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Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software

Published on 23 November 17
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Brief Introduction of Fengtao Software

Speaking of Fengtao Software, I guess a lot of you here might never heard of this software vendor before. However, if I mention DVDFab, I am definitely sure that most of you know, or even have been using this famous DVD/Blu-ray backup software for years. Yes, the DVDFab brand comes from this Chinese software vender, Fengtao Software Inc., and their DVDFab DVD/Blu-ray backup software is one of best on the market, competing with other reputed vendors such as SlySoft (now RedFox), VSO software, etc. But today, what I’m going to talk about is not their software, it’s their second attempt stepping into the arena of hardware — the DVDFab Movie Server.

Brief Introduction of DVDFab Movie Server

DVDFab Movie Server, per the descriptions on their official website, is a 4K UHD Blu-ray Media Player designed with the intention to serve as the home multimedia center of DVDFab’s software customers, so that they can manage and watch their DVDs, Blu-rays, 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and other videos processed by the DVDFab 10 software in one place.

Don’t be confused, despite being originally designed for the existing DVDFab customers, but through the later firmware updates, developers break the limitations to allow the movie server accept all forms of media contents, whether they are handled by DVDFab or other backup tools. That is to say, all the movie lovers who have large collections of DVDs & Blu-rays & 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays at home are the targeted audience of this device.

Features and Functionalities

  • Digitalize your DVD & Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray collections
  • Navigation menu support for DVDs & Blu-rays & 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays
  • Manage and organize movie library in one place
  • Play back Cinavia-protected DVDs and Blu-rays
  • Display movies by posters filled with detailed metadata
  • Compatible with 3D, H.265 and 4K UHD and other videos
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS: X and DTS-HD Master audio support
  • Work with DVDFab 10 to import media contents easily
  • Add your existing movie library quickly and conveniently
  • Access your media contents from the NAS storage
  • Manually correct the metadata in case of inaccuracy
  • Preinstalled Google Play, Google Search and YouTube

Specification Sheet

DVDFab Movie Server packs all the top-of-the-class components regarding hardware, at least based on their opinions, and their developers also make impressive efforts on the software level. Here below are the specs of the hardware and software.

Hardware Configuration

CPUQuad-Core 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 clocked at 1.2GHz
GPUHigh-performance multi-core GPU MaliT720
RAM2GB 1866MHz DDR3
Memory16GB eMMC flash memory, 3.5 inch SATA HDD with up to 8TB of storage (not included as an accessory)
Memory InterfaceUSB2.0x1 + USB3.0x1 + built-in 3.5 inch SATA extraction chamber
Video InterfaceHDMI 2.0a high-definition video output
Audio InterfaceHDMI 2.0a HD audio output Optical audio output Coaxial audio output Stereo audio output
Network InterfaceIEEE 802.11A/B/G/N/AC wireless 2.4G/5G network adaptor with double Wi-Fi antenna Bluetooth 4.0 10/100/1000M adaptive Ethernet adaptor
Front PanelLarge screen LED display + standby indication light + inlayed IR receiver
Power AdaptorInput: 110~220V AC Output: 12V 2A DC (Including three plug converters of US, EU and UK standard, respectively)
Size305 * 255 * 95 (mm)
Weight1.9 kg

