Oppo 103 or HTPC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 01:41 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I need/want a HTPC, but was hoping to get some help here to finalize my decision.

I have a Denon 4520, a 100" black diamond screen w/ the Sony HW55 projector. I also have a Darbee

For storage, I have a Synology DS211 w/ two 2TB drives mirrored, another 2TB USB attached, & another 2TB portable drive.

I use Roku since my kids are used to the interface as is the wife for netflix, hulu plus, pbs app etc.

I used to love boxee since it played everything, but alas time to upgrade

Was considering the oppo to play 3D Blurays but was wondering finally now about maybe a HTPC. Is the picture quality on a HTPC as good as the Oppo 103? Does HTPC play 3D blurays?

Do most people here just a bluray from netflix, pop it in their HTPC, rip it to MKV then watch it? How fast & easy is that process? Is it as easy as putting a bluray in the HTPC, & hitting a button?

My media center rack is located in the Den with some slatted doors in front so I really need a quiet HTPC. I was considering a mac mini? Although looks like everyone is building one here. Should I do Assassin's guide instead?

should I just buy a fully ready to plug n play HTPC that's built according to assassin's guide or attempt to build? Is this as quiet & cool as the mac mini?

I really wanted to also setup a plex server so that when I'm at my parents house, or brothers I can watch my movies when I login to their roku3! or watch those on my mobile device etc..

Thanks so much for any help here.
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 03:27 AM
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You can get a HTPC to play 3d blu rays.....just need to select the correct motherboard. Also, pic quality can be just as good as the oppo (just depends on your frontend and quality of rips).
Ripping a movie is very easy......most, if not all use MakeMKV. Just put disc in, open up the movie, select which tracks you want, assign a storage location, and BAM! You have a ripped movie.

You can get a HTPC to be very quiet, not alot of power is needed to play a movie and spin a few drives.
The "coolness" factor can depend on the frontend you are using, see this thread for examples.....

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505076/htpc-front-end-shootout-show-us-your-eye-candy



Assassin's guides are plenty helpful for beginners and offer some awesome insight as to what you can do with it.
Building one is very easy as well.
Im sure others will chime in but can say my family LOVES the machine I have built and they use it daily with a Harmony remote to access everything needed.

Also, I got "thumbs up" for the WAF to boot!!

Toys

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post #3 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 04:56 AM
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Patience is key...
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 05:26 AM
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You can't rip a 3D Blu-ray to MKV without going to a SBS conversion, you rip them to .iso. I'm also not sure of how well a Mac would work with playing or ripping Blu-rays do to the lack of AnyDVD for Mac, not to mention getting player software. I do know that you can build a PC for cheaper than the Mac solution.

Also, I'm not sure what the motherboard selection has to do with playing 3D Blu-rays. You just need a graphics solution that is compatible, either as integrated graphics or an add-in card. Pretty much anything you build today will support 3D Blu-ray unless you picked up your parts at Goodwill, then you would just need a graphics card.

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post #5 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 07:16 AM
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From what you described HTPC is a better choise for you but needs your time and effort a lot on it.
I've heard from this forum Oppo 103 gives better picture quality when playing bluary movies comparing to any current HTPCs. Sorry, I don't have Oppo so i can't tell in more detail.
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post #6 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

You can't rip a 3D Blu-ray to MKV without going to a SBS conversion, you rip them to .iso. I'm also not sure of how well a Mac would work with playing or ripping Blu-rays do to the lack of AnyDVD for Mac, not to mention getting player software. I do know that you can build a PC for cheaper than the Mac solution.

Also, I'm not sure what the motherboard selection has to do with playing 3D Blu-rays. You just need a graphics solution that is compatible, either as integrated graphics or an add-in card. Pretty much anything you build today will support 3D Blu-ray unless you picked up your parts at Goodwill, then you would just need a graphics card.
I rip 3d br with makemkv and play it back with tmt just fine
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post #7 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by jbcain View Post

I rip 3d br with makemkv and play it back with tmt just fine

How? Side-by-Side?

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post #8 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 01:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the feedback!

I'm sold on an HTPC. With all the threads & guides out there, which would be the most up to date to follow? I'm assuming the NUC isn't a solution since I can't rip blurays from it?

I read thru assassins guide.. it's a bit overwhelming.

Some recent threads here
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan

I want something I can play & rip blurays to the HD or my synology NAS, and enough horsepower to transcode to plex clients locally and remotely. Did I read correct that I NEED to rip before watching a movie? Or can I just insert a bluray/dvd to play?

Low heat & fan noise is important. since it's in a media closet, and i'm using control4 for the main theater room, do I just need IR port on the HTPC?

Looking forward to a pre-christmas project!
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post #9 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetfreaky View Post

Thank you for the feedback!

I'm sold on an HTPC. With all the threads & guides out there, which would be the most up to date to follow? I'm assuming the NUC isn't a solution since I can't rip blurays from it?

I read thru assassins guide.. it's a bit overwhelming.

