Ideal media server for Oppo BDP-95 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 08-03-2011, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I have recently been introduced to this forum, and have already found it to be packed with information.

I am a bit over my head with a project I am on for my father and thought I'd ask for some advice. I'm not a stranger to technology or computers by any means, I've just never built a media server, nor have I even operated an Oppo unit.

I have received very high regards for the Oppo BDP-95.

My father has a 5.1 system consisting of a McCormack MAP-1, complete set of Martin Logan speakers & a Velodyne woofer, all powered by 2 Fosgate amps.

As you probably know, the MAP-1 requires us to use analog out, which the Oppo BPD-95 excels at. So, I need to build a media server behind it that will play nice.

We will be ripping 500-600 discs using this server, and encoding them (as little as possible to preserve quality) as to be compliant with streaming to the Oppo. We will not be storing Blu-Ray rips, he'd rather just pop the disc in and 99% of his library is DVD currently.

So, requirements of the server:
- Works well with the Oppo
- Scalable HDD space (I've been recommended UnRAID, which I am looking into)
- Streaming the library over the internet (a program like Orb, TVersity, etc), will make use of on-the-fly encoding, so a good CPU is important there as well
- QUIET (not necessarily while ripping discs, that would be a bit asking a bit, but it will be sitting behind the entertainment center in a space/room that has a rear access door behind his entertainment unit)
- If it does not affect encode quality, having dual disk drives to rip multiple disks at a time would be favorable

Now, I realize there's a lot of "opinion" in this realm, and I am not afraid to do research, so feel free to give me any suggestions.

I will be reading through the following threads over the next few days, but as they are long, and I'm still learning, it may take a couple passes to digest it all:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1311806
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1215071

I'm very much open to suggestions for ripping/streaming software as well.

Right now, I plan on using Slysoft to decrypt and Handbrake to encode, but I'm not set in stone there. I've read up on how you can rip multiple ISOs and queue them up in Handbrake, that would be something to consider as the amount of DVDs that need to be recorded is not a few.

If there are ready-built solutions that would fit well, great, if not, we can build the machine and go from there.

Thanks!

P.S. At this time, he's not very interested in streaming online sources to his television via the server.
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post #2 of 26 Old 08-03-2011, 03:44 PM
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1. Lots of people prefer to have a separate file server (possibly UnRAID) and HTPC. That may be a good fit here as you have a lot of data to store, and it would help to keep things quiet if you can have your file server located in another room, for example.

2. I'd recommend trying Orb or TVersity with a sample DVD that you rip to see if playback is adequate. That would give you a chance to try Slysoft, etc. as well if you haven't yet. I personally prefer MakeMKV to rip my movies and TV DVDs (it saves each title to its own .mkv file without reencoding). Try things out to see what works best for you.

3. I'm not sure about pre-built solutions, but if space isn't much of an issue nearly any decently-powered PC (i.e. faster than Intel Atom) should work.
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post #3 of 26 Old 08-03-2011, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

Hello,

I have recently been introduced to this forum, and have already found it to be packed with information.

I am a bit over my head with a project I am on for my father and thought I'd ask for some advice. I'm not a stranger to technology or computers by any means, I've just never built a media server, nor have I even operated an Oppo unit.

I have received very high regards for the Oppo BDP-95.

My father has a 5.1 system consisting of a McCormack MAP-1, complete set of Martin Logan speakers & a Velodyne woofer, all powered by 2 Fosgate amps.

As you probably know, the MAP-1 requires us to use analog out, which the Oppo BPD-95 excels at. So, I need to build a media server behind it that will play nice.

We will be ripping 500-600 discs using this server, and encoding them (as little as possible to preserve quality) as to be compliant with streaming to the Oppo. We will not be storing Blu-Ray rips, he'd rather just pop the disc in and 99% of his library is DVD currently.

So, requirements of the server:
- Works well with the Oppo
- Scalable HDD space (I've been recommended UnRAID, which I am looking into)
- Streaming the library over the internet (a program like Orb, TVersity, etc), will make use of on-the-fly encoding, so a good CPU is important there as well
- QUIET (not necessarily while ripping discs, that would be a bit asking a bit, but it will be sitting behind the entertainment center in a space/room that has a rear access door behind his entertainment unit)
- If it does not affect encode quality, having dual disk drives to rip multiple disks at a time would be favorable

Now, I realize there's a lot of "opinion" in this realm, and I am not afraid to do research, so feel free to give me any suggestions.

I will be reading through the following threads over the next few days, but as they are long, and I'm still learning, it may take a couple passes to digest it all:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1311806
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1215071

I'm very much open to suggestions for ripping/streaming software as well.