Software Specs

Disk Format(3.5 inch SATA) EXT3, EXT4, FAT, NTFS, GPT
Output ResolutionPAL, NTSC, 720P@50/60Hz, 1080P@50/60Hz, 2160P@25/30/50/60Hz
Video DecoderH.265/HEVC Main/Main10 profile@Level5.1 High-tier, up to 4Kx2K@60fps H.264/AVC BP/MP/HP@ level 5.1; H264/AVC MVC, up to 4Kx2K@30fps VP9 up to 4Kx2K@60fps VP6/8 up to 1080p@60fps MPEG1 up to 1080p@60fps MPEG2 SP@ML, MP@HL, up to 1080p@60fps MPEG4 SP@L0-3, ASP@L0-5, support GMC and Short-Header format, up to 1080p@60fps AVS standard level@6.0, AVS-P16(AVS+), up to 1080p@60fps VC-1 SP@ML, MP@HL, AP@L0-3, up to 1080p@60fps Video formats: TS, ASF, WMV, MKV, MP4, AVI, M2TS, ISO, and BDMV… (up to 2160P@60fps)
Audio DecoderMPEG L1/L2 Dolby Digital/Dolby Digital Plus Decoder-Converter Dolby True HD/Dolby Atoms Decoding/passthrough DTS-HD Master/DTS:X Decoding/passthrough Dolby Digital/ DTS Decoding/passthrough AAC-LC、HE AAC V1/V2 Decoding APE/FLAC/OGG/AMR-NB/WB Decoding G.711(u/a)audio decoding Dolby MS12 decode and sound effect G.711(u/a) /AMR-NB/AMR-WB /AAC-LC audio encoding HE-AAC transcoding DD(AC3) Decoding format: MPEG1/2, LPCM, PCM, FLAC, AAC, OGG, APE, MP3 File format: M4A, MP1/2/3, MPA, WAV, OGG, FLAC, APE, CUE
Video ProcessingImprex2.0 processing engine HDR and HDR 10 support
ImageFull HD JPEG hardware decoding, up to 64 million pixels PNG hardware decoding, up to 64 million pixels
SubtitleSRT, SSA, PGS (internal), SMI

Setup and Installation

With the above specs sheet, it’s obvious that Fengtao Software brings this hard drive multimedia player with an ambition to replace your home Blu-ray player as the central multimedia hub of your entire home theater system. It can store, manage and play back all the media contents you have, no matter what forms they are in, DVD format, Blu-ray format, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, or any other video format, including 3D, 4K UHD, and H265 videos as well.

And to live up to that expectation, this Movie Server offers very flexible options for users to freely configure with whatever audio and video equipment they have at home, flat-screen smart TVs, large screen monitors, projectors, receivers, and even the home theater system. The setup and installation is easy.

Here below are different ways of setting up DVDFab Movie Server, depending on what you have at home.

Quick Setup — this is the easiest way to set up the Movie Server, which just requires a TV, whether HDMI enabled or the traditional RCA capable.

  • Power off all your devices;
  • Connect the Movie Server to the smart TV with an HDMI cable (If you have an old TV with RCA ports, then use the RCA cables instead, and it’s included in the package, too.);
  • Insert your HDD into the HDD cabinet;
  • Plug in the power adaptor and the Ethernet cable;
  • Power on the Movie Server and then the TV;

Receiver Setup — this is an enhanced way of setting up the Movie Server that should bring you better watching experience, by adding your Receiver for improved sound effect.

  • Power off all your devices;
  • Connect the Movie Server to the TV with an HDMI cable (If you have an old TV with RCA ports, then use the RCA cables instead, and it’s included in the package, too.);
  • Connect the Movie Server to the Receiver with an S/PDIF optical cable (you can also use HDMI cable if you use the RCA cable in the first step);
  • Insert your HDD to the HDD cabinet;
  • Plug in the power adaptor and the Ethernet cable;
  • Power on the Movie Server, then the Receiver, and finally the TV.

Home Theatre Setup — this should be the best way to take the full advantage of both the Movie Server itself and your home theater system for the maximum audiovisual experience.

  • Power off all your devices;
  • Connect the Receiver to the TV with an HDMI cable;
  • Connect the Movie Server to the Receiver with an HDMI cable (you need to prepare an additional piece of HDMI cable, because there is only one piece comes with the package);
  • Insert your HDD to the HDD cabinet;
  • Plug in the power adaptor and the Ethernet cable;
  • Power on the Movie Server, then the receiver, and finally the TV.

We always say, content is the king. This is especially true to a multimedia playback device like DVDFab Movie Server. But there is no need to worry. DVDFab Movie Server has this covered. It offers an array of very flexible options for you to add your media contents to the media library stored in the standard 3.5 inch hard disc drive — you can copy and convert your DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray collections with the Copy and Ripper modules of the DVDFab 10 and transfer the resulting files directly to the Movie Server; or you can directly transfer the existing ISO files and videos from a computer to the hard disk drive inside the Movie Server; you can also copy the existing media library to a USB drive and plug it into the Movie Server; you even can directly access the media library on a NAS device via the Windows Share feature.

