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Compression of DVDs for "Media Center" Computer

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Compression of DVDs for "Media Center" Computer

Postby ExtraTrstl on Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:15 am

I recently set up a media center type computer in my living room. It's hooked up to a projector and a receiver with 5.1 surround sound. It's used for gaming, movies, surfing the internet, listening to music, etc.

However, I've only got 2 DVD drives on it currently. While this is fine for most cases, one thing I want to limit is the times I have to get off my fat, lazy, butt. As such, I want to rip my entire (embarassingly small) collection to my computer. Problem is, one DVD can take up 9 gigs if I just straight copy. So, I'm looking for compression methods that won't muss up the picture too much. But here's the catch, I want to be able to burn copies as well, so it still needs to be able to be decrypted back into a DVD format that can be burned.

Ideally, I'd have something that makes .ISOs so I can just mount or burn them as I see fit. But, if I have to use an intermediary format, so be it. I'd like the files to be about a gig for a standard 1 1/2 - 2hr movie.

My initial thought was DivX merely because it can produce some impressive results. But I'm concerned that, should I rip something and encode it into DivX and then decode it back and burn it that it will look like crap.

Also, the decompressing process is pretty processor intensive, which is something I'd like to stay away from (as I'd like to continue using the "media center" while something is burning). I don't mind if the initial compression takes a while - heck, it can take as long as it wants - but I'd like to be able to basically burn copies at whim without lag, which I can do with files that are already DVD-Ready

DVD-Shrink is an option, but it doesn't compress enough for my tastes. I can cut sizes in about half, but they're still above my 1 gig limit.

I heard about "DVD Rebuilder" in passing and was wondering if it does a better job. It seems to think it does and what I did hear in passing was positive.

Does anyone have any suggestions or am I stuck using DVD-Shrink and the like? Anyone in here use DVD Rebuilder?
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Postby Grain on Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:33 pm

I use Rebuilder, and it does a good job. It won't get down to the 1GB neighborhood though, there you are stuck with DIVX/XVID. Compression really does suck though, avoid it at all cost's if you can, especially if you are using a big screen/projector. I personally would recommend a bigger HDD and zero compression instead. Another option is to just rip the movie, not the extras, but your still looking at 4-6 GB's.
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