View Full Version : Was Nice box, now video server

Carl Maskelyne
2005-01-13, 14:03
We have a video and MP3 server with a terabit of information - high street
cost would be less than 1000 ($1900). Makes perfect sense with the falling
price of storage.


Carl Maskelyne
PaperPak Systems IT Manager
InTouch Telephone : 0800 597 5009
Mobile Telephone : 07971 659494

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-----Original Message-----
From: Jules Taplin [mailto:slim-discuss (AT) ourhouse (DOT) org.uk]
Sent: 13 January 2005 16:25
To: Slim Devices Discussion
Subject: [slim] Was Nice box, now video server

Sounds thoroughly decent to me. And pretty much a reality now, to be honest.

Most of my DVD's have stored images on a server up in the server room
(as the broom closet that the estate agent laughingly called 'Bedroom 4'
is now referred to). You get quite a few of them once you do a little
transcoding, and stick a stack of 200GB HDD's together. Modded Xbox's
see it on xbmc, which is pretty sweet in it's own right, but for
preference - I still use mythtv on a PC plugged into the Plasma and the
Surround Sound decoder in the lounge. MythVideo already does pretty much
all you describe - down to the IMDB-harvested information for the movie
in question. And, of course, the other PC's around the place can just
use VLC or similar, and navigate the directory heirachy to what you want
to watch.

And to be honest... it's not just about DVD's. The previous poster has a
point that you probably don't watch the same DVD anywhere near as often
as you'd listen to the same mp3. However... that's not the point. The
interesting game is to have enough storage around that you can happily
archive any TV series that you'd normally watch, and retain them
permanently. It's the same process as capturing entire series of
programmes by painstakingly programming the VCR... but nicely automated.
My TiVo works out what I'd like to watch... and a set of perl scripts
which interrogate it, and queue transcoding, and storage of all the
episodes. When I first started the scripts... I was adding about 6 hours
of TV per day to the archive. It works well because Satellite TV has
such a fast turnaround of repeats. Nowadays, TiVo still grabs about the
same, but the scripts throw away great traunches of it, as I already got
that episode last time it was on.

This way... it doesn't matter what's actually on the Telly - there's
always something to watch. And... . I never accidentally get exposed to
irritating adverts, or Reality TV of any form... ;)

-- Jules

Michael Alletto wrote:

>First, lets get this out of the way. It does NOT cost 4 grand to
>create one of these devices. That is an extreme exaggeration. Are
>there devices that do this and more that cost that much? Yeah there
>are. But there are also devices that aren't as elegent yet that cost
>much much less that are quickly becoming really good options.
>Now on to why I would want one. The concept is the same as a jukebox.
> I own a ton of dvd's that take up a physical space. I have a single
>disc dvd player. The ability to store all my dvd's on hard discs and
>make them easily and quickly playable is the main reason. It is
>exactly the same reasons as to why we've got all our cd's ripped to
>mp3's (or whatever format) for streaming via the squeezebox. Why did
>we all want a music server? To create groupings of music to play
>easily and quickly and to store all our music in one central location.
> CD's or DVD's, it is exactly the same thing. There is no difference.
>Suggesting to just use video on demand through your cable system
>proves how much people really don't get it. Why should I pay 8 bucks
>(or whatever it costs) to the cable company each time I want to watch
>a movie to send a movie across to me in a quality that is just a
>little better than vhs? If I want to watch it again I have to pay
>again and again. The selection is very limited and the quality flat
>out sucks.
>Imagine sitting on your couch on movie night, you flip the video feed
>over to your video box and up pops a menu for video playback. You can
>scroll through your dvd collection based on genre, year, or search for
>actors or whatever. When you pick a movie up pops the scan of the dvd
>box and a brief description of the movie (this could be easily pulled
>from imdb or amazon or many other sources). Hitting the play button
>starts playing the files and there are options to either jump to the
>main menu or to just start playing the movie when the play button is
>hit. In another room other family members want to watch a different
>movie. In that room is also a video box accessing the same server.
>They are watching either a different movie or maybe the same movie, it
>doesn't matter.
>As far as the legalities go. It is not illegal to backup your dvd to
>your hard drive for playing through another dvd player. Just like it
>is not illegal to backup your cd to your HD to play through a music
>player. You could say, well people are just going to rent movies from
>netflix and dump them to their hard drives for playing through this
>device. Ok, so what if they do? How is that any different from
>someone going to the library to rent a music cd then ripping it to
>their HD to play through their squeezebox. Or getting all of a
>friends collection of cds and ripping them?
>Video servers are here and will only be getting better. I would hate
>to see slim not move forward with the rest of the industry like turtle
>beach has done with their audiotron.
>On Thu, 13 Jan 2005 13:05:04 +0000, Joe Hickey <joe (AT) hotandstripey (DOT) org>
>>I don't understand...
>>apart from new toy syndrome, why do people want a video server? films
>>aren't like music, you (generally) don't mix and match a playlist of
>>different films... you think I'm going to watch so and so, is it worth
>>$4000 to be able to sit on your fat a*** and choose the film via remote
>>rather than walking over to your shelf of DVDs?
>>If you want to use a remote to choose films go to sky box office (or
>>whatever the cable/satellite pay per view is called in your country),
>>you could watch 1000 different films and still not have paid as much as
>>you would for a video server!
>>On 12 Jan 2005, at 23:16, discuss-request (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com wrote:
>>>Subject: [slim] Nice box...
>>>Reply-To: Slim Devices Discussion <discuss (AT) lists (DOT) slimdevices.com>
>>>I think folks need to come to grips with reality a bit here. You start
>>>putting together a list of things you would need to do in order to do
>>>from the PC and you easily are talking about a $4000-$5000 or more
>>>price tag
>>>just for a home video setup through your PC.