Next, I would like to guide you through each process with great details.

Transfer DVDFab 10 Produced Contents to the Movie Server

Working seamlessly with the DVDFab 10 software is the original intention for designing the Movie Server. DVDFab customers can use the DVDFab 10 software to copy your DVDs, Blu-rays, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays to ISO files with the Copy module, or convert them to digital videos such as MP4, AVI, M2TS, etc., and send the resulting files directly to the 3.5 inch SATA drive inside the Movie Server.

By the time I write this review, the supported products include DVD Copy, DVD Ripper, Blu-ray Copy, Blu-ray Ripper, UHD Copy and UHD Ripper, and among these modules, only the Full Disc, Main Movie and Clone modes with the Copy module are supported, and all the conversion profiles with the Ripper module are supported.

That said, it is recommended to use lossless conversion profiles, such as MP4.Passthrough, to get the best audiovisual effect, considering the fact that it is capable of playing back 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays with HDR10 mode, and accommodating hi-res audios such as Dolby Atmos, DTS: X and DTS-HD Master, etc.
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Note: the Movie Server must be turned on and connected to the same LAN with the computer running DVDFab 10, otherwise, it won’t appear in this list. In that case, power on the Movie Server and click the Refresh button.
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Directly Copy & Paste Contents from Computer to the Movie Server

Although being designed to work with its own DVDFab 10 software in the first place, DVDFab Movie Server is not a closed system. If you already have ripped your DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays to your computer previously as ISO files or other digital videos, even not with DVDFab 10, there is no need to redo the copy or conversion, because you can simply copy & paste them to the Movie Server. This can be extremely helpful when your ripped media is huge in size.

It is pretty easy to do that. You just need to enter the IP address of the Movie Server to the address bar of the Windows Explorer, and then press the Enter key on your keyboard, move straight to the DVDFab folder, and then copy & paste your ripped media contents there. Do pay attention the file names, because if not named correctly, the Movie Server might have difficulty in finding the correct poster information from internet.

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Directly Copy & Paste the Existing Media Library to Movie Server

Tip: DVDFab Movie Server supports up to 8TB 3.5 inch SATA hard drive, but you can prepare multiple such HDDs so that you can switch between.

Copy the Contents to a USB Drive for Playback on the Movie Server

DVDFab Movie Server provides two USB ports for expandable connectivity. This means, if you don’t have extra 3.5 inch HDDs at home, you can also use a USB flash drive to watch your movie collections on the Movie Server. Just copy the media contents to the USB drive and plug in to the Movie Server and then you are ready to watch the movies there. However, by doing this way, you cannot browse the media contents in the USB drive with the DVDFab’s reputable Poster Wall feature.

Directly Access the NAS Contents from the Movie Server

Another approach to add existing media library is to directly access them from the network attached storage devices, known to many as NAS, which is very popular nowadays. This also allows you to browse the media contents with the Poster Wall feature. To do that, you need to login the webpage version of the Movie Server’s media library with the address https://dms.dvdfab.cn.

This requires your account information used for ordering the Movie Server. Don’t be confused, the media library shown on the webpage is exactly the same with those on your Movie Server.

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Movie Library Management and Playback

The way how it manages the entire media library and how it plays back the DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays are the most eye-catching features of the DVDFab Movie Server. It offers a very pleasant, smooth and convenient all-in-one solution. Among the similar products that I have tried in recent years, this one is actually the best experience I ever had.

Organize and Manage the Media library

The Poster Wall feature is actually the No. 1 selling point the software vendor is advertising. They designed this feature with the intention to help you find your wanted title from a myriad of movie collections fast and efficiently. Suppose a Sunday afternoon, you want to watch a Pixar movie with your kids, how much time it will cost you to find that disc from your movie collections on the shelf?

Five minutes? Hell, with the Poster Wall feature, plus its smart sorting and filtering function, you only need 1 minute, probably even less.

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Smart Sorting, Searching and Filtering Features

The Poster Wall feature is the most direct and visualized way to present you all the media contents you have on the Movie Server, but Fengtao Software doesn’t just stop here, it goes even further to make the process of locating a specific title more efficiently, with the Smart Sorting, Searching and Filtering functions.

