Tranquil have just released a free add-in for Windows Media Center called AVA Media NVT – which stands for Network Video Transcoder. And all they ask in return is a optional donation to Cancer Research UK.
What is AVA Media NVT ?
It’s a FREE, new, simple to use Add In for Windows 7 Media Centre, that makes use of the open source handbrake video transcoder.
It watches folders, ie on a Home Server, and transcodes any new DVD files (VIDEO_TS) it sees to popular formats ie iPhone, whilst retaining the original DVD folders for later playback.
Why would I want it ?
AVA Media NVT is a user friendly Add In that simplifies the transcoding function used to change DVD / Video files from original format to secondary formats for playback on different devices – ie iPhone. It does not require a desktop application, complex button presses – just set it up, and let it do it’s task in the background.
How do you install it ?
Simply download the Add In and once it’s installed on your Media Centre you can step through the initial screens a) select target format, b) select ‘folder’ to monitor, c) select target folder to store compressed files in. Any NEW DVD files that are added to the monitored folder are then transcoded.
Why use it on a Media Centre, if I have a Home Server – why not use a Home Server Transcoder ?
Transcoding video is CPU intensive – really intensive. A Home Server, by design, does not have a powerful CPU and is therefore not optimised for video transcoding.
Here are some facts that may explain: When transcoding a DVD folder to Apple iPhone format a dual core Atom, as perhaps used in the Tranquil SQA Home Server will process video at approximately 5FPS – real video is 25FPS – which means a 2 hr DVD would take approximately (25/5) x 2 x 60 x 60 seconds to process ie 10 hours.
If this process was to be carried out on a reasonable media centre – ie a Tranquil ixL (i3) Media centre the processing is much faster @ nearer to 90FPS transcoding or (90/5) x2 x 60 x60 seconds to process or 35 minutes to process. Please note that after the transcoding has completed, there is a small delay whilst the ‘multiplex’ process completes.
Typical file sizes vary, but a 6GB DVD would transcode to below 800MB in iPod setting
What is the ultimate ‘ease of use’ process for ripping / transcoding DVDs ?
Ideally the Home Server, where you would store, stream and protect your media collection should be running a CD/DVD ripping service, ie AVA Media CD/DVD Add In. This coupled with a Media Centre running the AVA Media NVT service and the AVA Media RipNet service is an ideal package.
You simply turn on the Ripnet service from the Media Centre screen, and insert a disc, ie a DVD. The DVD is then ripped by the Home Server (AnyDVD is needed too). When the ripping is completed the disc is ejected. Shortly after, if set, the AVA Media NVT service on the Media Centre will see the new DVD files on the Home Server and quickly transcode and save them to the selected format for playback on your iPhone / iPad / AppleTV / PS3 etc
You just pop in the disc – nothing else.
What does AVA Media NVT cost ?
The Media Centre application is free of charge.
We recommend that a new folder on the Home Server console is created for your target (compressed) videos.
This will make streaming / transfer of videos to your new devices, ie iPhone easier.
The application will check for new DVD folders in the source. If you want to transcode all of your current DVD folders just point to that folder and NVT will do the rest.
There are a number of devices (formats) you can choose from :
- Apple – Universal – Universal / full resolution
- Apple – iPod – Optimised for the smaller screen / smaller file size than Universal
- Apple – iPhone and iPod Touch – Optimised for the smaller screen / smaller file size than Universal
- Apple – Apple TV – Optimised for Apple TV
- Regular – Normal – ie PS3 / Xbox 360 – Most popular, supporting many devices
- Regular – High Profile – similar to ‘Normal’ but creates smaller target files – check with your player first
- Disabled – Transcoder disabled
All files are saved in the popular .mp4 (MPEG-4) format
The source folder is scanned every 15 minutes for new DVD folders. New folders are not
immediately transcoded as the DVD may still be being ripped.
There is a ‘manual’ start scan button on the Media Centre task bar – should you want to
immediately start a scan / transcode process.
You can Download V1.0 now free of charge, but if you find this add-in useful, please consider making a donation, no matter how small, to Cancer Research UK.
Let us know what you think.
You can learn more, and make a donation to Cancer Research UK here.