Has anyone build an HTPC for 3D video playback ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-13-2011, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I am thinking of building an HTPC that will play back 3D iso like Avatar.

First, will I be able to replicate full 1080p 3D playback using active 3D glasses on a 3D HDTV such as the 65" Panasonic P65VT30 using the HTPC instead of the dedicated 3D blu-ray player ?

I heard that media player such as the Dune, PopBox 3D, and Popcorn Hour A210 can do SBS 3D .mkv files but they will be half the resolution and I think there is no media player currently that can play 1080p 3D like a dedicated 3D blu-ray player.

So will an HTPC with the right nvidia graphic card and a 3D software such as TotalMedia Theatre 5 be equal in performance to a dedicated 3D blu-ray player ?
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post #2 of 16 Old 07-13-2011, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancomycin View Post

I am thinking of building an HTPC that will play back 3D iso like Avatar.

First, will I be able to replicate full 1080p 3D playback using active 3D glasses on a 3D HDTV such as the 65" Panasonic P65VT30 using the HTPC instead of the dedicated 3D blu-ray player ?

I heard that media player such as the Dune, PopBox 3D, and Popcorn Hour A210 can do SBS 3D .mkv files but they will be half the resolution and I think there is no media player currently that can play 1080p 3D like a dedicated 3D blu-ray player.

So will an HTPC with the right nvidia graphic card and a 3D software such as TotalMedia Theatre 5 be equal in performance to a dedicated 3D blu-ray player ?

Do you have any 3D source material erecorded in 3D side by side half?
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post #3 of 16 Old 07-13-2011, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancomycin View Post

I am thinking of building an HTPC that will play back 3D iso like Avatar.

First, will I be able to replicate full 1080p 3D playback using active 3D glasses on a 3D HDTV such as the 65" Panasonic P65VT30 using the HTPC instead of the dedicated 3D blu-ray player ?

I heard that media player such as the Dune, PopBox 3D, and Popcorn Hour A210 can do SBS 3D .mkv files but they will be half the resolution and I think there is no media player currently that can play 1080p 3D like a dedicated 3D blu-ray player.

So will an HTPC with the right nvidia graphic card and a 3D software such as TotalMedia Theatre 5 be equal in performance to a dedicated 3D blu-ray player ?

Yes, it can be done and the picture quality rivals that of dedicated players. I just put together a HTPC for a relative. It has an AMD quad core and an nVidia 430 video card. I watched parts of several 3D Blu-ray iso's (including Avatar) the other day on that system and a 40" Samsung 3D LCD TV. The newest nVidia drivers recognized the 3D TV, and PowerDVD 11 allowed me to switch to 3D mode. Quite easy, really. There are things you need to be aware of, including the requirement that all your gear be HDMI 1.4 capable. Otherwise, you could run into issues.

The HTPC need not be extremely powerful. The nVidia card does the heavy lifting, and I got the least expensive 400 series card (the 430) for about $40 after rebate at Micro Center. If you want to game, you'll need more graphics horsepower, but 3D Blu-ray is not terribly demanding of the new generation of video cards.

You'll want to simplify your life by using Win7, and a Media Center remote will allow you to control PowerDVD 11 or TMT5 just like a regular 3D Blu-ray player. You won't even need a driver. Just plug in the IR receiver to a USB port, start the movie and use play/pause/FF/REW/etc.

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post #4 of 16 Old 07-14-2011, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Clark View Post

Yes, it can be done and the picture quality rivals that of dedicated players. I just put together a HTPC for a relative. It has an AMD quad core and an nVidia 430 video card. I watched parts of several 3D Blu-ray iso's (including Avatar) the other day on that system and a 40" Samsung 3D LCD TV. The newest nVidia drivers recognized the 3D TV, and PowerDVD 11 allowed me to switch to 3D mode. Quite easy, really. There are things you need to be aware of, including the requirement that all your gear be HDMI 1.4 capable. Otherwise, you could run into issues.

