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Old 9th August 2018, 20:09   #1  |  Link
oldschooltech
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help digitizing tv / movie library for HTPC questions

Background:
at a point in life an unfortunate event happened and i lost all my dvds and VHS tapes. I jumped on the streaming bandwagon and only bought a few blurays there after.

Now after getting my HTPC, speakers and stuff setup I see the video difference from streaming "HD" and dvd. sometimes they do a good job but sometimes dvd looks just as good. comparing my blurays to "HD" streaming there is no comparisons bluray wins hands down.

Then there is the sound, dvd have 5.1 when most streaming does not, need i say more. So I have been garbing complete season dvd sets and blurays. and a few wd reds HDD

Questions:
When digitizing my movies and shows what is the best way to go about it? does it matter in the first step? see below

So its get disc to HDD, (makemkv, or copy whole disc to HDD with dvdfab/slysoft/etc)

Run handbrake on uncompressed file if space saving is needed (using selected codecs.

I just wanted to make sure I get step one right as to not compromise quality for handbrake and to make sure what i copy to hdd is the "raw uncompressed dvd/bluray" (i know they are compressed on the disc to a point)

also if I am going about this wrong or could use better software more then willing to buy it, if it will make life more automated and or better quality.

Thanks for your time.
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Old 10th August 2018, 07:40   #2  |  Link
Ghitulescu
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I reapt what I said to countless similar questions:

observe the standards (DVD, BD etc, AKA VOB, M2TS and stuff). Only this way you can save the content for future generations.

Remember the AVI? While still playable, not all players can cope with all its variants.
Remember Real Media? WMV? The same, less for RM/RMVB.
DivX, xVid?
MKV was a good starting point, yet it appears to fail, since no hardware player (standalone) can use even basic functionality (all players revolves around SMP8xxx chipsets and last time I checked they could not use the subtitles embedded in MKV only the external ones). Why it failed? Because it was in a continuous change in specs, at least up to the point the manufacturers said stop the crap and implemented the unchanged features.

Standrad files are kept for one generation - one could put unmodified VCD MODs on a DVD (not 100% compliant, because of GOP issue), unmodified VOBs on BD, and so on, observing of course the structure of the new medium (MODs must be repacked as VOBs, VOBs as M2TS etc).

A HTPC, with a custom software, may overcome all these issues and may provide the mental safety that nothing can change, yet new software versions of the players may drop old features and old formats favoring the newly ones - a regular John has no control upon that software unless he writes it. Standard formats will never be removed.

With the exception of some idiotic devices (usually meant to be this way, intentionally), all media from all devices observe these standards, too, so that one can take the movies from a camcorder and make directly a BD, maybe with some remuxing (not recoding).

Space is not a problem - time should be. Saving 1GB (0.1% of a normal HDD nowadays) at the expensive of 5-12 hours, multiplied by 200 movies, plus the electricity costs, is not worth the trouble.

I would use today M2TS (container) with the unmodified content (MPEG2, MPEG4) instead of any other alternative, like MP4 (restricted in audio codecs diversity), or MKV (multiple streams possible issues with some players).
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Old 10th August 2018, 09:46   #3  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
I would use today M2TS (container) with the unmodified content (MPEG2, MPEG4) instead of any other alternative, like MP4 (restricted in audio codecs diversity), or MKV (multiple streams possible issues with some players).
While I agree with you on avoiding reencoding and use a container instead which can handle the original streams, I disagree about your preference for M2TS. According to Wikipedia the M2TS container only supports the following video and audio formats:
MPEG-2 Part 2, H.264, VC-1
AC-3, DTS, LPCM, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD, Dolby Lossless


This is not very much compared to MKV or MP4. I also disagree with your opinion that MKV "has failed". Of course some hardware devices only support a subset of the possible MKV features, but generally MKV as well as MP4 are univerally supported these days (of course depending on the stream formats. My Xtreamer media player does not support HEVC or AAC-LATM due to its chipset).

If I understand the OP correctly then he seems to be determined to reencode the content (using Handbrake or similar) to save space. If so then the H.264 (AVC) video format and the AAC audio format are a good choice these days. IMO it is still too early to jump on the H.265 (HEVC) codec, still a lot of development going on and poor hardware support. Using X264 at a CRF of around 18 is pretty much transparent and well suited for archiving. If you prefer Handbrake or any other of the many encoder GUIs is strictly a matter of taste.


