Best Ways to Playback from an External HDD to HDTV

Discussion in 'High Definition Software' started by MMM, Apr 1, 2012.

  1. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    Yesss, DrinkLyeAndDie, SamuriHL, and SlyFox 1 are still around.:agree::agree::agree:

    I feel like a newbie again. Anyway, I need help as usual. I am hoping to make the transition from discs to playing my movies from an external HDD. I am sure a group from here has already discussed this. Could someone hook me up with a link to a good discussion thread?

    Also, one big concern I have is that there will be no up-conversion of standard DVD movies as there is when playing a DVD in a stand-alone, up-converting BD player. Is there a solution to that?
  2. spl147

    spl147 Member

  3. bracket cable

    bracket cable Active Member

    I create a single MKV file with this workflow. Once you have a movie-only file you can play it back from a hardware player.

    With AnyDVD HD running in the background, I use:

    1 - eac3to to choose which video, audio and subtitle tracks I want to extract (demux). There are command line options and many GUIs for it as well (although honestly I found the command line easy enough).

    If needed, Step 2, or skip to Step 3:
    2 - If I need to create a subtitle track that has only the certain words that aren't the main movie language, like Disctrict 9, I use BDSup2Sub to save a Blu-ray .sup that has only the forced subtitles. Other times the "non-English only" subtitle track is its own entirely separate track with no forced flags.

    3 - MKVMerge to combine the separate files to a single MKV with chapters. It also lets you choose which tracks are considered default or forced on, of course whether the player ignores that can vary.


    Clown BD also comes with a complete package containing eac3to and tsMuxer. It does a similar job and is more all-in-one feeling, but it is more focused on doing Blu-ray style files, though.

    Edit: Oh yeah, these files are uncompressed right from the disc. To make a smaller compressed file, there is Handbrake. Of course that takes processing time, anywhere from 8 to 48 hours.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  4. SamuriHL

    SamuriHL Moderator (en)

    I'm a fan of MKV's, as well. I'm basically using J River MC17 to play my library of MKV's from anywhere on my gigabit network. With an HTPC, you have FAR many more options. Upscaling with madVR is pretty outstanding. And no threat of Cinavia, either. I've had no issues with that set up. I just upgraded my bedroom machine to a new Sandy Bridge I5 with my GTS 450 and it's just amazing.

    P.S. I know you said hardware player, and I agree the Dune is good, but, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that it's also a licensed player which means that at some point in the future it _*could*_ be Cinavia enabled. That's not to say it will, but, it's possible if it's a licensed player. If it's not, there's much less risk. Personally I feel the HTPC is the way to go.

    (I'm going to move this thread out of the AnyDVD HD forum just because this isn't directly AnyDVD related)
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  5. noaynadie

    noaynadie Active Member

    have you tried playing your mkv's straight from the tv?
    just plug your hdd or usb stick in the back of the tv
    mine plays mkvs fine
  6. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    The Dune HD D1 looks really, really good. How does it operate... I mean does it operate quietly? I see a fan or is that just a vent in the back?

    Also, does this work with most HDDs? I have a WD My Passport Essential SE with USB 3.0. Does the Dune have USB 3.0?
  7. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    Thanks Bracket Cable for the break down. I am not there yet, but thank you. I will be using your process in a couple months or so. Hopefully sooner.
  8. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    OK, this MKV format is new to me, but I will try it if you all help me.

    At this point, I want to start a HD movie library (not duplicating any of my standard movies), but I want to keep and have access to all my standard DVD movies as well.

    That being said, over the past few years, I have been saving all my movies (standard DVD) to my hard drive with the help of AnyDVD HD, but a ripped movie for me consists of AUDIO_TS (empty folder) and VIDEO_TS folders. The VIDEO_TS folder holds .BUP, .IFO, and .VOB files.

    Where do I go from here? I feel like I should convert my movies to MKVs because it seems that is the format that I will be converting my future HD movies to and that it is a good quality and popular format. Is this right? And can I use Bracket Cables converting methods above?

