Playstation 3 is my new HTPC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

I'm replaceing my old HTPC and my desire to build a new HTPC with a PS3 instead.

Reviews indicate it's a great Blu-Ray player and also plays back the HD files I make on my workstation PC's HDTV card that I transfer over the network.

Mp3 playback and photo slideshow and the like are all just built in and the front end of interface seems nice.

USB hard drives just plug right in to easily make it into a terrabyte file server or beyond.

So,.. Am I alone in abandon-ing the Windows HTPC platform for a PS3? I'm interested in other members thoughts on the whole situation.

Thanks and Good Luck,

Brian
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post #2 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

USB hard drives just plug right in to easily make it into a terrabyte file server or beyond.

There is a problem for file size larger than 4GB. PS3 doesn't do NTFS. PS3 currently couldn't stream video/audio from NAS.

HDPLEX
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post #3 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 12:49 PM
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No PVRing and I'm guessing it doesn't support either VOB or ISO playback of dvds (but I could be wrong).
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post #4 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Naylia View Post

No PVRing and I'm guessing it doesn't support either VOB or ISO playback of dvds (but I could be wrong).


Also it doesn't do MPEG2 ts with AC3. You have to convert it to MPEG2 PS. Currently no adaptive de-interlace for 1080i60 video source-1080p60.

HDPLEX
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post #5 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

...and also plays back the HD files I make on my workstation PC's HDTV card that I transfer over the network.

...Am I alone in abandon-ing the Windows HTPC platform for a PS3?

Doesn't sound like you've entirely abandoned the Windows HTPC platform just yet.
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post #6 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Well,

I'm not getting rid of my living room pc.

It's just I would rather process files from my HDTV card then send them out ready to watch.

And my living room pc would still be usefull for other theater duties too like programming remotes or backing up DVD's or CD's or making MP3's or whatever.

So, I'm not getting rid of my PC but Windows PC won't have a home down in the theater.

-Brian

p.s. I've been loving HTPC since the first experiences I had with it in 1999. It's just upgrading my HTPC for Blu-Ray or HD DVD would have cost more then the PS3 which seems like a great custom media center.
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post #7 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 02:01 PM
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Not sure why you cant use VLC under Linux and stream video (off all types and sizes). May not upscale yet - though. It will be interesting to see what develops under the linux OS compared to what Sony develops for the native OS.

I would like to turn the PS3 into an HTPC also - not sure how well it is going to work though long term as compared to a PC. Cable Card is a big question - heck it is a big question even for the PC.

Good luck,
Paul
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post #8 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

Hi,

I'm replaceing my old HTPC and my desire to build a new HTPC with a PS3 instead.

Reviews indicate it's a great Blu-Ray player and also plays back the HD files I make on my workstation PC's HDTV card that I transfer over the network.

Mp3 playback and photo slideshow and the like are all just built in and the front end of interface seems nice.

USB hard drives just plug right in to easily make it into a terrabyte file server or beyond.

So,.. Am I alone in abandon-ing the Windows HTPC platform for a PS3? I'm interested in other members thoughts on the whole situation.

Thanks and Good Luck,

Brian

I don't know what reviews you read, but the majority of the ones I've come across gave the PS3 poor marks, and definitely less-than-stellar reviews. It seems like the XBox 360 can do everything the PS3 can do, and more. Personally, I think the PS3 is a poor choice. It's over-priced, it under-performs, and was released way too early. And if you have an HDTV that only accepts 1080i, you're out of luck in using this to play back high definition movies.

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post #9 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MidnightWatcher View Post

I don't know what reviews you read, but the majority of the ones I've come across gave the PS3 poor marks, and definitely less-than-stellar reviews. It seems like the XBox 360 can do everything the PS3 can do, and more. Personally, I think the PS3 is a poor choice. It's over-priced, it under-performs, and was released way too early. And if you have an HDTV that only accepts 1080i, you're out of luck in using this to play back high definition movies.

stupidity
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post #10 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 02:48 PM
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stupidity

Only Sony is to blame.

