DVD ISO via MediaPortal

media, movies, tv comments edit

I’ve been looking at ways I can make my DVD collection more accessible. I find that I end up watching crappy On-Demand movies through cable rather than getting into the ol’ DVD collection because the DVD collection is a pain in the ass to find things in and it ends up being, frankly, too much effort. (Yeah, the collection is that big. Well into the hundreds of discs.)

The notion of a media center PC springs to mind, but the problem I’ve seen with most media servers is that they require you to rip the DVD into just the video and a single soundtrack or some such, losing the menu and the features and the rest of the DVD that you paid for. I want the whole thing - I bought the movie and all the extras, I want access to all of that.

I found MediaPortal today and I think that may be the answer. It’s got native support for Daemon Tools so you can just rip your DVD to ISO format and have the media server play it just as though you had put the physical DVD into the drive. That’s exactly what I’m looking for. Plus it’s free!

I may have to get a test of this going at home. If it pans out, the new year may find me building a home theater PC with a loooot of storage and ripping the DVD collection onto that. I’d like to enjoy the movies I own again and not just be in the media storage business. The iPod has liberated me from CDs (well, the iPod with iTunes and a fairly sizable external drive); it’s time to be free of DVDs as well.