    Hi SamuriHL, I am a fan of yours. Holy smokes...over 11,400 posts!
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2012
  9. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    Really, you can just plug your HDD into your TV and play MKV files? Unfortunately for me, my TVs don't have any USB inputs, only HDMIs.
  10. SamuriHL

    SamuriHL Moderator (en)

    Lol, yea, I post too much. Heheh. Anyway, until clonebd (or whatever it'll end up being called) is released, I would recommend taking a look at makemkv. It makes the process of converting DVD, HD DVD, and blu-ray quite simple. While it's in beta you can use it for free. I personally ignore the warning about having anydvd running and keep it active at all times. This is how I convert all mine for now and I've had zero problems.

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
  11. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    Great, I'm going to try the beta version out on my standard DVDs first and see how that goes. Baby steps. Also I read up on Cinavia...that's a new breed of trouble...very interesting tho.

    Also, I will be getting a new used computer soon (well, in the next month or so) to aid in this project.

    This will be work in progress.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  12. SamuriHL

    SamuriHL Moderator (en)

    Awesome! Good luck!!

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
  13. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    Having some problems. I turned my copy of Super 8 (only movie currently on my comp) into an mkv file using makemkv beta, but the file does not play past the fourth chapter using VLC player on my computer.

    Also, I found out that Windows Media Player, Quicktime, and Nero's player does not support the mkv format. Also,I copied to a flash drive a smaller mkv file of the movie trailers from the Super 8 DVD and tried to play the movie on my Sony S570 blu-ray player (which is supposed to support mkv files), but it could not be played at all.

    Any ideas? I will try another method tomorrow. Does iTunes support mkv? I know it supports mp4. Looking into Apple TV.
  14. SamuriHL

    SamuriHL Moderator (en)

    So.....not a successful first attempt eh? Lol. :) Appletv will not play mkv. Not unless you jailbreak it and throw xbmc on it. I can't help with your blu-ray player that supposedly handles mkv. The PC...I might be able to help there. Do a search for mpc-hc and lav filters. Install both. I have a post around here about configuring them, but essentially, you can disable all the internal filters in mpc-hc and add lav splitter, lav audio, and lav video to the external filters page and set them to preferred. That will play your mkv. What are the specs on your PC?

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
  15. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    Lol...yea well, just gotta try something else...

    The mpc-hc software that you recommended works! After a quick scan through the chapters, the mkv file seems to play perfectly.

    Should I still disable all the internal filters and use the external lav filters even if the mkv files play ok? In the options, there are internal source filters and internal transform filters...should I disable both types?

    Also, here are the specs for my computer:
    Intel Core2 Duo
    T7250 @ 2.0 Ghz processor
    2 GHz, 2 GB of RAM
  16. SamuriHL

    SamuriHL Moderator (en)

    Yea i would. Lav filters are much better. I'm not sure about your video card but it might support cuvid decoding. Check the properties in lav video when you add it to the external filters page. If it supports cuvid then I'd highly recommend installing madvr and setting that as the renderer in mpc-hc. That should really make your day if it works. :)

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
  17. MMM

    MMM Well-Known Member

    Hardware acceleration>Hardware Decoder to use>NVIDIA CUVID (Not Available). Shucks. What kind of computer specs are needed to run cuvid and madvr?

    Also, after I disabled all the internal filters and enabled the external lav filters, the movie's audio got really soft. Do I have to adjust any settings in the internal filters>audio switcher or lav audio settings?
  18. SamuriHL

    SamuriHL Moderator (en)

    I use a gts 450 for cuvid decoding. Any of the newer nvidia gpus can do it.

    As for audio there is no mixing in lav audio. So it won't mix 5.1 down to stereo for example. That's coming at some point but he has implemented it yet.

    Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
  19. Adbear

    Adbear Well-Known Member

    He's probably going to have problems changing the graphics card as it's a laptop, and the 360m is based on the 8400m, so quite old these days
  20. SamuriHL

    SamuriHL Moderator (en)

    Yea, good point...wasn't paying attention to the M on that. He's probably also going to want ReClock as the audio renderer so that it'll mix the 5.1 down to stereo until Nev gets around to adding that natively in LAV Audio. In any case, I'd still try madVR, but, I would tone it down a bit on the scaling. You never know. It might work. :)