My primary HTPC is where I watch most of my movies, using Windows 7, Media Browser and MPC-HC. My library is comprised exclusively of lossless-quality Blu-rays with DTS-HD / TrueHD audio tracks.
Although the Surface RT (which is not a full Windows implementation) was for the most part panned in reviews, the forthcoming Surface Pro appears to right all of the wrongs, and looks to be a very interesting piece of hardware.
What I'd like to do is have a simpler/portable PC in the bedroom that I can use to access my library while exercising. I would ideally like to hook it up via HDMI directly to the TV in the bedroom (there is no A/V receiver there for decoding surround sound.)
As a full-fledged PC running Windows 8, would there be any issues with using a Surface Pro for such a purpose? Like the RT, it has a Mini-DisplayPort out (I can get an adapter to go HDMI), wireless-n networking, and a USB port, which I probably wouldn't need.
I know Media Browser has recently been updated to work with Windows 8, so that's not a concern. The only two issues I could foresee are:
• Without an A/V receiver, will I have issues decoding the HD audio tracks in my MKV rips? I understand that all HD audio tracks also include a standard "core" track for playback on devices like my TV that don't have HD audio decoding capability, but will it require a different player than MPC-HC, like TMT 5, or can MPC-HC handle it?
• Will the Surface's wireless a/b/g/n connection be sufficient to stream a 1080p HD movie without dropouts? I'm using a pretty great ASUS RT-N66U wireless router, and the distance from it to the bedroom is only about 50 feet, with no walls in between.
The Surface Pro has a native HD screen resolution of 1920x1080, so I imagine the video components in the unit are fairly strong.