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post #1 of 32 Old 07-11-2013, 01:13 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm wanting to store movies on my HTPC, access them through iRule, and play them in my HT with HD video AND audio(Dolby HD and DTS-HD 7.1) Was reading about Plex but from my limited understanding it cannot do HD audio yet. Is there something that can fit the bill for me? Thanks.

Also, is it best to run the HDMI from the PC to the AVR through the dedicated video card or the HDMI on the motherboard? This PC will also serve as more than just a HTPC.

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post #2 of 32 Old 07-12-2013, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone?

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post #3 of 32 Old 07-12-2013, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

I'm wanting to store movies on my HTPC, access them through iRule, and play them in my HT with HD video AND audio(Dolby HD and DTS-HD 7.1) Was reading about Plex but from my limited understanding it cannot do HD audio yet. Is there something that can fit the bill for me? Thanks.

Also, is it best to run the HDMI from the PC to the AVR through the dedicated video card or the HDMI on the motherboard? This PC will also serve as more than just a HTPC.

I don't use Plex so can't comment. But I use WMC and the default WMP player with a combination of Shark007 and play HD audio w/out issue. I use MyMovies for collection mangement and Ceton's My Media Center app to control it all.

Regarding whether to use the discrete video card or your CPU's iGPU, is really dependent on if it can bitstream. Somefolks prefer a discrete GPU for other factors like more consistent 24p playback, etc. I use my Sandybridge i5 and works well for me.
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post #4 of 32 Old 07-12-2013, 11:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I was looking at the ATI Radeon 7850/7870 for the GPU. I think it can bitstream yes?

http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/7000/7850/Pages/radeon-7850.aspx#3

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post #5 of 32 Old 07-12-2013, 12:39 PM
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Yes you can bitstream HD audio from that card. Best way to do it is run an HDMI cable from the 7850/7870 to the receiver. I don't know how Plex works but I use MediaBrowser with MPC HC, I can bitstream HD Audio to my receiver with no problems.

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post #6 of 32 Old 07-12-2013, 01:50 PM
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PLEX doesn't bitstream. Use MPC-HC set up with the thread on it.

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post #7 of 32 Old 07-12-2013, 03:26 PM
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Why can't PLEX bitstream???
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post #8 of 32 Old 07-12-2013, 11:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Will the Radeon 7850 be able to play/send MKV files?

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post #9 of 32 Old 07-12-2013, 11:38 PM
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7850 is overkill. Even integrated graphics of Celeron G1610, $45, can play MKV with HD audio bitstreaming. I am not sure what you mean by "sending MKV files". It's CPU / HDD / LAN's role to stream videos to another system (and any CPU / HDD / LAN can do that without problem).
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post #10 of 32 Old 07-13-2013, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah but the PC will be used for more than just a HTPC so I wanted to get a good dedicated GPU. And that is good to know. Just trying to understand everything so I know how to set this puppy up.

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post #11 of 32 Old 07-14-2013, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Ok here is what, ultimately i want the HTPC to do. Play BD movies in my theater room, my wife's laptop able to stream stored movies on the HTPC, stream movies from Netflix, HULU, etc., play songs on the PC in the theater room, Will also want it to be accessed through my Kindle Fire HD using iRule.

For ripping the BD's and storage was planning on using MakeMKV, and MediaBrowser with MPC HC as I have Windows 7. Does this sound like all I need for this?

As far as streaming Netflix to the Theater room and the laptop being able to access the Bluray movies on it AND having iRule through the KIndle access it, I'm a little lost as to what software/hardware I will need.

Thanks.

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post #12 of 32 Old 07-14-2013, 07:40 AM
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Others may disagree, but it seems to me like an HTPC is a needlessly complicated and expensive solution, given your requirements. Everything you listed, besides ripping the BDs themselves, can be done with a $100 streaming box.
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post #13 of 32 Old 07-14-2013, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

Others may disagree, but it seems to me like an HTPC is a needlessly complicated and expensive solution, given your requirements. Everything you listed, besides ripping the BDs themselves, can be done with a $100 streaming box.

Well I already have the PC, just converting it to handle being a HTPC as well. I built my PC 4 years ago to be upgraded in the future when I needed it so I didn't need to buy another one. Well now is the time. So i'm upgrading it anyways.

Wil my i7-920 be sufficient? I can overclock it to 3.4ghz.

And with the Radeon 7870 card handling the video and audio I don't need a motherboard with 7.1 and all that right?

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post #14 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Here is my current build:

i7-920
6gb DDR3 1333
Radeon 4870 1GB

Sufficient?

The GPU does have an HDMI with HD video and audio which I was unaware of when I built this PC 4 years ago. However I'm wondering if it can playback MKV:
"ATI Avivo™ HD Video and Display Platform6

Unified Video Decoder 2 (UVD 2) for H.264/AVC, VC-1, and MPEG-2 video formats"

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post #15 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

PLEX doesn't bitstream. Use MPC-HC set up with the thread on it.

