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.
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.
Scott bought some new DVDs and he wants to rip them to his Mac, but he's having trouble with it. Leo says it's likely due to copy protection. Leo recommends Handbrake and VLC VideoLan client. Both of those will work together to bypass copy protection and rip the movie to his hard drive. He can also use VLC to play the ripped video file back.
Richard tried to take a still photo from an old DVD and he's having trouble doing it. Leo says that if he puts the DVD into his computer, he can use VLC Media Player to capture a still using the snapshot feature.
John has a PC that runs Windows XP and he can't view videos that are sent to him through email. Leo says that it's likely a codec issue. He recommends downloading VLC Media Player. It can play pretty much anything. But the real problem is that after April 8th, Microsoft will stop supporting and updating Windows XP with security patches. So John's computer will be vulnerable to attacks. Leo says that's a cause for worry and John should take it off the Internet before April 8.
Chuck has transferred all his videos to DVD. Now he wants to put them all on a hard drive for his kids, with pictures, and more. Leo says that for 30 DVDs, a 250GB hard drive would be sufficient. He could even put a DVD player on it like VLC Media Player, which is free, and would allow him to make a playlist of all the DVDs. Chuck would also have to convert all the VOB files. The easiest thing would be to have a folder for each DVD and copy it over. Put the VLC player on the top level and have it play each folder.
Bernie has a bunch of old slides that he transferred to DVD, and then ripped them to his Network Attached Storage, along with image files of discs (ISOs). How can he view them on his network? Leo says that VLC is an amazing video product that will allow him to view it.
What about Apple TV? Leo says no, it can't understand ISOs. But Bernie can use his Mac with Mountain Lion or later to airplay them to Apple TV. He can just open the ISO with a Mac program like Disc Utility and then once it's mounted, he can stream it from the Mac using AirPlay.
Chuck says that his Windows Media Center has lost all it's sound. Leo says it could be as easy as a bad or loose speaker wire, or most likely a corrupted sound driver. It could also be a poorly coded video which prevents the audio from being played. Leo recommends playing it with VideoLan's VLC Media Player. If you can hear the audio, then you know that Windows Media Center is causing the issue. If it doesn't, then Leo recommends playing back with headphones. If that works, then you know it has to be your sound cables.