need help with HTPC and Bluray - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
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heres the short of it...

lots of spare parts lying around got me thinking, why not build a HTPC?
got the case, and a br player, only to find out that win 7 ultimate 64 bit doesnt play blu ray natively. (unless im missing something, which is completely possible)

are there free codecs i could get for wmc to play blurays? any cheap paid alternatives?

i would like to use wmc if possible, 3rd party software is just gonna confuse the rest of the family when popping in a blu ray disk....
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicycledr4376 View Post

heres the short of it...

lots of spare parts lying around got me thinking, why not build a HTPC?
got the case, and a br player, only to find out that win 7 ultimate 64 bit doesnt play blu ray natively. (unless im missing something, which is completely possible)

are there free codecs i could get for wmc to play blurays? any cheap paid alternatives?

i would like to use wmc if possible, 3rd party software is just gonna confuse the rest of the family when popping in a blu ray disk....

Short end of the stick: BR playback on windows has been cobbled by Copy Protection. If your rack has room for, say, a Panny 220 or so, that is the easiest for the entire family to grasp. However.....

Spend 25 bucks to get Assassins paid guide for the Software end of HTPC build, and how to set your computer up with MakeMKV, XMBC and such. Read it a couple of times, installing PARTS of it as you see fit. THEN go back and read the guides again, re-tweaking what you thought you did right the first time ;-)

If you have ever done woodworking; the first time you read the guides is like cuting and assembling a piece up dry. Seocong time through is like sanding. Third time though is like staining/Finish coats.

Also donate to Renethx. His insights as to the hardware portion of this is worth every penny. Between the two guides, this Olde Farte would not have had the courage to start. Renethx's guided me through the component selection and by following his posts some of the software end of it. I had a sleeper that would run circles around most of what you could buy off the shelf. Assassions guide helped to port and polish the heads, add some eye candy and add some features I didn't have before. There's quite a few gents I've learned from besides these (such as the Audio part) which resulted in something that works smooth and with few problems. I also learned what NOT to do, which was just as important.
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 12:46 PM
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The cheapes paid alternative I believe is WinDVD.
There was also a recent sale on old versions of PowerDVD, it may still be going.
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 01:00 PM
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The whole purpose of an HTPC is to avoid playback from the retail disc and instead do playback from your HDD or server/network and maybe add a tuner for PVR functionality so you can ditch monthly rent on one from the Cable/Satellite/IPTV providers.

There's good free choices and resonable paid choices to accomplish this and all sorts of information here and elsewhere to provide you the ability to do it.

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post #5 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 01:05 PM
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I recommend using makemkv to rip the main movie from the blu-ray. Then you can either install codecs or use an external player like mpc-hc to play the mkv's. Otherwise you can just use WinDVD, TMT, or PowerDVD to play back discs or disc backups from a hard drive. With disc backups you have to remove copy protection. AnyDVD HD can do this. To navigate and launch your movies in WMC use Media Browser or My Movies. Media Browser is probably more straightforward.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 04:26 PM
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Stand alone BR player 100%...trust me HTPC Blu Ray playback from a disc is a pain in the a$$. If you wanna rip them to your HDD (using AnyDVD HD or MakeMKV ), use Shark007 codecs and MediaBrowser or XBMC and your set.

"Man, I told you we shouldn't have shot Niedermeyer"

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post #7 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 04:52 PM
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To echo everyone else, if all you want to do is play discs-get a standalone player. If you want a machine that will a) suck up a lot of your time, but b) do more, then it could be worth pursing the HTPC angle.
"Free" solutions require a fair amount of time and effort. Paid ones actually cost more than some inexpensive standalone players...
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 05:12 PM
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Now that we got that out of the way, let's go through your pile of spare parts and see what we can cobble together for you.

In other words, list the parts you have so we can see what you need to put this thing together.

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post #9 of 16 Old 03-16-2012, 11:38 PM
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AnyDVD HD is your friend. I play both Blu Ray and DVDs from all over the world.

You will need a player as well. i use PowerDVD, but WinDVD and TMT are fine options as well.
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-19-2012, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Now that we got that out of the way, let's go through your pile of spare parts and see what we can cobble together for you.

In other words, list the parts you have so we can see what you need to put this thing together.

ok, here goes.

1- nvidia nforce 790i ultra mb
2- 6gb corsair xms 3 ram
3- coolermaster 800 watt psu
4-intel core 2 quad q9550
5 choice of evga 7950 512 mb pny 9800gt 512mb pny gtx 275 896mb bfg gtx 280 1gb video cards

multitude of various fans and hdd's

ive already ripped all my dvds to hds

i dont own alot of blu rays, and dont have hd room atm for ripping them, so just wanna play them till i can get my hands on a cheap 2 tb hd.

also planning on getting the cablecard adapter to have the htpc as a dvr, but in due time.

so as i see it, all i need is the case (which i have already- zalman hd160), and a bluray drive which i got used from the local pc shop by me- samsung drive for 30 bucks.

