for the heads-up on the non-Plus WDTV media player
and the "Why ISO?"
link, which I checked out.
I Currently use a notebook PC
with Windows Vista OS
formatted Hard drives (both internal & external USB 2.0) and an external DVD reader/burner.
I have backed up numerous DVDs using the following tools & steps:
using either: DVDFab Decrypter, DVDFab 18.104.22.168, or DVD Decrypter v22.214.171.124
to crack & transfer Full DVDs of varying sizes to hard-drive.
(Note: in exceptionally large DVDs where I am unable to obtain greater than at least 60 percent of the original using the DVD Shrink 3.2
compression settings, in non-documentaries, I generally just back up the main movie.)
using DVD Shrink 3.2
to create a back-up in a separate folder that will fit on a single layer 4.7 GB DVD
(Note: these back-up files will never exceed 4.36 GB)
DVD Shrink 3.2
is set to Region Free, I do not check the Perform Deep Analysis or QE Quality Settings, These back-up files are saved in titled DVD video folders with Video_TS & AUDIO_TS subfolders (the AUDIO_TS folder is always empty as the sound is in the Video_TS folder).
3) ImgBurn v2.5.0
is used to create a back-up DVD for either separate archiving or use in a DVD player using either branded Verbatim
DVD-R or DVD+R or Taiyo Yuden
I simply select the hard-drive folder and then write the files/folders to disc.
So far I've had no visably notable artifacts or difficulties playing these DVDs and the "Full disk" burns seem to have all of the same DVD menu options as the original master.
I've read what has been written in the thread on the advantages of Hard-drive archiving an ISO "virtual copy" vs DVD Folders with VIDEO_TS and AUDIO_TS sub folders.
I'm not sure what I may be actually missing doing hard-drive back-ups the way I have, but it doesn't appear to be noticeable on my HDTV screen. Perhaps I have been lucky thus far.
I noticed earlier that DVD Shrink 3.2 (which offers either the ISO or DVD (VIDEO_TS sub-folder) option when backing up an original DVD) could not always decrypt the DVD, whereas DVDFab Decrypter, DVDFab 126.96.36.199, or DVD Decrypter
v188.8.131.52 were most often successful, but did not offer an ISO back-up option. On disks larger than 4.36 GB I still needed DVD Shrink 3.2 to compress the files for reburns, though after
using the previous decrypter programs DVD Shrink 3.2 no longer offered the ISO option when compressing.
does offer an option to "Create an (ISO) image file from (VIDEO_TS) files/folders, but since this would be from folders already on the hard drive and not from the original DVD I'm wondering if there is any real benefit to this other than creating an ISO image of an already, possibly corrupted VIDEO_TS folder?
(NOTE: The FULL DVD ISO back-up is a WinRAR archive that contains both VIDEO_TS & empty AUDIO_TS folders. There is also a separate mds file
with the same title of the DVD selected DVD. However an ImgBurn v2.5.0 ISO conversion of an already shrunk
DVD folder will not yield an additional mds file and DVD Shrink 3.2 will NOT recognize or compress an ISO file).
I store both the ISO & the mds files (when present) in a titled folder but when I use ImgBurn v2.5.0 to burn a back-up DVD disk I can only select the mds file when it's present on DvDs that did not
require any compression, or select just the ISO file when the mds file is not available.
In either event I end up with the VIDEO_TS and (empty) AUDIO_TS sub folders burned back to a DVD, with or without the benefit of that mds file, and so far they seem to play just as well as those that were not converted to ISO on the hard-drive. So any discrepencies are (for me) thus far imperceiveable.
I keep my original DVDs stored and have my DVD back-ups for viewing. But I also have these same DVDs stored on several large capacity USB 2.0 external hard drives from which I can also view them directly on my notebook PC screen.
But I have been yearning for some Media Player device that would allow me to play movies on an HDTV (sans a DVD player) directly from the external USB hard drives...
For awhile I was afraid that I such a device did not yet exist.
I found no one responding to my thread query who could offer first hand functional experience, and I hesitated to make a blind but hopeful purchase.
But alas, that is what I finally have done.
I vascillated between the following brands of media players that might allow me to view my DVD VIDEO_TS & ISO DVD movie folders with equal aplomb (including menus, etc), from a USB HD on an HDTV in both 720 & 1080p resolution, bypassing the need for DVD hard copies and a DVD player.
WDTV Live Plus
Popcorn Hour A-200
Argosy HV676 HD Media Player
Argosy HV335T 3.5-Inch HDD 1080P HDMI Mobile Video Media Player
Not wanting to throw away a lot of money buying a top end model that may not do the job, I opted to purchase and try-out the least expensive of the four.
I received my Argosy HV676 HD Media Player
today, along with an inexpensive HDMI cable, which was necessary but did not come with the unit.
I followed the quick start instructions, attached the HDMI cable to the HDTV and the Argosy HV676 HD Media Player. I plugged in the media player and connected a Terabyte USB 2.0 external HD that had a variety movies & documentaries in both ISO DVD and DVD VIDEO_TS folders.
I have spent the entire evening running through this and other hard drives opening up movies and testing the abilities of this miniscule little media player, which is about the size of a 2.5 inch HD, and it's tiny but quite user friendly remote which is about the size of a pocket calculator.
So far I have had no problem opening any folder and bringing up a functional DVD menu and play, fast forward, pause, slow speed, reverse, and continue to play any of my Hard Drive archived movies, regardless of whether they are ISO or VIDEO_TS.
This media player is also supposed to allow one to view photos, play music, and watch video from additional formats, also from a USB HD, but I have yet to try those features out.
I'm not sure how durable this product will be, but thus far I am totally and happily amazed at it's abilities to do what I want it to do!
The Argosy media player is wonderful little unit and priced at well under a $100
Argosy HV676 HD Media Player
I plan to get a second one, just for a back-up, and maybe even order it's "big brother" the Argosy HV335T 3.5-Inch HDD 1080P HDMI Mobile Video Media Player
, that is supposed to have even more versatility.