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post #1 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 12:25 PM - Thread Starter
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HTPC /w 4k drive vs 4k player

Sssooooo. Quick question. I have a htpc that I currently use with PLEX for my HT. Thinking of putting a 4K drive in it and using that instead of plopping down several hundred dollars for JUST a 4k Player. Is there a reason that is does not seem that many people are doing this?
What do I need to ensure I have in there for the maximum enjoyment of 4K and just how beefy does a 4k HTPC server need to be?
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post #2 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 12:40 PM
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Does your HTPC meet the minimum requirements for PowerDVD 17? If not then you may end up spending much more than buying a stand-alone player.

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post #3 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Does your HTPC meet the minimum requirements for PowerDVD 17? If not then you may end up spending much more than buying a stand-alone player.

CPU: Intel icore G3 Haswell

GPU: Nvidia GTX 980

MOBO: ga-h87-n-wifi (supports 4k, don't know if it supports SGX. need to google it)

RAM: 16GIG




So I would DEFINATLEY need to replace my cpu and my mobo if it doesn't support SGX. Maybe just be a bios update? The GPU is in my desktop and since I no longer game I would LOVE to actually put it to use.
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Leon1972 View Post
CPU: Intel icore G3 Haswell

GPU: Nvidia GTX 980

MOBO: ga-h87-n-wifi (supports 4k, don't know if it supports SGX. need to google it)

RAM: 16GIG




So I would DEFINATLEY need to replace my cpu and my mobo if it doesn't support SGX. Maybe just be a bios update? The GPU is in my desktop and since I no longer game I would LOVE to actually put it to use.
You'll need a new Kaby Lake i5 and motherboard plus the hard to obtain UHD optical drive. Not to mention buying PowerDVD 17. I'm not sure what you would gain over a stand-alone player even if it costs the same.

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post #5 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 01:35 PM - Thread Starter
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You'll need a new Kaby Lake i5 and motherboard plus the hard to obtain UHD optical drive. Not to mention buying PowerDVD 17. I'm not sure what you would gain over a stand-alone player even if it costs the same.
Well, price was a consideration and the other one was the ability to use it for everything else I do except in 4k. I have no media streaming device. Just my HTPC. I actually originally built it when stationed in korea. I downloaded all my tv so we could get more than crime drama over there in English. For some reasons Koreans LOVE American crime dramas! they played all day!!! lol
When we got back it evolved into our streaming box and Media Server. Its what i run Netflix, Hulu and the like off of. I don't have cable.
Before you say anything, i already know that 4k content is too big to rip and store on a media server like my dvds if even possible yet.
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 02:05 PM
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Well, price was a consideration and the other one was the ability to use it for everything else I do except in 4k. I have no media streaming device. Just my HTPC. I actually originally built it when stationed in korea. I downloaded all my tv so we could get more than crime drama over there in English. For some reasons Koreans LOVE American crime dramas! they played all day!!! lol
When we got back it evolved into our streaming box and Media Server. Its what i run Netflix, Hulu and the like off of. I don't have cable.
Before you say anything, i already know that 4k content is too big to rip and store on a media server like my dvds if even possible yet.
Size isn't an issue with UHD. The fact that the encryption hasn't been cracked for us to rip the discs is the issue.

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post #7 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 02:14 PM
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*Unless your entire UHD Bluray collection is exclusively "Smurfs 2"

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #8 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 02:29 PM
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*Unless your entire UHD Bluray collection is exclusively "Smurfs 2"
What more could you want?

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post #9 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 02:48 PM
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What more could you want?
Smurfs 3: Fasterer & Furiouserer?

RAID protection is only for failed drives. That's it. It's no replacement for a proper backup.
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post #10 of 27 Old 05-10-2017, 05:29 PM
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At this point, I think it's not possible to build a UHD-BD capable HTPC for anything less than $600, unless you happen to have components you can re-use or get inexpensively. There are low-end and inexpensive 4K-capable HTPC builds, but none of them have the hardware required for premium 4K content, which drives up the cost immensely. You can save some cheese by using a Skylake CPU and board if you can get one that supports SGX, but you'd have to spend money on a new GPU that can do UHD-BD and other 4K media. A UHD-BD player is definitely less expensive and will likely be less expensive than an HTPC for the foreseeable future.
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post #11 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 05:10 AM - Thread Starter
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At this point, I think it's not possible to build a UHD-BD capable HTPC for anything less than $600, unless you happen to have components you can re-use or get inexpensively. There are low-end and inexpensive 4K-capable HTPC builds, but none of them have the hardware required for premium 4K content, which drives up the cost immensely. You can save some cheese by using a Skylake CPU and board if you can get one that supports SGX, but you'd have to spend money on a new GPU that can do UHD-BD and other 4K media. A UHD-BD player is definitely less expensive and will likely be less expensive than an HTPC for the foreseeable future.
How would an HTPC handle things like HDR, Dolby Vision and the other stuff that comes out in the future? I know Not all of the UHD-BR players will support Dolby Vision and more things will inevitable come out in the future. 500 bucks is a lot to plop down for a player that will possibly become obsolete in a year or two. It wouldn't suprise me if with 4K still gaining steam many will come out rapidly in the near future.
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post #12 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 05:36 AM
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A stand-alone Blu-ray player was cheaper than a HTPC able to play optical discs after about the first year or so. The license for the software player was more than many stand-alone players. With UHD the stand-alone players are already cheaper and you can barely even make a HTPC able to play the discs.

