AVS Forum Addicted Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: upstate NY
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It depends on your goals -- convenience vs functionality.
Standalone players tend to be much more convenient. They integrate with conventional home-entertainment systems much more easily than do many HTPCs.
Among other features, optical drives make it possible to create backups of your discs on a networked file server, so you no longer have to handle those physical discs again.
Marantz SR7009 avr + MM9000 amp --> Atmos 7.1.4
Fronts=NHT 2.9+AC2, FH+TM=DefTech PM1000, LCR+TM amped