Plex Home Theater handles HD Audio Bitstreaming.

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post #16 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 02:02 PM
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No need to overclock for HTPC use. That system will be a little loud and a lot hot for Home Theater use but hey, if it is paid for why not?

Hook it up to a DVI to HDMI converter and then to your AVR and crank it up to get over that noise! Now here's the kicker. Sapphire's page says this:
Quote:
Dolby® TrueHD and DTSHD Master Audio™ Support

Support for copy protected, high bandwidth, 7.1 channel surround sound over HDMI. Get a fully immersive, high definition audio experience with the latest Blu-ray movies. (Requires a DVI to HDMI dongle on some models, an HD capable monitor and a Blu-ray drive)

But does DVI transmit audio?

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post #17 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

PLEX doesn't bitstream. Use MPC-HC set up with the thread on it.

Plex Home Theater handles HD Audio Bitstreaming.

Really? Is Plex Home Theater new(ish)? I don't keep up with it much. I use it to stream to my phone mostly.

I have Plex on my HTPC and it even loads through WMC but I don't think it is bitstreaming from the PLEX server on my PC. It doesn't matter much to me because I don't use it for playback anyhow and was thinking of uninstalling it from my HTPC.

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post #18 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Really? Is Plex Home Theater new(ish)? I don't keep up with it much. I use it to stream to my phone mostly.

I have Plex on my HTPC and it even loads through WMC but I don't think it is bitstreaming from the PLEX server on my PC. It doesn't matter much to me because I don't use it for playback anyhow and was thinking of uninstalling it from my HTPC.

Plex Home Theater is their new playback version, which is currently in beta. The only way to get it is to be a premium PlexPass member (~$3/month, and they also have yearly or one-time lifetime memberships). My biggest problem with the Plex PC clients, is that they are no where near as stable as native playback with WMC/Shark007/My Movies or Mediabrowser. My PlexHT app keeps minimizing itself randomly during playback, and I have awful lipsynch issues on several mkv's. Also the video quality is pretty poor compared to a well-tweaked FFDShow or MPC setup. Plex is a small handfull of developers, and they often focus on less important features (like being able to synch a copy of a video to a mobile device for un-connected viewing, instead of focusing on improving their PC clients).

Their server is awesome for streaming to mobile devices, though.
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post #19 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 02:45 PM
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I already am able to play HD Audio at no cost so why should I pay for this? I use do PLEX for transcoding and playback when I'm mobile on my phone and really nothing else.

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post #20 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jcruse View Post

Plex Home Theater is their new playback version, which is currently in beta. The only way to get it is to be a premium PlexPass member (~$3/month, and they also have yearly or one-time lifetime memberships). My biggest problem with the Plex PC clients, is that they are no where near as stable as native playback with WMC/Shark007/My Movies or Mediabrowser. My PlexHT app keeps minimizing itself randomly during playback, and I have awful lipsynch issues on several mkv's. Also the video quality is pretty poor compared to a well-tweaked FFDShow or MPC setup. Plex is a small handfull of developers, and they often focus on less important features (like being able to synch a copy of a video to a mobile device for un-connected viewing, instead of focusing on improving their PC clients).

Their server is awesome for streaming to mobile devices, though.

The Plex Home Theater and the older version Plex Media Center are built off of XBMC. So if you think the video quality of XBMC is poor then I guess you could say Plex video quality is poor... I don't have any issues with it. They focus on other things because they don't develop the underlying playback which is, as I said... XBMC.

I haven't experienced any of the issues you've noted.

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post #21 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by itznfb View Post

The Plex Home Theater and the older version Plex Media Center are built off of XBMC. So if you think the video quality of XBMC is poor then I guess you could say Plex video quality is poor... I don't have any issues with it. They focus on other things because they don't develop the underlying playback which is, as I said... XBMC.

I haven't experienced any of the issues you've noted.

Actually I do think the XBMC playback quality is pretty poor, compared to the other options out there today. I don't know what playback engine it uses (I'm assuming some variant of ffdshow), but it doesn't look anywhere near as good as playback using the builtin WMC player that I spent a few minutes tweaking the playback settings. In Plex, I often get what I call a "flicker" effect, where on a relatively static image the background changes brightness every 1-2 seconds. I don't know what causes this, but the last time I saw this was years ago with more rudimentary players. I also occasionally get a strange codec error where all the pixels in part of the screen show portions of the video a few seconds back, which causes this strange effect where some of the image is current, and some of it is delayed. Again, this doesn't ever happen with WMC or MPC-HC, and I see it on a variety of hardware (older core i3-2100, core i5 3750k, GTX 770, etc.). So it appears XBMC hasn't upgraded their video technology for several years...

