Blu Ray Playback, Ripping and Burning & Home Theater Management

IamTimTech

Estimable
Oct 13, 2014
8
0
4,510
0
Hey everyone, thanks for stopping in to help. I am currently setting up a media machine for the living room, here are the specs:

Define R4 Case & EVGA NEX 650 PSU
i5-6600K & 16GB DDR4 on a Gigabyte Z170X-UD3
250GB Crucial BX100 SSD & 1TB WD Blue HDD
LG WH16NS40 Blu-Ray Reader/Writer
GTX 960

The goal of this machine is to manage a home theater system. It needs to be able to play all Blu rays without having to rip them to the HDD first, but also being able to rip favorites when desired. DVD and Music playback and ripping is pretty straight forward compared to Blu-Rays, so I imagine once the Blu Ray issues are resolved so will the DVD and CD issues.

I'd also like to try a few different programs for playback such as XBMC or PLEX to be manage libraries and playback. Are there any other suggestions for good media suite programs? They don't need to be free, but being economical is good. It's worth mentioning I read all of the suggested threads before I posted this. I haven't quite found the answer I was looking for, so I posted here.










 

getochkn

Splendid
Moderator
That is kind of overkill for a HTPC. The only reason to need a video card is if you need HDMI 2.0 for 4K, since the 960 is one of the only cards with that feature right now. Otherwise, the built-in Intel graphics are more than enough to handle bluray discs or playback with room to spare, especially with a skylake.

Kodi/Plex debate. Plex can cost if you want more feature but the free does a lot too.

I sum up the difference like that. Plex is more of a server. It hosts your files, and can play them, but it really shines if you want all your media accessible from other devices. You want to watch a ripped movie on your tablet from a hotel room, Plex does "transcoding" so it can convert any media in its library, in real time, to another format that a different device can read, since not all devices can read all format, it can find out what format any device can read and convert it to that format. It lacks in skins, addons, etc.

Kodi is more for one PC. It doesn't transcode or allow easy access to media from away from home. It does what it does very good though, it's extremely customizable, has a ton of awesome addons, lots of support forums, skins, etc.


That said, I run a plex server for my media, but run Kodi as my frontend. lol. Best of both worlds.

As for ripping blurays, I don't know about that. But any other HTPC general questions, I may be able to help.
 

why_wolf

Estimable
Aug 28, 2015
221
1
5,110
59
I'm unsure if I'm allowed to tell you the names of programs that will allow you to break the encryption on blu-rays here but they do exist. I suggest looking at videohelp.com. They catalog lots of video and audio programs and the ones you're looking for are there. Of course be careful of scams and other BS.

Spec wise that machine is fine. Ripping discs doesn't require much but converting them into mp4 or mkv files does take work. That i5 is basically where you want to start, the i7 will do it faster but for HTPC usage it would be over kill.

XBMC and Plex are basically it for HTPC library management programs. Personally I think XBMC is better unless you really want to broadcast your library outside of your home network in which case Plex wins. Of course nothing is stopping you from having both programs running at the same time.
 

IamTimTech

Estimable
Oct 13, 2014
8
0
4,510
0


Thanks man, I am leaning towards a very simple and straight forward solution as well. I will keep this answer in mind.



Thanks man, I am aware that this is pretty overkill for a stricly media machine. He will be gaming as well, but his main focus is his media. I appreciate the input on Kodi and Plex and I can ask him if he'd like to watch his media from anywhere else in the house or outside of the home If he wants the option to stream his library from elsewhere I'm pretty sold on Plex, because I've had it recommended to me many times before.



I do not want to setup this PC for any sort of illegal use whatsoever, I am selling this PC so that is absolutely out of the question. I want him to be able to legally play his Blu-Rays and when he wants to, be able to to rip them and save them on his 1TB Drive. The PC is primarily being used for his home theater but he wants to play any game on it too at 1080 and his budget allowed so he got a "gaming" PC to use for his media. He also wanted latest and greatest so there you go for the Skylake decision, he and I both agreed the i7 is simply overkill and unnecessary. The PC is built and ready to ship I just want to get him all lined up with the right software to enjoy his PC to the fullest before I finish boxing it up.

