Recommendations for Movie Server: Laptop or Dedicated Server?

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#1
What do people recommend for a movie server with solid quality playback, user-friendly interface? (Since movies are practically a buck or less per movie on Amazon, we have built up a collection of blu-rays and DVDs.)

1. Just use a dedicated laptop?
- Would that work for burning blu-rays? Particularly where we are international and have blu-rays from multiple zones?

Or is there a movie-server system people like where you insert the blu-ray and either play or just burn to the solid state drive where you can then call it up via a user-friendly front end?

On cost, I imagine a dedicated laptop with 30 terabytes of storage might be $2K? Is something like Imerge (supposedly several thousand incl hard drive) worth more due to something I had not thought of?

Thanks for any advice!
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
3,151
0
36
Smyrna, GA
#4
You won't find hard drives with storage of 4TB. For a serious movie library you are going to need external drives or NAS.

I would get a server with a video card, rather than using the on board video in a laptop. You probably want it to be fanless too.

I would consult with the fine folks at silentPC. They build machines for gamers, are very knowledgeable and helpful and very reasonably priced.

https://silentpc.com/

Ripping blue rays is not a trivial affair. You need obscure chinese software (DVDFab) to do this at full resolution. You can find good playback programs though, so spinning discs is not a problem.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#5
The only stuff I know in that price-range is from Zappiti. Players and servers.
Thanks. I dont mind paying more for say imerge which is supposedly 10K...but only if it makes a big improvement over a dedicated laptop with external hard drives. I have never looked into this, so it might well be a lot of brain damage to do laptop + hard drives.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#6
You won't find hard drives with storage of 4TB. For a serious movie library you are going to need external drives or NAS.

I would get a server with a video card, rather than using the on board video in a laptop. You probably want it to be fanless too.

I would consult with the fine folks at silentPC. They build machines for gamers, are very knowledgeable and helpful and very reasonably priced.

https://silentpc.com/

Ripping blue rays is not a trivial affair. You need obscure chinese software (DVDFab) to do this at full resolution. You can find good playback programs though, so spinning discs is not a problem.
Thanks! So there is no way to rip a blu-ray? wow...actually i thought playstation could do this? in any event, does not seem like its as easy as i thought. no sense trying to rip 200 blu-rays to find out they dont work or destabilize due to encryption.
 

edorr

WBF Founding Member
May 11, 2010
3,151
0
36
Smyrna, GA
#7
Thanks! So there is no way to rip a blu-ray? wow...actually i thought playstation could do this? in any event, does not seem like its as easy as i thought. no sense trying to rip 200 blu-rays to find out they dont work or destabilize due to encryption.
You can rip BluRays using the Chinese DVDFab software, but the industry has been trying to crack down on ripping at full resolution and shut down some services. There may be others, but it is not trivial. 200 Blu Rays will Take up about 6T in storage.

My information may not be 100% current, since I have not looked into it for a while. But research before you take the plunge and don't assume it will be trivial. I'm not so critical on the video side of things so for movies I use ripping software (Pavtube) that loses audio (and probably video) resolution. Only for concert BLuRays do I use DVDFab for full resolution audio.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#8
You can rip BluRays using the Chinese DVDFab software, but the industry has been trying to crack down on ripping at full resolution and shut down some services. There may be others, but it is not trivial. 200 Blu Rays will Take up about 6T in storage.

My information may not be 100% current, since I have not looked into it for a while. But research before you take the plunge and don't assume it will be trivial. I'm not so critical on the video side of things so for movies I use ripping software (Pavtube) that loses audio (and probably video) resolution. Only for concert BLuRays do I use DVDFab for full resolution audio.
Thank you! There were some very sophisticated high end movie servers a number of years ago. Will find and ask them...if they cannot do it...will probably keep the blu-rays in their drawers until someone finds a proper solution.