The movies shown in the Poster Wall are not just displayed randomly. They are well organized and grouped based on the genres. With the additional help of the searching and filtering features, to locate a target title from a sea of movie collection is just a piece of pancake.

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Movie Playback and Playback Control

DVDFab Movie Server offers two basic playback modes to the ISO files made by the Full Disc mode of the DVDFab 10 software, the Menu Mode and the Main Movie Mode. Menu Mode means to play back the movies with the navigation menus, which is the best watching experience equal to the home Blu-ray player. The Menu Mode works on DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays; Main Movie Mode means to play back the feature-length movie directly, instead of starting with the navigation menus.

If you don’t want to choose which mode to play back with every time you click the playback button, then it’s better to make a default setting at the Settings panel > Playback > Playback Mode.

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When it comes to the playback control, DVDFab Movie Server also offers two ways. One is with the traditional physical Remote, which is pretty much similar to any other Remote you have at home. And the other way goes to digital, the company designs a Remote App called DVDFab MS Remote, which works on both iOS and Android. This approach, albeit nothing new, does free you from the trouble of losing your physical Remote. You can use your smart phone or tablet to control the playback process.

But remember, apart from allowing you to browse and play back the media contents on your iOS or Android device, the playback control functions offered by the Remote App are quite limited. Compared to the fully-functional physical Remote, with the Remote App, you can only Play/Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind, switch from 2D to 3D playback mode (vice versa), switch audio tracks and subtitle streams, and adjust the volume.

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Running Other Android Apps on the Movie Server

Under the hood running the DVDFab Movie Server is the Android 4.0 operating system. This means, you can install other Android apps on this hard drive media player. But, according to my test, most Apps are optimized either for smart phones or tablets, only a few are compatible on set-top boxes, meaning your choices on Apps might actually be a little compromised.

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Conclusion

DVDFab Movie Server is an excellent 4K UHD Blu-ray Media Player from both hardware and software perspectives. It literally plays back anything you throw at it, from DVDs, Blu-rays, 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, and all the other digital files, including H265 encoded videos and 4K 10-bit HDR10 videos. It can be a perfect replacement of your home Blu-ray player and serve as your digital multimedia hub.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality with affordable price;
  • The Poster Wall feature really makes it pretty user-friendly to display your media library;
  • Deeply tailored UI design that is specifically optimized for the Movie Server;
  • Support navigation menus on DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays;
  • Support playback of H.265, 4K UHD, and HDR10 videos;
  • Compatible with Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master and DTS:X audios;
  • Rich connectivity and expandable possibilities.

Cons:

  • The hardware specs, despite they say are top-level, are a little bit outdated today, 2GB RAM with 16GB ROM, in my opinion, are just the minimal standard. After all, most Android phones are employing 6GB RAM and 32GB ROM nowadays;
  • During my test, the Wi-Fi connection and Ethernet connection sometimes do not work simultaneously, and when streaming hi-res videos from NAS, it’s better to use Ethernet connection, as Wi-Fi might occasionally cause jittery problems.
  • The 8TB maximum capacity of the 3.5 inch SATA hard drive is quite limited. With the prevailing of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, that space will surely be eaten up quickly.
  • The Poster Wall feature is great, there is no doubt. However, during my experience, a few of my movies failed to get the correct Meta information. Hopefully, this will be addressed through the future firmware updates.
  • There is only one HDMI port, which to me, is not enough. But, it might still can meet the demand of most people.

Bottom Line:

Considering the price tag of only $299 (plus, there are also holiday coupons), DVDFab Movie Server is quite worthy of your money. Compared to the similar products with the same price level, its performance is quite amazing. I also have a Dune HD Sole 4K, I personally think my experience with DVDFab Movie Server is far better than that one. Besides, the 4K video image is quite sharp on my Samsung 4K TV. Time to ditch your old home Blu-ray Player machine.


