Sunday, December 18, 2005

Storing & Watching Video on PC

I keep a lot of movie files on my machine at home. A lot...I've just backed up 200Gb. Lots of people have said, "Why so many films?", I have no TV, "How do you store and watch them?" and learn.

I take no responsibility for the illegal downloading/xopying/distribution of copyrighted content.


Fundamentally, there are 3 ways of getting Video (by which I mean TV, Films, and other Video) onto your PC: Record from a PVR/TV Card, Download, Rip from DVD/VCD. I do all three; so I'll deal with each in turn, beginning with the latter.

Burning from Disc:
1. Rip It!
- I like to use DVD Shrink, for which there are many options. Probably the best thing to use as you can cut out unwanted subtitle languages/audio and compress a DVD down so it's generally still usable in a standalone DVD player but MAINLY takes up much less disk space even as a DVD filesystem.
- For "guaranteed" easy ro use (read "slow") results, you need a combo package like: "1 Click DVD Copy" with "DVD 4 3" and "CopyToDVD". For unencrypted DVDs CopyToDVD should be enough.
- VideoLan. Well.....see below, it rocks but can be complicated. :)
You'll be able to rip from DVD to MP4 by the end.
VideoLan can also read BIN/CUE files (about 1/4 size of a DVD)!

1. Erm, use your favourite method of downloading: IRC, Usenet, or a good Torrent portal. Or maybe just right-click a file. ;)
- You've probably got an AVI/MPG of something using DivX and probably playing sound in Windows MediaPlayer or your other run-of-the-mill media player software.
- GET VIDEOLAN! I cannot stress this enough....there will be more
tutorials to follow; this is just the basics.

Record from TV Card:
1. Most, e.g. Hauppage, TV Cards record to MPeg2, which is a bit fat. So, that's OK for the original recording but then you need to compress it down. Again I recommed VideoLan. Do a convert to MP4 or something, because then you can easily lower the bitrates to get it onto your
iPod/Mobile mediaplayer.

If anyone has any tips on screen re-sizing (using VideoLan or other program) I'd be grateful for them.

How to stream with VideoLan!

I've not been too helpful really, but if you have an ounce of sense you'll do some looking around t'internewt for usage of the appropriate software. :)

PS. I just re-encoded the Babel video for Pearl Street Raga to iPod (video) and am now creating a mobile phone version (should work on good Nokia's, SE/// and Orange SPV)! You can mail me for a copy...

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