Netflix & BD playback - HTPC or separate box? - AVS Forum
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi All. I'm in the (very slow) process of building my 1st HTPC.
I definitely want ability to watch Netflix. Blu-ray playback will be nice, too. To have Netflix & BD playback, I need:
Win7 + $100
at least 40GB HD for Win7, better more. For SSD, it is +$60 at least.
BD drive +$50
BD soft + $40
----------------------
Total $250

...and I look at those numbers, and think, damn, that's mainly just to have Netflx & BR... What if I just take good BD player with Netfllix? Ok, then:

XBMCBuntu +$0
16GB flash +$10
DVD drive +$25
BD player +$125
-----------------------
Total $160

Aside from having two boxes & two remotes instead of all-in-one, am I missing anything critical going this Linux way? Actually, I may even omit DVD drive at all, borrowing one from desktop just for OS installation.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:35 PM
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Netflix capable BD players are even less than $125.

If you care about 5.1 audio; Netflix does not support 5.1 for a PC. (Although this may have changed now, I haven't kept up with the latest updates).
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:45 PM
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Amazon has an OEM LG BD drive for $57.00. Even though it's an OEM it comes with PowerDVD 10 so that eliminates the need for the $40.00 BD software you have listed.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent View Post

Netflix capable BD players are even less than $125.

Yeah, as in there are plenty of brand name ones available for $50-60.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetHT View Post

Amazon has an OEM LG BD drive for $57.00. Even though it's an OEM it comes with PowerDVD 10 so that eliminates the need for the $40.00 BD software you have listed.

Couldn't find any (with soft). Link?
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:58 PM
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OP,

Here is my take. HTPC and standalone BB player with NF features are different to some people and not to others. In my case, HTPC has lot more features that there is nothing out there can match it today. For example, I can back up the all the BD/DVD in my server and I will be able to watch it later and the same HTPC I have a CableCard like Ceton I am able to watch/record all the OTA HD shows all day long. Of course on the top, I can able to stream NF or BB anytime. So the choice is yours and if you don;t want to go over the trouble to back up any BD/DVD and have a separate cable box then if I were you I will just go for the cheapest BD player solution with streaming features built in. Otherwise I will just have a own HTPC and do all I want. If you never have a HTPC, just a friendly reminder that it is not plug-n-play. You wuil spend some times to set it up, play around and not to mention some trouble shoot.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:07 PM
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If all you want is bluray and netflix i think it's less costly and less troublesome to get a bd player that has netflix app.

If you want all your media on drives with a nice user interface, or the ability to play games or have internet for youtube or hulu or other stuff you should look into a htpc.

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Old 05-18-2012, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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2 hlkc:
I rarely re-watch movies. In unlikely case of need a digital copy of BD, I can just download ready rip from torrent (and stop seeding to avoid trouble). So I guess BD player will work fine for me.

2 wyen78:
I didn't say all I need is BR & Netflix. I need streaming video in different formats from shared drive(s). The point was, embedding BD & Netflix capabilities into HTPC will cost significantly more than getting separate box along with HTPC.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:24 PM
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You can find a standalone Blu Ray player that has Netflix, Youtube and Hulu apps built in.

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

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Old 05-18-2012, 04:25 PM
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IMO Netflix on a PC is a mere shadow of the quality you get on a dedicated device like a BD player. Plus, there are many more titles available in HD on a dedicated device than a PC. Don't ask me why, ask the content providers.

I've always had problems and frustration getting the commercial PC BD players (TMT and PDVD) to playback BD discs glitch free for an entire movie. So, after some years fighting with my HTPC I gave up an bought a BD player that also happens to have Vudu, Amazon VOD and others.

Having said all that I would never give up my HTPC. As a playback device for ripped movies/video library it in unparalleled. It would be nice to have a 1 box solution but it just isn't there yet and may never be.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC View Post

I've always had problems and frustration getting the commercial PC BD players (TMT and PDVD) to playback BD discs glitch free for an entire movie.

Maybe your list of candidates was too short.

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jriver.com or Owners Thread at AVSForum
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Old 05-18-2012, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barber76 View Post

Couldn't find any (with soft). Link?

It doesn't specify software because it's advertised as an OEM(barebones drive) but it does come with the BD software.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o00_s00_i00
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by xfett View Post

You can find a standalone Blu Ray player that has Netflix, Youtube and Hulu apps built in.

The problem with that is that you're bound by what they have to offer.
I have a Panasonic BD85. The last update I believe was last month, but no new streaming features were added and mine doesn't do hulu. So which stand alone BD player do you buy? With what features?
At least with an HTPC you get what you want when you want it.
Same reason I didn't go with Roku or Apple TV.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BudgetHT View Post

The problem with that is that you're bound by what they have to offer.
I have a Panasonic BD85. The last update I believe was last month, but no new streaming features were added and mine doesn't do hulu. So which stand alone BD player do you buy? With what features?
At least with an HTPC you get what you want when you want it.
Same reason I didn't go with Roku or Apple TV.