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Old 10th August 2018, 11:17   #4  |  Link
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Well, all legal videos come in one of these 3 codecs M2TS support (from own camcorder to satellite and terrestrial broadcasting streams).
M2TS support a hell lot more audio codecs than MP4, which appears to be the latest craze (Audio: MPEG-4 Part 3, AAC, MP3, MP2, MP1), none of them being lossless. MPç seems to be the favourite for streaming not least because it is fundamentally lossy (bandwidth saving).
And MKV I've read here somewhere may have troubles with TrueHD on some players.

The evolution of MKV and the playback compatibility I might have missed - but so far I intend not to upgrade my deviices, since all new stuff is infected with cinavia (so far restricted to optical discs), and they do not support anything than basic features of MKV. Maybe later. The only advantage MKV has over M2TS is the better packing algorithm, however at the expense of playback errors (of course, should they come).


As for the re-encoding preference of the OP to save 0.0002€ per movie in terms of storage, he should be properly advised to do this during winter, the CPU heat will have beneficial side-effects for his home.

He can do whatever he wants, of course. MKV is really a good competitor, and I really wanted it to be truly an alternative, like FLAC did it. Remember the DivX story? DivX was not introduced in the players until Macrovision took the steer and licensed it - the manufacturers were happy to pay the fees, because they had finally a set of specs on which they could rely, instead of a free but chaotic billion-branched versions of "free" Divx (free as in Microsoft had no time to chase programmers one by one for infringing her patented algorithms).
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Old 10th August 2018, 13:31   #5  |  Link
videoh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manolito View Post
According to Wikipedia the M2TS container only supports the following video and audio formats:
MPEG-2 Part 2, H.264, VC-1
AC-3, DTS, LPCM, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS HD, Dolby Lossless
Apparently outdated information. HDR10 UHD disks use HEVC in M2TS containers. HEVC is also common in SDR M2TS streams.
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Old 10th August 2018, 14:16   #6  |  Link
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The information comes from here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compar...tainer_formats
Latest revision from 30 June 2018 (which of course does not mean that it has to be correct... )
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Old 10th August 2018, 14:22   #7  |  Link
oldschooltech
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Oh boy do i remember DivX, xVid. I use to love making SVcd. VHS quality or tad under on cd was not to bad of deal tho. Now we have HD screens and full quality or near it matters.

I have had it with the streaming companies, rolling my own in home streaming using plex or something else.

I do want the best quality, but I dont want to be stupid and waste 100TB of space. I need to find the first steps, so I can see what sizes stuff will be. rencode to save space and if I need to shot it to the projector I can always pop back in the bluray (would like to do this less often tho). I know avatar may be a pop in the bluray kinda movie.

I only will have about 100 or so movie / tv shows series when im done for now.

1st step: How to get lossless (relative to the source) video and audio to HDD, That can then be used for encodes or used as 1:1 no loss stream.

options I have came up with but not 100% is right:

makmkv to mkv
dvdfab to fulldvd/bluray rip/copy


I still need to listen to some DTS/DD vs the lossless to see if it worth the extra gigs to keep the lossless from bluray.

Man a site that told a person if 1. the bluray is a good upgrade from old dvd ( they rescaned and did not heavily remaster and destroy the film detail like Dragon ball z, or some disney blurays). 2. the Bluray lossless was worth an upgrade. I have this issue right now As I look at dvd vs bluray of speed racer (1967). With out finding and renting both I dont know if bluray and its 2.0 mono hd sound + hd video is worth it over the old used dvd i could get for cheap.

Any tips or suggestion welcome.
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Old 10th August 2018, 14:36   #8  |  Link
videoh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manolito View Post
The information comes from here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compar...tainer_formats
Latest revision from 30 June 2018 (which of course does not mean that it has to be correct... )
Are you denying that HEVC can be stored in M2TS? Or just whining about how bad Wikipedia can be? If the former you are wrong. If the latter what's the point?

Or maybe you are picking nits over "outdated". Beyond sell date milk is not restored by slapping a new date on it.

Last edited by videoh; 11th August 2018 at 01:45.
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Old 10th August 2018, 18:59   #9  |  Link
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Sorry I responded to your post. Should have known better...
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Old 10th August 2018, 19:50   #10  |  Link
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Can't take a little of your own medicine, eh? Get over it.
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Old 11th August 2018, 13:44   #11  |  Link
hubblec4
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@oldschooltech

For me is the best way to preserve DVDs/BDs, the mkv container.
You could use makemkv it is for the most cases a very good and easy to use tool.
Personally I use my chapterEditor (Disc2mkv) to get an mkv.
Then I can create a menu mkv, to playback series seamlessly.
I have more then 500 moves and over 5TB series mkvs and a PC is used for playback.
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Old 13th August 2018, 08:06   #12  |  Link
Ghitulescu
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MKV is a great format to start with.
The problem is that it is well-supported best on computers. Outside ther world of user intervention, in the true world of standalones, the MKV is poorly supported, at least in some killing-features I would need.


