Getting media ready to be used with WD TV HD ( HD and SD )

So instead of media pc I purchased Western Digital TV to cater all my media needs in the living room. So far I have been really satisfied with it, even though I have had some problems in figuring out the best way to prepare content to be used in it. Biggest problem is that old rips that looked fine on computer in small window in small screen look horrible in big screen.

To get some quality content into livingroom I purchased LG bluray drive for my linux box and started to rip few movies to be used on WD TV HD. Or atleast that was the idea as it turned out that ripping and converting bluray discs is far away from a walk in the park. After trying out and reading out different suggestions I ended up settling for following combination:

1) Use AnyDVD HD to rip movie to copy drive

Though Anydvd HD is commercial software, it is by far the best software circumventing unnecessary and evil copy protections.

2) Encode bluray videostream into Matroska video with Handbrake

This is simple and nice, except handbrake doesn’t process subtitles and take ages to encode one two hour movie in good quality. I’ve been using ”High Profile”-preset and spending approx. 12 hours waiting for my dualcore linux box to get the work done.

If you really need subtitles, you need to manually use additional tools ( http://www.videohelp.com/tools/eac3to ) to add subtitles to your videos. Or then again using RipBot264 to glue together dozens of different small programs to rip and convert bluray – in theory – to matroska file with subtitles. In practice there might be a few quirks here and there, and on my setup running RipBot264 ( which is Windows software ) inside a VirtualBox virtual machine takes ages… and then some more.

As I value more the convenience and speed of the process than having subtitles, using Handbrake instead of manual labour or Ripbot. As a sidenote, I am thinking about selling this unit and buying WD TV Live HD. If you want to buy only few days old unit in Helsinki, contact me😀

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