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post #11 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

Playstation 3 is my new HTPC.

i'd like to offer you my condolences

hopefully you can squeeze a square peg thru the round hole & make it work as a HTPC

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #12 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm,

Stacy Spears of Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity prefers the PS3 to his other Blu-Ray players (he swapped out a stand alone for ps3 in his main theater) and his tests revealed it performed better in many ways then other stand alone Blu-Ray players.

As for overpriced,.. at $500 or $600 it's the cheapest Blu-Ray solution period so I don't know where the overpriced comes in.

As someone mentioned Linux runs on PS3 including the popular Fedora 5 so why someone would discount it as a computer is beyond me. The 60GB version I bought has on board card readers, 6 USB ports, HDMI output, Digital Audio out, WiFi, and Ethernet, and Bluetooth, and supports wireless keyboards and mice so I don't know what it's missing apart from a M$ operating system (thank goodness.)


If FFDShow is the main reason for using a HTPC then maybe PS3 won't work but I am anti-post-processing.

I think it's going to be great,.. But I do appreciate all the discussion and want to thank you all for reading and commenting thus far...

-Brian
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post #13 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

The 60GB version I bought has on board card readers, 6 USB ports, HDMI output, Digital Audio out, WiFi, and Ethernet, and Bluetooth, and supports wireless keyboards and mice so I don't know what it's missing apart from a M$ operating system (thank goodness.)

What is missing is many things such as

* .TS file support with AC-3 LOL.
* no DIVX/XVID
* no WMV support
* upscaling DVDs
* shifting picture (ie move 2.35:1 picture to top so you can matte the bottom
* audio frontends such as meedio, etc.
* PVR
* ability to integrate with your existing digital photos easily
* no analog audio out 5.1/7.1
* no Dolby TrueHD, etc. today
* no IR remote
* cant run any future open source or commercial windows apps
* can barely manage an iPod properly
* can't add a HD-DVD drive
* can't use firefox browser
* can't use to reencode files if needed during daytime (remote in from work)


what does it do really as a HTPC?
* play DVD not upscaled
* play Bluray
* plays some media from FAT32 partitions

VIDEO
MPEG-1
MPEG-2 (PS)
H.264/MEPG-4 AVC
MPEG-4 SP

MUSIC
ATRAC (.oma .msa .aa3)
AAC (.3gp .mp4)
MP3 (.mp3)
WAV (.wav)

IMAGES
JPEG
GIF
PNG
TIFF

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #14 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
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OK,

Now that's all good info... However, consider some of those...

Quote -

What is missing is many things such as

* .TS file support with AC-3 LOL. <- I think this will get fixed with firmware but I record HD Mpgs anyway using my Fusion 5 and they look to be the same quality as the ts files so it's not an issue for me.

* no DIVX/XVID <- Never had any interest in DivX and haven't heard of XVID
* no WMV support <- Hmmm,.. don't have any of those either..
* upscaling DVDs <- A fix has been promised for this but I have an upconverting DVD player anyway.

* shifting picture (ie move 2.35:1 picture to top so you can matte the bottom <- Sounds interesting but I run a 16:9 screen and my matting around the border is fixed so I don't change it all around for every film but I respect the notion that it could be a fun thing to do.

* audio frontends such as meedio, etc. <- Well,.. I like the PS3's interface so I guess that's all that matters for that.

* PVR <- I don't watch TV so I couldn't care less but I did hear that plans to make the PS3 into a Digital Video Recorder were in the works. No one is sure how the video will get into the PS3 but I guess USB HDTV tuners would be all that's required.

* ability to integrate with your existing digital photos easily <- Hmm. My pics are on my living room computer and off site backups. Honestly jpeg slideshows has never happened in my theater but there are onboard card readers and photo viewing seems pretty well integreated into the PS3 interface. Also sharing files via the network is also built in.

* no analog audio out 5.1/7.1 <- I always used digital out from my PC and aren't PC's notorious for being poor places to process analog audio?