Some recent threads here
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1505441/critique-my-htpc-build-plan

I want something I can play & rip blurays to the HD or my synology NAS, and enough horsepower to transcode to plex clients locally and remotely. Did I read correct that I NEED to rip before watching a movie? Or can I just insert a bluray/dvd to play?

Low heat & fan noise is important. since it's in a media closet, and i'm using control4 for the main theater room, do I just need IR port on the HTPC?

Looking forward to a pre-christmas project!

You can watch a bluray if you have the software to do so right off the bat. If not, just rip it using makemkv and watch it through your frontend.

Denon AVR-3311CI, Denon DVP-602CI, B&K EX4420, B&K TX4430, Belkin PF60
Sony BDP-S5000ES, Silverstone HTPC (6 Tuner DVR & 10 TB Media)
PSB Stratus Minis, PSB Stratus C6, PSB Alpha S surround, James Subwoofer EMB-1200
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post #10 of 20 Old 12-18-2013, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toys7505 View Post

You can watch a bluray if you have the software to do so right off the bat. If not, just rip it using makemkv and watch it through your frontend.

What software do I need?

for ripping, nice thing is that I bought the lifetime AnyDVD license years ago smile.gif
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-19-2013, 08:20 PM
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Having recently headed down the same path, I will warn you that an HTPC can suck up all of your spare time and attention, if you let it! I bought one from Assassin with his preconfiguration and it's been great. If I'd been more patient, I could've waited for sales on components and could have done better on price, but the price I paid Assassin was very competitive to buying off-the-shelf components and assembling it myself.

If you rip to MKV there are handful of free players and front ends (think pretty interface) that will play the files. These include Media Browser3, XBMC, Plex, JRiver, Etc. You'll need a player like Total Media Theater, PowerDVD or WinDVD to play the disk directly from the Blu-ray drive, and those are typically $60 to $100.
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-19-2013, 10:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dfkimbro View Post

Having recently headed down the same path, I will warn you that an HTPC can suck up all of your spare time and attention, if you let it! I bought one from Assassin with his preconfiguration and it's been great. If I'd been more patient, I could've waited for sales on components and could have done better on price, but the price I paid Assassin was very competitive to buying off-the-shelf components and assembling it myself.

If you rip to MKV there are handful of free players and front ends (think pretty interface) that will play the files. These include Media Browser3, XBMC, Plex, JRiver, Etc. You'll need a player like Total Media Theater, PowerDVD or WinDVD to play the disk directly from the Blu-ray drive, and those are typically $60 to $100.

I'm definitely leaning towards assasin, although there's so many add on's it gets confusing. Which did you get and how much did it cost? looks like I can spend $700 or $1600 easily there.

What pre-configured system did you buy?

I'm also following this thread on a build your own.. so torn
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-20-2013, 06:27 AM
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I have an Oppo 103 and an HTPC which I just built.

If I have a recent arrival movie disc sitting on my couch I just pop it into the Oppo and watch it.

Other times I browse my HTPC and watch whatever grabs me.

Building the computer is easy...hopefully you wont' have any issue once built. Troubleshooting problems is the challenge. Setting up the media management software, tuning and organizing your library is the hobby (time consuming). I like tuning and using Jriver and MB3/T.

Why do you want an HTPC? You have NAS so it would seem a good fit. Target around $1k for HTPC. I have FIOS w/DVR, Oppo which is also DLNA renderer from office PC, and Roku, so the HTPC is a bonus.

My HTPC is in a closet direct connected w/cable through wall so dead quite in listening room. It's pretty quiet even in closet (especially w/current fanless video card)
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-20-2013, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gadgetfreaky View Post

I'm definitely leaning towards assasin, although there's so many add on's it gets confusing. Which did you get and how much did it cost? looks like I can spend $700 or $1600 easily there.

What pre-configured system did you buy?

I'm also following this thread on a build your own.. so torn

My machine from Assassin has an i5 Haswell chip, 120 GB SSD, two 2TB HDDs (I should have gotten 4TB each), 8GB RAM, a Blu-Ray drive, and Win7 Pro. No graphics card (using Intel on-board graphics) and no Bly-Ray player software (figured I can add those later if I want). I also added Assassin's pre-configuration. I went with a specific case (Silverstone GD-04) because of depth and looks. I'm using it in a small entertainment center/TV stand, so it couldn't be more than about 13" deep and I wanted it to look like A/V equipment. The downside of that case is that I've maxed the HDD capacity with two HDDs. It's also a little noisy, but I haven’t done any tweaking with the fans yet.

Afterward I added a 64GB thumb drive for imaging the OS from the SSD, and a HD Homerun Prime (CableCard version) for Comcast cable TV. I also ended up upgrading my router, switches, and added MoCA networking adapters to drive XBox's as extenders for my kids'.

The main thing I would do differently is that I should have gotten bigger hard drives for media storage from the start. The two 2TB HDDs are fine so far, but I suspect I'm going to fill them quickly with recorded TV, especially if I use one for mirroring (for backups). I got a couple of external 4TB HDDs for future expansion and ripping movies.