The HTPC need not be extremely powerful. The nVidia card does the heavy lifting, and I got the least expensive 400 series card (the 430) for about $40 after rebate at Micro Center. If you want to game, you'll need more graphics horsepower, but 3D Blu-ray is not terribly demanding of the new generation of video cards.

You'll want to simplify your life by using Win7, and a Media Center remote will allow you to control PowerDVD 11 or TMT5 just like a regular 3D Blu-ray player. You won't even need a driver. Just plug in the IR receiver to a USB port, start the movie and use play/pause/FF/REW/etc.

What additional would be needed to say convert bluray to side by side and stream to a 3D converter such as monoprice?
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-14-2011, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by mkoss View Post

What additional would be needed to say convert bluray to side by side and stream to a 3D converter such as monoprice?

I haven't done this (nor would I want to), but I think it could be done with MVCtoAVI Converter and Sony Vegas, and probably a dose of AnyDVD HD thrown in to decrypt the Blu-ray disc. However, you would end up with a 3D video substantially inferior to the original. There are probably a few ways to do it, but it doesn't sound like a good idea, no matter how you slice it.

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 02:11 AM
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Why don't ya just watch the Blus?

PS3 is my choice for HTPC (including 3D.)

My HT has no Windows.

-Brian
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vancomycin View Post

I am thinking of building an HTPC that will play back 3D iso like Avatar.

First, will I be able to replicate full 1080p 3D playback using active 3D glasses on a 3D HDTV such as the 65" Panasonic P65VT30 using the HTPC instead of the dedicated 3D blu-ray player ?

I heard that media player such as the Dune, PopBox 3D, and Popcorn Hour A210 can do SBS 3D .mkv files but they will be half the resolution and I think there is no media player currently that can play 1080p 3D like a dedicated 3D blu-ray player.

So will an HTPC with the right nvidia graphic card and a 3D software such as TotalMedia Theatre 5 be equal in performance to a dedicated 3D blu-ray player ?

The SBS videos are only half res in width, they are full res in height. It still makes a difference but from the demos I tried it can still look nice.

I use an HTPC for all my media viewing and picked up an Acer H5360 last night so I've only had a few hours to play with it far. Since I already had a 8800GTS in the machine I found someone selling a used Nvidia kit and tried out the 3D for a bit. REALLY nice results once I updated the GPU drivers.

I rip all my Blu-rays and strip all the extras and unwanted audio tracks and play them with TMT5 driven from Mediabrowser via Media Center. That way I have access to all my movies instantly and don't have to touch the discs. The average movie size ends up being about 25gb. With a 2TB drive these days running around 70 bucks here in Canada it means I'm paying less than $1 to store each movie which I think is very worthwhile.

I don't have any 3D Blu-ray discs yet so if I pick one up tonight I can report back on how it works with my setup.

The other advantage to using an HTPC is you can also use it for gaming. Also going to be trying that out tonight
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post #8 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by studiotan View Post

The SBS videos are only half res in width, they are full res in height. It still makes a difference but from the demos I tried it can still look nice.

I use an HTPC for all my media viewing and picked up an Acer H5360 last night so I've only had a few hours to play with it far. Since I already had a 8800GTS in the machine I found someone selling a used Nvidia kit and tried out the 3D for a bit. REALLY nice results once I updated the GPU drivers.

I rip all my Blu-rays and strip all the extras and unwanted audio tracks and play them with TMT5 driven from Mediabrowser via Media Center. That way I have access to all my movies instantly and don't have to touch the discs. The average movie size ends up being about 25gb. With a 2TB drive these days running around 70 bucks here in Canada it means I'm paying less than $1 to store each movie which I think is very worthwhile.

I don't have any 3D Blu-ray discs yet so if I pick one up tonight I can report back on how it works with my setup.

