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  1. Member
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    Just wondering what's the best format to rip Blu-rays for streaming using a NAS. I have most of my files in MKV format and wanted to know if there's another format that's recommended for streaming. I currently use a WD TV Live C3H but it just crapped the bed and won't do anything except for make strange fax like noises when I plug the power in. I started doing some research about possibly replacing it with a ROKU (2 or 3) but I quickly found out that it's very specific about MKV's. I also have an Xbox one and I'd really like to use Plex and again I've read that MKV's might not be the best for that. I don't mind spending the time to convert all my MKVs over to whatever format works best for the different things I'm trying to do. Also, I prefer to keep a higher quality for playback so most of my MKVs are anywhere between 8 to 25 gbs.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Baldrick; 28th Mar 2016 at 03:44. Reason: Updated thread title
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    Plex media server and a Roku 3 with the Plex App works very well.

    Edit: I run my network wired with network of coax cable modules to other rooms in the house using the exsisting cable tv wiring. This way I can avoid lags with wireless networking. MKV's work just fine with Plex.
    Last edited by Arnold_Layne; 27th Mar 2016 at 14:21.
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  3. MKVs stream for me with no problems over WiFi via Plex to my (3) Roku 2s:
    High@L4.0, CABAC 3 / Ref Frames, encoded with RipBot at crf20.

    I should think if you rip your Blu-Rays to MKV with MakeMKV, they should stream fine if your setup is wired.
    WiFi might not do if your throughput isn't high enough.
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  4. I use MKV and only buy devices that can play the files via network shares. I don't use Plex or any other DLNA server. But MP4 is a little more universal. For example, the PS3 and Xbox 360 can play MP4 file natively, but not MKV files.
    Last edited by jagabo; 27th Mar 2016 at 18:36.
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  5. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    I use ums for my ps3 and it plays mkv,mp4,mp3,flac and xvid/divx avi.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    I prefer MP4
    but MKV is very popular
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    I know standards don't mean crap around here, and accuracy is worst than public vomit to the local crowd these days. But I just wasted my time Googling in to a thread erroneously entitled "Best blu-ray format for NAS streaming", a thread that doesn't have a damn thing to do with BluRay.
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  8. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    The post is about blu-ray quality of files such as mkv and mp4,your post is meaningless.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    MKV is a "BluRay format??. What is "blu-ray", anyway? I realize search engines are getting a little too loose these days. The thread refers to ripping BluRay to something not-BluRay, as there seems to be some difficulty among most readers here at Rip Central with handling commercially provided media. Eventually the general themes of threads will change when all these servers start borking, or when you guys figure out that MKV and MP4 don't "act like" BluRay f-o-r-m-a-t-s.

    I'm probably used to the older videohelp. Things do change, it's true. Sorry I interrupted.
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  10. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    MKV is a "BluRay format??. What is "blu-ray", anyway? I realize search engines are getting a little too loose these days. The thread refers to ripping BluRay to something not-BluRay, as there seems to be some difficulty among most readers here at Rip Central with handling commercially provided media. Eventually the general themes of threads will change when all these servers start borking, or when you guys figure out that MKV and MP4 don't "act like" BluRay f-o-r-m-a-t-s.

    I'm probably used to the older videohelp. Things do change, it's true. Sorry I interrupted.
    I updated the thread title so we all can be happy.
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    Originally Posted by Arnold_Layne View Post
    Plex media server and a Roku 3 with the Plex App works very well.

    Edit: I run my network wired with network of coax cable modules to other rooms in the house using the exsisting cable tv wiring. This way I can avoid lags with wireless networking. MKV's work just fine with Plex.
    Thank you, I've setup my network fully wired into every room as well.
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    so basically no specific answers really to my original post...glad we got that blu-ray not blu-ray thing figured out though....
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    If we are just talking about the best playback device for local playback, cut the Roku and Plex talk and just get RaspPi3 with a FLIRC and the VC-1/MPEG-2 licenses and install OpenELEC. It will behave more like the WDTV Live than the Roku+Plex solution and you won't have to worry about transcoding, formats, codecs, Profiles, bitrates, etc.

    With OpenELEC instead of a Roku you can pretty much rip to anything although I think the most common is just rip without conversion to an .mkv with MakeMKV. You'll maintain full quality, too.
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    To answer the original post:

    The Plex server and Roku 3 with Plex app work just fine together. You will not need to re-encode your existing rips. They'll work fine.
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    Originally Posted by Arnold_Layne View Post
    To answer the original post:

    The Plex server and Roku 3 with Plex app work just fine together. You will not need to re-encode your existing rips. They'll work fine.
    Thanks for the advice, just one point of clarification. With the suggested setup, will the NAS matter? Meaning do I need to have a NAS that can transcode the MKVs as I've heard Plex can't do it on it's own.
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  16. So you are going to get Roku player and then using Plex?
    Why not to get a player that plays any video, instead of that Roku in the first place.

