Walt has a few hundred CDs and he'd like to rip them, put them on a music server, and then donate them. Leo recommends ripping in a lossless version called FLAC. FLAC is a great because if one needs to re-burn to a CD, they can. If using iTunes, he should use Apple's own lossless codec. Using a Mac that stays on all the time would work, but Leo recommends using a Network Attached Storage device and have that run as the music server. It can also do double duty backing up the network. Leo recommends the Synology brand.
James has 300 DVDs that he'd like to put on a media server and watch using Amazon Alexa to launch them. Rich says that the first thing James would need to do is "rip" them to a hard drive. He can use a combination of HandBrake and VLC Media Client to get them into digital files. Then he can put them on a network attached storage device.
Dan wants to rip some old DVDs so he can stream them on the Apple TV using Plex, but he's having trouble with Handbrake. Leo says that he can rip it and then keep it on his computer, or use a network attached storage device running the Plex server. Leo says that Handbrake should have an Apple TV profile. He also needs to be sure he's using VLC to break the DRM.
Dem has cable and he's been having a lot of digital artifacting and distortion. Could that be due to living too close to a cell tower? Leo says maybe, but then again, it could just be a software issue. He should try rebooting his box, check his connections, all of the things he can do himself. If he's still having that issue, then he can look to his cable company.
Paul wants to cut the cable and he wants to know if Sling TV plus an antenna for local channels is a good way to go. Leo says yes, but he may not need the antenna because Sling offers local channels as well. What about a DVR? Three makers offer over-the-air DVR service. TiVo, ChannelMaster, and the Silicon Dust HD HomeRun.
Matt has backed up all his family home movie DVDs on his network, but they're not playable because they were backed up as disc images or VOB files. What can he do? Leo says what Matt needs to do is create an ISO for them. There's software that does it. Leo recommends getting media server software like KODI. Then he can use the AppleTV that can see it and play it.
Bob has been ripping DVDs for his personal use and putting them on a Plex server so he can stream them from his network. But since his network uses older PCs, it's taking up a lot of energy. Can he use a Raspberry Pi to use less energy?
Leo says he can, and he can even use a NUC server. Plex has a Raspberry Pi plugin called RasPlex, and that's where Bob can go. There's also one for XBMC as well. The Raspberry Pi 3 is very fast and powerful, but also low powered.
Jesse is an audiophile who loves high resolution music. He wants to be able to listen to his music on any device without having to rely on an internet connection to do it. He was thinking about using Plex, but isn't sure how it works. Leo says that Plex doesn't pull music from the internet. It relies on local storage and then can route it to any device on the network. He could then send it to Roku to play. He should be able to stream 192 kb audio just fine over Wi-Fi.
Jerry is upset that Microsoft has discontinued Windows Media Center. Leo says that's because Microsoft wants to drive users to the XBox One, where they will be offering options similar to Windows Media Center.
Leo says the HDHomeRun PRIME is a cable top box that uses a cable card to do many of the same functions as Windows Media Center for $150. He'll be able to take his cable card out of his computer and into the HDHomeRun PRIME.
Tyler has been using a cable card with Microsoft Windows Media Center on his computer to watch TV, but now with Microsoft killing WMC, what are his options? Leo says that there are other options including Kodi (formerly XBMC) and Plex. The Chatroom says TEAM Media Portal is an option because of the digital rights management issue. The reason why Microsoft killed Windows Media Center is because they want people to buy the XBox One game console. Tyler can watch, but can't record.