Blu-Ray Streamers/Servers

Does anybody know if there is anything like a uniticore/serve for Blu-Rays out there in consumer world or some method of mass storing them for replay to TV to save having the discs everywhere.

If you mean a stand-alone single box readymade for doing I can’t answer, but otherwise rip file and save on a NAS, use computer with something like Plex to access and serve to an Apple TV connected to projector. Even simpler if the computer has HDMI output and can connect direct to the projector.

I’ve not done it myself, but a friend has used Acrok to create a Mac mini based BR/DVD ripper/server. He integrated it with JRiver Media Centre so he can play movies at full resolution through his Chord DAC. It does work very well so might be worth a look. There is a free trial version for Mac or Windows.

Of course you could use Sky Cinema, Amazon Prime or similar to watch films without any need to rip.

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I’ve ripped 800 of my DVD/BRD to MKV files and serve them via a home built NAS running Plex.

The Plex app on my Amazon Fire 4K box plays them fine but the picture quality on my Denon Blueray player, which also can stream from Plex, is miles better. All my discs are away in a storage locker.

The manual ripping is a bit of a pain. You need to figure out via trial and error a bit which stuff to include. Dropping subtitles and audio tracks for other languages is easy but when a film has different angles ysed for languages (like language versions of the open crawl on Star Wars) you often have to rip a few times, look at the output and discard the rips that weren’t what you wanted. That said, if it was that hard, I’d not have made it through 800 discs.

If you play back on multiple devices other than a streaming Blueray machine, a prebuilt NAS isn’t going to cut it. Devices like tablets and phones may benefit from a lower bandwidth stream and that means the Plex server has to do on-the-fly transcoding for those. That means a beefy CPU, loads of RAM and setting up a work directory for Plex to use on a RAM disk large enough to hold a whole transcoded movie.

The problem with automated ripping, and I suspect the reason I’ve never seen such a product, is:

  • There’s no way to know what angles and audio you want ripped.
  • The copy protection hacks need almost weekly updates.

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