Wasnt one of the top media servers called Kaleidoscape many years ago?
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#9
Thank you! There were some very sophisticated high end movie servers a number of years ago. Will find and ask them...if they cannot do it...will probably keep the blu-rays in their drawers until someone finds a proper solution.

Wasnt one of the top media servers called Kaleidoscape many years ago?
Just found 1 dealer for Kaleidescape...have emailed for more information. Certainly looks quite cool, and you can burn blu-rays and dvd's. They need to have them stored so you can access in a server (up to 40TB)...but at least you store them all in one giant juke box rather than drawers of plastic boxes. or something like that. will find out more.

for those interested: www.kaleidescape.com
 

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,731
6
38
Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#10
Depending on your objectives (and pricing objectives) you can look at the Kaleidescape solution - which is what i have. You don't really "rip" the discs but you download them from the Kaleidescape Store. For example, if you own a shiny disc of the movie "Lucy" and have the digital certificate that can be redeemed, you would be able to download it to the harddrive in your system for either nothing or $2.00. It would cost more if you don't have a certificate. They also have a 4K HDR solution (Strato) for downloading 4K movies. If, however, you have a movie that the K store does not support, you can purchase a Disc Vault (DV700) that can store up to 320 movies. Think of it as the cheap CD carousel but build like a brick $hit house and it weighs a ton and is incredibly reliable.

The price of entry is steep, the user interface and experience is far superior to anything you can create, the video is at least as good as BluRay, it supports all audio formats. NOT cheap but worth every penny of it.

They have hard drive add-ons up to 40TB (you can buy multiples) but they are not priced for the faint of heart.

Have fun !!
 
Feb 8, 2011
18,959
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38
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#11

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,731
6
38
Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#12
I have sold my Kaleidescape stuff and purchased a NAS (32TB) and am using MakeMKV which will rip BR's and 4k/HDRs. I'm currently using an app on Apple TV (Infuse 5 Pro) for playing the content back. At the moment, the only downside is the the ATV does not yet support Atmos or DTX:X. Interface is excellent (not up to the Kaleidescape standards but good enough), video quality is excellent - but not perfect.

There will be more external players soon to extract the audio and video. I'm not into computer based players as I don't consider them necessary and, along with the NAS, produce too much heat.

I sold the Kaleidescape stuff because I'm not convinced that their current strategy with 4K will allow them to stay around AND the cost for what I am doing is 1/8th of the cost of the Kaleidescape to do the same thing.

The ripping process, while not difficult, is most certainly time consuming. It takes about 5 minutes to rip a CD. It takes about 1 minute per gigabyte to rip movies (depending on how much that is on the original disc you want to rip). In my case, it is about 30 minutes for a BR and about 70 for a 4K/HDR movie.
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#13
Yikes...30 minutes to burn 1 blu-ray? Guess any Kaleidescape would need to include some kind of burning service to get everything onto the hard drive. Thanks for letting us know.
 

audioguy

WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
2,731
6
38
Near Atlanta, GA but not too near!
#14
Yikes...30 minutes to burn 1 blu-ray? Guess any Kaleidescape would need to include some kind of burning service to get everything onto the hard drive. Thanks for letting us know.
You don't get to burn BluRays with Kaleidescape. Download from their store only and it take 45 to 60 minutes per BluRay and longer for 4K/UHD. With a DV700, you just keep up to 320 discs (BR/DVDs only. NO 4K) in it and you have instant access. It is their 4k strategy that will undo them in my opinion!!
 

LL21

Active Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,572
3
38
#15
You don't get to burn BluRays with Kaleidescape. Download from their store only and it take 45 to 60 minutes per BluRay and longer for 4K/UHD. With a DV700, you just keep up to 320 discs (BR/DVDs only. NO 4K) in it and you have instant access. It is their 4k strategy that will undo them in my opinion!!
Thanks...so what do you do with Kaleidescape if you already have 600 bluray/DVDs? Presumably use their jukebox machine - 2 of them?
 

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