The other advantage to using an HTPC is you can also use it for gaming. Also going to be trying that out tonight

I tried out Avatar on my HTPC that uses an Nvidia GT 430 and TMT5. Had little trouble getting it to work (as opposed to PowerDVD), but there was a tad bit of stuttering at times. I'll stick to my Panny player for the 3D discs for now.
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 02:14 PM
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Unless you want to game? I'd skip the 3D Vision and go with an ATI GPU. If you game though, 3D Vision is the path for sure right now.
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post #10 of 16 Old 07-15-2011, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Clark View Post
I haven't done this (nor would I want to), but I think it could be done with MVCtoAVI Converter and Sony Vegas, and probably a dose of AnyDVD HD thrown in to decrypt the Blu-ray disc. However, you would end up with a 3D video substantially inferior to the original. There are probably a few ways to do it, but it doesn't sound like a good idea, no matter how you slice it.
I'm curious about side by side half to DLP as an option to viewing for comparison to other formats.
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-16-2011, 08:04 AM
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I am sure some might say I am giving bad advice here because my HTPC setup is more antiquated then most but it works fine " So.....". I'm running a AMD 2.4ghz x3 core processor, 4gb DDR2 system ram, ATI Radeon 4890 HD W/1gb DDR5 video ram, and for sound I am using a Hercules Game Theater XP 7.1 sound card with EV Sonic XS 4.1 speaker set up(I love these) and using a separate center channel, all running on XP (yeah I said XP) with 3D software from Powerdvd 10, Stereoscopic Player, and DVD FAB which all work fine under XP SP3.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-16-2011, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan M View Post

I am sure some might say I am giving bad advice here because my HTPC setup is more antiquated then most but it works fine " So.....". I'm running a AMD 2.4ghz x3 core processor, 4gb DDR2 system ram, ATI Radeon 4890 HD W/1gb DDR5 video ram, and for sound I am using a Hercules Game Theater XP 7.1 sound card with EV Sonic XS 4.1 speaker set up(I love these) and using a separate center channel, all running on XP (yeah I said XP) with 3D software from Powerdvd 10, Stereoscopic Player, and DVD FAB which all work fine under XP SP3.

I don't know if I need all that horsepower since my only interest is to do movies and not gaming. Which version of DVD fab?
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 06:19 PM
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The DVD Fab is 8.1.0.5 i think? I actually got that PC off ebay With A Cooler Master Centurian case, blu ray reader and wireless N USB stick for $440.
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-17-2011, 09:26 PM
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I can watch SBS-half content just fine on my Samsung DLP, but that's with the aid of the Mitsubishi format converter, I don't think there are any SBS to checkerboard directoshow filters just yet... :P

This was originally on an HD 4850 and Athlon II 7750 (2.7ghz dualcore), now on an HD6850 and Phenom X6 1055t.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-25-2011, 01:24 PM
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I'd like to know if there's any way of playing 3D Blu-ray ISOs, and content from my Sony HDR-TD10 camcorder, on my six year old, self built, PC which I'm using with an LG D2342P 23" passive 3D monitor.

So far, I've been experimenting with 3D content in various formats using both Stereoscopic Player and the TriDef 3D Media Player that came with the LG monitor.

720p 3D content seems to play fine with CPU Usage at around 40% but most 1080p 3D content pushes the CPU to 100% where I experience juddering, and often, the video begins to lag behind the audio.

Later this year, when Intel's 6 and 8 core CPUs are released, I intend to build a new PC capable of handling both 3D video editing and 3D modeling but until then, if it's at all possible, I would like to make my current machine capable of 1080p 3D playback with the minimum outlay.

