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post #1 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
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HTPC Blu Ray vs Stand-alone

I am looking to get a new Blu Ray player. I currently have a 6 year old Panasonic that takes forever to load. I currently have a HTPC running a Radeon 5670 and i3-530. I am leaning towards an internal player for my HTPC but was wondering what others thought.
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post #2 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makaveli6103 View Post
I am looking to get a new Blu Ray player. I currently have a 6 year old Panasonic that takes forever to load. I currently have a HTPC running a Radeon 5670 and i3-530. I am leaning towards an internal player for my HTPC but was wondering what others thought.
If you decide to go with an internal player for your HTPC, you will need to also have a commercial program such as PowerDVD or TMT if you want to maintain full menus and the like. Fortunately, most internal BD players/readers/writers come with a copy of PowerDVD.
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post #3 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 10:40 PM
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The OPPO 103 looks much better than my HTPC.
It's not even close.
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post #4 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by trans_lux View Post
The OPPO 103 looks much better than my HTPC.
It's not even close.
I used to have an Oppo DVD player and loved it. I would love to have a Oppo Blu Ray player but it is out of my price range. My budget is under $100. Would an internal blu ray or stand-alone in that price range have better quality.
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post #5 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aryn Ravenlocke View Post
If you decide to go with an internal player for your HTPC, you will need to also have a commercial program such as PowerDVD or TMT if you want to maintain full menus and the like. Fortunately, most internal BD players/readers/writers come with a copy of PowerDVD.
Yea I knew that. I guess my main question is which route has the best quality.
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post #6 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 10:54 PM
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I think it depends on how much money you want to spend and how you view setting up / tweaking / installing updates versus opening the box, connecting a few cables and tossing the disc into the player...

The former, while it takes a lot more work and time has the advantage of additional eye candy and better media organization, while the latter is less headache prone but might require you to get up each time, search for the disc you want to play, unless it has a Plex client or similar program that can allow you to stream from a central media storage...

Seeing that you have an HTPC and a BR player already tells me you have some experience, you made need to be a bit decisive this time around...

Good luck!
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post #7 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 11:04 PM
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Keep in mind, not only is a stand-alone cheaper and easier with about equal AQ and PQ, but it also does a lot of streaming tasks better than a PC, like Netflix for example. A stand-alone is a no-brainer IMO. If your budget is tight, you can get an excellent used player for around $40. I have a house full of players like that. Stand-alone players have improved alot in the past 6 years.
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post #8 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 11:10 PM
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I personally think with the right software setup the HTPC will give you very good results, but it really comes down to, do you want to tweak or do you want convenience. I have an OPPO 103 and a HTPC, I find I use my PC more because I like to use AnyDVD with MPC and MadVr and tweak and experiment. If you do go BD player, any number of inexpensive players will do. I agree that a BD player, is very convenient for streaming Netflix and does a great job.

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Last edited by cardoski; 07-09-2014 at 11:28 PM.
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post #9 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by balky View Post
I think it depends on how much money you want to spend and how you view setting up / tweaking / installing updates versus opening the box, connecting a few cables and tossing the disc into the player...

The former, while it takes a lot more work and time has the advantage of additional eye candy and better media organization, while the latter is less headache prone but might require you to get up each time, search for the disc you want to play, unless it has a Plex client or similar program that can allow you to stream from a central media storage...

Seeing that you have an HTPC and a BR player already tells me you have some experience, you made need to be a bit decisive this time around...

Good luck!
I have done a lot of tweaking with HTPC and already have ReClock and madVR setup. I think this will make my life easier to play back 24p with an internal.
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post #10 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 11:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mdavej View Post
Keep in mind, not only is a stand-alone cheaper and easier with about equal AQ and PQ, but it also does a lot of streaming tasks better than a PC, like Netflix for example. A stand-alone is a no-brainer IMO. If your budget is tight, you can get an excellent used player for around $40. I have a house full of players like that. Stand-alone players have improved alot in the past 6 years.
Don't need any of the extras that come with stand-alones. I have Google Fiber and it has Netflix and Youtube integrated already. Just looking for the best picture quality.
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post #11 of 58 Old 07-09-2014, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cardoski View Post
I personally think with the right software setup the HTPC will give you very good results, but it really comes down to, do you want to tweak or do you want convenience. I have an OPPO 103 and a HTPC, I find I use my PC more because I like to use AnyDVD with MPC and MadVr and tweak and experiment. If you do go BD player, any number of inexpensive players will do. I agree that a BD player, is very convenient for streaming Netflix and does a great job.
I am leaning towards internal. Do you rip your discs with AnyDVD to playback in MPC or are you able to play directly.
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post #12 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 01:12 AM
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I can do both, I didn't want another box. The reason for my htpc was to rid myself of all the clutter and I've got it working perfectly fine.
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post #13 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 01:17 AM
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Originally Posted by trans_lux View Post
The OPPO 103 looks much better than my HTPC.
It's not even close.