I don't see a HTPC ever being a good value UHD player. When the disc encryption gets officially cracked and you can rip your own discs then things might change. But even then a HTPC wouldn't be required. It isn't needed now to rip and playback Blu-ray.

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post #13 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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A stand-alone Blu-ray player was cheaper than a HTPC able to play optical discs after about the first year or so. The license for the software player was more than many stand-alone players. With UHD the stand-alone players are already cheaper and you can barely even make a HTPC able to play the discs.

I don't see a HTPC ever being a good value UHD player. When the disc encryption gets officially cracked and you can rip your own discs then things might change. But even then a HTPC wouldn't be required. It isn't needed now to rip and playback Blu-ray.
Yeah. I would have gone with a roku or something if plex had been viable on them when I was in korea. Hell, I don't even remember if Roku was out then. Like I said in the original post, my HTPC was done in Korea for playback of my wife and my TV shows years ago. Then when we got back we figured its just as good as a streaming box so why not just stick with it instead of spending the extra money when I already have something that works just as well.
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post #14 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 05:47 AM
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Yeah. I would have gone with a roku or something if plex had been viable on them when I was in korea. Hell, I don't even remember if Roku was out then. Like I said in the original post, my HTPC was done in Korea for playback of my wife and my TV shows years ago. Then when we got back we figured its just as good as a streaming box so why not just stick with it instead of spending the extra money when I already have something that works just as well.
Actually as a streaming box a HTPC is not the best. Most streaming sites limit the playback audio and/or video quality on a PC. Then you lose a remote friendly interface. Just try to get full audio and 4k from Amazon or Netflix on a PC. A cheap streaming box can do that easily. A nicer streaming box can also direct playback your local media at full quality and do TV as well. They just don't have MadVR or frame packed 3D. Ripping media has never required a HTPC.

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post #15 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually as a streaming box a HTPC is not the best. Most streaming sites limit the playback audio and/or video quality on a PC. Then you lose a remote friendly interface. Just try to get full audio and 4k from Amazon or Netflix on a PC. A cheap streaming box can do that easily. A nicer streaming box can also direct playback your local media at full quality and do TV as well. They just don't have MadVR or frame packed 3D. Ripping media has never required a HTPC.
Huh. Didn't know play back is limited. However, like i said earlier, at the time Plex was not being used on anything earlier than a pc when i needed it. The remote friendly was easy enough to fix with setting up a flirc to my harmony 1 though. It was actually pretty easy. Then I just setup my pc to boot up plex every time it turned on. Use a SSD drive and it takes no more time to boot up than it does our tv to power on.
As far as audio and video, well I'm only running 2.1 and my current projector probably wouldn't notice the difference its so cheap. lol.
Ill just get a nvidia shield and a UHD Player then. Thanks for the info guys!
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post #16 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 08:51 AM
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How would an HTPC handle things like HDR, Dolby Vision and the other stuff that comes out in the future? I know Not all of the UHD-BR players will support Dolby Vision and more things will inevitable come out in the future. 500 bucks is a lot to plop down for a player that will possibly become obsolete in a year or two. It wouldn't suprise me if with 4K still gaining steam many will come out rapidly in the near future.
The Philips UHD Blu-ray player looks to be $200 at Best Buy right now. If you've got a TV that does HDR well that's probably fine. If not, the Panasonic is still the only UHD Blu-ray player that really does everything right, and it's still improving. I'm very skeptical Cyberlink can match the Panasonic's features or performance, nobody else (Samsung, Philips, Sony, not even Oppo) has.
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post #17 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 09:55 AM
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I believe that we will have $100-150 UHD-BD players next year, by the Summer or Fall/Holiday sales periods due to big demand for 4K content in Asia.
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post #18 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 10:42 AM
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500 bucks is a lot to plop down for a player that will possibly become obsolete in a year or two.
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I'd avoid the Samsung, it's not a very good UHD Player (ironically it's a pretty good streaming device though). There's a reason it's dropped to $150 from it's original $500 price point.
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post #20 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 11:17 AM
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There's a reason it's dropped to $150 from it's original $500 price point.
I agree it's not a great choice but it's still close to $400 (current model)... these are the older model being closed out.