    There is tons of devices today, many more that years back when WDTV Live was a hit. Above mentioned RaspPi3, latest Android Players (with miniUSB remote control and touchpad) or cheaper HTPC's. Check the prices. The thing is, you can install Kodi on any of those devices and you are done. You will play videos from NAS over LAN.
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    Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    So you are going to get Roku player and then using Plex?
    Why not to get a player that plays any video, instead of that Roku in the first place.

    There is tons of devices today, many more that years back when WDTV Live was a hit. Above mentioned RaspPi3, latest Android Players (with miniUSB remote control and touchpad) or cheaper HTPC's. Check the prices. The thing is, you can install Kodi on any of those devices and you are done. You will play videos from NAS over LAN.
    Hmm haven't decided and I'm not very familiar with the RaspPi3, tried googling it as well and it looks like it's a mini computer? Can someone elaborate how one of these devices would work?
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    Wow!! Thank you so much! Appreciate the how to step-by-step guide, looks awesome and I can wait to try it in the next few weeks! Thanks again!

    I'll report back once I've had a chance to use the guide to build it and have tested it out!
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    Any thoughts or opinions on buying a kit like this to get the job done? Looks like it had everything I'll need

    http://www.amazon.com/Vilros-Raspberry-Complete-Starter-Kit-Clear/dp/B01CUMNIV8?ie=UTF...=sr_1_7&sr=8-7
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    Originally Posted by theproman23 View Post
    Any thoughts or opinions on buying a kit like this to get the job done? Looks like it had everything I'll need

    http://www.amazon.com/Vilros-Raspberry-Complete-Starter-Kit-Clear/dp/B01CUMNIV8?ie=UTF...=sr_1_7&sr=8-7
    It would work but you would still need to get a remote adapter and remote control.

    The case may not even be a necessity. I just use velcro tape to stick my RaspPi2 to the back of the TV. It has been sitting there for a year and a half now.

    The Heat Sinks add nothing unless you are overclocking and plan on adding some type of fan for ventilation.

    OpenELEC doesn't need a 32GB microSD card to run. In fact, you could easily get by with a 256MB that you have lying around from 5 years ago.

    The charger is a nice add since you will want something that is at least 2 Amps. Most phone chargers won't pull that kind of load and you'll get issues.

    I would be more inclined to this:
    http://www.amazon.com/CanaKit-Raspberry-Micro-Supply-Listed/dp/B01C6FFNY4/ref=sr_1_4?i...ywords=raspi+3

    Add any case if you think it's even necessary. I like this one for style points (although it costs more) and removes the need for any heat sink:
    https://flirc.tv/more/raspberry-pi-case

    I also use the FLIRC USB Remote adapter because it is so easy to setup but you don't need to spend that much if you don't want to:
    https://flirc.tv/more/flirc-usb

    Add any microSD card and remote that you have lying around and you are good to go. My personal favorite for remote controls though:
    http://www.amazon.com/DIRECTV-RC66RX-RF-Remote-Control/dp/B00FL3URX6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF...s=directv+rc65

    As an added bonus, if you have DVD rips, it will support hardware decoding if you pay the extra 2 bucks for the MPEG-2 license. You'll end up with something much, much better for local streaming than a Roku. Nothing wrong with using Plex and a Roku but it will limit your options, add steps that degrade quality and although on-the-fly transcoding is supposed to be transparent it opens up a whole world of potential issues.

    Another option may be to sideload Kodi on to an Amazon FireTV but I haven't experimented with that.... yet.
    Last edited by smitbret; 30th Mar 2016 at 11:12.
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    Awesome thanks again for all the prompt feedback on this, the more I think about it the more excited I'm getting about it!

    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    The Heat Sinks add nothing unless you are overclocking and plan on adding some type of fan for ventilation.
    I actually have all my components setup in a built in next to my fire place which has doors, and have a IR blaster next to the TV that controls everything inside the built in. And currently we leave the built in partially open due to the heat factor but our cat has been get curiousor and curiousor about what's inside lol, so I actually bought a temperature controller cooling kit that I'll installing on the top of the built in to cool down the temperature in there

    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    OpenELEC doesn't need a 32GB microSD card to run. In fact, you could easily get by with a 256MB that you have lying around from 5 years ago.
    Yeah I've got quite a few micro SD cards laying around so those will work instead of me buying a new one. PS What's the SD card used for btw? To install apps on to the Raspberry Pi or for other reasons?

    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    The charger is a nice add since you will want something that is at least 2 Amps. Most phone chargers won't pull that kind of load and you'll get issues.
    Good to know!! I have like 5 blackberry micro USB chargers so I was thinking about possibly using one of them.

