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Two questions about DVD ripping (legality & presentation)

OrganichuOrganichu poopspeesRegistered User, Moderator mod
edited October 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey all, two questions. The first one is probably REAAAAAAAAAAAAALLY obvious, and I'm just ignorant, but here go my two questions:

1.) Is it illegal to rip a DVD to my hard drive? I don't plan to make a profit (or share at all, really), I'd just like some of my movie collection on my hard drive. I don't know if there's a line between distribution or w/e or if it's just illegal full stop to brute through the copy guard (with any of the numerous programs designed to do so). If this is illegal I'll probably repurchase a few of my favorite films through an online distribution thing, I guess. I hope it's legal, tho'. Halp.

2.) Once I have my DVDs on my local hard drive (either as .isos or .avis or whatever), I'd like a program that will allow me to sort through (and present) the collection in a graphical, organized fashion. Something sort of like 'coverflow view' on iTunes, but with the option for different categories (movies, TV shows, specials, etc.), and preferably the ability to set a custom photo/video as the 'icon' for each file. I'm sure something like this exists, in fact I've seen it before when someone was showcasing an HTPC, but I don't know what the software was called (or what the different software options are).

Thanks.

Organichu on

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Organichu wrote: »
    Hey all, two questions. The first one is probably REAAAAAAAAAAAAALLY obvious, and I'm just ignorant, but here go my two questions:

    1.) Is it illegal to rip a DVD to my hard drive? I don't plan to make a profit (or share at all, really), I'd just like some of my movie collection on my hard drive. I don't know if there's a line between distribution or w/e or if it's just illegal full stop to brute through the copy guard (with any of the numerous programs designed to do so). If this is illegal I'll probably repurchase a few of my favorite films through an online distribution thing, I guess. I hope it's legal, tho'. Halp.

    You're fine. Copying these movies to your hard drive for your own use is definitely permissible under fair use. Circumventing the encryption is, IIRC, even allowable despite the DMCA...it's the distribution of tools to circumvent the encryption that's illegal.

    So, for instance, it's legal to have DVD Decrypter, legal to use DVD Decrypter, but not necessarily legal for somebody to send you a copy of DVD Decrypter.
    2.) Once I have my DVDs on my local hard drive (either as .isos or .avis or whatever), I'd like a program that will allow me to sort through (and present) the collection in a graphical, organized fashion. Something sort of like 'coverflow view' on iTunes, but with the option for different categories (movies, TV shows, specials, etc.), and preferably the ability to set a custom photo/video as the 'icon' for each file. I'm sure something like this exists, in fact I've seen it before when someone was showcasing an HTPC, but I don't know what the software was called (or what the different software options are).

    Thanks.

    *shrug*

    I assume you're under Windows? I thought the new version of Media Player did that, but I guess that might only be under Vista.

    mcdermott on
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    Ok thanks Mcdermott. I'm using XP (Pro) at present.

    I'll poke around for some options. So far Google gave me 'Meedio' so I'll give that a look.

    Organichu on
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    Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    also if you can spring for it i think windows media center does most of the things you want.
    i'm sure there are cheaper alternatives though

    Local H Jay on
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    Wow yeah that does look redunkulously cool, and I do have a 360... I'm going to be plunking in quite a chunk of money for the hardware anyway, so I'll give WMC a serious look. Thanks.

    Organichu on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Organichu wrote: »
    Ok thanks Mcdermott. I'm using XP (Pro) at present.

    I'll poke around for some options. So far Google gave me 'Meedio' so I'll give that a look.

    Google pointed me towards MediaPortal, which seems to bear at least some resemblance to the XBMC software I use on my modded oXbox. Which is excellent.

    Or, after typing that, I remembered that XBMC is in fact available for Windows...check it out here. It plays most media, and on a modern computer that includes most HD media as well. I've not fucked with it on Windows, though. For a remote, if you have a Wii you might consider picking up a Bluetooth dongle and just using a Wiimote.