Right now, I plan on using Slysoft to decrypt and Handbrake to encode, but I'm not set in stone there. I've read up on how you can rip multiple ISOs and queue them up in Handbrake, that would be something to consider as the amount of DVDs that need to be recorded is not a few.

If there are ready-built solutions that would fit well, great, if not, we can build the machine and go from there.

Thanks!

P.S. At this time, he's not very interested in streaming online sources to his television via the server.

I was under the impression that the Oppo can only read files that are on storage media that is physically attached. There is no network streaming option currently available for disk images. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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post #4 of 26 Old 08-03-2011, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post
We will be ripping 500-600 discs using this
server, and encoding them (as little as possible to preserve quality) as to be
compliant with streaming to the Oppo.
. . .
Right now, I plan on using Slysoft to decrypt and Handbrake to encode, but I'm not set in stone there.
Why re-encode at all? Keep them as MPEG-2s. At the simplest, you could just rip to .vobs, but the Oppo might play the multiple files with slight gaps. (Many people also dislike the mess of multiple files.) I run the .vobs through VOB2MPG, which splices the files together into a single file and--most importantly--corrects any PTS errrors. The .mpg container supports multiple audio streams, subtitles, etc. All you give up is chapters. The Oppo can stream both .vobs amd .mpgs easily. (Unfortunately, DLNA is a dog of a protocol.)
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post #5 of 26 Old 08-03-2011, 08:34 PM
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Given the Oppo's new ability to play DVD ISO via attached HDD, the option of using DNLA becomes far less interesting. I just set up a new 2TB drive in an external enclosure, I expect to fit about 400 DVD ISO files on it give or take 50. And it will take a fraction of the time to accomplish.

That said, Handbrake using the constant quality setting will give you equal video quality in about 30-50% of the HDD space. However you do lose all the extras from the DVD.

The best server software for the 93 and 95 players is one that allows you to turn off all transcoding so there's no confusion.
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post #6 of 26 Old 08-03-2011, 09:20 PM - Thread Starter
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The only problem with the external is that we need to be able to stream those files from the server to the webs.
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post #7 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

The only problem with the external is that we need to be able to stream those files from the server to the webs.

What does that mean, "to the webs"?
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post #8 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 12:33 PM - Thread Starter
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That is to say over the WAN or internet.
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post #9 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

That is to say over the WAN or internet.

OK, but that doesn't really have anything to do with the Oppo player which is restricted to the LAN.

PS3 Media Server will open and play ISO files, but it forces transcoding. I'm just trying to suggest you reconsider the task of re-encoding 100s of DVDs. ISO offers a lot more, including a full backup of the disc and many times less hours invested. Re-encoding offers a reduction in space required and additional compatibility.
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post #10 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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If you have an external hdd attached to the Oppo via usb/esata, then it will not be connected to the server.

My original plan was to just rip ISOs and play them directly on the Oppo, but, it is my under standing that you cannot play ISOs over LAN with the Oppo.

I'm guessing you could have a media server serve up and transcode the files to the Oppo over the LAN, but we wouldn't want any of the degradation that comes with on the fly encoding.

So, we want to play as lossless as possible to the TV connected to the Oppo (ISO if possible, bc like you said, a lot less work and much better backups), while at the same time being able to serve up the same files over the internet via a program like Orb or Tversity.
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post #11 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

If you have an external hdd attached to the Oppo via usb/esata, then it will not be connected to the server.

True, but drives are portable.

Quote:


My original plan was to just rip ISOs and play them directly on the Oppo, but, it is my under standing that you cannot play ISOs over LAN with the Oppo.

AFAIK, nothing plays ISO files over DNLA. There's no protocol for this since it's an image of multiple files.
Quote:


I'm guessing you could have a media server serve up and transcode the files to the Oppo over the LAN, but we wouldn't want any of the degradation that comes with on the fly encoding.

So, we want to play as lossless as possible to the TV connected to the Oppo (ISO if possible, bc like you said, a lot less work and much better backups), while at the same time being able to serve up the same files over the internet via a program like Orb or Tversity.

Bottom line is that there will be trade-offs however you do it. If quality and ease is the priority, ISO and attached HDD is the way to go. If DNLA is the priority then there will be trade-offs in both quality and flexibility.

A HDD can be removed from the player and attached to the server. They are not nailed down.
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post #12 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 03:30 PM
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You are using the wrong tool for the job.
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post #13 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 04:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

You are using the wrong tool for the job.

Which "tool" are you referring to? The Oppo player?

It sounds like we may need to go back to the drawing board, or maybe we need to just nix the whole WAN streaming idea.