    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    Add any case if you think it's even necessary. I like this one for style points (although it costs more) and removes the need for any heat sink:
    https://flirc.tv/more/raspberry-pi-case
    I love the case! And it looks about the size and shape of the WD Western Digital box I have now, and since everything is secured in the built in the frame I made out of coat hangers will be able to fit this case!

    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    I also use the FLIRC USB Remote adapter because it is so easy to setup but you don't need to spend that much if you don't want to:
    https://flirc.tv/more/flirc-usb
    Will I need this regardless of the type of remote I use?

    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    Add any microSD card and remote that you have lying around and you are good to go. My personal favorite for remote controls though:
    http://www.amazon.com/DIRECTV-RC66RX-RF-Remote-Control/dp/B00FL3URX6/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF...s=directv+rc65
    I currently use a Logitech harmony one remote to control everything so I'd prefer to stick to that. Will I need to do anything special to be able to use that remote with this setup? Is that where the Micro SD card and USB Remote adapter come into play?

    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    As an added bonus, if you have DVD rips, it will support hardware decoding if you pay the extra 2 bucks for the MPEG-2 license. You'll end up with something much, much better for local streaming than a Roku. Nothing wrong with using Plex and a Roku but it will limit your options, add steps that degrade quality and although on-the-fly transcoding is supposed to be transparent it opens up a whole world of potential issues.
    Is this something I'd pay for after buying the raspberry Pi and setting it up?


    Also, I have a Xbox 360 laying around and did see a post about converting that to be a XBMC but sounds like it's a bit of a pain and I really like the idea of using the Raspberry Pi as it seems to serve multiple purposes, i.e. watch You tube vide, Hulu etc. and I like having the option of being able to add a wireless keyboard and mouse to make it easier to type and browse!

    Thanks again!!!
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    The Logitech Harmony will work great. I use one in my living room with a Chromebox running Kodi. The FLIRC is just the "eye" that lets the box see the infared signal from the remote (or IR blaster). You don't have to get a FLIRC, there are cheaper options but once you go FLIRC you'll never go back. The FLIRC mimics a keyboard and is 100% programmable so you can take any button on any remote and make it do what you want. That way you can make the colored buttons and other non-standard keys perform functions. For instance, I always make my blue keys toggle the subtitles, red scrolls through the audio tracks, yellow brings up the system status window, etc. You could choose to have them go to the menu or exit a screen, whatever.

    The case is smaller than the WDTV Live. It is about the same size as 2 decks of cards stacked on top of each other. The case has a metal post down the middle that makes contact with the CPU of the RaspPi3 and because the case is all metal it acts as a big heat sink. For $4 more than many of the run of the mill plastic cases you can get, you will be very impressed.

    The RaspPi3 doesn't come with any kind of HDD or onboard storage so you'll use the microSD card for installing the OS and boot up. OpenELEC takes less than 100MB and once it is loaded into memory the microSD card is rarely accessed. It's not necessary, but many people toss in a cheap USB flash drive to act as storage (think thumbnails or other media) and it can make it feel faster but I have never noticed the difference.

    The MPEG-2 license is something you actually purchase from the RaspPi developers. There are licensing costs for MPEG-2 and VC-1 so to keep costs down they sell and enable the licenses for a couple of bucks if you think you need them. You'll want MPEG-2 if you playback DVD rips and some BD are encoded with VC-1 instead of h264/AVC. If you have some of those titles you might want to grab that license, too.

    A lot of your internet streaming ability comes with Kodi's library of plugins. You can do YouTube, Pandora and a lot of other services but I am not sure about Hulu. NetFlix and Amazon Prime are also don't have supported plugins. There's a lot out there but you probably won't feel a need for most of it. I would recommend taking a look at www.kodi.tv and poking around there to get a feeling for what you are in for.

    Like I said, for local streaming it can't be beaten. For streaming services it's not the best
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    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    The Logitech Harmony will work great. I use one in my living room with a Chromebox running Kodi. The FLIRC is just the "eye" that lets the box see the infared signal from the remote (or IR blaster). You don't have to get a FLIRC, there are cheaper options but once you go FLIRC you'll never go back. The FLIRC mimics a keyboard and is 100% programmable so you can take any button on any remote and make it do what you want. That way you can make the colored buttons and other non-standard keys perform functions. For instance, I always make my blue keys toggle the subtitles, red scrolls through the audio tracks, yellow brings up the system status window, etc. You could choose to have them go to the menu or exit a screen, whatever.

