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Old 01-08-2019, 06:29 AM   #1
equinoa88 equinoa88 is offline
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Jan 2011
Default Moving From Physical to Digital

Hello, I've recently made the decision to slowly start transferring some of my VERY expansive blu ray collection to digital/hard drive and I had a few questions. The first was regarding apps like Movies Anywhere or VUDU, etc. Is it better/easier to do that as opposed to "ripping" the movies to a hard drive? Also, in purchasing a hard drive, what would be an appropriate size to purchase. I have well over 2,000 blu rays in my collection that I would like to start adding little by little. As I said in the title, I have been a physical media person all my life and hardly gave a thought to Digital movies. However, having hundreds of unwatched blu rays taking over an entire room in my house can be very frustrating. Any help with the transition would be greatly appreciated as I am completely new to both digital movies and putting them on a hard drive. Thank you.
Old 01-08-2019, 07:49 AM   #2
PenguinInfinity PenguinInfinity is offline
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Apr 2017

If you rip your movies and then sell the discs then that would be piracy. You can't legally possess a copy if you don't still own the original. If you go about buying everything on VUDU (or another digital provider) then you'd be spending a ton of money and you'd have no guarantees that all your titles will remain available.

Both are terrible options. If you want to save space just buy some more efficient cases to store your discs.
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Old 01-08-2019, 04:28 PM   #3
Hitman Horton Hitman Horton is offline
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Sep 2011

Here's the truth. Basically, making a copy for any reason is technically illegal but authorities generally don't care what you do in your home with your movies as long as you aren't making copies to give away or sell. Read the article or do some more research on your own for more information.
Old 01-08-2019, 04:46 PM   #4
homevideogeek homevideogeek is offline
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I have a small collection (by this site's standards, at least) of physical movies. Probably 750 or so between Blu-ray and DVD. Also have about 450 titles in my digital library, mostly in VUDU (mostly in digital copy redemptions and VUDU Disc-to-Digital).

I personally like having both physical and digital with a heavy preference to physical. If you don't care about picture / audio quality, streaming will suit you just fine. I would do a purchased movie collection through VUDU (or iTunes if you're an Apple ecosystem household) over a Netflix or Hulu. I like knowing that I can watch the movies I love without seeing if they are or aren't on Netflix in a given month. I like the convenience of having my library in VUDU / Movies Anywhere or wherever my purchased movies live. I use that to watch stuff away from home and, rarely, in home when I don't feel rooting through my physical collection.

I do have a small collection of movies I've manually copied from discs I own to a Plex server, streaming in house to Rokus on my TV. I only do that for movies that aren't available on services like VUDU or didn't come with digital copies in the physical discs. That said, it's time-consuming and a pain in the rump to convert and maintain a collection manually, IMHO. I've also had to start over from scratch due to a hard drive crash, so that's not fun.

When I sit down in my home theater - which is my preference when time allows - physical discs are king. Streaming PQ/AQ is garbage even on the "better" streaming services (whichever ones your personal preference dictates) unless you're fortunate to have something like a Kaleidescape server. That's about as close to a cinema DCP as you'll get at home. I'm one piece short of having a full 4K setup, but I'm quite happy with my 1080p setup and do notice the difference between a streaming movie and a well-authored DVD or Blu-ray. I'm one who notices the difference between compressed lossy audio and newer lossless codecs, and like getting myself as close to a theater presentation as possible given my limitations (space, money, gear, etc).

