Best Home Theatre Computer solution to playback basically anything from lightweight MKV / MP4 to heavier things like raw Blu-Ray rips (m2ts) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 10-24-2012, 04:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking to invest in a full blown home theatre solution capable of playing back basically anything I'd want and could possibly throw at it.

I've gone through a few different solutions already with various Western Digital WD TV Live, Apple TV Gen2, Mac Mini 2011 with Radeon HD 6630M graphics and currently a Apple TV Gen3.
My main problem with the various WDTV Lives, including their latest generation is the horrid UI, and the slow navigation and response of the whole thing and at times it has some real difficulty managing heavier files with higher bitrate without various artefact issues and whatnot.

Apple TV on the other hand features a much better UI, has really good response and everything and performance really well with anything that it supports. But that's the problem, it doesn't support anything remotely close to Blu-Ray quality, you are limited to profile 4.1 MP4 and Dolby Digital audio.. So no DTS, and you can forget all about HD-audio like DTS Master Audio and Dolby True HD. It works like a charm for MP4's, YouTube, Netflix etc.. But it's too limited.

So I went for a Mac Mini 2011 model with it's Radeon HD 6630M graphics and was using XBMC in OS X, this worked really well but there was no way to get Blu-Ray rips (m2ts) to work and I couldn't get Dolby True HD nor DTS Master Audio going.. After a while I installed Windows 7 and used PowerDVD but that has to be the worst piece of software I've ever used, it crashed left and right.. Worked decently while it was stable, but that lasted for like 5 minutes.. So I was back to start wit no m2ts playback and no HD-audio.

Now I received a Apple TV Gen3 as a gift and have been using it for a while, like Gen2 it's working perfectly with everything it supports.. But still no HD-audio, no MKV or m2ts playback so I have to remux and covert everything to MP4 which is a pain...

Now I'm looking for the optimum solution to playback everything, in top quality with HD-audio support. What would you recommend me to look at?
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post #2 of 3 Old 10-24-2012, 09:22 AM
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You should look into JRiver's MC17 or MC18.

I don't think there's a mac version yet.

Apple products as HTPC's are interesting... They're small, expensive, nice to look at, but really limited on flexibility.
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post #3 of 3 Old 10-25-2012, 08:36 AM
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I recommend using MediaPlayerClassic-HomeCinema or XB(ox)M(edia)C(enter) [XBMC]. I have used MPC-HC for a year and half now and it works great with LAV to split the mkv's and provide the HD Audio you want. I don't use XBMC but the current releases will playback HD Audio too. Install and use either on you MacMini that has Win7 on it and you'll be happy with it.

I tried JRiver MC17 a while back and did not like the usability nor the interface. Maybe it is just me but I could not justify paying $50 for a product that I didn't like when I had a free open source product that worked very well. Good choice too because AFAIK JRMC won't work with an extender because it is separate from WMC.

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