However, I'll repeat, NONE of these issues present themselves on mobile devices, using the mobile Plex players. So they at least got that right, but PC playback is woefully inadequate.
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post #22 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

I already am able to play HD Audio at no cost so why should I pay for this? I use do PLEX for transcoding and playback when I'm mobile on my phone and really nothing else.

And that's pretty much Plex's sweet spot. My only complaint is that doing it that way you don't have a synchronized watched/unwatched status across your media. I just wish their PC clients were actually usable.
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post #23 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jcruse View Post

Actually I do think the XBMC playback quality is pretty poor, compared to the other options out there today. I don't know what playback engine it uses (I'm assuming some variant of ffdshow), but it doesn't look anywhere near as good as playback using the builtin WMC player that I spent a few minutes tweaking the playback settings. In Plex, I often get what I call a "flicker" effect, where on a relatively static image the background changes brightness every 1-2 seconds. I don't know what causes this, but the last time I saw this was years ago with more rudimentary players. I also occasionally get a strange codec error where all the pixels in part of the screen show portions of the video a few seconds back, which causes this strange effect where some of the image is current, and some of it is delayed. Again, this doesn't ever happen with WMC or MPC-HC, and I see it on a variety of hardware (older core i3-2100, core i5 3750k, GTX 770, etc.). So it appears XBMC hasn't upgraded their video technology for several years...

However, I'll repeat, NONE of these issues present themselves on mobile devices, using the mobile Plex players. So they at least got that right, but PC playback is woefully inadequate.

I don't know. That's the first I'm hearing of issues like that. In my opinion WMC has just about the worst video playback quality of any software available. That's not to say that it's bad... pretty much anything you install is going to be decent but it's noticeably worse than Plex and SMPlayer. The issues you're describing sound like issues with the hardware you're using or issues with the hardware drivers. Plex and SMPlayer are the closest (side-by-side) to my Blu-ray player that I've seen.

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post #24 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 07:32 PM
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I don't know. That's the first I'm hearing of issues like that. In my opinion WMC has just about the worst video playback quality of any software available. That's not to say that it's bad... pretty much anything you install is going to be decent but it's noticeably worse than Plex and SMPlayer. The issues you're describing sound like issues with the hardware you're using or issues with the hardware drivers. Plex and SMPlayer are the closest (side-by-side) to my Blu-ray player that I've seen.

What you say may be true about vanilla WMC, but by installing Shark007, and tweaking a few settings, the picture quality improves dramatically.

Also, my issues with Plex can't be my hardware, because that's the only player that does it. If it were my hardware, it would be a universal problem. I also see the issues on ALL my hardware (2 different iGPU and an NVidia video card)
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post #25 of 32 Old 07-19-2013, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by jcruse View Post

What you say may be true about vanilla WMC, but by installing Shark007, and tweaking a few settings, the picture quality improves dramatically.

Also, my issues with Plex can't be my hardware, because that's the only player that does it. If it were my hardware, it would be a universal problem. I also see the issues on ALL my hardware (2 different iGPU and an NVidia video card)

Have you tried XBMC to see if the same issues persist?

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post #26 of 32 Old 07-28-2013, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Does MPC HC, Plex, or WMC allow subtitle shift?

Also, just to be 100% sure here. Probably getting a Pioneer 1222k AVR. I will be able to play the movies from my HTPC through this AVR to the PJ and on to the screen correct? Read that a lot of AVR's cannot stream networked video. Is that relevant to what I want to accomplish?

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post #27 of 32 Old 07-28-2013, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Does MPC HC, Plex, or WMC allow subtitle shift?

If you're using my codecs for WMC playback, access the [VobSub Config] button on the Config TAB
In the upper right you'll see a checkbox to enable [x] Override placement
This will allow you to place the subtitles where-ever you want.

Use Shark007 Codecs and retain your sanity.
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post #28 of 32 Old 07-28-2013, 09:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark007 View Post

If you're using my codecs for WMC playback, access the [VobSub Config] button on the Config TAB
In the upper right you'll see a checkbox to enable [x] Override placement
This will allow you to place the subtitles where-ever you want.

Oh happy day. Can WMC playback HD video and audio(DTS and Dolby?)

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post #29 of 32 Old 07-28-2013, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Can WMC playback HD video and audio(DTS and Dolby?)

Why would you think it couldn't?
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Use Shark007 Codecs and retain your sanity.
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post #30 of 32 Old 07-28-2013, 09:33 PM
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IMHO, Subtitle control is much better in MPC-HC. You can do a lot of settings to make them look good and toggle them on and off as well as thumb through them using a programmable remote without having to load them by a keyboard/mouse and clicking on the icon. I do however use Shark's pack,
Which I highly recommend for simplicity and ease of use getting the codecs right.

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