusion Research and ReQuest may offer something similar for physical media with more flexible storage options but I have not seen anything that rivals Kaleidescape's user interface and programmatic control despite what people often argue.
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  #14  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
Haywood Haywood is offline
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Originally Posted by djb_rh View Post
Agreed on all of the above. I just wish Plex had *some* way of at least cataloging your non-Plex movies. I'd love to be able to drop in a text file with the proper movie name and instead of playing the movie (since it isn't there), the Plex user gets the message in the text file. Which could be something like "We own this movie, but it's in Vudu." Then you could at least have some kind of single interface that shows your entire movie library, even if it can't play it all.

And agreed on your previous post...everything about plex is wonderful except ripping.


--Donnie
I have the same gripe with Plex and I really wish there were a way to integrate my Plex titles with my UV/DMA titles. I was very aggressive with Disc-to-Digital because of cost. It is hard to say no to getting a near Blu-Ray quality 1080p copy of something you have an DVD for $2.50. I also made aggressive use of code sites. This means that the composition of my 1600 title library is now 2:1 UV/DMA to Disc, with about half of the discs being Blu-Ray.

I convert the DVDs to H264 at very high quality settings that do not degrade the quality at all. They don't save me much space either, but this is about compatibility, not storage. Blu-Rays, I do differently. First, I do a raw rip of the main movie with the soundtracks and subtitles I want. Then I use the Plex Optimizer to create a 12Mbps compressed copy. That adds about 30% for each movie size-wise, but essentially eliminates transcoding issues.

I am currently keeping track of all this in a spreadsheet, which is less than ideal.
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  #15  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
Haywood Haywood is offline
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Originally Posted by tzfan View Post
I had heard wonderful things about Plex and decided to try it when I wanted to set up a movie server for the family before coming to Kaleidescape. Since Plex has no online movie store, my main use entailed loading my own physical media. This was way too complex for even a technical person who did not want to spend a lot of time at it. I asked Plex experts how to do this simply, including getting metadata, and their only response was it will take time and energy and there is no turnkey way to go about it. Plex largely assumes you already have your media in an online format and that is its achilles heal for many real-world uses.

I then invested in Kaleidescape and it did everything I wanted with DVDs including simple loading of media. Fusion Research and ReQuest may offer something similar for physical media with more flexible storage options but I have not seen anything that rivals Kaleidescape's user interface and programmatic control despite what people often argue.
The biggest headache is forced subtitles. The rest is pretty easy. Open MakeMKV, pop in a disc, click "open disc", select the main title with the sountracks and subtitles you want, name it and click Make MKV. Done, unless you have forced subs.
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  #16  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
tnedator tnedator is offline
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Originally Posted by Haywood View Post
The biggest headache is forced subtitles. The rest is pretty easy. Open MakeMKV, pop in a disc, click "open disc", select the main title with the sountracks and subtitles you want, name it and click Make MKV. Done, unless you have forced subs.
I like others is not looking at plan B and my last foray into ripping was DVD and the very early Blu Rays (which were a major mess back then).

So, forced sub titles mean you rip the main feature and you check it and it has sub titles? If so, how do you then remove the subtitles?
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  #17  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
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Originally Posted by tzfan View Post
I had heard wonderful things about Plex and decided to try it when I wanted to set up a movie server for the family before coming to Kaleidescape. Since Plex has no online movie store, my main use entailed loading my own physical media. This was way too complex for even a technical person who did not want to spend a lot of time at it. I asked Plex experts how to do this simply, including getting metadata, and their only response was it will take time and energy and there is no turnkey way to go about it. Plex largely assumes you already have your media in an online format and that is its achilles heal for many real-world uses.

I then invested in Kaleidescape and it did everything I wanted with DVDs including simple loading of media. Fusion Research and ReQuest may offer something similar for physical media with more flexible storage options but I have not seen anything that rivals Kaleidescape's user interface and programmatic control despite what people often argue.
Kaleidescape is better. In every way.

It also costs 10-20x more and unless you buy a grandfathered system can't rip, either. And it's currently in a limbo state it may (but hopefully will) never come out of.

So we're talking about Plex and the possibilities.

As has been pointed out, ripping has gotten possible without being horrible in terms of complexity. What it still does take a lot of is TIME. Takes quite a while to get a ful BR rip, and a LOT longer if you want to compress it down. So moving a big library to Plex is hard. Starting from scratch and adding what you want as you go isn't *so* bad.