Remember, this is supposed to be done for the future.
Future also means older people. Older people might need special help in order to survive the world of 20 years from now. Subtitles are a big help. Subtitles are not properly displayed in any standalone I tried, unless it is a sepratae ASCII (not Unicode, UTF and the like) text file with the 26 English letters (x2, minuscule + majuscule) plus signs. The hideous # replaces the elegant ♫, there are no colours (some accept colours in SRT) and so on.

Also have a look into the computer world 20-30 years ago. None of the interfaces fits the new world. No USB, no HDMI, no Digital Out of any kind, luckily a composite video observing half of the standard NTSC/PAL (only the TV could understand). To use the future interfaces a new computer has to be made from scratch, as no old interface would fit the new architecture. And new architecture requires a new driver system, new formats, everything new. Would a "current-age + 20" old man have the abilities to set up such a complicated device and tweak it to play obsolete formats - he might need to do the same job again (reencode the material), and again, and again....

Surely, the 2018-Multimedia-PC would be functional by then, although there are some chances are that it won't.

Unfortunately, the same may also be said about standalones. Although a CD player of 1982 can still be used in a 2018 normal-John Consumerson amplifier. Whereas an 1998 DVD player may have issues finding the AV-in in the modern TV sets (but not with amplifiers).
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Old 13th August 2018, 18:47   #13  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
MKV is a great format to start with.
The problem is that it is well-supported best on computers. Outside ther world of user intervention, in the true world of standalones, the MKV is poorly supported, at least in some killing-features I would need.
Every device in our house capable of playing media will play MKVs. Two 8yo TVs with built in media players, two Bluray players of a similar age, and the cheapest LCD TV it's possible to buy. It has a small screen, terrible black levels, viewing angles don't apply.... but it's built-in media player supports all the common formats including MKV.

Here's a challenge for you.... try to find as many current model Bluray players as possible (or current model TVs with built in media players) without MKV support. I'd be surprised if there's many, and I'd be astounded there's enough to prove MKVs are poorly supported these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
Would a "current-age + 20" old man have the abilities to set up such a complicated device and tweak it to play obsolete formats - he might need to do the same job again (reencode the material), and again, and again....
That's a scenario that'll probably only ever take place in your head
My 83yo mother can cope with switching on the USB hard drive connected to her TV, waiting for the TV to recognize it and using the remote to scroll through folders and select a video.
My Bluray player supports far more formats than my old DVD player, software devices can be updated or new players installed, and the next generation of players will no doubt continue to support the same formats as before. Well... aside from discs... as that requires a disc drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
Remember the DivX story? DivX was not introduced in the players until Macrovision took the steer and licensed it - the manufacturers were happy to pay the fees, because they had finally a set of specs on which they could rely, instead of a free but chaotic billion-branched versions of "free" Divx.
I'm pretty sure there's been non-certified DVD players capable of playing mpeg4 for as long as there's been Dvix certification.
Manufacturers can conform to the mpeg4 standard without paying DivX anything, and the early DivX codec (version 3) wasn't even mpeg4 complaint.
I think the profiles were a DivX invention, but they're subsets of the mpeg4 specification. No doubt Divx had some influence at the time, but I doubt things would have progressed much differently had Divx not been around to make lots of money using their name for marketing

Did Macrovision really license Divx? I don't remember that one.
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Old 13th August 2018, 22:19   #14  |  Link
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Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
Remember the DivX story? DivX was not introduced in the players until Macrovision took the steer and licensed it -
As far as I remember the time table was quite a bit different. It was the DivX company (before they were bought by Sonic Solutions which was later bought by Rovi which was the successor to Macrovision) which made the clever move to offer a free license to the chip manufacturers for the hardware DVD players. The chip makers jumped on it because it did not cost them any money and they could slap a DivX label on the front of the players. And the DivX company suddenly got all the brand recognition they needed for free. A real win-win deal.

Macrovision (Rovi) had nothing to do with this whole story, they entered the game much later.


