Originally Posted by jamesaevans
Just doing some research for my first HTPC build, and I have a couple of questions related to TotalMedia Theatre 5 that I hope you can help me with.
Firstly, and I'm sure this has been asked a hundred times before, but how does the Blu-ray picture quality of a HTPC runnning TotalMedia Theatre 5 compare to a dedicated Blu-ray player?
Secondly, I planning to use XBMC as the front-end for my HTPC and understand XBMC can play a ripped Blu-ray from the file structure. However, I believe that on its own, XBMC does not support menus, bit-streaming of HD audio and playback direct from the Blu-ray disc or a ripped ISO. But are there any other benefit with going for TotalMedia Theatre 5 over and above the native XBMC e.g. picture qulaity?
Thirdly, how seamlessly can TotalMedia Theatre 5 be integrated for the playback of Blu-ray discs or ISO rips?
Finally, do I need a utility like AnyDVD HD to turn my HTPC into a multi-region Blu-ray player?
Sorry for all the questions and thank you in advance for any help you can give me.
James, I have used TMT 3 with Anydvd HD for few years to back up my BD collection to hard drive and via Asus HDAV 1.3 audio card able to stream the lossless audio to my receiver. Based on my opinion, you can't tell the difference in video/audio quality compared to a stand alone BD player so I sold all my players and just use HTPC only.
Over the last 2 years, I changed my video card to ATI 5670, started using powerdvd 10 and removed Asus sound card for two reasons.
1) Both power dvd 10 and TMT 3/5 support bitstreaming lossless via 5670.
2) 5670 can send HDMI audio to my receiver and video from DVI to my projector which Asus card can't do as it mixes both.
3) Only Power dvd 10 can play isolated M2TS folder containing the main movie/lossless audio flawlessly! (Now I have a single M2TS file listed under movie name instead of a hundred folders created by back up from Anydvd/ saves about 10-15gb space each movie).
TMT 5 can also play that file, but can't get bitstreaming of lossless audio/only PCM -still sounds good!
So I use both P-DVD 10 and TMT 5. Cons/benefits of both;
1) Only TMT 5 can resume play where you stopped from a M2TS blu ray folder. It works so well, I use it very often! No existing stand alone BD players can do that for all the movies
. I don't know how TMT 5 achieved it.
2) Pdvd 10 has a setting which says "resume playback" but nothing happens! The whole movie starts from the beginning.
3) TMT 5 latest version not supporting "folder" playback for some reason. May be future updates will fix this issue. This used to be their biggest strength in the past.
4) Only TMT 5 supports SRT subtitles with M2TS movies.