Everyone's got different tastes though. If you want to downsize the physical collection - and many do these days, which is great for me because I buy a lot of inventory off them at rock bottom prices! - go with a purchased movie collection rather than a ripped one.
Old 01-10-2019, 09:38 PM   #5
musicman1 musicman1 is offline
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Feb 2014

I certainly can see your point. I’m a disorganized guy...meaning when I want to watch a certain movie I can never find it since my movies are in 2 different rooms. It’s great turning on the tv and opening up the movie app and finding it quickly. I find myself giving movies to family members when they come over the house if I have them digitally. Thins out my collection and makes them happy.
Old 01-11-2019, 04:53 AM   #6
TripleHBK TripleHBK is online now
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Lincoln, NE

Everything I own that can be backed up digitally is. Movies, television shows, music, home movies, photo's etc. My home server is at the moment just under 20TB in size. It's approximately 70% full. The purpose of my server was a) for pure convenience around my home, b) to keep my wife and kids from handling my movies any more than truly necessary and c) Because it's just cool. I run Plex and can access any of my content in the world with an internet connection. I have tv's around my home and it's great being able to jump right in to whatever I want when I want. With all of that said there are a number of limitations... 1) Size is an issue. With a library of 2000 films your looking at needing something like 50TB of space if you want to make uncompressed back ups. At this point in time that's incredibly cost prohibitive. I personally take my files and run them through some programs to drop file size down to that of a standard digital copy. I'm sacrificing uncompressed Blu Ray quality for convenience and HD streaming quality in this case. I personally almost always use the physical disc when watching a film, but for my wife and daughter, Plex works great. 2) Ripping a collection that size will take around a year minimum. I first started on my project in 2011. It took 3 years to rip/convert around 750 - 900 titles (I can't remember exactly how many I had at that time.) and now I am constantly adding everything I purchase on a weekly basis. Now, with a more powerful pc it's likely that if I replicated things now it'd go much faster, but the fact remains going through what I did takes a few hours. If you went with straight copies and no conversion, you're still looking at around 45 minutes of ripping per disc. 3) Redundancy is key. I own nearly everything on my server on physical hard copies. Items that were purchased digitally or scanned in (photos/videos) are backed up to BD-R's as well as some spare hard drives to ensure that even if my server drives go down, I have ways to replace it immediately without the worry of losing it or having to re-rip/scan things. This in itself can and will add a substantial cost to the set up but is essential for any digital collection.

I personally have made the decision to not subscribe to netflix and not to use any of the digital copies that come with my movies. I just don't see the point in either since I love physical media and have built my own streaming service that is typically better off than any of the other options. I find the suggestion to just use different cases laughable to be honest but be warned to do what I did takes a significant time and monetary investment. In addition you'll need the technical know how to set things up and troubleshoot when things go wrong. If you plan to dabble this may not be the project for you, however if you are serious about things you can work out quite a nice setup.

Last edited by TripleHBK; 01-11-2019 at 04:57 AM.
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:12 AM   #7
Dynamo of Eternia Dynamo of Eternia is online now
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Originally Posted by TripleHBK View Post
I find the suggestion to just use different cases laughable to be honest but be warned to do what I did takes a significant time and monetary investment.
What does what you did have anything to do with the suggestion to use different cases?

I'm sure most fans of physical media (including myself) agree with you on not wanting to swap out the packaging to something smaller.

However, one of the big arguments against physical media that is often used by people who have either moved away from it or are considering doing so is how much space it takes up if you have a sizable collection and not wanting to commit that much space to it.

If that really is an issue for some, then removing their movies from larger cases and putting them in something like slim CD jewel cases would be a viable option. Give that you don't really "own" digital copies and they can be taken away at any time, IMO physical media is the far better option for that reason.

So if having a physical collection in the original cases is simply a "non-starter" for some due to the space that they take up, then IMO having those discs in smaller alternate packaging is the better option than going digital (in the sense of buying the movies through digital services or redeeming codes).

Regardless of the cost and time commitment, what you've done here really isn't an alternate option that eliminates the space problem. Even if they get a set up like yours and rip all of their discs onto hard drives/personal servers, while it may make things more convenient in not having to constantly swap out discs, but still keep the discs like you did (which they should), it makes no difference in terms of how much space the discs (and their cases) take up.

Last edited by Dynamo of Eternia; 01-11-2019 at 08:37 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:12 PM   #8
prerich prerich is offline
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