I have been constantly searching for ways to turn my television into a home media network server. On Associated Content , I wrote tech reviews that showed my love of Netflix , but don’t like the limitations of its streaming movies , including their competitors like Vudu and Crackle . I thought I could stream withTversity and Hulu, but needed a constantly running computer. Finally, I thought I had it made with Digital Copy , but it turns it’s Hollywood’s scam to promote portable films, but you can only rip the film once and you are quite limited on streaming movies.
Open Source Alternatives:
Turns out film fans that knew open source got together and made their own digital copy. I discovered the open source program DVD43 , which decrypts the copyright protection on your DVD. I’ve been wanting to digitize my film library for some time and stream movies to my gaming consoles like the PS3 or Xbox – and now I could decrypt them.
DVD43 works hand in hand with another open source tool called Handbrake . DVD43 decrypts the protection on the disc, and then Handbrake converts the large file into a variety of video formats, and then stream movies to your PS3 / Xbox . The settings on Handbrake can be very intimidating, so I was very fortunate to find this excellent article on Maximum PC which has the perfect settings for the computer, PS3 or Xbox .
How to Stream Movies:
But this took a bit of experimenting for me. I got my best results by using Handbrake’s regular settings, and then slightly modify them to the Xbox settings as listed in the Maximum PC article. So, I insert the DVD into my Windows XP OS laptop, and DVD43 decrypts DVDs in a few minutes. Afterwards, Handbrake starts the conversion process, which takes about two hours for a feature film and I save the five hundred megabyte (average) to my Western Digital MyBook World backup hard drive.
Since my hard drive is always on, all I have to do is turn on my PS3 or Xbox and stream movies to my television with fairly decent quality. The ” Xbox ” settings also allow me to watch the film on Itunes, so I can customize the file with art work and other features. My only gripe about the process is:
- Not being able to do it on my wife’s Windows 7 OS, which isn’t compatible with DVD43.
- Streaming movies removes the chapters in the film
- The artwork I saved in Itunes doesn’t show up on the gaming consoles.
But the fact that I can stream movies (in Netflix quality) to my PS3 and Xbox for free using open source software like DVD43 decrypter and Handbrake has been a huge eye opener for me. (PS – I don’t condone piracy, these are all films that I have owned for years.)
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