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Entire DVD collection to view on TV via hard drive. File type?
post Dec 2 2012, 12:12
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I have a large DVD movie collection that I would like to put onto a large hard drive and get rid of all the DVD's. I should note first that I would like to rip it all without compression. I am of course open to comments on this however.

I mainly want to go directly from my hard drive to my TV. I have had some luck with the VOB files in terms of playing them on my TV via hard drive, but the transitions are not always perfect. Images are convenient for ripping, and I can play them from my laptop to the TV, but this isn't the most convenient for me. I'd rather have them going straight from my hard drive. I also realize future TV could accept more (or perhaps less) file types.

In short, i'm looking for an easy way to rip DVD's as I have hundreds of them, and i'm open to any suggestions and discussion. I currently have a Samsung series 5 40 inch TV.

Thanks in advance.
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post Dec 3 2012, 19:25
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I don't think there's any really standardized way to do what you want... The "standards" are shiny discs.

There are also standards for audio/video connections, such as composite video or HDMI. Just about every modern flat screen TV has these inputs. I'd stick with something standard that's going to work with any TV.

I know some TVs have USB ports, but I wouldn't rely on the TV to read & decode a file off a hard drive. Different TVs support different formats (assuming you get it working at all) and you're likely to have problems if you try to use a different TV. Plugging a hard drive into a DVD player (that has USB) is going to be hit-or-miss also.

So, I'd look for a media player that has video outputs (ideally HDMI) and a USB input for a large external hard drive. Or, you can look for some kind of network streaming box that plugs into a network on one side and has audio/video out on the other side. Then, you can store your A/V files on a server.

You could use a laptop as a server, or get a laptop with an HDMI connector and use the laptop as your media player plugged drectly into the TV. Of course, the advantage of a computer (as a server or as a "direct" media player) is that it will play just about any format (with the correct software/codecs).

I have an "extra" laptop that is set-up in my living room for playing music that's connected to my home theater receiver, but unfortunately it does not have HDMI. At some point, I'm gong to replace it with one that has HDMI & a Blu-Ray player.

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