If you want picture quality comparable to your Oppo, you'll probably want a graphics card that will run MadVR at its highest level. That may be my next move.

You can call or email Assassin with any specific questions. They're pretty helpful.

Or feel free to PM me if you have additional questions.
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-21-2013, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dfkimbro View Post

Having recently headed down the same path, I will warn you that an HTPC can suck up all of your spare time and attention, if you let it! I bought one from Assassin with his preconfiguration and it's been great. If I'd been more patient, I could've waited for sales on components and could have done better on price, but the price I paid Assassin was very competitive to buying off-the-shelf components and assembling it myself.

If you rip to MKV there are handful of free players and front ends (think pretty interface) that will play the files. These include Media Browser3, XBMC, Plex, JRiver, Etc. You'll need a player like Total Media Theater, PowerDVD or WinDVD to play the disk directly from the Blu-ray drive, and those are typically $60 to $100.

Does jriver or mpc hc with madvr provide superior video quality to pdvd tmt or windvd? I would like to have the option of playing a blu ray from the disc, but do not want to sacrifice quality. thanks.
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-21-2013, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by gerall View Post

Does jriver or mpc hc with madvr provide superior video quality to pdvd tmt or windvd? I would like to have the option of playing a blu ray from the disc, but do not want to sacrifice quality. thanks.

TMT is just dandy with disk playback of BR.

To the notion of quality, you won't see near a noticeable improvement with strictly BR playback. madVR really shines when it comes to upconverting lesser quality to 1080p.
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-21-2013, 03:23 PM
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A lightly different perspective than what others gave you:

1) I would buy the Oppo AND either build the HTPC or buy a turnkey system. I would buy the Oppo as it hands down will provide the arguably "best" Picture Quality (PQQ)
and Sound Quality (SQ) all with the absolute least amount of fuss.

I would go with the HTPC as you can capture TV broadcasts AND also rip your Blueray to a format the computer can work with.

BTW, noted your comments about building your first system, Like so many others here, without the guides from Renethx and Assassin the process looked daunting
just picking out the components was overwhelming. And yet, after reading through the guides a few times and letting them lead me through the first build,
o more fears. The HTPCs (several) and Server built with the guides work smoothly, all day...rarely need attention.
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-21-2013, 04:23 PM
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I can't speak to the PQ comparison between the Oppo and any given HTPC, but one note on sound quality. There are a few assumptions here. I'm assuming the OP has a receiver already. If he was overly concerned about DACs he would probably be considering the 105 vs the 103, so I'm assuming he plans to output audio via HDMI to a receiver. Digital audio from the Oppo will be no different than that from an HTPC. It will all be decoded and converted to analog in the receiver.

Now, if the OP has plans for SACD disc playback, the HTPC won't handle that (or are there SACD drives available for PC's?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandbeth View Post

1) I would buy the Oppo AND either build the HTPC or buy a turnkey system. I would buy the Oppo as it hands down will provide the arguably "best" Picture Quality (PQQ)
and Sound Quality (SQ) all with the absolute least amount of fuss.
/quote]


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post #19 of 20 Old 12-22-2013, 11:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoots View Post

I have an Oppo 103 and an HTPC which I just built.

If I have a recent arrival movie disc sitting on my couch I just pop it into the Oppo and watch it.

Other times I browse my HTPC and watch whatever grabs me.

Building the computer is easy...hopefully you wont' have any issue once built. Troubleshooting problems is the challenge. Setting up the media management software, tuning and organizing your library is the hobby (time consuming). I like tuning and using Jriver and MB3/T.

Why do you want an HTPC? You have NAS so it would seem a good fit. Target around $1k for HTPC. I have FIOS w/DVR, Oppo which is also DLNA renderer from office PC, and Roku, so the HTPC is a bonus.

My HTPC is in a closet direct connected w/cable through wall so dead quite in listening room. It's pretty quiet even in closet (especially w/current fanless video card)

I ended up getting the Sony 5100 for now & want to put the $400 saved on the Oppo towards a HTPC. The reason I want the HTPC is so that I can use Plex Media server to serve video to my Roku3's as well as my mobile devices & my brothers want me to share my PMS to them as well smile.gif
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post #20 of 20 Old 12-22-2013, 11:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baniels View Post

I can't speak to the PQ comparison between the Oppo and any given HTPC, but one note on sound quality. There are a few assumptions here. I'm assuming the OP has a receiver already. If he was overly concerned about DACs he would probably be considering the 105 vs the 103, so I'm assuming he plans to output audio via HDMI to a receiver. Digital audio from the Oppo will be no different than that from an HTPC. It will all be decoded and converted to analog in the receiver.

Now, if the OP has plans for SACD disc playback, the HTPC won't handle that (or are there SACD drives available for PC's?).
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomandbeth View Post

1) I would buy the Oppo AND either build the HTPC or buy a turnkey system. I would buy the Oppo as it hands down will provide the arguably "best" Picture Quality (PQQ)
and Sound Quality (SQ) all with the absolute least amount of fuss.
/quote]

Yes I have the new Denon 4520 which has it's own 4K video upscaler as well.
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