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post #21 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 01:59 PM
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*Unless your entire UHD Bluray collection is exclusively "Smurfs 2"
Ha, missed that whole conversation, but the evidence was more than lacking. Just for science, there has long been some sort of Google Play workaround that let people capture 4k video. That just gets remuxed with the corresponding HD audio from an actual blu-ray disk. Seems to have fooled a lot of people, but no evidence exists yet for true back-up ability of UHD BD. I'm still buying BDs, but on a few occasions we have the UHD combo packs. Hopefully by the time I get that display upgrade I'll be able to play them back with my current setups
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I agree it's not a great choice but it's still close to $400 (current model)... these are the older model being closed out.
There's a new Samsung? I haven't really followed since I got a UB900 to replace mine.

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Ha, missed that whole conversation, but the evidence was more than lacking. Just for science, there has long been some sort of Google Play workaround that let people capture 4k video. That just gets remuxed with the corresponding HD audio from an actual blu-ray disk. Seems to have fooled a lot of people, but no evidence exists yet for true back-up ability of UHD BD. I'm still buying BDs, but on a few occasions we have the UHD combo packs. Hopefully by the time I get that display upgrade I'll be able to play them back with my current setups
Except supposedly the rip had ATMOS which was only available on the UHD Blu-ray.
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post #23 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 06:17 PM
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except supposedly the rip had ATMOS which was only available on the UHD Blu-ray.
Don't know about that. Tons of BDs out there with Atmos tracks, which makemkv extracts just fine. I'd have to go get the one in question to believe the track isn't available on the regular BD ... Which I'm not going to do, but I do hate lingering conversations. That dead horse was beat to death, but I didn't catch that supposed caveat. FML, I'm probably going to buy the stinking think just to verify
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Don't know about that. Tons of BDs out there with Atmos tracks, which makemkv extracts just fine. I'd have to go get the one in question to believe the track isn't available on the regular BD ... Which I'm not going to do, but I do hate lingering conversations. That dead horse was beat to death, but I didn't catch that supposed caveat. FML, I'm probably going to buy the stinking think just to verify
The Atmos track was supposed to be the proof since it was only available on the UHD version. However, the whole thing seems off so it would be safe to assume the encryption on every other disc hasn't been compromised.

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post #25 of 27 Old 05-11-2017, 09:35 PM
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The Atmos track was supposed to be the proof since it was only available on the UHD version. However, the whole thing seems off so it would be safe to assume the encryption on every other disc hasn't been compromised.
Fair enough. From some trivial searches through the deep dark muck it looks like no other releases claimed to contain Atmos prior to the one claiming to be the rip. I would still wonder if anyone with a true Atmos setup verified the audio to match. It would be far-fetched that anyone could trick an encoding to Atmos, so if a capable receiver truly displayed it was receiving an Atmos bitstream I would believe that one particular disc had somehow been compromised. I don't have the setup to even verify a sample, but I surmise that anyone who would go to the trouble of obtaining that file would have the setup and would have flamed the comments if it didn't deliver a true bitstream. Makes more sense now. In other news Warner Bros took the HDCP 2.2 stripper device sellers to court and appear to have initially lost. It feels like we are quickly approaching the end of physical media ... I just wish they could consolidate streaming libraries if that becomes the future
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post #26 of 27 Old 05-12-2017, 04:42 AM
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Don't know about that. Tons of BDs out there with Atmos tracks, which makemkv extracts just fine. I'd have to go get the one in question to believe the track isn't available on the regular BD ... Which I'm not going to do, but I do hate lingering conversations. That dead horse was beat to death, but I didn't catch that supposed caveat. FML, I'm probably going to buy the stinking think just to verify
FWIW, there are a number of titles, some might even call it a trend, that ATMOS/DTS:X are only available on the UHD discs. There were quite a number of folks in the projector forums talking about that a while back, basically only getting into UHD discs/players for that reason, and being somewhat frustrated by it.
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post #27 of 27 Old 05-12-2017, 04:46 AM
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FWIW, there are a number of titles, some might even call it a trend, that ATMOS/DTS:X are only available on the UHD discs. There were quite a number of folks in the projector forums talking about that a while back, basically only getting into UHD discs/players for that reason, and being somewhat frustrated by it.
Once UHD is cracked (for real this time) maybe they can mux in that audio to the video of a Blu-ray rip.

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