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I want hardware / software recommendations please

Discussion in 'DivX / XviD' started by ki007, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. ki007

    ki007 Member

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    Hello all,

    I have a collection of nearly 700+ DVD movies and want to be able to watch the movies from different places in my home. My home has 4 rooms and every room has a TV set and a PC. All the PCs are networked together and are also connected to the TVs (video out).

    A little while back, I purchased a small server (with 1 TB HDD space in total) for holding movies so that I could watch them in any room.

    Here are the detailed specs of the movies server:

    CPU - Pentium 4 Northwood 3.0 Ghz (800 MHz FSB)
    Motherboard - Gigabyte Intel 875P chipset based
    RAM - PC 3200 1.0 GB DDR in Dual-Channel (512 x 2)
    HDD PATA - Western Digital 250 GB 7200 RPM (x2)
    HDD SATA - Maxtor 250 GB 7200 RPM (x2)
    AOpen H800 Server Housing with 450W PSU
    Windows 2000 Professional (SP4)
    Plus all other standard stuff like audio, LAN, VGA, etc.

    I have tested the performance and it seems to work fine. There are no hitches / pauses even when I'm watching and copying at the same time.

    All HDDs are split up into 2 partitions (each partition is of 120 GB almost). I have established network shares for each partition too.

    When I first started converting movies from DVD to AVI, I didn't know anything at all about encoding / ripping. After spending sometime testing a few movies, I can now handle ripping / encoding myself. Well, I am not really very good at it but it works out.

    But as it turns out, encoding is a very slow process overall. For some reason or the other, I just can't encode continuously on any of the four machines (e.g. friends need to play games sometimes). Therefore, I have decided to go for a separate machine dedicated to encoding.

    I use the following applications for ripping, encoding, demuxing and splitting:

    - DVD Decrypter (whatever version is the latest)
    - FlaskMPEG 0.7.8.39
    - VirtualDub (whatever version is the latest)
    - VirtualDub AC3
    - DivX 5.xx Codec
    - XviD Codec

    Some friend told me that dual CPUs can help with video encoding but I think I first need to know if my application will support dual CPUs.

    So, before I go out and buy anything, I would like to know from some experts here the kind of hardware that will give me good encoding speed. And if the cost is reasonable enough, I might go for 2 encoding servers instead of one. Also, any suggestions on improving the movies server performance / tweaks / tricks would be welcome too.

    Thanks for your time.

    Regards,

    Kamran
     
  2. daemonzx6

    daemonzx6 Regular member

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    I have ben encoding video for a while now with WinXP, and I can honestly say, that it does take way too long. That's why I decided to start building my new PC. I asked about it on here and some people recommended to get an Athlon64 processor, and use Linux. I know that Linux has some pretty efficient encoders as well, a quick search reveals this: http://divxstation.com/softwareId.asp?sId=263

    so you might think about that.
     
  3. ki007

    ki007 Member

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    Okay, will look to that prospect too. Thanks.

    I also came across a used Intel Xeon (dual CPUs) based workstation at a nice price. Might look into that.
     
  4. daemonzx6

    daemonzx6 Regular member

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    *ignore this msg*
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2004
  5. daemonzx6

    daemonzx6 Regular member

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    I also know of a Linux encoding program called Transcode, which is supposed to be part of some sort of package for the media player known as MPlayer.
     
  6. The_OGS

    The_OGS Active member

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    1 backup per machine, per night.
    AVI backups with GordianKnot, on your main rig, will take maybe 2 hours per pass with 2 passes per film.
    So 4 hours, no big deal - just let it run overnight :)
    You don't need more hardware horsepower than that!
    You could spend a fortune to get it down to 90 minutes/pass - big deal.
    What I would do is, if you're impatient to get stuff converted, I would do maybe 3 films/night using GordianKnot.
    Just add them to the Job Queue, so 6 passes @ 2 hours/pass would run from 10PM to 10AM or whatever.
    Take your time, to get good quality, and try not to rush it - it's gonna take some time (but quality is worth it).
    Rip the VOBs to one HD, and then write the AVIs to the other. This is MUCH easier on your HDs, and doesn't hurt speed either.
    If you can use AC3 2.0 audio for AVIs, this makes things much easier/faster.
    But you can only playback on PC equipped with AC3Filter, and must include AC3Filter along with DivX codec on any CD burned.
    But there are some issues with AC3 playback, and I prefer to make VBR MP3 from the AC3 5.1.
    I too can serve up my films to any PC on my LAN. It's great!
    Especially the guest room - visitors are overwhelmed (and they don't want to go home...) LoL
    Regards
     
  7. galladel

    galladel Member

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    Im running my machine at HT 3.2ghz p4 800mhzFSB with 512megs of ram and a radeon 9000 it just took me 4 hours total(two pass) to encode 3 hours worth of alias episodes the season one dvds have 4 episodes in them and they took about 4 hours to encode. i think the Hyper threading stuff really helps.
     
  8. pevelius

    pevelius Member

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  9. daemonzx6

    daemonzx6 Regular member

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    cluster=fun
     
  10. ki007

    ki007 Member

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    Thanks for the reply guys. I've already gotten my hands on that Xeon Dual CPU machine. Didn't try it yet though.

    As for my encoding program, I use FlaskMPEG. Well, I know it isin't the best encoding program out there, but it gets the job done, more or less.

    I have tried using GordianKnot earlier but found it too complicated for everyday use. With FlaskMPEG, I just have to do a few clicks and it starts encoding.

    If there is some way to automate all output functions of GordianKnot (except for video size and cropping etc.), that will be cool. I will hunt the web to look into this.

    Thanks for all the suggestions.
     
  11. galladel

    galladel Member

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    what i love about gordian knot is the batch prosesing does flask do batch procesing too? I do not beleive that it is too complicated at all i do wish there was some way to go one click on everything with the main knot program passing the info from the gdi indexer right into the encoder if you set a standar bit rate or target filesize now that would be cool.
     
  12. daemonzx6

    daemonzx6 Regular member

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