Re-Encoding DVDs For The Home Theater

May 3rd, 2008 by Clint

Jeff Atwood has been re-encoding his DVDs to make them smaller! I guess I understand that if you’re loading your iPod. For lower-resolution playback, it looks like Handbrake solves all the old problems of fighting with VirtualDub in codec hell.

For movies on my projector? I save as many of those bits as possible. I try to keep DVDs in full MPEG-2 resolution on my hard drive now that terabytes are becoming affordable. This also preserves all the menus, special features, and audio tracks.

If I really need to shrink a DVD (to fit a DVD-9 onto a cheap DVD-5 for example), then I don’t transcode with DVDShrink, I re-code with DVDRebuilder. One of my better software purchases was a license for DVDRebuilderPro. If you don’t vote with your wallet like Jeff encourages, then there’s a free version you can use. I’d also encourage you to visit Hank315′s tip jar, he wrote HC Encoder, the under-the-hood powerhouse responsible for the quality of DVDRebuilder’s output.

Once you start trying to be a pixel purist, you can set up FFDshow to do magnificent up-scaling.

As for the multi-core processor debate, I’m firmly planted in the “people don’t need more cores (yet)” camp. The whole concept reminds me too much of razor blades. But, I still own a quad-core because my HTPC’s primary activities are up-scaling and video editing.

Hey, did anyone else notice that this is Jeff’s 15th post according to the archive ID?

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DIY Projector

April 29th, 2008 by Clint

That’s my homemade 1080p projector. This is the second DIY projector I’ve built.

I destroyed the first projector in 2005 when I took it to Martin’s to watch his relative’s film Cypher, which had just been released. The first projector was a modified overhead – the kind your teacher put transparencies on. When I retired it, I decided to go overboard and buy all the parts to do a 1080p build from scratch. The parts promptly arrived and sat in their boxes for a couple years, until I got around to construction last summer.

The principle is pretty simple. A really bright light, a stripped down computer LCD, and some lenses.

I’ll be completing the as-built write-up in the coming weeks – DIY Projector

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