Chugging Along

Posted: August 29, 2010 in Construction, House, Movies/TV/Music

I’ve been seriously neglecting my blog. Call it a casualty of Facebook. It’s really a shame too, this blog is part voice to the world/part diary of life. Facebook does neither very well. Admittedly it’s a lot easier to write one or two sentences in a Facebook update, but all the same it doesn’t capture the path of life.

We are close to the end of summer now. My list of “things to do” seems to continue to grow, even though I spent countless (ok, they were counted) hours replacing about 600 square feet of the deck floor. The grand total was 2800 stainless steel screws, 1568 linear feet of PVC deck boards, and around 80 hours of work. Note to self, multiply the amount of materials x 125% to cover cut-off pieces.

This weekend I also finished my DVD encoding project. I ripped and transcoded every single DVD we own. It did require expanding the RAID X box from 4TB to 6TB to make room. Final tally 460 movies, 55 TV series with 2363 episodes requiring 3.3 TB of data. Unfortunately I think I encoded probably 2/3 of the movies at a bit-rate that was too low (was set to 16, probably should have been 12).

For the geeky, I used MakeMKV to rip my DVDs (which works 99% of the time), it grabs just the title track and the English language audio. I then had a command-line script that would transcode the ripped MPEG2 MKV files to H264 encoded MKV files using Handbrake. I wasn’t as concerned about space as quality, so my settings were:

HandBrakeCLI -i filename.old.mkv -o filename.new.mkv -e x264 -a 1 -E ac3 -R Auto --subtitle-forced --subtitle scan --detelecine --decomb --loose-anamorphic --markers --quality 12 -x ref=2:bframes=2:subq=6:mixed-refs=0:weightb=0:8x8dct=0:trellis=0

I’ll probably re-rip many of the movies later. On the front-end I’m using Plex as a media manager since it really is best-of-breed, and when the new Plex 0.9 comes out it looks even better. Plex is running on a previous generation Mac Mini (using optical out to the receiver and a DVI to HDMI adaptor for the screen).

September marks the start of my third year working with Justin and BunsenTech, and things are really starting to accelerate for us. I think we’re going to double our staff before the end of the year (to four people), and probably double again before the end of next year. Things seem to be going very well for us so I’m excited about the next twelve months.

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