    Hell, if you have an oXbox laying around consider using it. A $20 modchip and a bit of soldering ability will result in a fully-functional media center, at least for SD content. It'll play 720x480 MPEG4 streams with no issues, upscaled up to 1080i, along with either downmixing to Dolby Pro Logic or (if you have the proper cords) directly outputting the AC3 stream to your surround receiver. And you can choose to either upgrade the hard drive inside or simply stream over a network, even wirelessly with one of a handful of cheap wireless bridges available. The only real downside to using it is the noise, but even that's pretty manageable.

    EDIT: And XBMC on the Xbox at least pulls data from imdb and the like, automatically downloading artwork for your movies...though sometimes it's not DVD covers, but rather promotional posters or some shit. Basically whatever shows up at imdb for it.

    mcdermott on
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    Nakatomi2010Nakatomi2010 Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    http://www.rlslog.net/windows-xp-to-media-center-edition-2005-converter/

    http://www.mymovies.dk/

    That should be all you really need.... I used this method to get MCE before I got Vista Ultimate, worked quite well, the second link is a movie organizer that connects to a database online to pull proper info, even generates things like my the movie link in my sig...

    Nakatomi2010 on
    Check out me building my HTPC (NSF56K) (Updated 1-10-08)
    Movie Collection
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    Holy shit! Sony's new techno toy!
    Wii Friend code: 1445 3205 3057 5295
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Fucked around with XBMC for Windows. It's not bad at all, though (as expected) it loses a little something once you're using it on a less-clearly-defined platform. Still, the ability to play more complex media is probably worth it.

    So, the one question I have is what exactly you're playing this stuff on. Are we talking about a PC/Monitor/Stereo Speakers or are we talking about a PC/HDTV/Surround Receiver? Single or dual monitor setup?

    If you're on a single-monitor setup I'm thinking that the above (XBMC) might work well for you. On the other hand, it appears that its multiple-monitor abilities suck giant donkey cock.

    mcdermott on
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    OrganichuOrganichu poops peesRegistered User, Moderator mod
    edited October 2008
    Thanks guys.

    I'm not sure of the exact hardware yet (this is all in the planning stages). It'll probably be a single monitor thing... basically I invite a few people over in front of the boob tube, and I can hand them them the remote and they can easily see, graphically, all my music/video etc on my TV and choose what to play.

    Organichu on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    Sounds like you've got a start, then.

    If you're looking for something that will be sitting in your entertainment center, there are a number of options in Micro-ATX or Nano-ITX that might be right up your alley...including at least some that maintain HDMI/HDCP(?) capability and include SPDIF output for surround as well. Add a smallish hard drive (or even flash, for less noise), wireless LAN, and stream your media from elsewhere.

    EDIT: And as somebody pointed out, a Mini-ITX motherboard fits nicely inside an old NES case (as well as several other old consoles), if you're going for sexaliciousness. And if you've already got a Wii Remote I recommend just using it (with a Bluetooth adapter, either internal or USB dongle) because it works pretty nicely. Especially combined with either pseudo-gyro-mouse capability, or in conjunction with a wireless sensor bar...you've basically got eleven buttons and a pointer at that point (well, 10 if one has to be the "mouse" button).

    mcdermott on
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    Q_PrimeQ_Prime Registered User regular
    edited October 2008
    if this post does not follow forum rules then please remove it. i don't want to break any rules.

    to rip a dvd, get a tool like dvd decrypter or dvd shrink, either of those will rip most dvds on the market, for any pesky ones that don't work with those tools, you can use 'anydvd' in conjunction with either of those and that gets about 99.99% of them.

    now that the dvd is ripped to your computer as files in a folder (not an iso)

    use a program called autogk. this will convert the dvd to an avi file, autogk is very simple, you set the file size and the compression method, and it does the rest. it's possibly to rip television series on dvd using this method. but i recommend using the batch file found here http://forum.videohelp.com/topic301015.html
    it really simplifies ripping tv shows. (i've done a good 20 or so tv show discs with this particular method and it works great)

    average file size for a movie is about 700megs to 1gb, ideally you should be doing a certain number of megs per minute that way you have consistent video quality across your movies, but i have not bothered looking it up so all of mine are 1gb. tv shows are 175megs for a half hour show, 350megs for an hour show.

    Q_Prime on
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