* no Dolby TrueHD, etc. today <- Dolby TrueHD is written on the box. If there aren't Blu-Ray discs encoded with it I assume it's just a matter of time.

* no IR remote <- True that's a sad oversight but I hear the bluetooth works well for situations like mine where all the gear is in the next room and IR repeaters can be flakey.

* cant run any future open source or commercial windows apps <-100% Incorrect. Already it runs Fedora 5 and a new version of linux called Yellow Dog Linux and windows can be emulated with great sucess on either.

* can barely manage an iPod properly <- I wouldn't know but I've never been interested in Ipod and certainly would rather listen to a CD in my HT then a MP3.

* can't add a HD-DVD drive <- There is speculation that the add on HD DVD drive for Xbox may function under Linux on the PS3. I think it will happen. Regardless, who needs HD DVD when you have Blu-Ray?

* can't use firefox browser <- You can via Linux.

* can't use to reencode files if needed during daytime (remote in from work)<- Got no idea what you mean there but I don't think my current HTPC was doing any of that.



Anyway,.. I think it will be good. I guess I'll find out one way or another. Maybe I'll be back into HTPC someday,..

-Brian
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post #15 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 08:13 PM
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So, all you used an HTPC for was basically DVD playback and MP3's? If that's the case, I think your usage of the PS3 should be great. (I'm personally confused why you have a Fusion if you don't watch TV through)

However, for the rest of us that want--shall I say--real HTPC's, a PS3 is far from it.

Personally, I'd rather spend my $600 on an 2x Xbox 360 Core's. Then also run an HTPC using either MCE 2005 or Vista. Now, I can serve 3 rooms independently of each other. [And, since I already have a PC (as most do that would be using the term "HTPC") I actually don't even need to purchase that. I've purchased two Xbox 360's for the price of the single PS3 and can do a whole lot more with it!]

This includes...
  • PVR w/ HDTV (CableCARD w/ Vista)
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Full DVD Library
  • Tons of plug-ins (Weather, Caller ID, etc)
  • Home automation
  • Etc...

You might be able to run Linux on the PS3, however don't expect that to bring much that you can't already do spending $300 and running Myth on a standard PC. The only thing you are gaining is gaming, of course that's what the PS3 is really for.

Chris
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post #16 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 08:30 PM
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Hi Brian,

What's your video chain between PS3 & Marquee? I still use HTPC -> Marquee 8500 and I'm on the fence about setting up a new HTPC for Vista. I'm sure Terry and other are interested in hearing about the PS3.

BTW - I have no issues processing multichannel sound with HTPC - I use pro audio sound cards plus an external DAC.

- Steve O.
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post #17 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisL01 View Post

So, all you used an HTPC for was basically DVD playback and MP3's? If that's the case, I think your usage of the PS3 should be great. (I'm personally confused why you have a Fusion if you don't watch TV through)

However, for the rest of us that want--shall I say--real HTPC's, a PS3 is far from it.

Personally, I'd rather spend my $600 on an 2x Xbox 360 Core's. Then also run an HTPC using either MCE 2005 or Vista. Now, I can serve 3 rooms independently of each other. [And, since I already have a PC (as most do that would be using the term "HTPC") I actually don't even need to purchase that. I've purchased two Xbox 360's for the price of the single PS3 and can do a whole lot more with it!]

This includes...
  • PVR w/ HDTV (CableCARD w/ Vista)
  • Music
  • Videos
  • Full DVD Library
  • Tons of plug-ins (Weather, Caller ID, etc)
  • Home automation
  • Etc...

You might be able to run Linux on the PS3, however don't expect that to bring much that you can't already do spending $300 and running Myth on a standard PC. The only thing you are gaining is gaming, of course that's what the PS3 is really for.

Chris

Bingo.

PS3 can't do TrueHD except eventually via HDMI1.3. Too bad none of us have av processors with HDMI1.3 spec hence the usefullness of the analog outs (of a standalone bluray player or HD-A1).

