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How to overcome the lack of DVD reader in your Surface Pro 3

bkydcmpr

Member
I just created an iso file from a movie and copied it to my SP3. It wouldn't start with WMP but it would play but not the menu with VLC player. I am contemplating building a very large library of my movie collection on a USB hard drive. Typically a non bluray movie is about 4.5 gig, so I can put quite a few movies on a terabyte hard drive.

I had started with a few by creating a movie title folder and copying the VIDEO_TS folder to the hard drive. I was planning on doing this with all of my DVDs. The only problem I found playing them from the hard disk, I couldn't seem to figure out how to get the movie to start with it's menu. I tried all of the small files. I was sure one of them would have been the file that plays automatically when you put the DVD into the DVD player.

Any ideas? Also are you suggesting that it would be better to just create one iso file for each of the movies and I could just name the iso, the name of the movie. Any idea how to make the iso start just like pushing in a DVD when the autostart is set to play a DVD when you insert it? I see the only reason to use an iso file is the convenience of it taking all the files and making it just one file.
I have been building my collection on an external ssd. I had a collection but since sp3 changed the form factor I decided to rebuilt it with "full screen 1080p" resolution to use sp3 screen better. I encoded the movie with handbrake in x.264, each movie is about 7-10 gig with my acceptable settings. I never keep the menu though, I only encode the "main movie", and a few selected extras like some video from the criterion version. it takes time but I start the encoding before I go to sleep (on a more powerful laptop) so everyday I have a new movie done. there are all in mp4 format I can simply double click a movie to start it.
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ThatCoolBlueKid

New Member
Would you be able to use an external USB DVD Reader (such as the one Apple uses for Macbook Airs)? Surely if something needs to be powered by a second USB couldn't you pull power out of the Surface's power brick's extra USB slot?
 

strollin

Member
I got "weened" of the need for a DVD drive when I first started using a netbook about 6 years ago. Back then I felt I had to have a DVD drive so I bought a small external drive. I used it only a couple of times then it sat in the closet unused for several years. I pulled it out recently and found that it no longer works.

There are so many alternative ways to access the data on a DVD that I recommend against buying an external for the SP3.
 

bluegrass

Well-Known Member
I have been building my collection on an external ssd. I had a collection but since sp3 changed the form factor I decided to rebuilt it with "full screen 1080p" resolution to use sp3 screen better. I encoded the movie with handbrake in x.264, each movie is about 7-10 gig with my acceptable settings. I never keep the menu though, I only encode the "main movie", and a few selected extras like some video from the criterion version. it takes time but I start the encoding before I go to sleep (on a more powerful laptop) so everyday I have a new movie done. there are all in mp4 format I can simply double click a movie to start it.
View attachment 2840

How did you up the resolution of standard DVD movies to 1080P. How did you do BluRay movies. I have a huge collection now of BluRay movies. Maybe my video editor can import BluRay movies. I doubt if they're protected I could do that though.

I like your idea. Since I make videos that can play on a desktop DVD player from all the festival music I shoot. I just bring in all the VOB's that make up a movie set them up on the timeline and than save them off into one large mp4 HD format. It is a lot of work but having all the mp4s on an external hard disk to attach and play on my SP3 would be sweet. I could even make a menu to select the movies. The only thing I disagree with you on is using an SSD for this project. SSD's cost so much more than a 2 terabyte Passport I don't & they play fine without dropping frames using a passport.

I think we should start a thread on the best ways to store and use the precious amount of storage we get with our SP3s. Maybe include best ways to prepare for a disaster - what to backup and how to do a recovery. Or maybe backup and recovery should be another thread.
 

hughlle

Super Moderator
Staff member
you can't get iso images without one if you are using sp3 as the "one device for everything". so the more important thing is, how to make the external drives to work. it must be something wrong if it couldn't power up the drives designed for usb 2.0 which has much lower ampere output in specs than usb 3.0.
In this situation, I just download an iso of the disc I can't use.
 

bkydcmpr

Member
How did you up the resolution of standard DVD movies to 1080P. How did you do BluRay movies. I have a huge collection now of BluRay movies. Maybe my video editor can import BluRay movies. I doubt if they're protected I could do that though.

I like your idea. Since I make videos that can play on a desktop DVD player from all the festival music I shoot. I just bring in all the VOB's that make up a movie set them up on the timeline and than save them off into one large mp4 HD format. It is a lot of work but having all the mp4s on an external hard disk to attach and play on my SP3 would be sweet. I could even make a menu to select the movies. The only thing I disagree with you on is using an SSD for this project. SSD's cost so much more than a 2 terabyte Passport I don't & they play fine without dropping frames using a passport.

I think we should start a thread on the best ways to store and use the precious amount of storage we get with our SP3s. Maybe include best ways to prepare for a disaster - what to backup and how to do a recovery. Or maybe backup and recovery should be another thread.
I only buy blu-ray movies, I don't think upscaling dvd to 1080p is good enough. I'm using the freeware from bluraycopys.com to backup blu-rays to harddrive as "blu-ray folder", but there are many alternatives. usually the freeware takes 30 minutes to backup one blu-ray disc, the paid version should be faster but I've never tried. then you can use handbrake to encode it into mp4. I think mkv can actually directly encode from blu-ray disc into mkv file, though I prefer mp4 format for better compatibility. after encoding, there are some tag editors you can use to add thumbnail and other information, some tools (like windows metro app "mymeta") can directly pull those data from imdb or other movie database and embed into the mp4 file.

I stopped using spinning hard drives since I accidentally dropped and damaged 3 of them in the past 2 years and lost all the data. I'm using a 500gb samsung 840 evo, about $2xx dollars after some amazon gift cards I earned by using bing search. and may upgrade to a 1tb when price drop to $200 range. ssd is perfect for movie collection because most of time you only "read" from it.
 
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bluegrass

Well-Known Member
Thanks bk. I think rotating disks will be on their way out in the next few years. I started working on removable rotating disk drives back in the early 70s when you changed and aligned heads when a disk crash occurred (ooh, bad memories), that is head to disk surface scrunches. PM's were mostly about cleaning heads once a week.
 

DeltaXray

Member
Good point about the ISO and it is something I use on a regular basis.

Need to remember though that the whole thing about 'replacing the laptop' is aimed squarely at the MacBook air in which case its users have been used to having no DVD drive for a number of years already.

I'm glad that Windows users are starting to move away from optical media as well now, on that front I think Apple were quite forward thinking on leading the charge.
 

daniielrp

Active Member
Good point about the ISO and it is something I use on a regular basis.

Need to remember though that the whole thing about 'replacing the laptop' is aimed squarely at the MacBook air in which case its users have been used to having no DVD drive for a number of years already.

I'm glad that Windows users are starting to move away from optical media as well now, on that front I think Apple were quite forward thinking on leading the charge.

I agree, they killed the Floppy disk with the G3 and now all the major Macs lack a DVD drive. I see no reason for optical media any more, internet speeds are more than adequate for downloading software/streaming films.
 

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