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Windows 7: Making home Media Center a few questions.

22 May 2009   #1

windows 7 7000
Making home Media Center a few questions.

Donít know were to start.
Here is what Iím tring to do. I have just set up a 4TB network raid 5. Now just ordered rest of parts to make media pc for living room.
Media pc will only be Q9650 on asus striker extreme with 4gb ram have two nvidia gs8800oc cards SLI Two 1tb drives Mirrored. Just want to use this to access movie,video,music,photo collection off of network storage.
I have a lot of questions and have been looking around to find some kind of guide to help with setting this up.
1) Best format to burn DVD too, and what software is the best. We have over 100 dvd movies and tv shows want copied to network drive so everthing is in one place.
2) Kids have music videoís in .mkv can see file names in WMP,WMC but no thumbs can I get thumbs to show up for these. Or Iím I better off converting these to different format??
3) Best converter program that will handle everything and best format to store converted files to looking for good quality at best compresion rate.
4) Remote controls for WMC. To put in new pc..

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 May 2009   #2


Hi badgemaster,

Where to start LOL

1, I presume by format you mean DVD Media (+R, -R, RW). Each format has it's pros & cons, I've been burning to +R with no issues for months now. Only thing, i tend to try named brands (Maxell, TDK, Sony, etc.) as you get less chance of burn issues. (Burn @ 2x too as this greatly reduces burn issues that later cause pixellation & skipping in your movies.

2, There are some codec packs available for Windows 7 ( - Windows 7 Codecs is the best IMO). But i still have issues with thumbnails on MKV files. 1 way around this is to download what could be only described as

3, Read here - Hack Attack : How to Create aXXo Quality DVD Rips | dailyApps for an idea on how to 'Rip Like AXXO'.

Hope this helps

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 May 2009   #3

XP/win7 x86 build 7127

I think in his first question he means rip instead of burn, if i'm following him correctly as he wants everything stored digitally and accessed by the MC pc he is building.

Not sure if this is the "right" place to totally discuss HOW and WHAT to use for commercial/retail dvd, as some wont allow you to copy to hdd. I would do a google search on dvd ripping and software. within the first 3 or so links will take you most likely to a site that has alot of tools to choose from for doing all sorts of things as far as digitizing/editing/ripping video. You will find that you may need more than one piece of software to do 1 dvd, depending on what format you ultimately save the digital dvd copy itself. Choice range from the actual dvd structure, from .mkv, to DivX/XviD... to wma/wmv or mpg for that matters. I have used countless programs to do this with, either testing them out or actually using them. Hard to pin down the best, or easiest, fastest, to use. 10 ppl could end up giving you 8 different answers, hypothetically, maybe realistically. Would depend on who you talk to, and how long they've been doing it, as some swear by their old editing apps, rather than the newer, "easier", "faster" ones.

nice setup tho You may want to look into another set of TB drives, as you will find yourself filling those up quite fast, especially if you decide to use .mkv for formats. Kids' "stuff" probably takes up almost 50% of the allocated media space in my situation already. I'm not even recording live tv yet, cant imagine what i will need when that day comes. My cable dvr is already full with a small 120gb hdd inside it.

good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 May 2009   #4

windows 7 7000



your right trying to copy all the dvd we own so there all in one place. don't have to get off the sofa to put in a new dvd. spent all night doing a batch convert all mkv's to avi format had 21.4gb in mkv now 18.95 gb avi plus no problems with Windows 7 making thumbnails..

Orbital Shark

have been working on the best video plug in ever. love it.. been customizeing folders start up screens backgounds you name it. a little complicated at first but with the help of the forum.. things are going great. just waitng on the rest of my parts ordered. mkv files no more to many problems..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2009   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium x64,

Hello Badgemaster,

Well, Digger and Orbital Shark are providing a great wealth of information on this site so you're in good hands. I am learning much about stepping away from my "old reliable" ripping to explore different formats and the "newer, better, faster" stuff available from these guys.

I wanted to address the remote control question. Of course many HTPC cases come with their own remote and lcd display some of those will add another hundred bucks to the price of your case.

With all due respect to the "Harmony XXX" fans and others, I have found a low cost gem in the Sony RM AX 1400. It is fully programmable via it's own software and usb cable for loading. Originally retailing for about $149, I have been able to get (2) of them ( liked the 1st one so well I got1 for the Bedroom system) from Ama zon for TWELVE bucks each NEW. It did recieve a few bad reviews, mostly I believe from people who are perhaps not so savvy. Anyone with an ounce of geek in them will not have trouble... The directions do leave a little to be desired but once I played with the programming a bit and understood it, well there is almost no limit to what it can do (unfortunately it doesn't do RF codes or it would be controlling my lighting as well). It is solid, well built

I started with the Pinnacle remote kit for wmc for the ir reciever - $30.

The Sony obviously was native to my Bravia equipment, but for anything it can't pull from its database of all major brands it can be taught, 1 button at a time if need be. It does do Macros, so I have "one touch" TV (Thank God, an "Excellent" WAF), one touch HTPC, etc. Each function can be fine tuned to your liking and it uses fully programmable backlighting and lcd display for "theater or night time navigation". Regedit the debounce control in your HTPC and you're good to go.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2009   #6

XP/win7 x86 build 7127

yea, i'm one of those harmony ppl. I know it was a bit pricey, $180 i think, but this thing can do everything and be programmed for alot of things, off brand tvs and such that normally i cant find, nor can find a remote to "learn" the off brand remotes.

that was the main kicker for me, then the collaborative effect it has with all of you components. Tho the g/f is having a hell of a time with it, she's the one who bought it, hehehe. Also one other pro was no actual aaa or aa batteries, just the dock station, and a battery switch thats handy for preserving the juice.

Yea... i can give a big ole "baa-aa-aa-aaa" as i am a white fleece sheep to logitech. To which i need to totally re-program again, and the software acted up the other night when i tried to install on 7 with tired eyes. So hopefully that will go smoother next try.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2009   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium x64,

Yeah, I too have been a Logitech person and was all set to go Harmony when I found this. I thought, well, for $12 I can throw it away if it's crap.

I was pleasantly surprised. As for programming (I don't know how the Harmony does it), I saved the configuration to a folder. I can experiment with new macros and such, and if I get too far out to left field, I just pull up the folder and 10 seconds later I'm back.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 May 2009   #8

XP/win7 x86 build 7127

yea, you cant beat that price... for any universal type remote as far as that goes.

I havent had the time to play around other than the initial hour of configuring it for 3 different rooms and a few setups per room. I was happy after that. Its been a year or so since i did that last, set it and forgot it more less. Either way, a guy needs himself a good command and control remote
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Making home Media Center a few questions.

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