Cheers
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Last edited by manolito; 13th August 2018 at 22:24.
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Old 13th August 2018, 22:31   #15  |  Link
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Originally Posted by oldschooltech View Post
When digitizing my movies and shows what is the best way to go about it?
The best way?
Store them on your HDDs unchanged, i.e. without any re-encoding.
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Old 14th August 2018, 07:39   #16  |  Link
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Originally Posted by hello_hello View Post
Every device in our house capable of playing media will play MKVs. Two 8yo TVs with built in media players, two Bluray players of a similar age, and the cheapest LCD TV it's possible to buy. It has a small screen, terrible black levels, viewing angles don't apply.... but it's built-in media player supports all the common formats including MKV.
I did not say doesn't support MKV at all, as you interpret it, but it does not support essential features for me. And probably to all people that will become one day old enough that either will drive their neighbours to hell raising the loudness or read subtitles.
There are other features not supported so far in standalones.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello_hello View Post
That's a scenario that'll probably only ever take place in your head
My 83yo mother can cope with switching on the USB hard drive connected to her TV, waiting for the TV to recognize it and using the remote to scroll through folders and select a video.
Lucky you and Sid (from Ice Age) have both a mentally-agile granny and let's hope you'll exhibit the same ingenuity at her age. maybe it's the Oz effect, all nutritive blood descends gravitationally to the heads... who knows?

Is she able to rip and encode a BD to 4GB (because of FAT32 limitation, or the size of choice) by herself?
Quote:
Originally Posted by hello_hello View Post
My Bluray player supports far more formats than my old DVD player, software devices can be updated or new players installed, and the next generation of players will no doubt continue to support the same formats as before. Well... aside from discs... as that requires a disc drive.
I am absolutely sure a computer or computer-based mediaplayer would be able to support far more formats and files than any standalone. And I of course never contested this.
The real question is then: why? Why do I need this? Why should I pay more for licences for formats I would never use? In duplicate or triplicate (for the AVR and the TV and even the STB include now the ability to play AVIs of lots of kinds).
All other formats, like DivX, RM, AVI, etc., are almost exclusively the result of "human activity": people like our original poster that are convinced by others that is best to convert their existing library (in standard formats) to the "award-winning" AVI in 1998, to the "award-winning" MKV in 2008 and to the award-winning MP4 in 2018. That works with 5 DVDs, but how about 1000? I understand the reason of doing this is to save time in the future, by dropping flipping the labels in the cellar (plus go down, find the box, go up, open the tray etc.) to browse all titles on-screen and press Enter/Play/Ok. This gives the excuse for the manufacturers to implement those in basic mode, with lots of bugs, the developers to cash fees for their codecs and so on - everyone on that side of the food chain would get his money from the customer.

Thus, with the notable exception of some camcorders that recorded in DivX, few cameras that recorded in AVI (or MOV), and a few modern action cameras recording in MKV or MP4, all sources available to a regular user are one of the 3 mentioned in my post. The rest is obtained by endless conversions. It would be idiotic to encode a perfectly valid video into a format then complain the player X or the TV y cannot replay it or do it wrongly. For some people this appears to be the normality.

As for space... it is 109€ too expensive for 4TB of space? I would actually pay 218€ (maybe less for some quantity discount ) to have a "doublure" - this is far more usefull for a personal library than spending precious time on recoding to the "codec of the year" (to be repeated for each such codec of the year), unless I do not have a life. How much are 220€? Well, 22 VHS 3h cassettes, holding AT BEST two movies of 1:30 (but these are usually longer) - so let's say 40 movies. At 40GB (the size for a full quality BD) per movie, 220€ store me 100 movies in duplicate (maybe more, as there are 25GB movies), 5 times more, and at a spectacular quality vs VHS. 1000 in DVD-quality, still better than VHS.
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Old 14th August 2018, 08:13   #17  |  Link
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Originally Posted by manolito View Post
As far as I remember the time table was quite a bit different. It was the DivX company (before they were bought by Sonic Solutions which was later bought by Rovi which was the successor to Macrovision) which made the clever move to offer a free license to the chip manufacturers for the hardware DVD players. The chip makers jumped on it because it did not cost them any money and they could slap a DivX label on the front of the players.
I read wiki myself, indeed DivXNetworks licensed the codec first, before being swallowed by the big guys.

Anyway, the point I made remains - the DivX codec on hardware players first appeared when a company, a real company, took the initiative and provided a fixed set of rules. Anyone could build on these rules (standards). The user had to encode his movies based on the same set of rules, then the product was playbale on all hardware bearing the same logo, certifying that it observes the same set of rules. In the free software world there is chaos, each programmer works on his own branch, on his own interpretation, optimisation, requirement. Anyone that has coordinated at least once a project in the "real life" and had his neck in, would know this.
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