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Old 13th May 2004, 20:41   #1  |  Link
godus
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Can we play movie on TV from hard disk?

Some of the DVD-R backups I made few months ago can't play any more. This seriously raises the question how long it would last before the other backup disks go bad. For this reason, I would love to back up my videos on a chain of big hard disks instead of on DVD-R, hopefully the storage lasts longer. I rather prefer to store home videos this way than on DVD-Rs or camcorder tapes.

It would be ideal if we could play the movies from the hard disks directly on the TV; the hard disk plus any necessary hardware should function just like a set-top DVD player. In this way, all home videos can be made into DVD format, stored on disk, and played from there, without the need to write them on DVD-Rs.

Does anyone know if there are any existing hardware/software peripherals that allow us to do just that? Is there any company that makes a device that allows us to plug a hard disk in and play the contents on TV? Thanks for any info you could give.
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Old 13th May 2004, 20:58   #2  |  Link
Neo Neko
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You can do it and it is easy to boot. All you need is a cheap ATI card or a 3rd party one. I foud one for 30 dollars US with composite out new. Mind you there can be some quality issues. But they are generally quite minimal and can be further reduced by using quality cable. Further you can use geexbox with a wireless keyboard or infrared remote with the right equipment. Movix on sourceforge works well also. And in the end you can build yourself quite a nice home media server. I record TV and play it back by mine all the time. Quality is great. And you don't have to limit yourself to DVD format either. It can be practically any media type including MPEG4 and the newer prommising h264 codecs which could easily allow you to store 4 to 8 times more video than if it were DVD format. It could also allow you to store 20 to 50 times more than eqivalent DVD format media. Just depends on the video. Which means a 100 dollar 100Gb HD could store an impressive media cache indeed. And since geexbox etc only take up 50Mb the entire rest of the HD is left for your media.
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Old 13th May 2004, 21:05   #3  |  Link
fccHandler
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You know, I had the same idea a long time ago when some of my cheap CD-Rs went bad. The longevity of burned optical discs worries me, so I thought, Why not store all my stuff on removeable hard drives?

My friend talked me out of the idea with this logic: A CD holds ~700MB, a DVD holds ~4.36GB. A hard drive today can hold hundreds of GB, but what if it goes bad? (It can happen.) You will potentially lose much more data from that disaster than you will if a CD-R dies. The difference in scale of such a disaster is terrifying to me...

I'm starting to think that for long-term preservation of video, maybe DV tape is the way to go. IME, when a CD goes bad it tends to happen suddenly. One day it's readable, the next day it's a coaster. At least when tape starts to go bad it's a gradual process spanning many years; you can see when it's happening, and that gives you plenty of time to copy the video before it deteriorates too much.

Furthermore, I don't expect to live so long that I would need to backup all my DV tapes, if I go that route. I still have VHS from the late 80's that are perfectly watchable. Maybe they don't look as good as they did then, but they're not coasters either...
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Old 14th May 2004, 11:59   #4  |  Link
sarahjh69
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Hauppage sell a media player that accesses a PC
down a network cable and plays MP3, movies etc.
They are about to produce a wireless network version
ad looks like a pretty good way of doing this.
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Old 14th May 2004, 17:37   #5  |  Link
godus
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Thanks everyone. You people are great.
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