Brief Introduction of Fengtao Software

Speaking of Fengtao Software, I guess a lot of you here might never heard of this software vendor before. However, if I mention DVDFab, I am definitely sure that most of you know, or even have been using this famous DVD/Blu-ray backup software for years. Yes, the DVDFab brand comes from this Chinese software vender, Fengtao Software Inc., and their DVDFab DVD/Blu-ray backup software is one of best on the market, competing with other reputed vendors such as SlySoft (now RedFox), VSO software, etc. But today, what I’m going to talk about is not their software, it’s their second attempt stepping into the arena of hardware — the DVDFab Movie Server.

Brief Introduction of DVDFab Movie Server

DVDFab Movie Server, per the descriptions on their official website, is a 4K UHD Blu-ray Media Player designed with the intention to serve as the home multimedia center of DVDFab’s software customers, so that they can manage and watch their DVDs, Blu-rays, 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays and other videos processed by the DVDFab 10 software in one place.

Don’t be confused, despite being originally designed for the existing DVDFab customers, but through the later firmware updates, developers break the limitations to allow the movie server accept all forms of media contents, whether they are handled by DVDFab or other backup tools. That is to say, all the movie lovers who have large collections of DVDs & Blu-rays & 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays at home are the targeted audience of this device.

Features and Functionalities

  • Digitalize your DVD & Blu-ray & 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray collections
  • Navigation menu support for DVDs & Blu-rays & 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays
  • Manage and organize movie library in one place
  • Play back Cinavia-protected DVDs and Blu-rays
  • Display movies by posters filled with detailed metadata
  • Compatible with 3D, H.265 and 4K UHD and other videos
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS: X and DTS-HD Master audio support
  • Work with DVDFab 10 to import media contents easily
  • Add your existing movie library quickly and conveniently
  • Access your media contents from the NAS storage
  • Manually correct the metadata in case of inaccuracy
  • Preinstalled Google Play, Google Search and YouTube
Specification Sheet

DVDFab Movie Server packs all the top-of-the-class components regarding hardware, at least based on their opinions, and their developers also make impressive efforts on the software level. Here below are the specs of the hardware and software.

Hardware Configuration

CPU

Quad-Core 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 clocked at 1.2GHz

GPU

High-performance multi-core GPU MaliT720

RAM

2GB 1866MHz DDR3

Memory

16GB eMMC flash memory, 3.5 inch SATA HDD with up to 8TB of storage (not included as an accessory)

Memory Interface

USB2.0x1 + USB3.0x1 + built-in 3.5 inch SATA extraction chamber

Video Interface

HDMI 2.0a high-definition video output

Audio Interface

HDMI 2.0a HD audio output Optical audio output Coaxial audio output Stereo audio output

Network Interface

IEEE 802.11A/B/G/N/AC wireless 2.4G/5G network adaptor with double Wi-Fi antenna Bluetooth 4.0 10/100/1000M adaptive Ethernet adaptor

Front Panel

Large screen LED display + standby indication light + inlayed IR receiver

Power Adaptor

Input: 110~220V AC Output: 12V 2A DC (Including three plug converters of US, EU and UK standard, respectively)

Size

305 * 255 * 95 (mm)

Weight

1.9 kg

Software Specs

Disk Format

(3.5 inch SATA) EXT3, EXT4, FAT, NTFS, GPT

Output Resolution

PAL, NTSC, 720P@50/60Hz, 1080P@50/60Hz, 2160P@25/30/50/60Hz

Video Decoder

H.265/HEVC Main/Main10 profile@Level5.1 High-tier, up to 4Kx2K@60fps H.264/AVC BP/MP/HP@ level 5.1; H264/AVC MVC, up to 4Kx2K@30fps VP9 up to 4Kx2K@60fps VP6/8 up to 1080p@60fps MPEG1 up to 1080p@60fps MPEG2 SP@ML, MP@HL, up to 1080p@60fps MPEG4 SP@L0-3, ASP@L0-5, support GMC and Short-Header format, up to 1080p@60fps AVS standard level@6.0, AVS-P16(AVS+), up to 1080p@60fps VC-1 SP@ML, MP@HL, AP@L0-3, up to 1080p@60fps Video formats: TS, ASF, WMV, MKV, MP4, AVI, M2TS, ISO, and BDMV… (up to 2160P@60fps)