Anyways this thread should be renamed to this...
"How i will use my PS3 to play dvds, games and bluray while avoiding M$ products"

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #18 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

Hi,

I'm replaceing my old HTPC and my desire to build a new HTPC with a PS3 instead.

Reviews indicate it's a great Blu-Ray player and also plays back the HD files I make on my workstation PC's HDTV card that I transfer over the network.

Mp3 playback and photo slideshow and the like are all just built in and the front end of interface seems nice.

USB hard drives just plug right in to easily make it into a terrabyte file server or beyond.

So,.. Am I alone in abandon-ing the Windows HTPC platform for a PS3? I'm interested in other members thoughts on the whole situation.

Thanks and Good Luck,

Brian


It is a great idea.
I am planning the same thing now.

Good luck !!
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post #19 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 09:22 PM
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I heard that you can install Linux OS on PS3, and use it as a nomral PC.
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post #20 of 35 Old 12-01-2006, 11:36 PM
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You guys that are banging on the PS3 are really missing something key here. The open OS architecture has a lot of potential to integrate functionality from the modder/hacker community. The complaints about file format restrictions for instance can evaporate quite quickly with these Linux OS's we're seeing. Not to mention the Homebrew potential for a XBMC like specialty OS.

The potential of the platform is really just being scratched at right now. It will be at least a year before the picture starts coming into focus. Any conclusion now about the PS3's viability is really premature.
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post #21 of 35 Old 12-02-2006, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lymzy View Post

Also it doesn't do MPEG2 ts with AC3. You have to convert it to MPEG2 PS.

Latest firmware (1.11) in my PS3, and it definitely plays MPEG2 TS with AC3. But it refuses to play MPEG2 PS with AC3, claiming the file is corrupt. It's also picky about file extension: I had the same file in a directory with extensions .mpg, .mpeg and .ts, and PS3 only listed two of those. Which ones, I can't tell, because PS3 won't show the extensions.

The AVC support is also very flaky and lacking at the moment. I burned 12 AVC files on a DVD-R. They were of various resolutions from less-than-SD to full 1080p, created with Quicktime, Elecard and Nero Digital. There was also a AVC-HD demo clip, probably shot with a new Sony camcoder, with an extension of .m2ts. (I placed the clip on the disc thrice, with extensions m2ts, m2t and mp4.)

Of the 12 files, PS3 played only one, a file called "MorningReport.mp4" with a rez of 411x240. I found it at a Lion King fansite when googling for "avc clips".

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post #22 of 35 Old 12-02-2006, 02:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

Just wanted to clear up a bit of what could be mis-understood here...

In fact,.. I'm not really anti-HTPC and I'm not at all anti-Microsoft.

In fact,.. my current HTPC was only for DVD mainly due to it's outdated hardware. The only mp3's I listen to are a handfull of songs that I put on my Palm Pilot but really Mp3 means almost nothing to me. Not that it matters anyway.

Although I have the HDTV card, the only thing I've used it for thus far is recording movies from Starz HD such as Sin City (which was not an upconvert). I do however watch TV shows on DVD such as Alias, Lost or whatever. I guess it's not exactly fair to say I don't watch TV but I don't watch TV in the usual channel flipping, let's see what's on way that I did like 20 years ago. Sorry for the confusion there.

I plan to keep my upconverting DVD player for DVD's and use the PS3 as a media center for Blu-Ray, and HD Mpg's made on my living room PC. If something happens with the MP3 or Jpegs, I'll just go with the flow I guess.

I am excited to know how the PS3 will shape up with both home brew and even third party software solutions.

Forgive any confusion in my above posts... I'm surprized there hasn't been more discussion about the PS3 as a HTPC here but I bet as time goes on and more software is released it may become a popular alternative to traditional HTPC if ever there was such a thing.

-Brian
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post #23 of 35 Old 12-02-2006, 05:41 AM
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I think people are selling the Linux development potential a little short. I do think the PS3 will BECOME a good HTPC alternative. I think most of the knocks against it so far in this thread will be be addressed - eventually. The PS3 can be thought of as general computing device when operating under LINUX - The MYTH comparison that was made is fair.