Or we go for some redundancy and have the server be separate, I don't know though, that seems like a major pain in the patoot.
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post #14 of 26 Old 08-04-2011, 08:40 PM
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The oppo is an excellent universal disk transport that happens to also play some files. You need a local file streamer. I have an Oppo, but the only thing i use it for anymore is SACDs. All of the rest of my digital media goes through my Dune Streamer. When I am finished modifying my Oppo and rip my SACDs, I will be done with it and all digital media will go through my Dune.
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post #15 of 26 Old 08-05-2011, 08:52 AM
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I bought OPPO because it does all, from CD to SACD, as well as 3D BD. Yes it happens to be able to play BD ISO which definitely a plus and we can drop the other Media Player which is using Realtek chipset, saving spaces and cabling etc. (Most Media Players are still not perfect for BD movies, like PRS subtitles support, or ISO support etc)

I rip 2-4 DVD/BD movies every week into my media library, I used and I do not want any more to plug and unplug HDD all the time for uploading movies for the player. I really appreciate if I can upload the ISO files on the fly through network connection from my PC to OPPO eSATA HDD. I can even give the OPPO a big RAID eSATA enclosure... that will be my dream scenario.
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post #16 of 26 Old 08-07-2011, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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So, what if we did something like the following:
- Rip all DVDs to ISO & keep as backups (would need to use something like Slysoft to remove protection, correct?)
- Encode All DVDs to h.264 & save on server or attached external storage (would need to use something like Handbrake)

Am I right to assume this would keep audio & video quality, and then make it possible to stream to the Oppo over the LAN?

If so, would it be possible to put two NICs in the PC, network one to the router and the other to the Oppo? (trying to avoid tying up 2 ports on his Airport, may be able to get a hi-end switch, but then you split the bandwidth at best?).

Thanks again guys, I am learning quite a bit.
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post #17 of 26 Old 08-08-2011, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

So, what if we did something like the following:
- Rip all DVDs to ISO & keep as backups (would need to use something like Slysoft to remove protection, correct?)
- Encode All DVDs to h.264 & save on server or attached external storage (would need to use something like Handbrake)

Am I right to assume this would keep audio & video quality, and then make it possible to stream to the Oppo over the LAN?

If so, would it be possible to put two NICs in the PC, network one to the router and the other to the Oppo? (trying to avoid tying up 2 ports on his Airport, may be able to get a hi-end switch, but then you split the bandwidth at best?).

Thanks again guys, I am learning quite a bit.

If you're going to those lengths to create a Standard Def library, ( i did an love it!) why not just add a $99 Apple TV since you're already using iDevices (Airport) in your setup. You'll run the HDMI directly to the display and get one of these http://cgi.ebay.com/Technics-Surroun...item256680f67e to decode the audio. It's an EXCELLENT unit and there's always a few on Ebay. I used one for about 4yrs in until HDMI arrived in a stable form. Cheap solution that solves ALL of your problems......and the ATV user interface is SOOOOOO much nicer than the Oppo's file tree.

Oh and BTW, BD ripping is supported by Handbrake now and working pretty well for people. You may need to upgrade your PC processor for reasonable encode times but it just might be worth the effort.
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post #18 of 26 Old 08-08-2011, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

So, what if we did something like the following:
- Rip all DVDs to ISO & keep as backups (would need to use something like Slysoft to remove protection, correct?)
- Encode All DVDs to h.264 & save on server or attached external storage (would need to use something like Handbrake)

Am I right to assume this would keep audio & video quality, and then make it possible to stream to the Oppo over the LAN?

If so, would it be possible to put two NICs in the PC, network one to the router and the other to the Oppo? (trying to avoid tying up 2 ports on his Airport, may be able to get a hi-end switch, but then you split the bandwidth at best?).

Thanks again guys, I am learning quite a bit.

Oppo cannot stream iso over the lan
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post #19 of 26 Old 08-08-2011, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayhem13 View Post

If you're going to those lengths to create a Standard Def library, ( i did an love it!) why not just add a $99 Apple TV since you're already using iDevices (Airport) in your setup. You'll run the HDMI directly to the display and get one of these http://cgi.ebay.com/Technics-Surroun...item256680f67e to decode the audio. It's an EXCELLENT unit and there's always a few on Ebay. I used one for about 4yrs in until HDMI arrived in a stable form. Cheap solution that solves ALL of your problems......and the ATV user interface is SOOOOOO much nicer than the Oppo's file tree.

Oh and BTW, BD ripping is supported by Handbrake now and working pretty well for people. You may need to upgrade your PC processor for reasonable encode times but it just might be worth the effort.

Alternatives to the Oppo are something to consider, However, the Analog 5.1 prowess of the Oppo is something that appeals to my father. If we could save a few $$ & have a more favorable GUI experience, not sacrifice the audio very much from what the Oppo provides, this would an alternative.