Audio Decoder

MPEG L1/L2 Dolby Digital/Dolby Digital Plus Decoder-Converter Dolby True HD/Dolby Atoms Decoding/passthrough DTS-HD Master/DTS:X Decoding/passthrough Dolby Digital/ DTS Decoding/passthrough AAC-LC、HE AAC V1/V2 Decoding APE/FLAC/OGG/AMR-NB/WB Decoding G.711(u/a)audio decoding Dolby MS12 decode and sound effect G.711(u/a) /AMR-NB/AMR-WB /AAC-LC audio encoding HE-AAC transcoding DD(AC3) Decoding format: MPEG1/2, LPCM, PCM, FLAC, AAC, OGG, APE, MP3 File format: M4A, MP1/2/3, MPA, WAV, OGG, FLAC, APE, CUE

Video Processing

Imprex2.0 processing engine HDR and HDR 10 support

Image

Full HD JPEG hardware decoding, up to 64 million pixels PNG hardware decoding, up to 64 million pixels

Subtitle

SRT, SSA, PGS (internal), SMI

Setup and Installation

With the above specs sheet, it’s obvious that Fengtao Software brings this hard drive multimedia player with an ambition to replace your home Blu-ray player as the central multimedia hub of your entire home theater system. It can store, manage and play back all the media contents you have, no matter what forms they are in, DVD format, Blu-ray format, 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, or any other video format, including 3D, 4K UHD, and H265 videos as well.

And to live up to that expectation, this Movie Server offers very flexible options for users to freely configure with whatever audio and video equipment they have at home, flat-screen smart TVs, large screen monitors, projectors, receivers, and even the home theater system. The setup and installation is easy.

Here below are different ways of setting up DVDFab Movie Server, depending on what you have at home.

Quick Setup — this is the easiest way to set up the Movie Server, which just requires a TV, whether HDMI enabled or the traditional RCA capable.

  • Power off all your devices;
  • Connect the Movie Server to the smart TV with an HDMI cable (If you have an old TV with RCA ports, then use the RCA cables instead, and it’s included in the package, too.);
  • Insert your HDD into the HDD cabinet;
  • Plug in the power adaptor and the Ethernet cable;
  • Power on the Movie Server and then the TV;
Receiver Setup — this is an enhanced way of setting up the Movie Server that should bring you better watching experience, by adding your Receiver for improved sound effect.

  • Power off all your devices;
  • Connect the Movie Server to the TV with an HDMI cable (If you have an old TV with RCA ports, then use the RCA cables instead, and it’s included in the package, too.);
  • Connect the Movie Server to the Receiver with an S/PDIF optical cable (you can also use HDMI cable if you use the RCA cable in the first step);
  • Insert your HDD to the HDD cabinet;
  • Plug in the power adaptor and the Ethernet cable;
  • Power on the Movie Server, then the Receiver, and finally the TV.
Home Theatre Setup — this should be the best way to take the full advantage of both the Movie Server itself and your home theater system for the maximum audiovisual experience.

  • Power off all your devices;
  • Connect the Receiver to the TV with an HDMI cable;
  • Connect the Movie Server to the Receiver with an HDMI cable (you need to prepare an additional piece of HDMI cable, because there is only one piece comes with the package);
  • Insert your HDD to the HDD cabinet;
  • Plug in the power adaptor and the Ethernet cable;
  • Power on the Movie Server, then the receiver, and finally the TV.


We always say, content is the king. This is especially true to a multimedia playback device like DVDFab Movie Server. But there is no need to worry. DVDFab Movie Server has this covered. It offers an array of very flexible options for you to add your media contents to the media library stored in the standard 3.5 inch hard disc drive — you can copy and convert your DVD, Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray collections with the Copy and Ripper modules of the DVDFab 10 and transfer the resulting files directly to the Movie Server; or you can directly transfer the existing ISO files and videos from a computer to the hard disk drive inside the Movie Server; you can also copy the existing media library to a USB drive and plug it into the Movie Server; you even can directly access the media library on a NAS device via the Windows Share feature.

Next, I would like to guide you through each process with great details.