And for things you don't care about the quality of so much, you *can* just download from a torrent. Now, I'm not talking about bootlegging per se, just using someone else's rip of something you paid for. Gray area to be sure, but hell, so is ripping things you actually own, too. And you might get busted and get caught up in a lawsuit just because you did a download that way. But if none of that bothers you much, torrent downloads of movies drop right in to Plex and work great. For most of us with even a decent download connection, it's faster than any rip you're going to do yourself. Quality is usually passable to pretty good.


--Donnie
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  #18  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
Haywood Haywood is offline
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Originally Posted by tnedator View Post
I like others is not looking at plan B and my last foray into ripping was DVD and the very early Blu Rays (which were a major mess back then).

So, forced sub titles mean you rip the main feature and you check it and it has sub titles? If so, how do you then remove the subtitles?
Forced subs are the ones that pop up when someone in the movie speaks a foreign language, like a scene in a spy movie where the hero infiltrates the Russian embassy. That kind of thing.

The issue is that they are handled three ways. Some discs just burn them into the image by default. They do not show up as a subtitles file, they are just there. Other movies have a separate subtitles file that only contains forced subs. The third option is to have a subtitles file that contains all of the subs where the forced subs are flagged. You have to figure it out on a disc by disc basis or you might end up with a movie with missing forced subs. This is mainly only an issue with Blu-Rays and there is a community maintained Google Docs spreadsheet you can find that lists known movies with forced subs, along with the information you need to deal with them. Still, it is a pain.
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  #19  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
Haywood Haywood is offline
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Originally Posted by djb_rh View Post
Kaleidescape is better. In every way.

It also costs 10-20x more and unless you buy a grandfathered system can't rip, either. And it's currently in a limbo state it may (but hopefully will) never come out of.

So we're talking about Plex and the possibilities.

As has been pointed out, ripping has gotten possible without being horrible in terms of complexity. What it still does take a lot of is TIME. Takes quite a while to get a ful BR rip, and a LOT longer if you want to compress it down. So moving a big library to Plex is hard. Starting from scratch and adding what you want as you go isn't *so* bad.

And for things you don't care about the quality of so much, you *can* just download from a torrent. Now, I'm not talking about bootlegging per se, just using someone else's rip of something you paid for. Gray area to be sure, but hell, so is ripping things you actually own, too. And you might get busted and get caught up in a lawsuit just because you did a download that way. But if none of that bothers you much, torrent downloads of movies drop right in to Plex and work great. For most of us with even a decent download connection, it's faster than any rip you're going to do yourself. Quality is usually passable to pretty good.


--Donnie
The Plex Optimizer makes this a LOT easier. Once you do the raw 1:1 Blu-Ray rip, you can tell Plex to make copies of the film optimized for different things. I generally just use the Universal TV 12 Mbps setting, which gives you an H264 MP4 file with DD or DTS Pass-thru at an average bit-rate of around 12 Mbps. It is dead stupid simple. Click the the ... button, select Optimize, select your options and the server does the rest. It is WAY easier than doing it with Handbrake and you can do an library at a time. I just builds a queue.

I will admit that I have been known to download someone else's rip, but I have found that the quality can be a bit unpredictable.
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  #20  
Old Aug 26th, 2016
Haywood Haywood is offline
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For those of you who are considering Plex as your alternative:

Pros:
The user experience is very good and always improving, because features are added on a regular basis and bugs tend to get fixed rather quickly.

There are clients for practically every device known to man and the server can run on a variety of NAS devices, Windows, Linux, OSX and the NVidia Shield.

You can access your entire media library from anywhere you have internet access and can share your media with others (I share my library with my parents).

It has great music functionality and is also great for dealing with TV Series content.

The UI is dead stupid easy to use and looks good.

It is rock solid stable on the right platform.

Cons:
Ripping discs is a time consuming pain in the ass and there is no way around that.

There is no way to incorporate UV or DMA content into your Plex library.

The "plays anywhere on anything" is based on the server transcoding on the fly, which can be a problem on an under-powered box like a NAS. The only ways around this are to use a beefy server or to use the Optimizer to create additional copies at lower bit-rates to avoid transcoding on the fly. This is not difficult, but it does burn disc space.

The only clients capable of playing 1:1 rips with Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-Master soundtracks are Plex Home Theater running on a PC and the NVidia Shield. There are a few firmware bugs with the Shield that should be fixed soon, but one of them switches the color to RGB at certain frame rates. Again, it is not expected to stay that way for long. I do not know about 3D support or Atmos support, as those have not been relevant to me.

I do know you can also connect KODI devices to a Plex Server with a plugin and that opens up more powerful devices with better codec support. It also requires a high degree of technical acumen to get it set up and working.
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