I've said it before, but a $150 stand-alone player is pretty much flawless, save for the occasional need to upgrade firmware.
I can only speak for myself but Playing Blu-Rays has never been a Problem for me, with my XFX Radeon HD5770 card and PowerDVD.
For me it has been more Computer related issues such as Dual Monitor, Resolutions and actually getting to know and working with ATI's CCC.
I have been an Nvidia Graphics card guy all of my life and so I am new to ATI Graphics Cards.
I am still feeling this out to see if I stay with ATI or go back to Nvidia.
Though Nvidia has it's issues as well.
Knock on wood my Audio stream to my Pioneer VSX 1020K has always been excellent and I am sure that PowerDVD may have something to do with that!
So Watching and Listening to any material through PowerDVD has been Good & Stable.
If I had big issues there, since I am more of an AV user than Gaming, I probably would have jerked this card by now!
I am now trying to set up 2 Profiles with my CCC, Extended I have but Duplicate is limiting my resolution to 1280 x 720.
My Computer Monitor is a new Samsung XL2370HD @ 1920x1080 and my LG HDTV is 720P but will take 1080i,
yet still 1280x720 is the most resolution I can get at this time in Duplicate. I wrote to XFX so I'll see what they say.
But my problems really have no comparison with a Standalone Blu-Ray Player!
The only time that I actually put a Disc into my LG Burner/Player is to either Copy it to my Hard Drive or Burn a Disc.
I really like the fact that I can open PowerDVD, select what I want to watch, click on it and it plays.
No more going to my collection, opening a Blu-Ray case, loading the Disc, hoping that it is not dirty or scratched, so my Video does not stall
or stop completely and right when I'm really in to the movie or program etc..etc.
That's just too frustrating and time consuming..LOL! My Video is playing before I even have to get up!
Not to mention that my discs are copied once and then put back on the shelf to stay Safe and Tucked away in pristine condition!
NO...I am trying to do so much more than a Stand-A-Lone Blu-Ray Player!
That is as old hat as (unfortunately) Music CD's! I do still buy CD's though, I like the full packaging!
But they all get transferred to my Computer & MP3 Player too.
Don't you get it? My computer IS my Media Center! Todays HTPC's are to all things AV as the MP3 Player was to Music and carrying CD's!
I just got a new Ford Escape that has a slot for CD's, as well as an Aux port for MP3 players, I saw that and said to myself,
WOW when will I have CD's in the car again?!
That's a standalone CD Player that will rarely get used..That's where we are going, why Limit yourself to a $150.00 Player
when you can take the blinders off and "Have it All!"
Embrace the Future...Don't be afraid of it..We ALL in this Forum are forging into the Future of HTPC's and what will be the Home's,
"Total Media Center!"
All you have to do is look around to the NetFlix's, Google's new Streaming, etc...etc...you are seeing it everywhere and
everyone knows that it is coming!
It has to have the current Providers of Cable and Satelite asking how it will all end up and where there place in the Future will be!
Moves are being everyday as we forge ahead in our own little Forum...I Feel IT, I know that you do too!
Were on the cutting edge of what an HTPC will truly become!
Though we complain, it's getting better all the Time and we know it..BUT
Can we be to blame that in the year 2010, WE are just a bit impatient..We want "It ALL & NOW!" LOL!
If WE knew the Future (like the Sports Book in "Back to the Future") and how all this Home AV stuff will play out and had the $$$ to back the right horse if you will,
there will be a lot of $$$ to make!