I also have a Panny DMP-BD85 which I hardly ever use except for the occasional rental disc. I use my XBOX for Netflix and Hulu. I believe some of the newer Samsungs will do both and DLNA streaming.

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Old 05-18-2012, 10:57 PM
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You managed to pick the 2 things that htpcs are actually pretty bad at: Netflix and blu-ray disc playback. Unfortunately we live in s 2 device world. Get a standalone player for those 2 things and an htpc for everything else.
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Old 05-19-2012, 12:56 AM
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

You managed to pick the 2 things that htpcs are actually pretty bad at: Netflix and blu-ray disc playback. Unfortunately we live in s 2 device world. Get a standalone player for those 2 things and an htpc for everything else.

Really?
Netfllix streams really good on mine. Granted this is my 1st HTPC, but I prefer streaming over it than my Panny BD85.
I haven't messed with a lot of the BD extras on the HTPC, but I don't notice any PQ differences on it vs. the bd85. As a matter of fact I'm selling off the BD85 just to simplify my HT.
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:46 AM
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Netflix for PC is definitely hobbled compared to a standalone (720p vs. 1080p max, no 5.1, smaller library, lame WMC plugin, no HW accel). That said, now that I've gotten it sorted out, I'd never play optical content on a standalone player, ever. MPC-HC with tweaks is free, has great PQ and I never watch the unskippable crap. AnyDVDHD is worth the price, but makeMKV is a free (for now) alternative.
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

You managed to pick the 2 things that htpcs are actually pretty bad at: Netflix and blu-ray disc playback. Unfortunately we live in s 2 device world. Get a standalone player for those 2 things and an htpc for everything else.

I guess that's what I'll do.
Will go with Panasonic BDT220 (can get it for $128 after discount).
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruiner View Post

Netflix for PC is definitely hobbled compared to a standalone (720p vs. 1080p max, no 5.1, smaller library, lame WMC plugin, no HW accel). That said, now that I've gotten it sorted out, I'd never play optical content on a standalone player, ever. MPC-HC with tweaks is free, has great PQ and I never watch the unskippable crap. AnyDVDHD is worth the price, but makeMKV is a free (for now) alternative.

Netflix definitely runs at 1080p on PC and there is HW accel if you run through the browser. they do run a slightly lower max bitrate though on PC vs a standalone
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by mcantu1 View Post

Netflix definitely runs at 1080p on PC and there is HW accel if you run through the browser. they do run a slightly lower max bitrate though on PC vs a standalone

I stand corrected on the resolution, but unless something has changed low power systems like Zacate and Atom/Ion wouldn't run Netflix in HD.

Edit: still seeing ~30% cpu across 3 cores on an A6
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Old 05-20-2012, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirent View Post

Netflix capable BD players are even less than $125.

If you care about 5.1 audio; Netflix does not support 5.1 for a PC. (Although this may have changed now, I haven't kept up with the latest updates).

I've seen refurbs from first tier manufacturers for half that, and I bought one and it works great.

As much as I love PCs, stand alone players are generally easier or at least psychologically more approachable for the general public to run.
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Old 05-20-2012, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mcantu1 View Post


Netflix definitely runs at 1080p on PC and there is HW accel if you run through the browser. they do run a slightly lower max bitrate though on PC vs a standalone

Unless this has changed recently, a much smaller number of movies and shows are available in HD for the PC compared to a standalone player.
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

Unless this has changed recently, a much smaller number of movies and shows are available in HD for the PC compared to a standalone player.

yes, when i show all HD content i get 104 pages. showing PC/Mac HD content returns 83 pages (w/40 items per page)
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruiner View Post

I stand corrected on the resolution, but unless something has changed low power systems like Zacate and Atom/Ion wouldn't run Netflix in HD.

Edit: still seeing ~30% cpu across 3 cores on an A6

what shows when your alt+shift left click>av stats in the browser? this is what i show:

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Old 09-03-2012, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC View Post

IMO Netflix on a PC is a mere shadow of the quality you get on a dedicated device like a BD player. Plus, there are many more titles available in HD on a dedicated device than a PC. Don't ask me why, ask the content providers.


I've always had problems and frustration getting the commercial PC BD players (TMT and PDVD) to playback BD discs glitch free for an entire movie. So, after some years fighting with my HTPC I gave up an bought a BD player that also happens to have Vudu, Amazon VOD and others.


Having said all that I would never give up my HTPC. As a playback device for ripped movies/video library it in unparalleled. It would be nice to have a 1 box solution but it just isn't there yet and may never be.

On my Dell T7500 with an Nvidia GTX260 video card the picture is amazing. None of the players, PS3 included, can come even close to it.
Downside is stereo sound only. I project 110" with a Mitsu 7000, detail is very close to 1080i.
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