(can you tell its gamer hardware? lol)
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-19-2012, 06:32 AM
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[QUOTE
(can you tell its gamer hardware? lol)[/quote]

Your not gonna be bothered about a noisy HTPC then??

Not familair with the details on your hardware but make sure you take into acount how your gonna transmit video and audio to the display.
Obviously HDMI would take advantage of the Bluray High definition audio if you have a capable AVR to run it by before the dispaly device (and the video card supports the HD formats).
Otherwise its DVI + S/PDIF.

Think about how you might incorporate a remote control too.

I must admit, its difficult, (make that impossible) for a HTPC to be as user friendly as a piece of CE hardware like a dvd / Bluray player in my experiance.
My phone often goes off when the wife picks up the remote to play something for the kids but that's not just the HTPC.
She also gets confused turning over the inputs on the AVR and the TV.

One time, the granparents were baby sitting and ended up watching a whole movie in silence. I knew I should have just left out the TV remote and nothing else.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-19-2012, 07:59 AM - Thread Starter
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"Your not gonna be bothered about a noisy HTPC then??"

i figure the better the hardware the less it will have to work = less heat= low fan speed and noise



"Think about how you might incorporate a remote control too."

Zalman hd160 came with a remote, plus i have amicrosoft bluetooth media keyboard with amouse built in if i need it
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post #13 of 16 Old 04-20-2012, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The whole purpose of an HTPC is to avoid playback from the retail disc and instead do playback from your HDD or server/network and maybe add a tuner for PVR functionality so you can ditch monthly rent on one from the Cable/Satellite/IPTV providers.

There's good free choices and resonable paid choices to accomplish this and all sorts of information here and elsewhere to provide you the ability to do it.

I don't really agree with that sentiment. My purpose for building a HTPC was to consolidate a bunch of functions into a single unit.

Having said that, getting a blu ray player (I chose TMT3 at the time) to work seamlessly with the Window 7 media center was not really seamless at all. Frankly it was a bit of a PITA.

Playback from a retail disc (specially from Netflix) is a requirement for my setup/family.

Given the ease-of-use issues, I sadly opted for a standalone unit but I REALLY wanted to have it all in one unit. Because of this, I'm actually not getting nearly as much use from the HTPC as I hoped I would. When I do my next incarnation (which may happen in the next year or so) I will likely go with a shuttle-sized enclosure and no external disc rive instead of the nice Zalman unit I used the first time around.
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post #14 of 16 Old 04-20-2012, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

The whole purpose of an HTPC is to avoid playback from the retail disc and instead do playback from your HDD or server/network and maybe add a tuner for PVR functionality so you can ditch monthly rent on one from the Cable/Satellite/IPTV providers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfineman View Post

I don't really agree with that sentiment. My purpose for building a HTPC was to consolidate a bunch of functions into a single unit.

Yeah, I don't agree with it at all either. I don't rip any of my disks. To me it's not remotely worth the investment in time just to avoid occasionally having to pop in a disk. The purpose of my HTPCs was primarily two fold. First, to serve as an unlimited, unrestrained streaming media source for my HDTVs in order to expand the range of available content. Access to sports is a very important purpose. Second, in my main htpc, to use as a long term recording device to archive things from a DirecTV DVR using a Colossus card. It's also used as a playback device for BD and DVD, but if it wasn't for the other reasons I'd just use a CE device for that. (The second HTPC is used almost exclusively for streaming, with an occasional disk playback.)

I have absolutely no interest in hording hundreds or thousands of movies on hard disk, 95% of which I will probably never watch more than once. And I'm not obsessing about what I pay DirecTV every month.

These units don't have any games, don't have Office installed, aren't used for anything other than as dedicated content sources for my HDTVs and audio systems.

The one narrow purpose to which you happen to choose to put your system is not the "whole" or exclusive purpose of an HTPC.
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post #15 of 16 Old 04-20-2012, 01:25 PM
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+1
We've all got our reasons (besides the fact that we like to tinker) and that's the beauty (IMHO) of the htpc. You can configure it how you like it and optimize it for your own specific/narrow requirements.

I've got an 18tb unRaid box in the garage and want to be able to stream BDs to both monitors in the house w/o having to mess with physical discs.
-The kids leave 'em lying around and they get damaged
-That's a lot of discs that would need to be left in an accessible place. I just stick 'em in boxes in the garage and don't have to worry about 'em.
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post #16 of 16 Old 04-20-2012, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockytt View Post

+1
We've all got our reasons (besides the fact that we like to tinker) and that's the beauty (IMHO) of the htpc. You can configure it how you like it and optimize it for your own specific/narrow requirements.

I've got an 18tb unRaid box in the garage and want to be able to stream BDs to both monitors in the house w/o having to mess with physical discs.
-The kids leave 'em lying around and they get damaged
-That's a lot of discs that would need to be left in an accessible place. I just stick 'em in boxes in the garage and don't have to worry about 'em.

This!

Plus using XBMC if you have an internal blu-ray player, then I am with the group the wants a "do-everything" box.
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