Is that with Blu Ray or Dvd's being upconverted? I could understand if it were Dvd, but I have a hard time believing Blu Ray's look considerably better on an oppo than HTPC (or any other player for that matter). I could be wrong.
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post #14 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by chadsdsmith View Post
Is that with Blu Ray or Dvd's being upconverted? I could understand if it were Dvd, but I have a hard time believing Blu Ray's look considerably better on an oppo than HTPC (or any other player for that matter). I could be wrong.
I would say it gets a little bit into a gray zone when deciding on which one looks better between a standalone BR player and an HTPC...

Hypothetically speaking, there should be no difference for 1080p material, but DVD upscaling might tend to look better on the HTPC if properly done with MadVR...
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post #15 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by chadsdsmith View Post
Is that with Blu Ray or Dvd's being upconverted? I could understand if it were Dvd, but I have a hard time believing Blu Ray's look considerably better on an oppo than HTPC (or any other player for that matter). I could be wrong.

BD and BD rips. I know in theory there should be not difference but there is. I have spent a considerable amount of time making sure that all things are equal between the two-color space, video range, output levels, no enhancements etc.
The OPPO has less noise but is sharper. There is also a discernible difference of depth of image. Audio is much better on the OPPO with better dynamics.

I've used PowerDVD, XBMC, MplayerHQ and VLC.

I so much want my HTPC to be the same as the convenience factor is much higher.
Maybe I'm missing something???
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post #16 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 08:25 AM
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To be honest, unless you plan on ripping your Blu-ray discs, I'd just go standalone. I find commercial BD playback software to be somewhat clunky (TMT to be specific, haven't tried others). I rip a movie-only MKV copy to the server and that's usually what we watch. However, for new arrivals that we want to watch right away, we use the PS3. Much quicker.
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post #17 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 09:07 AM
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My beef with set-top bluray players is the lack of vertical stretch modes for use with my DIY anamorphic lens and projector. As far as I can tell, Oppo is the only manufacturer of models with this feature.
Is anyone aware of other players that allow changing the aspect ratio of a movie?
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post #18 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Makaveli6103 View Post
I am leaning towards internal. Do you rip your discs with AnyDVD to playback in MPC or are you able to play directly.

I play the BD directly without ripping, but if you want the full functionality of a standalone player you need to use something like PowerDVD. I think I am going to start ripping my collection, just have not got around to it yet.

James Reid:D
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post #19 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Blato View Post
My beef with set-top bluray players is the lack of vertical stretch modes for use with my DIY anamorphic lens and projector. As far as I can tell, Oppo is the only manufacturer of models with this feature.
Is anyone aware of other players that allow changing the aspect ratio of a movie?
I assumed people usually used video processors to do this.

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post #20 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by trans_lux View Post
The OPPO 103 looks much better than my HTPC.
It's not even close.
Agreed. Plus it video processes my cable TV and streaming content. Not to mention it has native SMB support for my NAS. Plays true 3D files from NAS too.

It's also doing HDMI switching and 7.1 analog out from HDMI-only source components to prolong the usability of my old AVR for lossless multichannel.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
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post #21 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 12:56 PM
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Stick with a stand-alone player. There are just a ton of hassles with Blu-ray discs on a PC, not to mention that the playback software costs as much as a decent stand-alone player.
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post #22 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by UUronl View Post
Agreed. Plus it video processes my cable TV and streaming content. Not to mention it has native SMB support for my NAS. Plays true 3D files from NAS too.

It's also doing HDMI switching and 7.1 analog out from HDMI-only source components to prolong the usability of my old AVR for lossless multichannel.

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Quick question: How are you playing framed packed 3D from your NAS?
Mine does not show ISO or support BDMV playback.
I know there is a solution to this.
Is this what you have done?
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post #23 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by trans_lux View Post
Quick question: How are you playing framed packed 3D from your NAS?
Mine does not show ISO or support BDMV playback.
I know there is a solution to this.
Is this what you have done?
Not sure. I have some true side-by-side encoded material and the OPPO plays it and I set my TV to the proper setting.

