What the best Blu Ray Playback Software for my HTPC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 07:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello all!

I just got a Blu-Ray drive for my HTPC (running Vista 64). It came with PowerDVD 9, OEM edition. I cannot stand this setup, as the software gives me a pop-up to ugrade EVERY TIME I start the program. Movies don't start automatically, instead I get an ad for Movietime(?).

So, should I upgrad to PowerDVD 10 (I'm really not liking Cyberlink right now - other issues with PowerDirector and support) so that would make me feel icky. I guess WinDVD is another option. I think I'm leaning toward ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 3 Platinum + SimHD, sounds like the best out there.

I know you guys are the experts out there, so give me the scoop please!

Also, any recommended Remotes for such a system? I've got BeyondTV running and a Firefly controller, but I'm not sure it will support new software well.

Many thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 07:51 AM
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ArcSoft Total Media Theater
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 08:18 AM
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^ Agreed 100%
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 09:24 AM
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I think you might be able to stop PowerDVD from popping up the upgrade message if you block it from accessing the internet (ex. software firewall). Of course this means no BD-Live. There are also registry edits etc to remove the Moo(oooo)vietime junk. PowerDVD 10 is worse unless you want 3D.
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post #5 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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I fit between PowerDVD, Arcsoft and MPC-HC there are a few discs that won't work in all and one that works on none (cop out)
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrian ballard View Post

ArcSoft Total Media Theater

+1

This one is also one of the least expensive options. $60 on newegg right now.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...00SF-_-Product

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post #7 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 12:17 PM
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The advantage of PowerDVD 10 is hardware acceleration does an excellent job improving DVD picture quality. Also, if you run PowerDVD through MediaBrowser via 7MC you will not see all the cyberlink junk.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 12:19 PM
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If you mainly care about the movie itself (and not about any kind of extras), then MPC-HC + Anydvd is just great. Movie loads within a couple of seconds. No trailers, menus etc.
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post #9 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 01:55 PM
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MPC-HC can play Blu-ray Discs? I must have been under a rock. I need to read up on that, now. haha
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post #10 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 02:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew c View Post

MPC-HC can play Blu-ray Discs? I must have been under a rock. I need to read up on that, now. haha

Not on it's own. You need additional software (like Anydvd) that takes care of the encryption.
And it accesses the bdmv structure directly. So you basically select the file to play, which is why it is very fast to load. As I said above, it's really only good for the movie itself.
If you want an experience similar to an stand-alone player, then it's only TMT or PDVD.
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post #11 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 02:44 PM
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Yeah, I read up on it some. No menu support. How does that work with say a TV show disk that has multiple episodes on each disc? I guess if you are browsing the file structure, you can choose which episode to play (except it probably won't be conveniently labeled). Hmm.. look slike AnyDVD is pretty pricey, so there is still no free or budget option (outside TMT being on 'sale' for $60)
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post #12 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 04:10 PM
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My advice is to try all your options and find the best fit for you. Each player has it's own set of issues but you can get trials for WinDVD, PowerDVD and TMT to test.
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post #13 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 04:41 PM
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Here`s a quick review of all 3 : http://www.htpc-central.com/2010/08/...ater-3-vs.html

And +1 for what vladd says, you can try each of them for 30 days.


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post #14 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone. Especially after reading the linked review, I'm going to try both PowerDVD 10 and TMC 3.

Anyone have a suggested (cheap-ish) IR remote that would work best with one of these and Beyond TV as well? Are there alot of Blu-Ray specific buttons that will be necessary to easily access all Blu-Ray features (I'm a complete Blu-Ray noob)? I think my old Firefly remote just isn't going to cut it, Snapstream no longer really supports thier consumer products.
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post #15 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 07:53 PM
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I've tried them all...TMT3 for me...but, I use it on a HTPC with a remote, If your looking for desktop software, I am not reviewing it for that.

-Dave

MCSE 2003
Windows Media Center specialist

Avid gamer and home theater junkie..
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post #16 of 17 Old 09-24-2010, 08:40 PM
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WinDVD 10 isn't all that bad, in fact I'd say it upscales SD content better than most players out there today. BD is probably across the board they all look good but WinDVD has them beat due to it not dropping out of Aero. Simple GUI no bloat free 30 day trial.
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post #17 of 17 Old 10-08-2010, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for the input!

I tried out ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre 3, PowerDVD 9 and PowerDVD 10. I had a few problems still with TMT, trying to get my remote to control it properly. I really liked the PDVD 10 UI, visuals, and general use. I was able to get my remote set up perfect and no issues when running in Cinema mode. I run mainly DVD's and really liked the output from PDVD 10. I can't get digital surround out of PDVD 9, so 10 is the winner. However, I can pick up the upgrade "out" of PDVD 9 for under $55, so that's the way I'm going.
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