Now, when you say standard def (just to clarify), I planned on encoding in a manner that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between what you see and playing a regular DVD. Of course you'd be able to tell a difference b/t it and a Blu-Ray.

One other thing to consider. His current Blu-Ray player only spits outs 7.1 analog audio, it is no bueno, as we have to connect the rear channels to the side channel for them to output any sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlknez View Post

Oppo cannot stream iso over the lan

We do not intend to stream ISO over lan. Once the ISO files have been encoded, they will probably sit in a closet somewhere for safe-keeping, or maybe at my dad's office, to keep them off-site.
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post #20 of 26 Old 08-08-2011, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

Alternatives to the Oppo are something to consider, However, the Analog 5.1 prowess of the Oppo is something that appeals to my father. If we could save a few $$ & have a more favorable GUI experience, not sacrifice the audio very much from what the Oppo provides, this would an alternative.

Now, when you say standard def (just to clarify), I planned on encoding in a manner that you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between what you see and playing a regular DVD. Of course you'd be able to tell a difference b/t it and a Blu-Ray.

One other thing to consider. His current Blu-Ray player only spits outs 7.1 analog audio, it is no bueno, as we have to connect the rear channels to the side channel for them to output any sound.



We do not intend to stream ISO over lan. Once the ISO files have been encoded, they will probably sit in a closet somewhere for safe-keeping, or maybe at my dad's office, to keep them off-site.

Well given all of your requirements and the existing gear, i would imagine you guys are 'set' on using the Oppo as a main hub. I guess a network attached Sata drive is probobly the best option then but i'm unfamiliar with the setup uses. I would imagine that you would connect the sata port to the Oppo and the Ethernet to your network and simply store rips on the drive via the network yes?...........
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post #21 of 26 Old 08-08-2011, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Well given all of your requirements and the existing gear, i would imagine you guys are 'set' on using the Oppo as a main hub. I guess a network attached Sata drive is probobly the best option then but i'm unfamiliar with the setup uses. I would imagine that you would connect the sata port to the Oppo and the Ethernet to your network and simply store rips on the drive via the network yes?...........

That would be one solution, except he wants to be able to stream movies over Orb or a similar program to the WAN, for instance when he's at the gym where there is Wi-Fi it would be slick for him to get his iPad and stream something while he runs on the treadmill (he typically runs a minimum of 6-7 miles).
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post #22 of 26 Old 08-08-2011, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

That would be one solution, except he wants to be able to stream movies over Orb or a similar program to the WAN, for instance when he's at the gym where there is Wi-Fi it would be slick for him to get his iPad and stream something while he runs on the treadmill (he typically runs a minimum of 6-7 miles).

Time to 'explain' to dad that he can't have it all i think. If streaming is a major requirement, then the technics/ATV option makes the most sense. The Technics unit has 5.1 Analog passthrough jacks so you could wire it up between the Oppo and the Mac Preamp. The ATV will playback up to 720 and with my standard rips encoded to the ATV 720p format, they look excellent on both my PJ and TVs. I wish i still had my Technics unit as i'd ship it to you to try out. It was as good as it got for stand alone 5.1 DACs at the time and still holds up well today against DD decoders. Lots of menu options for distance/delay/etc just like an AVR. If you could snag that one on EBay just as a test it would be worth the effort. Reselling it would be about as easy as buying it.
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post #23 of 26 Old 08-08-2011, 07:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

We do not intend to stream ISO over lan. Once the ISO files have been encoded, they will probably sit in a closet somewhere for safe-keeping, or maybe at my dad's office, to keep them off-site.

This is what I was trying to tell you: If you have all the DVDs as ISO on HDD, just connect it to the Oppo and enjoy. Why put them in a closet?
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post #24 of 26 Old 08-09-2011, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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I know this sounds like a drastic step, and perhaps I should post a new thread. What would be the implications if I went with a PC-only setup (Dropped the Oppo altogether) & bought a high-end soundcard that outputs analog 5.1 (I'm sure there can only be a few)

Is getting 5.1 analog playback easy to get playing correctly?
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post #25 of 26 Old 08-09-2011, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meetloaf13 View Post

I know this sounds like a drastic step, and perhaps I should post a new thread. What would be the implications if I went with a PC-only setup (Dropped the Oppo altogether) & bought a high-end soundcard that outputs analog 5.1 (I'm sure there can only be a few)

Is getting 5.1 analog playback easy to get playing correctly?

You won't find a sound card with DAC and analog performance that will hold a candle to the BDP-95. Not even in the same ballpark. There's trade-offs any time you try to create a one box solution to anything.
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post #26 of 26 Old 08-11-2011, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advice. Well be connecting a 4 drive bay with all the isos to the Oppo, and then encoding and storing movies on the server for streaming.

The Oppo has become non-negotiable
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