I'll have to look closer at the files to see what it is.

I think the OPPO supports a mounted BDROM for br playback but I haven't tried it. For purchased 3D titles I just use the Oppo's transport.

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post #24 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trans_lux View Post
BD and BD rips. I know in theory there should be not difference but there is. I have spent a considerable amount of time making sure that all things are equal between the two-color space, video range, output levels, no enhancements etc.
The OPPO has less noise but is sharper. There is also a discernible difference of depth of image. Audio is much better on the OPPO with better dynamics.

I've used PowerDVD, XBMC, MplayerHQ and VLC.

I so much want my HTPC to be the same as the convenience factor is much higher.
Maybe I'm missing something???
Interesting. I am assuming the audio you are referring to is via the analog outputs? There should be zero difference if bitstreaming to a HDMI reciever that decodes it as the digital to analog conversion is not being done by the source but rather the receiver. Is yours the Darbee version?
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post #25 of 58 Old 07-10-2014, 08:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chadsdsmith View Post
Interesting. I am assuming the audio you are referring to is via the analog outputs? There should be zero difference if bitstreaming to a HDMI reciever that decodes it as the digital to analog conversion is not being done by the source but rather the receiver. Is yours the Darbee version?

No not the Darbee version. I'm allergic to unnecessary video processing
Well maybe a tad of mosquito noise reduction for DTV.

Difference I hear is via HDMI. I know this makes me a heretic around here.
I've just heard and seen too many things over the years to believe a bit is a bit.
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No not the Darbee version. I'm allergic to unnecessary video processing
Well maybe a tad of mosquito noise reduction for DTV.

Difference I hear is via HDMI. I know this makes me a heretic around here.
I've just heard and seen too many things over the years to believe a bit is a bit.
PCM or bitstream? I have heard PCM can sound different but I gotta think somethings wrong if bitstream sounds different. I mean, there is truly no processing being done on the player side with bitstream. Don't take this as me trying to start an argument,but something doesn't sound right (no pun intended)
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post #27 of 58 Old 07-11-2014, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of your opinions. I picked up a drive off Amazon today and will try out TMT and PowerDVD trials to see which one I like best. I know I will not get perfect 23.976 but I am fine with that. Now just to find the right software to get close to that frame rate.
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post #28 of 58 Old 07-11-2014, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by chadsdsmith View Post
PCM or bitstream? I have heard PCM can sound different but I gotta think somethings wrong if bitstream sounds different.
Don't believe everything you hear. The people who say PCM sounds different from "bitstreaming" are probably the same people who say that FLAC sounds different from PCM. It's impossible for it to sound different, considering encoded formats must be decoded to PCM before you can convert them into sound at all.
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post #29 of 58 Old 07-11-2014, 01:07 AM
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HTPC Blu Ray vs Stand-alone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Makaveli6103 View Post
Thanks for all of your opinions. I picked up a drive off Amazon today and will try out TMT and PowerDVD trials to see which one I like best. I know I will not get perfect 23.976 but I am fine with that. Now just to find the right software to get close to that frame rate.

I use MpC-HC and anydvd hd and I get perfect 24p. Super smooth and as smooth as my stand alone blu ray player.

I was getting great 24p from a gtx 650ti but moved to a gtx760 for some game headroom, and mad vr.

Last edited by royalpython; 07-11-2014 at 01:09 AM. Reason: missed something
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post #30 of 58 Old 07-11-2014, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by chadsdsmith View Post
PCM or bitstream? I have heard PCM can sound different but I gotta think somethings wrong if bitstream sounds different. I mean, there is truly no processing being done on the player side with bitstream. Don't take this as me trying to start an argument,but something doesn't sound right (no pun intended)
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
Don't believe everything you hear. The people who say PCM sounds different from "bitstreaming" are probably the same people who say that FLAC sounds different from PCM. It's impossible for it to sound different, considering encoded formats must be decoded to PCM before you can convert them into sound at all.
Bitstream from the Oppo sounds better to me than from the PC.

PCM in my system does not sound as good as bitstream.
Letting my ssp's provide the decoding sounds better to me.

I know many feel digital is digital but there are real measurable issues that can arise in the digital domain;Jitter/phase modulation, Quantization Errors and Aliasing. Some components are better than others in preserving the integrity of the digital signal.
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