Thanks for the recommendations on HTPC playback. I will install both and try to decide, if I can't I will leave them both on to let him decide.

I really want to thank everyone so far for the feedback, this is helping me at least prepare him to set up his PC the way he see's fit and I think he will be very happy with the results.

P.S. He also has a 3D TV and wants to be able to watch 3D if that makes a difference to anyone. I'm Looking at Slysoft's AnyDVD HD since it will let him use whatever player he wants, anyone with experience with that software?
 

getochkn

Splendid
Moderator
The problem is ripping bluray's is one of those legal weird areas. You have a right to rip it and make a backup copy. That has long been established in the law. What is the grey area, is that ripping Blurays or DVD's or video game discs, is that you have to break encryption in order to rip it, so thus, you have then broken the law. So you have to break the law into order to legally do what you are entitled to under the law.

Sadly, our laws don't keep up anywhere near fast enough for the digital era.

I'm pretty sure ANY bluray ripping software breaks the encryption, and thus, the law, in some way, and then produces, a legal backup you can own.

Weird, I know.
 

IamTimTech

Estimable
Oct 13, 2014
8
0
4,510
0


Programs like MakeMKV are legal ripping programs and I think as long as he doesn't redistribute his media or "share" it then he will be fine. All the same, if I give him a legal program with a legitimate license it is on him what he does with it. He doesn't have strong internet (satellite) so I am sure he won't be torrenting his entire collection to the world. What I like about PowerDVD is that it is a legitimate, best known 3rd party software (most OEM's use it) and will allow him to play and backup his Blurays without breaking any laws as far as I know.

When I said I don't want to do anything illegal I mean use pirated software or encourage breaking copyright law, for all intents and purposes I consider any internal playback/ripping/back up legal as long as he doesn't redistribute it.
 

why_wolf

Estimable
Aug 28, 2015
221
1
5,110
59
MakeMKV breaks the encryption so it's illegal in the most the world and in a solid gray area in the US. That said nobody will ever find out or care unless he's stupid enough to start seeding torrents with his rips.

You don't have to worry about pirated software for the ripping programs. All of those programs exists within a legal gray area to being with, you can't exactly steal from a thief. Usually when they become to popular or start making money the MPAA will sue them and they disappear.

As far as I'm aware PowerDVD is the only official blu-ray player program for PCs. There is some work on getting an open source method to VLC but it is very much a work in progress and again technically illegal (but shielded as they are French) as for VLC to play anything it must crack the encryption on the disc.
 

IamTimTech

Estimable
Oct 13, 2014
8
0
4,510
0


Ok thank you for that information
 

darkbreeze

Honorable
Moderator
I realize this is a several years old thread but since it came up in several of my earlier searches in the last couple of days I figure it is also being seen by a great many other people who might also be searching for information on this exact subject, and thus, is still very relevant.

Kudos to Getochkn and Wolfshadw for there assistance back in 2015 because at that time the advice they offered was entirely correct, however, having just gone though this dilemma myself I can verify that there is now a free Blu Ray player available.

I don't understand why either, and I know there shouldn't be one since companies are supposed to have to pay licensing fees to the Panasonic, Phillips and Sony trifecta but I can absolutely confirm that Laewo Blu Ray Player IS 100% free, PLAYS commercial and home recorded blu ray discs (I played three entire Redbox blu rays on it just to make absolutely sure there were no catches) and unless it expires at some point or gets forced out of operation (seems fully legit though from everything I can find and I've scanned the product seven ways from Sunday looking for any kind of potential infection, of which I can find none.) it would seem to actually be exactly what it says it is.

So if you're looking for a software playback option, this might be what you need. As with anything, this could change at any time so if you find that at some point down the road something seems different from what I've stated here, don't blame me. I'm just pointing out that for ME, it is working, and working correctly.

http://www.leawo.com/blu-ray-player/
 
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