I was intrigued by what Joseph said earlier:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseph Clark View Post


The HTPC need not be extremely powerful. The nVidia card does the heavy lifting, and I got the least expensive 400 series card ...... 3D Blu-ray is not terribly demanding of the new generation of video cards

So here is the basic spec of my current PC:
  • Intel Pentium 4 630 CPU @ 3.06 GHz LGA 775
  • Gigabyte 8I955X Royal Motherboard
  • 2GB Corsair DDR2, 533 MHz RAM
  • 128MB XFX GeForce 6600 PCIe Graphics Card
  • Windows XP Home Edition
My first question is this: could I get away with upgrading just the graphics card, and is it likely that any of the following PCIe 2.0 cards that I'm considering would work in my PCIe 1.x equipped motherboard? (I'm not sure whether my motherboard has a PCIe 1.0a or PCIe 1.1 slot.) It seems that the GT 430 is the more powerful, but the GT 520 has the latest generation of Nvidia's PureVideo hardware video decoding: obviously, if it will do the job, cheapest is best.

If I do need to upgrade the CPU, then AFAIK, the Pentium D 935 is the most powerful option that will work with my motherboard: does anyone know whether that would be sufficient?

Here is a comparison between my Pentium 4 630 and the Pentium D 935.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Michael.
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-26-2011, 12:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MultiD View Post

I'd like to know if there's any way of playing 3D Blu-ray ISOs, and content from my Sony HDR-TD10 camcorder, on my six year old, self built, PC which I'm using with an LG D2342P 23" passive 3D monitor.

So far, I've been experimenting with 3D content in various formats using both Stereoscopic Player and the TriDef 3D Media Player that came with the LG monitor.

720p 3D content seems to play fine with CPU Usage at around 40% but most 1080p 3D content pushes the CPU to 100% where I experience juddering, and often, the video begins to lag behind the audio.

Later this year, when Intel's 6 and 8 core CPUs are released, I intend to build a new PC capable of handling both 3D video editing and 3D modeling but until then, if it's at all possible, I would like to make my current machine capable of 1080p 3D playback with the minimum outlay.

I was intrigued by what Joseph said earlier:

So here is the basic spec of my current PC:
  • Intel Pentium 4 630 CPU @ 3.06 GHz LGA 775
  • Gigabyte 8I955X Royal Motherboard
  • 2GB Corsair DDR2, 533 MHz RAM
  • 128MB XFX GeForce 6600 PCIe Graphics Card
  • Windows XP Home Edition
My first question is this: could I get away with upgrading just the graphics card, and is it likely that any of the following PCIe 2.0 cards that I'm considering would work in my PCIe 1.x equipped motherboard? (I'm not sure whether my motherboard has a PCIe 1.0a or PCIe 1.1 slot.) It seems that the GT 430 is the more powerful, but the GT 520 has the latest generation of Nvidia's PureVideo hardware video decoding: obviously, if it will do the job, cheapest is best.

If I do need to upgrade the CPU, then AFAIK, the Pentium D 935 is the most powerful option that will work with my motherboard: does anyone know whether that would be sufficient?

Here is a comparison between my Pentium 4 630 and the Pentium D 935.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

It would be great if someone with your same cpu and motherboard that had stutter free playback working with an upgraded video card could tell you which one works.

Although I have the TD10 and LG monitor like yours, I think this combination of ours is rare, and it would be very fortunate to find someone to post about which video card to use.

The benchmarks I've read usually indicate that optimum performance occurs when the CPU and graphics card are matched for the application. Perhaps the people that make the "stereoscopic player" can answer from their own support, since ultimately it is their software that will determine what the right balance of CPU and graphics power is.

Since you're planning to get a better CPU / Motherboard / graphics card in the near future, if the graphics card uses the same slot type in both your existing motherboard and your future motherboard. perhaps you can get that first and report back if the stutter free operation was achieved.

When updating the graphics card, it is also sometimes a requirement to install a power supply with higher capacity, and so you can satisfy your future power supply needs too by getting a supply that has connectors for both your current and future setup, which is often offered in power supplies.

My own setup that works stutter free is several years old with core2duo E8500 3.16GHz, and Nvidia 8500GT.

In stereoscopic player, make sure that hardware acceleration is not disabled in the >settings >advanced >troubleshooting tabs. I had that issue at first, and the result was artifacts in the playback.

"With Liberty, HDTV and Justice for all."
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