Transfer DVDFab 10 Produced Contents to the Movie Server

Working seamlessly with the DVDFab 10 software is the original intention for designing the Movie Server. DVDFab customers can use the DVDFab 10 software to copy your DVDs, Blu-rays, and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays to ISO files with the Copy module, or convert them to digital videos such as MP4, AVI, M2TS, etc., and send the resulting files directly to the 3.5 inch SATA drive inside the Movie Server.

By the time I write this review, the supported products include DVD Copy, DVD Ripper, Blu-ray Copy, Blu-ray Ripper, UHD Copy and UHD Ripper, and among these modules, only the Full Disc, Main Movie and Clone modes with the Copy module are supported, and all the conversion profiles with the Ripper module are supported.

That said, it is recommended to use lossless conversion profiles, such as MP4.Passthrough, to get the best audiovisual effect, considering the fact that it is capable of playing back 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays with HDR10 mode, and accommodating hi-res audios such as Dolby Atmos, DTS: X and DTS-HD Master, etc.

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Note: the Movie Server must be turned on and connected to the same LAN with the computer running DVDFab 10, otherwise, it won’t appear in this list. In that case, power on the Movie Server and click the Refresh button.

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Directly Copy & Paste Contents from Computer to the Movie ServerAlthough being designed to work with its own DVDFab 10 software in the first place, DVDFab Movie Server is not a closed system. If you already have ripped your DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays to your computer previously as ISO files or other digital videos, even not with DVDFab 10, there is no need to redo the copy or conversion, because you can simply copy & paste them to the Movie Server. This can be extremely helpful when your ripped media is huge in size.

It is pretty easy to do that. You just need to enter the IP address of the Movie Server to the address bar of the Windows Explorer, and then press the Enter key on your keyboard, move straight to the DVDFab folder, and then copy & paste your ripped media contents there. Do pay attention the file names, because if not named correctly, the Movie Server might have difficulty in finding the correct poster information from internet.

Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 6

Directly Copy & Paste the Existing Media Library to Movie ServerTip: DVDFab Movie Server supports up to 8TB 3.5 inch SATA hard drive, but you can prepare multiple such HDDs so that you can switch between.

Copy the Contents to a USB Drive for Playback on the Movie Server

DVDFab Movie Server provides two USB ports for expandable connectivity. This means, if you don’t have extra 3.5 inch HDDs at home, you can also use a USB flash drive to watch your movie collections on the Movie Server. Just copy the media contents to the USB drive and plug in to the Movie Server and then you are ready to watch the movies there. However, by doing this way, you cannot browse the media contents in the USB drive with the DVDFab’s reputable Poster Wall feature.

Directly Access the NAS Contents from the Movie Server

Another approach to add existing media library is to directly access them from the network attached storage devices, known to many as NAS, which is very popular nowadays. This also allows you to browse the media contents with the Poster Wall feature. To do that, you need to login the webpage version of the Movie Server’s media library with the address https://dms.dvdfab.cn.

This requires your account information used for ordering the Movie Server. Don’t be confused, the media library shown on the webpage is exactly the same with those on your Movie Server.

Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 7

Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 8

Movie Library Management and Playback

The way how it manages the entire media library and how it plays back the DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays are the most eye-catching features of the DVDFab Movie Server. It offers a very pleasant, smooth and convenient all-in-one solution. Among the similar products that I have tried in recent years, this one is actually the best experience I ever had.

Organize and Manage the Media library

The Poster Wall feature is actually the No. 1 selling point the software vendor is advertising. They designed this feature with the intention to help you find your wanted title from a myriad of movie collections fast and efficiently. Suppose a Sunday afternoon, you want to watch a Pixar movie with your kids, how much time it will cost you to find that disc from your movie collections on the shelf?

Five minutes? Hell, with the Poster Wall feature, plus its smart sorting and filtering function, you only need 1 minute, probably even less.

Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 9

Smart Sorting, Searching and Filtering FeaturesThe Poster Wall feature is the most direct and visualized way to present you all the media contents you have on the Movie Server, but Fengtao Software doesn’t just stop here, it goes even further to make the process of locating a specific title more efficiently, with the Smart Sorting, Searching and Filtering functions.