Cable Card will be something that could be problematic for the PS3. Just for the record - there is no Vista Cable card out yet - and you will not be able to DIY (currently position is you have to buy pre-made). But you should be able to stream to your XBOX (which is pretty cool). PS3 might be able it implement something similar - I don't know. Cable Card could mature into something more DIY friendly, but I have a hard time seeing that soon.
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post #24 of 35 Old 12-02-2006, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey,

I read that Cable card was going away because it didn't generate the type of revenue's that were planned. I don't know anything about cable card but I did read that it's thought to be a failure and soon to be history. But,.. then.. I really don't know.

Scorch123,

For now the Marquee has been replaced with a G70. Maybe,.. if I'm lucky,.. I'll replace the G70 with a Marquee 9500LC someday..(I can dream at least.) Anyway,.. I would fill everyone in on the usefullness of PS3 with CRT but being this close to X-Mass I'm forced to leave the PS3 under the tree. --- Soon though, I'll report on it.

-Brian
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post #25 of 35 Old 12-02-2006, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMaddness View Post

You guys that are banging on the PS3 are really missing something key here. The open OS architecture has a lot of potential to integrate functionality from the modder/hacker community. The complaints about file format restrictions for instance can evaporate quite quickly with these Linux OS's we're seeing. Not to mention the Homebrew potential for a XBMC like specialty OS.

The potential of the platform is really just being scratched at right now. It will be at least a year before the picture starts coming into focus. Any conclusion now about the PS3's viability is really premature.

so in otherwords using it as your HTPC at this time is a really premature too

DVD's are about movies & people watch them in living rooms, how many people actually use their computer drives to sit and watch movies- Bluray's Andy Parsons
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post #26 of 35 Old 12-02-2006, 09:13 AM
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Yes - I think it is premature - for what I need. I won't fault others if it fits their needs though.

I do not have the PS3 and will probably only get it if the media center capabilities mature sufficiently (which they will - not sure what / when - that is why I am waiting). Lets all come back in July and see what it looks like then.

Thanks
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post #27 of 35 Old 04-09-2007, 03:20 AM
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I'm thinking about purchasing a PS3 as well for HTPC reasons.

Does anyone have mplayer under linux properly installed and tried various avc files? "Elephant Dreams" (1080p, AVi-Container, ASP) would also be nice to hear about.

I backed up a lot of DVDs in mkv format with XviD/x264 and AC3/dts on DVD5 in UDF. Does the blue-ray drive read UDF?

Furthermore, does anyone have experience with mplayer or vlc in decoding AC3/dts in spdif passthrough mode? In my living room stands a Sony AV Receiver pluged over optical cable with my Pentium4 at the moment, which gives nice DD 5.1 sound.

greets, riding herm4n
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post #28 of 35 Old 04-10-2007, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post

OK,

Anyway,.. I think it will be good. I guess I'll find out one way or another. Maybe I'll be back into HTPC someday,..

-Brian

It really sounds like your plan is to use the PS3 for a bit more than just a game machine and Blu-Ray player, not as a HTPC. Certainly no as most of us think of an HTPC. Your comments suggest the same, you will by no means replace your HTPC, your will use of the PS3 will supplement the HTPC.
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post #29 of 35 Old 10-09-2007, 04:49 AM
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what you guys think of using the Netgear eva8000 as a replacement. A bit pricey, can get for $434.00, but it would seem it replaces most things, at least for me, off your computer including XviD with AC3 pity about the lack of HDD
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post #30 of 35 Old 10-09-2007, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by dachampjonny View Post

what you guys think of using the Netgear eva8000 as a replacement. A bit pricey, can get for $434.00, but it would seem it replaces most things, at least for me, off your computer including XviD with AC3 pity about the lack of HDD

hm, it lacks also of 1080p output ... (more precisely: 1080p24)

I think the TviX HD M-4100SH (or 5100SH) does the better job. Most of all it has matroska support

price in germany: 375 € (without HDD, but it can be build in)

greets, riding herm4n
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