    The case is smaller than the WDTV Live. It is about the same size as 2 decks of cards stacked on top of each other. The case has a metal post down the middle that makes contact with the CPU of the RaspPi3 and because the case is all metal it acts as a big heat sink. For $4 more than many of the run of the mill plastic cases you can get, you will be very impressed.

    The RaspPi3 doesn't come with any kind of HDD or onboard storage so you'll use the microSD card for installing the OS and boot up. OpenELEC takes less than 100MB and once it is loaded into memory the microSD card is rarely accessed. It's not necessary, but many people toss in a cheap USB flash drive to act as storage (think thumbnails or other media) and it can make it feel faster but I have never noticed the difference.

    The MPEG-2 license is something you actually purchase from the RaspPi developers. There are licensing costs for MPEG-2 and VC-1 so to keep costs down they sell and enable the licenses for a couple of bucks if you think you need them. You'll want MPEG-2 if you playback DVD rips and some BD are encoded with VC-1 instead of h264/AVC. If you have some of those titles you might want to grab that license, too.

    A lot of your internet streaming ability comes with Kodi's library of plugins. You can do YouTube, Pandora and a lot of other services but I am not sure about Hulu. NetFlix and Amazon Prime are also don't have supported plugins. There's a lot out there but you probably won't feel a need for most of it. I would recommend taking a look at www.kodi.tv and poking around there to get a feeling for what you are in for.

    Like I said, for local streaming it can't be beaten. For streaming services it's not the best
    Thank you so much for the detailed feedback!! Really appreciate it! And to your last point, as long as I can play my rips, DVD or Blu-Ray, I can use my Xbox one for the likes of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime etc.
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    Here is the link you would click to purchase licenses for MPEG-2 and VC-1.
    http://www.raspberrypi.com/license-keys/

    You just fill out a form and they e-mail the license key to you.
    http://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/1919/why-does-the-raspberry-pi-need-a-mpeg-2-licence

    After you've set up your microSD card as the boot drive you can just remove it from the RaspPi, slip it into a laptop or PC, open the config file in a text editor and enter the license key(s) as directed by the email. Save the config file, stick the microSD card back in the RaspPi and boot it back up. It's easier than it sounds. The RaspPi will then decode those codecs going forward.
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    Awesome thanks again!!!
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  26. Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    Here is the link you would click to purchase licenses for MPEG-2 and VC-1.
    http://www.raspberrypi.com/license-keys/
    As I understand it, you don't need the license for MPEG2 playback in software (and the Pi 3 has no problem playing 1080i MPEG2). The license covers the hardware decoding of MPEG2, decreasing CPU usage.
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  27. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    Here is the link you would click to purchase licenses for MPEG-2 and VC-1.
    http://www.raspberrypi.com/license-keys/
    As I understand it, you don't need the license for MPEG2 playback in software (and the Pi 3 has no problem playing 1080i MPEG2). The license covers the hardware decoding of MPEG2, decreasing CPU usage.
    Using RaspberryPi2B, not latest model 3 yet, but guessing, it is going to be similar, that mpeg2 was not deinterlacing properly home made DVD's (interlaced), that model 3 might, not sure, but DVD navigation did not work, playing VIDEO_TS for example, that seemed to have nothing to do with device capability, it just refused to do that or was not capable without that license. After purchasing mpeg2 license, deinterlacing of those home made DVD's was working and that DVD navigation - DVD menu, was suddenly working as well.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by smitbret View Post
    Here is the link you would click to purchase licenses for MPEG-2 and VC-1.
    http://www.raspberrypi.com/license-keys/
    As I understand it, you don't need the license for MPEG2 playback in software (and the Pi 3 has no problem playing 1080i MPEG2). The license covers the hardware decoding of MPEG2, decreasing CPU usage.
    This is probably correct. Kodi will try to decode both of those in software at the expense of CPU power consumption and heat. Not that a Raspberry Pi uses a lot of electricity.

    I had the MPEG-2/VC-1 licenses on my Gen1 Model B cuz it was truly a necessity. I just did the same thing when I got the Pi2 because why mess with a system that works if it only costs $4? The VC-1 license may have more value if he is ripping certain Blu-Ray, though.
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    Hey guys just thought I'd provide an update on this item. I got the Pi in and I have it all hooked up and have it working like a gem! I've installed Open Elec and was able to browse and watch my MKV's without any issues.

    Couple of questions though:
    1. One thing I'm having an issue with is in terms of turning the Pi on, it seems that the simplest way is to unplug the power cable and put it back in. Anyway to do this with a remote? I've read a few forums on this topic but haven't come across one that talked about being able to turn on the Pi remotely.

    2. I also noticed that the boot time for the Pi is a bit long for what am I using it for. Given that the primary use is a media center is there anyway I can speed this up?

    3. I have Open elec installed but I was wondering if there's something else that has a better interface then Open elec?
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