The movies shown in the Poster Wall are not just displayed randomly. They are well organized and grouped based on the genres. With the additional help of the searching and filtering features, to locate a target title from a sea of movie collection is just a piece of pancake.

Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 10

Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 11

Movie Playback and Playback ControlDVDFab Movie Server offers two basic playback modes to the ISO files made by the Full Disc mode of the DVDFab 10 software, the Menu Mode and the Main Movie Mode. Menu Mode means to play back the movies with the navigation menus, which is the best watching experience equal to the home Blu-ray player. The Menu Mode works on DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays; Main Movie Mode means to play back the feature-length movie directly, instead of starting with the navigation menus.

If you don’t want to choose which mode to play back with every time you click the playback button, then it’s better to make a default setting at the Settings panel > Playback > Playback Mode.

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Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 13

When it comes to the playback control, DVDFab Movie Server also offers two ways. One is with the traditional physical Remote, which is pretty much similar to any other Remote you have at home. And the other way goes to digital, the company designs a Remote App called DVDFab MS Remote, which works on both iOS and Android. This approach, albeit nothing new, does free you from the trouble of losing your physical Remote. You can use your smart phone or tablet to control the playback process.But remember, apart from allowing you to browse and play back the media contents on your iOS or Android device, the playback control functions offered by the Remote App are quite limited. Compared to the fully-functional physical Remote, with the Remote App, you can only Play/Pause, Fast Forward, Rewind, switch from 2D to 3D playback mode (vice versa), switch audio tracks and subtitle streams, and adjust the volume.

Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 14

Running Other Android Apps on the Movie Server

Under the hood running the DVDFab Movie Server is the Android 4.0 operating system. This means, you can install other Android apps on this hard drive media player. But, according to my test, most Apps are optimized either for smart phones or tablets, only a few are compatible on set-top boxes, meaning your choices on Apps might actually be a little compromised.

Review the DVDFab Movie Server from Fengtao Software - Image 15

Conclusion

DVDFab Movie Server is an excellent 4K UHD Blu-ray Media Player from both hardware and software perspectives. It literally plays back anything you throw at it, from DVDs, Blu-rays, 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, and all the other digital files, including H265 encoded videos and 4K 10-bit HDR10 videos. It can be a perfect replacement of your home Blu-ray player and serve as your digital multimedia hub.

Pros:

  • Excellent build quality with affordable price;
  • The Poster Wall feature really makes it pretty user-friendly to display your media library;
  • Deeply tailored UI design that is specifically optimized for the Movie Server;
  • Support navigation menus on DVDs, Blu-rays and 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays;
  • Support playback of H.265, 4K UHD, and HDR10 videos;
  • Compatible with Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master and DTS:X audios;
  • Rich connectivity and expandable possibilities.
Cons:

  • The hardware specs, despite they say are top-level, are a little bit outdated today, 2GB RAM with 16GB ROM, in my opinion, are just the minimal standard. After all, most Android phones are employing 6GB RAM and 32GB ROM nowadays;
  • During my test, the Wi-Fi connection and Ethernet connection sometimes do not work simultaneously, and when streaming hi-res videos from NAS, it’s better to use Ethernet connection, as Wi-Fi might occasionally cause jittery problems.
  • The 8TB maximum capacity of the 3.5 inch SATA hard drive is quite limited. With the prevailing of 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, that space will surely be eaten up quickly.
  • The Poster Wall feature is great, there is no doubt. However, during my experience, a few of my movies failed to get the correct Meta information. Hopefully, this will be addressed through the future firmware updates.
  • There is only one HDMI port, which to me, is not enough. But, it might still can meet the demand of most people.
Bottom Line:

Considering the price tag of only $299 (plus, there are also holiday coupons), DVDFab Movie Server is quite worthy of your money. Compared to the similar products with the same price level, its performance is quite amazing. I also have a Dune HD Sole 4K, I personally think my experience with DVDFab Movie Server is far better than that one. Besides, the 4K video image is quite sharp on my Samsung 4K TV. Time to ditch your old home Blu-ray Player machine.

Related Posts:

DVDFab

 
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